Author Topic: North Korea (Superthread)  (Read 484075 times)

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1650 on: September 06, 2017, 11:51:48 »

Offline Thucydides

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1651 on: September 06, 2017, 16:50:21 »
More on trying to figure out how the end game will be played:

https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/09/05/haley-no-can-kicking-north-korea/

Quote
Haley: No More Can-Kicking on North Korea
SEAN KEELEY

Tensions are rising, stocks are falling, and pulses are quickening in the wake of North Korea’s sixth and strongest nuclear test. The Trump Administration has been quick to respond: on Sunday, after Pyongyang claimed to have detonated a hydrogen bomb, Defense Secretary James Mattis responded with a terse statement warning of a “massive military response” to any threat to the homeland. On Monday, President Trump said the Administration was weighing halting all trade with countries doing business with Pyongyang; the next day, he announced that Washington would sell “highly sophisticated military equipment” to Japan and South Korea.

At the Security Council, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is urging countries to support a last-ditch effort to choke off North Korea’s fuel supplies—or else.  The New York Times reports:

The Trump Administration, warning that North Korea is “begging for war,” is pressing China and other members of the United Nations Security Council to cut off all oil and other fuels to the country.

The effort, which senior administration officials described as a last best chance to resolve the standoff with the North using sanctions rather than military means, came as South Korean officials said Monday that they had seen evidence that North Korea may be preparing another test, likely of an intercontinental ballistic missile. […]

“We have kicked the can down the road long enough,” Ms. Haley told the council in an emergency meeting. “There is no more road left.”

Haley is right to acknowledge that the road is running out as North Korea marches toward a nuclear ICBM (we at TAI have been saying so ourselves for some time now). But the Administration has yet to wed that assessment to a viable long-term strategy. For all of Trump’s dramatic bluster, he has largely adhered to a familiar playbook of sanctions, stern statements, and exhortations that China must “do more” to restrain North Korea. The demand for an oil embargo is only the latest example.

Unfortunately for Trump, China and Russia are unlikely to follow him up that rung of the escalation ladder. China has long resisted a full-fledged oil cutoff that could endanger the survival of the North Korean regime. And Vladimir Putin promptly declared today that the new U.S. sanctions push was a “road to nowhere,” stating that the North Koreans would rather “eat grass” than give up their nuclear program. In short, the oil embargo sounds like it is dead on arrival—and when Beijing or Moscow vetoes it, they will have effectively called Trump’s bluff.

After all, Trump’s threats of “fire and fury” hardly look credible in Beijing and Moscow; any “military solution” to take out Kim’s nuclear program would kill untold thousands in the process. Few in Washington, and fewer still among the American public, would be willing to bear those costs. If anything, U.S. political forces are drifting toward disengagement from Asia: as Walter Russell Mead points out in the WSJ, both Bannonites on the populist Right and isolationists on the populist Left have questioned the wisdom of upholding American security commitments abroad. This is a trend that the North Koreans (not to mention the Chinese and Russians) are watching with great interest as they seek to dislodge the United States from its perch of power in East Asia.

In other words, China and Russia may be willing to live with a nuclear North Korea if that leads to a weakening of the American position in Asia. And if the United States must learn to live with it, too, we should be strategizing for how we can do so without surrendering our strong standing in the region.

So far, the Trump Administration has shown little ability for this kind of foresight; if anything, it is actively harming its credibility with existing allies. At a time when a united front with South Korea is more critical than ever, Trump has been threatening to withdraw from their bilateral trade deal and accusing Seoul of appeasement. That is a rift that China and Russia will seek to open further, by posing as the “responsible” mediators willing to give peace a chance.

In the long run, the United States will need its own such strategies—like seeking to repair strained ties between Seoul and Tokyo, for instance, or exploiting Beijing’s fears of a nuclear South Korea and Japan to coerce China into a more cooperative position against Pyongyang. There is no guarantee that these strategies will work, and Trump is right to gripe that previous administrations have merely kicked the can down the road. But with the end of the road approaching, it is past time to start gaming out scenarios—however unpalatable and unpredictable—to maximize our position when it finally runs out.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1652 on: September 08, 2017, 06:54:23 »
On a lighter note (source) ...
“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1653 on: September 08, 2017, 08:22:19 »
On a more serious note, POTUS45's latest from a news conference @ the Whitehouse yesterday ...
Quote
...  Q (from CBS)    Thanks.  Mr. President, on the question of North Korea, the country feels that a crisis is coming.  Some lawmakers, Lindsey Graham among them, have almost described the situation as inevitably leading to war.  I don't want to ask you if you think it’s inevitable.  What I do want to ask you is, as President of the United States, would you tolerate a nuclearized North Korea that is contained and deterred but still nuclear?  Or would it have to abandon nuclear weapons?  And would military action on the part of the United States be one of the options necessary to achieve that goal?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Military action would certainly be an option.  Is it inevitable?  Nothing is inevitable.  It would be great if something else could be worked out.  We would have to look at all of the details, all of the facts.  But we've had Presidents for 25 years now -- they've been talking, talking, talking -- and the day after an agreement is reached, new work begins in North Korea, continuation on nuclear.

