Tourists look toward North Korea from the Imjingak Pavilion near the demilitarized zone in Paju, South Korea, on August 25, 2018. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 4 (UPI) -- A maximum $120 million contact for intelligence analysis was awarded to Fulcrum IT Services LLC, the Defense Department announced.
The five-year contract with the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, announced Thursday, covers all-source analysis and operational support in South Korea, involves the Joint Intelligence Operations Center Korea, U.S. Forces Korea and six divisions in South Korea.
The Virginia-based company works with the federal government to provide artificial intelligence, cyberinformation, intelligence operations, advanced technology and "command, control, communications, computers, combat systems, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance," known as C5ISR.
The South Korean National Intelligence Service briefed lawmakers in a closed-door hearing on Thursday on the disappearance of Jo Song Gil, North Korea's acting ambassador to Italy and a person regarded as among the elite in North Korean government. Jo and his wife left the diplomatic compound in Rome in November, with South Korean media reporting that the couple sought asylum in the west.
The presumed defection comes as North Korea is upgrading and expanding its long-range missile program. Satellite imagery shows improvements to North Korea's Yeongjeo-dong missile base in the country's mountainous interior, as well as construction of a new facility seven miles away at Hoejung-ri. The advancements come despite Pyongyang's promises to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.
"Our analytical line has not changed," an unidentified U.S. intelligence official told Voice of America in December. "North Korea has a big job to do. Until it has fully panned out and they have done their part, we have to be skeptical."