Army.ca Forums

The Newsroom => International Defence and Security => Topic started by: Sheep Dog AT on July 04, 2006, 17:34:19

Title: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Sheep Dog AT on July 04, 2006, 17:34:19
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20060704/korea_missile_060704/20060704?hub=TopStories

CTV.ca News Staff

North Korea has test-launched two missiles within an hour of each other -- both which have landed in the Sea of Japan about 600 km from the Japanese mainland, according to reports.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK said the first missile was launched at 3:32 a.m. local time Wednesday and crashed into the sea several minutes later.

Japanese government officials are trying to determine whether the missile was a long-range ballistic that had been readied for launch recently, or whether it was a different missile.

It had been believed that North Korea was preparing a test launch of its Taepodong 2 missile -- believed able to reach parts of the United States.

The report comes on the same day the U.S. military announced that an Air Force facility at Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado, has been put on heightened alert, amid reports that North Korea could be set to test-fire a long-range missile.

The U.S. has long warned North Korea against firing long-range missiles.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Sheep Dog AT on July 04, 2006, 17:40:20
CNN reports that neither missile had long range potential.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Taggart on July 04, 2006, 17:50:43
CNN just reported that they launched the long-range Taopedong-2 missile, however it reportedly failed in mid-air.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Sheep Dog AT on July 04, 2006, 17:54:10
That makes 3.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Trinity on July 04, 2006, 18:37:34
CNN just reported that they launched the long-range Taopedong-2 missile, however it reportedly failed in mid-air.

Nice.....
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Inspir on July 04, 2006, 18:43:24
Ahhh, CNN. The world's intelligence source  :D
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 04, 2006, 20:35:25
The failure of the second stage is good news,they dont have an ICBM capability yet. On the negative side they have plenty of Scud type missiles which would cause problems for the ROK and US forces.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: milnews.ca on July 04, 2006, 21:01:17
...and maybe Japan, too?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Grilla on July 04, 2006, 21:16:13
I dunno, im just a sapper  :P, but this could ge pretty big pretty fast for Japan at least.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Armymatters on July 04, 2006, 22:00:30
Latest reports are that at least 5 missiles were fired, up to at most 10.
http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2006/07/04/korea-missile.html

This is seriously provacative in the region. North Korea has always been the wild card in the deck of international security and now things are turning serious.

Edit: CBC is reporting that 6 missiles were launched.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Michael O'Leary on July 06, 2006, 00:37:13

North Korea preparing to launch more missiles: reports

http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2006/07/05/north-korea.html

Quote
Last Updated Wed, 05 Jul 2006 23:26:32 EDT
CBC News

North Korea is reportedly preparing to launch three or four more missiles including another long-range Taepodong-2, despite international condemnation for test-firing a flurry of missiles into the Sea of Japan Tuesday and Wednesday.

The missiles are said to be either short-or medium-range, and are on launch pads and ready for firing, major South Korean newspapers reported Thursday.

NBC News reported that North Korea was also preparing to launch another long-range Taepodong-2 missile but the missile is not yet on the launch pad.

North Korea has test-fired at least seven missiles in 24 hours, sparking worldwide condemnation for breaking a moratorium in place since 1999.

The long-range Taepodong-2, believed to be able to reach continental North America, fell short of its target shortly after being launched Tuesday. The latest launch came several hours after a bout of sustained activity, during which five short-range models crashed into the Sea of Japan.

See link for remainder of story.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Sheep Dog AT on July 06, 2006, 00:39:41
I wonder what would happen if N. Korea miscalculated and a missle landed on Japan proper.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: techie on July 06, 2006, 00:44:56
China and Russia, i dont think, would be able to make good arguments to take less action then what the majority of the current sec. council wants to do. While the majority of the sec council wants to impose sanctions(13/15) where only China and Russia want to make a presedential statement. Ill post a link to the new story i read that in when i find it in my history.


http://www.abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=2158359 (http://www.abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=2158359)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: chaos75 on July 06, 2006, 10:01:23
Again, along the same lines as the current Iranian situation, I don't see how any nation, including the UN can go around telling sovereign nations what kinds of technology they can develop or test, considering this technology is widely used and available in numerous other countries.  The US tests how many missile systems a year, the Russians tested several missiles this year, the US is developing new nukes to replace old ones, etc etc.  No one here myself included is a fan of DPRK and Iran, but what gives us the right to tell them what they can and cant do.  Every nation is entitled to an armed forces and a threat deterrent force, whether that be nuclear or conventional.  If they haven't realized yet that starving the North Koreans doesn't effect their actions, maybe a regime change is in order there as well (not an Iraqi kill tens of thousands in the process style one either).  The NK situation has become so cyclical its ridiculous. Let em test all the missiles they want, what they are firing and if any missiles are armed is know well in advance with plenty of time to eliminate the threat before launch.  All this is is limited brinkmanship from the Koreans, and more muscle flexing from the US to divert attention from Iraq/Afghanistan.  Let the cycle continue...
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: GAP on July 06, 2006, 10:12:43
Again, along the same lines as the current Iranian situation, I don't see how any nation, including the UN can go around telling sovereign nations what kinds of technology they can develop or test, considering this technology is widely used and available in numerous other countries.  The US tests how many missile systems a year, the Russians tested several missiles this year, the US is developing new nukes to replace old ones, etc etc.  No one here myself included is a fan of DPRK and Iran, but what gives us the right to tell them what they can and cant do.  Every nation is entitled to an armed forces and a threat deterrent force, whether that be nuclear or conventional.  If they haven't realized yet that starving the North Koreans doesn't effect their actions, maybe a regime change is in order there as well (not an Iraqi kill tens of thousands in the process style one either).  The NK situation has become so cyclical its ridiculous. Let em test all the missiles they want, what they are firing and if any missiles are armed is know well in advance with plenty of time to eliminate the threat before launch.  All this is is limited brinkmanship from the Koreans, and more muscle flexing from the US to divert attention from Iraq/Afghanistan.  Let the cycle continue...

A lot of what you say rings true...that given, I think this is one of those situations that is coming full circle to bite us in the *ss.

Years ago, it was easier to ignore the DPRK than to deal with them. This is the natural progression of stuff that lies around and festers.

Most of it is DPRK attention getting stuff, and a LOT is the US and others DIRVERTING attention, but it will come to a head, either from within, or from outside.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: chaos75 on July 06, 2006, 10:29:22
I agree...eventually it will be time to put up and shut up.  The NK regime will not last more than a decade due to starvation, population decline, little to no economy, and the eventual death of KJ.  One of three things will happen.

1.  KJ will be near death, his people will begin to riot over lack of necessities and poor living conditions and the government will have no choice but to launch some sort of last ditch attack against the South or Japan, to avoid total collapse and chaos.

2. KJ will die and his successor (presumably son number three according to latest news), will either attempt to carry on status quo and fail see point #1, or start some type of post-Mao China type integration into the global community (although that might require giving up nukes which may be near impossible for regime to do)

3. US/UN finally decides enough is enough, threat is too great and military action is taken to eliminate nuke facilities and government leadership.  This issue is extremely delicate due to NK close ties with China, who the US is definitely not ready to deal with.

The likely scenario would be number 2, with China being the key player in bringing NK into the international fold.  Process will be slow but I think in the end, possible 10 - 20 years we may see re-unification.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: GAP on July 06, 2006, 10:36:29
There is a definite possibility of a military coup.  Sons getting weaker, military, although purged periodically, has high status, which leads to wanting total control.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Armymatters on July 06, 2006, 18:33:52
There is a definite possibility of a military coup.  Sons getting weaker, military, although purged periodically, has high status, which leads to wanting total control.

In North Korea, the military and any members of it get priority in terms of food stuffs, medicine and goods to ensure their loyalty.

Right now, my analysis:

Major tactical blunder. Before the launches, the North Koreans did some major sabre rattling about being able to 'nuke the USA into smithereens'. Now it has been shown that this capability to hit the continental USA is very iffy, with the launch failure of the only missile capable of reaching the USA. Everyone now knows that at most the North Koreans were bluffing in this game of poker.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Sheep Dog AT on July 06, 2006, 19:28:35
The problem with playing poker is that when one of the players is Looney Tunes you don't know what to expect.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: CanadaPhil on July 06, 2006, 21:09:34
Ummmm..... Is "Taepodong" North Korean slang for "Kind of Penis"???

Looks like they have a limp noodle at best.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Michael Dorosh on July 06, 2006, 21:15:16
I agree...eventually it will be time to put up and shut up.  The NK regime will not last more than a decade due to starvation, population decline, little to no economy, and the eventual death of KJ.  One of three things will happen.

1.  KJ will be near death, his people will begin to riot over lack of necessities and poor living conditions and the government will have no choice but to launch some sort of last ditch attack against the South or Japan, to avoid total collapse and chaos.

2. KJ will die and his successor (presumably son number three according to latest news), will either attempt to carry on status quo and fail see point #1, or start some type of post-Mao China type integration into the global community (although that might require giving up nukes which may be near impossible for regime to do)

3. US/UN finally decides enough is enough, threat is too great and military action is taken to eliminate nuke facilities and government leadership.  This issue is extremely delicate due to NK close ties with China, who the US is definitely not ready to deal with.

The likely scenario would be number 2, with China being the key player in bringing NK into the international fold.  Process will be slow but I think in the end, possible 10 - 20 years we may see re-unification.

Scenario 4 - the Soviet Union scenario - all the old timers die of old age and slightly younger enlightened types look to the west for rapprochement on equitable terms.

Don't forget how I nailed Game 7 of the Cup finals. ;)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: munky99999 on July 07, 2006, 00:34:52
Think of it like this. Say Canada all of a sudden wanted to build nuclear weapons and test them. The UN and the USA will be concerned, like China is with NK, but not freaking out. The difference is, Canada will very unlikely use them to begin with; while NK is relatively more likely to use them. The USA/UN and etc. are hoping for continued peace. By urging NK not to press the issue, they are simply saying we don’t want to go to war with you. I am pretty confident to say that they will pretty much ignore and not strike back until the NK goes way too far. By the time the NK goes too far with the “brinkmanship” even China and the UN will be backing up the suppression of the nkoreans; which I know they know they can’t go too far.

As for GWBush trying to push the subject away from Iraq; I believe that recent news of declassified information basically proving the reason for going into Iraq is a pretty good evidence for it. One might argue that these 500 WMDs were worthless and not reason enough to go into Iraq and my response is that they “just recently declassified this not so important information” just perhaps they have a huge very potent amount of WMD information that is still classified. Sure this is basically less evidence then heresay and doesn’t prove anything. But, to the open mind it definitely keeps the option of Iraq still valid.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Blackhorse7 on October 11, 2006, 12:01:36
North Korea States Any Pressure From The US Will Be Seen as an Act of War

From CBC

"North Korea said Wednesday that any increase in pressure from the United States against the communist country would be viewed as an act of war.

North Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that North Korea would respond with "physical measures" if the U.S. applies pressure on the regime for testing a nuclear weapon on Monday."

This does not sound good at all.  Any thoughts on this?  The first thing that popped into my mind was WWIII.  If China sides with North Korea, we in the west have a MAJOR problem.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Technoviking on October 11, 2006, 12:11:47
This whole thing is a bit scary.  From a viewpoint from some guy on cbc last night (Can't remember his name, but he's dealt with NK quite often), they don't bluff.  I KNOW that the US would not back down from sanctions (NK is already sanctioned heavily), but if China were to up the ante, well, that's a different kettle of fish....
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: MedTech32 on October 11, 2006, 12:31:45
I think this is going to turn out be one of those situations like the Cuban Missile, where the decisions made can have drastic consequences.  Especially if someone pushes a button and a makes a city or two dissapear. Even if N.K. crosses the 40th paralell conventionally, the U.S. almost completely pulled out of South Korea, it could get a little dicey.

And that could be before S.K, and Japan start their own Nuc Programs.  The world has definatley gotten a wee bit more dangerous and complicated.

Armyguy99
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: cplcaldwell on October 11, 2006, 12:42:05
Quote from: von Grognard, Field Marshal of the Imperial Mobile Infantry
From a viewpoint from some guy on cbc last night (Can't remember his name, but he's dealt with NK quite often)...


Patrick Brown?

Clip online at cbc.ca (this link (http://www.cbc.ca/MRL/clips/rm-hi/brown-northkorea061003.rm)).

Requires Real Player (http://forms.real.com/netzip/getrde601.html?h=software-dl.real.com&dc=10111010109&f=windows/RealPlayer10-5GOLD_rs.exe&p=RealOne+Player&oem=dlrhap_rh&tagtype=ie&type=dlrhap_rh).

Runs 13:22.

Excellent reporting, as usual, by Patrick Brown.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: geo on October 11, 2006, 14:01:31
from what I have read so far, China is realy pi$$ed at N Korea.
While they do not support any kind of military action/sanction, they are applying / or intend to apply economic sanctions

Problem with economic sanctions is you're always gonna hurt the little guy
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Freddy G on October 11, 2006, 14:43:20
"This is a huge s**t sandwich and we're all going to have to take a bite."

Although Lil' Kim is quite insane, I don't think he's insane enough to try and do anything to South Korea. But I do believe if he tries anything, North Korea will become the biggest parking lot/glassfield in the history of mankind. Russia, China and the US are getting quite mad at Lil' Kim, and it's not a very smart idea to piss off the three biggest nuclear powers in the world.

As for the comparison with the Cuban missile crisis, I think there are probably already a lot of submarines (from all 3 big players... probably some other countries, too) in the area, and I'm sure the US is considering bringing one of their battlegroups a little closer--the closest is the Kitty Hawk somewhere in Japan--along with a bunch of extra subs. The problem I see is that the US military is stretched in terms of land combat, and probably couldn't fight a war in South Korea on short notice. Even Canada, Australia and other middle powers would probably not get there in time to stop Lil' Kim from taking Seoul (or destroying it) and most of the peninsula would probably be red by the time the West could mount a counter-offensive.

To quote Big Foot, "these are interesting times we live in."
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: career_radio-checker on October 11, 2006, 15:16:41
Even Canada, Australia and other middle powers would probably not get there in time to stop Lil' Kim from taking Seoul (or destroying it) and most of the peninsula would probably be red by the time the West could mount a counter-offensive.

To quote Big Foot, "these are interesting times we live in."

That is exactly what happened in 1950 but the allies managed to push them up to the Chinese borders. But now we are talking about nuclear weapons.  Who knows what would happen? This is the one time I am listening to the little naive voice in my head and would like to leave it at that question.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Iterator on October 11, 2006, 15:25:14
Does the US currently have the capacity to follow through if it did threaten North Korea?

North Korea must know that the US is in a bad spot:
   - The US is majorly tied down in Iraq.
   - There is increased pressure for the US to reinforce Afghanistan.
   - After years of saying that there will be no Draft the Republicans aren't likely to do a call up now with pending elections.

The North Koreans, and Iranians, must be marveling at the extent of the repercussions so far. "Bad North Korea! No dessert for you!". If this wasn't a real nuke test then this can hardly be a deterrent to one in the future.


A basket case economy like North Korea can't be easily influenced by embargos. Iran has seen how impractical embargos are against oil producing nations, so it can't be too upset with the prospect economic sanctions either.


The best result at the moment (besides someone on the inside hitting the nut over the head with a club) would be for China to roll over the border and then quickly hand the mess over to South Korea. Unlikely, but it would give China enormous prestige.

The US will look extremely weak if it can't influence the situation at all.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: career_radio-checker on October 11, 2006, 15:28:53
Alright sorry for the double post but a word of caution:

Members of the media are amongst us and I am personally going to refrain from speculating a course of action. This site has been used in the media before and it could be quoted as a "credible" source for militaristic opinions / what the military wants to do. I see this is an extremely tense period and don't want to be part of the scare.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Mr.Newf on October 11, 2006, 15:29:55
I honestly think that the N Koreans are on the verge of doing something very, very stupid. And the responce to that will put the N Korean people in worse shape then they are now.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Rockhound on October 11, 2006, 15:56:04
As I understand it, the DPRK made the actual decision to go nuclear 25 odd years ago - why at that time did they feel it was necessary, and what has really changed WRT the factors this original decision?  I appreciate that few in the world could actually know the real answer but their retoheric would suggest the primarary motivation is the reunification of the pennisula.  The apologists suggest it is because of Bush's pre-emptive strategy (that did not exist 25years ago).  Others suggest it is being done in order to sell them to others with a hate-on for the USA.

Could there be a hope on the part of the North Koreans that by owning nucs it take nucs off the table for the USA response options - a detente if you will, limiting all action to strictly conventional response?  Would this allow them more freedom of action with conventional force - especially now, given the demands on the USA and UK?  If the answers are in the affirmative is it likely they will be as rash as some suggest and attack the South?

If the last question is Yes - what about Iran?  This one heck of a good distraction from their activites, especially if they are further along with Nuc development than they let on (due to such a lack of intel identified in the 9-11 commission who really knows where they are?).  Would they capitalize on this?

All a bit pessimisstic, I know, but they appear to be valid questions (but then again I am not expert on such matters)

Cheers

RPC
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Old Guy on October 11, 2006, 17:20:22
I think North Korea is a hollow shell.  Kim's saber rattling is intended, I believe, to keep everyone off balance and to extort more aid from China and the West.  Whether he's over-stepped himself -- only time will tell.

Armies are more than mere numbers.  NK is a humanitarian disaster, getting worse by the day.  The deteriorating situation in the countryside and cities has to have an effect on the military, no matter how draconian the regime.

NK generals may be eating well, but how about the rank-and-file?  If the combat troops are getting adequate rations, what about the mechanics and other technicians needed to keep any military force in motion?  Logistically, how much combat could the NK forces sustain before they ran out of supplies?

It is probably impossible for anyone outside North Korea to imagine the extent of the horror there.  The entire country is slowly becoming a vast, open-air tomb.

Napolean is supposed to have said: "Never forget the enemy marches through the same mud." 

The mud, figuratively speaking, is becoming neck-deep on the NK side. 

In some ways, I hope I'm wrong, but I fear that I am not.

Jim

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: zipperhead_cop on October 11, 2006, 17:33:10
I wonder if this incident is anything along the same lines as the crap Iran has been pulling?  Everybody sees the USA as overstreached, and most of Europe have distinguished themselves as self serving isolationists in the military scheme of things (Brits excepted).  There is a lot of sabre rattling going on from people who might have otherwise kept to themselves before the US was jammed up in Iraq.  Does the United States still have the same capacity to project power that it did before Iraq?  Too far out of my lane to say. 
Plus, the whole "it can't be confirmed as an actual nuke" issue is interesting.  What's to say it wasn't a big cave full of conventional explosives that were used to simulate a nuclear explosion?  If there were rumblings from NK's chums (terrorists and radical states as such) that they were not so sure if they even had nuclear technology, maybe he would want to put on a show in order to try to make him a big man again.  Seems to me that the nuclear threat is the only thing that has kept him from getting his arse handed to him for some time now.  I can't see how honking off China is a really great idea, though. 

Maybe KJI finally got his DVD version of Team America-World Police and blew a gasket? 

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi113.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fn221%2Fslambo14%2FLittlekim.jpg&hash=7c8d60f9aae9a28d069d66321b66d038)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Iterator on October 11, 2006, 17:43:32
A massive redeployment of US forces (without actually saying they will invade) to the area has advantages:
   - This would give the US a credible excuse to do a draw down in the number of troops they have in Iraq.
   - More pressure could be added to NATO members to step up in Afghanistan so that the US can reposition forces (especially Air) to East Asia.
   - Reserve and National Guard weariness from the Iraq campaign could be mitigated with a shift in focus to containing North Korea.

With a redeployment to the area the US would also be able to bring its Navy and Air Force into the forefront and give some of the Army a short pause. And more importantly, this would put China in Cr*p or get off the pot mode. Not that that worked so well in 1950, but things have changed.

If China were to then back North Korea and call for the US not to invade (highly likely), then the US could simply not invade in the interest of world peace, leaving China fully aligned with International Crackpots man of the year, and also with an alarmingly more militarized Japan and South Korea (plus an increased US presence in say... Taiwan).

If the US redeployed to the area and China did nothing, then China would seem weak (and on its own doorstep).
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Brad Sallows on October 11, 2006, 18:06:07
>The problem I see is that the US military is stretched in terms of land combat, and probably couldn't fight a war in South Korea on short notice.

The US land forces don't have to be there.  I suppose South Korea is in better shape to deal with a North Korean invasion than South Vietnam was with respect to North Vietnam in the early '70s.  If all the US does is keep sea lanes into SK open so that armaments and munitions can flow in, it will be enough.  If the US is prepared to provide naval and air support it will be more than enough.  If China wants to support NK against SK, I can't imagine why the US wouldn't immediately cease trade with China and tell them to go shop their wares in Europe.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: paracowboy on October 11, 2006, 18:17:07
anybody know what the rictor(sp) scale said about it actually being a nuke? Nuke blasts make a big shake. A REAL big shake.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: 3rd Herd on October 11, 2006, 18:24:29
anybody know what the rictor(sp) scale said about it actually being a nuke? Nuke blasts make a big shake. A REAL big shake.

"We're still evaluating the data, and as more data comes in, we hope to develop a clearer picture," said one official familiar with intelligence reports.
"There was a seismic event that registered about 4 on the Richter scale, but it still isn't clear if it was a nuclear test. You can get that kind of seismic reading from high explosives."

Source:U.S. doubts Korean test was nuclear, Bill Gertz, THE WASHINGTON TIMES, October 10, 2006

Map from Discovery Channel:



Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Iterator on October 11, 2006, 18:43:39
...The US land forces don't have to be there.  I suppose South Korea is in better shape to deal with a North Korean invasion than South Vietnam was with respect to North Vietnam in the early '70s.  If all the US does is keep sea lanes into SK open so that armaments and munitions can flow in, it will be enough.  If the US is prepared to provide naval and air support it will be more than enough. ...


Yes. But so far South Korea has displayed a policy of "I don't want to die", which has certain amount of logic and a generally universal appeal to it. Both China and North Korea probably realize that.

The US needs to be able to project the capacity of complete Air and Naval superiority in the area along with a moderate Land capacity. South Korea might not commit until that is shown.

Still, having a preemptive Chinese occupation of North Korea, to prevent a US attack, adds stability to the situation. A post-emptive (:)) Chinese response would be a disaster.



As to the reality; even if not a real event, the global response has been real - and so far that response has been overwhelmingly limited.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: GAP on October 11, 2006, 18:47:59
How much of a drawdown did the US do in SK, Okinawa, and South Pacific?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Freddy G on October 11, 2006, 18:51:53
Re: the seismic activity

I can't find the sources just yet, but I remember reading in a few of them that given some time do analyze the data, seismologists could tell whether this was nuclear or conventional--nuclear explosions have a different seismic signature, apparently.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: AJFitzpatrick on October 11, 2006, 19:01:28
My understanding is that the only positive confirmation of a nuclear explosion is the detection of the gaseous decay products. The USAF is flying those missions as we speak.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: warspite on October 11, 2006, 20:13:17
If China wants to support NK against SK, I can't imagine why the US wouldn't immediately cease trade with China and tell them to go shop their wares in Europe.
Not sure if that's really an option. There is a heck of a lot of trade going on. True it is mostly China benefiting from the trade but the U.S just can't find a new source of McDonald's toys overnight and shut down trade. They would never get away with it, kinda like we couldn't get away with shutting down trade with the U.S.( if only on a lesser scale)

And just a question here but if N. Korea declared war on the States couldn't the U.S. just place a fleet offshore and tomahawk the N. Korean infrastructure into oblivion as a lesson about who N. Korea is dealing with?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Brad Sallows on October 11, 2006, 20:15:45
>Yes. But so far South Korea has displayed a policy of "I don't want to die", which has certain amount of logic and a generally universal appeal to it.

Ultimately that is a SK problem, not a US problem.

If the US pushes NK, then NK is going to have to find a way to push back against the US.  They don't share a land border, so what does that leave?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: warspite on October 11, 2006, 20:18:48
If the US pushes NK, then NK is going to have to find a way to push back against the US.  They don't share a land border, so what does that leave?
China? ???

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Brad Sallows on October 11, 2006, 20:19:26
>They would never get away with it, kinda like we couldn't get away with shutting down trade with the U.S.( if only on a lesser scale)

Never get away with it?  Why not?  Cheap housewares and other garage sale fodder are not at the top of the list of national interests.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Iterator on October 11, 2006, 20:23:38
Agreed. Similar to Iraq's Scudding of Israel.

From a Canadian perspective - we should be ensuring that the West Coast is at least as equipped as the East Coast in terms of Navy, Air Force, SCTF, etc.

Also time for a renewed appreciation for ASW and missile defence.


Edit: Added Missile Defence
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: geo on October 11, 2006, 20:29:25
My problem with all of this is that if gives some other countries all sorts of wacky ideas.

Iran must be marveling at how everyone is standing up and paying attention to NK without taking military steps against them................  now try to discourage Iran from developing it's nuclear capacity.

Ain't going to happen.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: warspite on October 11, 2006, 20:38:48
>They would never get away with it, kinda like we couldn't get away with shutting down trade with the U.S.( if only on a lesser scale)

Never get away with it?  Why not?  Cheap housewares and other garage sale fodder are not at the top of the list of national interests.
http://stat.wto.org/CountryProfile/WSDBCountryPFView.aspx?Language=E&Country=CN,US (http://stat.wto.org/CountryProfile/WSDBCountryPFView.aspx?Language=E&Country=CN,US)
The U.S as of 2004 gets 13.8% of it's imports from China. That's a lot of garage sale fodder. ;D
Why in fact it's $210,521,208,000 dollars worth of garage sale fodder.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Iterator on October 11, 2006, 20:49:12
Nuke/conventional/earthquake/toilet flushing... whatever it was doesn't really matter anymore because it has now revealed that North Korea (and by extension - Iran) has nothing to fear if it creates a nuclear arsenal.

Now the US designation of Axis of Evil is nothing more than an FYI, and leaves their Iraq policy open to complete repudiation. If Iran were to conduct a test tomorrow, the only consequence would be akin to an embargo on ipods.


The best move for the US is a mass deployment into the area. They don't even have to imply that they will attack North Korea - the US could simply move their forces to Taiwan and perhaps muse loudly about recognizing Taiwan as an independent nation. Then let China make the hard choices.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on October 11, 2006, 20:53:22
The US is presently working with the ROK's to restructure the command organization.Essentially the US is going to turn over command of ROK ground force to the ROK's.They will remain under UN/CFC command. We will maintain 1 brigade combat team in country with support units. The 7th Fleet and the Air Force provide assets that the Koreans lack.

The North Koreans can be hurt in several ways. Japan can prevent North Koreans living in Japan from sending money back home. The US can mount an interdiction operation targeting shipping leaving North Korean ports.
Their real achilles heal is China. If China stops sending fuel and food into North Korea then they will either cave or do something crazy like attack the south. We cannot fail to act because of their threats, when we do that they win.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: IT_Dude_Joeschmo on October 11, 2006, 21:41:02
I am seeing what you folks are saying about making a deployment/buildup of troops in SK, but I really don't think that would be a good move at this point because what happens every time the USA puts some boots on the ground in any significant numbers anywhere on the map? - Battle. If the US was to deploy let's say, 50,000 troops to the region ontop of whats there, I think NK would immediately attack the South and try to obliterate whatever land forces would be there, because they would see that as a troop buildup precipitating an invasion/attack. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that might not be a good idea. We DO have to respond, but we shouldn't instigate a retaliatory move if we can avoid it.

Just my thoughts! Only worth about 1/2 a cent sometimes. =)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: GMan87 on October 12, 2006, 01:15:19
Damned if you do, damned if you don't

For Military Action:
- stops threat of North Korea sending a nuke towards Japan/South Korea
- stops threat of NK selling nukes to "highest bidder"
- their technology is currently not advanced enough to utilize the nukes, get them now before its too late
- send the right message to Iran, etc.
- eliminate the need for other Asian countries (as peaceful as they may be) to go nuclear
- NK is already heavily sanctioned and the sanctions mostly hurt the poor, not the people at the top
- bring some democracy to the people of NK (would likely go far better than Iraq)

Against Military Action:
- refugees pour into China and SK
- northern SK will likely take damage from NK
- West's militaries stretched too thin already. 
- Land/Sea attack must be followed by land invasion to prevent NK from taking a chunk out of their neighbours
- China will not like the fall of communism in NK
- will cost many casualties, as NK does have a large army
- will have another country we have to "rebuild"

Really, neither option works. Either you take costly military actions and fuel tensions with China or say to the rest of the world "go ahead, devleop nukes, we'll just give you a slap on the wrist" and allow NK to get their program to a point where we have to say "too late to do anything without them nuking us". I think the best option is to get into tough negotiations backed by sanctions. However, if negotiations fail, it will become a question of "military attack now" vs. "live with a nuclear NK". Wait too long and a military attack will not be an option. 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on October 12, 2006, 10:33:54
The good news for us is that the test was a fizzle, which exposes Kim's claims that he has nuclear weapons. If he were confident he had a working device he would have done an above ground test.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 12, 2006, 11:21:03
China? ???


I think we need to keep a couple of key factors in mind:

•   This is more than just a NK vs. USA problem, it is an Asian problem;

•   America does not have sufficient conventional force – even without Iraq – to play a decisive role in Asia, and India is not, yet, ready to bring its potentially considerable power to bear, in any cause – much less to help the US in East Asia;

•   NK is China’s client.

Most important: China has just suffered a huge loss of face.  ’Face’ is hugely important in Asia.  China must have redress for this.  I suspect that the prevailing emotion in the Central Committee is cold fury; I think the Chinese must have invented the maxim: don’t get mad, get even.

The question is: how?

Forget US warships intercepting vessels near to Chinese waters – China is growing its power and influence and sharing it with the UASA would be contrary to China’s vital interests and China, like America, is promoting and protecting its own vital interests.

Forget about any food/fuel sanctions.  The Chinese central government believes that it has the Mandate of the People (as opposed to other dynasties which believed they had the ‘Mandate of Heaven’ – and heaven, Chinese heaven, is a concept which occupies years of study) and the Chinese people are not interested in causing millions more deaths by starvation and exposure amongst the Koreans.

Forget about any significant action by the six or the UNSC.  China needs to solve this problem without outside interference – this is Asia and, according to many, many Chinese, Asia needs to be China’s sphere of influence.  The Chinese actively support President Bush’s resolve to avoid direct, bilateral NK/USA discussions – an ineffective group of six is far, far preferable.

Regime change is the most likely answer,

It is not simple.  China does have leverage, of course, but it tends towards the massive, sledgehammer type of leverage – not what the Chinese want to use.  They do not want to impose any additional hardship on the Koreans; they do not want millions of Korean refugees; they really, really do not want a regional war.  They want a subservient, peaceful, prosperous North Korean client state – even if it is (loosely) tied to South Korea.  The need is to dispose of Kim Jong Il without creating unmanageable turmoil.  Only the NK military can assume power and manage an acceptable, to the Chinese, transition from one dictatorship to another.  The elder Kim, in the ‘50s, structured the NK state and military along Russian/Chinese revolutionary lines – there is no ‘top dog’, no 2I/C as it were; if there were Kim Jong Il would be dead and buried.  The top level’s authority is fragmented and pits any and every one ‘leader’ against all the others.  None of the leaders has his hands on enough ‘levers of power’ to take control of enough of the security apparatus to guarantee a successful coup.  It is a difficult conundrum, especially for the Chinese.

Difficult is not impossible and I suspect that senior Chinese generals are – as I think they have been for years – in close contact with all of the top tier leaders in NK, trying to identify coalitions which can, with Chinese support, seize power, kill Kim, and forge new security ties with China – all without surrendering their nuclear weapons.

The Chinese have little or no interest, that I can see, in making East Asia safer or friendlier for America.  It does have a great interest in preserving the peace in East Asia, especially for South Korea which invests heavily in China.  It does have a huge interest in being seen to have resolved, single-handedly, a significant regional crisis – further marginalizing America, Japan and Russia in the process.  It has a massive interest in restoring its face after NK’s insult.

I suspect that we will see the coup, within about a year – while vengeance is a dish best served cold it cannot be too cold.  Additionally, I suspect that China will stop Kim Jong Il from sharing his technology with some of America’s enemies – but this is a dangerous game because China sees itself as being surrounded, including by dangerous Muslim imperialist radicals in Central Asia.  It will not wish to allow anything which aids the Islamist* cause in West/Central Asia.

----------

* There’s that word again.  It means a whole paragraph of characterizations of radical, Arab (Persian, too?) cultural and fundamentalist Muslim religious movements but Islamist will have to do, for now.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Colin P on October 12, 2006, 11:26:36
I think North Korea is a hollow shell.  Kim's saber rattling is intended, I believe, to keep everyone off balance and to extort more aid from China and the West.  Whether he's over-stepped himself -- only time will tell.

Armies are more than mere numbers.  NK is a humanitarian disaster, getting worse by the day.  The deteriorating situation in the countryside and cities has to have an effect on the military, no matter how draconian the regime.

NK generals may be eating well, but how about the rank-and-file?  If the combat troops are getting adequate rations, what about the mechanics and other technicians needed to keep any military force in motion?  Logistically, how much combat could the NK forces sustain before they ran out of supplies?

It is probably impossible for anyone outside North Korea to imagine the extent of the horror there.  The entire country is slowly becoming a vast, open-air tomb.

Napolean is supposed to have said: "Never forget the enemy marches through the same mud." 

The mud, figuratively speaking, is becoming neck-deep on the NK side. 

In some ways, I hope I'm wrong, but I fear that I am not.

Jim

Jim I think you are bang on, NK is dependent on aid from other countries, the refusal to give aid or trade with them is likely to be the death sentence of the regime. We should turn our backs on them. Meanwhile China should maintain contact with NK's  military in order to convince them that if the Great Leader had an accident, it might be the best thing for the country.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Trinity on October 12, 2006, 12:50:44
+1 Edward
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: SmartAssIrishMan on October 12, 2006, 13:00:22
Yes but remember, it was Saddam, not Kim Jong that had the weapons of mass destruction, way to drop the ball Bush, way to drop the ball, If anyone needs me i'll be building my fallout shelter........
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: GAP on October 12, 2006, 13:07:54
South Korea does not pose a threat to China. In fact, as you noted, it invests heavily in Chinese infrastructure. By reuniting the two countries, China is seen as a benefactor that can make things happen when America couldn't. It lessens the American strength in the area and brings the Korea's under the Chinese umbrella if only for trade and regional influence.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 12, 2006, 13:51:53
... By reuniting the two countries, China is seen as a benefactor that can make things happen when America couldn't. It lessens the American strength in the area and brings the Korea's under the Chinese umbrella if only for trade and regional influence.

Yes, indeed.  But the Chinese are cautious and they observed how much trouble the digestion of East Germany posed for the West German economy.  The social and economic gulfs between NK and SK are, I think, far greater than was the case between EG and WG.  The reconstruction of NK will consume much, maybe too much for China's taste, of SK and Japanese capital.

Money will cost more, something - someone? - will have to give.  The US dollar is a weak reserve currency and it is not clear to me that the US Federal Reserve bank has full control over it so may not be able to 'back-stop' the reunification of Korea circa 2010 as it did the reunification of Germany circa 1990.  The Euro is not ready for prime time and Asia's economy, alone, is not up to the costs of full-scale, à la Germany, reunification of Korea, so: who pays?

The answer is: China.

If reunification is the chosen path then there can be little hope of telling the NK people to “wait a while longer, starve a little more,” etc.  As with Germany, once political integration is in place the people are entitled to share the wealth.

China holds a significant portion of US debt – in essence it props up the US dollar with its own growth.  China needs, desperately needs, continued, high US consumption to finance Chinese expansion.  It does that by, essentially, providing an import subsidy to the US in the form of artificially low prices.  It will, soon, need to divert some of its reserves (US debt) to Korea.  It will want SK and Japanese help – with their hard currencies.  China will need to find new investments to offset SK and Japanese money diverted, for a generation or two, to Korea, because China needs to sustain its own growth – see my conversation with Echo-9 about a week ago.

It gives me a headache, but I still suspect that China will try for some, quite limited, reunification so that it can try to restrain the rate at which NK will consume the available capital.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Colin P on October 12, 2006, 13:53:24
Yes but remember, it was Saddam, not Kim Jong that had the weapons of mass destruction, way to drop the ball Bush, way to drop the ball, If anyone needs me i'll be building my fallout shelter........



Except for the minor points that Iraq had a active WMD program, that the nuke portion of it was only discovered after his brother –inlaw defected, that they had used WMD’s against their population and their historical enemy Iran. Iraq also got caught building a nuke capable long range rocket that broke the UN resolution on Iraq owning offensive weapons.
 The sanctions were collapsing and Saddam would have started rebuilding his WMD programs in short order, we would then be facing the scenario of a nuke armed Iran and Iraq, both quite likely to use tactical nukes. The last war cost the countries 1.2 million dead.

The only reason that the US hasn’t bombed the crap out of the NK is the fact that NK can destroy most of Seoul in a few hours by conventional artillery and that the US is in no position to fight a 1 million man army holed up in very easily defended terrain on the doorstep of China. A Korean war will make Vietnam, Iraq & Afghanistan combined look like a cakewalk.  
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Old Guy on October 12, 2006, 15:00:44
Edward, I think, has the best overall take on the Chinese situation and intentions.  However, China is not in complete control of her own future, much less the future of other Asian countries.  Her burgeoning economy is creating internal problems of political and practical nature.  She has several million surplus young men reaching adulthood in the next few years -- a consequence of one-child per family laws.  Islamist radicals are a worrisome threat, as is the growing power of India.  Then there is Taiwan and increasingly powerful competition from other countries on the Pacific Rim.

As for war with North Korea -- it is unlikely to come to that.  The NK can't 'destroy most of Seoul in a few hours', Colin.  Any artillery strike of that magnitude invites counter-battery fire and the guns are open to air attack, at least when they're in firing position.  I don't mean to say that NK couldn't damage Seoul heavily, but only that such action would be costly to them and take some time.

Like the entire situation, NK effectiveness in attacking SK is an unknown quantity, but bound to be effected by other factors. 

jim
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Colin P on October 12, 2006, 15:53:31
My information is that they have 13,000 guns within range, most are protected and all would have stockpiled ammo and target data. It would takes days to destroy that many guns. Even if they only had 24hrs to fire, and were able to put out an average of 1 rd every 3 minutes, that is still is 6,240,000 rds hitting the city   :o   (crap even I had to check my figures, several times) Even if only half those guns shoot the 24 hrs at that rate it is still 3,000,000 rds!!!

Could they sustain it after the intial attack, highly unlikely, they would shoot till destroyed or out of ammo and I doubt they have the ability to move much resupply even without being attacked.

I also doubt that the combined resources of the US and SK could effectivly dent the intial bombardment in time to prevent huge numbers of causlities. I hope the SK has a functional civil defence plan still.

an article


North Korean guns, clear and present danger to South
By Jon Herskovitz  |  June 27, 2006

SEOUL (Reuters) - If the world is alarmed about a North Korean long-range missile, for most South Koreans it is just one more addition to their neighbor's arsenal which could already devastate around half the population in a few hours.

Seoul, Tokyo and Washington have all warned Pyongyang not to test-fire a long-range missile, which has apparently been prepared for launch, saying it would imperil regional security and bring a harsh response.

The first time North Korea tried out a long-range missile -- in 1998, firing it over Japan -- it sent panicked regional financial markets into a tailspin.

But for South Korea, a more immediate danger may be North Korea's artillery.

The capital Seoul, only 60 km (37 miles) south of the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone that has divided the peninsula since the end of the Korean War in 1953, has long been within range of one of the world's most powerful artillery batteries.

South Korea's Defense Ministry said the North had amassed more than 13,000 pieces of artillery and multiple rocket launchers, much of it aimed at Seoul.

Jane's International Defense Review estimates that if North Korea launched an all-out barrage, it could achieve an initial fire rate of 300,000 to 500,000 shells per hour into the Seoul area -- home to about half the country's 48.5 million people.

The biggest are 170-mm self-propelled artillery guns and 240-mm multiple rocket launchers. It also has hundreds of Scud missiles that could hit any part of South Korea.

North Korea is also thought to have been working to attach chemical and biological weapons to its long-range artillery.

"The threat from the North's artillery is the indiscriminate firing against our capital region and urban centers with its multiple rocket launchers and field artillery," a South Korean defense officer said.

Military experts note that South Korean and U.S. forces have worked for decades to perfect a counter strike. They also say that impoverished North Korea probably has not kept all of its guns in working order and may be short of shells.

But as a relatively basic weapons system, a rain of artillery would be the North's most effective and reliable way to hit the South fast and hard, they add.

Ordinary South Koreans appear to have become largely used to the threat, paying decreasing attention over the years to regular civil defense drills that were once mandatory.

The two Koreas are technically still at war because the 1950-1953 Korean War ended in a truce and not a peace treaty.

Though the North keeps most of its 1.2-million-man army near the border, the two Koreas have reached agreements in recent years aimed at reducing military tensions.

Japan, South Korea and the United States, along with China and Russia, have been locked in three years of now-stalled negotiations talks to dismantle North Korea's nuclear program.

Officials and military analysts say Pyongyang wants to develop a long-range missile to be able to carry a nuclear warhead.

But according to a recent survey by a state-funded research group, South Koreans view China -- and not North Korea -- as the biggest threat to their security 10 years from now.

(With additional reporting by Jack Kim)

http://www.boston.com/news/world/asia/articles/2006/06/27/north_korean_guns_clear_and_present_danger_to_south?mode=PF
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Brad Sallows on October 12, 2006, 15:56:00
Finally, a use for all those greenbacks the Chinese are holding: renovating NK.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Old Guy on October 12, 2006, 16:26:42
Ha-ha!  Okay.  Whatever.  I think the article is cherry-picking information designed to make the NK army seem more than they are.  Let's try to be realistic. 

I don't doubt that NK has 10-13,000 artillery pieces.  I do doubt that even a majority of these are capable of hitting Seoul from 37+ miles.  In fact, the 170mm gun is the only one known to be able to reach that far.  The guns couldn't be packed in layers right at the DMZ.  They have to be spread out somewhat in bunkers and protected caves, etc.  The article seems to assume that every artillery piece in the NK army will be arranged on the DMZ with much of it concentrated on Seoul.  From a practical military standpoint, I find that to be ludicrous. 

According to Global Security, which presents its information with plenty of caveats, the NK have around 8,000 artillery pieces (about 4500 SP and 3500 towed), plus about 3500 artillery rockets.  South Korean sources estimate that the NK have 400-500 long-range artillery pieces within range of Seoul.  Given realistic firing rates, these could sustain a rate of around 5,000 rounds per minute until their ready ammunition was expended.  Since weapon attrition would begin immediately and no one can sustain those rates of fire for very long, added to the difficulties inherent in hitting a specific target at extreme range, the damage to Seoul within the first few hours would be tremendous, but the city would not be 'wiped out.'  After the first few rounds any fire direction signals would be jammed and all subsequent rounds would be area-targeted.

Cities are hard to kill.  If the NK struck without warning, civilian casualties would be heavy and initial targets highly likely to be put out of action.  After that, though, artillery effectiveness would degenerate to a crap shoot.  A lethal situation for anyone in the wrong place at the wrong time, but not militarily effective.

Hell.  I didn't intend to kick off a discussion.  Suffice it to say that the variation between the possible and the probable is very great in this situation, just as it is in most military scenarios.

jim
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: uncle-midget-Oddball on October 12, 2006, 16:49:09
Well, if Kim whatcha-ma-call-him wants to see actions like naval blockades as an act of war.. what should the detonation of a nuclear device be taken as? If he is that eager to get in a scuffle Western countries and Japan should take THAT as an act of war. Saddam thought that his 4 000 tanks and million men would be a massive war.... 4 days and he was done... Kim has mostly MiG-17's and 21's and rag-tag equipment.
 Fifty bucks says NK loses.

More seriously though, North and South Korea have been scratching their trigger fingers for decades.. no doubt that it will eventually happen, so it would be quicker and safer to have it happen sooner rather than later when they actually know HOW to use the nukes. If they take is as a declaration of war to put up naval blockades, thats their problem, soon afterwards the people will have food and can be with relatives in SK.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Colin P on October 12, 2006, 17:01:40
The reality is that anyone who does know what the real situation is, will not/can not release that information, we have to operate on best guesses. The NK army will have a short window to inflict as much damge as possible. I do agree that they lack the ability to fight sustanied operation and will be destroyed in place, but not before they carry out their main task.

Using your figures, 5,000 rds per minute hitting the city and immediate areas, that's 300,000 rds in one hour. If they were so bold to launch an attack in afternoon rush hour with no warning, the number of dead and wounded would overwhelm the civil defence units. I don't think we in the west have seen that amount of artillery fired since WWII and have little first hand comprehension of it's effect. All of the bombardments we have seen recently have been by our own allies and generally designed to minimize damage beyond the immediate target. The bombardment would be all over the place and continuous for quite some time, it would cause a great deal of destruction, secondary fires, panic and collapse of the functioning infrastructure, once the initial bombardment is over, the population will be in a hurry to get out of range and out of the way of a possible ground invasion, the city will grind to halt and be effectively destroyed for some time, certainly until the threat is clearly dealt with. Look at how long it is taking for New Orleans to rebound. If the attack is not follwed up with an invasion by either side, and the border remains the same, peoples confidence will be shaken and reluctant to return. this will have a effect on the economy of SK and it's Asian partners. Even if the artillery is mostly destroyed, it will take a great deal of time to restore the confidence and the damage done.