So I would prefer not going the route of the military, but it’s something certainly that could happen.  Our military has never been stronger.  We are in a position now -- and you know the new orders.  You see the new numbers just like I see the new numbers.  It’s been tens of billions of dollars more in investment.  And each day new equipment is delivered -- new and beautiful equipment, the best in the world, the best anywhere in the world, by far. 

Hopefully we're not going to have to use it on North Korea.  If we do use it on North Korea, it will be a very sad day for North Korea.   ...
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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1654 on: September 08, 2017, 10:00:05 »
On a more serious note, POTUS45's latest from a news conference @ the Whitehouse yesterday ...
Quote
...
PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Military action would certainly be an option.  Is it inevitable?  Nothing is inevitable.  It would be great if something else could be worked out.  We would have to look at all of the details, all of the facts.  But we've had Presidents for 25 years now -- they've been talking, talking, talking -- and the day after an agreement is reached, new work begins in North Korea, continuation on nuclear.

So I would prefer not going the route of the military, but it’s something certainly that could happen ...

Considering the source that is a sane, even modestly sensible comment.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1655 on: September 08, 2017, 10:09:31 »
Considering the source that is a sane, even modestly sensible comment.
And I quoted the WH page to head off the worst accusations of "fake news"  ;D
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1656 on: September 08, 2017, 13:11:58 »
And I quoted the WH page to head off the worst accusations of "fake news"  ;D

 ;D

https://www.stripes.com/news/nuke-sniffer-ballistic-recon-aircraft-deploy-to-okinawa-amid-rising-tensions-with-n-korea-1.486700#.WbLPeMu0m70



An Air Force WC-135 Constant Phoenix, which is commonly referred to as a nuke-sniffer, arrived at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Sept. 5, 2017, days after North Korea's sixth and most powerful nuclear test.

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1657 on: September 08, 2017, 14:31:56 »
OK, then - NOW I'm feeling safer ...
Quote
Dennis Rodman Offers to ‘Straighten Things Out’ Between Trump and Kim Jong-un
Adam K. Raymond, nymag.com, 6 Sept 2017

With Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un locked in a nerve-racking war of words that’s edging the world ever closer to nuclear catastrophe, a relatively sane voice has emerged and offered to “straighten things out” between the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea.

Dennis Rodman, the ex–NBA star who claims both Trump and Kim as friends, told Good Morning Britain Wednesday, “I just want to try to straighten things out for everyone to get along together.” In addition to his own mediation, Rodman suggested that Trump attempt to talk with Kim to find common ground and avoid violent confrontation ...
More @ link
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1658 on: September 09, 2017, 22:26:54 »
Starting to wonder about this. The DPRK hasn't demonstrated a great deal of technological art (including a multitude of spectacular missile failures), yet suddenly is not only making relatively reliable missiles, but showing off advanced solid fuel technology as well? Suggestions that the DPRK is getting foreign rocket technology suddenly does seem to have a bit more veracity:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/23/asia/north-korea-missile-program-photos/index.html

Quote
New North Korea photos reveal hidden details of missile program
By Ben Westcott, CNN
Updated 9:12 PM ET, Wed August 23, 2017

North Korea's Kim called for more solid-fuel rocket engines to be built, state media said
(CNN)Newly released photos appear to reveal unexpected advances in North Korea's missile program, experts say, including a previously unseen type of projectile.

On Wednesday, North Korean state media KCNA announced leader Kim Jong Un had visited the country's Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Sciences.

"He instructed the institute to produce more solid-fuel rocket engines and rocket warhead tips by further expanding engine production process," the statement said.

But it was the photos of the inspection released by state media which missile analysts seized upon immediately.

"This is the North Koreans showing us, or at least portraying, that their solid-fuel missile program is improving at a steady rate," David Schmerler, research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey's James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, told CNN.

One photo of Kim reveals a poster on the wall clearly mentioning a missile called "Pukguksong-3," a potential successor to the previous two versions of the missile which were both solid-fuel, medium-range projectiles.

North Korea's desire to build solid-fuel missiles is driven by their need for projectiles they can launch quickly and subtly, said Michael Duitsman, also a research associate at the James Martin Centre.

"Solid fuel missiles are much faster to deploy ... a solid fuel missile is always fueled so all they have to do is drive it to the place they want to launch it," he said.

"It's much easier to put into action, much harder to catch before it launches because they're a lot less in terms of launch preparations that could be done."

All ballistic missiles owned by the United States and Russia are solid-fuel models, according to Dustman.

