North Korea Intensifies Psychological Warfare Ahead of South Korea’s April Elections

SEOUL — North Korea is expected to ramp up its psychological warfare tactics against South Korea in the lead-up to the South's general elections scheduled for April, as stated by a senior official in Seoul on Wednesday.

According to Yonhap News Agency, South Korea is planning to strengthen its defenses against potential cyberattacks and the spread of misinformation by North Korea. This announcement comes amid rising concerns over North Korea's increasingly aggressive stance towards the South, especially in the context of the upcoming elections. Moon emphasized the significance of these elections and North Korea's likely strategy to influence public opinion and exert pressure on the South Korean government through psychological warfare. He shared these insights during a television interview.

This development follows a recent incident where Kim Yo-jong, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, claimed that the North executed a "deceptive operation." This involved setting off explosives to mimic the sound of coastal artillery, a move seen as a test of South Korea's military detection capabilities. The claim was made just three days prior to Moon's statement.

The Ministry of Unification in Seoul had previously condemned North Korea's efforts to disrupt South Korean society with threats and exaggerated criticisms as the general elections approach. Historical patterns show that North Korea has frequently engaged in provocative actions prior to key political events in South Korea. Notably, in the months leading up to South Korea's parliamentary elections in April 2016, North Korea conducted a series of provocative acts, including a fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range missile launch in February. Furthermore, in March 2020, just weeks before South Koreans voted in the April legislative elections, North Korea launched short-range ballistic missiles on four separate occasions.

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