You can be sure that the possible effect is not lost on the SK government.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: uncle-midget-Oddball on October 12, 2006, 17:12:16
I agree with what Colin P said.. the only thing that I see that is wrong with that is the fact that the US keeps 30 000 troops on the border to deter any such attacks. The bulk of the SK military is also very near the DMZ.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: geo on October 12, 2006, 17:22:12
midget - if you read some of Tomahawk 6s posts, you'll note that the US' troop strength in SK is down from those heddy days....

That peace dividend strikes again
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: GAP on October 12, 2006, 17:29:28
I'm under the impression that there was a major drawdown citing the peace dividend, and then another smaller one as Iraq ramped up. I have no clue what the US has there now that is effective immediately. I am sure the NK's know though.

There was a piece a year or so ago, maybe longer, that even had pics of how extensively tunneled  the DMZ was. The tunnels were big enough to allow three tanks side by side to egress. Guess what that does for the guys between the exit points and the DMZ.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Old Guy on October 12, 2006, 17:36:25
Colin, I think you and I are on the same page.  I think the NK would be lucky to keep up that rate of fire for more than thirty minutes, but even area targeting at a far reduced rate will cause a lot of damage.  I think SK civil defense abilities are a lot better than average, but they would certainly be overwhelmed by the casualties.

midget -- the US troop presence is much reduced, as geo points out.  However, their presence near the DMZ is actually a liability, due to the fact that their bases are all within easy artillery range of the North.  At present, the troops are being shifted south, out of harm's way.  Someone finally realized that major formations of US (and ROK) troops are a better deterrent if they're situated out of artillery range.

geo -- peace dividend.  Yeah.  Kind of leaves a bad taste, don't it?

jim
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Colin P on October 12, 2006, 19:03:57
I think they were placed up front during the cold war to act as a "tripwire", so the Soviets and Chinese knew that any invasion of SK would be a direct attack on US Forces and escalate the conflict immediately. The advantage of this deployment does not outweigh the disadvantages and the actually withdrawal was hampered by acquiring land to build the new bases.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Old Guy on October 12, 2006, 19:19:10
The new main base, according to Army Times, houses both US Army and associated ROK command elements.  The move has cost a lot of money and, again according to AT, isn't completed yet.

jim
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on October 12, 2006, 20:42:03
Its true that the North Koreans have significant forces close to the DMZ, but so does the ROK Army. Global security has what is generally believed to be the OPLAN for combat operations in Korea.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/oplan-5027.htm

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/rok/army.htm

Here is the current strength of 8th Army in Korea. If you look at the US Forces Korea site you will see assigned units from other services.

http://8tharmy.korea.army.mil/

The Units:
2nd Infantry Division

1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team
Task Force, 1-72 Armor Regiment
1st Battalion, 15th Field Artillery
2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry (M)
302nd Brigade Support Battalion
1st Brigade Special Troops Battalion

Combat Aviation Brigade
1st Battalion, 2nd Attack Battalion
602nd Aviation Support Battalion
2nd Battalion (Assault), 2nd Aviation Regiment
2-52nd Aviation Regiment (GSAB)
3rd Squadron, 6th U.S. Cavalry Regiment             
164th Air Traffic Services Group

2nd Fires Brigade
1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery
6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery
702d Brigade Support Battalion

7th Air Force
8th Fighter Wing
51st Fighter Wing
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: zipperhead_cop on October 13, 2006, 01:19:27
As cool as this game of Risk is, does anyone have any idea as to WHY he did it?  What was he trying to prove?  How could pissing off China have ever been seen as a good thing?  This can't be as simple as a bored whack job conducting attention seeking behaviour?   ???
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: warspite on October 13, 2006, 02:04:51
I have to agree with the devastation an large scale artillery bombardment would wreak on S. Korea, both physically and to the nations moral.
I cite as evidence our bombardment of vimy ridge before we took it from the germans.
-it was at the time the worlds largest artillery bombardment
-could be heard as far away as London
-We bombarded the ridge constantly for a week straight
-The germans had a name for that week, I'm sorry I can't remember it but I'm 98% sure it contained their word for terror

   Doesn't matter even if it hits you. Imagine if all a sudden a shell landed in your neighborhood... right now as your reading this... what would go through your head? Probably WTF. But what if while your trying to figure out what the heck was that there's another explosion... and another... and another.... and so the night goes on and on and on.
   Morning comes. Your neighbors house is now a crater. Smoke from fires drifts by your window. The sound of sirens is in the air.....
AND THE EXPLOSIONS JUST KEEP ON COMING.......
    Don't know about you but if you haven't had artillery exploding at your door I imagine it would be pretty terrifying. I know it would scare the heck out of me. And that means it would scare the heck out of a lot of people.
   Sure it's easy to say... well North Korea isn't capable of flattening Seoul with artillery fire. If even there was 1 shell landing every minute or two I imagine theres going to be a lot of chaos and terror which really is just as good a result as flattening the city.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Technoviking on October 13, 2006, 08:54:27

-The germans had a name for that week, I'm sorry I can't remember it but I'm 98% sure it contained their word for terror
Woche des Leidens
of "Week of suffering", which also has Christian overtones, as I believe that the German for the last week of Christ is also known as the "Woche des Leidens"
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Brixxie on October 13, 2006, 09:57:40
As cool as this game of Risk is, does anyone have any idea as to WHY he did it?  What was he trying to prove?  How could pissing off China have ever been seen as a good thing?  This can't be as simple as a bored whack job conducting attention seeking behaviour?   ???

I would sorta like to know what the point of the testing is , I am so uneducated with this part of warefare. But who has nuclear arms  ,  and who decides who can have them. And why would Kim be testing if not to show agresaggression
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 13, 2006, 10:09:03
As cool as this game of Risk is, does anyone have any idea as to WHY he did it?  What was he trying to prove?  How could pissing off China have ever been seen as a good thing?  This can't be as simple as a bored whack job conducting attention seeking behaviour?   ???

I think Kim and his handlers, the NK generals – more than a dozen of them in the ‘top tier’ – are playing a huge game of blind man’s bluff in reverse.  They hope, with some reason, that they have everyone else shambling about in blindfolds while NK baits them with insults and threats.

Why do this?

The country is an economic basket case; it is bankrupt and starving.  It will, of its own accord, collapse, within a very few years, into cruelly violent chaos; starvation does that to people.  There is no sensible way that the leadership can prevent this except by prostrating themselves at the feet of SK (supported by Japan and the USA) or China.  In either case the leadership, and their families and friends are purged: quickly, quietly and fatally if the Chinese take over.  There is little incentive to negotiate with either of the only two players with any real power on the peninsula.  Better, in the eyes of the leadership, to threaten and cajole and hope against hope that China and/or the SK (with JP and USA) will blink and provide the massive aid which NK requires – for a generation – without tossing the leadership on to history’s dung heap.  They, caring nothing at all for the NK people, are willing to play this game to its end because the alternative is so stark.  Almost anything must seem preferable to execution in some remote, cold, dusty Chinese small-town barracks square.

The Chinese are hoping, I think, that they can, peacefully, finesse this issue so that SK, Japan and the USA pay the freight while China gets, at worst, a compliant neighbour in the new NK, perhaps NK united (in a free trade area or even a very loose federation) with SK.

I think the Chinese need regional stability: no wars, no violent revolutions, no refugees, no economic panic.  I am pretty sure NK needs an uninterrupted supply food and fuel if it is to avoid sudden, violent collapse and chaos.  Therefore, I suspect China will keep sending food and fuel to NK.  I believe, therefore, that Japan’s sanctions (cutting off NK exports to Japan), announced today, (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aPb.FrO6h1XA&refer=home ) play into China’s hands.  Japan provided NK with much of its hard currency.  Cutting that money supply will, indeed, make it harder for NK to acquire technology but it will strengthen China’s grip on NK, too.

But in short, for the NK leadership, being firmly gripped by the Chinese is better than being executed by them, so the childrens' game of blind man's bluff goes on.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: geo on October 13, 2006, 10:18:28
I would sorta like to know what the point of the testing is , I am so uneducated with this part of warefare. But who has nuclear arms  ,  and who decides who can have them. And why would Kim be testing if not to show agresaggression
NK has had many issues in the past and the UN, the IMF and all sorts of other organisations have dictated terms to NK before they would bail him out... between famine and other Socioeconomic problems, NK didn't have a choice but to comply but, from what I have read, NK crops are plentyful this year and NK is flexing what mucsle it has - telling the world & showing it's population that it can't be pushed around......
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Colin P on October 13, 2006, 11:02:20
I have no problems with China strenghtening it's grip on NK, hopefully by killing off the top tier and placing someone competent at the top who will guide NK into the 20th century (yes I know it's the 21st century) with minamal disruption to SE Asia.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on October 14, 2006, 00:08:13
Trying to contain or control the DPRK will require far more time, effort and resources than anyone in the West is willing to commit at this time. Sealing the borders to the West and forcing China to pay the bill for their problem (and it is their problem, as they fear a collapse of the DPRK and the subsequent flood of refugees coming across the Yalu river) works to our advantage, since China now has to focus attention and resources against the DPRK, which are no longer available to use against us.

A Chinese dominated DPRK isn't that much of a threat to us, the Chinese will probably use it as an economic resource base with a Procouncil living in the Dear Leader's palace and dictating terms and conditions (disguised as contracts to placate the West) to the Korean people, but will then have to devote even more resources to contain the North Koreans. The Chinese (according to Kaplan) might prefer a hunk of the DPRK's territory an a seaport, and allow the South Koreans to bear the cost of reunification and rebuilding the rest. The DPRK will become a game of "hot potato" between the Chinese and Western powers, with the object of the game being to make the loser pay for rebuilding the shattered remains of the DPRK when the music stops. Place the Dear Leader on ignore for a while longer, his time is coming to an end.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on October 14, 2006, 00:30:45
I wish you were right about Kim's longevity, but I am sceptical. The guy has managed to stay in power since Kim Il Sung's death, no small feat. Keep hoping to turn on the tv one day to a Romanian style people's revolt.
But until that day we have to deal with North Korea as it plays one of its two trump cards a nuclear weapon and refugees. The only real options we have with regard to North Koreas are economic. Stop the flow of money from the ex pat community in Japan and the regime will have no choice but to moderate.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on October 14, 2006, 00:47:40
But until that day we have to deal with North Korea as it plays one of its two trump cards a nuclear weapon and refugees. The only real options we have with regard to North Koreas are economic. Stop the flow of money from the ex pat community in Japan and the regime will have no choice but to moderate.

My point exactly. The stoppage of financial and material aid from the West puts the ball firmly in China's court, they either pick up the tab or deal with the after effect of the DPRK imploding. The regime itself will not moderate, as was pointed out in an earlier post they have no incentive. If we engage in talks, provide aid etc. they will continue with nuclear blackmail. If we do not engage they will have to take extreme steps to ensure the survival of the regime (which is what is happening now anyway).
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: fasdfasdfasdf on October 14, 2006, 01:56:54
quote from times.hankooki.com/lpage/nation/200610/kt2006101217510111990.htm (http://times.hankooki.com/lpage/nation/200610/kt2006101217510111990.htm)

"``If the Bush administration makes more provocations, both New York City and Tokyo will be blazed,’’ Kim said. He added the North is targeting the United States but does not want to wage a war against the South as long as Seoul takes a neutral position."

I don't know how reliable that article is, however. In the article it seems relatively clear that as long as SK "stays neutral", Soeul won't get the crap kicked out of it.

A couple thoughts of mine on the situation:
     NK might be hoping that other countries will want to buy the technology from them to help support their troubled economy.
     
     Edward, is NK's situtation really bad enough that (in however many years) they will -submit- themselves to China? That seems very unlikely to me, but then again I really don't know how bad NK is atm.

     If the US/UN imposed sanctions on NK, what would the "war" be? NK does not have the military prowess to haul *** across the pacific and fight there. Would NK strike out at Japan to force battles in Asia?

     Say that there was no nuke detonation and Kim is just playing this to see how things turn out.... Is he really that big of a gambler?

On another note,
      I've heard that Israel would be most likely to attack Iran if it they developed the capacity to produce a nuclear weapon... Is there any truth to this?

     
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on October 14, 2006, 02:49:54
Many of you may have seen this image or something similar; lookcarefully and you will see that there are very few avenues of approach in terms of economic sanctions for the DPRK. Cut off the food and oil, and it is over. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/dprk/dprk-dark.htm

Oc course, the DPRK is not the only place this might be true, extrapolate the night view on this map based on concentrations of transport links etc: http://www.prairiecentre.com/pdf/cp_map.pdf
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: TCBF on October 14, 2006, 03:18:21
No big deal.  The Air Raid Wardens just enforce the blackout.  That's all. 

 ;)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 14, 2006, 15:37:54
 
...  Edward, is NK's situtation really bad enough that (in however many years) they will -submit- themselves to China? That seems very unlikely to me, but then again I really don't know how bad NK is atm.
...

I was trying to say that if the crops fail again and again - as I believe they will if the NK government does not get a grip on its own domestic policies and programmes (which labour along as poor relations to the military) - then NK will collapse and they will have no alternative except China or, more likely, China + SK supported by JP and US. 

I think the Chinese intend to replace Kim Jong Il and most of the top-tier of military leaders with a fairly small, friendly coalition from within that top-tier but I acknowledge that this is a slow, difficult, risky programme.  I doubt that the Chinese certain about who will be in that friendly coalition and I suspect  that many, many Chinese officials are uncertain about their own ability to get it right the first time.

This is a dangerous place and I am certain  that not enough people are smart enough or well enough informed to do the right thing, right.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Prapanther on October 14, 2006, 20:43:50
 
Quote
This does not sound good at all
What I find most interesting is how small the testing measured (even more than that it happened to be seismographically etched in several databases).  The idea that there could be mini-nukes makes one a little concerned.  In terms of power politics, the North Korean government exercised its right to say don't touch, because, they tested their capability in open.  In terms of balacing power, one would expect someone to have missles pointed at north america.  Just in case.  Please let us not live in fear.  What matters now is what always has - peace, diplomacy, trade, education, etcetera.  :salute:
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on October 14, 2006, 21:03:48
Some experts feel that the test could have been a trigger for a hydrogen type bomb, which if true would be very unsettling.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on October 14, 2006, 21:29:18
Whatever happened at the bottom of the mine shaft was very small. In order of probability I would have to say a "fizzle" yeild due to incomplete fission is probably top of the list, with a dummy detonation of five or so KT of TNT running second.

Whatever skill and dedication the DPRK's scientific cadre might happen to have, I find the idea that they could make a thermonuclear trigger rather unlikely, particularly for the first "live" test.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: TCBF on October 15, 2006, 03:01:46
"Please let us not live in fear."

- Why stop now?   I was five years old during the Cuban Missle Crisis.  Is anyone my age or older actually losing sleep a handfull of possible warheads in the DPRK? I doubt it.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: exsemjingo on October 15, 2006, 03:27:08
What a difference a week makes.  First there are fears that N.Korea has actually become a Nuclear threat to the point where even Russia condemns the tests.  Now there have been suggestions that the test was a failure.  This in itself is incredible, because provided that one has fissionable plutonium 238 (correct me on the isotope if I am wrong), all one really has to do to make it explode is hit two pieces together.  Any idiot can make the bomb apparatus.  North Korea supposedly has a nuclear power plant so they should by all accounts be able to produce Plutonium 238.
Maybe this does not work either.  That would explain all the darkness in night-time satelite photos of the country. ;D

At any rate, two important points suggest that the status quo really has not changed:
1) Even North Korea admits (even brags) that they have to develop their own Nuclear program.  They should be able to purchase technology from China, or at least have Chinese nukes based there covertly.  The Chinese do not trust N.Korea, so they are not free to threaten anybody.
2) Northe Korea still has one of the largest armies in the world with a deeply indoctrinated population.  Any attempt to invade would result in casualties far above the tolerance of even the most hawkish western generals.

I predict more of the same, which is the continued existence of North Korea as a convenient puppet-state for China.  The Chinese seem happy enough, for now.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: chanman on October 15, 2006, 04:24:45
fissionable material is either U-235 or plutonium.

I wonder if they went for a gun-type or an implosion mechanism - it looks like the gun-type would be simpler to pull off.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: SeaKingTacco on October 15, 2006, 11:03:08
Quote
Any attempt to invade would result in casualties far above the tolerance of even the most hawkish western generals.

Nice generalization, jack.  Think back to the run up to Gulf war 2- was it the Generals or the Politicians who were counciling caution? In a western democracy, who sends who to war? For the most part, Western generals are very casualty adverse, because they know and understand the business of warfare and mostly, have a genuine like, if not love of the soldiers they command.  Politicians, on the other hand...
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on October 15, 2006, 12:10:48
What a difference a week makes.  First there are fears that N.Korea has actually become a Nuclear threat to the point where even Russia condemns the tests.  Now there have been suggestions that the test was a failure.  This in itself is incredible, because provided that one has fissionable plutonium 238 (correct me on the isotope if I am wrong), all one really has to do to make it explode is hit two pieces together.  Any idiot can make the bomb apparatus.  North Korea supposedly has a nuclear power plant so they should by all accounts be able to produce Plutonium 238.

Without going into mind numbing technicalties, just "banging two pieces together" isn't enough. As the pieces approach each other (in a Uranium "gun" bomb) or the density of the Plutonium sphere approaches criticality as the explosive shock wave compresses it, neutrons are being released and starting fission reactions. The material is moving at "mechanical" speeds, while the reactions are taking place at "quantum" speeds, many thousands of times faster. If the implosion is asymmetrical, the fission reaction will blow the Plutonium sphere apart before it reaches full critical density and prevents the reaction from achieving its full yield.

Another factor related to criticality is the purity of the material. Plutonium comes in several isotopes which have different fissile potential. Unless the reprocessed material is very "clean" and not contaminated by the other isotopes, you may end up with a device the size of a railroad locomotive due to the need for shielding, cooling etc. to prevent a premature melt down. A Uranium bomb full of impurities will probably release a burst of heat and neutrons before melting.

If it wasn't for these (and probably other) factors, nuclear weapons could be produced in your basement. So, don't attempt to break the Laws of Physics. There is no appeal.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: blergblergblerg123 on October 19, 2006, 18:09:18
There are some issues with making, or allowing, NK to be China's problem. Though it would, in the short run, relieve some pressure from us (the grand "us"), and put the onus for resolving this deteriorating situation on a strategic competitor, not to mention forcing them to be responsible for their actions in supporting this regime - I see a number of long term difficulties that would arise.

Namely, lets assume we wake up tomorrow and the NK state has dissolved - if we have allowed China to incorporate NK into its agreed sphere of influence, they are likely to take it over and install a puppet regime. If at this point we decide all of a sudden to interfere, this will create a large amount of hostility with the Chinese possibly leading to conflict. The other option of course, the one I think to be more preferable, is to have SK open it doors to the citizens and quickly move to unify the peninsula with the backing of the major democratic pacific, and NATO nations. For this though, SK and the other democracies have to take an active interest in NK and prevent China from asserting itself as the dominant power over that nation. By active interest, understand I in no way mean interacting in a hospitable manner with them, but rather directly enforcing strict sanctions and working to subvert the leadership and economy of the state - while keeping them distanced from China and constantly asserting our own freedom of movement in this area. Understand though that the Chinese will be no more pleased with a peaceful, democratic nation on its border than we would be happy with a authoritarian oligarchical state on ours - so we will be working against them to assert our ownership. Trade relations with China, in this regard, should be used as a leverage tool, along with a host of other issues, to keep them from interacting and supporting the regime (there are a number of trade disputes with China before the WTO which could be "resolved amicably" if China agreed), not to mention the simple threat of recognizing Taiwan's independance if China touches NK with a ten foot pole.

In the end though, the point is that I think it is in fact in our best interested to actually try and distance, as much as possible, North Korea and China. Further we should become as involved as we possibly can by actively trying to disrupt the normal functioning of the state in the hopes of creating a sufficient crises to bring about mass unrest, support destabilizing elements who can direct this unrest towards regime change, while further selling the "western image" to the North Korean people through our tried and true methods - Coca-Cola, Nike, and Hollywood.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: fasdfasdfasdf on October 19, 2006, 19:58:18
while further selling the "western image" to the North Korea people through our tried and true methods - Coca-Cola, Nike, and Hollywood.

You forgot one! McDonalds!
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: chanman on October 19, 2006, 20:56:24
From the Economist - The aid that NK is getting from its northern neighbour might not be as big as you would expect.  The WFP is the UN's World Food Programme, responsible for food aid.

http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8058416 (http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8058416)

Quote
There is meanwhile a hoary assumption that China will not let North Korea collapse by suspending the aid it is often supposed to have supplied: it is said to have sent 500,000 tonnes of grain in 2005. Yet household surveys by the WFP last year found no Chinese grain. Even before the proliferation crisis, the International Crisis Group, a think-tank, concluded from research in China that its food aid was minuscule. It is probably now smaller still.

By contrast, North Korea's trade with China (including in food) has grown fast. Last year the country imported over $1 billion-worth of Chinese goods. New UN sanctions against it may change that. This week branches of the Bank of China close to the border stopped doing North Korea-related business, either at their government's decree or because of concerns that their loans could soon go bad.

North Koreans are somewhat more protected today than they were before the great famine of the mid-1990s, in which perhaps 1m died. Many can smuggle, trade, bribe, and grow food on individual plots. Still, according to the UN, a third of North Korean women with children under 24 months are malnourished or anaemic, and more than a third of children under six are stunted. One outlet for the hungry in the 1990s was China, to which 50,000-100,000 North Koreans crossed. That route is now closing, at least for those without money. In the past month, authorities in China's north-east have cracked down with dawn raids on neighbourhoods in search of North Koreans. This week, a barbed-wire fence was going up along the border. China is taking no risks.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: rregtc-etf on October 19, 2006, 23:35:46
There is a saying in Japanese, "The nail that sticks up gets hammered down."  The Chinese have the biggest hammers in Asia and will use them if indeed NK is getting out of hand.  The fact that both are commie won't be an issue, it wasn't for the USSR kicking butts 1967 Czechoslovakia or for Chinese invasion of Vietnam and punch up in 1979.

The Chinese are the dominant force in Asia and will not lose face to NK defiance.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: exsemjingo on October 20, 2006, 11:12:33
There are some issues with making, or allowing, NK to be China's problem.
We don't get to choose for this one.  North Korea has been well inside the Chinese sphere of influence since Chinese armies drove the UN forces from North Korea in 1951.
Quote
Namely, lets assume we wake up tomorrow and the NK state has dissolved - if we have allowed China to incorporate NK into its agreed sphere of influence, they are likely to take it over and install a puppet regime.
Why would they do that?  The current situation is ideal for China.  They get a supplemental army in case of war with the west with no cost of upkeep during times of peace.  They get to have the best of both worlds.
Quote
If at this point we decide all of a sudden to interfere, this will create a large amount of hostility with the Chinese possibly leading to conflict. The other option of course, the one I think to be more preferable, is to have SK open it doors to the citizens and quickly move to unify the peninsula with the backing of the major democratic pacific, and NATO nations.  By active interest, understand I in no way mean interacting in a hospitable manner with them, but rather directly enforcing strict sanctions and working to subvert the leadership and economy of the state - while keeping them distanced from China and constantly asserting our own freedom of movement in this area.
The only comparable situation to this was when Germany re-united in 1989.  They are still having problems integrating due to lingering Communist ideas.  In North Korea, they still live as if Mao were still in power.  As far as sanctions, they will only work with Chinese co-operation.  For now, an aggressive North Korea is not convenient for China, but this can change if they want it to.
Quote
Trade relations with China, in this regard, should be used as a leverage tool, along with a host of other issues, to keep them from interacting and supporting the regime (there are a number of trade disputes with China before the WTO which could be "resolved amicably" if China agreed)
Trade relations definitely help keep the peace with China, though I think it works the other way around.  Friendly relations with China are the larger issue, and N.Korea is available as their leverage tool.
Quote
, not to mention the simple threat of recognizingon ours - so  Taiwan's independance if China touches NK with a ten foot pole.
That would be neither new, nor threatening.  The Americans have been keeping Taiwan in their back-pocket as a base for a war in Asia for some time now.  The counter-threat against China is the United States' nuclear arsenal, and if it came to that we would already be close to war.  The reason we were so worried last week is that China is free to do what it wants with N.Korea.  Chinese relations are the ones that matter, not North Korean ones.
Quote
In the end though, the point is that I think it is in fact in our best interested to actually try and distance, as much as possible, North Korea and China. Further we should become as involved as we possibly can by actively trying to disrupt the normal functioning of the state in the hopes of creating a sufficient crises to bring about mass unrest, support destabilizing elements who can direct this unrest towards regime change, while further selling the "western image" to the North Korean people through our tried and true methods - Coca-Cola, Nike, and Hollywood.
Can't do it because of geography.  Can't do it because of a closed border and a controlled media.  The best we can do is keep China happy, and they will keep this backwards, army-disguised-as-a-country, Orwellian cubicle in check.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: blergblergblerg123 on October 20, 2006, 14:54:54
I think the reasons China would install a puppet regime in North Korea are pretty clear exemjingo. They'd much rather have a more stable, not completely aid dependant ally than the current unpredictable basket case they've got now.

Yes, there would be problems with integration with SK, but I don't think I need to point out that it would be for the better in the long run. Strenghting of a western ally, resolving a long standing point of tensions, maybe neutralizing a nuclear armed rogue state? The economic differences between the two halves would be immense at first and would take a lot of capital to reconcile - but that also means there are amazing business opportunities to be had.

And yes, I do believe we can choose. Our actions will very much determine where NK falls. There is a reason they have been demanding that the US come to six part talks, namely because the want their resources and aid. The western image has a very very large pull, even for those who think we're the devil. You are right in that we will never be able to completely separate NK and China - they are neighbours and currently ideologically aligned. We can, however, distance them, using trade and Taiwan as leverage tools.

I am interested as what your reasoning is in regards to "can't do it because of geography. Can't do it because of a closed border and a controlled media?" That seems awfully linear. Bribes to certain generals and other officials can easily cross borders and geography, as can radio and televsision broadcasts. But I suspect you're also not considering the Chinese border, which, unlike the DMZ, trade does flow over. With them making only $900 a year, I don't think it would take a whole lot to bribe some border guards (I should add, nor do I think it has).
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: exsemjingo on October 20, 2006, 22:38:33
North Korea may be unpredictable in terms of inflammatory political posturing, but as far as being a real threat, all their wayward efforts are contained.  No one else in the world will deal with North Korea except for the Chinese at this point.  China is also the only nation to have a long land border with North Korea.  Right now, China is fencing it off, but if they wanted to, they could trade with North Korea without permission from anybody.
Invading North Korea to install a puppet regime would be very costly in terms of casualties.  China has soldiers to spare, but any drop in those numbers would mean less available on other fronts, such as against India, Vietnam, Taiwan, or Russia.  When North Korea does begin to fall (and with the way Kim Jong Il runs things, it is only a matter of time) it would be much more advantageous for China offer support in trade, and keep the status quo.
As far as winning the population over with Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and Hollywood, this can only happen with an open border.  You may let a few things in with bribed officials, even high ranking generals, but it would not be enough to cause the population to turn.
I would not doubt that the United States secret service (and a few other nations') have tried to bribe a few officials in North Korea.  I would also not be surprised if said officials were quickly disposed of as soon as it looked like they might have divided loyalties.  Do not doubt the tenacity of an entrenched totalitarian regime.
For now, China is happy to trade with the west.  They tolerate North Korea as an insurance policy, but that relationship is still one-sided.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: chanman on October 20, 2006, 23:29:21
Got this off the CBC just now...

Quote
China's president sent State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan to North Korea on Thursday with a personal message for Kim about his Oct. 9 nuclear test. He returned to China later in the day.

Kim also told the Chinese diplomat he "is sorry about the nuclear test," according to the Chosun Ilbo daily.

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2006/10/20/china-korea.html (http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2006/10/20/china-korea.html)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Lancaster on October 24, 2006, 13:01:45
Recently I have Emailed to our government and opposition on my concerns on the North Korean missile crissi:
To Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Peter Mackay: mackap1@parl.gc.ca   Oct 16/2006
To Foreign Affairs Critic Keith Martin: MartiK@parl.gc.ca
Bcc: Senator Colin Kenny: kennyco@sen.parl.gc.ca

I have concerns about the North Korea’s missile and nuclear crisis which is developing.
Last October 2005 I have emailed to then Defence critic O’Connor and then Defence minister Bill Graham and Senator Colin Kenny  a wish list on Canadian military equipment (see www.canadianmilitary.blog.com) and about Korea’s and Iran’s missiles reaching our shore by next decade, and received no response from  Mr. O’Connor, and a weak form letter response from minister Bill Graham , but Senator Colin Kenny has the vision of replacing  our Tribal destroyers with news ones from the U.S in his senate reports. In my blog site I am least close to the prediction to than anyone else on North Korea missile capabilities. In my blog site I wished that Canada would purchase the U.S. Aegis Destroyer (or upgrade our Tribal destroyers to U.S. Aegis system with Standard missile 3) which are capable of knocking out missiles from North Korea and any future nuclear nations. Also if Canada is involved in naval blockade near North Korea there could be a nuclear shooting range, so Canada must take precautions in able to be protected from and destroy short range nuclear missile from North Korea. Also we may have to rethink about the Defence shield with the U.S., I realize that a majority of Canadians are opposed to it and is a political charged issue but we must protect our citizens.
 Do not underestimate North Korea missile and nuclear capabilities. Over the last decade, North Korea has developed and acquired mid range missile and nuclear capabilities. Presently North Korea has no long range delivery missile system to reach North America but how long will it take them to develop and acquire intercontinental nuclear missile capabilities?  Since North Korea has exploded a low yield nuclear  in the kilotons and how long will it take have the dangerous higher yield 1 megaton weapon that the Western allies have?  In 1998 North Korea sent a missile over Japan, upsetting everyone and receiving world condemnation and if that is not reckless what is? North Korea’s missile over Japan could have started “a war”, but thank fully Japan did not retaliated but is developing its own self missile defence systems. What about North Korea’s recent missile testing in July 2006, the long missile test failed but when will restart again? Question that should be asked by everyone is:
1) Since North Korea’s s nuclear explosion, could be there be a new race to acquire nuclear weapons by North Koreas neighbors?
2) Will North Korea be a seller of nuclear weapons without restrictions, and will the UN. sanctions work?
3) Of the six countries talks with North Korea, China is the key country, because it sells and controls the oil and food to North Korea. Has China allowed North Korea to have nuclear tests?  Should the world pressure China to punish North Korea, and have them revoke there nuclear program?
4) The fifty year cold war nuclear checkmate of the old Soviet Union and the Western Allies were based on MAD that is Mutual Assured Destruction, each side having and developing new nuclear weapons but cannot overwhelm the other side. The Post Cold War era the other Nuclear power such as Britain, China, France, India, Israel, Pakistan, Russia and U.S. have had more stable and accountable governments than North Korea which is a Stalin dictatorship and accountable to no one, so now we have to deal with the unstable Kim Jong-il's regime that can endanger its neighbors and eventually Canada. According to U.S. National Terror Alert Response Center (see fact sheet explosive devices and weapons> see nuclear devices>see 1 megaton>see radius blast 4.7miles), new generation of Nuclear weapons such as 1 megaton bomb is 80 times more destructive powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945’s killing more than 140,000 people and radioactive illness tens of thousands more. The U.S. National Terror Alert Response Center for a 1 megaton bomb of 4.7 mile blast radius detonated over downtown Toronto God forbid, would flatten and kill millions to the perimeter, and to the outer greater Toronto area, further millions would have radiations burns and illness a very tragic catastrophe, basically all living kind would end the same way as the dinosaurs. Would it not be “reckless” to remove or contain Kim Jong-il's regime to prevent a nuclear catastrophe?
5) What are North Korea’s and its neighbor’s next moves?
Do you think a carrot and stick diplomacy is the way to deal with North Korea? Please respond and answer all my questions thank you.
 
Reference sites
a)1998 North Korea missile over Japan and other tests in July 2006
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5149512.stm
b) 1 megaton 80 times powerful than Hiroshima, see U.S. National Terror Alert Response  Center
http://www.nationalterroralert.com/nuclear
c)Hiroshima total losses 140,000 people
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki
d) Aegis Ballistic Missile (Standard Missile SM-3) Defense System, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aegis_Ballistic_Missile_Defense_System
e) Canada has presently  the Standard Missile SM-2 MR on the HMCS Athabaskan,
http://www.navy.forces.gc.ca/athabaskan/about/ship_about_e.asp?category=18
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: geo on October 25, 2006, 12:49:04
IN THE EARLY 1990s, Kim Jong Il became the world's leading purchaser of Hennessy Paradis, a cognac legendary for its complexity and finesse. Paradis usually retails for a few hundred dollars a bottle, though in Kim's case bulk discounts may have applied: The North Korean leader--who, according to a former personal chef, has "an exceptionally discriminating palate"--was said to be spending $700,000 to $800,000 a year on it.

Such a liquor tab fits the sort of pathological decadence described by defectors and national leaders who have spent time with Kim. The same former chef reports being sent on shopping trips to Denmark for pork, Czechoslovakia for beer, and Uzbekistan for caviar.

A former Russian presidential envoy has described a 2001 state visit in which Kim traveled across the country in a private train stocked with crates of Bordeaux, flat-screen televisions, and a retinue of female performers. Live lobsters were flown in to await the train's chefs at points along the route.

It was therefore with a certain satisfaction that John R. Bolton, President Bush's UN ambassador, highlighted the ban on luxury imports that is part of the sanctions approved last week by the UN Security Council to punish North Korea for testing a nuclear weapon. The measure, Bolton suggested, might be "a little diet for Kim Jong Il."

As with most diets, there is some question as to how effective the ban will be. But whatever the effect, the UN resolution has managed to highlight the role Western luxury goods play in North Korea, a purportedly communist country with an impoverished, malnourished populace.

North Korea experts say that such goods aren't simply for Kim's bacchanalian lifestyle--even the most committed North Korean propagandist would be hard-pressed to claim that the Dear Liver could process several daily bottles of cognac, no matter how smooth. Instead, experts argue, expensive jewelry, fine wine, and performance automobiles are less indulgences for Kim than a currency used in a system of rewards for loyalty among the country's governing elite.

According to Bruce Cumings, a historian of Korea at the University of Chicago, North Korea is as much a patronage state as it is a police state. As an example, Cumings points to a recent mass celebration of the 80th anniversary of Kim Il Sung's Down with Imperialism Union, the predecessor to the ruling Workers' Party of Korea. Despite the country's severely straitened circumstances, "everyone that participates in that ceremony will get a wristwatch, a pair of shoes, a new television to take home, something like that. The leadership has always used consumer goods that are rare in the country to reward that sort of pageantry."

For the country's ruling class, though, the rewards are greater. On visits to North Korea, Cumings has seen not only Rolexes on government officials and fur coats on their wives, but leaders being chauffeured around in Mercedes-Benz sedans correlating to their rank: 200-model sedans for lower-level party bosses on up to the top-of-the-line S600 for the nation's leaders.

Han Park, a professor of international affairs at the University of Georgia who has visited North Korea more than 40 times, believes the relative prevalence of German luxury automobiles may be more coincidental. In his view, it simply stems from the country's "historical resentment" of major car-exporting nations like the United States, Japan, and South Korea.

There is, though, a precedent for Stalinist dictators doling out luxury cars as bonuses: Stalin himself. According to Simon Sebag Montefiore, author of the biography "Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar," the Soviet leader used to personally decide which of the upper nomenklatura would be awarded Rolls-Royces and which would get Buicks. Record players and General Electric refrigerators were also popular prizes. "They would call these rewards the 'gift of the people,' i.e., of Stalin," Montefiore says, "and it was understood that the next day everything could be taken away and you could be nothing."

Few North Korea-watchers think Kim Jong Il's patronage powers will be severely threatened by the UN ban. His regime is already expert in the use of the black market and shell companies abroad, and the commitment of China, by far the country's largest trading partner, to enforcing the sanctions remains to be seen. At most, according to Nicholas Eberstadt, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of the forthcoming book, "The North Korean Economy," the ban will simply raise the price of such imports. "It's basically a tax on luxury goods for Kim Jong Il," he says.

And even if the ban were to be effective, everyone familiar with North Korea believes that, given the choice between more late-model Mercedes and a nuclear weapons program, the regime's preference will be clear. After all, there's nothing like a nuclear warhead to impress the neighbors.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: exsemjingo on October 26, 2006, 02:07:53
We should translate geo's post into Korean and drop pamphlets by air all over North Korea.  That would not just create instability, but help turn the populace to our side.
Then again, once a population ssubjugates it's own logic and self interest to an ooppressivepolitical ideology, there is no telling how far it's misguided loyalties might go.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Mr.Newf on October 28, 2006, 08:55:17
From CTV
Quote
SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea's military is observing movements at a site in North Korea where the communist country is believed to have conducted its first nuclear test, indicating possible preparations for another test, Yonhap news agency reported Saturday.


The report, citing multiple unnamed military officials, said South Korea is closely monitoring movements of trucks and North Korean soldiers at the site in Punggye-ri in the country's remote northeast.


"It is clear there are movements at Punggye-ri after the nuclear test," one military official was quoted as saying. "We are closely monitoring to see if these are preparations for a second nuclear test."


Another official also confirmed activities at the North Korean site but said another test "is not believed to be imminent," according to Yonhap.


North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test on Oct. 9, prompting the UN Security Council to impose sanctions.


It was not immediately clear how the military officials first spotted the activity at the site. However, the United States and South Korea generally share intelligence information obtained through satellite imagery.


Meanwhile, more unidentified South Korean government sources said they are trying to confirm whether a new facility that has been built at the site could be part of preparations for a second nuclear test, the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper reported Saturday.


Defense officials could not immediately be reached for comment.


The news came a day after the South's Foreign Minister and incoming U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with Chinese leaders to discuss sanctions against the North over its Oct. 9 underground nuclear test.


Ban met with Chinese President Hu Jintao, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan and Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing on Friday. South Korea's Foreign Ministry said they would discuss sanctions, but details of their talks were not immediately released.


Ban is visiting the five permanent U.N. Security Council members following his election as secretary-general this month. He pledged to make resolving the North Korea nuclear issue a key priority on his agenda as head of the international body.


The United States has been trying muster greater support for a UN Security Council resolution that calls for sanctions in response to the North's nuclear test.


Seoul and Beijing have been reluctant to enforce sanctions over the Oct. 9 test for fear they might aggravate their unpredictable neighbor and destabilize the region.


As the North's main aid providers and trade partners, China and South Korea's participation are considered crucial for the success of the United Nations resolution, which bans the sale of major arms to the North and calls for inspection of cargo entering and leaving the country.

They clame that they were "sorry for the test an that no more would take place." I wonder what happened?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on October 28, 2006, 10:55:43
The problem with sanctions is most of what we want to stop (luxury goods) would fit a small number of sea cans, while nuclear weapons and materials would fil a similar number of sea cans going out. It would not be too difficult to smuggle these items individually over the course of a year.

Better than stopping the goods, how about the people. North Korean embassies should be closed and North Korean chefs stopped at the airport when attempting to enter a country to buy luxury food items. This will not stop the trade, but make it much more difficult, and that might create an instability in the system of rewards that the regime uses to maintian loyalty in the upper echelons.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: ~RoKo~ on November 07, 2006, 16:52:26
GAP, that article was from 13 Oct, 4 days after the blast. The next day the US revised their statement and said that they had found some radioactivity, and eventually (On the 16th or so?) they confirmed that it was a nuclear test..
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6056370.stm
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: ~RoKo~ on November 07, 2006, 17:15:22
It's interesting, though, to see how things change over time and a news article which is valid one day is not necessarily quite so the next....

I suppose the mods can delete my previous post as it's no longer relevant.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on March 28, 2008, 17:06:01
The DPRK test-launches more missiles.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/03/28/nkorea.missile/index.html

Quote
Report: North Korea test-fires missiles
North Korea fired short-range missiles off its western coast, reports say
South Korea is trying to confirm reports of the missile launches

S. Korea's presidential office said launches just part of "ordinary military training"

SEOUL, South Korea (CNN) -- North Korea fired short-range missiles off its western coast Friday, a South Korean defense source said, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

The South Korean Defense Ministry and Joint Chiefs of Staff told CNN they were trying to confirm reports of the missile launches.

South Korea's presidential office dismissed reports of the missile launches as part of "ordinary military training" by the communist state.

"The government regards North Korea's missile firing as merely a part of its ordinary military training," presidential spokesman Lee Dong-kwan told Yonhap.

"The South Korean government will just continue to watch the missile-related situation carefully," he said. "We're convinced that North Korea doesn't want inter-Korean relations to deteriorate."

Washington urged caution following the reports. "The United States believes that North Korea should refrain from testing missiles," U.S. National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.

"This kind of activity is not constructive. North Korea should focus on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and deliver a complete and correct declaration of all its nuclear weapons programs and nuclear proliferation activities, and to complete the agreed disablement."

The reported firings came a day after the Seoul government pulled 11 of its diplomats from an industrial park the two countries operate in North Korea.

Their departure followed comments made last week by South Korean Unification Minister Kim Ha-joong.

He said it would be hard to expand the industrial complex without North Korean progress on denuclearization.

North Korea cited the minister's remarks as a reason for demanding that the South Korean diplomats leave, Yonhap reported.


Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 27, 2008, 20:22:27
Is this action a genuine symbolic gesture of what really has been accomplished with these multilateral talks, or is Kim just doing this for show and has more to hide? Does anyone else here think that Bush's move to lift sanctions against North Korea may be a little bit too premature?


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080627/ap_on_re_as/koreas_nuclear


Quote
YONGBYON, North Korea - North Korea destroyed the most visible symbol of its nuclear weapons program Friday, blasting apart the cooling tower at its main atomic reactor in a sign of its commitment to stop making plutonium for atomic bombs.

An explosion at the base of the cylindrical structure sent the tower collapsing into debris and dust that billowed into blue skies at 5:10 p.m. local time as journalists and diplomats looked on, according to footage filmed at the site by international video news agency Associated Press Television News.

The demolition of the 60-foot-tall cooling tower at the North's main reactor complex is a response to U.S. concessions after the North delivered a declaration Thursday of its nuclear programs to be dismantled.

"This is a very important step in the disablement process and I think it puts us in a good position to move into the next phase," said Sung Kim, the U.S. State Department's top expert on the Koreas who attended the demolition.

After the tower's tumble to the ground, Kim shook hands with Ri Yong Ho, director of safeguards at North Korea's Academy of Atomic Energy Research, who was the most senior Pyongyang official present.

"The demolition of the cooling tower is proof that the six-party talks have proceeded a step further," Ri said, referring to the nuclear negotiations.

The tower destruction was not mentioned by the North's media or shown on state TV broadcasts.

State Department spokesman Tom Casey said that North Korea had agreed to principles for verifying its declaration.

"The have agreed that every question that we have about their nuclear program — plutonium, uranium, proliferation — is something they have to answer," he said. "That would mean, if there is any place we want to visit, we should be allowed to visit, any person we want to talk to, we should be allowed to."

In the North Korean government's first reaction to the developments this week, North Korea's Foreign Ministry welcomed Washington's decision to take the country off the U.S. trade and sanctions blacklists.

"The U.S. measure should lead to a complete and all-out withdrawal of its hostile policy toward (the North) so that the denuclearization process can proceed smoothly," the ministry said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

The symbolic tower explosion came just 20 months after Pyongyang shocked the world by detonating a nuclear bomb in an underground test to confirm its status as an atomic power. The nuclear blast spurred an about-face in the U.S. hard-line policy against Pyongyang, leading to the North's first steps to scale back its nuclear weapons development since the reactor became operational in 1986.

Last year, the North switched off the reactor at Yongbyon, some 60 miles north of the capital of Pyongyang, and it already has begun disabling the facility under the watch of U.S. experts so that it cannot easily be restarted.

The destruction of the cooling tower, which carries off waste heat to the atmosphere, is another step forward but not the most technically significant, because it is a simple piece of equipment that would be easy to rebuild.

Still, the demolition offers the most photogenic moment yet in the disarmament negotiations that have dragged on for more than five years and suffered repeated deadlocks and delays.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the tower's destruction would mark a step toward disablement, something that has been ongoing for many months to prevent the North from making more plutonium for bombs.

"It is important to get North Korea out of the plutonium business, but that will not be the end of the story," she said in Kyoto, Japan, on the sidelines of a meeting of the Group of Eight industrialized countries.

North Korea's nuclear declaration, which was delivered six months later than the country promised and has not yet been released publicly, is said to only give the overall figure for how much plutonium was produced at Yongbyon — but no details of bombs that may have been made.

