I wanted it all in one place for easy reference... and less mouse clicks.
I get awfully tired of Democrat hyperbole and propaganda. There's no need for it, especially in matters pertaining to national security. As the folks at Foggy Bottom like to say: it is not helpful.
So this post is made for the record. I might later add 1990 to 1995 (those are harder to find) in another post.
DCI is Director, Central Intelligence. That's a title and function that the CIA director had until the recent creation of a new intelligence czar -- Director, National Intelligence (yet, another layer of bureaucracy between the President and the intelligence analysts, in my humble opinion).
The DCI testimony below represents the assessments of not just the CIA, but the U.S. intelligence community as a whole, i.e. National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Treasury Department's Office of Intelligence Support, State Department's Bureau of Intelligence & Research, United States Secret Service, Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps Intelligence services and others.
Unclassified DCI Briefings to the Senate Select Committee On Intelligence
Note 1: Kim Chong-il = Kim Jong Il. The intelligence community uses a different naming convention than what you may be accustomed to.
Note 2: All emphases are the Monk's.
Worldwide Threat Assessment Brief to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence by the Director of Central Intelligence, John M. Deutch, 22 February 1996
North Korea. Under Kim Chong-il, North Korea remains isolated, xenophobic, militaristic, and resistant to reform and its hostility toward the South is unabated. Since the early 1980s, P'yongyang has devoted perhaps a quarter of its Gross National Product to building a 1.1 million-man military machine. The army's force structure, deployment, and training emphasize offensive operations and it is positioned and equipped to launch an aggressive attack southward with little or no warning. Late last year North Korea deployed numerous combat aircraft to bases near the DMZ, and since the early 1990s, it has deployed long-range artillery and rockets near the DMZ, threatening Seoul and reducing allied warning time.
While the military buildup continues, North Korea's economy is in a downward spiral that will be difficult to reverse. The best harvests fall far short of needs and food shortages are widespread. China continues to provide vital commodities such as oil and food on concessionary terms, despite P'yongyang's large and growing trade debt. Nevertheless, last year for the first time P'yongyang was forced to accept food aid from traditional enemies, including Japan and South Korea, to fill nearly half of its estimated food shortfall of more than 2 million tons.
The regime is thus far unwilling to take the steps necessary to improve economic conditions. P'yongyang continues to reject economic reform and is likewise unwilling to divert resources away from the military. Indeed, North Korea's large conventional force is a organ of internal security that is critical to the survival of the Kim Chong-il regime.
Without deep cuts in military outlays, market-based reform, or significant new economic aid, the economy will probably continue to deteriorate and the decline in living standards will further undermine social stability. The North will find it harder to maintain military capabilities, and to insulate the armed forces from worsening economic problems. If food shortages should spread to front-line military units, it could undermine regime stability.
Proliferation. Ballistic missile systems that can deliver nuclear, chemical, or biological warheads are available to more countries. China, North Korea, the industrialized states in Europe and South America, several Third World countries, and private consortiums, supply ballistic missile technology -- and in some cases entire missile systems -- to developing countries around the world. North Korea, for example, has sold its SCUD B's and C's -- with a range of 300 and 500-km respectively -- to Iran, Libya, Syria and other countries. P'yongyang is now developing a 1,000-km No Dong missile that could be deployed in the near future. A Taepo Dong missile, which could reach as far as Alaska, is in development and could be operational after the turn of the century.
In confronting proliferation, the first task of intelligence is to discover the hidden plans and intentions of countries of concern well before we have to confront the devastating power of the weapons themselves. The Intelligence Community, for example, was instrumental in uncovering North Korea's nuclear ambitions, its violation of safeguards, and its production of enough plutonium for at least one and possibly two nuclear weapons. We are now monitoring North Korea's compliance with the October 1994 US-DPRK Agreed Framework, freezing P'yongyang's nuclear program. Fifteen months after the agreement, North Korea has not refueled its 5 Mwe reactor at Yongbyon or operated its reprocessing plant and it has halted construction on two larger reactors.
