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John McCain: China can exert influence over North Korea

Arizona Senator John McCain, a Vietnam War veteran, slammed North Korea’s Friday rocket launch Sunday. “For twenty years now we’ve been going through this Groundhog Day exercise,” Mr. McCain said during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“Confrontation, followed by negotiations, followed by aid, followed by confrontation. I mean, it is remarkable how many times we have seen this movie.”

North Korea’s long-range missile technology failed to put a satellite in orbit to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-Sung. The North American Aerospace Defense Command confirmed the unsuccessful launch of the North Korean Taepo Dong-2 missile.

Mr. McCain told Bob Schieffer that China still has the ability to bring North Korea to the negotiating table. “China is the only country that can really exert influence over North Korea,” the Arizona Republican said.

China is likely to have some interest in helping North Korea conform to international norms, as a refugee crisis in the event of war with South Korea would threaten the sovereignty of China’s border with North Korea.

“In the Bush administration we lifted restrictions against them in hope that they would be coming back to the table. This is a failed policy by numerous administrations. And again, what would we suggest? Make sure China understands that this is a key issue in our relationship with China,” Mr. McCain added.

The Arizona senator was not the only public figure to take umbrage at the North Korea rocket launch. The White House and the U.N. Security Council also condemned the rocket launch.

“Despite the failure of its attempted missile launch, North Korea’s provocative action threatens regional security, violates international law and contravenes its own recent commitments,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a press statement.

During a meeting Monday morning, the U.N. Security Council called the rocket launch “a serious violation” of U.N. sanctions, according to the AP.

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NSA chief worries about Anonymous attack on U.S. power grid

General Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, is concerned about the threat posed  to the U.S. power grid by the computer hacking group known as Anonymous.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Mr. Alexander has held meetings at the White House recently explaining his assessment of Anonymous.

The NSA has not publicly commented on the matter though.

Anonymous is a group of highly skilled computer hackers, known for having committed cyber attacks on some of the most high profile companies in the U.S. recently. They are known for wearing the Guy Fawkes mask, popularized by the 2005 film “V for Vendetta.”

Their cyber attacks primarily have been aimed at either embarrassing companies or simply trying to make a point of the damage that their hacking abilities can pose.

According to the Anonymous Twitter account and blog though, they are not planning any of the attacks reported by the Journal Tuesday.

“Anonymous attracted the attention of the National Security Agency,” wrote the hackers on their blog site Tuesday. “In private meetings at the White House, NSA director General Keith Alexander warned that in a year or two the group could attack the energy grid and shut off power for millions. Ridiculous! Why should Anonymous shut off power grid? Makes no sense! They just want to make you feel afraid.”

The Anonymous group have also been vocal about their opposition to the SOPA and PIPA bills that are currently up for consideration in both chambers of Congress.

No representatives from the White House or the NSA have publicly commented on Anonymous specifically. However, Mr. Alexander recently did comment on the growing abilities of hackers that are able to access, damage and even shut down high profile computer networks in the U.S.