Jul 10, 2009
North Korea might be a failing economy but definitely not a dormant one. It made headlines, few weeks ago, with the rumors of possible missile attacks towards Hawaii. It is again speculated to be behind the cyber attacks that hit the websites of US and South Korean government agencies, banks and businesses for a couple of days after the American Independence day.
Given North Korea’s record of creating troubles in the past, it is an obvious suspect for the recent attacks. The hermit state measures its success not from feeding its starving population but from messing around in the world, especially more so when it comes to South Korea and the US. On top of that, the deteriorating health of its dear leader and the struggle in finding a suitable successor make North Korea even more desperate.
All being said, the attack was meant to be a symbolic one. The damage done was almost close to nothing. US and South Korean authorities soon took control of the websites and record is that no important information has been leaked. The not-much-effective nature of attacks also makes it typical North-Korean.
However, this might be a harbinger of bigger shocks to come. The world is such positioned that cyber attacks, of any substantial scale, can dismantle its balance. Should stock markets, international trade and outsourcing industry that propel the world economy today come to a halt, the consequences can be far-reaching. In all reality, North Korea’s capacity to at least make an attempt to disrupt the world system should not be undermined. Ironically, the money it gets from selling missiles to Iran, Syria and Pakistan might not be enough to feed its starving population but is more than enough to produce regular nuisances around the world.
This crazy and erratic aggression by North Korea pours water over all hope of its negotiation with the international community. It continues to reluctantly drag itself towards the negotiation table, only to mess up at the end with new surprises. As for now, lets hope that the recluse North Korean peninsula stops playing around and gets back to do what it ought to be doing.