Offering to jointly investigate with America simply puts North Korea on par with a superpower, allows them to pose as a joint victim while deflecting any real progress in an investigation, and strings out our crisis response as if this is a police matter rather than an act of war.
Does this really seem like this is "blinking:"
"The U.S. should bear in mind that it will face serious consequences in case it rejects our proposal for joint investigation and presses for what it called countermeasures while finding fault with" North Korea, the spokesman said.
Whoa! I guess the president can break out the "mission accomplished" banner for this kind of retreat in the face of our power and resolve.
This is what really gets me:
“You don’t have a lot of good choices,” Martin Libicki, a cyberwar expert at the Rand Corp, told the Wall Street Journal. “We’re probably looking for something of a small, symbolic nature or a quasi-symbolic nature.”
Are you freaking kidding me?! Something quasi-symbolic?
Is that more or less than Secretary of State Kerry's "unbelievably small" standard?
And this excuse for passivity is just amazing:
For the US to retaliate by hacking North Korean targets could encourage further attacks against American corporation, institutions, and government entities.
There you go. Let them get away with it because if we retaliate they'll do it again.
And besides, what could we hack in North Korea? Dirt is not connected to the Internet, of course.
This cyber attack is an occasion for analysts to talk about how our enemies react "asymmetrically" against us to avoid our enormous military power.
Well you know what? Our enormous military power is our asymmetric advantage over North Korea.
North Korea didn't bomb Sony or send in commandos to attack Sony, but otherwise this is an attack on us and not a criminal matter.
We are fully justified in sending cruise missiles into whatever buildings that house North Korean hackers. Yes, their attacks take place in cyber-space, but the hackers live in a physical place.
Heck, we could use older model missiles to avoid giving China an opportunity to learn our technology should they have the opportunity to disassemble a dud or examine the components of those that do go boom. We don't need the new stuff to penetrate North Korean defenses.
If that kind of retaliation is too much for us (and for South Korea), let's ramp up the Proliferation Security Initiative that seeks to track down any WMD components that move in the physical world.
We've investigated or intercepted ships we believe are involved in North Korea's WMD programs (see here, here, and here).
And here's another interception that I thought I blogged about, but can't find anything.
So I suggest that we simply intercept and inspect every North Korean ship or plane that we can find, and confiscate legal goods, auction them off, and pay for the damage that North Korea did to Sony and to us as we respond to the North Korean attack.
And we keep the illegal stuff, too. But that wouldn't be in the reparations category.
And if North Korea launches another cyber-attack, start confiscating the ships and planes, too.