130. Special National Intelligence Estimate1
Washington, September 21, 1967.
NORTH KOREAN INTENTIONS AND CAPABILITIES WITH
RESPECT TO SOUTH KOREA
- We believe that the recent, more vigorous activities of North Korea against the South have several motivations: to create new pressures [Page 283] on the Pak government; to tie down large ROK forces; to strengthen the Communist clandestine apparatus in the South; and to be in a position to exploit any new and major disruption in the ROK. The timing of these tactics has been strongly influenced by the Vietnamese War, for example by such factors as the absence of 50,000 ROK troops in South Vietnam.
- The North Koreans will almost certainly continue their campaign of military harassment in the DMZ, at current or even increased levels. We believe that North Korea undertook its program of violence of its own volition, not under pressure from either Moscow or Peking, and that this program does not indicate a present Communist intention to invade South Korea. Pyongyang is conscious of the risks inherent in such an action and would be reluctant to accept them. Similarly, there is probably no intention of escalating the DMZ attacks to a point at which open warfare might result. The North might miscalculate, however, and raise the ante along the DMZ until the ROK resolves to strike back in force. A series of actions and reactions might ensue which could lead to open hostilities.
- North Korea will also continue attempts to infiltrate guerrilla-type teams into rear areas of South Korea. Communist chances of establishing viable bases for guerrilla operations are probably poor, but some teams will be able to carry out short-term terrorist and sabotage missions.2
[Here follows the Discussion section of the estimate.]
- Source: Department of State, INR/EAP Files: Lot 90 D 99, SNIE 14.2–67. Secret; Controlled Dissem. According to a note on the cover sheet, the Central Intelligence Agency and the intelligence organizations of the Departments of State and Defense and of the National Security Agency participated in the preparation of this estimate. All members of the USIB concurred with this estimate on September 21 except the representatives of the Atomic Energy Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who abstained on the grounds that the subject was outside their jurisdiction.↩
- As a result of North Korea’s “current activities” and “its incipient campaign of terror and sabotage in rear areas of South Korea,” on October 25 the USIB agreed that intelligence efforts concerning the political, economic, and military situation in North Korea should be increased. (Memorandum for the United States Intelligence Board, October 25, with attachment; ibid.)↩