In another, the North Korean leader stands next to a large copper-colored container, which experts said could be a wound-filament reinforced plastic rocket casing.

"It's not a missile test but it's still very disconcerting for people who look at the North Korean ballistic missile program," Duitsman.
"Seeing the casing ... is sooner than I expected."

Both experts said the wound-filament casing seen in one photo would be lighter than previous metal versions, allowing North Korea's missiles to fly further.

When the US Navy first switched to the lighter casing during the 1960s their missiles flew an additional 500 miles, an increase of about 50 per cent, Duitsman said. "They also switched the propellant (though)," he added.

Schlermer said it was unlikely that either the revelation of the new missiles or the filament casing were a mistake by Pyongyang.
"I don't think there's any accident about this, the shot clearly shows Pukguksong-3, this was the North Koreans showing us what we could possibly see soon," he said.

8/ Thus, the ability to produce large wound-filament casings was crucial to the development of Soviet road-mobile ICBMs & IRBMs. pic.twitter.com/zWQcWMjtg7

— Michael Duitsman (@DuitsyWasHere) April 21, 2017

High-profile US leaders have praised Pyongyang for showing "restraint" in pulling back from its previous pledges to launch missiles into the sea around Guam.

One week ago, US President Donald Trump sent a tweet saying Kim had made a "wise decision" not to launch a missile, adding the alternative would have been "both catastrophic and unacceptable."

Speaking at a rally in Arizona Wednesday, Trump claimed Kim was "starting to respect us."

"I respect that fact very much. Respect that fact. And maybe probably not, but maybe, something positive could come about. (The media) won't tell you that. But maybe something positive could come about," he told supporters.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also presented a more conciliatory face to North Korea in recent days, saying the US was open to dialogue with the rogue state.

"I think it is worth noting, we have had no missile launches or provocative acts on the part of, or provocative actions, on the part of North Korea since the UN Security Council resolution" sanctioning Pyongyang on August 5, Tillerson said Tuesday.

"I am pleased to see that the regime in Pyongyang has demonstrated restraint. We hope this is the signal we have been looking for, that they are ready to restrain provocative acts. And perhaps we are seeing a pathway in the near future to having some dialogue"
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1659 on: September 10, 2017, 19:23:28 »
They have a partnership with Iran. The Norks provide the nuclear know how and Iran the money and missile technology.

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1660 on: September 11, 2017, 02:27:23 »
How does Iran provide them with the technology & money though?

From a physical perspective, how does Iran get the necessary equipments & parts to North Korea without them being intercepted first?  The Persian Gulf is saturated with allied warships, and any ships heading to North Korea are bound to run into someone from our side...

And from a land perspective, how does any shipment not immediately get intercepted and/or bombed as soon as it leaves Iran?  I'm sure CIA/FBI/MI6/Mossad & about a dozen other western intelligence agencies have a pretty firm idea on who is who, what is what, and where things are going once it leaves the Iranian border...

So I ask my question in all seriousness.  How does the technology make it's way from Point A to Point B?
Fortune Favours the Bold...and the Smart.

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1661 on: September 11, 2017, 17:23:39 »
Most of the tech bits will fit into a jet cargo aircraft, the rest would be people, plans and software.

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1662 on: September 12, 2017, 16:17:40 »
An interview with a person who (at great risk) entered the DPRK and took careful notes and recordings:

https://theintercept.com/2017/09/04/undercover-in-north-korea-all-paths-lead-to-catastrophe/

Quote
UNDERCOVER IN NORTH KOREA: “ALL PATHS LEAD TO CATASTROPHE”
Jon Schwarz
September 4 2017, 11:19 a.m.

THE MOST ALARMING aspect of North Korea’s latest nuclear test, and the larger standoff with the U.S., is how little is known about how North Korea truly functions. For 70 years it’s been sealed off from the rest of the world to a degree hard to comprehend, especially at a time when people in Buenos Aires need just one click to share cat videos shot in Kuala Lumpur. Few outsiders have had intimate contact with North Korean society, and even fewer are in a position to talk about it.

One of the extremely rare exceptions is novelist and journalist Suki Kim. Kim, who was born in South Korea and moved to the U.S. at age 13, spent much of 2011 teaching English to children of North Korea’s elite at the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology.

Kim had visited North Korea several times before and had written about her experiences for Harper’s Magazine and the New York Review of Books. Incredibly, however, neither Kim’s North Korean minders nor the Christian missionaries who founded and run PUST realized that she was there undercover to engage in some of history’s riskiest investigative journalism.

Although all of PUST’s staff was kept under constant surveillance, Kim kept notes and documents on hidden USB sticks and her camera’s SIM card. If her notes had been discovered, she almost certainly would have been accused of espionage and faced imprisonment in the country’s terrifying labor camps. In fact, of the three Americans currently detained in North Korea, two were teachers at PUST. Moreover, the Pentagon has in fact used a Christian NGO as a front for genuine spying on North Korea.

