North Korea allegedly planned to attack U.S. nuclear power plants in the 1990s, according to a recent article and declassified intelligence report, but whether that is true remains unclear.
Bill Gertz of the Washington Free Beacon reported on December 18 that North Korea had inserted teams into the U.S. in order to attack nuclear power plants and other targets.
“The document states that the North Korean Ministry of People’s Armed Forces, the ministry in charge of the military, ‘established five liaison offices in the early 1990s, to train and infiltrate operatives into the United States to attack nuclear power plants and major cities in case of hostilities.'”
The article is based on a declassified Defense Intelligence Agency report obtained by The DMZ War website through a Freedom of Information Act request. The declassified document is a raw intelligence report, and the significance of that is partially explained in the Free Beacon article.
“The heavily redacted report is what is known as a raw intelligence report, consisting of information possibly provided to the United States by a defector or agent, or possibly obtained from electronic surveillance.”
DIA document: N Korea planned commando attacks on US nuclear plants, major cities. http://t.co/K2GdrSqTVn
— Bill Gertz (@BillGertz) December 18, 2014
However, a raw intelligence report also means that intelligence analysts have not had the chance to verify its accuracy based on information from other sources. The raw intelligence report says as much in one of the first lines of the unredacted portions. “Warning: (U) This is an information report, not finally evaluated intelligence.”
Additional information in both the Free Beacon article and on The DMZ War website indicate the U.S. might not have received further intelligence to verify that North Korean operatives were on U.S. soil and planning attacks on nuclear sites or other targets. The DMZ War website reports the FBI could not locate any information on this upon request.
“Despite the reports mentioned above, and other Pentagon analysis on the Reconnaissance Bureau, the FBI has repeatedly rejected DMZ War Freedom of Information Act requests for its information on the Reconnaissance Bureau and related organizations. Not because all such reports remain classified, but – remarkably — because the Bureau claims it can’t find any reports on North Korea’s main intelligence and terrorism group.”
The Free Beacon acknowledges these sentences in its article.
Yet none of this means the DIA raw intelligence report is wrong. The Free Beacon article quoted multiple people, who indicate that the U.S. may have underestimated North Korean capabilities. The article also reported that the North Koreans have previously conducted multiple significant operations in other parts of the world, even as it later stated that “intelligence activities” in the U.S. have been “limited.”
The raw DIA intelligence report and Free Beacon article on alleged North Korean activities in the U.S. underscore how difficult it can be for U.S. officials to assess threats. They often can be accused of failure regardless of how they act. A recent press release from Senator Carl Levin accused the George W. Bush administration of misinterpreting intelligence used in the lead-up to the Iraq War. Senator Levin claims that other intelligence disproved intelligence the Bush administration supposedly relied on as accurate. Meanwhile, a recent article from NBC News reported on accusations that a U.S. intelligence official failed to share intelligence that might have helped prevent the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. The NBC News article reported that this “was considered by the 9/11 Commission as a key intelligence failure.”
The Inquisitr previously reported on how the U.S. has identified North Korea as being responsible for the cyberattacks on Sony.
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