McCain raises doubts that US sabotaged North Korean missile launch

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMeghan McCain: Harris 'sounded like a moron' discussing immigration Arizona AG Mark Brnovich launches Senate challenge to Mark Kelly Arizona Democrats launch voter outreach effort ahead of key Senate race MORE (R-Ariz.) dismissed the possibility that the U.S. hacked North Korea's nuclear missile test, leading to its failed launch.

“I don’t think so, but I wouldn’t rule it out,” McCain told host Chuck Todd on NBC’s "Meet the Press" on Sunday. 

There have been reports that "digital interference" from the U.S. government disrupted North Korea's missile launch test.


U.S. Pacific Command said the North Korean missile "blew up almost immediately" after its test launch earlier Sunday.

Former British Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind first suggested to the BBC that the U.S. could have been behind the failed attempt through an act of sabotage.

“It could have failed because the system is not competent enough to make it work, but there is a very strong belief that the US through cyber methods has been successful on several occasions in interrupting these sorts of tests and making them fail,” Rifkind said. 

David Shuster, a reporter at i24NEWS, also tweeted Sunday that "multiple intelligence sources" tell him that U.S. federal hackers sabotaged North Korea’s missile launch. 



The Obama administration sanctioned such sabotage efforts in 2014 when the White House asked Pentagon officials to conduct cyber strikes against North Korea’s test missile launches. 

White House deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland told Fox News host Chris Wallace Sunday “no comment” after he asked her if the U.S. sabotaged the missile launch. 

McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said past presidential administrations have allowed the authoritarian state to become increasingly hostile. 

"But at the same time, they have made steady progress, while we have made agreement after agreement after agreement. Chuck, how many times on this show have they said, 'Oh, we have now a comprehensive agreement with North Korea?' " McCain added. "And so I'm not blaming Trump for this. I'm blaming Republican and Democrat presidents over the last 20 years while they continue to make progress."