North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is unstable and intimidated by deepening trilateral security ties between Seoul, Tokyo and Washington under the Yoon Suk Yeol administration, a South Korean National Intelligence Service analysis found.
The NIS attributed Kim’s feelings of anxiety and terror to Yoon push to beef up the alliance with key security partners, the US and Japan, according to sources with knowledge of the analysis.
The NIS has intelligence from multiple sources that the three countries bolstering their security relationship to counter North Korea is “stoking anxiety” and “having an adverse effect” on Kim’s health. Kim views Japan‘s expanding role in the three-way security set-up as especially threatening.
In the analysis the NIS noted Kim will “go above and beyond” to make sure the next launch of North Korea’s first spy satellite is successful, to “make up for the humiliation” caused by the failure of the first launch earlier this week.
The failed launch, coupled with the changing dynamics of the security cooperation between South Korea, Japan and the US may render Kim more unstable and unpredictable, the NIS said.
“The sense of crisis appeared to be growing for Kim Jong-un, as even Japan, which he viewed as the ‘weaker link’ in the trilateral cooperation, is mending ties with South Korea,” the NIS said in the analysis.
The NIS said the North Korean leader’s “psychological instability” -- made worse by the launch’s failure -- may manifest as “more venturous military provocations” and resort to “rule by terror” and “rights abuses” domestically.
On top of the spy satellite’s relaunch, North Korea may carry out provocations on multiple fronts including cyberattacks and firing of short-range ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and intercontinental ballistic missiles, the NIS said.
In a briefing Wednesday, Rep. Yoo Sang-bum of the National Assembly intelligence committee said the North Korean leader was drinking and smoking heavily and suffering from sleep disorders, citing the NIS. Based on an artificial intelligence-assisted analysis, Kim was thought to weigh around 140 kilograms.