Korean missile crisis

Defense Secretary Shanahan contradicts Trump on North Korea missile tests

 U.S. Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan
Patrick Shanahan. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters on Wednesday that North Korea's recent missiles test violated a United Nations Security Council ban, contradicting claims by President Trump, who tweeted last weekend that the tests "disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me," CNN reports.

Why it matters: Shanahan is the second top national security official in the Trump administration to break with the president over the seriousness of North Korea's missile tests. Earlier this week, national security adviser John Bolton also spoke out against the tests, prompting North Korea to accuse him of being a "war monger."

Go deeper: North Korea's tactical guided message to Trump

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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.