In 1999, Trump wanted to 'negotiate like crazy' to stop North Korea

In 1999, Trump wanted to 'negotiate like crazy' to stop North KoreaPresident Trump once told Tim Russert that he would “negotiate like crazy” with North Korea but would ultimately be willing to launch a preemptive strike to stop the country from developing nuclear weapons.



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The US Waged A Secret Cyber War Against North Korean Missiles

Early Monday morning North Korea fired four ballistic missiles into the sea of Japan, lending a new urgency to Saturday’s revelation from the New York Times of America’s “secret cyberwar” with North Korea. Slashdot reader Frosty Piss summarizes its suspected effects succinctly: “Soon after ex-President Obama ordered the secret program three years ago, North Korean missiles began exploding, veering off course, or crashing into the sea.”

The Times reports the program was started when Obama “concluded that the $ 300 billion spent since the Eisenhower era on traditional anti-missile systems…had failed the core purpose of protecting the continental United States,” with tests of missile interceptors showing an overall failure rate of at least 56%. But after interviewing government officials, the Times concludes that the U.S. “still does not have the ability to effectively counter the North Korean nuclear and missile programs.” Options include escalating the cyber and electronic warfare, trying to negotiate a freeze, asking the Chinese to cut off trade and support, or preparing for direct missile strikes on the launch sites, “which Obama also considered, but there is little chance of hitting every target.” The New York Times article concludes:
The White House is looking at military options against North Korea, a senior Trump administration official said. Putting U.S. tactical nuclear weapons back in South Korea — they were withdrawn a quarter-century ago — is also under consideration, even if that step could accelerate an arms race with the North.

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North Korea Restarts Plutonium Production For Nuclear Bombs

New submitter ReginaldBryan45 quotes a report from Reuters: North Korea has restarted production of plutonium fuel, a senior State Department official said on Tuesday, showing that it plans to pursue its nuclear weapons program in defiance of international sanctions. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAE) said on Monday that it had seen signs based on satellite imagery that show that the secretive country had re-activated the nuclear fuel production reactor at Yongbyon. The analysis by the IAEA pointed to “resumption of the activities of the five megawatt reactor, the expansion of centrifuge-related facility, [and] reprocessing — these are some of the examples of the areas [of activity indicated at Yongbyon].” U.S. Intelligence tried to infect the Yongbyon site with a variant of the Stuxnet malware last year but ultimately failed. Experts at the U.S.-Korea Institute at John Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in Washington predicted last year that the country’s nuclear arsenal could grow to as many as 100 bombs within five years, from an estimated 10 to 16. Naturally, this news is a cause for concern as North Korea had four (failed) test launches in the last two months.

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A Silicon Valley For Drones, In North Dakota

An anonymous reader writes: Commercial drone development has come a long way in the past five years or so, but (as evidenced by the near miss in Italy) they still aren’t something you’d want to see crowding our skies. They’re not terribly reliable, they have a pretty short range, and they’re loud. Clearly, there’s an even longer road ahead to turn them into everyday tools. Silicon Valley may seem like a natural hotbed for development, but it turns out North Dakota might end up being where bleeding-edge drone development happens. “North Dakota has spent about $ 34 million fostering the state’s unmanned aerial vehicle business, most notably with a civilian industrial park for drones near Grand Forks Air Force Base. The base, a former Cold War installation, now flies nothing but robot aircraft for the United States military and Customs and Border Protection.” Testing drones in North Dakota, with its wide-open spaces, farms, and oil fields, neatly sidesteps many of the safety and privacy issues facing drones in more populated areas. The state is also fostering drone pilots: “[T]he University of North Dakota, which already trains many of the nation’s commercial pilots and the air traffic controllers of some 18 countries, has 200 students learning to fly drones in a four-year program that started in 2009; 61 students have graduated from it. North Dakota State University, in Fargo, has also started teaching drone courses.”

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North Dakota Legalizes “Less Than Lethal” Weapon-Equipped Police Drones

According to the Daily Beast, writes reader schwit1, North Dakota police will be free to fire ‘less than lethal’ weapons from the air thanks to the influence of a pro-police lobbyist. That means beanbags, tear-gas, and Tasers, at the very least, can be brought to bear by remote. It’s worth noting that “non-lethal” isn’t purely true, even if that’s the intent behind such technologies. From the article, based partly on FOIA requests made by MuckRock into drone use by government agencies: The bill’s stated intent was to require police to obtain a search warrant from a judge in order to use a drone to search for criminal evidence. In fact, the original draft of Representative Rick Becker’s bill would have banned all weapons on police drones.

Then Bruce Burkett of the North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association was allowed by the state house committee to amend HB 1328 and limit the prohibition only to lethal weapons. “Less than lethal” weapons like rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers are therefore permitted on police drones.

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Scientists Look For Patterns In North Carolina Shark Attacks

HughPickens.com writes: The Washington Post reports that there have been seven recent shark attacks in North Carolina. Scientists are looking for what might be luring the usually shy sharks so close to shore and among the swimmers they usually avoid. It’s an unusual number of attacks for a state that recorded 25 attacks between 2005 and 2014. Even with the recent incidents, researchers emphasize that sharks are a very low-level threat to humans, compared with other forms of wildlife. Bees, for example, are much more dangerous. And swimming itself is hazardous even without sharks around.

George Burgess, director of the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida’s Florida Museum of Natural History, speculates that several environmental factors could be pushing sharks to congregate in the Outer Banks. It is a warm year, and the water has a higher level of salinity because of a low-level drought in the area. Also, a common species of forage fish — menhaden — has been abundant this year and might have attracted more sharks to the area. Burgess also says some fishermen put bait in the water near piers, which could lure the predators closer to shore; two of the encounters took place within 100 yards of a pier. “That’s a formula for shark attacks,” Burgess says of these conditions, taken together. “Now, does that explain seven attacks in three weeks? No, it doesn’t.”

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