But Kim was never caught, and she returned to the U.S. to write her extraordinary 2014 book, “Without You, There Is No Us.” The title comes from the lyrics of an old North Korean song; the “you” is Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un’s father.

Kim’s book is particularly important for anyone who wants to understand what happens next with North Korea. Her experience made her extremely pessimistic about every aspect of the country, including the regime’s willingness to renounce its nuclear weapons program. North Korea functions, she believes, as a true cult, with all of the country’s pre-cult existence now passed out of human memory.

Most ominously, her students, all young men in their late teens or early 20s, were firmly embedded in the cult. With the Kim family autocracy now on its third generation, you’d expect the people who actually run North Korea to have abandoned whatever ideology they started with and degenerated into standard human corruption. But PUST’s enrollees, their children, did not go skiing in Gstaad on school breaks; they didn’t even appear to be able to travel anywhere within North Korea. Instead they studied the North Korea ideology of “juche,” or worked on collective farms.

Unsurprisingly, then, Kim’s students were shockingly ignorant of the outside world. They didn’t recognize pictures of the Taj Mahal or Egyptian pyramids. One had heard that everyone on earth spoke Korean because it was recognized as the world’s most superior language. Another believed that the Korean dish naengmyeon was seen as the best food on earth. And all of Kim’s pupils were soaked in a culture of lying, telling her preposterous falsehoods so often that she writes, “I could not help but think that they – my beloved students – were insane.” Nonetheless, they were still recognizably human and charmingly innocent and for their part, came to adore their teachers.

Overall, “Without You, There Is No Us” is simply excruciatingly sad. All of Korea has been the plaything of Japan, the U.S., the Soviet Union, and China, and like most Korean families, Kim has close relatives who ended up in North Korea when the country was separated and have never been seen again. Korea is now, Kim says, irrevocably ruptured:

It occurred to me that it was all futile, the fantasy of Korean unity, the five thousand years of Korean identity, because the unified nation was broken, irreparably, in 1945 when a group of politicians drew a random line across the map, separating families who would die without ever meeting again, with all their sorrow and anger and regret unrequited, their bodies turning to earth, becoming part of this land … behind the children of the elite who were now my children for a brief time, these lovely, lying children, I saw very clearly that there was no redemption here.

The Intercept spoke recently to Kim about her time in North Korea and the insight it gives her on the current crisis.

JON SCHWARZ: I found your book just overwhelmingly sorrowful. As an American, I can’t imagine being somewhere that’s been brutalized by not just one powerful country, but two or three or four. Then the government of North Korea and, to a lesser degree, the government of South Korea used that suffering to consolidate their own power. And then maybe saddest of all was to see these young men, your students, who were clearly still people, but inside a terrible system and on a path to doing terrible things to everybody else in North Korea.

SUKI KIM: Right, because there’s no other way of being in that country. We don’t have any other country like that. People so easily compare North Korea to Cuba or East Germany or even China. But none of them have been like North Korea – this amount of isolation, this amount of control. It encompasses every aspect of dictatorship-slash-cult.

What I was thinking about when I was living there is it’s almost too late to undo this. The young men I was living with had never known any other way.

The whole thing begins with the division of Korea in 1945. People think it began with the Korean War, but the Korean War only happened because of the 1945 division [of Korea by the U.S. and Soviet Union at the end of World War II]. What we’re seeing is Korea stuck in between.

JS: Essentially no Americans know what happened between 1945 and the start of the Korean War. And few Americans know what happened during the war. [Syngman Rhee, the U.S.-installed ultra right-wing South Korean dictator, massacred tens of thousands of South Koreans before North Korea invaded in 1950. Rhee’s government executed another 100,000 South Koreans in the war’s early months. Then the barbaric U.S. air war against North Korea killed perhaps one-fifth of its population.]

SK: This “mystery of North Korea” that people talk about all the time – people should be asking why Korea is divided and why there are American soldiers in South Korea. These questions are not being asked at all. Once you look at how this whole thing began, it makes some sense why North Korea uses this hatred of the United States as a tool to justify and uphold the Great Leader myth. Great Leader has always been the savior and the rescuer who was protecting them from the imperialist American attack. That story is why North Korea has built their whole foundation not only on the juche philosophy but hatred of the United States.

JS: Based on your experience, how do you perceive the nuclear issue with North Korea?

SK: Nothing will change because it’s an unworkable problem. It’s very dishonest to think this can be solved. North Korea will never give up its nuclear weapons. Never.

The only way North Korea can be dealt with is if this regime is not the way it is. No agreements are ever honored because North Korea just doesn’t do that. It’s a land of lies. So why keep making agreements with someone who’s never going to honor those agreements?