Experts believe the North has produced up to 110 pounds of weapons-grade plutonium, enough for as many as 10 nuclear bombs.

The declaration was being distributed Friday by China, the chair of the arms talks, to the other countries involved, U.S. envoy Christopher Hill said.

"We'll have to study it very carefully and then we'll have to work on verification," Hill said in Kyoto.

The declaration does not address the North's alleged uranium enrichment program or suspicions of its nuclear proliferation to other countries, such as Syria.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: imjustsomeguy on June 27, 2008, 20:42:58
If they have enough plutonium for 10 weapons, why keep the facility? Sure blow up the tower to ease sanctions...they didn't need it anyhow. I'd demo the reactor too if it meant economic aid and the lifting of embargoes on my country.

IMHO, I think the Bush administration should wait until North Korea completely disables it's nuclear facilities beyond an easy repair before lifting every sanction.

Just my $.02

*added*  Hasn't the US and North Korea had a history of "you give me money, I halt the nuclear program..then next year I start it up again?"

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Otto Fest on July 03, 2008, 14:57:58
I believe the item destroyed has nothing to do with a reactor or fuel processing facility.  What was destroyed was simply a water cooler for a reactor (or even a coal or gas fired generating station).  In other words, this was one big PR exercise.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: George Wallace on July 03, 2008, 15:33:18
I believe the item destroyed has nothing to do with a reactor or fuel processing facility.  What was destroyed was simply a water cooler for a reactor (or even a coal or gas fired generating station).  In other words, this was one big PR exercise.

So?  A critical part of a reactor is blown up and you think it is only a PR exercise.

Sure it was, but a Cooling Tower is a necessary part of a reactor.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Colin P on July 03, 2008, 16:30:14
From the pictures of the interior I got the impression it had not been in use for awhile, a hopefully sign, but still likley more PR than intent.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: ArmyVern on July 03, 2008, 18:21:44
I actually watched a Christian Amanpour piece on CNN a while back detailing the visit of the New York Philharmonic to Pyongyang.

While there, she was invited to tour the Yongbyon reactor facility with her camera crew. It was very obvious in that film footage that this place hasn't been active in quite some time - 1/2 thick dust on the walls etc and all equipment removed. Her story did note that inspectors were already on ground at that time (UN & US) to verify it's dismantling, but that the US was pushing for the towers destruction as a good faith measure. Seems that the North Koreans have now complied with that good faith bit. All I can find on CNN's site is a couple of her stories detailing the visit in print (am linking to the one with some still photos of the visit - including a shot taken inside the facility in question @ pic #11).

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/05/07/amanpour.north.korea/index.html#cnnSTCPhoto (http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/05/07/amanpour.north.korea/index.html#cnnSTCPhoto)

Edited to add:

Here is the film footage which has been uploaded onto youtube:

Amanpour: Notes from North Korea [Pt 3 of 6] (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1tYxAFd_Zw)

(I watched the whole thing [on TV] -- I actually quite enjoyed this report).



Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on August 26, 2008, 14:15:29
KIM JONG IL really really must be anal now.

Quote
(CNN) -- North Korea said Tuesday it has stopped disabling its nuclear plants and will consider restoring them because the United States has not removed it from a list of states that sponsor terrorism.

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi2.cdn.turner.com%2Fcnn%2F2008%2FWORLD%2Fasiapcf%2F08%2F26%2Fnorth.korea.nuclear%2Fart.north.korea.reactor.ap.jpg&hash=7f7a239d0328bd00311cfefcb4f82ca6) 
N. Korea demolished the cooling tower at its main reactor complex in Yongbyon in June.

 The communist nation said it halted the dismantling of the plutonium-producing plants on August 14, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

The North "will consider soon a step to restore the nuclear facilities in (Yongbyon) to their original state," the North Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement that KCNA carried.
North Korea agreed to a complete dismantling of its Yongbyon nuclear complex by October. In return, U.S. President George W. Bush said he would lift some U.S. sanctions against North Korea and remove it from a State Department list of state sponsors of terrorism.



http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/08/26/north.korea.nuclear/index.html (http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/08/26/north.korea.nuclear/index.html)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080826/ts_nm/korea_north_d...fJ33GATDVTKQoXqs0NUE (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080826/ts_nm/korea_north_dc;_ylt=AjOe7JhffJ33GATDVTKQoXqs0NUE)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Hamish Seggie on August 26, 2008, 14:21:17
Yes the Dear Leader must be very "Ronry" now!

That's "Lonely"  ;D
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: aesop081 on August 26, 2008, 14:38:53
If anyone is surprised by this, you need a reality check.

We ( the international community "we") have encouraged them to do this little song and dance.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Dolphin_Hunter on August 26, 2008, 15:05:22
I almost forgot about North Korea, Lil Kim just wants to be in the headlines for a while,  Russia and those Somali Pirates were hogging all the attention.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: gun runner on September 12, 2008, 02:28:09
Does any one have an opinion? And if he is dead, what does this potentially mean to the west?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Carcharodon Carcharias on September 12, 2008, 03:49:54
I am sure "it's" alive.

Sometimes its better the devil we know, then the devil we don't.

OWDU

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on September 12, 2008, 09:53:43
If he is dead, then the potential for regional instability is staggering. The South Koreans and Chinese would have to deal with millions of starving North Koreans trying to escape, while the North Korean military might end up being the only institution able to maintain any sort of control, which might make dealing with North Korea even more difficult (especially if their leadership starts fighting amongst themselves).

South Korea might get stuck with the task of rebuilding a totally imploded economy, while the Chinese will be doing all in their power to extend their influence over the entire Korean peninsula, creating more friction in the region (trying to absorb one of the "Tiger" economies into their political sphere is probably a big mistake in my opinion).

You can go on with second and third order effects
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Run away gun on September 12, 2008, 09:55:53
No doubt there is somebody in North Korea that is being/has been groomed for leadership when Kim Jong Il kicks the bucket.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Old Sweat on September 12, 2008, 10:02:56
According to this story in today's National Post, no one was groomed to take over the reins - or if one of my awful puns can be forgiven in this case, the reigns.

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=784936
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: geo on September 12, 2008, 10:07:58
While no one was groomed to replace him, he does have 3 sons who have their own followings within the North Korean military.

That being said, still believe that, over the next decade, North & South Korea will get back together again.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: TacticalW on September 12, 2008, 17:11:19
Let's hope that will be the case, but Kim Jong is a very unpredictable man...

From what I've heard he might have had a seizure, and if that's the case who knows, he could be dead, he could be slowly recovering but okay or he could be a vegetable... or he could be replaced by a "clone" o.o
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: gun runner on September 12, 2008, 17:45:33
I have heard too that he has several body doubles...like Hussein had. But will this only delay the inevitable(possible war between the north and south) or could this be a ploy to confuse the western nations while they cook up something for the south? 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: recceguy on September 12, 2008, 21:25:03
I have a hundred more important things to worry about.

Like if my lawn needs to be cut today or later this week.

Just sayin'.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Mr.Newf on September 19, 2008, 07:46:18
North Korea preparing to restart nuclear facility  (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080919/ap_on_re_as/as_koreas_nuclear)


Quote
PANMUNJOM, Korea - North Korea said Friday it was preparing to restart its nuclear reactor, accusing the United States of failing to fulfill its obligations under an international disarmament-for-aid agreement.

It was the first time the North has confirmed it has begun reversing what it has done so far to roll back its nuclear program, though it has warned it would do so in anger over Washington's failure to remove it from the U.S. terrorism blacklist.

"We are making thorough preparations for restoration" of the Yongbyon nuclear complex, the deputy director-general of North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hyun Hak Bong, told reporters. He did not say when Yongbyon might begin operating again.

Hyun spoke to reporters in the border village of Panmunjom before sitting down for talks Friday with South Korean officials on sending energy aid to the North as part of the six-nation disarmament deal.

Under the landmark 2007 pact — involving the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Russia and Japan — North Korea pledged to disable its nuclear program in a step toward its eventual dismantlement in exchange for diplomatic concessions and energy aid equivalent to 1 million tons of oil.

North Korea began disabling the Yongbyon complex last year, and the process was 90 percent complete, with eight of 11 key steps carried out "perfectly and flawlessly," Hyun said.

Major progress was made in the agreement in late June when North Korea submitted a long-delayed declaration of its nuclear activities and destroyed the cooling tower at Yongbyon in a show of its commitment to denuclearization.

But the accord ran aground in mid-August when Washington refused to take North Korea off its list of states that sponsor terrorism until the North accepts a plan to verify its nuclear declaration.

North Korea responded by halting the disabling process and is now "proceeding with work to restore (Yongbyon) to its original status," Hyun told reporters.


More on the link.
-Dead
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: milnews.ca on September 19, 2008, 14:19:11
A rittle mo'....

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.afp.com%2Fenglish%2Fnews%2Fstories%2Fphoto_1221822576304-2-1.jpg&hash=7ec7488cd90eb6b471f8820a79df02e9)
Map of North Korea's nuclear plant in Yongbyon ©AFP - Afp Graphics

Associated Press (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/sep/19/us-urges-nkorea-not-to-restart-nuclear-reactor/):  "US urges NKorea not to restart nuclear reactor"
Quote
The United States on Friday urged North Korea not to continue preparations to restart its nuclear reactor, saying the country must decide whether it wants to have a better relationship with the world or "keep themselves isolated." ....

Agence France-Presse (http://www.afp.com/english/news/stories/newsmlmmd.e92d123fce3f72257ebaa05d99b9a6f4.51.html):  "NKorea moving closer to restarting nuclear plant: US"
Quote
North Korea has not restarted its nuclear plant at Yongbyon but is moving "closer and closer" to doing so, the US State Department said Friday.  North Korea, accusing Washington of breaking a six-country nuclear disarmament deal, said Friday it is working to restart its atomic reactor and no longer wants US concessions promised under the pact.  North Korea is moving "closer and closer to that point of operationalizing Yongbyon again," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters.  "They haven't got that point yet and we would urge them not to get to that point," he added during the daily briefing.  "They have a choice. They can go down the pathway of having different and better relationship with the world... or they can keep themselves isolated, move the process backward. So we'll see," he said.  "I don't think we're to the point yet of there having fully reversed what they have done," he said.....

Reuters (http://uk.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUKN1938704120080919?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews):  "North Korea not yet made Yongbyon operational"
Quote
The United States said on Friday that North Korea had not yet made its Yongbyon plant operational despite threats and urged Pyongyang to agree to a mechanism to verify its nuclear claims.  "They have not got to that point yet. We would urge them not to get to that point," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack when asked about North Korea's statement that it was working on starting its Soviet-era nuclear Yongbyon plant.  "They continue to move to the right, to get closer and closer to that point where they are operationalising Yongbyon again," he added....

And from Secretary of State Rice, in an op-ed (http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2008/06/106282.htm) in the 26 Jun 08 Wall Street Journal
Quote
....  Considering North Korea's track record, verification is essential, but still it must be asked: What if North Korea cheats? The answer is simple: We will hold North Korea accountable. We will reimpose any applicable sanctions that we have waived – plus add new ones. And because North Korea would be violating an agreement not only with us, but also with all of its neighbors, those countries would take appropriate measures as well ....
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Hamish Seggie on September 22, 2008, 00:20:16
How about the .50 cal solution.....sorry I'm in a rotten mood.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: dangerboy on September 22, 2008, 00:21:31
How about the .50 cal solution.....sorry I'm in a rotten mood.

OldSolduer  get with the times it is now the 25mm solution.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Hamish Seggie on September 22, 2008, 17:50:34
Sounds good to me dangerboy.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on September 22, 2008, 20:31:20
The solutions range from messy and dangerous to FUBAR. What is the price we are willing to pay for the "just" messy and dangerous? Read Robert Kaplan's " (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200610/kaplan-korea)When North Korea Falls[/color]" to see where we are at.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: rtangri on September 22, 2008, 21:28:37
N U K E EM ! I know Im gonna get hell for this, but god damnit this is so repetetive
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on September 24, 2008, 15:23:05
Meanwhile..back in the DPRK /North Korea:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/09/24/nkorea.nuclear.plant/index.html


Quote
North Korean nuclear plant seals removed
Story Highlights
IAEA: N. Korea nuclear plant seals have been removed

U.N. nuclear watchdog will no longer have access to the plant

N. Korea had agreed to abandon its atomic weapons program for energy aid
(CNN) -- North Korea has made another move toward possibly restarting its suspended nuclear program, the U.N. nuclear agency reports.

At the reclusive nation's request, the International Atomic Energy Agency has removed surveillance equipment and seals from the Yongbyon nuclear facility, agency spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said.

The move clears the way for North Korea to reintroduce nuclear material to the facility. The North has told the IAEA that it will do that in a week or so.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog will no longer have access at Yongbyon and will not be able to monitor any activities at the nuclear reprocessing facility.

Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Monday that agency inspectors had observed that "some equipment previously removed by (North Korea) during the disablement process has been brought back."


ElBaradei said then that he was hopeful that conditions could be developed for North Korea "to return to the Non-Proliferation Treaty at the earliest possible date and for the resumption by the agency of comprehensive safeguards."

Last week, a South Korean news agency reported that North Korea was restoring a reactor at Yongbyon nuclear complex and no longer wanted to be removed from a U.S. list of countries that sponsor terrorism.

Hyun Hak-Bong, a chief North Korean negotiator at the six-nation talks aimed at halting the country's nuclear program, told reporters his country was "thoroughly preparing to restart" the reactor and that reporters would "know soon" when his country would do that, the Yonhap news agency said.

But a senior U.S. diplomat has said the announcement could simply be a bargaining ploy in the long-running negotiations. The U.S. had seen no indications North Korea was actually rebuilding its reactor, the diplomat said.

The U.S. envoy to North Korea addressed the fresh standoff with reporters Monday, saying the U.S. was still trying to strike a deal with Pyongyang to come clean on its nuclear claims.

"The six-party process has had its difficult moments and we are certainly experiencing one now," Assistant Secretary of State Chris Hill told reporters.

Although North Korea has threatened to restart its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon, "We don't expect any dramatic developments in the next few days," he said.

Hill said U.S. officials had the impression North Korea wanted to reach agreement with Bush administration before it left office.

Earlier, a senior State Department official told CNN that in recent weeks the North Koreans had taken a "harder-line stance toward the six-party talks."

U.S. intelligence officials told CNN last week that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has been suffering serious health problems, and may have had a stroke.

North Korea had agreed to disable the Yongbyon nuclear complex by October in exchange for a pledge from the U.S. to lift some sanctions and remove North Korea from a list of countries that sponsor terrorism.

And the blackmail cycle has begun again. ::)

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Hamish Seggie on September 24, 2008, 20:11:36
The "Dear Leader" should become the "Dear Departed Leader".
Let's send Mr. Layton and Dawn Black to negotiate.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on September 24, 2008, 22:08:00
I see I messed up the link When North Korea Falls (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200610/kaplan-korea).

Much of what the KFR ("Kim Family Regime") does is not directed at the United States at all, but rather designed to provoke some sort of positive response from  Bejing, the local superpower. Attempting to get the United States to the table for a "one on one" is just one of the ways the KFR inflates their standing in the region and thus causes Beijing to recalculate.

Quote
Kim Jong Il’s compulsion to demonstrate his missile prowess is a sign of his weakness. Contrary to popular perception in the United States, Kim doesn’t stay up at night worrying about what the Americans might do to him; it’s not North Korea’s weakness relative to the United States that preoccupies him. Rather, if he does stay up late worrying, it’s about China. He knows the Chinese have always had a greater interest in North Korea’s geography—with its additional outlets to the sea close to Russia—than they have in the long-term survival of his regime. (Like us, even as they want the regime to survive, the Chinese have plans for the northern half of the Korean peninsula that do not include the “Dear Leader.”) One of Kim’s main goals in so aggressively displaying North Korea’s missile capacity is to compel the United States to deal directly with him, thereby making his otherwise weakening state seem stronger. And the stronger Pyongyang appears to be, the better off it is in its crucial dealings with Beijing, which are what really matter to Kim.

This is not to say that South Korea, Japan, Taiwan or Russia should just shrug their shoulders and ignore the goings on in North Korea, but rather they (and we) need to avoid knee jerk reactions since that is probably what the KFR is aiming for. The real scary part is as the KFR becomes more brittle and unstable, they will be less and less able to deal with internal or external problems:

Quote
In other divided countries of the twentieth century—Vietnam, Germany, Yemen—the forces of unity ultimately triumphed. But history suggests that unification does not happen through a calibrated political process in which the interests of all sides are respected. Rather, it tends to happen through a cataclysm of events that, piles of white papers and war-gaming exercises notwithstanding, catches experts by surprise.


Cutting the western lifeline to the KFR will make their nuclear program much more costly in economic terms (if the KFR has to divert food and energy resources away from their military there will be trouble), although Beijing is actually what keeps them afloat. Maybe just cutting our losses will shift the economic burden far enough on China to make them reconsider what they are doing.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on October 04, 2008, 14:46:46
I guess this answers this question, unless, he has doubles like Saddam had. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081004/ap_on_re_as/as_nkorea_kim_jong_il

Quote
Report: NKorean leader watches soccer game
By JEAN H. LEE, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 38 minutes ago

SEOUL, South Korea - North Korean leader Kim Jong Il watched a university soccer game, a state-run news agency said from Pyongyang on Saturday, reporting on the leader's first public appearance in nearly two months.
 
Kim and other political leaders watched the game held to mark the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the university named after his late father, North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, the Korean Central News Agency report said.

The university's 62nd anniversary was Oct. 1 but the report did not say when or where the game was held. It also did not say whether Kim, who is believed to have suffered a stroke in August, attended the game in person. There was no mention of his health.

The 66-year-old leader had not been seen in public since mid-August, missing two key occasions — the 60th anniversary of the founding of North Korea and Korean Thanksgiving — amid mounting speculation about his health.

U.S. and South Korean officials said last month that Kim, believed to have diabetes and other chronic ailments, suffered a stroke, citing unidentified sources. North Korean officials, however, steadfastly denied he was ill.

Information about North Korea, one of the world's most reclusive nations, can be close to impossible to confirm.

In Seoul, Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Ho-nyeon said late Saturday that he was aware of the KCNA report but had no additional information.

South Korean officials had said Kim was believed to have improved in recent weeks.

Kim's extended absence from the public eye is not his first, but it is believed to be his longest since assuming leadership of communist North Korea after his father's death in 1994.

KCNA's last mention of Kim making a public appearance was on Aug. 14 — around the time Pyongyang stopped disabling its Yongbyon nuclear reprocessing plant and began reassembling the facility in violation of a multilateral disarmament-for-aid pact.

U.S. nuclear envoy Christopher Hill went to North Korea earlier in the week to try salvaging the agreement, worked out in February 2007 by the two Koreas, Japan, Russia, China and the U.S. in a bid to dismantle the nation's nuclear program.

Hill, who returned to Seoul on Friday, made no mention of Kim.

While the news agency has since reported that Kim sent birthday greetings to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and congratulations to Beijing on a key Chinese anniversary, there had been no mention of him appearing in public until Saturday.

The report said Kim congratulated the two soccer teams from Kim Il Sung University and the Pyongyang University of Railways after the game.

Kim praised the student athletes, saying: "The revolutionary and militant students in our country are good at art and sporting activities while devoting all their wisdom and enthusiasm to the study of science for the country and the people," KCNA said.

___

Associated Press Writer Jae-soon Chang contributed to this report.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on October 04, 2008, 15:10:37
Probably a double. ;)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on October 07, 2008, 18:18:11
The Yellow Sea- which the PRC considers its own territory as well in addition to the East and South China Seas- was the scene of today's latest saber-rattling event from the DPRK. The fact that it was aimed at the Yellow Sea must mean something- is it a major falling out between Pyongyang and Beijing? Or just another gesture to the West that they are still alive and kicking?

 
Quote
NKorea reportedly fires missile into Yellow Sea

59 minutes ago

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5g5bCbd3G8qFoX7H4TvQbUWvBQ08QD93LRTGO0

TOKYO (AP) — North Korea has fired a short-range missile into the Yellow Sea, media reports said Tuesday.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK quoted officials as saying Tokyo was trying to verify a report from a third country that the communist nation fired a missile. NHK said the firing did not involve a ballistic missile.


South Korea's Yonhap news agency said two missiles were fired Monday. The Japanese daily Mainichi carried a similar report and said it was a routine military exercise.

Japanese officials said they could not confirm the media reports.

In Washington, the Pentagon declined to confirm or deny whether any missile firing had been detected.

"We cannot provide information regarding specific intelligence," said Marine Maj. Stewart Upton, a Defense Department spokesman. "However, our concerns about missile activities in North Korea are long-standing and well documented.

"North Korea's development, deployment and proliferation of missiles and missile-related materials, equipment and technology pose a threat to the region and the world," Upton said.

North Korea often test-fires short-range missiles, including two in March. The country has been under a self-imposed moratorium on long-range missile tests.

North Korea, which conducted an underground nuclear test in 2006, stopped disabling its nuclear facilities in August, around the time reports say leader Kim Jong Il suffered a stroke. North Korea denies that Kim is ill.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Celticgirl on October 07, 2008, 18:29:33
The Yellow Sea- which the PRC considers its own territory as well in addition to the East and South China Seas- was the scene of today's latest saber-rattling event from the DPRK. the fact that was it was aimed at the Yellow Sea must mjean something- is it a major falling out between Pyongyang and Beijing? Or just another gesture to the West that they are still alive and kicking?

 

I'd say it's more likely that the PRC gave consent to President Kim to test missiles in its waters. As for it being a message or "gesture" to the West...perhaps...or it could just be that Kim thinks such activity will go undetected by the West (U.S. in particular). All speculation, of course. No one knows what Kim is thinking or planning, and that is the truly scary thing about it.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Long Sword on October 07, 2008, 19:49:35
NK is trying to pressure the West for more aid (again). It's been their standard operating procedure for years, and with reactivating the Yongbyon nuclear complex, this is just an extension of that: reactivate their nuclear facilities, and if the West doesn't immediately capitulate, remind us that they have the capabilities to deliver nuclear material. If talks don't give them the aid they want, they'll probably have another test.

Then they eventually get something and we start the whole process all over again!
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on October 29, 2008, 12:33:46
Yawn. So what's new?  :boring:

Quote
North Korea Threatens to Turn South Korea Into 'Debris'

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,444369,00.html

SEOUL, South Korea —  North Korea's military warned Tuesday it would attack South Korea and turn it into "debris," in Pyongyang's latest response to what it says are confrontational activities by Seoul against the communist country.

The threat comes a day after military officers from the two Koreas held brief talks at the heavily fortified border, their second official contact since the North broke off inter-Korean relations in February.

The North threatened to cut off all ties if the "confrontational racket" continues, citing a South Korean general's recent threats to launch a pre-emptive strike against its nuclear sites and the refusal of civic activists in the South to heed Pyongyang's demands to cease distribution of propaganda leaflets critical of its leadership.


"The puppet authorities had better remember that the advanced pre-emptive strike of our own style will reduce everything opposed to the nation and reunification to debris, not just setting them on fire," the North's military said in a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

Relations between the two Koreas have been tense since South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's administration took office earlier this year pledging to get tough with Pyongyang.

Earlier this month, Gen. Kim Tae-young, chairman of South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a parliamentary committee that his military was prepared to attack suspected nuclear sites in North Korea if the communist country attempts to use its atomic weapons on the South.

North Korea has demanded that South Korea stop activists from sending balloons carrying leaflets critical of the communist regime across the border, saying the flyers violate a 2004 inter-Korean accord banning propaganda warfare.

The South Korean government has stopped official propaganda but says it cannot prohibit activists from sending the leaflets, citing freedom of speech.

Defying Pyongyang's demands, South Korean activists on Monday sent helium balloons carrying 100,000 leaflets to the North. Some noted Kim's reported health troubles and called for the North Korean people to rise up against the authoritarian leader.

The North said it also was offended by recent comments by South Korean Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee about leader Kim Jong Il's health.

South Korean Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee told a news conference in Washington earlier this month that both the U.S. and South Korea believed Kim Jong Il remained in control, adding: "If we show him too much attention, then we might spoil him."

U.S. and South Korean officials say Kim suffered a stroke and underwent brain surgery in recent months, but the North has denied there is anything wrong with the 66-year-old leader.

The two countries remain technically at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. The peninsula is divided by one of the world's most heavily fortified borders.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on November 08, 2008, 20:40:37
If that isn't a doctored photo I'm eating my shirt.

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi195.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fz181%2FMSantor%2Fjong385_427633a.jpg&hash=bb5bba6f54ba6065768dc9df1847c3bf)

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5101905.ece

Quote
It was intended to be the photograph that settled the matter once and for all — three months after vanishing from public view, and after reports that he had undergone brain surgery following a stroke, the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, was alive and well.

But a close look reveals something shady around the ankles of the world’s last Cold War dictator.

While the legs of his soldiers cast a shadow at a sharp angle, the shadow of the “Dear Leader” is dead straight. In addition, there is a black line running horizontally behind the soldiers’ legs, but it mysteriously disappears behind Mr Kim.

Rather than a genuine photograph, there were growing suspicions last night that the image released by the North Korean authorities may possibly be the result of digital trickery. Yesterday the state-controlled North Korean media announced that Mr Kim had attended a musical performance at which he “waved back to the cheering performers and congratulated them on their presentation”. The photographs were first presented the day before — and together they eroded the consensus among North Korea watchers that the leader of the world’s most unpredictable nuclear power had suffered a serious health problem over the past few months.

The pictures show Mr Kim posing for a group photograph with a military unit, wearing a light coloured winter coat, sunglasses and sporting his familiar pompadour. On Sunday, in similarly undated photographs, he was shown apparently attending a football match.

“He expressed expectation and conviction that all the artistes would conduct dynamic revolutionary art activities in the future too, to powerfully encourage the army and people in the drive for accomplishing the cause of building a great prosperous powerful nation,” said yesterday’s report on KCNA.

Mr Kim ceased making public appearances in mid-August but it was only on September 9 that his absence from view became a matter of pressing concern. That was the 60th anniversary of the North Korean state, a day of almost sacred significance, when parades and celebrations were held all over the country. Despite attending the 50th and 55th anniversaries, Mr Kim failed to appear.

There was speculation that he was ill or had even died — an alarming possibility in a country with a million-strong army, nuclear weapons technology, a hungry population and no formal system of succession. The head of the South Korea spy agency, Kim Sung Ho, publicly confirmed media reports from unnamed US intelligence sources that Mr Kim had suffered a stroke and been treated by foreign doctors.

“Although he is not in a state to walk around, he is conscious,” he told South Korean MPs. “We understand that he can control the situation and he is not in an unstable condition.”

If the recent photographs are genuine, then he has made a remarkable recovery — or reports of his indisposition have been greatly exaggerated. It is a big if — and there has been much poring over other images for signs of fraud or fakery. Pictures released last month, for example, were dismissed because the state of the foliage in the background suggested that they had been taken in summer — probably before the alleged stroke.

In the photographs at the football match Mr Kim is not making great use of his left arm, leading to speculation that he was suffering partial paralysis. In the latest pictures of the military, he is seen to be clapping and raising both hands.

North Korea analysts suggested that the release of the news was timed deliberately to coincide with the election of Barack Obama. “He’s sending a message to the US,” says Moon Chung In, a professor at Seoul’s Yonsei University, who has twice met Mr Kim in Pyongyang. “They’re saying our leader is alive and well, and we’re ready to talk.”sity, who has twice net Mr Kim in Pyongyang. “They’re saying our leader is alive and well, and we’re ready to talk.”

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: old medic on December 03, 2008, 00:07:58
http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200811250066.html

All eyes on Obama in dealing with North
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

 
Quote
LIMA--With six-party talks to denuclearize North Korea set to resume on Dec. 8 after a five-month hiatus, Japanese officials are keeping a close eye on U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's position on key issues.

It remains to be seen just how much consideration the incoming Obama administration will give to the thorny question of the North's abduction of Japanese nationals, officials said.

The talks also involve South Korea, Russia and China. Tokyo has refused to provide energy assistance to the reclusive North unless progress is made toward a resolution of the abduction issue.

On the agenda at the chief delegates' meeting, the first since July, is a written agreement on ways to verify the disabling of the North's nuclear program, based on verbal agreements between Washington and Pyongyang.

Pyongyang will likely accept the resumption, which outgoing U.S. President George W. Bush actively pushed during his meetings with leaders of other participants on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum here, sources said.

At a meeting with Prime Minister Taro Aso on Saturday, Bush was quoted as saying that he understood the importance of the abduction issue to Japan, and that he would urge his successor to work toward a resolution.

By arranging a resumption of the talks, Bush is hoping to score a diplomatic achievement before he leaves office in January.

Nevertheless, Bush did not conceal his distrust of the North in a recent interview with TV Asahi, warning Pyongyang against a breach of the agreement.

Japanese officials also are concerned that Obama may go a step further, and seek a more active dialogue with Pyongyang, which could overshadow Japan's stance.

A top Foreign Ministry official also expressed concern that a change of government would lead to a change of negotiators, which could leave verbal promises made by the North hanging.

South Korea, whose relations with the North have chilled since President Lee Myung Bak took office in February, is also cautiously watching how Obama will deal with the issue.

Meanwhile, the six-party talks due next month could be stalled again if Pyongyang adamantly resists having samples of nuclear materials taken out to check as part of the verification process.(IHT/Asahi: November 25,2008)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on December 04, 2008, 10:23:58
A previously unknown 3d son of Kim Jong Il has become a player,he is 30 something and is a pretty senior officer.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/12/02/Unknown_Kim_Jong_Il_son_emerges/UPI-62371228238381/

TOKYO, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- A previously unknown third son of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has emerged as a contender for power in Pyongyang, an analyst says.

The son, whose name isn't known, occupies a powerful position in the North Korean army and could have the backing of the military if there is a power struggle in Pyongyang following the death of the 66-year-old Kim Jong Il, The Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday.

Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor of international relations at Tokyo's Waseda University and an expert on North Korean affairs, told the newspaper that the third son, believed to be his 30s, joins Kim's eldest son, Kim Jong Nam, and the youngest, 28-year-old Kim Jong Chol, as possible successors to "the Dear Leader."

Shigemura told the Telegraph his sources indicate Kim Jong Il has suffered one and possibly two debilitating strokes and has only months to live. North Korea has downplayed previous reports of Kim's supposed ill health.

Kim Jong Chol is believed to have his father's blessing to succeed him. But Pyongyang's unofficial spokesman, U.S.-North Korea Peace Executive Director Kim Myong Chol, told the newspaper there is no power struggle going on, adding that when the time comes, the most appropriate person will be chosen by the Communist Party.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: old medic on December 04, 2008, 18:57:00
http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY200812040057.html

Pyongyang must agree in writing
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
2008/12/4

Quote
Tokyo, Washington and Seoul agreed Wednesday in talks on North Korea's nuclear programs that Pyongyang must offer written assurances on inspection methods.

The representatives to six-party talks agreed that Pyongyang must state in writing that it will allow inspectors to take samples from its nuclear facilities.

The meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo confirmed the three countries will work together to deal with foot-dragging by Pyongyang.

Akitaka Saiki, chief of the Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, represented Japan. He was joined by his U.S. and South Korean counterparts, Christopher Hill and Kim Sook.

The three will make their stand clear at the six-party talks resuming Monday in Beijing.(IHT/Asahi: December 4,2008)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: old medic on December 07, 2008, 05:29:58
North Korea vows to exclude Japan from nuclear talks
6 Dec 2008
Copy at:
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20081206/nuclear_talks_081206/20081206?hub=World

The Associated Press

Quote
SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea vowed Saturday to exclude Japan from talks aimed at ending the North's nuclear programs, in apparent retaliation for Tokyo's refusal to contribute to an economic aid package for the communist regime.

The comments carried by the country's official Korean Central News Agency came as negotiators prepared to meet Monday in Beijing. The six-nation talks have stalled over how to verify North Korea's accounting of its nuclear programs.

"We will neither treat Japan as a party to the talks nor deal with it even if it impudently appears in the conference room," the agency quoted an unidentified North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson as saying.

North Korea has issued similar warnings to Japan in the past, but Tokyo has continued to attend the negotiations.

Officials at Japan's Foreign Ministry could not be reached for comment Saturday. Top South Korean nuclear envoy Kim Sook told The Associated Press that the talks should include all six nations. He declined to elaborate.

North Korea agreed last year to disable its nuclear reactor in exchange for aid. But Japan has refused to join four other countries -- China, Russia, South Korea and the United States -- in providing the aid until North Korea addresses the kidnapping of more than a dozen Japanese in the 1970s and '80s.

U.S. nuclear envoy Christopher Hill has said he expects the upcoming talks to be difficult and indicated the meetings will focus on working out a detailed plan for verifying the North's nuclear programs.

"We need a situation where when we begin the verification there are no surprises," Hill told reporters after arriving in Seoul on Saturday for talks with his counterpart, Kim Sook.

Hill said he would speak with Kim later in the day about providing fuel aid to the North. He leaves Sunday for Beijing, where he plans to hold a series of meetings with envoys from South Korea, China, Japan and Russia.

Though it agreed to disarm, North Korea has denied that it ever said it would allow inspectors to take samples from its nuclear complex -- a key process to verify its accounting of past nuclear activities.

Hill held two days of talks with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan in Singapore earlier this week but appeared to have failed to make any significant progress on the verification issue.

In 2002, North Korea acknowledged having kidnapped 13 Japanese citizens and allowed five to return home, saying the remaining eight had died. Japan, however, has demanded proof of the deaths and a probe into additional suspected kidnapping cases -- an emotional issue that has slowed progress in the nuclear talks.

Japan and North Korea struck a breakthrough deal in June under which North Korea pledged to finally resolve the abductions of Japanese citizens. But no major progress has been made since then.

"We did have a discussion about the need for (North Korea) to do more to meet Japanese concerns, especially on the abduction matter," Hill said.

Japan "has neither justification nor qualification to participate in the talks. On the contrary, it only lays a hurdle in the way of achieving the common goal," KCNA quoted the North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying.

Other countries beside the six parties have expressed willingness to give economic aid to North Korea in place of Japan, the official said, without elaborating.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: old medic on December 19, 2008, 09:04:23
South Korea denies involvement in alleged Kim plot
By Hyung-Jin Kim, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Quote
SEOUL, South Korea - South Korea denied North Korea's claim it hired an agent to track its leader Kim Jong Il in what the North suggested was an assassination plot.

The North's Ministry of State Security made the claims late Thursday, saying it recently arrested an agent it alleged was trained by the South to gather information about Kim's movements.

The sensational allegation came amid a serious worsening of relations between the divided Koreas, as well as intense speculation about Kim's health since he was reported to have had a stroke and brain surgery in August.

"The (South's) organization sent him speech and acoustic sensing and pursuit devices for tracking the movement of the top leader and even violent poison in the end," the North Korean ministry said in a statement, carried by the Korean Central News Agency.

It said the "terrorist mission" was ordered by a South Korean intelligence organization "to do harm to the top leader."

South Korea's National Intelligence Service flatly denied the North's accusations.

"This has nothing to do with us," said an agency official on condition of anonymity, citing department policy.

He said the comment represents South Korea's official position on the issue.

The North's statement did not mention Kim Jong Il by name but South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Ho-nyeon said the North's state media has used such wording before in reference to him.

Kim of the Unification Ministry, which handles relations with the North, said he was in no position to confirm the report.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula have run high since the pro-U.S., conservative government of President Lee Myung-bak took office in Seoul in February with a pledge to take a tough line on the North.

Ties worsened earlier this month after the North restricted traffic at the countries' border, expelled some South Koreans from a joint industrial zone and suspended a tour program to the ancient North Korean city Kaesong.

The North's statement also said authorities recently arrested unspecified agents who tried to gather soil, water, leaves and dust in the country's major munitions industrial area to gather information on its nuclear program.

Earlier this month, international talks on the North's nuclear development ended in a stalemate over its refusal to put into writing any commitments on inspecting its past atomic activities.

Though it was impossible to verify the North's espionage claims, the divided states - which fought the 1950-53 Korean War - are known to actively spy on each other and have carried out plots to assassinate each other's leaders in the past.

South Korean experts said it was rare for North Korea to issue a statement on an alleged assassination attempt and were divided over the claim's authenticity.

Yoo Ho-yeol, an expert on the North at Korea University, said it appeared to be aimed at justifying the North's recent rhetoric and actions against the South, adding it was highly unlikely Seoul would have carried out such a plot.

Koh Yu-hwan, a professor at Dongguk University, also thought the South was likely not behind a plot.

"I think such an attempt was made though I'm not sure whether that was committed by the South," he said.

South Korea trained a group of ex-convicts to kill Kim Il Sung - Kim Jong Il's father and North Korea's founder. But in 1971 the plot was aborted and the commando forces killed their trainers, fought their way into Seoul and blew themselves up.

South Korean security forces in 1968 repelled an attack by North Korean commando troops near the residence of then-South Korean president Park Chung-hee.

North Korea has denied the 66-year-old Kim was ever ill, recently churning out reports and photographs depicting him as healthy and active. KCNA reported Thursday that Kim inspected a machine plant - the latest dispatch on his public appearances. The report, however, did not say when he made the visit.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on December 20, 2008, 12:24:18
So he's alive and still constipated.  He didn't die from some STD from one of his Swedish prostitutes. ::)

(btw, it's up to the mods if they want to merge this with the North Korea superthread)

Quote
Agence France-Presse - 12/19/2008 2:46 AM GMT
Kim Jong-Il alive and in control: US Pacific commander
Reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il is alive and in control of his country despite reports that he is ailing, the commander of the US Pacific command said.

"He's alive and he remains in control of the North Korean government," Admiral Timothy Keating told a press conference, adding he had no specific details about the 66-year-old North Korean leader's medical condition.

"I think he's relatively in control of his faculties," Keating said.

Since reports began circulating in September that Kim had suffered a severe medical setback, possibly a stroke, Pyongyang media have reported numerous trips by the leader and released dozens of undated photographs of him.

Kim's health is the subject of intense interest since he has not publicly nominated any successor and has a history of diabetes and heart disease.

He was last seen in public in August, but it was not until September 9 when he failed to appear at military parade for the communist regime's 60th anniversary that a flurry of reports of his ill health began.

US and South Korean intelligence believe he suffered a serious health crisis in mid-August, and South Korean officials have said he underwent brain surgery but was recovering.

Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso said in late October that Kim was probably in hospital but still capable of making decisions.

The Tokyo Broadcasting System, citing a US intelligence source, reported November 9 that Kim had a second stroke in late October, affecting his speech and causing him difficulty moving his left hand and leg.

The North Korean government, which vehemently denies the reports of Kim's illness, released photographs Wednesday of Kim touring a library in the city of Kanggye in the northern province of Kagang.

He is shown in a fur cap and heavy winter coat, watching people use computers at the library.

Earlier, undated photographs have shown him visiting military units and watching a football match, appearing in good health with a full head of hair. In one set of photographs he was shown clapping his hands.

But the authenticity of the photographs have been viewed with skepticism outside of North Korea, keeping doubts alive about Kim's condition and his degree of control over the country.

The State Department appeared perplexed when it noted that reports of Kim's ill health coincided with a toughening in the North Korean position towards six-country negotiations for its nuclear disarmament.

In a television interview on September 23, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice figuratively threw up her hands when asked whether his reported poor health was hurting the negotiations.

"Something is going on in North Korea. I don't think any of us know precisely what. We are reading all of the reports that you've talked about," Rice said.

Christopher Hill, her chief negotiator with North Korea, acknowledged a day earlier that the troubles in the negotiations may be linked to intelligence leaks that Kim had suffered a stroke.

"It's hard to tell," Hill said.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: DBA on December 22, 2008, 23:44:34
If that isn't a doctored photo I'm eating my shirt.

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi195.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fz181%2FMSantor%2Fjong385_427633a.jpg&hash=bb5bba6f54ba6065768dc9df1847c3bf)

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5101905.ece

The people to the immediate left and right have heels together and pants that widen at the thighs. He has legs apart and straight pants. The second person to his right with straight pants and heels together has a fairly straight shadow. The missing stripe can actually be seen in other photographs and is just a feature of the center part of the stage. The distance each is standing away from the stage also changes the shadow. Looks ok to me, or at least the V and ll shadows aren't indicators of a cut and paste job.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on January 15, 2009, 15:06:40
Greatttt...so in 40 years if the DPRK is still around, we're gonna have another spoiled brat at the helm of this pariah state.  ::)

Quote
Report: NKorea's Kim taps 3rd son as successor

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has named his youngest son to succeed him as head of the Stalinist nation, a South Korean news agency report said Thursday.

But another report said his eldest son was poised to step in as a figurehead, reflecting uncertainty over who will succeed Kim, who turns 67 next month.

Rumors have swirled for years that Kim would nominate one of his three sons as a successor, following the tradition begun when he inherited the leadership from his father, North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung.

Reports that Kim Jong Il suffered a stroke in mid-August heightened speculation about a successor.

Kim will hand leadership over to Swiss-educated Kim Jong Un, who is in his mid-20s, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said, citing an unidentified intelligence source. The powerful Workers' Party was informed about a week ago, the report said.

Jong Un was born to Kim Jong Il's late wife Ko Yong Hi. Ko had another son, Kim Jong Chol, but the father reportedly doesn't favor the middle son as a possible leader.

The National Intelligence Service, Seoul's top spy agency, said it could not confirm the report.

Cheong Seong-chang, a North Korea specialist at the independent Sejong Institute, said the reported choice of Jong Un seemed to be a feasible scenario.

"Jong Un has leadership (qualities) and a desire to grab power," Cheong told The Associated Press, adding that he thought he was the most qualified of the three sons to lead North Korea at a difficult time.

Japan's Yomiuri newspaper, however, reported earlier in the day on its Web site that Kim's eldest son, Kim Jong Nam, is expected to serve as a nominal head of state, citing unnamed U.S. intelligence sources.

Kim Jong Nam, 38, had long been considered the favorite to succeed his father — until he was caught trying to enter Japan on a fake passport in 2001, reportedly telling Japanese officials he wanted to visit Tokyo Disneyland.

His mother is the late actress Sung Hae Rim.

Yomiuri said Jang Song Thaek, Kim Jong Il's brother-in-law, has been assigned to look after the eldest son and is playing a central role in building a collective leadership system to back him up.

Kim Jong Il took over as leader when his father died in 1994 in communism's first hereditary power succession and rules the country with absolute authority.

North Korea has denied that its leader was ever ill, and since early October has sent a steady stream of photos depicting an active and healthy Kim making visits to farms, factories and military units. The photos and reports typically are undated, and South Korean officials say they cannot confirm the visits.

AP
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: old medic on January 17, 2009, 21:44:15

N. Korea says it has 'weaponized' its plutonium stocks
A U.S. scholar who met with officials in North Korea says the amount is sufficient to build four or five nuclear warheads. Meanwhile, its army issues a new threat against South Korea.
By Barbara Demick
January 18, 2009
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-korea-nuclear18-2009jan18,0,7624184.story

Quote
Reporting from Beijing -- North Korean officials claim they have "weaponized" their stockpile of plutonium, a U.S. scholar said Saturday, in a development that could badly complicate talks to end the regime's nuclear weapons program.

Selig Harrison, speaking to reporters after he arrived in Beijing from Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, said that the North Koreans had considerably hardened their negotiating positions and that the prospects for President-elect Barack Obama to make a breakthrough in talks were "gloomy."

 North Korea's belligerent mood was underscored by a fresh threat Saturday against South Korea.

A North Korean army spokesman warned in a statement delivered over the official media that South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and his "puppet military war hawks" had "driven our revolutionary armed forces to take a strong step to wipe them out."

The North's blustery propaganda machine issues so many threats that they are normally shrugged off, but this one was unusual in that it came directly from the army, which does not usually issue statements.

Harrison believes that hard-liners within the North Korean military have strengthened their hand recently because of the poor health of leader Kim Jong Il. The 67-year-old is reported to be recovering from a stroke suffered last summer.

"He is now making the key decisions, but he is not dealing on a day-to-day basis with details," Harrison said. "This helps to explain the shift to a much harder line on nuclear negotiations."

Harrison is a former journalist who has sometimes been used by Pyongyang to relay messages to Washington. He has traveled frequently to North Korea since 1972 and is one of the few who has interviewed Kim Il Sung, the country's late founder and father of the current leader.

Among the officials Harrison met with over four days in Pyongyang were Li Gun, a senior Foreign Ministry official, and Ri Chan-bok, a general and spokesman for the military.

The North Koreans told him that they had already "weaponized" their stockpile of 67.8 pounds of plutonium. The amount of plutonium is sufficient to build four or five nuclear warheads to be mounted on missiles.

In October, North Korea had disclosed the amount of plutonium in its stockpile, but it had been hoped that the plutonium had not yet been developed into weapons and therefore could be more easily given up in negotiations.

"The North Koreans are saying in effect that 'we are a nuclear weapons state' and you have to deal with us on that basis," Harrison said.

The North Koreans also told him that they wouldn't consider dismantling their nuclear program until after the United States normalized diplomatic relations; that they want construction to resume on a light-water nuclear reactor to provide electricity; and that they would demand inspections of U.S. military bases in South Korea if they allow inspections in their own country.

