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(U) South Korean Printed and Internet Media Reporting: A Counterintelligence Challenge (U) Introduction: Sun Tzu wrote in The Art of War, “…if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will fight without danger in battles. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose. always endanger yourself.” If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will Open source analysis is one of Everyday, we devote tremendous amount of resource and As we conduct open source analysis, we often

effort to understand both ourselves and those around us. the methods we use to achieve this goal.

come across information that may be deemed sensitive, especially to US Forces Korea (USFK), or ROK-US Combined Forces Command (CFC); some of this information may even be of intelligence value to a well-trained hostile. and CFC. This article examines precisely these challenges today’s major South Korean printed and internet media outlets pose on USFK This article examined 13 major South Korean printed and internet news outlets – Dong-A Ilbo, Munhwa Ilbo, Seoul Shinmun, Chosun Ilbo, Joongang Ilbo, Hankyoreh News, Hankook Ilbo, Segye Ilbo, Kyunghyang Shinmun, No-Cut News, Ohmynews, Pressian, and Mediatoday.co.kr. Of these outlets, Dong-A Ilbo, Munhwa Ilbo, Seoul Shinmun, Chosun No-Cut News, Ohmynews, Pressian, and Ilbo, Joongang Ilbo, Hankyoreh, Hankook Ilbo, Segye Ilbo, and Kyunghyang Shinmun has both printed newspapers and internet sites. Mediatoday.co.kr only have internet sites. (U) Political Biases of Sample Media: This article analyzed reports related to USFK, CFC, and NK from 12 news outlets from 2001 – Dec 07. (based on its launch date). NK bias. The analysis No-Cut News was analyzed from 2005 Based on this analysis, all 13 of the outlets were placed on a

chart where the X-axis represents pro- or anti-US bias and the Y-axis represents pro- or antishowed that the Chosun Ilbo, Munhwa Ilbo, and Dong-A Ilbo articles had the most pro-US and antiNK biases where as the writings of Pressian had the most anti-US bias and Ohmynews had the most pro-NK bias.

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(U) Research Results: From 01 JAN 01 – 20 Dec 07, these outlets released 74,147 articles related to USFK/CFC (Of these, 1,488 were about USFK/CFC OPLANs or CONPLANs, and 22,075 were about USFK transformation). Most of the articles bore low intelligence value; however, some articles related to USFK/CFC transformation and OPLANs/CONPLANs bore moderate to moderately high intelligence value. (U) USFK Transformation: Articles and discussions on this subject could be largely divided into two categories: USFK relocation USFK’s transformation. Some of the subcategories discussed in these articles as a part of USFK relocation are issues associated with US base closings and return of closed bases to the ROK government. Some of the subjects discussed as a part of USFK transformation are issues such as strategic flexibility, dissolution of CFC, necessity for OPLAN revisions, OPCON transfer, and transformation of USFK into Korea Command or KORCOM. Analyzing the 22,075 articles written on the USFK transformation since 2001, contents of these articles do not seem to provide an immediate military intelligence value; however, they do seem to have moderate political implications. subjects that USFK and CFC may not necessarily wanted to make public, yet. These subjects include necessity for OPLAN revisions and USFK’s transformation into KORCOM. An “unnamed defense official” is the most common source for these articles. (U) USFK / CFC OPLANs: Articles addressing USFK/CFC OPLANs or CONPLANs not only mentioned the OPLAN/CONPLAN names, but their basic concepts as well. USFK/CFC OPLANs. Some articles even had easy to read charts that explained the difference between each of the A few trends became clear during this research: 1) outlets that are pro-US or anti-NK actually write the most number of articles about USFK/CFC OPLANs, but they tend to talk about these OPLANs in generalities (their necessities, The articles seem to have exposed certain sensitive

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strategic implications, etc.) as a part of a larger discussion about ROK national security and ROK – US relations; 2) media outlets that have anti-US or pro-NK biases publish less number of articles about USFK/CFC OPLANs, but they are more detailed and focused on the OPLANs themselves; and 3) articles related to OPLANs that bore the most intelligence value were found on the internet versions of these outlets under their OPED or blog pages. As you can see from the charts and maps contained in this report (Charts 3-1 and 3-2; Maps 1 and 2), while information contained in these articles and discussion boards are not classified, they are indeed sensitive. Release of this sort of information would certainly have both military and political implications from the information operations perspective. this sense, information of this type would certainly be of moderate to moderately In

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high intelligence value. Most

articles and discussions with this sort of detailed information usually cited an “un-named official” at the ROK Ministry of National Defense (MND) or GlobalSecutiry.org as their sources. A search of GlobalSecurity.org did reveal extensive and quite detailed postings of OPLANs dealing with crisis on the Korean Peninsula. USFK or CFC. (U) Conclusion: Articles related to USFK and CFC are posted on the internet news and blog sites almost everyday. Most of these articles deal with ordinary news events with little or no intelligence value, but some contain information that makes one wonder if classified documents were leaked / compromised. The analysis of over 74 thousand articles revealed that political biases of the news outlets had no bearing on how much or how little they wrote about USFK and CFC – the only variances were the tone and flavor of their articles. Two major points that became clear through this analysis were: 1) media outlets that have the anti-US or pro-NK biases tend to write more articles with higher intelligence value; and 2) almost all of these articles were found on the internet versions of these outlets and not on the printed versions. Based on these findings, thorough and continued monitoring of Analysis did not lead to any evidence internet sites of Hankyoreh, Ohmynews, Pressian, and some of the other media outlets with anti-US and pro-NK biases is recommended. pointing to a single point of failure in information management on the part of USFK or CFC; however, based on some of the information presented on the news articles, one cannot help but wonder if there were informants (witting or unwitting) inside USFK or CFC headquarters. As mentioned before, if a human source was cited in the articles, they all cited an “unnamed defense official” – who usually worked at the MND. There were no direct evidence on these articles that suggested a source inside USFK or CFC; however, it would only behoove us to assume that there may be sources or sub-sources within our organizations based on the types of information that are being published. MAJ Steve Sin, USA; JIOC Korea, J2X; DSN 723-4556; steve.sin@us.army.mil No article cited of having a direct source inside

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