Statement By Acting Director Of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet Before The Senate Select Committee On Intelligence Hearing On Current And Projected National Security Threats To The United States, 5 February 1997
Let me turn to those states that can undermine our security interests and the security of our friends and allies in their respective regions. I'll begin with North Korea, then discuss Iran and Iraq.
The continued deterioration of the North Korean economy is weakening the stability of the regime. North Korea's grain harvest last fall was less than half of its projected need for this year, and industrial operations in December fell to less than half the pace of 1992. The declines are the result of poor weather, a lack of fertilizer, raw materials shortages, aging factories and infrastructure, the inefficiencies stemming from central planning, and the large share of non-food output that goes to the military.
The decline in living conditions is eroding popular faith in the regime. Shortages of food and fuel in the military are becoming common and causing morale and discipline problems. Potential dangers to the regime could include: food shortages becoming widespread among front-line military units, the security services becoming reluctant to crack down on dissent, or elites concluding that their fortunes were no longer inextricably linked to Kim Chong-il. While we have no evidence that any of these conditions are present at this time, we remain concerned about how the regime's evolution will play out.
The North's economic difficulties make it even more dependent on external assistance -- most of which comes from China, Japan, South Korea, and the United States. Food aid, for example, last year totaled nearly 700,000 tons. Without additional imports or aid, the North probably will face worse food shortfalls this spring.
What makes us especially concerned about the future evolution of North Korea is its military strength. Its 1.1 million-strong military retains the ability to inflict enormous destruction on Allied forces, including the 37,000 US troops deployed in South Korea. North Korea's long-range artillery and surface-to-surface missiles near the DMZ can hit forward defenses, US military installations, and Seoul. We are increasingly concerned about North Korea's exports of major weapons systems.
On a more positive note, regarding the October 1994 Agreed Framework, the IAEA has maintained a continual presence at Yongbyon since the May 1994 defueling of the reactor. North Korea has not refueled its reactor or operated its reprocessing plant at Yongbyon and has halted construction of additional, larger reactors.
Director of Central Intelligence, George J. Tenet, Before the Senate Select Committee on Inteligence Hearing on Current and Projected National Security Threats, 28 January 1998
Turning to North Korea, we also face a more complex challenge than last year--some progress but in the face of a worsening economic and social situation and a continued real military threat.
The North is still observing the terms of the Agreed Framework that directly relate to freezing its nuclear reactor program. The IAEA has maintained a continued presence at Yongbyon since the May 1994 refueling of the reactor, and P'yongyang and the IAEA continue to discuss steps the North needs to take to come into full compliance with its safeguards commitments.
Amidst these signs of progress, however, a combination of economic stagnation and social decay continues to raise doubts about North Korean stability.
North Korea's spreading economic failure is eroding the stability of the regime of Kim Chong-il. Industrial and agricultural output continues to drop. The North's most recent fall grain harvest was far less than the 4.5 million tons the North needs to meet even minimal rations. Crime, corruption and indiscipline, including in the security services and military, are increasing, and people are more willing to blame Kim Chong-il for their plight.
While Kim reportedly is aware of the economic problems and their impact on soldiers and civilians, his legitimacy remains closely tied to his father's legacy. As a result, P'yongyang likely will avoid an avowedly reformist agenda and will try to package any reform experiments in traditional ideological terms. As such, significant improvements in the economy do not seem to be in the cards.
Its economic weaknesses notwithstanding, North Korea retains a military with the capability to inflict serious damage on South Korea and the 37,000 US troops deployed there.
* The North's offensive posture along the demilitarized zone (DMZ) means that it could go to war with little additional preparation.
* And North Korea's long-range artillery and surface-to-surface missiles near the DMZ, some of which could deliver chemical warfare agents, can hit forward defenses, US military installations, airfields and seaports, and Seoul.
Statement of the Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet As Prepared for Delivery Before the Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on Current and Projected National Security Threats, 2 February 1999
There is little positive I can say, Mr. Chairman, about North Korea, the third major global proliferator, whose incentive to engage in such behavior increases as its economy continues to decline. Missiles and WMD know-how are North Korean products for which there is a real market. North Korea's sales of such products over the years have dramatically heightened the WMD threat in countries of key concern, such as Iran and Pakistan. Meanwhile, countries, such as India, Pakistan, and Iran that traditionally have been seen as technology customers, have now developed capabilities that they could export to others.