"They have raised the bar," Harrison said.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Sonnyjim on January 18, 2009, 17:53:33
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090118/korea_military_090118/20090118?hub=World

For anybody interested.

SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea said its army remained on alert Sunday, a day after North Korea threatened military action in response to Seoul's hard-line stance against its communist regime.

The latest harsh rhetoric from the isolated regime appeared aimed at heightening tensions on the divided peninsula and could be a test for Barack Obama days before he is sworn in as the new U.S. president.

The North's Korean People's Army called South Korean President Lee Myung-bak a "traitor" and accused him of preparing a military provocation, according to a statement carried Saturday by the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency.

Pyongyang said it was adopting "an all-out confrontational posture" and warned of a "strong military retaliatory step." South Korea immediately put its forces on alert.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on January 18, 2009, 23:55:36
The Army directly issuing propaganda and threats? This sounds like the start of the end game predicted by Robert Kaplan in the October 2006 issue of Atlantic Monthly: When North Korea Falls (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200610/kaplan-korea).

Who is going to answer that phone at 0300hr? (And more importantly, what will they say?)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Sonnyjim on February 01, 2009, 19:27:19
North Korea hails 'invincible' army, possible war
 
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has hailed his troops as "invincible" yesterday as state media warned of a possible military conflict with South Korea amid heightened tensions between the neighbors.
Kim expressed confidence in his soldiers' ability to "shatter any surprise invasion of the enemy at a single blow" as he inspected an army unit, the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

"The KPA (Korean People's Army)... has grown to be the invincible revolutionary ranks, all members of which devotedly defend the Party and the leader," it quoted Kim as saying, without giving a date for the visit.

The KCNA dispatch came days after North Korea scrapped all political and military agreements with the South, further raising tensions between the two sides, which technically remain at war as the 1950-1953 Korean War ended without a peace treaty.

"In Korea in the state of armistice confrontation means escalated tension and it may lead to an uncontrollable and unavoidable military conflict and a war," Rodong Sinmun, the North's ruling communist party paper, said yesterday......

Full Link:
http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=853522&lang=eng_news&cate_img=logo_world&cate_rss=WORLD_eng



I know that there have been threats thrown around for the past decades, and specifically since 2002, but with the ailing health of Kim Jong would he be willing to throw his entire Army at the South on his deathbed? After reading a few books on this guy, I wouldn't leave it out of the equation.




 
 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: old medic on February 03, 2009, 09:04:52
N. Korea gearing up to fire missile, says official
Tue. Feb. 3 2009
The Associated Press

Quote
SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea appears to be preparing to test-fire a ballistic missile that could be capable of striking the western United States, a South Korean official and reports said Tuesday.

The move comes amid heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, with the North declaring last week that it was abandoning pacts designed to prevent hostilities with the South.

The two Koreas technically remain at war because their three-year conflict ended in 1953 with a truce, not a peace treaty. Relations have been tense since President Lee Myung-bak took office a year ago with a tough new policy on Pyongyang, and rhetoric from the North Korean capital has escalated in recent days.

Analysts say the communist regime is trying to attract President Barack Obama's attention as he formulates his North Korea policy. Obama told Lee that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would visit Seoul in mid-February.

South Korean intelligence has spotted a train carrying a long, cylinder-shaped object -- believed to be a long-range missile -- heading to Dongchang-ni, a new missile launch site on North Korea's west coast, the Yonhap news agency reported.

Intelligence indicates the missile is likely a long-range Taepodong-2 model, Yonhap said. The North could complete preparations for a missile launch within one or two months, the report said, citing unidentified officials.

South Korea's Defense Ministry declined to comment on Yonhap's report. But an intelligence official confirmed there are indications Pyongyang may test-fire a missile.

"There are signs North Korea is preparing for a missile launch," the official told The Associated Press. He declined to give any further details and spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the issue.

The Taepodong-2 -- considered the North's most advanced rocket -- has a range of more than 6,700 kilometres, putting Alaska in range.

However, the missile being readied for a launch may be an upgrade of the Taepodong-2 missile, said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University. The North reportedly has been trying to develop an advanced version of Taepodong-2 capable of striking the west coast of the mainland United States.

Japanese government officials also cited preparations for the launch of an upgraded Taepodong-2, the Sankei newspaper reported in Tokyo. Officials at Japan's Defense and Foreign ministries could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Any missile launch would be aimed at drawing Washington's attention as well as pressuring Seoul into softening its policy on Pyongyang, said Park Jung-chul, a North Korea expert at the government-funded Korea Institute for National Unification.

"It's designed to draw U.S. interest at a time when the North's nuclear program is being sidelined by the global financial crisis and the conflict in the Gaza Strip," Park said.

Koh said he doubted Pyongyang would fire a missile anytime soon because such a test could derail its goal of establishing relations with the Obama administration.

"North Korea has nothing to gain" from a missile launch right now -- but could fire off a missile if negotiations with Washington do not go well, Koh said.

North Korea's clandestine missile program has been a key regional concern, along with its nuclear weapons program. In 2006, the North launched a Taepodong-2 missile from its east coast site in Musudan-ni. The test was considered a failure because the rocket plunged into the ocean shortly after liftoff.

Last year, North Korea tested the engine of a long-range missile, indicating progress in developing a new missile, U.S. and South Korean officials said.

North Korea is not believed to have acquired the technology to develop a nuclear warhead light enough to be mounted on a missile, another South Korean intelligence official said. He did not give his name, citing department policy.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on February 18, 2009, 17:17:40
So Pyongyang has been cheating on its so-called disarmament initiatives the whole time that it was making a big show of blowing up that tower last year? Hopefully US/Allied intelligence services were already aware of this.

Quote
N. Korea Running Secret Nuclear Plant: Paper (http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=3952725&c=ASI&s=TOP)
By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Published: 17 Feb 21:38 EST (02:38 GMT) 

SEOUL, - North Korea is operating a secret underground plant to make nuclear bombs from highly enriched uranium (HEU) despite denying that such a program exists, a South Korean newspaper said Feb. 18.

Dong-A Ilbo, quoting an unnamed senior government source, said South Korea and the United States have shared intelligence on the plant in Yongbyon district.

Seoul's National Intelligence Service refused comment on the report.

"Despite North Korea's denial that uranium enrichment programs exist, South Korea and the United States have shared information that North Korea has built an uranium enrichment plant which is in operation," the source told Dong-A.

Dong-A said both countries believe the facility can produce HEU for nuclear bombs. It said the plant is located at Sowi-ri in Yongbyon, North Pyongan Province, where the North's plutonium-based nuclear complex is situated.

The source was quoted as declining to give further details such as the technological level and the output of highly enriched uranium.

The North in 1994 signed a deal with the United States to shut down its admitted plutonium-producing reactor complex at Yongbyon in return for various incentives.

Washington's claims in 2002 of a secret HEU program torpedoed the 1994 deal and sparked a new nuclear crisis. Pyongyang rejected the U.S. allegations and restarted its reactor in protest.

A fresh round of nuclear disarmament talks began in 2003, involving both Koreas, the U.S., China, Japan and Russia. The talks focused on more pressing concerns about the plutonium program, which fuelled a 2006 atomic bomb test.

Yongbyon has been shut down in return for energy aid as part of a 2007 pact. But talks on the next stage - full denuclearization in return for diplomatic ties with Washington and a formal peace pact - are stalled by disputes over verifying the North's acknowledged nuclear activities.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who visits Seoul on Feb. 19 and 20, told a Senate confirmation hearing last month Washington is still concerned about the HEU program.

"Our goal is to end the North Korean nuclear program - both the plutonium reprocessing program and the highly enriched uranium program, which there is reason to believe exists, although never quite verified," she said.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Rifleman62 on February 18, 2009, 18:12:06
And, only reported by FOX News  http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,495264,00.html  so far:

Report: N. Korea Plans to Launch Long-Range Missile Within 2 Weeks
Wednesday, February 18, 2009

North Korea plans to test a missile capable of reaching the continental U.S. within the next two to three weeks, Seoul's defense chief reportedly said Wednesday, as South Korea and the U.S. warned Pyongyang of sanctions and other consequences.

Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee made the prediction during a closed-door report to ruling Grand National Party leaders, Yonhap news agency said, citing unnamed participants.

The ministry said it cannot confirm the report. GNP spokeswoman Cho Yoon-sun was not available for comment.

North Korea is believed to be gearing up to test-fire its longest-range missile, the Taepodong-2, moving the rocket and other equipment to a launch site on the country's northeast coast. South Korean media have said a firing could come this month.

"They appear to be serious. This is no bluff," a senior U.S. Defense official told FOX News. "It could look like an attack on the U.S., but it won't be."

The U.S. Navy has put its Aegis radar anti-missile defense system on alert but has stopped short of putting the interceptor missiles on high alert. U.S. intelligence has seen North Koreans move the components for a missile launch into place in recent days.

Earlier Wednesday, Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan warned the North that a missile launch will "inevitably" entail sanctions because it would be a violation of a 2006 U.N. Security Council resolution banning Pyongyang from pursuing missile or nuclear programs.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, while visiting Japan as part of her Asian trip, warned Tuesday that a missile launch "would be very unhelpful in moving our relationship forward."

Amid growing international pressure to drop the plan, Pyongyang said earlier this week that it has the right to "space development" — a term it has used in the past to disguise a missile test as a satellite launch.

When Pyongyang conducted a ballistic missile test in 1998, it claimed it put a satellite into orbit. The regime carried out its first-ever nuclear test blast in 2006, and claims it has atomic bombs.

"If the North launches a missile or a satellite, it would be a violation of the U.N. Security Council resolution," Yu told a forum organized by the Korea Foundation, a government agency that promotes exchange with foreign countries. "It can't help but inevitably bring sanctions."

Yu said the North's nuclear capabilities make its missile program all the more worrisome.

"If nuclear capabilities are combined with long-range missile capabilities, it would have a very serious effect on international peace and security and pose decisive threats to neighboring countries and South Korea as well," he said.

North Korea has not shown any direct reaction to the warnings from Seoul and Washington.

But Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency said Tuesday the country won't give in to "threat and blackmail from the U.S.," accusing Washington of planning to invade the North — an allegation that Washington and Seoul have long denied.

International talks to rid the North of nuclear programs are stalled over Pyongyang's refusal to verify its past atomic activities. The negotiations bring together China, Japan, the two Koreas, Russia and the United States.

On Wednesday, South Korea's Dong-a Ilbo newspaper reported that the North has been secretly running an underground uranium enrichment facility near the country's main nuclear complex in Yongbyon, north of Pyongyang. The paper cited an unnamed senior South Korean government official.

Yu said he "knows of nothing" regarding the report, and declined further comment, citing the sensitivity of intelligence matters.

The current nuclear standoff flared in late 2002 after Washington raised allegations that Pyongyang had a clandestine nuclear program based on enriched uranium in addition to a separate one based on plutonium.

North Korea has strongly denied the allegations.

Amid the tensions, South Korea and the United States plan to conduct an annual military exercise next month.

The drill, dubbed Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, is to run from March 9-20 and involve about 26,000 American and 20,000 South Korean soldiers and a U.S. aircraft carrier, officials from both sides said Wednesday.

North Korea calls such drills a rehearsal for invasion, despite repeated assurances from the U.S. and South Korea that the exercises are purely defensive.

FOX News' Jennifer Griffin and Justin Fishel and the Associated Press contributed to this report.


If the "missile capable of reaching the continental U.S." drops short, will it land Dawn Blacks riding (even if she goes Provincial)? Plenty of people in Canada seem to often forget that we share the continent with the USA.







Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: old medic on February 20, 2009, 00:54:48
Clinton says North Korea's Kim Jong Il may step down soon

The secretary of State says the U.S. and allies are trying to figure out how to respond to a change of power. Experts fear a new regime could be even more belligerent.
By Paul Richter
6:40 PM PST, February 19, 2009
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-clinton-korea20-2009feb20,0,6959609.story

Quote
Reporting from Seoul -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday that U.S. officials and allies were scrambling to prepare for the possible departure from power of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, a development she said threatened increased turbulence in one of the world's most heavily armed regions.

Arriving in Seoul for security talks, Clinton said persistent signs within the secretive Pyongyang government suggested that a change of leadership might be at hand. She said the South Korean government had been especially concerned about possible developments inside its impoverished northern neighbor.

"Everybody's trying to read the tea leaves about what's happening and what's likely to occur," Clinton told reporters on her plane during a flight from Jakarta, Indonesia, to Seoul, broaching a topic that has rarely been discussed publicly by U.S. officials.

Clinton said that even a peaceful succession "creates more uncertainty, and it could create conditions that are even more provocative" as the ascendant leadership tries to consolidate power.

The comments from the top American diplomat are certain to provoke a sharp reaction from Pyongyang. Hours earlier, the North Korean regime stepped up its confrontational rhetoric, saying its forces were "fully ready" for war with South Korea.

Clinton was on the fifth day of a weeklong trip to East Asia focused in part on what to do about North Korea, which is believed to have a handful of nuclear weapons.

U.S. intelligence agencies reported in August that the 67-year-old "Dear Leader," who has led the country since 1994, may have suffered a stroke or another serious health setback. Some observers played down the report and some U.S. officials have said since then that they believed Kim was once again in charge, if not at full capacity.

But Clinton's comments suggested that there is now a widespread conviction that Kim is on the way out, and that the South Koreans, Chinese, Americans and others are formulating plans on how to deal with the successor regime.

Signs of disarray in the North have included the firing this year of the defense minister and the military chief of staff. The promotion of one of Kim's three sons was announced and then withdrawn, U.S. officials noticed.

Some observers see another clue in the sudden breakdown of multinational talks over dismantlement of Pyongyang's nuclear program, and believe the regime's belligerent new tone may reflect the influence of emerging leaders.

Analysts have offered various possibilities about what the new leadership might look like. Some say that Kim's brother-in-law, or one of his three sons, could be a part of a new ruling group, but perhaps only as a figurehead.

Many experts fear that the successor regime, which will control the world's fifth-largest army, could be even more intractable than Kim's has been.

Clinton said the United States and its allies were trying to determine how to form a "common front" to restart the stalled nuclear negotiations, but pointed out that North Korea "has shown very little willingness to get back on track."

The fact the north's leadership is now "somewhat unclear" has compounded other difficulties of working with the regime, making diplomacy "a difficult undertaking," Clinton said.

The dangers of dealing with North Korea have been highlighted in recent weeks by reports that the regime is preparing to test a Taepodong 2 missile that some believe is potentially capable of striking U.S. territory. North Korea isn't yet able to mount a nuclear weapon on the tip of its missiles, experts say.

The regime has made a series of threats against South Korea and the United States through its official news agency. Michael Green, a top Asia expert in the Bush administration who is now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said this month that the chances for violence between North and South Korea were increasing in the disputed waters west of the peninsula.

Obama administration officials have acknowledged that the outlook for dealing with North Korea is not encouraging. Advisors have said that the general gloom surrounding the issue has made it more difficult for the administration to find a special envoy to seek solutions. Clinton said the administration was also thinking about how to formulate a new international effort to deal with North Korea's ballistic missile program. The North continues to make progress on longer-range missiles, and secret sales of its missile technology to other governments is a major worry for world powers.

Clinton said the missile issue was one of "great concern." She said she wanted to work with other countries to decide whether it would best be handled through the existing six-country forum or through a new approach.

One of Clinton's goals in her one-day visit to Seoul is to convince the beleaguered government of President Lee Myung-bak that the United States intends to stand up to the North, despite its promises that it will seek greater diplomatic engagement with adversary regimes.

Lee, a conservative, has incurred the wrath of the North by cutting off cash aid on grounds that Pyongyang is not living up to its commitments to the North-South peace effort. Many analysts believe that the North's recent threatening behavior has been aimed at undermining Lee, who is also in trouble politically at home because of the damaging effects of the world economic crisis in South Korea.

Clinton will fly to Beijing on Friday for talks with the Chinese government. She is interested in broadening the U.S.-Chinese diplomacy to put new emphasis on noneconomic issues, including climate change. But her comments Thursday underscored that discussions about North Korea will also be central in China.

U.S. officials believe the Chinese have influence with their smaller neighbor, and want Beijing to try to force more cooperation.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Blackadder1916 on February 20, 2009, 12:36:54
Kim Jong Il anoints next leader of North Korea - his youngest son
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5766802.ece
Richard Lloyd Parry in Tokyo From The Times February 20, 2009

It is one of the most powerful and dangerous jobs in the world and, for decades, foreign politicians, academics and spies have speculated over who will one day succeed to it. It brings with it absolute power over 24 million people, the command of a fanatical, nuclear-equipped army of a million men and a brutal state security apparatus. And yesterday the man who is likely to inherit it emerged from the shadows – a little-known 25-year-old with a European education and fondness for sushi, German cars and baseball.

Reports from North and South Korea yesterday appeared to confirm what until now has been only rumour – that Kim Jong Un, the youngest son of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, is being lined up to inherit his father’s title. It would be the second hereditary succession in the last remaining totalitarian communist dictatorship – and sets the scene for a period of extreme instability in one of the world’s most unpredictable countries.

One of his closest and most hardline generals yesterday promised the army’s loyalty to the “bloodline” of the senior Mr Kim, a virtual guarantee that one of his children will succeed him.“We will firmly carry on the blood-line of Mangyongdae and Mount Paektu with our guns, faithfully upholding the leadership of our supreme commander,” Pak Jae Kyong, a senior general of the North Korean Defence Ministry, was quoted in the state media as having said at a recent rally for Kim Jong Il’s birthday. Mount Paektu is the sacred mountain where Kim Jong Il, according to the cult of personality which surrounds him, was born 67 years ago. Mangyongdae was the family home of his late father, the founder of North Korea, Kim Il Sung.

The South Korean news agency Yonhap quoted sources in Beijing saying that Jong Un has registered as a candidate in elections on March 8 for North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly – the precursor to his public emergence as his father’s successor.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Hamish Seggie on February 20, 2009, 12:47:37
So what will his nickname be?
If Daddy was the Dear Leader, will he be the Dear Leader Junior?
 >:D
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on February 20, 2009, 14:22:08
So what will his nickname be?
If Daddy was the Dear Leader, will he be the Dear Leader Junior?
 >:D

Nahh..he will just be the next RONREY (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gQtp2Pg_1I) leader. ;)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Hamish Seggie on February 20, 2009, 15:49:52
Nahh..he will just be the next RONREY (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gQtp2Pg_1I) leader. ;)

I'm so ronry, I'm so ronry!

I'm hoping Dear Leader Junior wears those hideous glasses too.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on March 01, 2009, 16:26:28
It appears that the US could shoot down that soon-to-be-launched-North Korean missile if so ordered by Obama, according to the links in the quoted post from another forum below:

Quote
http://closingvelocity.typepad.com/closing_velocity/


This ABC News report is certainly a milestone --- I believe that is the first time I've seen the high success rates of our missile defense system reported so matter-of-factly by the MSM. Why just yesterday it seems, the MSM was still in the knee-jerk missile defense skepticism mode it had adopted long ago during the dark Reagan years.

One day missile defense is a wasteful relic of the Cold War, and the next it's on alert ready to save the world. Funny, that:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBGYWcw3X1s

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 01, 2009, 16:51:32
The Japanese are considering a shoot down. They dont like these tests and would like to send a message to Dear leader.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on March 02, 2009, 13:10:27
post deleted. wrong thread.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on March 08, 2009, 18:31:16
So Kim Jong Il finally allowed some freedoms or is this just another jury-rigged election to give the appearance of legtitimacy?   ::)

From: Agence France-Presse - 3/8/2009 12:10 PM GMT

Quote
NKoreans vote in election seen as clue to succession
North Koreans voted on Sunday in elections for a new parliament which analysts say could pave the way for an eventual transition of power in the impoverished communist nation.

The vote is also being closely monitored around the world for clues as to whether the state, which tested an atomic weapon in October 2006, will soften its stance in international negotiations and dismantle its nuclear arsenal.

Voting to the rubber-stamp parliament did not take place in 2008 when its five-year term expired amid fevered speculation over the health of reclusive leader Kim Jong-Il .

The North's television showed soldiers in uniform using both hands to politely raise and drop a ballot into a box at a Pyongyang polling station where Kim was standing. It said they were "voting for" Kim.

Kim himself "voted for" an army officer at a different district in Pyongyang, said the official Korean Central News Agency which reported a 93.1 percent turnout of registered voters at 2:00pm (0500 GMT).

Polling stations stayed open from 9:00am to 6:00pm, with election results likely to be announced Monday, Seoul officials said.

"All the voters are going to the polls to consolidate the people's power as firm as a rock," the agency said, quoting the Central Election Commission.


"I am filled with joy to think that I am able to contribute to the strengthening of the revolutionary sovereign power through my vote," Park Mi-Hyang, a 22-year-old worker in Pyongyang, told Kyodo news agency.

Seoul and Washington say Kim Jong-Il has recovered well from a stroke he suffered in August and is in control, but his health and age have inevitably led to talk abroad about who will succeed him.

He inherited power from his father, Kim Il-Sung, in the communist world's only dynastic succession. But it is unclear whether he wants one of his three sons to succeed him -- and if so, which one.

"Kim Jong-Il will turn 72 when the next election comes, and given his ageing, it is likely that an idea about a post-Kim era will be reflected in the elections this time," Kim Yong-Hyun, a North Korea expert and professor at Dongguk University in Seoul, told AFP.

Seoul's Yonhap news agency has said the leader has named his youngest son, Jong-Un, as his successor and that the 25-year-old is running in the election.

The outcome is not in doubt -- candidates are picked by the government or ruling party, and only one stands in each district.

The incoming assembly will re-elect Kim, 67, who is standing in a military district, as chairman of the National Defence Commission.

The commission, which supervises the 1.2 million-strong military, is the North's most powerful organ, and its new line-up will be seen as an indicator of who is moving up the ladder of power and influence.


A new parliament is often the prelude to a cabinet reshuffle.

Assembly members commonly hold key posts in the ruling communist party as well as in the military and government, Seoul officials say.

Dongguk University's Kim said the outcome of the election would not necessarily manifest a father-to-son succession but could see "a generation change" in the top ranks.

"The North will likely bring in the young to replace the elderly with a future possible power transition in mind," he said, adding Pyongyang's power elite was overhauled in the 1998 and 2003 polls.

Kim Jong-Il last month called the elections "significant" in terms of reviving the economy by 2012, the 100th anniversary of the birth of his father, the nation's founding president.

Seoul's state-backed Institute for National Security Strategy says it expects the North to use the polls to promote people with specialist knowledge in an attempt to save the economy.

(...)
 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: milnews.ca on March 09, 2009, 08:05:22
Seems airlines (including Air Canada) are re-routing flights over N.Korea because Dear Leader "could not guarantee aircraft safety when in North Korean air space because of a joint military exercise by the US and South Korea due to begin this week."  This, from the Dear Leader's news service (http://www.kcna.co.jp/item/2009/200903/news05/20090305-17ee.html) (5 Mar 09, highlights mine):
Quote
.... Under the touch-and-go situation where the north and the south are in full combat readiness and level their rifles and artillery pieces at each other, no one can guess what will trigger off a war .... Under the situation prevailing in the Peninsula no one knows what military conflicts will be touched off by the reckless war exercises of the U.S. and the puppet clique for a war of aggression against the DPRK. It is, therefore, compelled to declare that security cannot be guaranteed for south Korean civil airplanes flying through the territorial air of our side and its vicinity, its territorial air and its vicinity above the East Sea of Korea, in particular, while the military exercises are under way ....[/b]
More here (http://atwonline.com/news/story.html?storyID=15845) and here (http://www.impactpub.com.au/micebtn/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3685&Itemid=50).
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Hamish Seggie on March 09, 2009, 09:47:46
You know it really puzzles me why we let people like Kim Jong Il, Sadaam Hussein (although he got what he deserved) and a few other tin pot dictators stay around.
We let Pol Pot murder 3 million Cambodes, Karadic et al murder Bosnians and Croatians, and various other ne'er do wells murder, pillage and rape at will, including Darfur and Zimbabwe.. Yet many people in the West have this idea that to intervene is wrong and when things go sour, they whine and belly ache we are doing nothing!
I'm shaking my head.... am I the only one who thinks that sometimes you have to take a stand and say "STOP...this is wrong!!"
I realize we do not have the means necessary to help everyone....but where are the sheepdogs? Have they retired and been replaced by lapdogs?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on March 09, 2009, 10:32:47
While I agree in principle, Old Soldier, just look at the reaction in the United States to actually taking a stand in Iraq (and the silence following their victory there) or how Canadians are being told about our efforts in Afghanistan; while each death is obsessively covered by the MSM, little or no mention is made about building Route Summit, micro loans, supporting education, health care, professionalizing the government bureaucracy with the SAT-A, etc. etc.

Frankly, it seems that most people want to proclaim their moral superioraty (i.e. "Free Tibet" stickers, or protesting the genocide in Darfur) without having to actually do something. Where is the new "Mac-Pap" battalion of volunteers going to wage war against the Janjaweed, for example?

No, far easier and safer to talk about it, but heven help those people who actually go and do something about it (Governments and their armed forces).
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Hamish Seggie on March 09, 2009, 10:40:47
While I agree in principle, Old Soldier, just look at the reaction in the United States to actually taking a stand in Iraq (and the silence following their victory there) or how Canadians are being told about our efforts in Afghanistan; while each death is obsessively covered by the MSM, little or no mention is made about building Route Summit, micro loans, supporting education, health care, professionalizing the government bureaucracy with the SAT-A, etc. etc.

Frankly, it seems that most people want to proclaim their moral superioraty (i.e. "Free Tibet" stickers, or protesting the genocide in Darfur) without having to actually do something. Where is the new "Mac-Pap" battalion of volunteers going to wage war against the Janjaweed, for example?

No, far easier and safer to talk about it, but heven help those people who actually go and do something about it (Governments and their armed forces).

You are preaching to the choir here my learned colleague. ( I learned the word "learned" in court..ahhhh)
It seems that sheepdogs are not in favor in North America. You are right...it's far safer to moan and whine about the sad state of affairs than actually DO anything to help. And now I see Brad Pitt pressing the US government over Hurricane Katrina.
Question...and I know we are off the topic, so move this if you feel necessary:

Question: Have those "superstars" (Bono, PItt, Clooney) donated any of the exhorbitant sums of money they receive for ACTING to their causes?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: milnews.ca on March 09, 2009, 10:48:47
Question: Have those "superstars" (Bono, PItt, Clooney) donated any of the exhorbitant sums of money they receive for ACTING to their causes?

Especially given their grasp of the situation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QjOI7bj5ks
right?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: old medic on March 09, 2009, 13:57:02
An Associated Press article - disclaimer SIC: US troop numbers appear to be a typo-error

copy at: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090308/korea_satellite_090309/20090309?hub=World

N. Korea threatens 'war' if satellite is shot down
Mar. 9 2009
The Associated Press
Quote
SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea put its armed forces on standby for war Monday and threatened retaliation against anyone seeking to stop the regime from launching a satellite into space in the latest barrage of threats from the communist regime.

Pyongyang also cut off a military hot line with the South, causing a complete shutdown of their border and stranding hundreds of South Koreans working in an industrial zone in the North Korean border city of Kaesong.

Monday's warning came as U.S. and South Korean troops kicked off annual war games across the South, exercises the North has condemned as preparation for an invasion. Pyongyang last week threatened South Korean passenger planes flying near its airspace during the drills.

Analysts say the regime is trying to grab President Barack Obama's attention as his administration formulates its North Korea policy.

The North also indicated it was pushing ahead with plans to fire a communications satellite into space, a provocative launch neighboring governments believe could be a cover for a missile test.

U.S. and Japanese officials have suggested they could shoot down a North Korean missile if necessary, further incensing Pyongyang.

"Shooting our satellite for peaceful purposes will precisely mean a war," the general staff of the North's military said in a statement carried Monday by the official Korean Central News Agency.

Any interception will draw "a just retaliatory strike operation not only against all the interceptor means involved but against the strongholds" of the U.S., Japan and South Korea, it said.

The North has ordered military personnel "fully combat ready" for war, KCNA said in a separate dispatch.

Obama's special envoy on North Korea again urged Pyongyang not to fire a missile, which he said would be an "extremely ill-advised" move.

"Whether they describe it as a satellite launch or something else makes no difference" since both would violate a UN Security Council resolution banning the North from ballistic activity, Stephen Bosworth told reporters after talks with his South Korean counterpart.

South Korea's Defense Ministry spokesman Won Tae-jae downplayed the North's threats as "rhetoric" but said the country's military was ready to deal with any contingencies.

Analysts say a satellite or missile launch could occur late this month or in early April when the North's new legislature, elected Sunday, is expected to convene its first session to confirm Kim Jong Il as leader.

Ties between the two Koreas have plunged since South Korean President Lee Myung-bak took office a year ago halting aid unless the North fulfills an international promise to dismantle its nuclear program.

An angered North Korea suspended the reconciliation process and key joint projects with Seoul, and has stepped up the stream of belligerence toward the South.

Severing the military hot line for the duration of the 12-day joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises leaves the two Koreas without any means of communication at a time when even an accidental skirmish could develop into a full-blown battle.

The two Koreas use the hot line to exchange information about goods and people crossing into Kaesong. Its suspension halted traffic and stranded about 570 South Koreans who were working in Kaesong.

About 80 had planned to return to the South on Monday but were stuck there overnight since they cannot travel after nightfall. Earlier, some 700 South Koreans who intended to go to Kaesong on Monday were unable to cross the border, the Unification Ministry said.

All South Koreans in Kaesong are safe, the ministry said as it called on Pyongyang to restore the hot line immediately.

The two Koreas technically remain in a state of war since their three-year conflict ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty, in 1953. Hundreds of thousands of troops are amassed on each side of the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas, making the Korean border one of the world's most heavily armed.

The United States, which has 28,5000 troops in South Korea, routinely holds military exercises with the South. Pyongyang routinely condemns them as rehearsals for invasion despite assurances from Seoul and Washington that the drills are defensive.

The exercises, which will involve some 26,000 U.S. troops, an unspecified number of South Korean soldiers and a U.S. aircraft carrier, are "not tied in any way to any political or real world event," Gen. Walter Sharp, commander of the U.S. troops, said Monday.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Hamish Seggie on March 09, 2009, 14:32:11
After reading some comments on another thread not associated with army.ca,k I can only conclude some people learned international relations from Sesame Street or Romper Room. :D ;D
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on March 09, 2009, 14:49:16
After reading some comments on another thread not associated with army.ca,k I can only conclude some people learned international relations from Sesame Street or Romper Room. :D ;D

Say, OldSolduer you seen this link  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHkWv1vHtHk) about the "Dear Great Leader" yet?  ;D He's so RONRY(yes I know the real one is married).
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Hamish Seggie on March 09, 2009, 14:59:50
Say, OldSolduer you seen this link  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHkWv1vHtHk) about the "Dear Great Leader" yet?  ;D He's so RONRY(yes I know the real one is married).

Good one.....he's a lunatic....the 600 pound gorilla in the room no one wants to talk about.
.50 cal...... :sniper:
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: old medic on March 09, 2009, 20:20:32
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-korea-war-games10-2009mar10,0,6470939.story

U.S., South Korea open war games; North Korea in combat mode

By John M. Glionna and Ju-min Park
10:02 AM PDT, March 9, 2009
Quote
Reporting from Seoul -- The U.S. and South Korea today began annual war games involving tens of thousands of troops, prompting North Korea to call its military into "full combat readiness," saying it views the joint land and sea exercises as a prelude to an invasion.

The hostilities raised tensions on the Korean peninsula to their highest point in weeks as the U.S. and its allies anxiously awaited North Korea's test launch of its most advanced long-range missile.

North Korean officials late last week declared that the isolationist nation could not guarantee the safety of South Korean passenger jets flying near its airspace during the 12-day exercises.

Several airlines immediately announced that they would avoid North Korean airspace as a precaution. North Korea also cut off a military hotline, leaving North and South without means of communication during the escalating brinkmanship.

South Korea today expressed regret over the suspension of what it called a crucial channel of contact. Officials said 726 South Koreans also were barred from crossing into North Korea to the jointly run Kaesong Industrial Complex.

"We, the government, feel sorry that North Korea continues to take regrettable measures, although we are reacting with patience," said South Korea's Ministry of Unification spokesman Kim Ho-nyeon.

Meanwhile, U.S. military officials here tried to diffuse tensions while stressing that the exercises, which will be larger in scale and duration than in previous years, would go on as scheduled.

"The primary goal is to ensure the command is ready to defend the [Republic of Korea] in the event it becomes necessary," said U.S. Army Gen. Walter L. Sharp, commander of U.S. forces in South Korea.

He insisted that the war games were "a routine training exercise that takes place every year at about the same time. It is not tied in any way to any political or real-world event."

Stephen Bosworth, the new U.S. envoy on North Korean issues, met today with South Korean officials. The former U.S. ambassador to Seoul arrived Saturday for four days of meetings at the end of an Asian tour that also took him to Beijing and Tokyo.

Bosworth said today he knew a tough job lay ahead.

"I have no illusions about what I have agreed to do. It is a very difficult mandate," he told South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

Usually testy in response to what it sees as provocations from the administration of hard-line South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, North Korea proclamations have become more belligerent.

Experts say North Korea is particularly incensed at suggestions made by the U.S. and Japan that they could if necessary shoot down any long-range test missile launched by North Korea.

North Korean officials have said they are planning to launch a communications satellite and today threatened that they would view any outside interference as an act of war.

The military will "deal merciless retaliatory blows at them," if outside forces intrude on North Korea by "even one inch," said a North Korean news agency. "The Lee Myung-bak group of traitors and the U.S. and Japanese aggressors would be well advised to behave with discretion."

North Korea has the world's fifth-largest military, with its armed forces estimated to number more than 1 million.

The U.S.-South Korea military exercises, called Key Resolve-Foal Eagle drills, will involve 26,000 U.S. servicemen, including 13,100 stationed outside South Korea, and will also involve several U.S. destroyers and the aircraft carrier John Stennis.

Experts here say verbal bombast is expected from North Korea when it feels under threat.

"The U.S. and South Korea do this military exercise annually and historically North Korea has been oversensitive," said political scientist Kim Seung-hwan, a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

He said the impoverished nation normally resorts to words over weapons. "It costs a lot of money, such as in gas, fuel and observation," he said. "North Korea has used its hostile rhetoric over military drills."

North Korea's reported plans to test fire its Taepodong-2 missile also come at a crucial time. The last test launch in 2006 was a failure and the regime of hard-line ruler Kim Jong Il believes it needs a successful launch to boost public opinion, experts say.

On Sunday, North Korea held parliamentary elections, and new members are scheduled to reelect Kim as leader in early April.

Pyongyang watchers say the government might also at that time announce the appointment of Kim's third son, Jong-un, to succeed his father, who has reportedly suffered several debilitating strokes.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on March 09, 2009, 22:59:44
Here's a little update:

from: Agence France-Presse - 3/9/2009 4:44 PM GMT

So which Kim Jong Il double do you think the DPRK/North Korea will send? hehehehe.

Quote
NKorea's Kim to visit China: state media
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il is to make an official trip to China, state media said Tuesday, as the two allies celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

The Korean Central News Agency said in a short statement that Kim had accepted an invitation from Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. The statement gave no further details and did not say when the visit would go ahead.

"Kim Yong Il, premier of the Cabinet of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, will soon pay an official goodwill visit to the People's Republic of China at the invitation of Wen Jiabao," the statement said.

North Korean state media reported late last month that China had invited Kim for a summit with President Hu Jintao.

It said the invitation was extended by senior official Jia Qinglin to a visiting delegation of the North's ruling Workers' Party, the Korean Central Broadcasting Station said.

"Mutual visits by the leaders of the two countries are the most essential and irreplaceable in developing bilateral relations," Jia was quoted as telling the North Korean officials.

"We will ardently welcome Comrade Kim Jong-Il and senior officials of the Korean party and government to visit China at a convenient time."

Jia is chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and the fourth-ranking member of the Communist Party's Politburo standing committee.

Kim accepted a similar invitation from Hu in a letter delivered by a Chinese party official in January, according to Chinese state media.

The official, Wang Jiarui, was the first foreign guest to meet Kim since his reported stroke last August.

No schedule has been set for a summit. Kim last visited China in January 2006 in a trip focusing on its industrial facilities. Hu's last visit to Pyongyang was in October 2005.

Yonhap said the North Korean delegation was led by Ri Kwang-ho, a close confidant of Kim's and the country's top science expert. Ri also accompanied the North Korean leader on his latest China visit.

Jia proposed strengthening economic and trade links, according to the broadcaster, saying this would be beneficial to "strategic cooperation."

After the meeting between Kim and Wang on January 23, North Korea announced that China has decided to provide free aid but gave no details.

China is by far the North's biggest trade partner. It fought for the North in the 1950-53 Korean War against South Korea and US-led United Nations forces.
   
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on March 14, 2009, 00:28:25
First Iran, now the DPRK will test a satellite launcher. The "Axis of Evil" never quits, but look at the reaction...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/13/north-korea-japan-nuclear-missile

Quote
Japan warns it may shoot down North Korean satellite launcher

• Pyongyang says response would be act of war
• Regional tensions rise over missile launch

    * Justin McCurry in Tokyo
    * guardian.co.uk, Friday 13 March 2009 12.39 GMT

Japan today threatened to shoot down a satellite that North Korea plans to launch early next month if it shows any signs of striking its territory.

Tokyo's warning that it would deploy its multibillion-dollar missile defence system raised tensions in the region after North Korea said that it had identified a potential "danger area" near Japanese territory along the rocket's flight path.

The regime told the International Maritime Organisation that the missile would be launched during daylight between 4 and 8 April, and that its boosters would fall into the Sea of Japan – about 75 miles (120km) from Japan's north-west coast – and the Pacific Ocean.

Officials in Tokyo said they reserved the right to destroy any threatening object in mid-flight, despite North Korean warnings that it would consider such a move an act of war.

"Under our law, we can intercept any object if it is falling towards Japan, including any attacks on Japan, for our security," Takeo Kawamura, the chief cabinet secretary, told reporters.

Despite repeated assurances from Pyongyang that the rocket is a vital part of North Korea's space programme, other countries in the region suspect the hardware is a Taepodong-2 ballistic missile.

South Korean intelligence has reported a build-up of activity in recent days near the missile's launch pad at Musudan-ri base on its neighbour's north-east coast.

Any missile launch, even one intended to put a satellite into orbit, would represent a snub to the US administration, which has repeatedly invited the communist state to return to negotiations over its nuclear weapons programme.

Last month the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, urged the north to cancel the launch, which US officials say would be in violation of a 2006 UN security council resolution.

The South Korean foreign ministry said in a statement: "If North Korea goes ahead with the launch, we believe there will be discussions and a response by the security council on the violation of the resolution."

The UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, said a missile or satellite launch would "threaten the peace and stability in the region."

After Japan's transport ministry ordered airlines and shipping companies operating in the area to take precautionary measures, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways said they would alter flight paths on several European and other routes.

Speculation has been mounting for weeks that North Korea was about to put its hitherto unreliable missile technology to the test. The regime suffered a setback in 2006 when a Taepodong-2 missile – theoretically capable of reaching Alaska – blew up moments into its flight.

Japan has intensified efforts to protect itself against conventional missile attacks since 1998, when the north test-launched a long-range rocket over its territory without warning.

In response, Japan and the US have jointly developed a ballistic missile defence system that includes interceptor missiles on board ships and Patriot missiles dotted around Tokyo.

But experts believe that a rocket capable of launching a satellite into orbit may be too high to intercept.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Yrys on March 15, 2009, 19:26:10
N Korea sets rocket launch date (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7938844.stm), Thursday, 12 March 2009

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fnewsimg.bbc.co.uk%2Fmedia%2Fimages%2F45559000%2Fgif%2F_45559026__45505747_nkorea_hwadae_0209-1.gif&hash=756c2e213015925a5c9a2551add2af6d)

North Korea has said it plans to carry out a controversial rocket launch between 4 and 8 April.

The International Maritime Organization said it had received a communication from Pyongyang
confirming the launch. South Korea and the US say Pyongyang may be preparing to test-fire a
long-range missile and have warned it not to go ahead with the launch.

But North Korea insists it is preparing to send up a communications satellite, not a missile.
It has said any attempt to shoot it down will result in war.

North Korea's neighbours believe it is planning to test-fire the Taepodong 2 missile - which is
capable of reaching Alaska - from the Musudan-ri base in Hwadae on its north-east coast. It
first tested the missile in July 2006, but it failed less than a minute after launch.

Earlier this month Japan suggested it could deploy a vessel equipped with missile interceptor
technology to the Sea of Japan (East Sea) to shoot the rocket down. On Thursday, it called
on North Korea to exercise restraint, saying it "would not tolerate" its moves to raise tensions
in the region.

Nuclear talks

The IMO said Pyongyang informed the agency of its intentions on Wednesday - confirming
earlier reports by South Korean officials. "We have received a letter and it contains dates,
times and coordinates," said IMO spokesman Lee Adamson, confirming the dates as 4-8 April.

The BBC's John Sudworth in Seoul says guidelines state that the world transport authorities
should be informed in advance, so they can warn ships and planes.

A South Korean maritime ministry official, citing information from the IMO, said the North
referred to areas in the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan (East Sea). The ministry said
the rocket's booster would fall into the sea between Japan and the Korean peninsula, and
its main body would plunge into the Pacific.

Our correspondent says that despite a range of international sanctions, North Korea has
built what it calls "an experimental communications satellite" and a rocket capable of
delivering it into orbit.

If successful, the launch would have a major propaganda message - North Korea would
have beaten its Southern rival into space, our correspondent says. South Korea's own
home-grown satellite project is not scheduled for take-off until later in the year.

Stoking tensions

The reports come a day after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that Washington
had "a range of options" it could take if North Korea went ahead with the launch - including,
Reuters reported, action in the UN Security Council. She said the six-way talks on ending
North Korea's nuclear programme would not be affected.

Mrs Clinton also expressed disappointment that a US special envoy who had just visited the
region was not invited to Pyongyang.

North Korea's move is stoking already heightened tensions with South Korea. Pyongyang said
it had put its military on full combat alert as an annual military exercise by US and South
Korean forces began earlier this week. And in January, the North scrapped a series of peace
agreements with the South over Seoul's decision to link bilateral aid to progress on
denuclearisation.



North Korea's missile programme (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/2564241.stm)

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fnewsimg.bbc.co.uk%2Fmedia%2Fimages%2F45506000%2Fgif%2F_45506738_n_korea_missile_map466.gif&hash=b2e3e707f6f37e62ef6b9a572a6e08b9)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on March 19, 2009, 04:16:38
Now what could Pyongyang be up to now with this latest development?

Quote
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korean guards detained an American journalist near the country's western border with China, a newspaper report said Thursday. However, another report said two U.S. reporters were taken into custody in the far northeast while trying to shoot footage of the communist country.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090319/ap_on_re_as/as_nkorea_us_journalist_held
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: zipperhead_cop on March 24, 2009, 15:23:42
A good question would also be "what were the 'reporters' up to and photographing?"  Some photo ops are more interesting than others...
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on March 26, 2009, 02:32:32
Time for the ROKAF or the JASDF to pull an Osiraq-like precision preemptive air strike on this target?  :o

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090326/pl_afp/nkoreanuclearmissileskorea;_ylt=AhL5yzpt4SUCyIKYOlOKAlJ34T0D

Quote
NKorea places long-range missile on launch pad
 AFP/KCNA via KNS/File – A Korean People's Army missile unit on display during a military parade in Pyongyang. Secretive North …
 Play Video North Korea Video:'A Provocative Act' FOX News  Play Video North Korea Video:Clinton: NKorea missile plan 'provocative' AP  Play Video North Korea Video:Interrogation underway of reporters in N. Korea AP by Jim Mannion Jim Mannion – 1 hr 12 mins ago
WASHINGTON (AFP) – North Korea has placed a long-range missile on a launch pad, a US official has said, as Washington warned it would take the matter to the United Nations if Pyongyang goes ahead with the planned launch.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said a launch for any purpose would be a violation of a UN Security Council resolution.

"We intend to raise this violation of the UN Security Council resolution, if it goes forward, in the UN," Clinton said during a visit to Mexico City.

"This provocative action in violation of the United Nations mandate will not go unnoticed and there will be consequences," she said.

A US counter-proliferation official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP that Japanese press reports that a long-range missile has been placed on a launch pad "are accurate."

The official said the missile was believed to be a Taepodong-2, a long-range missile that could, in theory, reach Alaska.

Two stages of the missile were visible but the top was covered with a shroud supported by a crane, NBC television reported, citing US officials.

North Korea has said it intends to launch a satellite over Japan and into orbit between April 4-8.

But the United States, South Korea and Japan suspect that the planned launch is a disguise for a long-range missile test.

South Korea Thursday described North Korea's planned rocket launch as a "serious challenge and provocation" to regional security.

Defence ministry spokesman Won Tae-Jae declined to confirm the US report, saying Seoul would not comment on intelligence matters.

But he said the communist state is moving forward with preparations for the launch, which would constitute "a serious challenge and provocation" to the security of the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia.

