Stories by Daniel Russel

Expert Voices

While nuclear testing paused, North Korean cyber threat still looms

Kim Jong-un standing outside near a stone wall
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi on March 2, 2019. Photo: Jorge Silva/AFP/Getty Images

Prohibitive risks may have deterred further nuclear and ballistic missile tests by North Korea, even as it has continued expanding its arsenal. While that freeze remains in place, the regime may opt to accelerate its use of cyber weapons.

The big picture: A nuke test would infuriate China, and launching an ICBM could precipitate a U.S. military strike. But cyberattacks offer a high-impact, low-cost and comparatively low-risk way to generate cash and intimidate other countries.

Expert Voices

Korean Armistice Agreement still valuable 65 years later

South Korean war veterans pay silent tribute during a ceremony marking the 68th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War in Seoul on June 25, 2018.
South Korean war veterans pay silent tribute in a ceremony marking the 68th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, in Seoul, on June 25, 2018. Photo: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP via Getty Images

This spring, President Trump signaled a potential desire to replace the agreement, calling on Twitter for the “KOREAN WAR TO END!” and promising a "peace regime" with Kim Jong-un in Singapore. Meanwhile, the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War — a truce, not a peace treaty — endures, reaching its 65th anniversary on Friday.

The big picture: History is littered with peace proclamations that North Korea signed and then ignored. While Pyongyang has repeatedly renounced the Armistice, and both sides have violated it on occasion, it’s the one deal with North Korea that has stood the test of time.