Looking at the demand side, Mr. Chairman, let's focus first on nuclear programs. Last spring dramatically made clear that both India and Pakistan are well positioned to build significant nuclear arsenals. Meanwhile, Iran, too, seems to be pushing its program forward. With regard to North Korea, the Agreed Framework has frozen P'yongyang's ability to produce additional plutonium at Yongbyon, but we are deeply concerned that North Korea has a covert program. The key target for us to watch is the underground construction project at Kumchang-ni, which is large enough to house a plutonium production facility and perhaps a reprocessing plant as well.
The missile story is no more encouraging. Indeed, we expect the high level of launch activity in 1998 to continue in 1999. Last year's activity included the first launches of the North Korean Taepo Dong 1, the Pakistani Ghauri and the Iranian Shahab-3, the latter two based on North Korea's No Dong. With a range of 1,300 km, the No Dong, Shahab-3, and Ghauri significantly alter the military equations in their respective regions; each is probably capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction.
In short, theater-range missiles with increasing range pose an immediate and growing threat to US interests, military forces, and allies—and the threat is increasing. This threat is here and now.
More disturbing, Mr. Chairman, is that foreign missiles of increased range and military potential are under development. North Korea's three-stage Taepo-Dong 1, launched last August, demonstrated technology that, with the resolution of some important technical issues, would give North Korea the ability to deliver a very small payload to intercontinental ranges—including parts of the United States—although not very accurately.
P'yongyang is also working on another missile—the Taepo Dong-2. With two stages, the Taepo Dong-2, which has not yet been flight-tested, would be able to deliver significantly larger payloads to mainland Alaska and the Hawaiian Islands and smaller payloads to other parts of the United States. In other words, the lighter the payload, the greater the range. With a third stage like the one demonstrated last August on the Taepo Dong-1, this missile would be able to deliver large payloads to the rest of the US. The proliferation implications of these missiles are obviously significant.
The Threat from North Korea
Dangerous as Saddam is, Mr. Chairman, I can hardly overstate my concern about North Korea. In nearly all respects, the situation there has become more volatile and unpredictable. The regime is still struggling with serious food shortages, last year's grain harvest having been more than 1 million tons short of minimum grain needs. Very few heavy industrial plants are in operation. Living conditions for most North Koreans are miserable. Incredibly, this misery coexists with the robust WMD program I mentioned a few minutes ago.
Fresh signs of social decay have increased our concern about stability in North Korea. Crime and indiscipline are commonplace even in the military and security services. Citizens from all walks of life, including members of elite groups, are more apt to blame Kim Chong-il for systemic problems, including poor living conditions.
All of this will encourage the North to rely still more heavily on risky brinkmanship in its dealings with the United States. P'yongyang has a history of precipitating crises that it thought it could control to increase US engagement in bilateral relations.
A key area where this will play out in the coming year is US efforts to inspect the underground construction project at Kumchang-ni, which may be intended to house a nuclear facility.
The key point, Mr. Chairman, is that North Korea remains a serious military threat, despite dire economic conditions. In addition to the WMD capabilities I mentioned earlier, P'yongyang continues to devote considerable resources to its mainline military, which can still initiate a full-scale war on the Peninsula and inflict massive damage on South Korea and the 37,000 American troops deployed there. We see no indication that Kim Chong-il has abandoned the goal of ultimately bringing the entire Peninsula under his control.
Statement by Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet Before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on The Worldwide Threat in 2000: Global Realities of Our National Security, 2 February 2000
Over the next 15 years, however, our cities will face ballistic missile threats from a wider variety of actors — North Korea, probably Iran, and possibly Iraq. In some cases, this is because of indigenous technological development, and in other cases, because of direct foreign assistance. And while the missile arsenals of these countries will be fewer in number, constrained to smaller payloads, and less reliable than those of the Russians and Chinese, they will still pose a lethal and less predictable threat.
* North Korea already has tested a space launch vehicle, the Taepo Dong-1, which it could theoretically convert into an ICBM capable of delivering a small biological or chemical weapon to the United States although with significant inaccuracies. Moreover, North Korea has the ability to test its Taepo Dong-2 this year; this missile may be capable of delivering a nuclear payload to the United States.
