North Korea could fire missiles at South Korea next year, as the isolated North’s hostility toward the outside world deepens while it undergoes a hereditary transfer of power, according to a report by analysts at the Institute for National Security Strategy.
Tensions are high on the Korean peninsula after provocations from the North this year. More recently, as South Korea responded angrily with threats of its own, North Korea has shown some restraint.
Expect the pendulum to swing back in the other direction in 2011, warned the report, which was posted on the institute’s website yesterday. The report was jointly written by about 20 analysts at the institute, a government-funded public research organization.
North Korea could conduct a third nuclear bomb test and wage more attacks on front-line islands — like Yeonpyeong, which was bombarded in shelling that killed four South Koreans last month — the report said. North Korea may even fire missiles and more artillery at the those islands, chief researcher Lee In Ho said after the report was posted.
The Yeonpyeong attack came eight months after the sinking of a South Korean warship — blamed on North Korea — in which 46 sailors were killed.
North Korea accused the South of triggering the assault on Yeonpyeong by carrying out military drills from the island and denies involvement in the sinking of the warship.