N. Korea likely to stage provocation, continue modernizing missiles: U.S. intelligence

April 30, 2021

Yonhap News Agency:

North Korea is likely to stage military provocations that may include a nuclear test to put pressure on the United States and its allies, top U.S. intelligence officials said Thursday.

Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said the type and scope of the North Korean provocation will depend on how much pressure North Korean leader Kim Jong-un believes he needs to put on the U.S. and South Korea.

“We expect the Kim regime will initially avoid provoking the United States or undermining potential diplomatic engagement as it gauges the new U.S. administration’s policy approach to North Korea,” the three-star Army general said in a statement submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee before a committee hearing on worldwide threats.

“Pyongyang probably would then seek to justify actions it is planning by using U.S. pressure or joint U.S. military exercises with South Korea as a pretext for testing an ICBM, SRBM, LACM or SLBM, demonstrating a massed SRBM, long-range artillery, or multiple rocket launcher volley; conducting a cyberattack; or possibly detonating another nuclear deviceā€”in order to demonstrate North Korean strength and resolve,” he added…

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