Sometimes its seems like there’s just no end to North Korea’s provocations.
To be sure, while the country has undoubtedly developed a reputation for unleashing threatening rhetoric, it seems to have achieved an entirely new level of vitriol over the past few weeks.
So far this month, for example, the reclusive nation scrapped the armistice which ended the Korean War in 1953, threatened to attack United States military bases in Japan and Guam, and — shortly before a scheduled United Nations vote on whether to enact a fresh round of crippling sanctions against the country — vowed to launch a preemptive nuclear strike against the U.S.
That’s not to mention the country’s bizarre propaganda video last week in which it envisioned the bombing of the White House and Congress, or recent reports that its diplomats are quite literally being asked to forgo their ambassadorial responsibilities to instead sell large quantities of drugs in an effort to fill North Korea’s coffers.
Then, just this week, North Korean hackers (now there’s a term you don’t hear everyday) are suspected in recent cyber attacks which temporarily shut down around 32,000 computers and servers belonging to South Korean media and financial companies.
So who’s protecting us?
For all intents and purposes, then, given the fact that North Korea seems bent on not playing nice with others, the country increasingly looks more like a modern day super-villain than anything else.
And that’s exactly why now is a great time to take a deeper look at a few of the companies who’ve made it their business to protect our country.
On missile defense
For one, putting aside the fact that its shares currently trade hands for less than nine times trailing earnings, Northrup Grumman boasts arguably the most comprehensive portfolio of defense solutions our world has to offer.
In addition to building our nation’s flagship long-range B-2 stealth bombers as well as enviable unmanned drones like the Global Hawk, Northrup maintains bleeding-edge cyber security solutions, has CBRNE detection systems (which stands for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives) currently placed around the U.S. Furthermore, Northrup is the prime contractor for our Missile Defense Integration and Operations Center, which plays a central role in the development of our nation’s Ballistic Missile Defense System.
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Defense also awarded Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) a $79.7 million contract modification for its Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, bringing the total value of the contract to a whopping $331.8 million. Like Northrup, Lockheed also plays great offense as evidenced by the F-35 maker’s recent $54.3 million contract win involving its Long-Range Anti Ship Missile project.
Of course, Northrup and Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT) aren’t the only companies paid to protect our shores; Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) , for its part, not only maintains interceptors, radar equipment, and space sensors for its own missile defense systems, but also also recently agreed with the Department of Homeland Security to become a provider for “enhanced cybersecurity services” in response to the U.S. government’s recent decision to further bolster its cybersecurity program. In short, through this effort Raytheon will make itself available to scan web traffic for potential threats to critical infrastructure companies.