* As alarming as the long-range missile threat is, it should not overshadow the immediacy and seriousness of the threat that US forces, interests, and allies already face overseas from short- and medium-range missiles. The proliferation of medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs)—driven primarily by North Korean No Dong sales—is significantly altering strategic balances in the Middle East and Asia.
North Korea's propaganda declares 1999 the "year of the great turnaround." This is a view not supported by my analysts, however. Indeed, we see a North Korea continuing to suffer from serious economic problems, and we see a population, perhaps now including the elite, that is losing confidence in the regime. Mr. Chairman, sudden, radical, and possibly dangerous change remains a real possibility in North Korea, and that change could come at any time.
The North Korean economy is in dire straits. Industrial operations remain low. The future outlook is clouded by industrial facilities that are nearly beyond repair after years of under-investment, spare parts shortages, and poor maintenance.
* This year's harvest is more than 1 million tons short of minimum grain needs. International food aid has again been critical in meeting the population's minimum food needs.
* Trade is also down. Exports to Japan—the North's most important market—fell by 17 percent from $111 million to $92 million. Trade with China—the North's largest source of imports—declined from nearly $200 million to about $160 million, primarily because China delivered less grain.
Kim Chong-il does not appear to have an effective long-term strategy for reversing his country's economic fortunes. Kim's inability to meet the basic needs of his people and his reliance on coercion makes his regime more brittle because even minor instances of defiance have greater potential to snowball into wider anti-regime actions.
* Instead of real reform, North Korea's strategy is to garner as much aid as possible from overseas, and the North has re-energized its global diplomacy to this end. It is negotiating for a high-level visit to reciprocate Dr. Perry's trip to P'yongyang. It has agreed to diplomatic talks with Japan for the first time in several years. It has unprecedented commercial contacts with South Korea, including a tourism deal with a South Korean firm that will provide almost $1 billion over six years.
* But P'yongyang's maneuvering room will be constrained by Kim's perception that openness threatens his control and by the contradictions inherent in his overall strategy — a strategy based on hinting at concessions on the very weapons programs that he has increasingly come to depend on for leverage in the international arena. Squaring these circles will require more diplomatic agility than Kim has yet to demonstrate in either the domestic or international arenas.
Statement by Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the "Worldwide Threat 2001: National Security in a Changing World", 07 February 2001
I would like to shift gears to North Korea. P'yongyang's bold diplomatic outreach to the international community and engagement with South Korea reflect a significant change in strategy. This strategy is designed to assure the continued survival of Kim Chong-il's regime by ending P'yongyang's political isolation and fixing the North's failing economy by attracting more aid. We do not know how far Kim will go in opening the North, but I can report to you that we have not yet seen a significant diminution of the threat from the North to American and South Korean interests.
P'yongyang still believes that a strong military, capable of projecting power in the region, is an essential element of national power. P'yongyang's declared "military first" policy requires massive investment in the armed forces, even at the expense of other national objectives. North Korea maintains the world's fifth largest armed forces consisting of over one million active-duty personnel, with another five million reserves. While Allied forces still have the qualitative edge, the North Korean military appears for now to have halted its near-decade-long slide in military capabilities. In addition to the North's longer-range missile threat to us, P'yongyang is also expanding its short and medium range missile inventory, putting our Allies at greater risk.
On the economic front, there are few signs of real systemic domestic reform. Kim has recently shown interest in practical measures to redress economic problems, most notably with his trip to Shanghai. To date, however, Kim has only tinkered with the economic system.
External assistance is essential to the recovery of North Korea's domestic economy. Only massive food aid deliveries since 1997 have enabled the country to escape a recurrence of the famine from the middle of the last decade. Industrial operations remain low. The economy is hampered by an industrial base that is falling to pieces, as well as shortages of materials and a lack of new investment. Chronic energy shortages pose the most significant challenge.