And ultimately what all the countries surrounding North Korea want is a regime change. What they’re doing is pretending to have an agreement saying they do not want a regime change, but pursuing regime change anyway.

Despite it all you have to constantly do engagement efforts, throwing information in there. That’s the only option. There’s no other way North Korea will change. Nothing will ever change without the outside pouring some resources in there.

JS: What is the motivation of the people who actually call the shots in North Korea to hold onto the nuclear weapons?

SK: They don’t have anything else. There’s literally nothing else they can rely on. The fact they’re a nuclear power is the only reason anyone would be negotiating with them at this point. It’s their survival.

Regime change is what they fear. That’s what the whole country is built on.

JS: Even with a different kind of regime, it’s hard to argue that it would be rational for them to give up their nuclear weapons, after seeing what happened to Saddam Hussein and Moammar Gadhafi.

SK: This is a very simple equation. There is no reason for them to give up nuclear weapons. Nothing will make them give them up.

JS: I’ve always believed that North Korea would never engage in a nuclear first strike just out of self-preservation. But your description of your students did honestly give me pause. It made me think the risk of miscalculation on their part is higher than I realized.

SK: It was paradoxical. They could be very smart, yet could be completely deluded about everything. I don’t see why that would be different in the people who run the country. The ones that foreigners get to meet, like diplomats, are sophisticated and can talk to you on your level. But at the same time they also have this other side where they have really been raised to think differently, their reality is skewed. North Korea is the center of the universe, the rest of the world kind of doesn’t exist. They’ve been living this way for 70 years, in a complete cult.

My students did not know what the internet was, in 2011. Computer majors, from the best schools in Pyongyang. The system really is that brutal, for everyone.

JS: Even their powerful parents seemed to have very little ability to make any decisions involving their children. They couldn’t have their children come home, they couldn’t come out and visit.

SK: You would expect that exceptions were always being made [for children of elites], but that just wasn’t true. They couldn’t call home. There was no way of communicating with their parents at all. There are literally no exceptions made. There is no power or agency.

I also found it shocking that they had not been anywhere within their own country. You would think that of all these elite kids, at least some would have seen the famous mountains [of North Korea]. None of them had.

That absoluteness is why North Korea is the way it is.

JS: What would you recommend if you could create the North Korea policy for the U.S. and other countries?

SK: It’s a problem that no one has been able to solve.

It’s not a system that they can moderate. The Great Leader can’t be moderated. You can’t be a little bit less god. The Great Leader system has to break.

But it’s impossible to imagine. I find it to be a completely bleak problem. People have been deprived of any tools that they need, education, information, intellectual volition to think for themselves.

[Military] intervention is not going to work because it’s a nuclear power. I guess it has to happen in pouring information into North Korea in whatever capacity.

But then the population are abused victims of a cult ideology. Even if the Great Leader is gone, another form of dictatorship will take its place.

Every path is a catastrophe. This is why even defectors, when they flee, usually turn into devout fundamentalist Christians. I’d love to offer up solutions, but everything leads to a dead end.

One thing that gave me a small bit of hope is the fact that Kim Jong-un is more reckless than the previous leader [his father Kim Jong-il]. To get your uncle and brother killed within a few years of rising to power, that doesn’t really bode well for a guy who’s only there because of his family name. His own bloodline is the only thing keeping him in that position. You shouldn’t be killing your own family members, that’s self-sabotage.

JS: Looking at history, it seems to me that normally what you’d expect is that eventually the royal family will get too nuts, the grandson will be too crazy, and the military and whatever economic powers there are going to decide, well, we don’t need this guy anymore. So we’re going to get rid of this guy and then the military will run things. But that’s seems impossible in North Korea: You must have this family in charge, the military couldn’t say, oh by the way, the country’s now being run by some general.

SK: They already built the brand, Great Leader is the most powerful brand. That’s why the assassination of [Kim Jong-un’s older half-brother and the original heir to the Kim dynasty] Kim Jong-nam was really a stupid thing to do. Basically that assassination proved that this royal bloodline can be murdered. And that leaves room open for that possibility. Because there are other bloodline figures for them to put in his place. He’s not the only one. So to kill [Jong-nam] set the precedent that this can happen.

JS: One small thing I found particularly appalling was the buddy system with your students, where everyone had a buddy and spent all their time with their buddy and seemed like the closest of friends – and then your buddy was switched and you never spent time with your old buddy again.

SK: The buddy system is just to keep up the system of surveillance. It doesn’t matter that these are 19-year-old boys making friends. That’s how much humanity is not acknowledged or valued. There’s a North Korean song which compares each citizen to a bullet in this great weapon for the Great Leader. And that’s the way they live.

