North Korea is and will continue to be a threat for the immediate future. The U.S. Intelligence Services, Military troops and Facilities, Naval forces and ports, Air Force, Essential Infrastructure, Civilian intellectual property and technology are targeted for exploitation. High Priority Cyber Warfare by N.K. targeting on both Military and Civilian Targets will continue.
we have achieved some level of success stopping and eliminating Cyber
intrusions. Also, diplomatic relations have warmed slightly in recent events.
Focus should be given to De-Nuclearizing North Korea and gaining an official
end to the Korean War. Both factors coupled with a gradual lifting of trade
bans and economic aid from the U.S. could potentially de-escalate the threat
posed by North Korea.
dictatorship in place of North Korea, Kim Jong-un wields the resources of the
Country at his own discretion. He neglects the people and economic conditions
and instead focuses on military strength, intelligence capabilities and
isolating the country from the outside world. He trusts no one. The
intelligence structure does its best to exploit us via cybermethods.
HUMINT is used to their best capability. He can lash out militarily at a
moments’ notice with ICBM attacks with widely held beliefs that he can reach US
territories and most likely the continental U.S.
also attack U.S. Forces across the 38thparallel and even without using nuclear
weapons it would be horrific. With his agents in South Korea it would be
relatively easy for him to perpetrate attacks against U.S. installations and
manpower in South Korea. This is one of our largest concerns as if He decides
to enact action against South Korea and the United States, he is well placed in
S.K. and we could be completely taken by surprise by emplaced forces including operatives’
with The Reconnaissance Bureau. He also would likely simultaneous strike out
within cells in the U.S. against Military facilities and personnel. He could
also target civilians. His intelligence, clandestine, military and even nuclear
options are formidable. He rules with rigid commands and total authority. The
small amount of imagery and media that comes out of North Korea from the
country show an adoration of the leader and the population tends to accept his
authority and presence regardless of the poor economic conditions.
sense of pride in the Military strength is present and the leader takes every
step to ensure continuation of the Kim lineage in power. He utilizes the
Intelligence service named the Reconnaissance Bureau as one of his tools to
exert his power and influence of the entire nation and gathering intelligence
on adversaries. It is the sole decision making ability of Kim which is such a
danger not only to the United States but the world.“The Reconnaissance General
Bureau (RGB) is North Korea’s primary foreign intelligence service and is
responsible for collection and clandestine operations. The RGB comprises six
bureaus with compartmented functions, including operations, reconnaissance,
technology and cyber capabilities, overseas intelligence, inter-Korean talks,
and service support.”
Reconnaissance Bureau is located in Pyongyang. In this2010 article Lieutenant
General Kim Yong-cho is identified as head of the Reconnaissance Bureau.
According to Joseph S. Bermudez Jr the intelligence and security services in
North Korea were reorganized 2009-2010 with all intelligence and security
forces falling into control of the National Defense Commission. (NDC)
family dynasty reign includes the Grandfather-Kim il-Sung,(original name Kim
Song-Ju) succeeded by his son-Kim Jong il and continuing on with his son and
current leader Kim Jong-un. I will discuss later the importance North Korea
places on continuation of the family in power.
Reconnaissance Bureau is brutal and even targets its own people. That included
an attempted assassination of a high ranking official with the Korean Worker’s
Party KWP Secretary Hwang Jang-yop by two Reconnaissance General Bureau
Operatives which were Kim Yong-ho and Dong Myong-gwan and that action was taken
against a South Korean Military vessel.[i]According to sources Kim Jong iL’s
half-brother Kim Jong-Nam survived an assassination attempt in 2012, then
pleaded in a letter to the leader begging for his life. He was assassinated a
few years later in Malaysia.
Reconnaissance Bureau resembles the CIA in its desired functions and conducts
comprehensive intelligence primarily focusing on South Korea and the United
States. The RGB or Reconnaissance Bureau is rumored to have 60,000 trained
commandos with some of them trained in attacking large cities and nuclear
facilities. Some of the commandos might have even been stationed in the U.S.
during the 1990s. Our Human Intelligence officers are a priority for their
recruiters and a defector Kang Myong-do indicated there may be hundreds of
North Korean operatives working within our country at any given time.
R. Evanina-Director for NCSC synthesizes our dilemma as with all the openness
and freedoms we have in essence is what makes us vulnerable to Foreign
Intelligence threats, intrusions and manipulations of our great Country. From
the NCSC’s report the primary objectives of Foreign Intelligence Entities is to
gain access to our decision-making apparatus and Intelligence organizations.