Aid and investment from the South bring with them increased foreign influences and outside information that will contradict propaganda from the regime. Economic engagement also can spawn expectations for improvement that will outrace the rebuilding process. The risk for Kim is that if he overestimates his control of the security services and loses elite support, or if societal stresses reach a critical point, his regime and personal grip on power could be weakened. As with other authoritarian regimes, sudden, radical change remains a real possibility in North Korea.
Testimony of Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet Before The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on "Worldwide Threat - Converging Dangers in a Post 9/11 World", 6 February 2002
North Korea continues to export complete ballistic missiles and production capabilities along with related raw materials, components, and expertise. Profits from these sales help P'yongyang to support its missile—and probably other WMD—development programs, and in turn generate new products to offer to its customers—primarily Iran, Libya, Syria, and Egypt. North Korea continues to comply with the terms of the Agreed Framework that are directly related to the freeze on its reactor program, but P'yongyang has warned that it is prepared to walk away from the agreement if it concluded that the United States was not living up to its end of the deal.
Staying within East Asia for a moment, let me update you on North Korea. The suspension last year of engagement between P'yongyang, Seoul, and Washington reinforced the concerns I cited last year about Kim Chong-il's intentions toward us and our allies in Northeast Asia. Kim's reluctance to pursue constructive dialogue with the South or to undertake meaningful reforms suggests that he remains focused on maintaining internal control—at the expense of addressing the fundamental economic failures that keep the North mired in poverty and pose a long-term threat to the country's stability. North Korea's large standing army continues to be a priority claimant on scarce resources, and we have seen no evidence that P'yongyang has abandoned its goal of eventual reunification of the Peninsula under the North's control.
The cumulative effects of prolonged economic mismanagement have left the country increasingly susceptible to the possibility of state failure. North Korea faces deepening economic deprivation and the return of famine in the absence of fundamental economic reforms and the large-scale international humanitarian assistance it receives—an annual average of 1 million metric tons of food aid over the last five years. It has ignored international efforts to address the systemic agricultural problems that exacerbate the North's chronic food shortages. Grain production appears to have roughly stabilized, but it still falls far short of the level required to meet minimum nutritional needs for the population. Large numbers of North Koreans face long-term health damage as a result of prolonged malnutrition and collapse of the public health network.
DCI's Worldwide Threat Briefing: "The Worldwide Threat in 2003: Evolving Dangers in a Complex World", 11 February 2003
Mr. Chairman, last year—in the wake of the September 11 attack on our country—I focused my remarks on the clear and present danger posed by terrorists who seek to destroy who we are and what we stand for. The national security environment that exists today is significantly more complex than that of a year ago.
The recent behavior of North Korea regarding its longstanding nuclear weapons program makes apparent to all the dangers Pyongyang poses to its region and to the world. This includes developing the capability to enrich uranium, ending the freeze on its plutonium production facilities, and withdrawing from the Nonproliferation Treaty. If, as seems likely, Pyongyang moves to reprocess spent fuel at the facilities where it recently abrogated the 1994 IAEA-monitored freeze, we assess it could recover sufficient plutonium for several additional weapons.
* North Korea also continues to export complete ballistic missiles and production capabilities along with related raw materials, components, and expertise. Profits from these sales help Pyongyang to support its missile and other WMD development programs, and in turn generate new products to offer to its customers.
Indeed, Mr. Chairman, Kim Chong-il's attempts this past year to parlay the North's nuclear weapons program into political leverage suggest he is trying to negotiate a fundamentally different relationship with Washington—one that implicitly tolerates the North's nuclear weapons program.
* Although Kim presumably calculates the North's aid, trade, and investment climate will never improve in the face of US sanctions and perceived hostility, he is equally committed to retaining and enlarging his nuclear weapons stockpile.
Testimony of Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on "The Worldwide Threat 2004: Challenges in a Changing Global Context", 24 February 2004
NORTH KOREA is trying to leverage its nuclear programs into international legitimacy and bargaining power, announcing its withdrawal from the Nonproliferation Treaty and openly proclaiming that it has a nuclear deterrent.
Since December 2002, Pyongyang has announced its withdrawal from the Nonproliferation Treaty and expelled IAEA inspectors. Last year Pyongyang claimed to have finished reprocessing the 8,000 fuel rods that had been sealed by US and North Korean technicians and stored under IAEA monitoring since 1994.
