Talks with North Korea are proceeding
Its cyberwarfare activity needs to be part of the negotiation
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un insists he is prepared to scrap his nuclear weapons and, presumably, his intercontinental missiles.
But he didn’t say anything about cyberwarfare.
Whether Kim will keep his promises about military hardware remains to be seen. Indeed, as President Donald Trump points out, the prospect of peaceful coexistance with North Korea is better than it has been for many decades.
So, we will see.
While we are waiting, we can ponder the fact that Pyongyang has a dangerous capability to engage in cyberwarfare — and has been using it.
A U.S. security company, FireEye, warned a few days ago that a North Korean group has hacked into the computers of banks throughout the world since 2014 and has managed to steal hundreds of millions of dollars electronically.
North Korean computer hackers are “an active global threat,” according to FireEye officials.
One need not rely on the company, however. U.S. officials have included North Korea on a short list of countries that on cyber threats to our country. The others are Russia, China and Iran.
Just last month, the Justice Department filed charges against a North Korean hacker allegedly involved in a cyberattack against a bank in Bangladesh. The haul in that one was $81 million.
Stealing hard cash seems to be Kim’s focus for now. That is bad enough.
But what happens if he decides the ability to shut down American power grids, cripple some sectors of our military and engage in other harmful acts is better than nuclear weapons?
Clearly, part of U.S. negotiators’ focus with North Korea needs to be a pullback from Kim’s cyberwarfare buildup — with consequences if he refuses.