North Korea is expected to continue to provoke the United States and its allies, including South Korea,…. by resuming missile and nuclear testing.
This is according to the Director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Scott Berrier, in a written statement on Thursday to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
The Army General said that the U.S. expects the regime to "continue its nuclear, missile, and military modernization efforts this year."
However, he did point out that the North will avoid provoking the U.S. at first,… while it assesses the Biden administration's approach to the regime.
The official also added that North Korea could seek justification for any potential provocations, by pointing to the Seoul-Washington joint military exercise.
The detail and scope of any action is expected to largely depend on the amount of pressure Kim Jong-un deems necessary to put on the U.S. and South Korea.
During Thursday's committee hearing on worldwide threats,… U.S. Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, also said the regime would likely make aggressive and destabilizing moves in order to break up the U.S. and its allies.
She said this could be done by further developing and testing nuclear weapons and ICBMs.
The intelligence agency believes that Kim does not seem to see the current level of international pressure on Pyeongyang as sufficient enough to change his threatening approach.
According to the agency, the North's leader considers nuclear weapons as the "ultimate deterrence against foreign intervention".
Both Haines and Berrier said that there is no sign Kim is taking any steps to achieve denuclearization, a key pledge made in 2019 during Trump's presidency.
Choi Min-jung, Arirang News.