Even though North Korea is facing rigid UN sanctions and a significant threat from the US for its hostile activity, South Korean spies warn things could soon become worse.
According to Fox News, South Korean intelligence agencies warn that North Korea may perform a show of strength before the next year. Supposedly, Pyongyang plans to fire an “array of ballistic missiles” in an attempt to intimidate opponents.
The revelation was given to South Korea’s parliamentary intelligence committee by the National Intelligence Service of Seoul. During this private meeting, intelligence was shared that North Korea hopes to intimidate the US with an upcoming show of force.
Officials familiar with the matter told reporters, “The agency is closely following the developments because there is a possibility that North Korea could fire an array of ballistic missiles this year under the name of a satellite launch and peaceful development of space, but in fact to ratchet up its threats against the United States.”
This news is somewhat surprising given the reports that the Punggye-ri test site, a mountain where underground nuclear tests are conducted, suffered severe damages and is on the verge of collapse according to The Telegraph.
Unverified reports from Japanese news sources claim that around 200 workers died when one of the tunnels under construction collapsed. The date of this tragedy is unknown, but sources within North Korea say that it occurred shortly after the September 3rd test of what North Korean officials claim was a hydrogen bomb.
The supposed hydrogen bomb test created a significant 6.1 earthquake emanating from underneath Mount Mantap where the Punggye-ri test site is located. Satellite images of the area after the test reveal significant damage to the mountain’s structure.
This is concerning for countries neighboring North Korea as future testing could result in the mountain collapsing, creating a cloud of radioactive particles, according to Nam Jae-cheol, head of the Meteorological Administration in South Korea.
In a statement before the South Korean parliament, he stated, “Based on our analysis of satellite imagery, we judge that there is a hollow space, which measures about 60 meters by 100 meters beneath Mount Matap. Should another nuclear test take place, there is a possibility [of a collapse].”
Interestingly, South Korea also believes that North Korea’s supposed peaceful space program is a guise for its ballistic nuclear weapons program. This would seemingly enable them to test nuclear weapons while claiming they are peaceful tests as part of the space effort.
The world has put North Korea’s Kim Jong-un on notice for his reckless actions. Will China make a bold move in reaction to any more missile tests by North Korea?
This launch of multiple missiles could trigger a military response from the US and its allies who remain on edge due to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s actions. During his Asia tour, President Trump stated, “We will not allow American cities to be threatened with destruction. We will not be intimidated. The world cannot tolerate the menace of a rogue regime that threatens it with nuclear devastation.”
Hopefully, these claims of a mass test are simply more posturing by Kim and not a sincere effort to intimidate opposing nations. Considering the previous failings of other ballistic missiles fired by North Korea, launching multiple at a time could prove disastrous if another accident occurs — not to mention the reaction such an act would receive.