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Trump cancelling North Korea summit will have 'cyber-retaliation'

28 May 2018

Headlines around the world have been painted with the news that Trump has cancelled a historic US-North Korea summit – which could have huge implications on the US’s cybersecurity.

It would have been the first time a sitting US president met a North Korean leader, but it seems not to be after North Korea released statements belittling US vice president Mike Pence.

Trump responded in a letter sent to Kim Yong Un, stating that the summit that had been scheduled for June 12 in Singapore would no longer be possible.

"The world and North Korea has lost a tremendous opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth," Trump wrote. "This missed opportunity is truly a sad moment in history."

However, it looks as though there could be another meeting in the works, although various experts believe the damage has already been done – check out their opinions below:

Cybereason intelligence services senior director Ross Rustici

“Trump's decision to cancel the summit with Kim has the potential to alienate the United States from Asia further undermining any future negotiations with the rest of the region. This pronouncement leaves South Korea in the worst possible situation.

They are now stuck between balancing the first real opportunity to improve relations with North Korea and reduce the likelihood of further aggression with the need to maintain the alliance with the United States. What happens in the coming months will turn on how South Korea navigates this new situation and what China decides to do regarding sanctions.

The destruction of the test site coupled with the relative good behaviour of the DPRK has likely created enough room for China and others to ease sanctions to demonstrate the positive rewards for conforming to international norms. If sanctions are not eased or the Trump administration attempts to unilaterally ratchet up pressure, it is highly likely that we will see a DPRK retaliation in some form.

If South Korea tows D.C.'s line, then we could see a physical retaliation, if America continues to act unilaterally and tout the Libya model which is a blatant reference to regime change and assassination, the only capability available to North Korea is a cyberattack. Demonstrating resolve and the fact that the US is not impervious to the pain of conflict is something that North Korea will have to seriously consider over the coming months as the world figures out how to navigate the cult of personality that is currently driving both countries.”

Recorded Future strategic threat development director Priscilla Moriuchi

"Cancellation of this summit with Kim will likely have larger implications than if President Trump never accepted the invitation in the first place. This will be viewed by North Korean leadership as a slight against the Kim family which will raise the demand for response.

We expect that there will be some type of cyber-retaliation, most likely denial-of-service or other disruptive attacks against U.S. government departments or military networks, defense contractors, and large American multinationals. Given the high degree of perceived offense against the Kim family, this response will likely occur in the coming weeks and months.

Lastly, the timing of the cancellation, right before the Memorial Day holiday in the United States, is consistent with the historic timing of North Korean cyber attacks in the past. North Korea launched the Sony Pictures Entertainment attack in December 2014,  the MyDoom denial of service attacks against US government networks over the 4th of July weekend in 2009, and has for years conducted missile or nuclear tests on the 4th of July as well."

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