Likely targets include our Counterintelligence operations, cyber-threats,
physical threats to official U.S. Government facilities and personnel, supply
chain threats, intellectual property and technologies, and U.S. Critical
Infrastructure. The vast number of potential targets within the Critical
Infrastructure is a serious and very dangerous situation that we must take
immediate action to protect and safeguard. Some of these targets can include
our nuclear facilities, communications networks, government facilities,
financial services, information technology, dams, transportation systems, water
and wastewater facilities, food and agriculture industry, energy facilities,
emergency services, defense industry, healthcare, critical manufacturing and
chemical facilities. These targets would be a crippling action on our nation..
space system has long provided us with a technological edge over our
adversaries that allows us to conduct warfare in the manner we do-with focus,
accuracy, acquiring vast amounts of information which some countries lack the
technology and capability to achieve.
once reserved for the Big 3 nations is now a threat from emerging countries.
These include North Korea. Jamming, intrusion or destruction of our space
satellites and technologies would be crippling and is a very real threat.
Kinetic means of hitting the satellite or device, non kinetic ways such as
lasers, microwave or an electronic pulse can wreak havoc on our assets. A
nuclear explosion in space emits extreme radiation which hastens the life of a
satellite. Cyber-attacks are attainable by a lessor means that some other
attacks. “There is some evidence that North Korea may be developing or has
already acquired non-kinetic physical counter space weapons such as a nuclear
EMP device.” They are also known to have electronic means of interfering with
satellites and have already been accused of jamming GPS and suspected other
targets. General Vincent Brooks noted that North Korea’s cyber-attacks are some
of the best in the world.
services are a high probability and are very vulnerable to attack. We will be
able to recover if attacked but it will require an organized effort by the
government with interaction and cooperation with private sector. North Korea
has agents specially trained in attack of installations such as Nuclear
facilities and Government buildings. If an official attack were ordered
probability is high they would achieve some success. Even though we are susceptible
to this kind of attack I doubt that it would be carried out.
Services including the Federal Reserve Bank and electronic Bank capabilities is
possible and if their hacking skills have acquired access prior to an attack it
could possibly happen but is unlikely.
systems would most likely be targeted and are at high risk of being
interrupted. We can recover well from an attack fairly quickly in this area.
Defense Industries have security procedures and practices and would be moderately
vulnerable, with low probability of attack since a conflict with North Korea
would be very brief. Recovery though would require rebuilding the facilities. I
do not feel our Dams are at danger of attack from North Korea, including in
require bombing, rockets or other sabotage. Our water and wastewater facilities
are at high vulnerability but low probability of attack. I think this would be
considered an action taken in a long-term conflict and a conflict with North
Korea would not be sustainable by them for any period of length, The food and
agriculture industry are very susceptible to attack but again would only be
undertaken in a long term and sustained attack, which North Korea will never
have the ability to conduct.
are also extremely vulnerable but low as a probably for attack. They would be
considered a target in mid to long term conflict of which North Korea will
never have the capability of. If an attack did take place though, it would have
a significant crippling effect and it would be difficult to recover from. It
would involve rebuilding infrastructure.
manufacturing is very vulnerable but low probability of risk. Chemical
facilities have moderate risk of attack which correlate to toxicity and
contamination risks. If mass contamination is possible it might be theorized.
It would be low on the priority list of targets.
would be extremely vulnerable but low probability of occurrence. Recovery time
would be moderate.
Director of National Intelligence in a 2017 report noted that North Korea has
chemical weapons and knowledge of biological weapons. They are known to have
provided missile and other information to other countries, including Iran. They
continue to progress on ICBM development. The United States is estimated at
having 6550 nuclear warheads whileNorth Korea has approximately 15.According to
“CNN” North Korea has tested an ICBM capable of reaching the US mainland. It
was fired high into the atmosphere during the test but if on a flatter
trajectory would reach well into the US. It is unclear if they have the
“complete package” to conduct a nuclear armed ICBM launch, but it might already
exist. This is very dangerous.
Military Threat is the overall power projection which Kim holds to threaten and
bully his adversaries. The Nuclear threat appears to be real but even with this
method of mass destruction his only objective could be to cause death and
destruction to what extent he is able.
might be able to inflict hundreds of thousands of casualties. Possibly
millions. But we have vastly significant forces that would retaliate and defeat
them decisively. The threat of a nuclear attack by him on us or our allies is
small unless he does not possess sane mental capacity. It is also likely we
would survive and recover from a nuclear strike and they would not.