It is estimated that North Korea has between 20 and 60 nuclear bombs and has the ability to produce six more a year, this according to the United States Army’s latest report. The report also states that North Korea is continuing its nuclear weapon programme to prevent a regime change initiated by outside forces.
According to the report, “External powers intervened in Libya when the domestic revolts began in 2011. The Kim family does not want something similar to happen in North Korea.”
The report continues to say that North Korea is the third-largest posesser of chemical agents in the world, holding about a 2,500- to 5,000-ton stockpile of 20 chemical weapons.
U.S. Army report: “North Korea possibly has weaponized anthrax or smallpox that could be mounted on missiles for use.” (1 kilogram of anthrax could kill up to 50,000 people if used on the South Korean capital, Seoul.)
North Korea’s missile programme, however, has had mixed results in accuracy due to insufficient crew training and ammunition failure. However, nuclear and (to a lesser degree) chemical weapons are not required to have pinpoint accuracy due to their psychological effect and the panic that would ensue after such an attack, according to the report.
The report continues to say that, in addition to conventional weapons, North Korea is working on electronic warfare operations, with computer hackers working overseas to gather intelligence, disable enemy networks, and commit financial crimes. These hackers all belong to Pyongyang’s Cyber Warfare Guidance Unit (Bureau 121) and attack China, Russia, Malaysia, India and Belarus. This group also includes the Lazarus Group which infiltrated South Korean financial and media networks in March 2013 and a year later hacked into Sony Pictures.
It cautions that military networks could be susceptible to an electronic attack by North Korea and that precautions must be taken.
According to Bruce Bennett, a senior defense analyst at RAND Corp., North Korea has the potential to break into South Korea’s Korea’s military radar in the event of a conflict.
The report concludes by saying that if North Korea were to attack South Korea, it would fight a two-front war. The first salvo would be chemical and biological weapons on South Korean targets while an an intercontinental ballistic missile possibly targeting Hawaii, Alaska, or the California coast. The second front would involve sending special forces to the South’s southern regions and having them join forces with clandestine operatives already there.
Since North Korea would have to offset deficiencies in firepower against a South Korea-United States alliance, North Korea would rely on “asymmetric warfare” to make up for what it lacks in terms of the latest technologically advanced equipment, the report said.