B-52’s & NK Counter-Threat
NK Cyber-Attack on SK? [Israel also suspect]
North Korea: On 21 March at 0930 local time, the Korean Central Broadcasting Station made the following unscheduled announcement:
“We inform all soldiers and residents!
“This is an air raid warning. This is an air raid warning. This is an air raid warning. Military units and units of all levels must quickly take measures to prevent damage from the enemy’s air strikes.”
“This is an air raid warning. This is an air raid warning. This is an air raid warning. Military units and units of all levels must quickly take measures to prevent damage from the enemy’s air strikes. This is the Korean People’s Army Broadcasting Station.”
At 1028 local time the Korean Central Broadcasting Station carried a second unscheduled announcement:
“This is the Korean People’s Army Broadcasting Station. We inform all residents and soldiers: The air raid warning is lifted. The air raid warning is lifted. The air raid warning is lifted.
Comment: According to defectors queried by the Daily NK, this was the first use of the public radio system for broadcasting an air raid warning. It was a test because it was too brief to be a civil defense evacuation drill. In large cities they take up to a full day. This is significant because air raid warnings are never broadcast. This was probably a no-notice drill in response to the US announcement about B-52s operating over South Korea.
Air raid warnings were more common in the 1990s, but all were sent via the “Third Broadcast” which is a cable radio system, only accessible in North Korea. The Korean People’s Army Broadcasting Station only has been known to use the Third Broadcast.
The use of a nationwide radio broadcast implies the North’s leaders expect they will need such a system at a time when people would be away from their homes, in fields, on the street or in public conveyances. They expect the population to respond swiftly according to plan without advance warning. That is uncommonly realistic preparation. The B-52 announcement had effect.
North Korean drones. The Korean Central News Agency reported on 20 March that North Korea launched a drone attack on a simulated South Korean target. The press item touted that Kim Jong Un personally supervised the operation. The drone strike successfully shot down a target mimicking a South Korean cruise missile.
Comment: It is not clear just what transpired in the exercise, whether a drone actually flew. However, South Korean news sources in February 2012 reported North Korea had acquired older US drones, MQM-107D Streaker target drones built by Raytheon, from a Middle Eastern country. South Korea’s Yonhap reported they possibly came from Syria. Photos of the drone are available on the Internet.
The North Koreans are extremely good at tinkering with older systems and finding value in materials that would end up on the cutting room floor in the US. Their entire missile program evolved from tinkering with obsolescent systems. They certainly have the science to boost the performance and capabilities of a target drone.
The North Korean news report disclosed information about the status of a fairly new weapons project. They are aware of the threat from Allied cruise missiles and have been working to counter them and probably build their own for over a year.