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Tags: biden administration | north korea | russia | nuclear | election | military

Biden Admin Fears North Korea 'October Surprise'

By    |   Friday, 24 May 2024 09:03 AM EDT

Biden administration officials are increasingly concerned North Korea could take more aggressive military actions such as conducting a nuclear test close to the U.S. presidential election in November, NBC News reported.

Senior U.S. officials also told the news outlet that a military alliance between North Korea and Russia could kelp Kim Jong Un's desire to expand his country's nuclear capabilities and increase tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.

"We have no doubt that North Korea will be provocative this year. It's just a matter of how escalatory it is," a U.S. intelligence official told NBC News.

The officials said Russian President Vladimir Putin may encourage North Korea to take its most provocative military actions in a decade close to the election.

U.S. intelligence officials accused Russia of interfering in the 2016 election.

It was reported Friday that North Korea appears to be preparing to launch its second military spy satellite into space, according to South Korea's military.

In recent months, North Korea has extended its run of missile tests to expand its weapons arsenal. Analysts say North Korea likely thinks a larger arsenal would increase its leverage in future diplomacy with the U.S.

"2024 is not going to be a good year," Victor Cha, senior vice president for Asia and Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told NBC News. "It's going to be a bit of a roller coaster."

U.S. officials have been expecting a nuclear test from North Korea, and have devised contingency plans for how to respond if Kim shells South Korea's border islands or takes aggressive actions in the demilitarized zone with South Korea.

"We are going to be ready and prepared," a senior administration official said.

Russia is supplying North Korea with nuclear submarine and ballistic missile technology, U.S. intelligence officials say. There's a concern Putin is helping Kim develop North Korea's first submarine that can launch a nuclear-armed missile.

In exchange, North Korea gives Russia large amounts of munitions, likely old and unreliable, for its war in Ukraine.

Last week, Kim's powerful sister, again denied arms exchanges with Russia, state media KCNA reported.

Russia, by using its veto power on the U.N. Security Council, also is providing North Korea with cover to evade sanctions enforcement measures aimed to constrain its nuclear program.

"This is an enormous shift," a second senior administration official told NBC News.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this story.

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Biden administration officials are increasingly concerned North Korea could take more aggressive military actions such as conducting a nuclear test close to the U.S. presidential election in November, NBC News reported.
biden administration, north korea, russia, nuclear, election, military
403
2024-03-24
Friday, 24 May 2024 09:03 AM
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