Everyone and their pet canaries ought to be concerned about the fact that there was a significant intelligence collapse that prevented the United States and its allies from quickly learning about Kim Jong Il’s death. I’ve harped on the need for the U.S. to increase its intelligence assets, in addition to focusing on the need to develop the technology necessary to gather intelligence. Events like this one only serve to reinforce my belief that the recruitment of human assets ought to become more of a priority.
Of course, North Korea is an opaque country, but that doesn’t excuse the U.S. of the responsibility to gather as much intelligence and information about it as possible. Given North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons, and given the fact that the military situation between North and South Korea is so tense, and could resolve into war at any moment, being able to gather more intelligence on the country is not just a luxury. It is a necessity. And lives do depend on the ability of the U.S. and its allies to augment its intelligence-gathering operations in the region.