Re: Why does North Korea have nuclear weapons?
Some speculation this morning that the U.S. cyber-terminated last night's (ET) North Korean missile test, which was clearly aimed at taunting Trump, but belly-flopped.
The spectacular anticlimax to the frightening brinksmanship between Kim and Trump makes the former look horribly incompetent and Trump yet again a lot more skillful internationally than he's generally given credit for.
Some people will be convinced that the message of the abortive launch demonstrates that North Korea has a much longer road to an ICBM that can strike the continental U.S.
Many more will suspect that — as the Trump administration threatened leading up to the abortive launch — it was not going to permit Kim to detonate a sixth nuclear test, and that it fulfilled its words. ...
All in all, a win for Trump, and — at least for the moment — a pause in the most fraught foreign policy crisis of his early presidency.
Taking a longer view ... Trump now arguably has three straight big wins, all on the international stage: In quick succession, he has stood up to Assad, to Putin, and now — it will appear to many — Kim.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former U.K. foreign secretary, speaking to the BBC today and quoted in The Telegraph of London: "It could have failed because the system is not competent enough to make it work, but there is a very strong belief that the US — through cyber methods — has been successful on several occasions in interrupting these sorts of tests and making them fail."
Key point, from N.Y. Times' story (which runs on p. A9 in the final!):
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "is acutely aware that the threat that he could soon possess — a missile that could strike the continental United States — is Washington's biggest concern, and both the number and the variety of missiles he showed on Saturday seemed to be sending the message that a pre-emptive strike against his facilities would be fruitless."
As a general rule the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.