"North Korea's long-range rocket launch clearly violates UN Security council Resolution 1718. We strongly urge it to stop this immediately," Won said.

On Tuesday, North Korea warned that stalled six-party nuclear disarmament talks would collapse if new UN sanctions are imposed to punish the launch. The forum groups the United States, Japan, Russia, the two Koreas and China.

Japan's security council, meanwhile, will meet this week to prepare for the shooting down of a North Korean rocket if it threatens to strike its territory, Prime Minister Taro Aso said Wednesday.

Japan's government will issue an advance order Friday for the Self-Defense Forces to use its Patriot missile defense system to destroy any missile or debris if it shows signs of falling toward Japan, Jiji Press reported.

North Korea says it would regard any attempt to shoot down its rocket as an act of war.

The last time North Korea launched a Taepodong-2, on July 4, 2006, the missile failed seconds after launch. Success this time would show that it is capable of reaching Alaska or Hawaii with a nuclear capable missile.

President Barack Obama's administration has issued no public warning that it would shoot down a North Korean rocket.

Admiral Timothy Keating, the US commander in the Pacific, said earlier this month there was a "high probability" that the United States could intercept a missile aimed at its territory.

Washington and Tokyo have worked jointly on a missile defense shield, using land and sea-based missiles, against a possible attack from North Korea, which fired a missile over Japan in 1998 and tested a nuclear bomb in 2006.

Pyongyang has said that the rocket's first booster will likely plunge into the Sea of Japan (East Sea) off Japan's northern Akita prefecture, while the second will drop into the Pacific between Japan and Hawaii.

In an unsourced online report, The Sankei Shimbun said "North Korea has entered into the final stage of preparing for a launch as it has moved a rocket from storage."

And the Mainichi Shimbun said in an online report, quoting an unnamed South Korean defense source, that the missile was in place and would in theory be ready for launch as early as Saturday.

Tensions have been rising between North and South Korea. The North in January scrapped all peace pacts with its neighbour.

China's military chief, General Chen Bingde, arrived Wednesday in Seoul for talks with senior South Korean officials days before the scheduled launch.

China, a traditional ally and major donor for impoverished North Korea as well as a permanent UN Security Council member, has not publicly urged Pyongyang to halt the launch.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on March 26, 2009, 15:43:16
I wonder if the USS McCain is named after Senator McCain or his father or grandfather?

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/090326/usa/nkorea_nuclear_missile_japan_us_military


Quote
US says warships deployed before NKorea launch
Module body

2 hours, 42 minutes ago
 

TOKYO (AFP) - The US Navy said Thursday it had deployed two warships in waters off Japan ahead of North Korea's planned rocket launch early next month.

 
Two destroyers fitted with Aegis technology to track and destroy missiles left port on Wednesday, US Navy public relations officer Charles Howard told AFP.


"I would say we are ready for any contingencies," he said.


Pyongyang says it will launch a communications satellite between April 4 and 8. The United States and its Asian allies suspect the launch is a test of a long-range ballistic missile that could reach North America.

Tensions have risen after US officials said overnight that North Korea had moved a Taepodong-2 missile to the Musudan-ri launch site on the country's northeast coast.


The US Navy spokesman said two Aegis-equipped destroyers -- the USS McCain and USS Chafee -- left Sasebo port in southwestern Japan where a third, the USS Curtis Wilbur, remained docked.


The USS Stethem, another Aegis-equipped destroyer, was set to leave northern Aomori port Thursday after a port call of several days, a US Navy spokeswoman said, without specifying its destination.


The Japanese navy's two Aegis-equipped destroyers Kongo and Chokai are on stand-by at Sasebo, a defence ministry spokeswoman said.


A South Korean Aegis-equipped warship is also likely to be deployed in waters near Japan, public broadcaster TBS reported, without citing sources.



The North's missiles have alarmed Japan since a Taepodong-1 overflew its territory in 1998. The first test of a longer-range Taepodong-2 in 2006 failed after 40 seconds.


Japan's security council will meet this week to prepare for the shooting down of any rocket or debris which threatens to strike its territory.


General Ryoichi Oriki, chief of staff of the Japanese Self Defence Forces, told a media briefing: "We will take all measures possible to ensure safety once the government order is issued."


Asked when he would deploy surface-to-air Patriot missiles and the destroyers, he said: "We want to deploy swiftly after the order."

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Rifleman62 on March 27, 2009, 07:33:32
USS John S  McCain (DDG 56) is the namestake of his grandfather and father, John Sidney, Sr., and John Sidney, Jr., both 4 star Admirals. http://www.McCain.navy.mil/Site%20Pages/namesake.aspx

Faith OF My Fathers is a good read.

P.S.  wonder if the North Korean army will fight, or will fight to the end? Are they totally indoctrinated, in fear, out of touch with reality?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 27, 2009, 10:32:20
Both the USN and JDF are in position fpr a shoot down attempt should the political masters decide to gibe it a try.

As for the NK Army they are indoctrinated to do what they are told. If they invade the south the troops will know they will be able to eat as much as they like. Expect a no holds barred fight for the first 30 days anyway. Once the regime is seen to collapse then the military will collapse as well.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on March 28, 2009, 14:06:38
An update: and Japan okays the shoot-down of the North Korean satellite launcher! It seems those JMSDF AEGIS destroyers may see action after all.

http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4010747&c=ASI&s=TOP

Quote
Japan OKs Shoot-Down of Inbound N. Korean Rocket
Agence France-Presse
Published: 27 Mar 14:16 EDT (18:16 GMT)

TOKYO - Japan's leaders Friday authorized the shooting down of a North Korean rocket or its debris if it threatens to hit the country, said Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada.

"I issued the necessary order after the (government) security council this morning decided to issue a destruction order in advance," he said after a meeting with Prime Minister Taro Aso and other key cabinet ministers.

Related TopicsAsia & Pacific Rim
"We will do our best to handle any flying object from North Korea in order to assure the Japanese people's safety and security."

The defense ministry was expected to deploy two Aegis-equipped destroyers in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) and Patriot interceptors in northern Akita and Iwate prefectures, although Hamada announced no precise plans.

The isolated Pyongyang regime has said it will launch a communications satellite over Japanese territory in early April, but the United States and its Asian allies suspect the launch is a ballistic missile test.

Tokyo, which has developed a missile defense system with the United States in recent years, has previously warned it will attempt to shoot down any missile or debris that threatens to hit its territory.

North Korea, which has announced a launch window of April 4 to 8, says it would regard a rocket intercept as an act of war.

The order is Japan's first of its kind after it revised its Self-Defense Forces Law in 2005 and legalized possible interceptions of ballistic missiles.


(...)

North Korea has warned that the rocket's first booster would likely plunge into the Sea of Japan off Japan's northern Akita prefecture, while the second stage would drop into the Pacific between Japan and Hawaii.

Japan has warned that any North Korean launch would be a breach of past U.N. resolutions and has repeatedly urged Pyongyang to refrain from the launch.
 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on March 28, 2009, 19:58:39
Good news because I dont think Obama would give the order to the USN to launch.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on March 30, 2009, 20:32:32
Yikes! And now Gates says that the US won't be able to shoot it down.


http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/03/29/gates-prepared-respond-north-korea-missile-launch/


Quote
The United States can do nothing to stop North Korea from breaking international law in the next 10 days by firing a missile that is unlikely to be shot down by the U.S. or its allies, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Sunday.
Appearing on "FOX News Sunday," Gates said North Korea "probably will" fire the missile, prompting host Chris Wallace to ask: "And there's nothing we can do about it?"

"No," Gates answered, adding, "I would say we're not prepared to do anything about it."

Last week, Admiral Timothy Keating, commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, said the U.S. is "fully prepared" to shoot down the missile. But Gates said such a response is unlikely.

"I think if we had an aberrant missile, one that was headed for Hawaii, that looked like it was headed for Hawaii or something like that, we might consider it," Gates said. "But I don't think we have any plans to do anything like that at this point."

North Korea has moved a missile onto a launch pad and says it will be fired by April 8.
Pyonyang insists the missile is designed for carrying a communications satellite, not a nuclear warhead that the secretive nation appears bent on developing.

Gates said while he doesn't think North Korea has the capability yet to shoot off a long-range nuclear-tipped missile, "I don't know anyone at a senior level in the American government who does not believe this technology is intended as a mask for the development of an intercontinental ballistic missile."
Gates conceded that North Korea will likely get away with thumbing its nose at the international community by test-firing the missile. He also said that six-party talks aimed at curbing Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions have been largely fruitless.

"It's very troubling," Gates said. "The reality is that the six-party talks really have not made any headway anytime recently."

Gates also lamented that the missile launch planned by dictator Kim Jong-Il comes just two months after President Obama took office.

"If this is Kim Jong-Il's welcoming present to a new president, launching a missile like this and threatening to have a nuclear test, I think it says a lot about the imperviousness of this regime in North Korea to any kind of diplomatic overtures," he said.

Gates also said Japan is unlikely to shoot down a North Korean missile unless it drops debris on the island nation.
The Obama administration has signaled it wants to scale back the deployment of a missile defense system that was initiated by former President George W. Bush. The White House is also talking about dropping plans for missile defense facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Gates lamented the futility of diplomatic efforts toward North Korea and Iran, another nation with nuclear ambitions. Despite the Obama administration's talk of ramping up diplomatic overtures toward Tehran, Gates was pessimistic about that strategy.

"Frankly, from my perspective, the opportunity for success is probably more in economic sanctions in both places than it is in diplomacy," Gates said. "What gets them to the table is economic sanctions."

   
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on April 01, 2009, 22:26:37
And as the day for the launch grows nearer,  Pyongyang shows no sign of backing down from what it is about to do.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/04/01/north.korea.rocket/index.html

Quote
   North Korea is fueling rocket, U.S. military says
Story Highlights
Nation could be in the final stages of launch, which could come this weekend

Sources say "bulbous" shroud atop rocket could indicate satellite aboard

Any such launch would violate U.N. Security Council resolution

Pentagon worries launch of any kind will help nation develop missile program

By Mike Mount
CNN Senior Pentagon Producer
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- North Korea has begun fueling its long-range rocket, according to a senior U.S. military official.

The fueling signals that the country could be in the final stages of what North Korea has said will be the launch of a satellite into space as early as this weekend, the senior U.S. military official said Wednesday.

Other U.S. military officials said the top portion of the rocket was put on very recently, but satellite imagery shows a shroud over the stage preventing a direct view of what it looks like.

The officials said the payload appears to have a "bulbous" cover, which could indicate that there is a satellite loaded on it. Such a cover protects a satellite from damage in flight.

Although the sources did not know for sure what the payload is, they said there is no reason to doubt that it is a satellite, as indicated by North Korea.

Pyongyang has said it will launch the rocket between April 4 and April 8. A launch would violate a 2006 United Nations Security Council resolution banning the reclusive state from launching ballistic missiles.

Pentagon officials worry less about the payload and more about the launch itself, saying that any kind of launch will give the North Koreans valuable information about improving their ballistic missile program.

The United States believes that the North Koreans have the technology to hit Alaska or Hawaii with a missile and that the country is working on advancing that technology so it could hit the west coast of the United States.
 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on April 02, 2009, 10:14:08
Its clear that Iran and NK are working together to advance their shared goals. Iran needs a delivery system for its nuclear warheads. North Korea has not had success with nuclear testing which the Iranians can help with and profit by. If NK can get a working device this means Iran wont need to test,they can copy the NK design.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on April 02, 2009, 18:15:06
Another update: Obama delivers tough words against Pyongyang.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090402/ap_on_re_us/us_nkorea_missile

Quote
Obama issues warning as North Korea readies rocket
 AFP By PAULINE JELINEK, Associated Press Writer Pauline Jelinek, Associated Press Writer – 11 mins ago
WASHINGTON – As North Korea fueled a multistage rocket Thursday for its threatened satellite launch, President Barack Obama promised a "stern" response and Japan vowed to press for an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council. Senior U.S. defense officials said that trailers and vehicles carrying rocket propellant were in place at North Korea's coastal launch site and that fueling had begun.
A U.S. counter-proliferation official said the fueling process could take "up to a few days." But a senior U.S. intelligence official told The Associated Press that Pyongyang was on track for a projected Saturday launch

The American officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence issues.

At the G-20 summit in London, Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak issued a statement agreeing on "a stern, united response from the international community if North Korea launches a long-range rocket."

State Department spokesman Robert Wood would not address the U.S. intelligence reports. But he repeated earlier warnings for the North Koreans not to take any "provocative" actions.

Japan's ambassador to the U.N. said his nation will request an emergency session of the Security Council if North Korea proceeds with the launch. Yukio Takasu said he raised the possibility during closed-door council talks Thursday.

Takasu and other council diplomats say they anticipate a possible emergency session as early as this weekend.

North Korea heightened its militarist rhetoric toward the U.S., Japan and South Korea on Thursday, threatening retaliation for any attempt to shoot down the rocket. Quoting an unidentified North Korean general, the North Korean Central News Agency said Japan would be struck with a "thunderbolt of fire" if it attempts to intercept the multistage rocket.

The news service also issued a veiled threat against American warships moving in position to monitor the launch, saying: "The United States should immediately withdraw armed forces deployed if it does not want to receive damage."

Some U.S. lawmakers are urging Obama to shoot down the rocket if it endangers the United States or its allies. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said during a weekend TV interview that the U.S. had no plans to intercept the rocket — though it might consider the move if an "aberrant missile" were headed to Hawaii "or something like that."

U.S. officials have been keeping tabs on North Korea's launch preparations with satellite imagery and other surveillance. North Korea has complained that the U.S. is also using high-altitude U-2 spy planes and has warned the aircraft would be shot down.

North Korea's pre-launch movements are similar to the steps taken in advance of its 2006 firing of a Taepodong-2 missile, the U.S. intelligence official said.
The fueling starts an informal pre-launch phase that precedes the formal countdown.

"You need to launch within a few days because rocket fuel is typically quite corrosive," said Jeffrey Lewis, an arms control expert at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C.

U.S. intelligence analysts continue to believe that North Korea aims to launch a communications satellite rather than conducting a missile test, which would violate a U.N. resolution. However, the rocket launch would yield data directly applicable to its long-range ballistic missile program.

The issue was top of the agenda Thursday when Obama met with his South Korean counterpart, Lee Myung-bak, on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in London. Obama pledged to push for "peace and stability," while Lee's office issued a statement saying the two leaders agreed to keep working on a verifiable dismantling of North Korea's worrisome nuclear programs.

Russia appeared to be edging closer to Washington's position in an apparent show of goodwill. But a strong united response likely would prove difficult given that China — the North's closest ally — has veto power in the Security Council. Beijing continued to urge all sides to show restraint.

North Korea is warning against any effort to intercept the rocket, take the issue to the Security Council or even monitor the launch. It says its armed forces are at a high level of combat-readiness.

Debris from the rocket could fall off Japan's northern coast, North Korea has said. Tokyo has deployed warships and missile interceptors there as a precaution, but says it has no intention of trying to shoot the missile down on its own.  
___

Associated Press writers Hyung-jin Kim and Jae-Soon Chang in Seoul, Mark S. Smith in London, Shino Yuasa in Tokyo, Mari Yamaguchi in Akita, Japan, John Heilprin and Robert Burns in New York and Pamela Hess and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.
         
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on April 02, 2009, 21:06:21
And North Korea continues to make threats as the launch date grows nearer. Do any of you really think the DPRK/North Korea has the ability to hit Japan, whether with airpower or Scuds?  ???

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/090402/world/nkorea_missile

Quote
NKorea vows to attack Japan if rocket intercepted

Thu Apr 2, 3:56 PM

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea's military threatened Thursday to attack "major targets" in Japan if Tokyo tries to shoot down a satellite it intends to launch as soon as this weekend.

"If Japan recklessly 'intercepts' the DPRK's (North's) satellite for peaceful purposes, the KPA will mercilessly deal deadly blows not only at the already deployed intercepting means but at major targets," said a statement from the Korean People's Army (KPA).


Japan, South Korea and the United States see the North's plan to launch a communications satellite some time between April 4 and 8 as a disguised test of a Taepodong-2 ballistic missile which could in theory reach Alaska or Hawaii.

US defence officials said Thursday they had detected "propellant activity" at a North Korea rocket, but said it was uncertain that Pyongyang had begun fuelling ahead of its planned launch.

A US defence official speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP "it's ambiguous" if North Korea has begun fuelling the rocket.

(...)

Pyongyang has said that even a UN discussion of its launch -- let alone new sanctions -- would trigger the breakdown of international nuclear disarmament talks.

UN resolutions bar Pyongyang from missile-related activities.

However, the North has signed on to international space treaties and analysts believe China and Russia would block any new sanctions move on the grounds that the resolutions do not cover satellite launches.

Moscow urged North Korea's neighbours on Thursday to hold back from military action over the issue.

Meanwhile Taiwan called on North Korea to exercise restraint in launching the rocket, saying the plan had threatened peace in the region.

"As a member of Northeast Asia, we're very concerned about it," the country's foreign ministry said in a statement.
   
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on April 02, 2009, 21:22:13
Yes they have the means to strike all of the ROK and Japan with their missiles.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Sonnyjim on April 02, 2009, 21:36:23
They easily have the ability to hit Japan with missiles and their limited airpower initially. Their airpower would be taken out quite simply as well as what little naval power they have as well. Unless this Taepo Dong-2 is recognized as a coverup with a nuke on it(which I doubt it is altohough there is a blanket over the missle right now so we can't see) or the missile looks as though it may fall on Japan, I think it will go untouched after the launch. The US and allies are not willing to risk an all out conventional war with North Korea knowing the initial devastating effects, with the current military situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, over a missile test which they have already done many of times. The United States' only safe bet with their current situation right now is to appease the DPRK as they have for the past few decades. I guess we'll see what will happen in 2-6 more days. I know I'll be checking the news as I have been for the last 8 years following this situation closely.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on April 03, 2009, 12:54:07
Another update- at least we now know a possible launch time.  :o

Quote
Report: NKorea fueling rocket for impending launch (3:02 p.m.)

SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea has begun fueling a long-range rocket for an impending launch, a news report said Thursday, as President Barack Obama warned the liftoff would be a "provocative act" that would generate a U.N. Security Council response.

North Korea says it will send a communications satellite into orbit on a multistage rocket sometime from Saturday to Wednesday. The U.S., South Korea and Japan think the reclusive country is using the launch to test long-range missile technology; they've warned the move would violate a Security Council resolution banning the North from ballistic activity.

Regional powers have also begun to deploy ships to monitor the launch, and Japan is preparing to intercept any debris that might fall if the launch goes awry - moves that have prompted several threats of retaliation from Pyongyang, including one Thursday.
 
Meanwhile, CNN television said on its Web site that Pyongyang has started to fuel the rocket. The report, citing an unidentified senior U.S. military official, said the move indicates final preparations for the launch. Experts say the missile can be fired about three to four days after fueling begins.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said the U.S. and Japanese governments have not confirmed that fueling has begun. South Korea's Defense Ministry declined to comment on the report.

Obama denounced the planned launch as "a provocative act" and a breach of the U.N. resolution while speaking with Chinese President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in London on Wednesday, according to the White House Web site.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged the North to reconsider the launch, saying: "There will obviously be consequences if they do proceed with this."

The North countered with its own warnings against any efforts to intercept the rocket, take the issue to the Security Council or even monitor the launch. It says its armed forces are at a high level of combat-readiness.

The North has said debris from the rocket could fall off Japan's northern coast, so Tokyo has deployed battleships with anti-missile systems to the area and set up Patriot missile interceptors. It says it has no intention of trying to shoot down the rocket itself.

"If Japan imprudently carries out an act of intercepting our peaceful satellite, our people's army will hand a thunderbolt of fire to not only interceptor means already deployed, but also key targets," said a report Thursday by the North's official Korean Central News Agency that quoted the general staff of its military.


In what appeared to be a reference to American warships that have reportedly set sail to monitor the launch, the Korean-language version of the KCNA report said: "The United States should immediately withdraw armed forces deployed if it does not want to receive damage."

An English version said the U.S. forces could be hit in a retaliatory strike against Japan.

On Wednesday, the North threatened to shoot down any spy planes that intrude into its airspace.

South Korea's Chosun Ilbo daily reported Thursday that North Korea has redeployed newer fighter jets along its east coast in a possible indication that the regime was serious about the threat. The report, which had no other details, cited an unnamed government source. South Korea's Defense Ministry said it could not confirm it.

The rocket issue is expected to be a key topic at Obama's talks with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Thursday. Lee has sought to drum up support from world leaders in London for punishing its neighbor if the launch goes forward.

In Washington, U.S. lawmakers are urging Obama to shoot down the rocket if it endangers the United States or its allies. But U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in a TV interview aired Sunday that the U.S. had no plans to intercept the rocket but might consider it if an "aberrant missile" were headed to Hawaii "or something like that."
(AP)
http://www.sunstar.com.ph/network/report-nkorea-fueling-rocket-impending-launch-302-pm
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on April 04, 2009, 12:44:32
The launch has been delayed so far, though we should stay tuned for what happens next.
 http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/topstories/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090404/ap_on_re_as/as_nkorea_missile

Quote
Wind may have forced NKorea to delay rocket launch
Writer Hyung-jin Kim, Associated Press Writer – 2 hrs 56 mins ago
SEOUL, South Korea – High winds may have forced North Korea to delay its rocket launch, despite the country's insistence Saturday that preparations were complete for the liftoff that many suspect is intended to test the country's long-range missile capabilities.

Regional powers deployed warships and trained their satellites on the communist country to monitor what they suspect will be a test for a missile capable of reaching Alaska.

(...)

However, the day's stated 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. timeframe passed without any sign of a launch. North Korea had announced last month the launch would take place sometime between April 4 and 8 during those hours.

Winds reported as "relatively strong" around the northeastern North Korean launch pad in Musudan-ri may have kept the North from launching the rocket Saturday, analyst Paik Hak-soon of the private Sejong Institute think tank said.


"North Korea cannot afford a technical failure," he said. "North Korea wouldn't fire the rocket if there's even a minor concern about the weather."

Japan again urged North Korea to refrain from a launch that Washington, Seoul and Tokyo suspect is a guise for testing the regime's long-range missile technology — a worrying development because North Korea has acknowledged it has nuclear weapons and has repeatedly broken promises to shelve its nuclear program or halt rocket tests.

(...)

President Barack Obama said Friday that a launch would be "provocative" and prompt the U.S. to "take appropriate steps to let North Korea know that it can't threaten the safety and security of other countries with impunity."

(...)

The South Korean government urged citizens working at joint economic zones and in Pyongyang to return home because of the "grave" tensions on the peninsula. More than 600 South Koreans left North Korea on Saturday, the Unification Ministry said in Seoul.

___

Associated Press writers Kwang-tae Kim in Seoul, Shino Yuasa in Tokyo, Foster Klug in Washington and John Heilprin at the U.N. contributed to this report.
 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Sonnyjim on April 05, 2009, 00:02:10
Seems as though the missile is currently in the air.

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea appeared to launch a rocket on Sunday, the Japanese government said, defying calls from world leaders to scrap a plan that has caused international alarm.


It was not immediately clear if the launch had been successful, or if it was a long-range version of the rocket.


The rocket is supposed to fly over Japan, dropping boosters to its west and east on a path that runs southwest of Hawaii.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/090405/world/international_us_korea_north
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on April 05, 2009, 01:07:35
Another update: It seems that the US or Japan have not shot it down from what has been reported so far.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/090405/world/international_us_korea_north

Quote
North Korean rocket passes over Japan

43 minutes ago

By Linda Sieg and Jack Kim
 
TOKYO/SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea launched a long-range rocket on Sunday that passed over Japan, the government in Tokyo said, defying calls from world leaders to scrap a plan that has caused international alarm.

The U.S. State Department confirmed North Korea had launched the rocket but had no further details. South Korea's presidential Blue House would make a statement at 11:00 p.m. EDT, local TV said.

Japan said the rocket's second booster stage had splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, indicating the launch had been successful.

"The projectile launched from North Korea today appears to have passed over toward the Pacific," the Japan prime minister's office said in a statement.

The United States, South Korea and Japan say the launch is actually the test of a Taepodong-2 missile, which is designed to carry a warhead as far as Alaska.

(...)

JAPAN SAYS TOOK NO ACTION AGAINST ROCKET


Japan's Kyodo news agency said no interceptors had been launched at the rocket and no damage on the ground had been reported.


Japan had dispatched missile intercepting-ships and anti-missile batteries along the projected flight path.


Tokyo said it would not intercept the missile but that it was ready to shoot down any debris, such as falling booster stages, that might threaten its territory.


(...)
 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Sonnyjim on April 05, 2009, 09:44:53
Seems like they are going to let this one fly without too many extra sanctions(no pun intended). It's far from, but it's beginning to remind me Churchill appeasing Hitler, letting him build and build until it was too late. Something is eventually going to have to be done, and with an 8 million man army(in total) it won't possible by the people of the DPRK themselves.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on April 05, 2009, 11:11:58
Seems like they are going to let this one fly without too many extra sanctions(no pun intended). It's far from, but it's beginning to remind me Churchill appeasing Hitler, letting him build and build until it was too late. Something is eventually going to have to be done, and with an 8 million man army(in total) it won't possible by the people of the DPRK themselves.

Get your history straight. Prime Minister CHAMBERLAIN appeased Hitler, not Churchill. Churchill was his successor and a great man.  Chamberlain was the one who said "Peace in our time" only to see WW2 break out only a year after he let Hitler take the Sudetenland part of Czechoslovakia.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neville_Chamberlain)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: mariomike on April 05, 2009, 11:52:12
it's beginning to remind me Churchill appeasing Hitler, letting him build and build until it was too late.

Churshill never appeased Hitler.
Churchill, like many airmen, saw rockets/missles ( V1 ) as cowardly weapons launched by men who did not risk their lives in the killing of others. He seriously considered reprisal gas  attacks against Germany, and several Bomber Command squadrons were specially trained to carry them out. Gen Eisenhower was among those who dissuaded him.
However, Bomber Command was compelled to divert aircraft to the ineffectual counter-offensive against them.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on April 05, 2009, 11:59:17
From the ArmyTimes.

NORAD: N. Korean rocket launch a failure

The Associated Press
Posted : Sunday Apr 5, 2009 8:58:21 EDT
   
SEOUL, South Korea — Orbit or ocean?

North Korea claims the rocket it sent up Sunday put an experimental communications satellite into space and that it is transmitting data and patriotic songs. The U.S. military says whatever left the launch pad ended up at the bottom of the sea.

North Korea has a history of hyperbole. In creating a cult of personality for its leader, Kim Jong Il, its media rewrote the story of his birth along biblical lines and once said that when he took up golf, he was firing holes-in-one with regularity.

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said the three-stage rocket “accurately” put a satellite into orbit nine minutes and two seconds after launch. It provided details on an elliptical orbit that it said was taking the satellite around the Earth every 104 minutes and 12 seconds.

“The satellite is transmitting the melodies of the immortal revolutionary paeans ‘Song of Gen. Kim Il Sung’ and ‘Song of Gen. Kim Jong Il’ as well as measurement data back to Earth,” KCNA said, referring to the country’s late founder and his son, the current leader.

“The carrier rocket and the satellite developed by the indigenous wisdom and technology are the shining results gained in the efforts to develop the nation’s space science and technology on a higher level,” it said.

But North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command officials issued a statement disputing any success.

“Stage one of the missile fell into the Sea of Japan,” the statement said. “The remaining stages along with the payload itself landed in the Pacific Ocean. No object entered orbit and no debris fell on Japan.”

U.S., South Korean and Japanese officials — who monitored the launch from nearby warships and high-resolution spy satellite cameras — have said they suspect the North was really testing long-range ballistic missile technology that could be used to carry a nuclear warhead to Alaska or beyond.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: milnews.ca on April 05, 2009, 12:33:04
The short & sweet version (http://www.northcom.mil/news/2009/040509.html) from NORTHCOM:
Quote
North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command officials acknowledged today that North Korea launched a Taepo Dong 2 missile at 10:30 p.m. EDT Saturday which passed over the Sea of Japan/East Sea and the nation of Japan.

Stage one of the missile fell into the Sea of Japan/East Sea. The remaining stages along with the payload itself landed in the Pacific Ocean.

No object entered orbit and no debris fell on Japan.

NORAD and USNORTHCOM assessed the space launch vehicle as not a threat to North America or Hawaii and took no action in response to this launch.

This is all of the information that will be provided by NORAD and USNORTHCOM pertaining to the launch.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on April 05, 2009, 13:29:10
Mapping the rocket launch 2:30 (http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2009/04/05/lawrence.korea.explain.cnn)
CNN's Chris Lawrence uses the magic wall with help from Google Earth to map out the path taken by North Korea's rocket.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Sonnyjim on April 05, 2009, 14:33:33
Sorry, I meant Chamberlain, wrote that in a rush this morning. However, my main point is this; How much longer is the world going to stand by and allow the DPRK to freely violate International Regulations on their own watch with little slaps on the wrist?

My comparisson to Hitler/Nazi Germany is that they were allowed to violate treaty after treaty and gain a foothold that was too late to break once they were powerful enough. I know that taking over countries(WW2) is different than a missile launch, but I personally do see a parallel. Maybe it's just me. I don't have a degree in Political Science or World Strategy (hence my mixup of Churchill and Chamberlain) so my thoughts are based on what I've seen over the past 8 years and from different books on North Korea and Kim Jong Il (Rogue Regime: Kim Jong Il and the Looming Threat of North Korea by Jasper Becker). If we're going to stand up for the free world we need to be tougher on the DPRK and stop with the wrist slaps.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: karl28 on April 05, 2009, 19:39:32
          I personally think the rest of the world will just keep letting North Korea do there thing .  Mostly because the rest of the world does not have a stomach for that kind of military campaign .
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Hamish Seggie on April 06, 2009, 10:05:11
          I personally think the rest of the world will just keep letting North Korea do there thing .  Mostly because the rest of the world does not have a stomach for that kind of military campaign .

And I agree. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if a certain Asian with a huge population country had their fingers in this pie.
Plus the fact that the UN is basically hamstrung by the Security Council. North Korea with nukes is like letting your 3 year old play with your assault rifle. Who knows what Kim Jong Il will do, or even if he is alive?

Oh, but we shouldn't shove our beleifs down other poeple's throats, right?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: karl28 on April 06, 2009, 12:19:20
OldSolduer
 
           Yeah I think we both know that a certain Asian country has been to involved with N. Korea ever sense the Korean war . How else could N Korea survive .   Sadly nothing will be done till N Korea drops an A bomb on either Soul  or Tokyo(Names of the cities may be spelt wrong I used Spell check but I still think there wrong )  but by than it may be to late to do anything .
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on April 08, 2009, 00:10:55
Launch exposed limits of NKorea military: report

Tue, Apr 07, 2009
AFP



SEOUL - North Korea's rocket launch has exposed the limitations of its military with radar unable to track the object far enough, one ship breaking down and a warplane crashing, a report here said Tuesday.

South Korea's JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, quoting intelligence sources, said the communist state had been unable to track the long-range rocket beyond a certain distance.


"North Korea managed to launch a rocket, but Pyongyang's authorities were somewhat disorganised," one source told JoongAng.




It said a ship which set sail for the Pacific to try to locate the rocket debris had to turn back due to mechanical problems.

The paper also said a MiG-21 jet which was scrambled to protect the launch site crashed due to poor maintenance.

Seoul had learned that North Korean officials involved were "busy passing the buck" over the mission's failure, it reported.

"North Korea claimed it successfully put a satellite into orbit but it did not know where the projectile landed. That's because they had no radar capable of tracking it thousands of kilometres away," the conservative paper said.

Seoul's defence ministry declined comment, a spokesman telling AFP that all he could confirm was that North Korean fighter jets had scrambled.

The National Intelligence Service was not immediately available to comment.

Defying international pressure, North Korea fired a rocket Sunday which it said put a communications satellite into orbit.

Critics led by the United States however say it was a disguised long-range missile test, and have referred it to the UN Security Council.

Despite Pyongyang's claims that the satellite is now orbiting Earth, South Korea, Japan, the US military and a senior Russian official say no such object has been detected in orbit.

Foreign analysts have described the launch as a failed test of a long-range missile, saying it appeared the second and third stages failed to separate and caused the rocket to crash into the Pacific short of the designated area.

South Korean experts said the Taepodong-2 missile still travelled for some 3,200 kilometres (2,000 miles) - double the range the North achieved in 1998 with a Taepodong-1 launch.

North Korea's 1.2 million-strong military is the world's fifth largest. But analysts say the impoverished state has problems equipping it and even in some cases feeding soldiers.

Yonhap news agency, quoting an unidentified Seoul official, said a North Korean commercial vessel departed for the Pacific to try to track the rocket and possibly retrieve debris but had to turn back.

"We don't clearly know the mechanical problem that appears to have prevented the ship from sailing on. It likely has to do with outdated parts," the official was quoted as saying. -- AFP

http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%...07-133862.html
     
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Hamish Seggie on April 08, 2009, 08:57:40
Tomahawk 6 - Dear Leader will be none to happy about that!
He'll be more "ronry" than before.... ;)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Colin P on April 09, 2009, 18:20:04
A little humour courtesy of SDA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0hk9vaqWUg&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Esmalldeadanimals%2Ecom%2F&feature=player_embedded
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Sonnyjim on April 10, 2009, 09:57:11
Seems like Kim's son may not be a frontrunner anymore. Mind you I bet this will change a few times before and after Kim's death.

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-il put to rest this week any doubt about whom he sees as his second in command when he elevated his brother-in-law Jang Song-taek to a powerful military post, analysts said on Friday.


Kim, 67, was re-elected to his leadership post at parliament on Thursday but questions about his health, raised by a suspected stroke in August, remained. He cut a gaunt figure at the session and, his hair thinned and graying, walked with a limp onto stage.


http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/090410/world/international_us_korea_north_jang
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on April 10, 2009, 13:20:22
And the DPRK military continues to deteriorate when it comes to quality.

Quote
  2 NKorean fighter jets crashed in recent months
AP
By KWANGTAE KIM,Associated Press Writer AP - Tuesday, April 7

SEOUL, South Korea - Two North Korean fighter jets have crashed in recent months during training, South Korea's Defense Ministry said Tuesday.

A North Korean MiG-21 fighter went down in March because of a lack of maintenance, said a ministry official. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The official also said another North Korean fighter jet crashed during training in February.

He had no other details on either crash, including the exact dates and the fate of the crew.

Both crashes occurred during ongoing tensions on the Korean peninsula.

North Korea claimed a rocket it launched over Japan on Sunday put a satellite into orbit, though the United States said the payload fell into the Pacific Ocean.

http://ph.news.yahoo.com/ap/20090407/tap-a...sh-d3b07b8.html (http://ph.news.yahoo.com/ap/20090407/tap-as-nkorea-jet-crash-d3b07b8.html) 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Yrys on April 14, 2009, 02:22:47
Key nations 'agree N Korea draft' (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7995269.stm), 11 April 2009
Key UN countries have agreed a draft statement
condemning North Korea's rocket launch, diplomats
say.



 N Korea to boycott nuclear talks (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7997481.stm), 14 April 2009

North Korea has said it will boycott talks over its nuclear programme in protest at UN criticism
of its recent rocket launch, says state media. Pyongyang said the talks over ending its weapons
programme were "useless". North Korea also said it would restart nuclear facilities it had begun
to dismantle under an international deal.

The move comes hours after the UN Security Council unanimously condemned the launch, which
critics say may have been a test for a long-range missile. North Korea says the rocket was
launching a satellite.

The statement from the North Korean Foreign Ministry said it "resolutely condemns" the UN move,
which it said infringed on sovereignty and "severely debases" North Koreans. "There is no need for
the six-party talks any more. We will never again take part in such talks and will not be bound by
any agreement reached at the talks," it said. The ministry said North Korea would "strengthen its
nuclear deterrent for its defence by all means".

Setbacks

In a statement on Monday, the 15-member council unanimously condemned the long-range rocket
launch on 5 April and said it would tighten sanctions against Pyongyang in its wake. The council
also ordered the UN Sanctions Committee to begin enforcing both financial sanctions and an existing
arms embargo against North Korea. There had been hope that the unified statement could pave the
way for a return to the talks.

North Korea had previously threatened that any criticism of the rocket launch would cause it to walk
away from the negotiating table.

The BBC's John Sudworth in Seoul says the Foreign Ministry's statement is very strong, but there have
been various setbacks over the six years that the talks have been taking place. There will be many in
the diplomatic community who believe there is still room for negotiation and that North Korea can be
persuaded to return, says our correspondent.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Sonnyjim on April 14, 2009, 07:41:13
Deja vu anybody?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Hamish Seggie on April 14, 2009, 08:47:02
I guess "Hans Brix" will have to inspect some more! ;D
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Antoine on April 14, 2009, 15:48:35
Doesn't look good. Hopfully the North Korean will not take advantage of the Obama diplomatic strategy. Also, they might have a numbers of submarines (exact numbers and submarines qualities depend on the source of information I have found). I hope they are not planning to load them with nuclear weapon, but I have no information to state so, I just hope they will not!

Well again a reminder that we need to keep financing our CF decently despite the bad economical situation.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on April 14, 2009, 18:03:45
Doesn't look good. Hopfully the North Korean will not take advantage of the Obama diplomatic strategy.

Why not; everyone else is!
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Yrys on April 14, 2009, 19:45:54
[N Korea orders UN inspectors out (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7999024.stm)

North Korea has ended co-operation with UN nuclear
inspectors and ordered them to leave the country,
the International Atomic Energy Agency says.

Pyongyang told the IAEA to remove seals and equipment
from the Yongbyon reactor and said that it would reactivate
its nuclear facilities, the watchdog said.

The move came after the communist nation said it was
pulling out of talks on ending its nuclear programme. North
Korea is angry about a UN statement condemning its rocket
launch.  Pyongyang says the 5 April launch was aimed at
putting a communications satellite in orbit.

But other nations believe it was testing long-range missile
technology, in violation of a UN resolution banning Pyongyang
from ballistic missile development.
...
The US called Pyongyang's decision to withdraw a "serious
step" in the wrong direction.  "We call on North Korea to
cease its provocative threats... and to honour its
international commitments," a White House spokesman said.

China and Russia, meanwhile, have urged North Korea to
reconsider its decision, with Beijing calling for "calm and restraint".

Analysts say the action from North Korea appears to be
an attempt to test the Obama administration and to force
it to make fresh concessions.

North Korea carried out a nuclear test in October 2006.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Antoine on April 14, 2009, 20:47:57
Yup, my  :2c: that many unfriendly countries are closely watching how Obama is handling the situation with North Korea. We are damn lucky that China seems to surf on a peacefull waves with us to develop their economical growth !
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on April 14, 2009, 21:18:46
Time proven Nork strategy. Create a crisis and milk it for all its worth. Meaning they will make concessions after they get an increase in aid.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Antoine on April 15, 2009, 00:08:28
Lets hope that the elastic won't break (French expression, I am not sure it is translatable)  ;)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Michael O'Leary on April 15, 2009, 01:00:34
More info on the current situation:

North Korea Expels Monitors, Aims to Restart Nuclear Work
    * ASIA NEWS
    * APRIL 15, 2009
By EVAN RAMSTAD and DAVID CRAWFORD

Quote
SEOUL -- North Korea said it has abandoned aid-for-disarmament talks and ordered international monitors out of the country, leaving the U.S. and others to figure out a new way to deal with Pyongyang's pursuit of dangerous weapons.

Coming on the heels of North Korea's latest weapons-related test -- the April 5 firing of a missile-like rocket -- the moves show that Pyongyang can resist international pressure despite its poverty.

North Korea ordered International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors out of the country, ending global monitoring of a research reactor at Yongbyon and in theory allowing reprocessing of fuel rods to make plutonium.

The five other nations in the disarmament talks -- China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the U.S. -- must decide whether to try to restart the process or take a new approach to the North.

In Washington, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs called North Korea's threat to withdraw from the talks and restart its nuclear program "a serious step in the wrong direction."

More on link (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123968011495616255.html)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on April 16, 2009, 10:07:18
Other options that should be considered:

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/its-time-to-strangle-north-korea/

Quote
It’s Time to Strangle North Korea

Posted By Gordon G. Chang On April 15, 2009 @ 12:00 am In Asia, China, Homeland Security, Koreas, US News, World News | 9 Comments

On Tuesday, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the abhorrent state run by Chairman Kim Jong Il, [1] said it would restart its plutonium facilities and “never participate” in the six-party disarmament talks. Furthermore, it repudiated all agreements to disarm. The blast from Pyongyang was in reaction to Monday’s [2] statement of the president of the Security Council condemning the April 5 launch of a North Korean missile.

Pyongyang’s announcement will undoubtedly shake State Department officials and Obama staffers, but Americans made of sterner stuff will welcome the news. As an initial matter, North Korea’s only plutonium reactor, located in Yongbyon, was supplied by the Soviets in the middle of the 1960s. It is well past its useful life. Let the North Koreans restart it if they dare. There is, after all, nothing so delegitimizing as a self-inflicted mushroom cloud, as Chernobyl taught us more than two decades ago. We were generous — perhaps foolish — to have paid Mr. Kim to close Yongbyon down in the first place. And do you think the nearby Chinese are going to allow Kim to create radioactive clouds that will drift toward Beijing?

Of course, Pyongyang can build new reactors as it announced some time ago. Yet Kim has not made much progress, largely because he does not have the resources to continue their construction. North Korea, now in the fourth year of a downturn, has a gross domestic product so small — about $20 billion — that some buildings in Manhattan boast a larger economy. So let’s see if the Kimster can begin building sophisticated reactors.

And what about Pyongyang’s threat to permanently shun Beijing’s six-party talks? That promise sounds hollow. But let’s assume, for the moment, that the North Koreans mean what they say. I say the end of the negotiations is a good thing. The discussions, which began in August 2003, made relatively quick progress at first. In September 2005, the six nations — China, North Korea, Russia, Japan, South Korea, and the United States — agreed to a statement of principles. Pyongyang, for its part, committed itself to giving up “all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs” and pledged “at an early date” to rejoin the nuclear nonproliferation treaty and submit to international inspections.

The negotiations predictably broke down over verification of Pyongyang’s promises. To get things back on track, the Bush administration, in one of the most humiliating incidents in the annals of American diplomacy, violated American law in 2007 by transferring back to the North Koreans $25 million in dirty money that had been previously frozen in a Macau bank. By now, it is clear that Kim, in the absence of the threat of force or extreme pressure, will never agree to strict inspections of his nuclear facilities.

In the absence of verification, Pyongyang’s promises are worthless. Actually, they have been worse than worthless because they have inhibited Washington from thinking of more effective strategies for disarming the militant state. The United States has been directly talking with North Korea since June 1993. Negotiations since then have been bilateral and multilateral, formal and informal. They have been conducted in the capitals of the participants and in neutral settings. Every conceivable format has been tried at least once. Talks have been everything but successful.

Almost everyone says that diplomacy carries no cost. Yet that is not true. North Korea did not have the bomb in June 1993. Today it does, and its missile program is far more advanced. In short, negotiations have given dangerous despots — Kim Jong Il and his now-departed dad, Kim Il Sung — what they needed most in order to arm themselves: time.

North Korea, despite its statement yesterday, did not end its participation in the nuclear talks and turn its back on agreements because of the Security Council’s weak criticism. Kim Jong Il, unfortunately, inherited the most militarized nation on earth — and then further elevated the position of the army with his songun, or “military first,” policy. North Korea is unique among one-party states in that the ruling Korean Workers’ Party is subordinate to another institution in society. Kim relied on the generals to consolidate his position after the death of his dad in 1994. Now, he is once again dependent on the top brass as he is in ill-health — recovering from one or more strokes last August — and needs its support for his plans to pass power to one of his sons.

North Korea has been trying to weaponize the atom since at least the early 1980s and maybe even as early as the mid-1960s. The generals are not going to give up their most destructive weapon just because Foreign Ministry officials have signed pieces of paper with foreigners. We would like to think we live in a rational age where disputes can be settled by conversation in large rooms. Nonetheless, hostile regimes do not always share our vision of international relations.

Today, there have been the predictable calls for going back to the bargaining table. For example, Harvard’s Hui Zhang [3] contends that we must negotiate because, among other reasons, the North Koreans might sell fissile material or nukes to other countries. Yet while we were talking in Beijing in the six-party context, Pyongyang was transferring nuclear technology to Iran and Syria. The proliferation threat posed by Kim Jong Il is ongoing — and ignored in Washington by both the Obama administration and its predecessor.

So let’s take the North Koreans at their word, walk away from the talks, and strangle their horrible regime. It would be better to do this before Chairman Kim — or some renegade colonel — fires a nuclear-tipped missile in our direction. Or helps the Iranians to do the same.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/its-time-to-strangle-north-korea/

URLs in this post:
[1] said: http://www.kcna.co.jp/item/2009/200904/news14/20090414-24ee.html
[2] statement: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=30461&Cr=dprk&Cr1=
[3] contends: http://www.nautilus.org/fora/security/09030Zhang.html
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Big Beef on April 17, 2009, 02:51:02
/facepalm

North Korea.... why does it still exist? Seriously.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Michael O'Leary on April 22, 2009, 18:36:40
North and South Korea talks last only 22 minutes

Article link (http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/04/22/north.korea.south.talks/index.html?eref=ib_topstories).

