South Korea’s intelligence agency has issued an alert about Kim Jong Un‘s potential plans to disrupt the forthcoming U.S. and South Korean elections with North Korean military and cyber attacks.
What Happened: The National Intelligence Service (NIS) of South Korea said North Korea, under Kim’s leadership, is positioning personnel from previous provocations into key roles, indicating an intention to flex its military muscle during the election periods in the U.S. and South Korea, Bloomberg reported.
“Considering North Korea’s past behavior and the level of its recent threats against South Korea, we are making every effort to establish early warnings and preparedness with related ministries as Pyongyang’s provocations are expected early in the year,” NIS said in a statement.
Historically, North Korea has timed its ballistic missile and nuclear device tests to coincide with elections. This tactic is often employed against conservative politicians who advocate a hardline stance on Pyongyang.
Why It Matters: Over the past two years, Kim has tested more than 100 ballistic missiles, enhancing North Korea’s nuclear strike capabilities against the U.S. and its allies. Recent advancements in Kim’s weapons program include a new missile test designed to deliver a warhead to the U.S. mainland and the possible commissioning of a nuclear reactor that could significantly increase plutonium production.
The latest insights from the NIS come in the wake of North Korea’s recent year-end policy assembly, where the leader of the isolated nation highlighted North Korea’s successes and outlined the goals for 2024. During the assembly, Kim emphasized significant strides in armament development, including the launch of North Korea’s first military reconnaissance satellite and other advanced weaponry.
Kim also urged North Korea to hasten war preparations in response to what he termed as unprecedented provocative actions by the U.S. “He (Kim) set forth the militant tasks for the People’s Army and the munitions industry, nuclear weapons and [civil defense] sectors to further accelerate the war preparations, state-owned media reported.
Photo Courtesy: Shutterstock.com