JS: I was also struck by your description of the degeneration of language in North Korea. [Kim writes that “Each time I visited the DPRK, I was shocked anew by their bastardization of the Korean language. Curses had taken root not only in their conversation and speeches but in their written language. They were everywhere – in poems, newspapers, in official Workers’ Party speeches, even in the lyrics of songs. … It was like finding the words frig and crap in a presidential speech or on the front page of the New York Times.”]

SK: Yes, I think the language does reflect the society. Of course, the whole system is built around the risk of an impending war. So that violence has changed the Korean language. Plus these guys are thugs, Kim Jong-un and all the rest of them, that’s their taste and it’s become the taste of the country.

JS: Authoritarians universally seem to have terrible taste.

SK: It’s interesting to be analyzing North Korea in this period of time in America because there are a lot of similarities. Look at Trump’s nonstop tweeting about “fake news” and how great he is. That’s very familiar, that’s what North Korea does. It’s just endless propaganda. All these buildings with all these slogans shouting at you all the time, constantly talking about how the enemies are lying all the time.

Those catchy one-liners, how many words are there in a tweet? It’s very similar to those [North Korean] slogans.

This country right now, where you’re no longer able to tell what’s true or what’s a lie, starting from the top, that’s North Korea’s biggest problem. America should really look at that, there’s a lesson.

JS: Well, I felt bad after I read your book and I feel even worse now.

SK: To be honest, I wonder if tragedies have a time limit – not to fix them, but to make them less horrifying. And I feel like it’s just too late. If you wipe out humanity to this level, and have three generations of it … when you see the humanity of North Koreans is when the horror becomes that much greater. You see how humanity can be so distorted and manipulated and violated. You face the devastation of what’s truly at stake.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1663 on: September 13, 2017, 06:07:47 »
This* from the PRK info-machine on the latest sanctions ...
Quote
DPRK FM Categorically Rejects Harshest-ever UNSC's "Resolution on Sanctions"

The Foreign Ministry of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea issued the following report on September 13:

The U.S. and its vassal forces have rigged up yet another "resolution on sanctions" harsher than ever against the DPRK at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on September 12 condemning its ICBM mountable H-bomb test as "a threat" to international peace and security.

The "resolution" was fabricated by the U.S. employing all sorts of despicable and vicious means and methods. The DPRK condemns in the strongest terms and categorically rejects the UNSC "resolution 2375" on sanctions as a product of heinous provocation aimed at depriving the DPRK of its legitimate right for self-defense and completely suffocating its state and people through full-scale economic blockade.

The adoption of another illegal and evil "resolution on sanctions" piloted by the U.S. served as an occasion for the DPRK to verify that the road it chose to go down was absolutely right and to strengthen its resolve to follow this road at a faster pace without the slightest diversion until this fight to the finish is over.

Since the scheme of the U.S. to impede the DPRK's development, disarm it through the unprecedented sanctions and pressure, and conquer it with the help of nuclear weapons has become clearly evident, the DPRK will redouble the efforts to increase its strength to safeguard the country's sovereignty and right to existence and to preserve peace and security of the region by establishing the practical equilibrium with the U.S.

KCNA
* - Links to an archive.org copy of the statement to avoid linking directly to a PRK page.
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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1664 on: September 13, 2017, 18:21:17 »
This is probably not the response the DPRK and the Chinese were looking for:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/09/13/most-south-koreans-dont-think-the-north-will-start-a-war-but-they-still-want-their-own-nuclear-weapons/?utm_term=.060f7005e6b4

Quote
More than ever, South Koreans want their own nuclear weapons
By Michelle Ye Hee Lee September 13 at 4:47 AM
 
People watch a television news screen at a railway station in Seoul showing file footage of a North Korean missile launch. (Jung Yeon-je/AFP/Getty)
SEOUL — It seemed like a fringe idea not too long ago, but the proposal for South Korea to have its own nuclear arms is gaining steam here.

There are many reasons South Korea probably will not pursue this path. A big one: President Moon Jae-in took office in May promising a path toward denuclearization of the whole peninsula, so the chances of South Korean nuclear armament are slim.

But this debate has become a key issue following North Korea's sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, and the controversy underscores the frustration in the country over North Korea’s expanding nuclear and missile program.

Throughout much of the Cold War, the United States had stationed nuclear-armed weapons in South Korea. Then in 1991, President George H.W. Bush withdrew all tactical nuclear weapons deployed abroad, and Moscow reciprocated.

The debate over redeploying those weapons is sharply dividing South Korean politics. The main opposition party is now doubling down on its calls for a redeployment of tactical nuclear weapons, buoyed by widely circulated reports from the weekend citing a senior White House official that the Trump administration isn't ruling it out as an option, as well as similar comments by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), whom many here recognize as a leading U.S. voice in security matters.

"The Korean defense minister just a few days ago called for nuclear weapons to be redeployed. We had them there once in South Korea. ... I think it ought to be seriously considered," McCain said on CNN’s "State of the Union" on Sunday.

