NIS reports Pyongyang concerned over Seoul's anti-government protest

Kim Seong Hwan  |  2016-12-28 16:41
The NIS (South Koreas National Intelligence Service) issued a report on December 23 detailing concerns expressed by the North Korean regime that the anti-government protests in South Korea are influencing North Korean society.

"North Korea has reduced its criticisms of South Korea from 33 to 19 times per day since the impeachment of President Park was passed on December 9. It has also ceased video broadcasts of South Korea's candlelight rallies, NIS Director Lee Byung Ho said in a briefing to members of the National Assembly's Intelligence Committee.

"However, the North Korean regime is still focused on broadcasting propaganda through its state media, claiming that conditions favorable to North Korea have been created in South Korea. The regime has been continuously promoting anti-South propaganda, with state media such as the Rodong Sinmun and Uriminzokkiri (Among Our Nation) reporting (on December 18) that the 'candlelight rallies in South Korea are reflecting public sentiment in favor of impeaching the President.'"

"Kim Jong Un ordered the South Korea Infiltration Unit to 'destroy Cheongwadae (South Koreas presidential residence)' when he visited the special operations forces. He has been primarily conducting military inspections from the start of December, including an artillery unit that conducted a special drill attacking Cheongwadae, as well as visiting military bases and observing military training procedures," Lee added. 

On the topic of additional provocations, Lee stated in the briefing that "North Korea is keeping the third tunnel of the Pungyeri nuclear test site continuously on standby for another nuclear test. Although it is winter, many personnel and vehicles have been seen passing through the second tunnel of Pungyeri."

In regards to the state of North Korea's SLBM (submarine-launched ballistic missile) technology, Lee said, "North Korea is continuing its efforts to develop SLBMs. In the middle of December, the regime conducted an experimental submarine attack directed at the land in Sinpo shipyard. Additionally, new materials assumed to be in preparation for building new submarines were observed. It seems that the North Korean regime is waiting for the right time to conduct another provocation in consideration of US-South Korea relations."

"In terms of the North Korean army, 70-90% of North Korea's conventional materiel including tanks and traps have been in service for more than 30 years, rendering them unusable and subject to frequent breakdowns. The North Korean army is expected to continue to weaken as it suffers from increasing desertions due to forced mobilizations and a chronic shortage of provisions," Lee added.

*Translated by Yejie Kim
*Edited by Lee Farrand

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