Quote
(CNN) -- Details emerged Wednesday from the first government-to-government talks between the two Koreas in more than a year.

Tuesday's talks ended quickly -- after 22 minutes -- South Korea's Unification Ministry said.

The two sides were to discuss business deals tied to the Kaesung Industrial Complex in North Korea, which is run by both nations. The talks broke off after the North Korean delegation refused to discuss the release of a detained South Korean worker, saying he was not on the agenda, according to South Korean officials.

 The South Korean delegation was not able to meet the worker, or learn whether he would be formally charged with a crime, the Unification Ministry said.

The employee of Hyundai Asan Corp. has been accused of criticizing North Korea's political system and trying to persuade a local worker to defect, according to the Yonhap news agency. Pyongyang has held him at the industrial complex since March 30, the news agency said.

The South Korea delegation said it would take "stern action that could lead to serious consequences," if the matter were not resolved.

The brief meeting between North and South follows the recent test launch of a long-range rocket by North Korea.
advertisement

The launch was condemned by the U.N. Security Council as a violation of a resolution banning ballistic missile testing. North Korea later expelled U.S. nuclear experts and U.N. nuclear inspectors, ended six-party talks and said it would reactivate all its nuclear facilities.

The six-party talks -- involving China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and the United States -- are aimed at disarming the North of nuclear weapons.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on April 22, 2009, 21:55:13
North and South Korea talks last only 22 minutes



Maybe the diplomats realized they were late for watching the concert of the South Korean girl group Wonder Girls, who had held a concert aboard the ROKN assault carrier DOKDO. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jgqIqOwMGQ) ;D
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Red Hackle on April 22, 2009, 22:38:04


The top US commander in South Korea said on Wednesday that North Korea has the world's largest artillery force and could rain fire on Seoul should the communist state decide to provoke all-out conflict.
General Walter Sharp's comments came amid rising tensions on the peninsula.

Last Saturday the North's military reminded South Korea that its densely populated capital is "only 50 km away" from the border.


Sharp, commander of some 28,500 US troops in South Korea, said the North has "an old but very large military that is positioned in a very dangerous place, very close" to South Korea.

"They have a very large special operating force. It has the world's largest artillery force that is positioned as far south as possible and that can rain on Seoul today," he told local business leaders.

The North maintains 80,000 special forces and is believed to have some 13,000 artillery pieces deployed along the border, Sharp said.

Cross-border relations are at their worst in a decade after South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak abandoned his predecessors' policy of providing almost unconditional aid to the North.

Pyongyang is also angry at Seoul's announced intention to join a US-led initiative against shipments of weapons of mass destruction.

It says any move by its neighbour to join the Proliferation Security Initiative would be seen as a declaration of war.

Sharp said US and South Korean troops are prepared to "fight and win" at any moment, stressing they "have operational plans prepared in order to be able to meet any contingencies
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on April 27, 2009, 02:09:09
Another update:

Quote
Kim Jong Il's son elevated to defense post
Updated April 27, 2009 10:50 AM 


SEOUL (AP) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's youngest son has reportedly been named to the powerful National Defense Commission, an appointment analysts said indicates the 26-year-old is being groomed to take power.

Kim Jong Un speaks English, likes basketball — and is said to look and act just like his father.
The reclusive, nuclear-armed communist nation's next leader has been the focus of intense media speculation since Kim, 67, reportedly suffered a stroke last summer.

Kim has ruled with absolute authority since his father, Kim Il Sung, died in 1994, leading to the communist world's first hereditary power succession.

Kim Jong Il has allowed no opposition, raising concerns about a power struggle if he dies suddenly without naming a successor.

The eccentric leader has three known sons by two women. The oldest, Kim Jong Nam, was long considered his favorite — until he tried to sneak into Japan using a fake Dominican passport and visit Tokyo's Disney resort in 2001.

The middle son, Kim Jong Chol, apparently has never been a favorite as a possible leader. Kim Jong Il's former sushi chef says in a 2003 memoir that the leader considers his second son "girlish."

But talk about the youngest son has been growing. On Sunday, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported Kim Jong Un was assigned to a low-level post at the defense commission, the top government body, several days before his father was reappointed as the commission's chairman on April 9.

That reappointment marked the first major public appearance for the "Dear Leader" after his reported stroke. He was gaunter, grayer.

Yonhap, citing unidentified sources it says are privy to North Korea affairs, said Kim Jong Un's appointment means he has embarked on his training as successor and is expected to move step by step into the commission's higher-level posts.

South Korea's Unification Ministry and the National Intelligence Service said they cannot confirm the report.

Little is known about Kim Jong Un. The former sushi chef, Kenji Fujimoto, says in his memoir that the son looks and acts just like his father.

The teen studied at the International School of Bern in Switzerland, a short walk from the North Korean embassy, where classes are taught in English and many students come from diplomatic families.

A recent article in the French-speaking weekly L'Hebdo described Kim Jong Un as a shy student enrolled under the name of Chol Pak, who enjoyed team sports like basketball, went skiing with friends on Fridays and admired Michael Jordan and Jean-Claude Van Damme.

"He had a lot of friends among the children of American diplomats," the school's past director, David Gatley, told L'Hebdo.

Kim Jong Il believes his youngest son has "charismatic leadership" like him, said Cheong Seong-chang, a senior analyst at the security think tank Sejong Institute.
Cheong said Kim Jong Il's health problems would speed up his naming an heir.

But Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies, disagreed, saying Kim Jong Il is believed to be focusing more on consolidating his support base rather than appointing his successor, which would quickly erode his power and "worsen his health condition."

US and its allies have pressured Kim's communist regime for years to give up its nuclear and missile development programs. The standoff intensified after the North's April 5 launch of a rocket it called a satellite. Regional powers argued it was a test of advanced missile technology.

The UN condemned the launch. In response, the North pledged to boycott six-nation nuclear talks, expelled international nuclear monitors and reactivated its facilities to harvest plutonium for atomic weapons.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on May 07, 2009, 02:36:19
Here we go again. The DPRK wants some attention.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/090507/world/international_us_korea_north_test

Quote
North Korea seen readying for new nuclear test  
Module body

2 hours, 46 minutes ago
 
SEOUL (Reuters) - There is increased activity at North Korea's known nuclear test site, a South Korean news report said on Thursday, suggesting Pyongyang is gearing up for a new test as it has threatened in response to tightened U.N. sanctions.

ADVERTISEMENT
 
Impoverished North Korea, whose only nuclear test in October 2006 led to U.N. financial and trade sanctions, could be ready to test another nuclear device in a matter of weeks, experts have said.


"Underground nuclear tests are hard to predict and you can't tell when exactly a nuclear test would be possible, but we think the North is ready to conduct a test in a near future if it wants to," the Chosun Ilbo daily quoted a government source as saying.


South Korean authorities are monitoring increased and steady activity at the Phunggye-ri site in the North Hamgyong province where the North conducted the 2006 test, the newspaper said.


The North also appears to have stepped up construction at a new long-range missile launch site in the west that had been expected originally to be completed by the end of the year, the government source was quoted as saying.


South Korea's Foreign Ministry and the spy agency declined to comment on the report.


Last week, the North threatened a new nuclear test unless the U.N. Security Council apologized and withdrew the sanctions, tightened after it launched a long-range rocket in April.


Analysts say North Korea wants to play out its test preparations, many of which can be seen by U.S. spy satellites, for as long as possible to increase leverage in negotiations aimed at ending its efforts to build a nuclear arsenal.


Talks among six countries, which also include South Korea, Japan, China and Russia, have been deadlocked over disagreement on how to inspect the North's nuclear arms program and how to compensate Pyongyang for dismantling it.


Experts said the North's first nuclear test in 2006 was only a partial success because the strength of the blast was relatively low, indicating problems with the weapons design or the fissile material at its core.


(Reporting by Jack Kim; Editing by David Fox)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: dapaterson on May 24, 2009, 14:31:10
From the Wall Street Journal, a tale of people who in their free time have compiled a comprehensive list and map of North Korea and its installations

Full article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124295017403345489.html

Quote
SEOUL -- In the propaganda blitz that followed North Korea's missile launch last month, the country's state media released photos of leader Kim Jong Il visiting a hydroelectric dam and power station.

Images from the report showed two large pipes descending a hillside. That was enough to allow Curtis Melvin, a doctoral candidate at George Mason University in suburban Virginia, to pinpoint the installation on his online map of North Korea.

Mr. Melvin is at the center of a dozen or so citizen snoops who have spent the past two years filling in the blanks on the map of one of the world's most secretive countries. Seeking clues in photos, news reports and eyewitness accounts, they affix labels to North Korean structures and landscapes captured by Google Earth, an online service that stitches satellite pictures into a virtual globe. The result is an annotated North Korea of rocket-launch sites, prison camps and elite palaces on white-sand beaches.

"It's democratized intelligence," says Mr. Melvin.

More than 35,000 people have downloaded Mr. Melvin's file, North Korea Uncovered. It has grown to include thousands of tags in categories such as "nuclear issues" (alleged reactors, missile storage), dams (more than 1,200 countrywide) and restaurants (47). Its Wikipedia approach to spying shows how Soviet-style secrecy is facing a new challenge from the Internet's power to unite a disparate community of busybodies.

North Korea Uncovered: http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showthreaded&Number=861907&site_id=1#import
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Michael O'Leary on May 25, 2009, 01:09:51
Shared IAW fair dealings, etc., etc.

Quote
Reports: NKorea may have conducted nuclear test

1 hour ago

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean media are reporting that North Korea may have conducted a nuclear test.

YTN television is citing an unnamed government official and the Yonhap news agency cites a ruling party member as saying the nuclear test may have occured Monday morning.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has convened an emergency meeting.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Realyed articles at link (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iURO8fOyWVOA0ytFlaAGuC9F7R9wD98D0E580).
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Michael O'Leary on May 25, 2009, 01:11:58
Quote
North Korea Says It Conducts Successful Nuclear Test (Update1)

Article link (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601091&sid=aq42uc2ae4Hs&refer=india)

By Bomi Lim

May 25 (Bloomberg) -- North Korea said it conducted a “successful” nuclear test today, carrying out a threat made last month after the United Nations condemned the communist country’s ballistic missile launch.

“The current nuclear test was safely conducted on a new higher level in terms of its explosive power and technology,” the official Korean Central News Agency said in a statement. It was the second time Kim Jong Il’s regime detonated a nuclear device. The first was in 2006.

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake was recorded in northeastern North Korea at 9:54 a.m. local time today, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its Web site. The quake struck 10 kilometers (6 miles) below the surface about 375 kilometers northeast of Pyongyang.

A USGS duty officer said agency seismologists couldn’t determine what caused the release of energy.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bomi Lim in Seoul at blim30@bloomberg.net
Last Updated: May 24, 2009 23:25 EDT
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Sonnyjim on May 25, 2009, 20:26:32
Any thoughts on this latest news? Is it possible to put together a nuclear bomb in less than 4 months? They just put together their Yong Byong reactor recently, which seems 'to me' like they had been making a second one all along all the while being falsely cooperative. I'm no expert on this subject, just highly interested.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on May 26, 2009, 10:58:36
Any thoughts on this latest news? Is it possible to put together a nuclear bomb in less than 4 months? They just put together their Yong Byong reactor recently, which seems 'to me' like they had been making a second one all along all the while being falsely cooperative. I'm no expert on this subject, just highly interested.

Here's one thought: It seems Kim Jong Il and his regime are really asking for it.  They seem to just really want to escalate this whole situation even further.  :o

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090526/ap_on_re_as/as_koreas_nuclear


Quote
By HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press Writer Hyung-jin Kim, Associated Press Writer – 12 mins ago
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea reportedly tested two more short-range missiles Tuesday, a day after detonating a nuclear bomb underground, pushing the regime further into a confrontation with world powers despite the threat of U.N. action.

Two missiles — one ground-to-air, the other ground-to-ship — with a range of about 80 miles (130 kilometers) were test-fired from an east coast launchpad, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported, citing an unidentified government official.

Pyongyang also warned ships to stay away from waters off its western coast this week, a sign it may be gearing up for more missile tests, South Korea's coast guard said.

North Korea is "trying to test whether they can intimidate the international community" with its nuclear and missile activity, said Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

"But we are united, North Korea is isolated and pressure on North Korea will increase," Rice said. On Monday, President Barack Obama assailed Pyongyang, accusing it of engaging in "reckless" actions that have endangered the region, and the North accused Washington of hostility.

Wall Street was lower in early trading as North Korea's actions kept investors on edge.

North Korea appeared to be displaying its might following its underground atomic test that the U.N. Security Council condemned as a "clear violation" of a 2006 resolution banning the regime from developing its nuclear program.

France called for new sanctions, while the U.S. and Japan pushed for strong action against North Korea for testing a bomb that Russian officials said was comparable in power to those dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.

China said it "resolutely opposed" North Korea's test and urged Pyongyang to return to talks on ending its atomic programs.

Russia, once a key backer of North Korea, condemned the test. Moscow's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, the current Security Council president, said the 15-member council would begin work "quickly" on a new resolution.

But many questioned whether new punishment would have any effect on a nation already penalized by numerous sanctions and clearly dismissive of the Security Council's jurisdiction.

"I agree that the North Koreans are recalcitrant and very difficult to hold to any agreement that they sign up to," Britain's ambassador to the U.N., John Sawers, told the British Broadcasting Corp. "But there is a limited range of options here."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he felt "frustrated by the lack of progress in the denuclearization process" and said North Korea's only viable option was to return to the six-party talks on disarmament, and continue exchanges and cooperation with South Korea.

Ban, on a visit to Finland, declined to comment on possible further sanctions.

"I leave it to the Security Council members what measures they should take," said Ban, a South Korean who once participated in international negotiations aimed at dismantling North Korea's nuclear program.

South Korea said it would join a maritime web of more than 90 nations that intercept ships suspected of spreading weapons of mass destruction — a move North Korea warned would constitute an act of war.

North Korea's nuclear test raises worries that it could act as a facilitator of the atomic ambitions of other nations and potentially even terrorists.

Its test of a long-range missile in July 2006 and its first nuclear test in October 2006 drew stiff sanctions from the Security Council and orders to refrain from engaging in ballistic missile-related activity and to stop developing its nuclear program.

South Korean spy chief Won Sei-hoon had told lawmakers earlier Tuesday that a missile test was likely, according to the office of Park Young-sun, a legislator who attended the closed briefing.

Yonhap reported that North Korea was preparing to launch a third missile from a west coast site, again citing an unidentified official. It also reported that three missile tests were conducted Monday.

North Korea had threatened in recent weeks to carry out a nuclear test and fire long-range missiles unless the Security Council apologized for condemning Pyongyang's April 5 launch of a rocket the U.S., Japan and other nations called a test of its long-range missile technology. The North has said it put a satellite into orbit as part of its peaceful space development program.

Monday's nuclear test appeared to catch the world by surprise, but Won told lawmakers that Beijing and Washington knew Pyongyang was planning a test some 20-25 minutes before it was carried out, said Choi Kyu-ha, an aide to lawmaker Park.

Won said Pyongyang warned it would test the bomb unless the head of the Security Council offered an immediate apology. Russia said the test went off at 9:54 a.m. local time (0054 GMT Monday, 8:54 p.m. EDT Sunday). Won confirmed that two short-range missile tests from an east coast launch pad followed.

North Korea's neighbors and their allies scrambled to galvanize support for strong, united response to Pyongyang's nuclear belligerence.

Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak "agreed that the test was a reckless violation of international law that compels action in response," the White House said in a statement after the leaders spoke by telephone. They also vowed to "seek and support a strong United Nations Security Council resolution with concrete measures to curtail North Korea's nuclear and missile activities."

Obama also spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, the White House said, with the leaders agreeing to step up coordination with South Korea, China and Russia. Obama reiterated the U.S. commitment to defend both South Korea and Japan, U.S. and South Korean officials said.

North Korea responded by accusing the U.S. of hostility, and said its army and people were ready to defeat any American invasion.

"The current U.S. administration is following in the footsteps of the previous Bush administration's reckless policy of militarily stifling North Korea," the North's main Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in commentary carried by the country's official Korean Central News Agency.

In Japan, the lower house of parliament quickly passed an unanimous resolution condemning the test and demanding that North Korea give up its nuclear program, a house spokeswoman said.

"This reckless act, along with the previous missile launch, threatened peace and stability in the region, including Japan," the resolution said.

"North Korea's repeated nuclear tests posed a grave challenge to international nuclear nonproliferation," it said. "Japan, the only nation to suffer atomic attacks, cannot tolerate this." Japan is considering tightening sanctions against North Korea, the statement said.

Russia called the test a "serious blow" to efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and suspended a Russia-North Korean intergovernmental trade and economic commission, apparently in response to the test. The slap on the wrist was a telling indication that Moscow, once a key backer of North Korea, was unhappy with Pyongyang.

Seoul reacted to the nuclear test by signing on to the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative, joining 94 nations seeking to intercept ships suspected of carrying nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, materials to make them, or missiles to deliver them.

North Korea for years has warned the South against joining the blockade. The Rodong Sinmun last week said South Korea's participation would be "nothing but a gambit to conceal their belligerence and justify a new northward invasion scheme."

Joining the PSI would end in Seoul's "self-destruction" it said.

In Beijing, the defense chiefs of South Korea and China held a security meeting Tuesday, and they were expected to discuss ways to respond to the nuclear test, Yonhap quoted a South Korean official as saying.

___

Associated Press writers Kwang-tae Kim and Jean H. Lee in Seoul, Shino Yuasa in Tokyo, Matti Huuhtanen in Helsinki, Finland, and Mike Eckel in Moscow contributed to this report.
Quote

   
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: muskrat89 on May 27, 2009, 01:37:39
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,522103,00.html

Quote
North Korea Warns of Military Strike on South After Restarting Nuke Plant

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


 KCNA via AFP


SEOUL, South Korea —  North Korea's military says it considers South Korea's participation in a U.S.-led program to intercept ships suspected of spreading weapons of mass destruction tantamount to a declaration of war against the North.

The communist North's military said in a statement Wednesday that it will respond with "immediate, strong military measures" if the South actually stops and searches any North Korean ships under the Proliferation Security Initiative.

The statement, carried by the North's Korean Central News Agency, said North Korea no longer considers itself bound by the armistice that ended the Korean War, as a protest over the South's participation.

South Korea announced its participation in the anti-proliferation program Tuesday, one day after the North conducted a nuclear test.

North Korea has restarted a weapons-grade nuclear plant and fired five short-range missiles in two days, news reports and South Korean officials said Wednesday, deepening the North's standoff with world powers following its latest nuclear test.

The missile launches came as the U.N. Security Council debated possible new sanctions against the isolated communist nation for its nuclear test on Monday. Retaliatory options were limited, however, and no one was talking publicly about military action.

South Korea's mass-circulation Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported that U.S. spy satellites have detected steam coming from a nuclear facility at North Korea's main Yongbyon plant, indicating the North is reprocessing spent nuclear fuel rods to harvest weapons-grade plutonium.

Its report quoted an unnamed official. South Korea's Defense Ministry and the National Intelligence Service — the country's main spy agency — said they cannot confirm the report.

The North had said it would begin reprocessing in protest over international criticism of its April 5 rocket launch.

North Korea is believed to have enough plutonium for at least half a dozen atomic bombs. The North also has about 8,000 spent fuel rods which, if reprocessed, could allow the country to harvest 13-18 pounds of plutonium — enough to make at least one nuclear bomb, experts said.
Related Stories

   
Yonhap news agency carried a similar report later Wednesday, saying the gate of a facility storing the spent fuel rods was spotted open several times since mid-April. The report, also citing an unnamed South Korean official, said chemical-carrying vehicles were spotted at Yongbyon.

North Korea's military also says it considers South Korea's participation in a U.S.-led program to intercept ships suspected of spreading weapons of mass destruction tantamount to a declaration of war against the North.

The communist North's military said in a statement Wednesday that it will respond with "immediate, strong military measures" if the South actually stops and searches any North Korean ships under the Proliferation Security Initiative.

The statement, carried by the North's Korean Central News Agency, said North Korea no longer considers itself bound by the armistice that ended the Korean War, as a protest over the South's participation.

South Korea announced its participation in the anti-proliferation program Tuesday, one day after the North conducted a nuclear test.

North Korea test-fired three additional short-range missiles Tuesday, including one late at night, from the east coast city of Hamhung, according to South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Won Tae-jae. He said the North already test-launched two short-range missiles from another eastern coast launch pad on Monday, not the three reported by many South Korean media outlets.

More could be planned.

North Korea has warned ships to stay away from waters off its west coast through Wednesday, suggesting more test flights.

Details of Monday's nuclear test may take days to confirm. Russian defense officials said the blast was roughly as strong as the bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II and was stronger than North Korea's first test in 2006.

In New York, U.N. diplomats said key nations were discussing a Security Council resolution that could include new sanctions against North Korea.

Ambassadors from the five permanent veto-wielding council members — the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France — as well as Japan and South Korea were expected to meet again soon, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the meeting is private.

The Security Council met in emergency session Monday and condemned the nuclear test. Council members said they would follow up with a new legally binding resolution.

How far China and Russia, both close allies of North Korea, would go remained the main question.

Russia, once a key backer of North Korea, condemned the test. Moscow's U.N. ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, also the Security Council president, said the 15-member body would begin work "quickly" on a new resolution.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu also said Beijing "resolutely opposed" the nuclear test. It urged Pyongyang to return to negotiations under which it had agreed to dismantle its atomic program.

North Korea is "trying to test whether they can intimidate the international community" with its nuclear and missile activity, said Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

"But we are united, North Korea is isolated, and pressure on North Korea will increase," Rice said.

Diplomats acknowledged, however, that there were limits to the international response and that past sanctions have had only spotty results.

North Korea seemed unfazed by the condemnation.

Thousands of Pyongyang residents, including senior military and party officials, gathered Tuesday in a stadium to celebrate the successful nuclear test.

Choe Thae Bok, a high-ranking party official, was quoted by North Korea's official news agency as saying that the nuclear test "was a grand undertaking" to protect the country against "the U.S. imperialists' unabated threat to mount a pre-emptive nuclear attack and (put) sanctions and pressure upon it."

North Korea blamed the escalating tensions in the region on Washington, saying the U.S. was building up its forces, and defended its nuclear test as a matter of self-preservation.

At the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, An Myong Han, a diplomat from the North Korean mission, said his country "could not but take additional self-defense measures, including nuclear tests and the test launch of long-range missiles, in order to safeguard our national interest."
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on May 27, 2009, 10:27:19
Our inability to get China to restrain Pyongyang has been a dismal failure. The North knows we wont go to war so where do we get some leverage ? I think we need to play the nuclear card with Japan. If and I know its a big IF, we get Japan to announce its intention to become a nuclear power that I think it would be a wake up call for both China and Pyongyang.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on May 27, 2009, 10:59:45
For the question of how long it takes to build a working fission bonb: not long at all. General knowledge exists that would allow me to make a uranium "gun" type bomb given access to materials and sufficient motivation, and I suppose many other people could do that too in theory (many encyclopedias and Wikipedia provide more than enough starting materials for research).

A plutonium "implosion" type weapon is more difficult, but possible given 1940 vintage technology and enough resources (in the case fo the DPRK, slave labour could be enlisted to do much of the "dirty" work and reduce the amount of time and effort spent on securing "clean" conditions for manufacture and assembly of the physics package).

Most of the non nuclear components could exist stockpiled pre made as well, speeding up the actual assembly process.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on May 27, 2009, 11:13:39
More details on the escalating situation: Pyongyang just declared it is no longer bound by the 1953 Armistice. So does this mean war is imminent?  :o

Here we go!

Quote
North Korea threatens to attack South if ships searched  

By Jon Herskovitz
 
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea, facing international censure for this week's nuclear test, threatened on Wednesday to attack the South after it joined a U.S.-led plan to check vessels suspected of carrying equipment for weapons of mass destruction.

In Moscow, news agencies quoted an official as saying that Russia is taking precautionary security measures because it fears mounting tensions over the test could escalate to war.


Adding to mounting tension in the region, South Korean media reported that Pyongyang had restarted a plant that makes plutonium that can be used in nuclear bombs.


North Korea's latest threat came after Seoul announced, following the North's nuclear test on Monday, it was joining the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative, launched under the George W. Bush administration as a part of its "war on terror."


"Any hostile act against our peaceful vessels including search and seizure will be considered an unpardonable infringement on our sovereignty and we will immediately respond with a powerful military strike," a North Korean army spokesman was quoted as saying by the official KCNA news agency.


He reiterated that the North was no longer bound by an armistice signed at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War because Washington had ignored its responsibility as a signatory by drawing Seoul into the anti-proliferation effort.

The U.N. Security Council is discussing ways to punish Pyongyang for Monday's test, widely denounced as a major threat to regional stability and which brings the reclusive North closer to having a reliable nuclear bomb.


Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed security source as saying a stand-off triggered by Pyongyang's nuclear test on Monday could affect the security of Russia's far eastern regions, which border North Korea.


"We are not talking about stepping up military efforts but rather about measures in case a military conflict, perhaps with the use of nuclear weapons, flares up on the Korean Peninsula," the source said.


Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who called him on Wednesday, that Russia would work with Seoul on a new U.N. Security Council resolution and to revive international talks on the North Korean nuclear issue.


INVESTOR RISK


Seoul shares closed lower with traders saying the latest rumblings underscored the risks for investors stemming from troubles along the Cold War's last frontier. The main index has fallen 3 percent this week. The won currency was also down.


The nuclear test has raised concern about Pyongyang spreading weapons to other countries or groups. Washington has accused it of trying try to sell nuclear know-how to Syria and others.


The rival Koreas fought two deadly naval clashes in 1999 and 2002 near a disputed maritime border off their west coast and the North has threatened in the past year to strike South Korean vessels in those Yellow Sea waters.


Analysts say Pyongyang's military grandstanding is partly aimed at tightening leader Kim Jong-il's grip on power to better engineer his succession and divert attention from a weak economy, which has fallen into near ruin since he took over in 1994.


Many speculate Kim's suspected stroke in August raised concerns about succession and he wants his third son to be the next leader of Asia's only communist dynasty.


North Korea has been punished for years by sanctions and is so poor it relies on aid to feed its 23 million people, but that has not deterred it from provocations.

A U.S. Treasury Department official said it was weighing possible action to isolate the North financially. A 2005 U.S. clampdown on a Macau bank suspected of laundering money for Pyongyang effectively cut the country off from the international banking system.

The secretive North appears to have made good on a threat issued in April of restarting a facility at its Yongbyon nuclear plant that extracts plutonium, South Korea's largest newspaper, Chosun Ilbo, reported.

"There are various indications that reprocessing facilities in Yongbyon resumed operation (and) have been detected by U.S. surveillance satellite, and these include steam coming out of the facility," it quoted an unnamed government source as saying.

The Soviet-era Yongbyon plant was being taken apart under a six-country disarmament-for-aid deal. The surveillance had yet to detect any signs that the North, which conducted its only prior nuclear test in October 2006, was again separating plutonium.

'GRAND UNDERTAKING'

North Korea's meager supply of fissile material is likely down to enough for five to seven bombs after Monday's test, experts have said. It could probably extract enough plutonium from spent rods cooling at the plant for another bomb's worth of plutonium by the end of this year.

Japan's upper house of parliament denounced the test and said in a resolution the government should step up its sanctions.

North Koreans celebrated, with a rally in the capital of top cadres and military brass, KCNA said.

"The nuclear test was a grand undertaking to protect the supreme interests of the DPRK (North Korea) and defend the dignity and sovereignty of the country and nation," it quoted a communist party official as saying.

The North's next step may to be resume operations at all of Yongbyon, with experts saying it could take the North up to a year to reverse disablement steps. Once running, it can produce enough plutonium to make one bomb a year.

The hermit state has also threatened to launch a long-range ballistic missile if the Security Council does not apologize for tightening sanctions to punish it for an April launch widely seen as a missile test that violated U.N. measures.

(Additional reporting by Jack Kim, Rhee So-eui and Kim Junghyun in Seoul, Isabel Reynolds in Tokyo and Oleg Shchedrov in Moscow; Editing by Jonathan Thatcher and Bill Tarrant)

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: lpfan55 on May 27, 2009, 13:43:36
Start digging the bomb shelters?  ??? So does this mean that Norht Korea is now going to start "Flexing their muscles" even more to test reactions?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Old Sweat on May 27, 2009, 14:21:25
No one knows for sure. However NK has mastered the art of the tantrum, which is not meant to trivialize the threats of a very dangerous regime, knowing that the outside world will then make overtures and offer to talk. The NK government is well aware of the state of the armed forces of its potential foes and that they are heavily engaged in other theatres. I suspect they figure they will be able to extract more at this time by wild threats and insults.

On the other hand, the 56-year long truce may be over. At which point, my vaguely remembered Canadian army drinking songs of the fifties and sixties like "We'll Fight for the 'Good Chap' Sighman Rhee" and "Provost" will be back in vogue.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Xiang on May 27, 2009, 15:50:58
Quote
More details on the escalating situation: Pyongyang just declared it is no longer bound by the 1953 Armistice. So does this mean war is imminent?

IIRC, that armistice was never officially signed by South Korea anyway, essentially meaning the two halves of the continent have technically still been at war, only without a shot fired in anger.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on May 27, 2009, 23:59:37
Gates is in the region calling for unity among US allies against North Korea.

Seems only reasonable to do if North Korea threatens war.

From AP via Yahoo News:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090528/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_us_nkorea

Quote
WASHINGTON – The U.S. on Wednesday accused North Korea of "provocative and belligerent" behavior as Defense Secretary Robert Gates took on the delicate task of reassuring Asian allies of U.S. support without further provoking the communist government.

Gates flew to Singapore for meetings with foreign ministers aimed at a cohesive response to the North Korean atomic test. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton issued stern statements underscoring the firmness of U.S. treaty commitments to defend South Korea and Japan, U.S. allies in easy range of the North's missiles.

Gates' trip to meet with leaders from South Korea, Japan and other Far East nations had already been planned, but U.S. officials said North Korea's bomb and missile tests and heated rhetoric would dominate the discussions.

Gates is scheduled to visit the Philippine capital in Manila and will possibly discuss U.S. troop levels stationed there. He also planned to stop by two U.S. bases in Alaska on his way back to Washington next week.

(...)


North Korea is believed to have enough plutonium for at least a half-dozen weapons, but experts say it still has not mastered the miniaturization technology required to mount a nuclear warhead on a long-range

(...)

South Korea had resisted joining the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative, a network of nations seeking to stop ships from transporting materials used in nuclear bombs. It joined the coalition after Monday's bomb test — a move that North Korea described Wednesday as akin to a declaration of war.

(...)
 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: uncle-midget-Oddball on May 28, 2009, 00:28:07
However NK has mastered the art of the tantrum

I'll admit that I don't have any degrees in international relations or anything like that, but to me, North Korea doesn't really seem to be throwing tantrums.  Personally, I see their little stunts as a way to either:
A: Get what they want, in terms of appearing like a superpower.

Or

B: The madmen in charge actually want to go to war.

They have been threatening to declare war for years for the smallest things, like boarding/searching a ship bound for NK.  So, I see it as a matter of either calling their bluff, or they are doing everything they can to be able to declare war.

Oddball
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: aesop081 on May 28, 2009, 00:36:37

A: Get what they want, in terms of appearing like a superpower.

Or

B: The madmen in charge actually want to go to war.


Either way, we should drop one on them before they drop one on us.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Gunnar on May 28, 2009, 00:38:06
Quote
I see their little stunts as a way to either:
A: Get what they want, in terms of appearing like a superpower.

When a child throws a screaming hissy fit, he is telling his parents "I'll act like this every time  you try to discipline me, until you learn your place".  Prompt action by the parents usually nips that in the bud, and the child stops throwing tantrums.  If the parent caves, the kid throws a tantrum every time he wants something, because HE is calling the shots.

When North Korea throws a screaming hissy fit, Kim Jong Il (of World Police singing fame) is telling the world super powers "I'll act like this every time you try to discipline me, until you learn your place".  Mealy-mouthed comments by the UN, OR governments that ought to know better just lead him to think that he is in charge.

World politics is really a lot like disciplining a child.  "I want this".  "You can't have it".  "I'll hit you"  "I'll send you directly to bed young man, and don't you dare raise a hand to  your elders".

Option B is just the tantrum-thrower raising the stakes.

I sometimes wonder if the solution to poor politics is proper parenting....
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: uncle-midget-Oddball on May 28, 2009, 01:15:02
"I'll act like this every time  you try to discipline me, until you learn your place". 

 "I'll act like this every time you try to discipline me, until you learn your place".
 
World politics is really a lot like disciplining a child.  "I want this".  "You can't have it".  "I'll hit you"  "I'll send you directly to bed young man, and don't you dare raise a hand to  your elders".


These are where calling their bluff comes into play. 
 
Little kid/North Korea  "I'm going to declare war if you look in my closet."

Parent/Damn near every other nation: " You're full of bullsh!t. Smarten up, or I'm going to take 'x' away from you."

It's bound to happen eventually, and when it does, the result will either be North Korea folding up in a defensive way and pouting, or they're actually serious and war breaks out.

Quote
Either way, we should drop one on them before they drop one on us.
We've had over fifty years of 'watching' to know where damn near every artillery battery aimed at Seoul is located.... question is, after they're gone, can a one million man army be stopped in less than 70 km?

(I'm on the same page as you btw. If it's going to happen, we might as well have the upper hand from the get-go)


Oddball
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on May 28, 2009, 04:01:37
For those wondering about China's reaction to this whole escalating situation...

Quote
May 28 (Bloomberg) -- China has the ability to cripple North Korea by cutting off shipments of food, fuel, and luxury goods that Kim Jong Il doles out to loyalists. Kim’s nuclear detonation may put that leverage in play and test its impact on the leadership.

China is increasingly frustrated by North Korea’s defiance of United Nations resolutions designed to curb its atomic and missile programs and is worried that a nuclear-armed government in Pyongyang could spark a new arms race in Asia, analysts and a person familiar with the Obama administration’s policy said.  
Until now, China has rebuffed U.S. and Japanese calls for tougher economic penalties against North Korean leader Kim, agreeing only on narrow UN sanctions aimed at regime-run companies and arms imports.

“China may be reaching a point of understanding that Kim is going too far,” said Dennis Wilder, a former Asia director for the White House National Security Council.

Should the Chinese leadership shift against North Korea, it isn’t clear what levers would be used or whether economic clout would translate into political influence over a regime in a possible succession battle, according to the person familiar with administration policy and experts on China and North Korea.

By normal measures of economic influence, China has overwhelming and growing power over North Korea. China accounted for 73 percent of North Korea’s international trade last year, up from less than a third in 2003, according to the Seoul-based Korea Trade & Investment Promotion Agency.

Oil, Food

China supplies 90 percent of North Korea’s oil demand, 80 percent of consumer goods and 45 percent of its food, Dong Yong Seung, a researcher on North Korean issues at the Samsung Economic Research Institute in Seoul, said.

China didn’t want to use stronger measures in the past out of fear of alienating possible successors to Kim or even sparking the collapse of North Korea, its ally of 60 years, and fomenting a refugee crisis along their 800-mile border.

An April 5 rocket launch, the May 25 nuclear detonation and subsequent short-range missile tests may lead China to work more closely with the U.S., the person familiar with U.S. policy said.

China’s foreign ministry said the country “resolutely opposes” North Korea’s nuclear test. On May 25 China agreed with the U.S., Japan and Russia to work toward a UN resolution censuring North Korea for its nuclear test and missile launches.   (....)

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aiq8iNe42T3g&refer=home
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on May 28, 2009, 09:38:28
Counting on China to help out is the fools option; China will do what is best for China's self interest (and leaving the US dangling and inducing fear, uncertainty and doubt into Russia, South Korea, Japan and other Pacific Rim nations can't hurt China's ambitions). Given the speed and ease with which China *could* throttle the DPRK (having essentially all the economic arteries in the palm of their hand) and the fact they have not should tell us something.

In the mean time, the grown ups look for the least worst options:

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/05/inside-americas-mock-attack-north-korea/

Quote
Inside America’s (Mock) Attack on North Korea
By Noah Shachtman  May 27, 2009  |  7:07 am  |  Categories: Army and Marines, Rogue States

Even the hawks say there’s not much America can do, in response to North Korea’s nuclear test. But that doesn’t mean the U.S. military isn’t prepping for a war with the Kim Jong-Il regime, just in case.

In March, American and South Korean forces teamed up for the “Key Resolve/Foal Eagle” war game. 13,100 troops from outside Korea — and tens of thousands more, already stationed in the country — participated in the massive exercise, which focused on “deploying troops and equipment to Korea in the event of an attack,” according to a military press release.

Some U.S. and South Korean commandos made airborne jumps together from a helium blimp; others, from helicopters hovering above the Korea Strait. A third group ran a mock “operation to secure a suspected chemical weapons lab.” Unconventional weapons experts drilled in responding to a simulated strike involving “hundreds of WMD.” Navy helicopter pilots swept for mines, while Marine fighter pilots flew with their South Korean counterparts to “wipe out” simulated enemy aircraft.

The Americans and their allies kicked all kinds of butt in the exercise, of course. Other war games, testing out the North Korean scenario, didn’t end quite as cleanly. One ran by The Atlantic in 2005 forecast 100,000 or more dead civilians in the first few days. And that was if the U.S. could assemble the half-million to million troops needed for such an assault; none of the participants thought such a staggering number of troops could be gathered together, given all of America’s military commitments around the world.

Two years earlier, the Pentagon put together a very different kind of war plan for North Korea — one that didn’t involve ground troops at all. Instead, U.S. forces would lob bombs and missiles and electronic attacks in an instant “global strike.” Even nuclear weapons were considered, as part of the plan.

A similar “bolt from the blue” was proposed in a 2005 article for the Washington Post, by former Defense Secretary William Perry and Ashton Carter, who today serves as the Pentagon’s weapons-buyer-in-chief. They proposed taking out a North Korean long-range missile on the launchpad, to prevent the nuclear Kim Jong-Il from test-firing an ICBM. The surgical strike was, of course, never ordered. And the missile itself was kind of a dud.

In 2003, retired Colonel John Collins ran through the possible moves and countermoves in a military standoff on the Korean peninsula — from blockades to full-out nuclear strikes.  His conclusion: “Any of the U.S. options described above could trigger uncontrollable escalation that would create appalling casualties on both sides of the DMZ and promise a Pyrrhic victory at best. Unilateral actions by the United States without unqualified ROK [Republic of Korea] agreement and willing participation every step of the way would be immoral as well as ill- advised. Inaction while Kim Jong Il develops a robust nuclear arsenal and perhaps supplies nuclear weapons to U.S. enemies, unfortunately, would worsen any future confrontation.”

From a military perspective, crippling the command and control infrastructure then hammering the logistics pipeline would be the "best" options to limit the ability of the DPRK to prosecute or exploit an invasion (I doubt there is the political will to preemptively strike the DPRK), most North Korean units would die on the vine out of contact with the leadership and denied food, fuel and munitions. The mopping up would consume most of the energy and resourses of the Alliance, while China could quietly slip into the DPRK to begin "humanitarian" and "stability" operations.

See also Robert Kaplan When North Korea Falls (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200610/kaplan-korea)

Phase One: resource depletion;

Phase Two: the failure to maintain infrastructure around the country because of resource depletion;

Phase Three: the rise of independent fiefs informally controlled by local party apparatchiks or warlords, along with widespread corruption to circumvent a failing central government;

Phase Four: the attempted suppression of these fiefs by the KFR once it feels that they have become powerful enough;

Phase Five: active resistance against the central government;

Phase Six: the fracture of the regime; and

Phase Seven: the formation of new national leadership.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: CANADIAN F0RCES on May 28, 2009, 09:39:04
But do you not think Kim Dong Eel(haha), would start a war seeing as he is more than likely going to die in the somewhat not-to-distant-future. ? just an opinion question. I know it seems he is setting his youngest son up to take over but would he rather trying to go out with a bang?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on May 29, 2009, 00:27:11
Counting on China to help out is the fools option; China will do what is best for China's self interest (and leaving the US dangling and inducing fear, uncertainty and doubt into Russia, South Korea, Japan and other Pacific Rim nations can't hurt China's ambitions). Given the speed and ease with which China *could* throttle the DPRK (having essentially all the economic arteries in the palm of their hand) and the fact they have not should tell us something.

Very true. However, perhaps it is too early to dismiss a possible PLA intervention into North Korea to serve Bejing's own interests, in the same way that the PLA invaded Vietnam, a fellow Communist country, back in 1979 (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,2941.msg812716.html#msg812716).

The Cold War context that led to that other invasion definitely does not exist anymore, but as this other article post (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,46809.msg844965.html#msg844965) indicates, Beijing is growing weary of Pyongyang's constant sabre-rattling which destabilizes the region and threatens the PRC's own continued economic prosperity. 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Sonnyjim on May 29, 2009, 08:28:37
A few more updates..... good thoughts cougar daddy on the PLA possibly stepping in, however they may want to play this one out to further strengthen their own ambitions. As for Kim's sucessor it's still up in the air and only speculated. There were the reports as to his son Kim Jong-chul being a successor and then conflicting reports of a possible brother-in law(correct me if I'm wrong) who is high in the government office but not corrupted by the military ranks. Anyways, as for some new updates, Chinese ships are leaving the area and yet another short range missile.

YEONPYEONG, South Korea – North Korea defiantly test-fired another short-range missile Friday and warned it would take "self-defense" action if provoked by the U.N. Security Council, which is considering tough sanctions against the communist regime for conducting a nuclear test.

The North fired the missile from its Musudan-ni launch site on the east coast, a South Korean government official said. He spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the matter. It is the sixth short-range missile North Korea has test-fired since Monday's nuclear test.

The official did not give further details.

With tensions high on the Korean peninsula, Chinese fishing boats left the region, possibly to avoid any maritime skirmishes between the two Koreas. But U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said the situation was not a crisis and no additional U.S. troops would be sent to the region.

North Korea, meanwhile, warned it would retaliate if provoked...........

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090529/ap_on_re_as/as_koreas_nuclear

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on May 29, 2009, 10:17:48
A PLA intervention however welcome is not very likely. The Chinese would have to govern a bankrupt starving country until they could decide on who would govern the country. Of course the Chinese could then support unification under the ROK and hand the entire mess over to the ROK.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on May 29, 2009, 10:50:03
Strange as it may seem there are some principles in policy and, broadly – including the Viet Nam “intervention” – the Chinese have hewed pretty firmly to one of them: non interference in the internal affairs of others.

This is one of the founding principles of Red Chinese policy – for obvious reasons. And it remains a primary principle today.

It is one of the few policy principles about which the Chinese leadership talks to its domestic audience and, in my opinion, it enjoys broad public support. When, not too long ago, in China, I had the opportunity to discuss the rather sad situation in Sudan and mentioned that China probably had more influence there than did the USA or UK or, especially, Canada, my Chinese acquaintances told me that while they, too, were distressed by the violence and poverty they felt that it was an internal matter for the Sudanese to settle for themselves and they (the Chinese) ought not to interfere.

While there are good reasons for the Chinese to worry - North Korea threatens some of China’s most important investors - there are also good reasons for China to sit on its hands: North Korea discomfits the USA and its allies, but not even the North Koreans are stupid enough to threaten China.

I think we can, and should, understand why Iran and North Korea want nuclear weapons. Look at the “respect” with which India, Israel and Pakistan are treated. Who would not want to be in the “club?” The Chinese are not, I think averse to an even larger nuclear club.

I have little doubt that very, very senior Chinese officials have warned the North Koreans away from any attacks on anybody. But I can see no reason why China should want to violate a well known and poplar “principle” and interfere, directly, in the business of the sovereign nation of the Democratic People’s Republic Korea (http://www.korea-dpr.com/) (DPRK). I also guess that even more senior Chinese officials have warned America and South Korea away from any precipitous action against the DPRK.

My quesstimate: China cares more for South Korea than for North Korea – and the North Koreans know it. China cares more for Japan than for North Korea and the North Koreans know that, too. China is neither threatened nor hurt by the very real problems the DPRK causes for Japan, South Korea and, above all, the USA. There is, therefore, no good policy reason for China to interfere, formally, in the ongoing mess.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on May 29, 2009, 12:22:37
Strange as it may seem there are some principles in policy and, broadly – including the Viet Nam “intervention” – the Chinese have hewed pretty firmly to one of them: non interference in the internal affairs of others.

This is one of the founding principles of Red Chinese policy – for obvious reasons. And it remains a primary principle today.

It is one of the few policy principles about which the Chinese leadership talks to its domestic audience and, in my opinion, it enjoys broad public support. When, not too long ago, in China, I had the opportunity to discuss the rather sad situation in Sudan and mentioned that China probably had more influence there than did the USA or UK or, especially, Canada, my Chinese acquaintances told me that while they, too, were distressed by the violence and poverty they felt that it was an internal matter for the Sudanese to settle for themselves and they (the Chinese) ought not to interfere.

