Pre-Emptive U.S. Cyber-Attack on North Korea Will Have Far-Reaching Consequences

Thursday, December 25, 2014
By Paul Martin


The United States used the flimsiest of evidence to justify a massive attack on the rudimentary Internet servicing the Democratic People’s Republic of (North) Korea. By launching what amounts to a pre-emptive cyber-attack on North Korea, a nuclear-armed power, the Obama administration has, once again, shown that it is as apt to use force over diplomacy and bluster over reasoning.

When it comes to brandishing America’s war arsenal, whether it is traditional arms or cyber-weaponry, the Barack Obama is no different than its war-prone predecessor, George W. Bush. Even Obama’s rhetorical flourishes match those of Bush. Responding to North Korea’s alleged hacking of Sony Pictures’ computer network over the planned Christmas Day release of a cheesy comedy called «The Interview», in which a tank shell kills North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Obama said the United States would respond «in a place and time and manner that we choose». Apparently, that response came in the form of a U.S. Cyber Command-led attack on the few Internet connections that North Korea maintains with the rest of the world. Most of North Korea’s global connectivity is maintained using proxy servers in the Chinese border city of Shenyang. North Korea did not establish its first direct connectivity with the Internet until 2010.

There is every indication that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, as well as the U.S. State Department, working in concert with Sony Pictures’ executives, produced «The Interview» as a «soft power» operation to undermine the North Korean government.

A number of pirated DVDs make their way across the Chinese-North Korean border and into the hands of North Korean citizens who are normally barred from viewing Western movies. The CIA and its favorite private contractor, RAND Corporation of Santa Monica, California, have recognized the «soft power» of the United States in popular culture and integrated its use in U.S. covert and overt intelligence operations. The 2012 release on YouTube of an anti-Islamic movie «trailer» called «The Innocence of Muslims», had all the markings of a U.S. and Israeli intelligence provocation to take advantage of the already-tense street protests occurring in countries from Egypt and Libya to Yemen and Pakistan.

As a result of the information gleaned from the hacked e-mails of top Sony Pictures’ officials in Culver City, California and parent Sony Corporation in Tokyo, the culpability of U.S. policy-making and intelligence agencies in the production and planned release of «The Interview» becomes crystal clear. It is also abundantly obvious that those responsible for hacking into the Sony computers possessed information that could have only been obtained by Sony insiders or U.S. intelligence agencies. The information possessed by the «hackers» included system administrative and security administrative passwords and other privileged credentials.

There is also little evidence that the hacker group claiming responsibility for leaking a number of Sony Pictures’ files, The «Guardians of Peace», was linked to North Korea.

Sony Corporation was under tremendous pressure from the government of Japan because of very sensitive negotiations between Tokyo and Pyongyang over the return of Japanese nationals, mostly from around the city of Niigata, who were kidnapped by North Korea in the 1970s. The delicate negotiations between Tokyo and Pyongyang centered on the number of kidnap victims who are to be repatriated to Japan. While North Korea and Japan agree that the number of kidnapped Japanese are less than 20, other reports suggest there are hundreds of such victims.

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