Most South Koreans don’t think the North will actually start a war, according to the latest Gallup Korea poll, conducted after North Korea’s nuclear test Sept. 3.

Still, 60 percent of South Koreans in theory support nuclear weapons for the country, according to Gallup Korea. A poll by YTN, a cable news channel, in August found 68 percent of respondents supported redeploying tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea.

[South Korea’s defense minister suggests bringing back tactical U.S. nuclear weapons]

After South Korea’s defense minister said earlier this month that it was worth reviewing a redeployment of tactical nuclear weapons, other administration officials have distanced the Blue House — South Korea's executive mansion — from the proposal. Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said this week that South Korea is not considering the option and has not discussed it with Washington, but she acknowledged that public opinion on the issue is shifting to support the option.

The centrist newspaper JoongAng Daily wrote in an editorial Tuesday that there is a “noticeable change in South Koreans’ attitudes about the redeployment of the nukes. Two recent polls show that the nuclear option was backed by nearly two-thirds of the people. As the debate becomes a hot potato, the Moon administration must make a wise decision.”

Kim Sung-han, dean of Korea University’s Graduate School of International Studies and former vice foreign minister, said he fielded calls all day Tuesday from local media asking about the possibility of South Korean nuclear armament, following the United Nations' vote on a watered-down version of sanctions on North Korea. The United States, South Korea and Japan had pushed for a full crude oil embargo, which would have crippled the North Korean economy, but the U.N. resolution instead imposed a cap on oil imports to Pyongyang.

“The mainstream view is now changing in South Korea,” Kim said. “Even within the governing party, we are now hearing some of these voices who are supporting redeployment or South Korea going nuclear by herself, particularly after North Korea's sixth nuclear test."

South Koreans are “beginning to be concerned about whether we have to continue to live under the U.S.-provided nuclear umbrella support, so they have begun to suspect the reliability of nuclear extended deterrence provided by the United States,” Kim said.

Under previous U.S. administrations, the return of tactical nuclear armament seemed out of reach. Moon’s immediate predecessor, Park Geun-hye, reportedly requested in October 2016 to redeploy the tactical weapons but was denied, South Korean media reported this week.

But now, South Koreans are wondering: Who knows what will happen under President Trump?

During the U.S. presidential election, then-candidate Trump said he would support nuclear armament of South Korea and Japan as a defensive tactic against North Korea. If Trump did so, it would represent a sharp shift in U.S. policy.

In the meantime, the ruling Minjoo Party of Korea is united with the Blue House in rejecting calls for nuclear armament and pushing for a diplomatic and political solution.

"It is undesirable for us to be seen as having no will to resolve (the standoff) politically and diplomatically any more, amid this dispute over nuclear armament," said Choo Mi-ae, head of the Minjoo party, at a recent meeting with senior party officials, reported Yonhap News.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1665 on: September 14, 2017, 02:14:22 »
'Quite backwards': Chinese tourists gawk at impoverished North Koreans

“Look there, over to the right,” he joked as a North Korean man on a bicycle peddled past along the river bank. “Just look at these North Korean private cars! All imported! Made in Japan!”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/14/quite-backwards-chinese-tourists-gawk-at-impoverished-north-koreans

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1666 on: September 14, 2017, 09:46:39 »
This is probably not the response the DPRK and the Chinese were looking for:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/09/13/most-south-koreans-dont-think-the-north-will-start-a-war-but-they-still-want-their-own-nuclear-weapons/?utm_term=.060f7005e6b4
Quote
More than ever, South Koreans want their own nuclear weapons
By Michelle Ye Hee Lee September 13 at 4:47 AM ...
So far, a non-starter for the President ...
Quote
President Moon Jae-in on Thursday dismissed the possibility of deploying nuclear weapons to South Korea, amid growing public support in the wake of North Korea’s sixth nuclear test earlier in the month.

“I do not agree that South Korea needs to develop our own nuclear weapons or relocate tactical nuclear weapons in the face of North Korea’s nuclear threat,” Moon said in an interview with CNN.

“To respond to North Korea by having our own nuclear weapons will not maintain peace on the Korean Peninsula and could lead to a nuclear arms race in northeast Asia,” he added.

Moon did accept, however, that the ROK needed “to develop our military capabilities in the face of North Korea’s nuclear advancement.”

Since Pyongyang’s sixth nuclear test on September 3, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party has called for the redeployment of tactical nuclear weapons on the peninsula.

John McCain, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, on Sunday also called for Seoul to consider it as a deterrent, in an interview with CNN.

“The Korean defense minister just a few days ago called for nuclear weapons to be redeployed,” McCain said, adding he thought “it ought to be seriously considered.”

South Korean Minister of National Defense Song Young-mo earlier in the month said that redeployment was “worth reviewing,” in a statement to the National Assembly’s Defense Committee.