While there are good reasons for the Chinese to worry - North Korea threatens some of China’s most important investors - there are also good reasons for China to sit on its hands: North Korea discomfits the USA and its allies, but not even the North Koreans are stupid enough to threaten China.

I think we can, and should, understand why Iran and North Korea want nuclear weapons. Look at the “respect” with which India, Israel and Pakistan are treated. Who would not want to be in the “club?” The Chinese are not, I think averse to an even larger nuclear club.

I have little doubt that very, very senior Chinese officials have warned the North Koreans away from any attacks on anybody. But I can see no reason why China should want to violate a well known and poplar “principle” and interfere, directly, in the business of the sovereign nation of the Democratic People’s Republic Korea (http://www.korea-dpr.com/) (DPRK). I also guess that even more senior Chinese officials have warned America and South Korea away from any precipitous action against the DPRK.

My quesstimate: China cares more for South Korea than for North Korea – and the North Koreans know it. China cares more for Japan than for North Korea and the North Koreans know that, too. China is neither threatened nor hurt by the very real problems the DPRK causes for Japan, South Korea and, above all, the USA. There is, therefore, no good policy reason for China to interfere, formally, in the ongoing mess.

The principle of "non-interference policy" in the domestic or sovereign affairs of other nations serves only one purpose for China: to ward off other nations from interfering from its own domestic affairs- namely sovereignty issues like Taiwan. The PRC may continually protest when the West or the US intervenes in a situation like the "Operation Allied Force" NATO air strikes on Kosovo, which they argued was a Serbian/Yugoslav domestic problem back in 1999, but that is nothing more than lip service and just more material for Xinhua or CCTV to announce to the masses for public consumption. (And of course the rhetoric became far more heated when the Chinese embassy in Belgrade was hit by a US missile during those same air strikes.)

One can argue, that the concern for PRC's own greater interests and regional/PRC domestic stability will override this "non-interference" policy principle if the conditions are right and China's hand is forced.

And as for the said intervention possibility, it does not necessarily have to be a ground invasion. Is the PLAAF not working on developing a precision strike capability? 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: lpfan55 on May 29, 2009, 18:05:52
Either way, we should drop one on them before they drop one on us.

A little pre-emptive maneuvering?  ;)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: uncle-midget-Oddball on May 29, 2009, 20:31:15
I just caught the tail end of something on NewsNet. Didn't catch the whole story, but it looks like the alert level along the DMZ has been raised.

Oddball
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on May 29, 2009, 23:18:35
The principle of "non-interference policy" in the domestic or sovereign affairs of other nations serves only one purpose for China: to ward off other nations from interfering from its own domestic affairs- namely sovereignty issues like Taiwan. The PRC may continually protest when the West or the US intervenes in a situation like the "Operation Allied Force" NATO air strikes on Kosovo, which they argued was a Serbian/Yugoslav domestic problem back in 1999, but that is nothing more than lip service and just more material for Xinhua or CCTV to announce to the masses for public consumption. (And of course the rhetoric became far more heated when the Chinese embassy in Belgrade was hit by a US missile during those same air strikes.)

One can argue, that the concern for PRC's own greater interests and regional/PRC domestic stability will override this "non-interference" policy principle if the conditions are right and China's hand is forced.

And as for the said intervention possibility, it does not necessarily have to be a ground invasion. Is the PLAAF not working on developing a precision strike capability?


No arguments from me re: self serving policy. All policy ought to be self serving, all the time. Policy that serves the interests of others is a waste of time, effort, money and political capital.

The best "answer," for China, is Korean reunification. China wants (South) Korean investment without the bother of starving, backwards, communistic (North) Koreans. War serves no one's interests, as far as I can see.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: old medic on May 29, 2009, 23:57:56

Gates issues warning to North Korea
How Hwee Young / EPA
Secretary of Defense Gates appeared earlier today in Singapore with China's deputy Chief of General Staff Ma Xiaotian. Defense ministers and policy-makers from 27 nations gathered in Singapore for the summit on Asian defense and security.
In a speech in Singapore, the Defense chief says the U.S. will hold Pyongyang 'fully accountable' if it sells or transfers nuclear material abroad.
By Julian E. Barnes
6:32 PM PDT, May 29, 2009
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-gates30-2009may30,0,4747449.story


Quote
Reporting from Singapore -- Drawing the most explicit U.S. line yet on North Korea, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates vowed that the Obama administration would hold North Korea "fully accountable" if it sold or transferred any nuclear material outside its borders.

Gates sketched the framework of a new administration policy by saying that though a nuclear-armed North Korea is unacceptable, any step it takes to spread the technology would invite the swiftest and most forceful U.S. response.

 "The transfer of nuclear weapons or material by North Korea to states or non-state entities would be considered a grave threat to the United States and our allies," Gates told officials gathered at an Asian defense summit here. "And we would hold North Korea fully accountable for the consequences of such action."

Until Gates' speech, the Obama administration's policy to the North Korean nuclear threat was unclear. However, the warning by Gates formed the basis for President Obama's approach, classifying North Korea's ambitions as a security concern for the region but, more seriously, as a proliferation worry for the United States and the rest of the world.

In the five days since North Korea detonated a nuclear bomb and then launched a series of missile tests, including one Friday, U.S. officials and their allies have reacted by denouncing the regime in general terms.

But Gates, in his address in Singapore this morning, was more specific, spelling out what action U.S. officials would find most objectionable and subject to a U.S. response.

He did not specify the potential consequences, but his language hinted at a military reaction by echoing post-Sept. 11 Bush administration warnings that those who harbor terrorists would be "held accountable." Those warnings were followed by a U.S.-led invasion that toppled the Taliban government in Afghanistan.

Gates' speech also may serve as a message to countries and militant groups that are potential buyers of North Korean weaponry. Past customers are believed to include Iran, Syria, Libya, the militant Lebanese group Hezbollah and others.

However, Gates' appearance at the annual security conference also had powerful diplomatic overtones. Following his address, Gates was planning to meet with South Korean and Japanese counterparts to discuss security concerns, and he may meet with Chinese officials.

Those meetings are designed to reinforce U.S. security commitments to its allies and to encourage an expanded Chinese effort to rein in its belligerent neighbor. Gates is being joined in the meetings by Deputy Secretary of State Jacques Steinberg, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and a close White House ally.

Gates in his address said Obama was open to dialogue with North Korea and had pledged to work with "tyrannies that unclench their fists." But Gates said Pyongyang's response to U.S. overtures was disappointing.

"The United States and our allies are open to dialogue, but we will not bend to pressure or provocation," he said. "And on this count, North Korea's latest reply to our overtures isn't exactly something we would characterize as helpful or constructive." At the United Nations, officials continued to negotiate a draft resolution calling for the enforcement of widely ignored sanctions imposed following North Korea's 2006 nuclear test. The sanctions include further limits on shipments of arms and luxury goods.

Meanwhile, international nonproliferation officials said atmospheric tests may be completed next week to determine whether Monday's blast was a nuclear test, as suspected.

Proliferation of nuclear material by North Korea is hardly a new concern. In recent days, administration officials, including Gates, have voiced concerns about the possibility that Pyongyang could seek to sell its nuclear technology. They have noted that North Korea has a track record of spreading its missile and other weapons technology around the world.

Gates has played down any imminent threat posed by North Korea, saying Friday that the Obama administration did not consider the weapons tests of the last week a "crisis."

Gates has said he is in favor of increased U.N.-mandated inspections of North Korean weapons facilities. But the Pentagon is less enthusiastic about searches of North Korean ships against the will of Pyongyang.

The annual security conference in Singapore, organized by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, has become a key platform for U.S. Defense secretaries to outline their approach to Asia.

Gates portrayed the United States as vigorously engaged throughout the region, but with an emphasis both on military security and diplomatic outreach.

"What we have seen in the U.S. approach to Asia in recent years -- and what I believe we will see in the future -- is a very real shift that reflects new thinking in the U.S. defense strategy overall: a shift toward a re-balanced mix of the so-called 'hard' and 'soft' elements of national power," Gates said.

In recent years, security conference addresses by U.S. Defense secretaries have been aimed squarely at China. In Gates' address, the call for greater Chinese military transparency and dialogue, often the focus of past speeches, received only a cursory mention.

The Bush administration often was criticized for eschewing multilateral approaches to security problems. Gates made clear the new administration has no such reservation.

Challenges such as terrorism, economic turmoil, pandemics and piracy require efforts by groups of nations, he said.

"What these challenges all have in common is that they simply cannot be overcome by one, or even two, countries," he said, "no matter how wealthy or powerful."
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on May 30, 2009, 17:28:54
Double yikes!  :o

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090530/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/as_gates_asia_security_summit

Quote
Gates: NKorea nuke progress sign of `dark future'
 Associated Press Writers Lara Jakes And Vijay Joshi, Associated Press Writers – 1 hr 25 mins ago
SINGAPORE – North Korea's progress on nuclear weapons and long-range missiles is "a harbinger of a dark future" and has created an urgent need for more pressure on the reclusive communist government to change its ways, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Saturday.

He said the North's nuclear program does not "at this point" represent a direct military threat to the United States and he does not plan to build up American troops in the region. But the North's efforts pose the potential for an arms race in Asia that could spread beyond the region, he added.

At an annual meeting of defense and security officials, the Pentagon chief said past efforts to cajole North Korea into scrapping its nuclear weapons program have only emboldened it.

North Korea's yearslong use of scare tactics as a bargaining chip to secure aid and other concessions — only to later renege on promises — has worn thin the patience of five nations negotiating with the North, Gates said.

"I think that everyone in the room is familiar with the tactics that the North Koreans use. They create a crisis and the rest of us pay a price to return to the status quo ante," he said in a question and answer session after his speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue.

"As the expression goes in the United States, `I am tired of buying the same horse twice.' I think this notion that we buy our way back to the status quo ante is an approach that I personally at least think we ought to think very hard about. There are perhaps other ways to try and get the North Koreans to change their approach," he said.

The sharp statements were echoed by the South Korean defense minister and even China, North Korea's strongest ally.
They reflect fears throughout the region that last week's nuclear and missile tests by North Korea could spiral out of control and lead to fighting.

"President Obama has offered an open hand to tyrannies that unclench their fists. He is hopeful, but he is not naive," Gates said in his speech.

"Likewise, the United States and our allies are open to dialogue, but we will not bend to pressure or provocation. And on this count, North Korea's latest reply to our overtures is not exactly something we would characterize as helpful or constructive. We will not stand idly by as North Korea builds the capability to wreak destruction on any target in Asia — or on us. At the end of the day, the choice to continue as a destitute, international pariah is North Korea's alone to make. The world is waiting."

The North said it would no longer honor a 1953 armistice truce with South Korea after Seoul joined a 90-plus nation security alliance that seeks to curb nuclear trafficking on the seas.

Additionally, the U.N. Security Council is drafting financial and military penalties against North Korea as punishment for the weapons testing. Similar penalties approved after the North's 2006 atomic test have been only sporadically enforced, and largely ignored by China and Russia.


"I think that the combination of their progress in developing nuclear technology, and their progress in developing multistage long-range missiles, is a harbinger of a dark future," Gates said. "What is now central to multilateral efforts ... is to try to peacefully stop those programs before they do in fact become a `clear and present danger,' as the expression goes."

Gates also warned North Korea against secretly selling its weapons technology to other outlaw nations.

Later, at what officials called the first-ever meeting among defense chiefs from the U.S., Japan and South Korea, Gates asked his counterparts to begin considering other steps against the North should it continue to escalate is nuclear program. The military leaders did not discuss specific potential actions, but U.S. officials who attended the half-hour meeting said any steps would be taken in self-defense.


South Korean Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee said the talks "could not have come at a better time."

"North Korea perhaps to this point may have mistakenly believed that it could be perhaps rewarded for its wrong behaviors," Lee told reporters. "But that is no longer the case."

Earlier Saturday, Lt. Gen. Ma Xiaotian, the second-in-command of the General Staff of China's military, told the security forum that Beijing "has expressed a firm opposition and grave concern about the nuclear test."

The Obama administration said it planned to send a delegation on Sunday to Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing and possibly Moscow over the next week to discuss how to respond to North Korea.


"The reality is that given the objectives of the six-party talks that were established some years ago, it would be hard to point to them at this point as an example of success," Gates said in response to a question after his speech.

Those countries — the U.S., South Korea, China, Russia and Japan — "need to think freshly about where we go from here."

___

On the Net:

Shangri-La Dialogue: http://www.iiss.org/conferences/the-shangri-la-dialogue/
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: old medic on June 01, 2009, 20:18:52
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6410160.ece#cid=OTC-RSS&attr=797093

June 2, 2009
Fears mount that North Korea is preparing to attack the South
By Richard Lloyd Parry

Quote
It was obvious that something was up when the Chinese scarpered. One day there were scores of their fishing boats hoovering up the valuable crabs from the richest of the fishing grounds in the Yellow Sea.

Overnight all but a handful were gone.

Anywhere else the locals would have been glad to have the crabs to themselves but this is no ordinary fishing ground. A few yards from here is the maritime boundary between South and North Korea. “The Chinese fish here because the North Koreans allow them,” a coastguard official said. “If they’ve gone it’s because they’ve had some kind of warning.”

An imminent missile launch into the sea? An armed incursion of North Korean ships? A full-scale invasion of Yeonpyeong, the small South Korean island hard up against the maritime boundary? Too much blood has already been shed in these waters for anyone to risk taking any chances, and for the past week South Korea has been dispatching reinforcements.

No one will discuss numbers for security reasons but sailors and marines, as well as members of the Sea Special Attack Team, the coastguard’s commando force, have been arriving to join the several hundred troops already on Yeonpyeong.

These waters, around the Northern Limit Line, have become the most tense and dangerous patch of sea in Asia.

The rest of the world is pondering what to do about North Korea’s underground test of a nuclear bomb eight days ago. Yesterday fresh reports emerged that the nation was transporting its most advanced missile, capable of reaching Alaska, to a launch site. David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, said that Britain and other members of the UN Security Council were drafting new sanctions against Pyongyang.

In South Korea the most pressing question is: what next? The nuclear test was just the most alarming in a series of growing North Korean provocations. In April the North launched a long-range rocket over the Pacific, and last week half-a-dozen short-range missiles were fired from launch sites across the country.

Pyongyang announced on Wednesday that it was pulling out of the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War — and at the weekend satellite pictures revealed that another long-range rocket was trundling towards the launch pad.

Precedent suggests that if there is still further mischief it may take place here in the Yellow Sea. Twice before, in the past decade, there have been naval battles between North and South off Yeonpyeong island — on both occasions in June during the peak fishing season for blue crab.

Shin Seung Won, 70, a fisherman from Yeonpyeong, was one of those who witnessed the last confrontation, when South Korea was hosting the football World Cup in 2002.

Thunderous explosions were heard out at sea. Soon a South Korean naval ship was unloading the bleeding bodies of dead and injured sailors whose patrol ship had come under fire from a North Korean vessel.

“There was blood everywhere, the sailors were in shock, and one of them had his leg blown off,” Mr Shin says. “It’s impossible to describe my hatred for those commie sons of bitches.”

Six South Korean sailors died, although they claim to have killed a larger number of Northerners — who had used the pretext of monitoring the Chinese crab-fishing vessels to cross the Northern Limit Line.

The South Korean Government of the day played down the action out of a desire to avoid derailing its “sunshine policy” of engagement with the North. The current conservative President, Lee Myung Bak, takes a sterner view.

There seems to be a sense among the security establishment in the South that the country has pussyfooted around the North for long enough and that, with Seoul’s undoubted superiority in equipment, supplies and training, it is time to assert itself. “If they fire two bullets at us we will fire three or four back,” a government official told The Times. “If they fire on us from a shore battery we will take it out.”

The danger of this is more escalation, and of a skirmish developing into a battle and then a full-scale war.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 02, 2009, 03:35:58
Quote
S. Korea sends ship near North border



Agence France-Presse
First Posted 10:09:00 06/02/2009

Filed Under: Politics, Foreign affairs & international relations, Nuclear Policies


SEOUL—(UPDATE2) South Korea deployed a high-speed patrol boat armed with guided missiles close to the volatile maritime border with North Korea on Tuesday as tensions simmered in the wake of Pyongyang's nuclear test.

The move follows reports that the North has stepped up military drills in the area after threatening a military strike on the South and is preparing to test-fire a long-range missile.

The South Korean Navy said it was sending the Yoon Young-ha patrol vessel, equipped with ship-to-ship missiles, to the northwestern border area in the Yellow Sea, the scene of past deadly skirmishes between the two Koreas.

"Compared with North Korean boats, the Yoon Young-ha is armed with overwhelming fire power," a naval spokesman told reporters.

The South Korean navy will "punish immediately" any North Korean forces attempting provocative acts in the area, he said.

North Korea's military has reportedly been using high-speed boats for landing exercises near the western border -- twice the site of naval clashes since 1999.

In the most recent, in 2002, six South Korean sailors died and 18 others were wounded while more than 30 North Koreans were killed or injured. North Korea wants the border to be drawn further south.

Tensions have been running high since Kim Jong-Il's regime tested a nuclear bomb for the second time on May 25 and then launched a series of short-range missiles and renounced the truce that ended the Korean war in 1953.

South Korean and US forces on the peninsula are on heightened alert after the North threatened a possible attack in response to Seoul's decision to join a US-led initiative to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

The North has warned of "self-defense measures" in response to any tougher international sanctions, and US and South Korean officials say that it appears to be preparing to test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Washington warned North Korea Monday not to fire a long-range missile, saying it would further worsen tensions.

State Department spokesman Robert Wood said that a launch would be a "clear violation" of a UN Security Council resolution approved after Pyongyang's first nuclear test, in 2006.

Two US defense officials told AFP in Washington that Pyongyang appeared to have moved a long-range missile to its new launch site at Dongchang-ri along its northwestern coast.

But any launch would likely be weeks away given North Korea's technical capacity, said one of the officials, who asked to remain anonymous.

"It'll take a while for North Korea to put anything together," he said.

In April the North fired a Taepodong-2 rocket over Japan from another site on the east coast. It said the launch was to put a satellite in orbit but other nations saw it as a disguised missile test.

South Korean and Southeast Asian leaders Tuesday condemned North Korea's nuclear test as they wrapped up a summit on the southern resort island of Jeju.

President Lee Myung-Bak and the 10 ASEAN leaders in a statement said the test and recent missile launches were "clear violations" of UN Security Council resolutions and a multi-nation nuclear disarmament pact.

Diplomats at the United Nations Security Council are discussing a new resolution which could impose fresh sanctions on the North.

US envoy Susan Rice said there had been progress in talks with her counterparts from Britain, China, France, Russia, Japan and South Korea when they met Monday.

"I think we are making progress and I am hopeful that in due course we will be producing a very worthy and strong resolution," she said.

A Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the seven were hoping that, after consultations with their respective capitals, they would be able to present a compromise text to the 15-member Security Council on Tuesday.

  The ROKN makes a notable move during all this tension.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Sonnyjim on June 02, 2009, 09:04:51
As for preparing for a full scale invasion of the South, 'I think' there would need to be bigger signs then a few amphibious assault exercises and some Chinese fishing boats leaving the area. Troop movements along/close to the border will be in my mind a very obvious telltale sign, not some exercises in the NW side close to China. Here is a possible explanation(with these guys we can never know just speculate) as to the reasons for these new developments.

        0

What's this
SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea's ailing leader Kim Jong-Il has named his youngest son Jong-Un, a 26-year-old Swiss-educated basketball fan, as heir to his communist dynasty, reports said Tuesday.

ADVERTISEMENT
     
Kim's third son has been described as a "chip off the old block" and is seen by experts as a potentially skilled and ruthless leader, like his father, who has kept his regime in place despite years of famine and economic decline.


There has been intense speculation about who would succeed North Korea's "Dear Leader" since he was reported to have suffered a stroke last August. Kim, now 67, is thought to have since recovered and resumed most of his duties.


South Korea's intelligence services have now received word that he has nominated Jong-Un to succeed him, a South Korean lawmaker briefed by intelligence officials said Tuesday.


North Koreans were reported to already be making pledges of loyalty to Jong-Un and singing songs in praise of "General Kim."

Full Link: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/090602/world/nkorea_politics_kim_succession

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Hamish Seggie on June 02, 2009, 09:40:35
Will the son wear those kool glasses like the Dear Leader wears? Damn I gotta get me a set of those!!
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on June 03, 2009, 00:42:35
Something a bit more effective than "Smart" diplomacy:

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-us-should-overthrow-kim-jong-il/

Quote
The U.S. Should Overthrow Kim Jong Il

Posted By Nicholas Guariglia On June 2, 2009 @ 12:30 am In . Column2 05, . Positioning, Asia, Koreas, World News | 36 Comments

Things on the Korean peninsula are heating up by the hour. This [1] latest round of nuclear and missile tests should come as no surprise, given President Obama’s non-response to North Korea’s missile provocations several weeks ago. This time, however, Pyongyang detonated a 20-kiloton device — the ground shook 130 miles away — which is an estimated 20 times more powerful than the nuclear bomb North Korea tested in 2006.

Predictably, the international community bemoaned with platitudinous reprimands — Obama: “gravely concerned”; the United Nations: “deeply worried” — and even more predictably, North Korea responded by [2] threatening war against South Korea, [3] disavowing the 1953 armistice, and [4] swearing to continue production of nuclear weapons. Surprise, surprise.

What should the United States do? The Obama administration seems satisfied with a continued policy of diplomacy and lethargy. Retired Gen. James Jones, President Obama’s national security advisor[5] claims North Korea is not “an imminent threat.” White House spokesman Robert Gibbs [6] states these actions “won’t get North Korea the attention it craves.” While it is true that North Korea’s escalations often serve the purpose of garnering international attention, the gravity of Kim Jong Il’s behavior should not be downplayed. Each escalation brings with it greater technological advancement and thus a higher likelihood that Kim’s destructive technology will end up in the wrong hands.

Rather than continue the same bilateral and multilateral diplomacy that has failed since 1994, the United States should adopt a much tougher approach. Three ideas come to mind.

First, we should reestablish deterrence with a statement or doctrine of “nuclear culpability.” We should say to Kim: “You’ve been caught proliferating nuclear know-how in black market networks and to our enemies in Iran, Syria, Libya, and elsewhere. As long as you continue this behavior, be forewarned: should a nuclear bomb go off in an American city or that of our allies, we will hold you responsible — along with the culprits. We will assume you were involved somehow, either directly or indirectly.”

This would seriously mess up Kim’s feng shui. It would change all cost-benefit ratios he’s ever concocted inside that tiny, warped brain of his. The little guy is obsessed with maintaining power and by putting him in a position where events would be outside of his control — where he would wake up unsure if someone else’s hostility to the U.S. would lead to his own downfall — we could (and I emphasize could) go a long way in altering Kim’s immediate behavior. This is not a long-term strategy, however: “behavioral change” and “Kim Jong Il” do not belong in the same sentence for any sustained period of time.

Second, we should broadcast radio transmissions into North Korea. Kim Jong Il tells his “subjects” he was born under a rainbow and walked on the moon. According to widespread rumors, he once held a press conference to claim he invented the toaster oven. He wears high heels. He kidnaps Japanese girls, smuggles them to Korea, and chases them around his palaces. In other words, he’s as clinically insane as he is objectively evil. Imagine Charles Manson taking over a country and producing enough plutonium for a nice personal nuke arsenal. Not a pretty scenario.

Yet despite all this — despite the dungeons, the meat grinders, the two million dead from famine, and the widespread malnutrition — the North Korean people, having been subjected to decades of brainwashing and indoctrination, still praise and worship the “dear leader” for every waking moment of their lives.

How could such a nationwide cult-like psychosis be reversed? It would be hard, no doubt, but we should still start a serious reverse-propaganda program of beaming real information into North Korea, similar to Radio Free Europe at the end of the Cold War. We should weaken the tyrant’s rule from within; when done properly, it works almost every time. To paraphrase my friend Michael Ledeen: there are many ways to destroy a dictator when you have his oppressed people on your side.

Third, we should let Japan go nuclear. Charles Krauthammer [7] recommends this approach, which makes great geopolitical sense. We should encourage the Japanese to amend their pacifistic constitution and start popping out A-bombs like Toyotas. A nuclear Japan is no reason to fret: it is a mature democracy, a loyal ally, and a responsible and civilized society. This isn’t the ’40s anymore.

Japan’s nuclearization — which should be temporary and stated as such — would likely worry the Chinese enough to compel them to come down hard on their client state. Getting China to turn on North Korea is the real key and a nuclear Japan would certainly do the trick. Should Beijing remain unfazed by Tokyo going nuclear, maybe President Obama could send Don Rumsfeld on another one of those “special envoy” ambassadorships — this time, to the Far East to call China’s bluff on Taiwan.

Having spent way more time in “diplomacy school” than anyone’s mental health should allow, I can personally attest: active diplomats, retired diplomats-turned-professors, and aspiring would-be diplomats refuse to recognize that some things in this world fall outside of their professional purview. Could we imagine any other profession — say, anesthesiology or lumberjacking — making that same bold claim about itself?

Kim has made a mockery of our diplomacy with him for nearly two decades. He soaked President Clinton for all he was worth, [8] clicking champagne glasses with Madeleine Albright all the while perfecting the art of plutonium production. During the Bush administration, Kim reneged on every preliminary agreement before the preliminary agreement could get its trousers off. And now he’s manhandling Mr. Obama to the point of embarrassment.

Faith is the belief in things unseen and unproven, and Obama certainly has faith in his unproven ability to influence bad actors and bend them to his will. Peter Wehner of Commentary [9] writes of Obama’s faith in diplomacy like so:

During the campaign, whenever asked how he would address a thorny foreign policy issue, Mr. Obama invoked the need for diplomacy — first, last, and always. The failure to reach agreement was found in some misunderstanding, some misperception, some problem of communication that could be cleared up by “talking.” Even those of us who don’t rule out the benefits of negotiating were skeptical about Obama’s seemingly limitless faith in it, or the ease with which he seemed to think these problems could be solved.

Enough is enough. Kim Jong Il has proven he will stop at nothing to produce and proliferate nuclear weapons, and that is a no-no. Diplomacy has failed. Talking for the sake of talking is not working. Serious powers ought to be emphasizing results, not process. “Soft power” is a problem cured by Cialis — not a national security strategy for North Korea. It’s time we started working to bring that twisted, Lilliputian, Chia Pet miscreant down.

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-us-should-overthrow-kim-jong-il/

URLs in this post:
[1] latest round: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090527/ap_on_re_as/as_koreas_nuclear_52
[2] threatening: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/28/world/asia/28korea.html
[3] disavowing: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/26/AR2009052600555.html?wprss=rss_world
[4] swearing: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090527/ap_on_re_as/as_koreas_nuclear_69
[5] claims: http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/national-security-adviser-downplays-n.-korea-threat-2009-05-27.h
tml

[6] states: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090527/pl_afp/nkoreanuclearweaponsuswhouse_20090527180103
[7] recommends: http://www.therightscoop.com/problem-north-korea-answer-nuclear-japan/
[8] clicking: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4443&page=6
[9] writes: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/wehner/67382
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 04, 2009, 00:10:01
So Moscow turns its back on an old ally?

Quote
MOSCOW/SEOUL (Reuters) - Russia has suggested that it may back economic sanctions against North Korea to persuade Pyongyang to scrap its nuclear arms program, while fears grew that the North is about to test another long-range missile.

Diplomats in New York have been in closed-door negotiations for more than a week on a U.N. Security Council resolution that would broaden sanctions imposed on North Korea after its first nuclear test in October 2006.

Traditionally, Russia and China have been reluctant to back sanctions. But Russian President Dmitry Medvedev indicated on Wednesday that was he was prepared to support U.S-led efforts to draft a sanctions resolution against Pyongyang that the 15-nation Security Council could approve by next week.

(....)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/03/AR2009060303362.html
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 04, 2009, 19:48:20
Just another update on the predicament of those two US reporters being held by North Korea for alleged "acts of hostility and spying" against the DPRK government.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090604/ap_on_re_as/as_nkorea_journalists_held

Quote
American journalists head to trial in North Korea
Associated Press Writers Jean H. Lee And William Foreman, Associated Press Writers – 2 hrs 5 mins ago
SEOUL, South Korea – Two American journalists headed to trial Thursday before North Korea's highest court on charges they crossed into the country illegally and engaged in "hostile acts" — allegations that could draw a 10-year sentence in a labor camp.

Laura Ling and Euna Lee, reporters for former Vice President Al Gore's California-based Current TV, were arrested March 17 near the North Korean border while on a reporting trip to China.

Their trial began at a time of mounting tensions on the Korean peninsula following the regime's provocative May 25 nuclear test.


As the United Nations and Washington discussed how to punish the regime for its defiance, there were fears the women could become political pawns in the standoff with Pyongyang.

Analyst Choi Eun-suk, a professor of North Korean law at Kyungnam University, said the court could convict the women, and then the government could use them as bargaining chips with the United States.

"The North is likely to release and deport them to the U.S. — if negotiations with the U.S. go well," Choi said.

The two nations do not have diplomatic relations, and experts called Pyongyang's belligerence a bid to grab President Barack Obama's attention.

North Korea's official news agency said the trial would begin by mid-afternoon, but hours later, there was no word on the status of the proceedings. A State Department spokesman said American officials had seen no independent confirmation that the case was under way.

North Korea has said no observers will be allowed to watch.

Few details are known about how Ling and Lee have been treated since they were arrested nearly three months ago. So far, family members have not reported mistreatment.

North Korea's government is notorious for its brutality, but the most recent accounts indicate the regime has softened its treatment of imprisoned foreigners. Still, the experience has left scars on almost all who endured it.


In 1996, Evan C. Hunziker was detained for three months after being accused of spying. The 26-year-old American entered North Korea by swimming across the Yalu River on the Chinese border.

Hunziker, whose mother was Korean, said he went there out of curiosity and "to preach the Gospel." Other reports said he got drunk and decided to go for a swim. Hunziker was freed after New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who was then a congressman, negotiated his release.

Hunziker's father said his son refused to talk about his detention, saying only that he was treated humanely and that the food was bad. In a letter to his mother, he said he was moved from a prison to a hotel.

The North Koreans initially demanded a payment of $100,000 as a fine but eventually agreed on $5,000 to settle Hunziker's hotel bill. The family agreed to pay.

Hunziker, who had a long history of drug, alcohol and legal problems, committed suicide a month after he was freed.

Three years later, the North Koreans detained retired Japanese journalist Takashi Sugishima, who was accused of using a hand-held tape recorder and camera to collect intelligence for Japan and South Korea — an allegation he denied.

Sugishima said he was held for two years in a warm, comfortable cell in a mountain detention facility. He was given three hot meals a day and never tortured.

"The treatment I received was more humane than I expected," Sugishima said. Still, he added, the experience was "extremely trying," and he worried constantly that he might not survive.

Some of the harshest conditions were endured by Ali Lameda, a poet and member of Venezuela's Communist Party. He said he was invited to North Korea in 1966 to work as a Spanish translator but quickly became disillusioned with the propaganda.

The next year, Lameda said, he was accused of spying, sabotage and infiltration. He was detained in a damp, filthy cell for a year without trial and survived on dirty scraps of bread and watery vegetable soup. He was often interrogated from noon to midnight. Once, the guards beat his swollen bare feet.


"Whilst in my cell, I could hear the cries of other prisoners," Lameda wrote in an account provided to Amnesty International. "You can soon learn to distinguish whether a man is crying from fear or pain or from madness in such a place."

During the day, detainees were kept awake because the guards said prisoners could not ponder their guilt while asleep, he said.

Shortly after his release, Lameda was tried again. There were no formal charges or specific allegations against him in the one-day hearing, he said. Court officials kept demanding that he confess his guilt.

He was sentenced to 20 years in a freezing labor camp near the town of Sariwon, about 40 miles south of Pyongyang. The camp had 6,000 prisoners who worked 12 hours a day making vehicles and mattresses.

"The cell that I was taken to had no heating except for a pipe running through it which became warm for approximately five minutes each night," he said. "The windows were iced-up and my feet froze."

Lameda served six years before being released again in 1974 without explanation.

He was luckier than his colleague, French translator Jacques Sedillot, who was arrested at the same time and suffered the same treatment. Sedillot was released with the Venezuelan poet but died before he could leave North Korea.

State-run media have not defined the exact charges against the women from Current TV, but South Korean legal experts said conviction for "hostility" or espionage could mean five to 10 years in a labor camp.

Choi, the professor, said a ruling by the top court would be final.


The State Department has not divulged details about negotiations for the journalists' freedom.

Back home, the reporters' families pleaded for clemency.

Ling's sister, TV journalist Lisa Ling, said on CNN's "Larry King Live" that the women "are essentially in the midst of this nuclear standoff."

She urged the governments to "try to communicate, to try and bring our situation to a resolution on humanitarian grounds — to separate the issues."

In several U.S. cities, supporters of the two women held vigils Wednesday for their release. In New York, dozens of people turned out in a drenching rain, holding yellow chrysanthemums. Gatherings also took place in San Francisco and Santa Monica, Calif.

___

Associated Press writers Kwang-tae Kim in Seoul, William C. Mann and Foster Klug in Washington, Ginny Byrne in New York, and John Mone in Santa Monica, Calif., contributed to this report.

___

On the Net:

Facebook page for Lee and Ling: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid60755553149

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?vxaxXdKcA5tM
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 07, 2009, 18:58:23
Another update:

Quote
Agence France-Presse - 6/7/2009 3:35 PM GMT
US considers returning N.Korea to terror list
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Sunday that Washington is considering putting North Korea back on its list of countries that sponsor terrorism following Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests.

In an interview with ABC television, Clinton also said Washington would do everything it can to stop shipments of North Korean nuclear materials and to shut off Pyongyang's flow of money.

She was asked for a response to a letter from several US senators asking President Barack Obama to put Pyongyang back on the terror list, from which it was removed in October 2008 under former president George W. Bush.

"Well, we're going to look at it," she said.

"There's a process for it. Obviously we would want to see recent evidence of their support for international terrorism," she added. "We're just beginning to look at it."

Obama said Saturday that "North Korea's actions over the last couple of months have been extraordinarily provocative."

The North conducted its second nuclear test last month and defied international criticism by firing a volley of short-range missiles and threatening to attack the capitalist South.


At a press conference in Normandy, where Obama was visiting to mark the 65th D-Day anniversary, the president also said the UN Security Council is working toward a new resolution on North Korea.

He insisted even China and Russia, the two major powers closest to the North, were taking a tougher approach. "They understand how destabilizing North Korea's actions are," Obama said.

Clinton said the United States was working hard to create a mechanism that would allow for interdiction of suspect North Korean shipments, acknowledging that some countries had "legitimate concerns" about the precedent that would set.

But she said, "We will do everything we can to both interdict it and prevent it and shut off their flow of money."

"If we do not take significant and effective action against the North Koreans now, we'll spark an arms race in northeast Asia."


"And so part of what we're doing is, again, sharing with other countries our calculus of the risks and the dangers that would lie ahead if we don't take very strong action," Clinton said.

Sixteen Republican senators called Wednesday for placing the communist regime back on the terror list, saying the North's "provocative actions must have immediate consequences."

Ailing North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il's "regime has never stopped supporting terrorism or joined meaningful negotiations," said Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina.

"In fact, North Korea has done just the opposite and moved closer to equipping terrorists with nuclear weapons."

DeMint and seven other lawmakers had sent a letter to Clinton a day earlier urging her to "immediately" place North Korea back on the blacklist.

Reinstating North Korea on the watchlist would reactivate sanctions lifted in October, when the United States said North Korea had agreed to steps to verify its nuclear disarmament and pledged to resume disabling its atomic plants.

Obama would be able to waive the designation if he certifies to the congress that North Korea has fully disclosed its nuclear activities, has not illegally spread nuclear or missile know-how, has not supported any terrorist groups, and has met other conditions.

North Korea was added to the blacklist on January 20, 1988, following the bombing by its agents of a KAL plane on November 29, 1987 which killed all 115 on board.

The State Department said late last year that the North was not known to have sponsored any terrorist acts since that bombing.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 08, 2009, 00:26:08
The only thing though to worry about is whether Pyongyang will really carry out its invasion/war threat once the US starts intercepting North Korean ships.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/08/world/asia/08korea.html?_r=1&hp

Quote
U.S. Weighs Intercepting North Korean Shipments  
By DAVID E. SANGER
Published: June 7, 2009
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration signaled Sunday that it was seeking a way to interdict, possibly with China’s help, North Korean sea and air shipments suspected of carrying weapons or nuclear technology.

The administration also said it was examining whether there was a legal basis to reverse former President George W. Bush’s decision last year to remove the North from a list of states that sponsor terrorism.

The reference to interdictions — preferably at ports or airfields in countries like China, but possibly involving riskier confrontations on the high seas — was made by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. She was the administration’s highest-ranking official to talk publicly about such a potentially provocative step as a response to North Korea’s second nuclear test, conducted two weeks ago.

While Mrs. Clinton did not specifically mention assistance from China, other administration officials have been pressing Beijing to take such action under Chinese law.

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Mrs. Clinton said the United States feared that if the test and other recent actions by North Korea did not lead to “strong action,” there was a risk of “an arms race in Northeast Asia” — an oblique reference to the concern that Japan would reverse its long-held ban against developing nuclear weapons.

So far it is not clear how far the Chinese are willing to go to aid the United States in stopping North Korea’s profitable trade in arms, the isolated country’s most profitable export. But the American focus on interdiction demonstrates a new and potentially far tougher approach to North Korea than both President Clinton and Mr. Bush, in his second term, took as they tried unsuccessfully to reach deals that would ultimately lead North Korea to dismantle its nuclear arsenal.
 

Mr. Obama, aides say, has decided that he will not offer North Korea new incentives to dismantle the nuclear complex at Yongbyon that the North previously promised to abandon.

“I’m tired of buying the same horse twice,” Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates said last week, while touring an antimissile site in Alaska that the Bush administration built to demonstrate its preparedness to destroy North Korean missiles headed toward the United States. (So far, the North Koreans have not yet successfully tested a missile of sufficient range to reach the United States, though there is evidence that they may be preparing for another test of their long-range Taepodong-2 missile.)

Mr. Obama referred to the same string of broken deals in France on Saturday, telling reporters, “I don’t think there should be an assumption that we will simply continue down a path in which North Korea is constantly destabilizing the region and we just react in the same ways.” He added, “We are not intending to continue a policy of rewarding provocation.”

While Mr. Obama was in the Middle East and Europe, several senior officials said the president’s national security team had all but set aside the central assumption that guided American policy toward North Korea over the past 16 years and two presidencies: that the country would be willing to ultimately abandon its small arsenal of nuclear weapons in return for some combination of oil, nuclear power plants, money, food and guarantees that the United States would not topple its government, the world’s last Stalinesque regime.

Now, after examining the still-inconclusive evidence about the results of North Korea’s second nuclear test, the administration has come to different conclusions: that Pyonyang’s top priority is to be recognized as a nuclear state, that it is unwilling to bargain away its weapons and that it sees tests as a way to help sell its nuclear technology.

“This entirely changes the dynamic of how you deal with them,” a senior national security aide said.

While Mr. Obama is willing to reopen the six-party talks that Mr. Bush began — the other participants are Japan, South Korea, Russia and China — he has no intention, aides say, of offering new incentives to get the North to fulfill agreements from 1994, 2005 and 2008; all were recently renounced.

“Clinton bought it once, Bush bought it again, and we’re not going to buy it a third time,” one of Mr. Obama’s chief strategists said last week, referring to the Yongbyon plant, where the North reprocesses spent nuclear fuel into bomb-grade plutonium.

While some officials privately acknowledged that they would still like to roll back what one called North Korea’s “rudimentary” nuclear capability, a more realistic goal is to stop the country from devising a small weapon deliverable on a short-, medium- or long-range missile.

In conducting any interdictions, the United States could risk open confrontation with North Korea. That prospect — and the likelihood of escalating conflict if the North resisted an inspection — is why China has balked at American proposals for a resolution by the United Nations Security Council that would explicitly allow interceptions at sea. A previous Security Council resolution, passed after the North’s first nuclear test in 2006, allowed interdictions “consistent with international law.” But that term was never defined, and few of the provisions were enforced.

North Korea has repeatedly said it would regard any interdiction as an act of war, and officials in Washington have been trying to find ways to stop the shipments without a conflict.  Late last week, James B. Steinberg, the deputy secretary of state, visited Beijing with a delegation of American officials, seeking ideas from China about sanctions, including financial pressure, that might force North Korea to change direction.

“The Chinese face a dilemma that they have always faced,” a senior administration official said. “They don’t want North Korea to become a full nuclear weapons state. But they don’t want to cause the state to collapse.” They have been walking a fine line, the official said, taking a tough position against the North of late, but unwilling to publicly embrace steps that would put China in America’s camp.

To counter the Chinese concern, Mr. Steinberg and his delegation argued to the Chinese that failing to crack down on North Korea would prompt reactions that Beijing would find deeply unsettling, including a greater American military presence in the region, and more calls in Japan for that country to develop its own weapons.

Mrs. Clinton seemed to reflect this concern in the interview on Sunday. “We will do everything we can to both interdict it and prevent it and shut off their flow of money,” she said. “If we do not take significant and effective action against the North Koreans now, we’ll spark an arms race in Northeast Asia. I don’t think anybody wants to see that.”

While Mrs. Clinton also said the State Department was examining whether North Korea should be placed back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, she acknowledged that there was a legal process for it. “Obviously we would want to see recent evidence of their support for international terrorism,” she said.

That evidence may be hard to come by. While North Korea has engaged in missile sales, it has not been linked to terrorism activity for many years. And North Korea’s restoration to the list would be largely symbolic, because it already faces numerous economic sanctions.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 08, 2009, 11:02:41
That North Korean kangaroo court just sentenced those two US journalists to 12 years' hard labour.

latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-norkor-journalists8-2009jun08,0,3667915.story?page=2

Quote
North Korea sentences 2 U.S. reporters to prison
June 8 2009


"If things are business as usual in North Korea, it would suggest the journalists would be released quickly. If not, they could be held for a long time," Snyder said.

North Korean labor camps are notorious for their high death rates because of malnutrition and overwork. But thus far, the women have been fairly well treated, housed in a Pyongyang guest house and allowed occasional telephone calls. The Swedish ambassador has also been permitted to visit them.

"The North Koreans are not in a hurry to release them. They see them as valuable pawns," said an aide official who works in Pyongyang, speaking on condition of anonymity a few days before the trial began.

Both women are married and Lee, who is Korean American, has a 4-year-old daughter. In recent days, their plight has drawn worldwide attention.

"We appeal to the North Korean judicial authorities to show the utmost clemency, and we hope the trial will result in the acquittal and release of the two American journalists," Reporters Without Borders said in statement last week. "We urge the judges trying the case to follow the example set by their Iranian counterparts, who released U.S. journalist Roxana Saberi last month."


Over the weekend, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had called for the women's release.

Clinton said she has spoken with foreign officials with influence in North Korea and explored the possibility of sending an envoy to the North, but suggested that no one would be sent during the trial.

Many say political uncertainty in North Korea cast a pall over the trial. After suffering a debilitating stroke last year, strongman Kim Jong Il is reportedly planning to name a successor, rumored to be his youngest son.

The possible power vacuum has created a subtle battle of ideologies as communist hard-liners seek to crush those in favor of social reforms and a more open policy toward the West.

In recent weeks, as the trial date got closer, state-run news in North Korea released condemnations of the women, alluding to their "confirmed crimes" and "illegally intruding into [North Korean] territory."

Experts believe the trial serves as a political litmus test. They say North Korea had an opportunity to distinguish the journalists' case from the political realm and temper an international image further damaged by the nuclear test.

But now those hopes have been cast into doubt with today's verdict.

Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean studies, said the world will wait to see how Pyongyang handles its prisoners.

"Now that the results came out from the trial, the next step will be a political pardon and a diplomatic resolution," he said. "It's highly likely that Al Gore will visit Pyongyang as early as late this week."


The one on the right is Laura Ling.
 (https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fassets.nydailynews.com%2Fimg%2F2009%2F03%2F22%2Famd_ling-sisters.jpg&hash=52454132aa57a943282bd6b8f7dd450a)

Euna Lee
 (https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcache.daylife.com%2Fimageserve%2F01mDeNubGk4xY%2F610x.jpg&hash=9b1a627eec4fa0266cd7ce6f2614a4e1)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 08, 2009, 11:19:35
And it seems that Pyongyang continues to want to escalate the situation:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090608/ap_on_re_as/as_nkorea_missile

Quote
North Korea bans ships from coastal waters
Associated Press Writer Jae-soon Chang, Associated Press Writer – 2 hrs 25 mins ago
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea has warned fishermen and boat captains to stay away from the country's east coast, Japan's coast guard said Monday, in another sign the communist regime is planning to fire more missiles after its recent nuclear test.

Pyongyang also threatened Monday to retaliate with a "super hard-line" response if sanctions were imposed.