* The Intelligence Community judged in the mid-1990s that North Korea had produced one, possibly two, nuclear weapons. The 8000 rods the North claims to have processed into plutonium metal would provide enough plutonium for several more.
We also believe Pyongyang is pursuing a production-scale uranium enrichment program based on technology provided by AQ Khan, which would give North Korea an alternative route to nuclear weapons.
Of course, we are concerned about more than just North Korea's nuclear program. North Korea has longstanding CW and BW capabilities and is enhancing its BW potential as it builds its legitimate biotechnology infrastructure. Pyongyang is sending individuals abroad and is seeking dual-use expertise and technology.
North Korea also continues to advance its missile programs. North Korea is nearly self-sufficient in ballistic missiles, and has continued procurement of raw materials and components for its extensive ballistic missile programs from various foreign sources. The North also has demonstrated a willingness to sell complete systems and components that have enabled other states to acquire longer-range capabilities and a basis for domestic development efforts earlier than would otherwise have been possible.
* North Korea has maintained a unilateral long-range missile launch moratorium since 1999, but could end that with little or no warning. The multiple-stage Taepo Dong-2—capable of reaching the United States with a nuclear weapon-sized payload—may be ready for flight-testing.
I'm going to comment now on three countries we obviously pay a great deal of attention to: North Korea, China, and Russia.
The NORTH KOREAN regime continues to threaten a range of US, regional, and global security interests. As I've noted earlier, Pyongyang is pursuing its nuclear weapons program and nuclear-capable delivery systems. It continues to build its missile forces, which can now reach all of South Korea and Japan, and to develop longer-range missiles that could threaten the United States.
The North also exports complete ballistic missiles and production capabilities, along with related components and expertise. It continues to export narcotics and other contraband across the globe.
Moreover, the forward-deployed posture of North Korea's armed forces remains a near-term threat to South Korea and to the 37,000 US troops stationed there. Recall that early last year as tensions over the nuclear program were building, Pyongyang intercepted a US reconnaissance aircraft in international airspace.
Kim Chong-il continues to exert a tight grip on North Korea as supreme leader. The regime's militarized, Soviet-style command economy is failing to meet the population's food and economic needs. Indeed, the economy has faltered to the point that Kim has permitted some new economic initiatives, including more latitude for farmers' markets, but these changes are a far cry from the systemic economic reform needed to revitalize the economy. The accumulated effect of years of deprivation and repression places significant stresses on North Korean society.
* The Kim regime rules largely through fear, intimidation, and indoctrination, using the country's large and pervasive security apparatus, its system of camps for political prisoners, and its unrelenting propaganda to maintain control.
Testimony of Director of Central Intelligence Porter J. Goss Before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on "Global Intelligence Challenges 2005: "Meeting Long-Term Challenges with a Long-Term Strategy", 16 February 2005
On 10 February 2005, Pyongyang announced it was suspending participation in the six-party talks underway since 2003, declared it had nuclear weapons, and affirmed it would seek to increase its nuclear arsenal. The North had been pushing for a freeze on its plutonium program in exchange for significant benefits, rather than committing to the full dismantlement that we and are our partners sought.
* In 2003, the North claimed it had reprocessed the 8,000 fuel rods from the Yongbyong reactor, originally stored under the Agreed Framework, with IAEA monitoring in 1994. The North claims to have made new weapons from its reprocessing effort.
* We believe North Korea continues to pursue a uranium enrichment capability drawing on the assistance it received from A.Q. Khan before his network was shutdown.
North Korea continues to develop, produce, deploy, and sell ballistic missiles of increasing range and sophistication, augmenting Pyongyang's large operational force of Scud and No Dong class missiles. North Korea could resume flight-testing at any time, including of longer-range missiles, such as the Taepo Dong-2 system. We assess the TD-2 is capable of reaching the United States with a nuclear-weapon-sized payload.
* North Korea continues to market its ballistic missile technology, trying to find new clients now that some traditional customers, such as Libya, have halted such trade.
We believe North Korea has active CW and BW programs and probably has chemical and possibly biological weapons ready for use.