“I expect a strong demand, but that is the matter which should be deeply examined from the perspective of the denuclearization issue between the South and the U.S., international relations, and North Korea issues,” Song said, when asked if further North Korean testing would change his mind. “It could be one alternative.”

Song, however, later told lawmakers that he was “not reviewing” redeployment at a parliamentary hearing held on Tuesday.

First Vice Chief of National Security Office (NSO) Lee Sang-chul reiterated on Tuesday that the Moon Jae-in government had “never reviewed the redeployment of tactical nuclear weapons” and that Seoul’s opposition to the policy had not changed.

“Political circles and media can raise the issue of the redeployment of the tactical nuclear weapons as one of the countermeasures to deal with North Korean nuclear and missile threats,” Lee told media. “But there are many problems if we do from the perspective of the government.”

Lee said the move would “violate the basic principle of the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

Tactical nuclear weapons were withdrawn from the Republic of Korea under the Joint Declaration on the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula pact agreed between the North and the South in 1991 and signed in January the next year.

“There is a concern that [the decision] could weaken or lose the justification of [achieving] the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula through the discard of the North Korean nuclear weapons, which we are pursuing,” Lee told media.

A recent survey by Gallup Korea said that 60% out of 1004 South Korean respondents agreed with the country having its own nuclear weapons, with 35% opposed.
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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1668 on: September 15, 2017, 06:04:07 »
In spite of KOR's president not wanting nukes in the south, U.S. politicians are thinking a bit differently ...
Quote
The U.S. Senate is reviewing a defense bill for 2018 that includes the redeployment of submarine-based nuclear missiles in the Asia-Pacific region.

The plan is apparently aimed at deterring North Korean nuclear and missile provocations.

Senator Mazie Hirono, a Democrat from Hawaii, proposed the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act in July. It calls for several changes in U.S. nuclear weapons deployment, including redeployment of submarine-based nuclear cruise missiles that were pulled out of the Asia-Pacific region some 20 years ago.

It also calls for the deployment of aircraft that can carry both conventional and nuclear weapons in the region, extending the missile defense network and stepping up military drills with allies ...
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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1669 on: September 15, 2017, 10:28:38 »
One option is the "Balloon war" Start flooding the country with balloons with messages, radios, USB sticks and pictures. The NK hate them, but it's the only real non-military threat we can use.

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1670 on: September 15, 2017, 10:39:48 »
Actually, Colin, balloon wars can also be dangerous, apparently:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=La4Dcd1aUcE&list=RDLa4Dcd1aUcE&index=1

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1671 on: September 15, 2017, 10:47:23 »
I'd add guided parafoils to the mix to ensure a targeted delivery of the goods and information, a mix of items delivered "to the doorstep" and found randomly in farm fields is one way to break the information monopoly of the DPRK. People often don't realize how much freedom of information frightens oppressive regimes, the former USSR and photocopiers and FAX machines under lock and key, for example.

Of course, getting people to use that information and strike up a 4GW insurgency inside the DPRK might need personal example and cultivation of leadership; this is the traditional job of the US Special Forces (Green Berets). The ROK must have a similar capability in their armed forces or the action arm of their Intelligence agencies.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1672 on: September 15, 2017, 10:48:51 »
One option is the "Balloon war" Start flooding the country with balloons with messages, radios, USB sticks and pictures. The NK hate them, but it's the only real non-military threat we can use.
Or, taking that a step or two further ...
Quote
When Jocko Willink‏, a former US Navy SEAL who is now an author and occasional Business Insider contributor, was asked on Twitter how he would handle the North Korean crisis, he gave an unexpected answer that one expert said just might work.

Willink's proposal didn't involve any covert special operation strikes or military moves of any kind. Instead of bombs, Willink suggested the US drop iPhones.

"Drop 25 million iPhones on them and put satellites over them with free wifi," Willink tweeted last week.

While the proposal itself is fantastical and far-fetched, Yun Sun, an expert on North Korea at the Stimson Center, says the core concept could work.

"Kim Jong Un understands that as soon as society is open and North Korean people realize what they're missing, Kim's regime is unsustainable, and it's going to be overthrown," Sun told Business Insider.

For this reason, North Korea's government would strongly oppose any measures that mirror Willink's suggestion.

Sun pointed out that when South Korea had previously flown balloons that dropped pamphlets and DVDs over North Korea, the Kim regime had responded militarily, sensing the frailty of its government relative to those of prosperous liberal democracies ....
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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #1674 on: September 15, 2017, 17:42:41 »
One option is the "Balloon war" Start flooding the country with balloons with messages, radios, USB sticks and pictures. The NK hate them, but it's the only real non-military threat we can use.

The easier option? We could surrender to North Korea... for a little while :) 
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon