The U.S. Forces stationed in South Korea is preparing to launch a human intelligence unit, dubbed HUMINT force specializing in collecting intelligence on North Korea in a bid to strengthen its surveillance against North Korea’s nuclear and missile activities that have become more frequent and bolder than before.
According to sources from South Korea’s Defense Ministry and U.S. Forces Korea on Sunday, the U.S troops in the South, in October will create a human intelligence team, known as a HUMINT unit, that will gather and analyze intelligence on the North through interpersonal sources such as spies or undercover agents having access to internal information on the hermit kingdom.
The HUMINT unit to be named 524th Military Intelligence Brigade will be a part of the U.S. Forces Korea’s 501st Military Intelligence Brigade, which is known to be in charge of operating U-2 spy planes that fly over the Korean Peninsula to monitor any unusual activities in North Korea.
The move comes after the rogue state has accelerated the development of its nuclear weapons program and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)’s destruction capabilities. It conducted two nuclear tests last year alone and has been suspected of carrying out its sixth nuclear test until recently. It has also test-fired ballistic missiles a few times this year. But North Korea that has upgraded its military communication system has made it more difficult for the South Korean and U.S. forces to monitor their foe’s missile and nuclear activities with the current surveillance system.
Intelligence on the development of North Korea’s weapon of mass destruction program and status of its high-ranking officials will provide additional information on various North Korean issues, said an unnamed military official, adding that the U.S finds the North Korean weapons program as a direct threat to the safety of its people.
By Ahn Doo-won
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