North Korea's Rodong Sinmun newspaper said Pyongyang "has made clear many times that we will consider any sanction a declaration of war and will take due corresponding self-defense measures." The commentary carried by the official Korean Central News Agency did not elaborate.


The U.N. Security Council has been discussing imposing sanctions against the North in response to its May 25 nuclear test, while Washington considers introducing its own financial sanctions.

On Monday, Japan's coast guard said it picked up a North Korean radio signal banning ships from waters off Wonsan from June 10-30. South Korean media have reported since last week that the North is planning to fire several medium-range missiles from the eastern coastal city of Anbyon near Wonsan.

(...)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 09, 2009, 13:44:51
Yikes!!!  :o

Quote

North Korea would use nuclear weapons in a 'merciless offensive'

Associated Press

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

North Korea today said it would use nuclear weapons in a "merciless offensive" if provoked — its latest bellicose rhetoric apparently aimed at deterring any international punishment for its recent atomic test blast.

The tensions emanating from Pyongyang are beginning to hit nascent business ties with the South: a Seoul-based fur manufacturer became the first South Korean company to announce Monday it was pulling out of an industrial complex in the North's border town of Kaesong.

The complex, which opened in 2004, is a key symbol of rapprochement between the two Koreas but the goodwill is evaporating quickly in the wake of North Korea's nuclear test on May 25 and subsequent missile tests.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/north-korea-would-use-nuclear-weapons-in-a-merciless-offensive-1700590.html

Pyongyang raised tensions a notch by reviving its rhetoric in a commentary in the state-run Minju Joson newspaper today.

"Our nuclear deterrent will be a strong defensive means...as well as a merciless offensive means to deal a just retaliatory strike to those who touch the country's dignity and sovereignty even a bit," said the commentary, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

It appeared to be the first time that North Korea referred to its nuclear arsenal as "offensive" in nature. Pyongyang has long claimed that its nuclear weapons program is a deterrent and only for self-defense against what it calls US attempts to invade it.
The tough talk came as South Korea and the US lead an effort at the UN Security Council to have the North punished for its nuclear test with tough sanctions.

Seoul's Yonhap news agency reported today that South Korea had doubled the number of naval ships around the disputed sea border with the North amid concern the communist neighbor could provoke an armed clash there — the scene of skirmishes in 1999 and 2002.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff declined to confirm the report, but said the North has not shown any unusual military moves.

Relations between the two Koreas have significantly worsened since a pro-US, conservative government took office in Seoul last year, advocating a tougher policy on the North. Since then, reconciliation talks have been cut off and all key joint projects except the factory park in Kaesong have been suspended.

Some 40,000 North Koreans are employed at the zone, making everything from electronics and watches to shoes and utensils, providing a major source of revenue for the cash-strapped North. The park combines South Korean technology and management expertise with cheap North Korean labor.

A total of 106 South Korean companies operate in the park. That number will go down by the end of the month when Skinnet, the fur-maker, completes its pullout.

A Skinnet company official said the decision was primarily over "security concerns" for its employees, and also because of a decline in orders from clients concerned over possible disruptions to operations amid the soaring tensions.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with reporters.

The industrial park's fate has been in doubt since last month when North Korea threatened to scrap all contracts on running the joint complex and said it would write new rules of its own and the South must accept them or pull out of the zone.

The companies have also been concerned by the detention of a South Korean man working at the complex by North Korean authorities since late March for allegedly denouncing the regime's political system.

The two sides are to hold talks on the fate of the park Thursday.

Intensifying its confrontation with the US, North Korea handed down 12-year prison terms to two detained American journalists on Monday.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 10, 2009, 10:30:18
One MSM take on how "another Korean War" (the 1st one technically isn't over) could start and be conducted:

(From TIME Magazine via Yahoo News) (http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20090610/wl_time/08599190371700;_ylt=Asybsm62HN30T.KDB9IUg4JNYhAF;_ylu=X3oDMTJzdmpvNXFlBGFzc2V0Ay90aW1lLzIwMDkwNjEwL3dsX3RpbWUvMDg1OTkxOTAzNzE3MDAEY3BvcwMzBHBvcwMzBHNlYwN5bl90b3Bfc3RvcmllcwRzbGsDY291bGR0aGV1c2Jl)



Quote
Could the U.S. Be Drawn into a New Korean War?

By MARK THOMPSON / WASHINGTON Mark Thompson / Washington – 20 mins ago
To fear a new Korean War is historically inaccurate, because, in fact, the last one never ended: the world's most dangerous border, across which some 2 million North Korean, U.S. and South Korean troops face each other along the 38th parallel of the Korean Peninsula is, in fact, simply an armistice line. On July 27, 1953, the U.S. and North Korea signed a truce pausing, but not ending, a war that claimed more than 2 million lives, including those of 36,940 U.S. troops. And the North's recent nuclear and missile saber-rattling has many growing nervous about the potential for a resumption of hostilities.  


North Korea, in fact, announced on May 27 that it was withdrawing from the armistice. It declared it could no longer guarantee the safety of ships sailing through the Yellow Sea off its western coast, and would no longer respect the legal status of several islands off South Korea's coast. It also vowed to attack South Korea if North Korean vessels suspected of smuggling nuclear and missile components are stopped and searched by a U.S.-led U.N. naval armada - a proposal currently under discussion. (See pictures of North Koreans at the polls.)


U.S. officials are concerned that political instability inside the Pyongyang regime may raise the danger of confrontation. "Dear Leader" Kim Jong Il has been weakened by a stroke suffered late last year, his 26-year old heir apparent is not yet ready to take the reins and the North Korean military is eager to maintain its preeminence in the coming political succession. "Any time you have a combination of this behavior of doing provocative things in order to excite a response - plus succession questions - you have a potentially dangerous mixture," said U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair on Monday.


Despite the rising tensions, however, a number of factors militate against a new chapter being opened in the Korean War. South Korea, backed by the U.S., doesn't want war, because the North has some 13,000 artillery tubes aimed at Seoul and the more than 10 million South Koreans living within 30 miles of the DMZ. North Korea, backed by China, doesn't want war because if it comes, it all but guarantees the collapse of Kim's regime, which is also the family business. (See pictures of the rise of Kim Jong Il.)  


Washington has made clear that it wants to solve this latest flare-up via diplomatic channels. "Our focus is now - and has been and likely will continue to be - on coming up with diplomatic and economic pressures that will persuade the North to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons and the platforms to deliver them," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said June 8. And if that fails? "We all need to be prudent about our planning for defensive measures." That suggests neither Washington nor Seoul is going to take preemptive military action.


The immediate priority of the U.S. and its allies is to prevent North Korea from spreading its nuclear know-how around the world. And their own lever is China's influence over the hermit regime. "There's a view that if you want to get the Chinese to act on North Korea, you need to signal a willingness to take military action," Scott Snyder, a Korea expert with the Council on Foreign Relations, said last week. "But at the same time, how do you do that - especially in conjunction with allies - without the Chinese feeling that you're trying to manipulate them tactically?"


China's role will be key, according to Larry Wortzel, who served two tours as a U.S. Army military attachÉ in Beijing. "China will not let North Korea collapse," he was told by several top People's Liberation Army officials during the Clinton Administration, according to his account in the latest issue of the U.S. Army journal Parameters. Beijing will help Pyongyang survive any sanctions. "There are limits to what the United States and its allies can do," he warns, "unless they want a complete break with, or to invite conflict with, China." China's motives are twofold: keep North Korean refugees from flooding across the border, as well as keep a U.S. ally from emerging on China's doorstep.


If it came to war, however, a key goal of any large North Korean attack would be to launch as many shells and rockets toward Seoul from its artillery tubes and launchers, many self-propelled or on railcars. The goal of U.S. and South Korean forces would be to destroy that artillery capability before too many rounds could be launched. While North Korea would build any attack around its 1.2 million–strong army, the U.S. and South Korea would rely more on their air and naval forces.


The Pentagon has largely refrained from saber-rattling, and is not planning to reinforce the 28,000 U.S. troops now in South Korea, or the 35,000 stationed in Japan. When pressed, U.S. military leaders concede that even their defensive plans will be tougher to implement given the fact that they currently have roughly 175,000 troops deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. "There would have to be a level of ad hoc conglomeration of forces," General James Conway, the Marine commandant, told a Senate panel June 2. "But in the end, I am convinced we would prevail."



See pictures of North Korea's secrets and lies at LIFE.com.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 10, 2009, 14:54:45
This should be a further indication of where China and Russia really stand this time around, unlike the "first" Korean War.

Quote
June 10 (Bloomberg) -- China and Russia have agreed on a United Nations draft resolution backed by the U.S. and Japan that would seek to curb loans and money transfers to North Korea as punishment for its nuclear-bomb test and missile launches, according to diplomats representing Security Council members.  

The countries also will support the interdiction at sea of cargo ships suspected of carrying nuclear-related material to or from North Korea, according to a copy of the draft resolution obtained by Bloomberg News.

The measure will be circulated to the 15-nation UN Security Council today and put to a vote this week, the diplomats said. Support from China and Russia, which have resisted tighter sanctions on North Korea, makes it likely the draft resolution will be adopted unanimously.

The text calls on UN members to inspect cargo at seaports, airports or in international waters if there’s any suspicion that it contains material that might contribute to North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles. The resolution also would prohibit the refueling or servicing of such vessels.

The U.S. would be authorized to stop and inspect North Korean vessels “if there are reasonable grounds” to believe the cargo includes prohibited goods. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on ABC-TV’s “This Week” program on June 7 that the U.S. was working “very hard to create a mechanism where we can interdict North Korean shipments.”

(....) 

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601085&sid=aLHFniH1sBD0
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 11, 2009, 20:58:12
And here we go again:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090611/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_us_nkorea_nuclear

 :o

Quote
AP source: NKorea may be prepping new nuclear test

23 mins ago
WASHINGTON – A U.S. government official says North Korea may be preparing for its third nuclear test as the United Nations considers new sanctions on the dictatorship for conducting an underground nuclear explosion in May. Word of a possible new test comes from an official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to discuss the information publicly.

North Korea conducted an underground explosion on May 25, its first since a 2006 atomic test.

A draft U.N. resolution proposed Wednesday would impose tough sanctions on North Korea's weapons exports and financial dealings and allow inspections of suspect cargo in ports and on the high seas. North Korea has threatened to retaliate if new sanctions are adopted.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: ruckmarch on June 11, 2009, 22:55:49
You've got to ask the question though, why do journalists or freelancers keep trying or ignoring the warnings not to enter NK? Am sure some that enter try to get juicey stories to sneak out and then when they get caught, they cry foul  ::)

It's simple, stay away from there if you don't want to labeled a "spy". It's hardly a hot vacation destination.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on June 12, 2009, 20:12:29
The DPRK is in dire economic straights and is reverting to form since nuclear blackmail was quite successful during the Clinton admininstration. They almost certainly perceive the Obama administration as being weak and uninterested in foreign policy and probably expect the usual shower of food, oil and cash in response to their actions.

The new wild cards are the Russians and Chinese seeing that an unstable nuclear DPRK is not in their national interests (although how Russia and China see the DPRK or a unified "Greater Korea" fitting into their national interests is an interesting question). The recent support of increased sanctions indicates these powers no longer see the benefits of tying the United States down with the DPRK's nuclear sabre rattling outweigh the risks, and are preparing to stabilize the situation to their own benefit.

Of course the most frightening potential outcome is if the Russians and Chinese come to the conclusion that their national interests are best served by opposite outcomes in the DPRK......
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Sonnyjim on June 13, 2009, 10:29:15
And in response to your last post CougarDaddy....

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea on Saturday threatened military action if the United States tried to isolate it after the U.N. Security Council imposed widened sanctions against the reclusive communist state for a nuclear test in May.


The North also vowed to start a programme to enrich uranium and to weaponise plutonium at its nuclear weapons plant, the North's official news agency KCNA quoted its foreign ministry spokesman as saying.


The sanctions resolution approved on Friday banned all weapons exports from North Korea and most arms imports into the state. It authorized U.N. member states to inspect North Korean sea, air and land cargo, requiring them to seize and destroy any goods transported in violation of the sanctions.


A senior South Korean official said that North Korea may possibly respond to U.N. punishment with "another nuclear test and maybe more missiles."


"They will never, never give up their nuclear weapons," said the official who asked not to be named due to the sensitive subject matter.

Link: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/090613/world/international_us_korea_north
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: MarkOttawa on June 14, 2009, 13:37:44
A post at Dust my Broom:

Kim Bomb Il (cont.), a "Brilliant Comrade", and...
http://dustmybroom.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11853:kim-bomb-il-cont-a-qbrilliant-comradeq-and&catid=43:drama-city

Quote
...useless UN Security Council sanctions...

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 14, 2009, 13:41:45
A post at Dust my Broom:

Kim Bomb Il (cont.), a "Brilliant Comrade", and...
http://dustmybroom.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11853:kim-bomb-il-cont-a-qbrilliant-comradeq-and&catid=43:drama-city

Mark
Ottawa

Very fitting name- Kim Bomb Il.
 ;D
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Yrys on June 15, 2009, 01:55:05
China and Russia on board for North Korea sanctions (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8098166.stm)
Robust message for North Korea

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fnewsimg.bbc.co.uk%2Fmedia%2Fimages%2F45916000%2Fjpg%2F_45916470_007481920-1.jpg&hash=41e3f8f6ae851979db62d4c007810177)
There are fears of a possible incident
between North and South Korean ships


"Actions must have consequences." That was US President Barack Obama's cry in the wake
of North Korea's second underground nuclear test at the end of last month. Accordingly, the
unanimous adoption of this resolution containing tougher sanctions against North Korea
represents a significant rebuff for the Pyongyang government.

Russia and China backed the agreed text. North Korea can be in no doubt about the concerted
international disapproval for its actions. Tough words have been accompanied by tougher
actions - up to a point.

A battery of measures are set to reinforce the sanctions regime against Pyongyang. There is a
total embargo on exports of weaponry from North Korea and significantly expanded controls
on arms exports to it. A new framework is being established for international co-operation to
inspect North Korean cargoes for anything associated with weapons of mass destruction. There
are additional financial sanctions too, along with strengthened measures to monitor the whole
sanctions regime.

However, much of this still depends upon the actions of individual governments and none more
so than North Korea's giant neighbour - China.

'Complex and sensitive'

China's UN ambassador Zhang Yesui took a more nuanced approach to the resolution insisting that
it was "an appropriate and balanced response" and that it sent a positive signal to Pyongyang that
its nuclear problems had to be resolved by negotiation. It is clear that China remains deeply uneasy
about the whole business of cargo inspections. This was, he said, a "complex and sensitive" matter.
China is urging countries to approach this in a legal and reasonable way and that there should be no
question of using force.

Russia too stressed that this resolution was not offering an opportunity for military action against
Pyongyang and that the measures outlined on stopping and searching ships were circumscribed and
narrow in scope. None of this suggests that the new sanctions regime is necessarily going to bite.

But the US and its allies like Japan and South Korea will want to bank the fact that Russia and China
are on board. The diplomatic front at least against Pyongyang is reasonably solid with a clear message
for North Korea to return to the negotiating table.

Dangerous times

What is not yet clear is what additional unilateral steps the Obama administration might take against
Pyongyang. It could seek to toughen financial restrictions and it might even restore North Korea to the
list of countries sponsoring terrorism. North Korea's actions are clear but its motivation is much less so.

Some analysts argue that North Korea is trying to attract the attention of the new US president to push
the whole issue of its nuclear programme higher up Washington's agenda.

Others argue that North Korea's nuclear and missile tests relate more to internal developments, bolstering
the public image of the regime and possibly preparing the way for a transfer of power from the ailing,
elderly Kim Jong-il to one of his sons. But these are dangerous and uncertain times.

There are growing fears of a possible incident between North and South Korean ships along the Northern
Limit Line - the disputed western maritime extension of the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two Koreas.
All eyes now will be on Pyongyang's reaction with many analysts fearing it may respond with more bangs
- in the form of missile tests - and more bluster.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 15, 2009, 20:01:57
Another notable update: the South Korea/ROK President is in the US for a visit/summit, supposedly to get security guarantees from Obama.

Quote
Agence France-Presse - 6/15/2009 8:35 PM GMT
SKorean leader in US as NKorea tension soars
South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak on Monday started a visit to the United States to plan action on North Korea, which staged a giant rally in a defiant show of support for its nuclear drive.

The US Congress approved a resolution supporting Lee against the North hours after he arrived. Lee was due to meet late Monday with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before a summit Tuesday with President Barack Obama.

Lee was expected to ask Obama for explicit security guarantees after North Korea tested a nuclear bomb, stormed out of a six-nation disarmament accord and scrapped six decades of accords with the South.  

The North's ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said Monday that Lee's request was "intolerable" and said that such commitment would be "virtually formalizing a provocation for nuclear war."

Dennis Blair, the US intelligence chief, said Monday that a scientific analysis concluded that North Korea "probably" carried out its second-ever nuclear test in May with a yield of "a few kilotons."

The UN Security Council last week tightened sanctions against North Korea over the test, including calling for stricter inspections of cargo suspected of containing banned missile and nuclear-related items.

North Korean state media said that some 100,000 people rallied in Pyongyang against the UN Security Council resolution, blaming Washington for organizing it.

North Korea is ready to "deal telling blows at the vital parts of the US and wipe out all its imperialist aggressor troops no matter where they are in the world," military officer Pak Jae-Gyong was quoted as telling the rally.

Lee, a conservative businessman, took office last year. To the delight of many in Washington, he reversed a decade-long "sunshine policy" under which Seoul provided aid to the impoverished North with few conditions.

In Seoul, Unification Minister Hyun In-Taek said that North Korea never intended to give up its atomic weaponry and is thought to have been developing a secret program for seven to eight years despite taking part in talks.

In its response to the UN Security Council resolution, the communist state vowed Saturday to build more bombs and to start a new weapons program based on uranium enrichment.

Hyun told a parliamentary hearing he believes the enrichment program -- a second route to an atomic bomb after the North's admitted plutonium operation -- had in fact been in existence for years.  

"As the US raised the accusation in 2002, I believe (the uranium enrichment program) had started before that. I believe it has been there for at least seven to eight years," Hyun said in answer to a question.

Several analysts and officials believe ailing leader Kim Jong-Il, 67, is intensifying military tensions to bolster his authority as he tries to put in place a succession plan involving his youngest son, Kim Jong-Un.

Amid US reports that North Korea could be preparing its third nuclear test, South Korea has sent extra troops and naval units to border islands seen as a likely flashpoint.  
The US House of Representatives approved a resolution demanding that North Korea end its "hostile rhetoric" against Seoul and abide by UN resolutions and the six-nation nuclear accord.

"I think it's important that the president and the secretary of state know that Congress will stand behind them if they have to take stronger action," said the resolution's main sponsor, Republican Congressman Peter King.

"I think everything should be on the table," he said.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Yrys on June 16, 2009, 10:33:32
Reporters 'admit' N Korea entry (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8103006.stm)

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fnewsimg.bbc.co.uk%2Fmedia%2Fimages%2F45865000%2Fjpg%2F_45865849_9c10a658-43c2-4b43-8cf8-061eb4970614.jpg&hash=6c06038cfd6226f09e73fb725d13c515)
The reporters were arrested while
working on the China-N Korea border


Two US journalists who were jailed last week in North Korea have admitted entering the country illegally,
according to state news agency KCNA. Laura Ling and Euna Lee "admitted and accepted" their sentences,
KCNA said.

The two women were given jail terms of 12 years' hard labour, after being found guilty of crossing into
North Korea from the Chinese border in March. KCNA also said they had admitted getting footage for a
"smear campaign" about North Korea's human rights.

The women's families have always claimed that Lee, 36, and Ling, 32, had no intention of crossing into
North Korea. They fear the two reporters may become political pawns in negotiations between Washington
and Pyongyang, amid growing tensions over North Korea's nuclear programme and recent missile tests.

'Criminal acts'

Euna Lee, a Korean-American, and Laura Ling, a Chinese-American, were arrested by North Korean guards
on 17 March while filming a video about refugees for California-based internet broadcaster Current TV. They
were detained in Pyongyang, and on 8 June they were found guilty of "hostile acts" and illegal entry into
North Korea.

"The accused admitted that what they did were criminal acts... prompted by the political motive to isolate
and stifle the socialist system of the DPRK [North Korea]," KCNA said on Tuesday, giving its first details
about the women's alleged crimes. The news agency added that the pair had crossed the border "for the
purpose of making animation files to be used for an anti-DPRK smear campaign over its human rights issue".

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has described the charges against the two women as "baseless". She
is thought to be considering sending an envoy to try to negotiate their release. But supporters of Ling and
Lee are concerned that their plight will be exacerbated by worsening relations between North Korea and
the US.

Bargaining chips?

Tensions have increased in the region since North Korea conducted a nuclear test in May and then test-
fired several missiles. Another long-range missile test is believed to be planned for later this month.
Pyongyang announced on Saturday that it would start enriching uranium and use all its plutonium to
make nuclear weapons in response to tighter UN sanctions passed on Friday.

The new UN sanctions include the inspection of ships suspected of taking banned cargo to and from North
Korea, a wider ban on arms sales and further measures to cut Pyongyang's access to international
financial services.

There are fears Lee and Ling will be used by North Korea as bargaining chips to try to win concessions
from Washington, such as humanitarian aid or direct talks. The US has so far said negotiations can only
be held under the currently-stalled six-party talks on nuclear disarmament, which also include South
Korea, China, Japan and Russia.

The KCNA report on the two journalists was released just hours before South Korean President Lee Myung-
bak was due to hold talks with US President Barack Obama in Washington.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Yrys on June 16, 2009, 11:39:44
U.S. to Confront, Not Board, North Korean Ships (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/17/world/asia/17korea.html?hp)

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will order the Navy to hail and request permission to inspect
North Korean ships at sea suspected of carrying arms or nuclear technology, but will not board them by
force, senior administration officials said Monday.

The new effort to intercept North Korean ships, and track them to their next port, where Washington
will press for the inspections they refused at sea, is part of what the officials described as “vigorous
enforcement” of the United Nations Security Council resolution approved Friday.

The planned American action stops just short of the forced inspections that North Korea has said that
it would regard as an act of war. Still, the administration’s plans, if fully executed, would amount to
the most confrontational approach taken by the United States in dealing with North Korea in years,
and carries a risk of escalating tensions at a time when North Korea has been carrying out missile
and nuclear tests.

In discussing President Obama’s strategy on Monday, administration officials said that the United
States would report any ship that refused inspection to the Security Council. While the Navy and
American intelligence agencies continued to track the ship, the administration would mount a
vigorous diplomatic effort to insist that the inspections be carried out by any country that allowed
the vessel into port.

The officials said that they believed that China, once a close cold war ally, would also enforce the
new sanctions, which also require countries to refuse to refuel or resupply ships suspected of
carrying out arms and nuclear technology. “China will implement the resolution earnestly,” said
Qin Gang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said.

One official in Washington said the administration was told by their Chinese counterparts that China
“would not have signed on to this resolution unless they intended to enforce it.”

The strategy of ordering ships to stop but not provoking military action by boarding them was negotiated
among Washington, Beijing and Moscow. It is unclear to what degree South Korea or Japan, at various
times bitter adversaries of North Korea, would order their naval forces to join in the effort to intercept
suspected shipments at sea, largely because of fears about what would happen if North Korean ships
opened fire.

A senior administration official said Monday evening that the United States believed that it already had
sufficient intelligence and naval assets in the Sea of Japan to track North Korean ships and flights. The
country’s cargo fleet is relatively small, and the North is wary, officials say, of entrusting shipments
banned by the United Nations to Panamanian-flagged freighters or those from other countries.

Until now, American interceptions of North Korean ships have been rare. Early in the Bush administration,
a shipment of missiles to Yemen was discovered, but the United States permitted the shipment to go
through after the Yemenis said they had paid for the missiles and expected delivery. Under the new
United Nations resolution, American officials said they now had the authority to seize such shipments.

The senior administration officials outlined Mr. Obama’s approach a day before the president was to meet
for the first time on Tuesday with South Korea’s president, Lee Myung-bak, a conservative who has been
far more confrontational in his dealings with North Korea than most of his predecessors.

The resolution authorizes nations to seek to stop suspect North Korean shipments on the high seas, but
they do not authorize forcible boarding or inspections. “The captains will be confronted,” one official said,
speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was discussing a security operation that America’s
key allies had only been partially briefed on. Even if they refused to allow inspections, the official said,
“These guys aren’t going to get very far.”

While the captain of a ship may refuse inspection, as the North Koreans almost certainly would, the Obama
administration officials noted that most North Korean vessels have limited range and would have to seek
out ports in search of fuel and supplies. American officials believe that previous North Korean shipments
of nuclear technology and missiles have gone undetected. The North Koreans were deeply involved in the
construction of a reactor in Syria until September 2007, when the reactor was destroyed in an Israeli air
raid. But no ships or aircraft carrying parts for that reactor were ever found.

Mr. Obama’s decisions about North Korea stem from a fundamentally different assessment of the North’s
intentions than that of previous administrations. Nearly 16 years of on-and-off negotiations — punctuated
by major crises in 1994 and 2003 — were based on an assumption that ultimately, the North was willing
to give up its nuclear capability. A review, carried out by the Obama administration during its first month
in office, concluded that North Korea had no intention of trading away what it calls its “nuclear deterrent”
in return for food, fuel and security guarantees.

Mr. Obama’s aides have said that while the new president is willing to re-engage in either the talks with
North Korea and its neighbors, or in direct bilateral discussions, he will not agree to an incremental
dismantlement of the North’s nuclear facilities. “There are ways to do this that are truly irreversible,”
said one of Mr. Obama’s aides, declining to be specific.

North Korea is already working to reverse the dismantlement of some of its facilities negotiated in
Mr. Bush’s last days in office. In the weeks ahead of and after its second nuclear test, conducted May 25,
North Korea has disavowed its past commitments to give up those weapons, and said it would never bow
to the demands of the United States, its allies, or the United Nations. On Saturday the North said that it
would reprocess its remaining stockpile of spent nuclear fuel into plutonium, adding to an existing stockpile
believed sufficient to make six or eight weapons.

Such announcements have heightened fears that North Korea’s next step could be to sell more of its nuclear
or missile technology, one of the few profitable exports of a broken, starving country. The result is that
Mr. Obama, in his first year in office, is putting into effect many of the harshest steps against North Korea
that were advocated by conservatives in the Bush White House, including Vice President Dick Cheney.

The new approach, officials said, will also exploit elements of the Security Council resolution to try to close
down the subsidiaries of North Korean missile makers in China, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, where
the North has its biggest customers.

Xiyun Yang contributed reporting from Beijing.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: zipperhead_cop on June 17, 2009, 00:28:19
Sorry, help the dumb guy out.  What is the point of that? 
"Hey, do you mind if we come aboard and prove that you are engaged in nuclear proliferation?"
"Yes I do.  Go pound salt."
"Okay, thanks, just asking.  Calm seas and fair winds!".

And what if they don't want to stop?  Can you open fire or disable a ship, then not board it and leave?  This doesn't make sense to me.  And KJI doesn't strike me as the kind to be impressed by sabre rattling. 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on June 17, 2009, 19:53:30
Same rational as in almost any other "crisis" situation, make a grand gesture so you appear to be doing something......
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 18, 2009, 12:18:32
And here we go again.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090618/ap_on_re_as/as_koreas_nuclear

Quote
By HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press Writer Hyung-jin Kim, Associated Press Writer – Thu Jun 18, 7:48 am ET
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea may fire a long-range ballistic missile toward Hawaii in early July, a Japanese news report said Thursday, as Russia and China urged the regime to return to international disarmament talks on its rogue nuclear program.

The missile, believed to be a Taepodong-2 with a range of up to 4,000 miles (6,500 kilometers), would be launched from North Korea's Dongchang-ni site on the northwestern coast, said the Yomiuri daily, Japan's top-selling newspaper. It cited an analysis by the Japanese Defense Ministry and intelligence gathered by U.S. reconnaissance satellites.

The missile launch could come between July 4 and 8, the paper said.

While the newspaper speculated the Taepodong-2 could fly over Japan and toward Hawaii, it said the missile would not be able to hit Hawaii's main islands, which are about 4,500 miles (7,200 kilometers) from the Korean peninsula.

A spokesman for the Japanese Defense Ministry declined to comment on the report. South Korea's Defense Ministry and the National Intelligence Service — the country's main spy agency — said they could not confirm it.

Tension on the divided Korean peninsula has spiked since the North conducted its second nuclear test on May 25 in defiance of repeated international warnings. The regime declared Saturday it would bolster its nuclear programs and threatened war in protest of U.N. sanctions taken for the nuclear test.

U.S. officials have said the North has been preparing to fire a long-range missile capable of striking the western U.S. In Washington on Tuesday, Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it would take at least three to five years for North Korea to pose a real threat to the U.S. west coast.

President Barack Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak met in Washington on Tuesday for a landmark summit in which they agreed to build a regional and global "strategic alliance" to persuade North Korea to dismantle all its nuclear weapons. Obama declared North Korea a "grave threat" to the world and pledged that the new U.N. sanctions on the communist regime will be aggressively enforced.

In Seoul, Vice Unification Minister Hong Yang-ho told a forum Thursday that the North's moves to strengthen its nuclear programs is "a very dangerous thing that can fundamentally change" the regional security environment. He said the South Korean government is bracing for "all possible scenarios" regarding the nuclear standoff.

The independent International Crisis Group think tank, meanwhile, said the North's massive stockpile of chemical weapons is no less serious a threat to the region than its nuclear arsenal.

It said the North is believed to have between 2,500 and 5,000 tons of chemical weapons, including mustard gas, phosgene, blood agents and sarin. These weapons can be delivered with ballistic missiles and long-range artillery and are "sufficient to inflict massive civilian casualties on South Korea."

"If progress is made on rolling back Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, there could be opportunities to construct a cooperative diplomatic solution for chemical weapons and the suspected biological weapons program," the think tank said in a report released Thursday.

It also called on the U.S. to engage the North in dialogue to defuse the nuclear crisis, saying "diplomacy is the least bad option." The think tank said Washington should be prepared to send a high-level special envoy to Pyongyang to resolve the tension.

In a rare move, leaders of Russia and China used their meetings in Moscow on Wednesday to pressure the North to return to the nuclear talks and expressed "serious concerns" about tension on the Korean peninsula.

The joint appeal appeared to be a signal that Moscow and Beijing are growing impatient with Pyongyang's stubbornness. Northeastern China and Russia's Far East both border North Korea, and Pyongyang's unpredictable actions have raised concern in both countries.

After meetings at the Kremlin, Chinese President Hu Jintao joined Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in urging a peaceful resolution of the Korean standoff and the "swiftest renewal" of the now-frozen talks involving their countries as well as North and South Korea, Japan and the United States.

"Russia and China are ready to foster the lowering of tension in Northeast Asia and call for the continuation of efforts by all sides to resolve disagreements through peaceful means, through dialogue and consultations," their statement said.

The comments — contained in a lengthy statement that discussed other global issues — included no new initiatives, but it appeared to be carefully worded to avoid provoking Pyongyang. In remarks after their meetings, Medvedev made only a brief reference to North Korea, and Hu did not mention it.

South Korea's Lee said Wednesday in Washington that was essential for China and Russia to "actively cooperate" in getting the North to give up its nuclear program, suggesting the North's bombs program may trigger a regional arms race.

"If we acknowledge North Korea possessing nuclear programs, other non-nuclear countries in Northeast Asia would be tempted to possess nuclear weapons and this would not be helpful for stability in Northeast Asia," Lee said in a meeting with former U.S. officials and Korea experts, according to his office.

___

Associated Press writers Shino Yuasa in Tokyo, Jae-soon Chang and Ji-youn Oh in Seoul and Mike Eckel in Moscow contributed to this report.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Yrys on June 21, 2009, 22:37:40
 Obama comments on N Korea 'test' (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8112052.stm), 21 June 2009, BBC News
President Barack Obama says the US is "fully prepared" for a possible missile test
by North Korea over the Pacific.

North Korea accuses Obama of war plot (http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=93661), June 22, 2009, The Daily Star
North Korea has accused US President Barack Obama of plotting a nuclear war on the
communist nation by reaffirming a US assurance of security for South Korea, the North's
state media said. In a first official response to last week's US-South Korean summit, the
state-run weekly Tongil Sinbo said in its Saturday edition Obama and South Korean
President Lee Myung-Bak "are trying to ignite a nuclear war".

"The US-touted provision of 'extended deterrence, including a nuclear umbrella' (for South
Korea) is nothing but 'a nuclear war plan,'" Tongil Sinbo said. It said it wasn't a coincidence
that the United States has brought "nuclear equipment into South Korea and its surroundings
and staged massive war drills every day to look for a chance to invade North Korea."

Pyongyang has created weeks of tension by conducting a second nuclear test and test-firing
missiles.



U.S. Destroyer Shadows N. Korean Ship (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/22/world/asia/22korea.html?ref=asia), June 21, 2009, NY Times

SEOUL — A North Korean cargo ship shadowed by a United States Navy destroyer
was reportedly steaming toward Myanmar on Sunday, posing what could be the first
test of how far the United States and its allies will go under a new United Nations
resolution to stop the North’s military shipments
.

The United States began tracking the 2,000-ton freighter Kang Nam after it left Nampo,
a port near Pyongyang, North Korea, on Wednesday. Pentagon officials have said they
suspect the ship of carrying prohibited materials, but have declined to say where it may
be headed. North Korea has said it would consider interception an “act of war” and act
accordingly.

Over the weekend, the North’s state-run news media vowed to “respond to sanctions with
retaliation.” It also threatened “unlimited retaliatory strikes” against South Korea if it
cooperated with the United Nations Security Council sanctions.

A South Korean cable news channel, YTN, quoted an unidentified intelligence source on
Sunday as saying that American authorities suspected the ship of carrying missiles or
related parts. The network also said the Kang Nam was headed for Myanmar, a country
long suspected of buying North Korean arms and providing transit services for North
Korean vessels engaged in illicit trade.

The Kang Nam is the first North Korean vessel to be tracked under the resolution adopted
by the United Nations Security Council on June 12 to punish North Korea for its May 25
nuclear test. The resolution bans North Korean trafficking in a wide range of nuclear and
conventional weaponry, and calls upon United Nations members to search North Korean
ships, with their consent, if there are “reasonable grounds” to suspect that banned cargo
is aboard. If the crew does not accept inspection on high seas, North Korea is required to
direct the vessel to a port for inspection by local authorities there.

If the ship is heading to Myanmar, another nation defying international weapons sanctions,
a port there would be unlikely to comply with the United Nations request.

Shortly after North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in 2006, the Kang Nam was
detained in Hong Kong following a Security Council resolution banning trade in nuclear
and ballistic missile technology. But then the ship was found to be carrying no cargo.
The potential high-seas confrontation over the Kang Nam came as United States defense
officials planned to travel to South Korea, Japan and China this week to discuss how to
enforce the sanctions. Last week, Washington urged banks to become more vigilant
against financial transactions involving North Korea. It also said it has deployed a floating
radar base near Hawaii to guard against a long-range North Korean missile.

The North’s hostility toward the outside world was also driving the country deeper into
isolation. According to a report released Sunday by South Korea’s customs authorities,
trade between the two Koreas plunged 38 percent from a year earlier to $106 million
in May. It marked the ninth straight monthly decline in inter-Korean trade.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Yrys on June 22, 2009, 11:23:41
NKorea threatens to harm US if attacked (http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=17635), The Daily Star

N Korea defends nuclear programme (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8112585.stm), BBC News

North Korea has boasted of being a "proud nuclear power" and warned the US
that it will strike back if attacked. The statement came after US President Barack
Obama said Washington was "fully prepared" for a possible North Korean missile
test.

There have been recent warnings in South Korean and Japanese newspapers that
the North is preparing another long-range missile launch. The UN toughened sanctions
against the North after a nuclear test on 25 May.

The North has also recently test-fired a number of short-range missiles recently, and
in April launched a long-range rocket - which it said was to put a satellite into orbit but
which the US said was a missile test. Military analysts say North Korea's longest-range
missile - the Taepodong-2 - has the potential range to reach Hawaii and parts of Alaska.


'Grave mistake'

"As long as our country has become a proud nuclear power, the US should take a correct
look at whom it is dealing with," said the commentary in Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper
of North Korea's ruling communist party. "It is a grave mistake for the US to think it will
not be hurt if it ignores this and ignites the fuse of war on the Korean Peninsula."

The commentary was published after President Obama said the US military was ready to
defend American territory. "This administration - and our military - is fully prepared for
any contingencies," Mr Obama said in an interview to be aired by CBS television on
Monday.

Asked if Washington was warning of a military response, Mr Obama said no. He added:
"I don't want to speculate on hypotheticals. But I do want to give assurances to the
American people that the T's are crossed and the I's are dotted."

Meanwhile, a US naval vessel is tracking a North Korean ship believed to be heading for
Burma via Singapore. South Korea's YTN news reported, citing intelligence sources, that
the ship was suspected of carrying illicit weapons in violation of sanctions agreed under
a new UN resolution.

China and Russia - the country's traditional allies - approved the sanctions earlier this month,
 and called for North Korea to return to international talks on its nuclear programme. The UN
resolution calls for inspections of ships to or from North Korea believed to be carrying goods
connected to weapons of mass destruction. It also broadens the arms embargo and further
cuts the North's access to the international financial system, but does not authorise the use
of force.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Yrys on June 22, 2009, 18:16:09
Hawaiians Shrug Off Missile Threat (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/23/us/23hawaii.html?ref=us)

HONOLULU — Hawaii has long lived with the threat of wipe out, whether by tsunami,
volcano or foreign invader. Now the Obama administration says North Korea could
launch a ballistic missile in the state’s direction — possibly around the Fourth of July,
according to the Japanese news media — prompting the United States military to
beef up defenses here.

Antimissile interceptors are in place, the Defense Department said, and Hawaiians
watched the other day as a giant, towering radar commonly known as the golf ball
set out to sea from the base where it is normally moored. But if lifelong residents
like Gerald Aikau are on any state of alert, it would be the one telling him that his
octopus, caught in the waters here with a spear and his bare hands, is overcooked.

“What are you going to do?” Mr. Aikau, 34, a commercial painter, said as he proudly
grilled his catch at a beachfront park. “You are going to go sometime, whether it’s
on a wave, or a missile, or your buddy knocking you down and you hit your head.”

Vulnerability, and a certain fatalism about it, are part of the fabric of life in this
archipelago, 2,500 miles from the mainland and, as many residents seem to have
memorized since the Obama administration raised the alarm last week, 4,500 miles
from North Korea. People took comfort in the heavy, year-round military presence
provided by several bases here but also wondered if it made the state more of a
target.

In an interview Monday on CBS’s “Early Show,” President Obama, who was born and
spent much of his youth here, said, “Our military is fully prepared for any contingencies”
regarding North Korea.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates announced Thursday that the military had deployed
ground-based interceptors and sea-based radar to help deflect any long-range missile
from North Korea. Calls to Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, were referred to Maj. Gen.
Robert G. F. Lee, the state’s defense department director, who suggested the threat was
more saber-rattling from North Korea. He questioned whether its missiles had the
technological capacity to go very far, but just the same, he said, the state was ready
for hostile action.

“Our military assets should be able to protect us,” said General Lee, whose duties include
civil defense. “We, like all states, are prepared for natural disasters down to terrorism.”
He said the state’s disaster sirens were working, and residents, as always, were advised
to keep a three-day supply of food, water, medicine and other essentials in stock. “Out
here by ourselves, we have to be a little more prepared, just in case help does not get
here quickly from the mainland,” he said.

Of course, the specter of Pearl Harbor still figures prominently here, as well as the cat-
and-mouse of cold war maneuverings off the coast, including the mysterious loss of a
Soviet ballistic-missile submarine 750 miles northwest of Oahu in 1968.

“We are first strike from Asia,” said State Representative Joseph M. Souki, 76, a Democrat,
who still remembers the wave of anxiety that swept his neighborhood on Maui as Pearl
Harbor was bombed. “It’s not like we are in Iowa.” Still, he said, “more than likely nothing
is going to happen.” “Hawaii is like a pawn in a chess game,” he added.

The state can ill afford anything approximating a calamity. The recession has been blamed
for a nearly 11 percent drop in the number of visitors here last year compared with the year
before. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May reached 7.4 percent, up from
6.9 percent in April and the highest in three decades. The tourists that did come carried on
as usual, taking surfing lessons, strolling Waikiki Beach and reflecting at the U.S.S. Arizona
Memorial, whose park includes a display of old Polaris submarine-launched missiles.

“Send one of these babies up,” suggested Clifton Wannaker, 45, an accountant from South
Dakota, when told of the North Korean threat. He knocked on the missile’s skin for good
measure.

Standing at the shoreline in view of the Arizona Memorial, Steve Brecheen, 54, a pharmacist
from Oklahoma City, seemed a bit more unnerved. “North Korea seems the most unstable
government as far as a threat to the U.S. is concerned,” Mr. Brecheen said. He motioned to
the memorial, which sits over the remains of the battleship sunk by the Japanese in the Pearl
Harbor attack. “In 1941, some of these people didn’t think the Japanese were an extreme
threat, and they got their minds changed pretty quickly,” he said.

But among Hawaiians, skepticism is mixed with annoyance and even anger that their state,
hypothetically at least, could be a testing ground. “I think they would be stupid to do that test,”
said Misioki Tauiliili, 39, a delivery truck driver, taking in the placid scene at a city beach near
Waikiki. “The U.S. should go out there and shake them.” By that he meant the United States
perhaps firing its own rockets in North Korea’s direction, “to test them.”

Mark N. Brown, 49, an artist painting nearby, was less bellicose. He said he took comfort in
the steps the military had taken and remained concerned that an act of aggression by North
Korea would lead to war. But, with a wry smile, he added that a neighboring island, far less
populated but a bit closer to North Korea, would probably take the hit.

“It would hit Kauai,” he said. “We are on Oahu.”

Mele Connor, 55, a lifelong Hawaiian shopping with visitors from the mainland at a clothing store
on Waikiki, laughed off the threat. “After North Korea, it will be somebody else,” she said. “They
know Obama is from here, so they want something. Everybody wants something from our pretty
little islands.”
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 22, 2009, 20:14:37
An update: It appears that the North Korean ship being monitored by the USN has been carrying weapons destined for Myanmar, or Burma, another pariah state.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090622/ap_on_re_as/as_koreas_nuclear

Quote
By HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press Writer Hyung-jin Kim, Associated Press Writer – 1 hr 4 mins ago
SEOUL, South Korea – A North Korean-flagged ship under close watch in Asian waters is believed to be heading toward Myanmar carrying small arms cargo banned under a new U.N. resolution, a South Korean intelligence official said Monday.

Still, analysts say a high seas interception — something North Korea has said it would consider an act of war — is unlikely.

The Kang Nam, accused of engaging in illicit trade in the past, is the first vessel monitored under the new sanctions designed to punish the North for its defiant nuclear test last month. The U.S. military began tracking the ship after it left a North Korean port on Wednesday on suspicion it was carrying illicit weapons.

A South Korean intelligence official said Monday that his agency believes the North Korean ship is carrying small weapons and is sailing toward the Myanmar city of Yangon.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity citing the sensitive nature of the information, said he could provide no further details.

Myanmar's military government, which faces an arms embargo from the U.S. and the European Union, reportedly has bought weapons from North Korea in the past.

The Irrawaddy, an online magazine operated by independent exiled journalists from Myanmar, reported Monday that the North Korean ship would dock at the Thilawa port, some 20 miles (30 kilometers) south of Yangon, in the next few days.

The magazine cited an unidentified port official as saying that North Korean ships have docked there in the past. The magazine's in-depth coverage of Myanmar has been generally reliable in the past.

South Korean television network YTN reported Sunday that the ship was streaming toward Myanmar but said the vessel appeared to be carrying missiles and related parts. The report cited an unidentified intelligence source in South Korea.

Kim Jin-moo, an analyst at Seoul's state-run Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, said the North is believed to have sold guns, artillery and other small weapons to Myanmar but not missiles, which it has been accused of exporting to Iran and Syria.

The U.N. sanctions, which toughen an earlier arms embargo against North Korea, ban the country from exporting all weapons and weapons-related material, meaning any weapons shipment to Myanmar would violate the resolution.

The Security Council resolution calls on all 192 U.N. member states to inspect North Korean vessels on the high seas "if they have information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that the cargo" contains banned weapons or material to make them. But that requires approval from the North.

If the North refuses to give approval, it must direct the vessel "to an appropriate and convenient port for the required inspection by the local authorities."

North Korea, however, is unlikely to allow any inspection of its cargo, making an interception unlikely, said Hong Hyun-ik, an analyst at the Sejong Institute think tank outside Seoul.

A senior U.S. military official told The Associated Press on Friday that a Navy ship, the USS John S. McCain, is relatively close to the North Korean vessel but had no orders to intercept it. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Any chance for an armed skirmish between the two ships is low, analysts say, though the North Korean crew is possibly armed with rifles.

"It's still a cargo ship. A cargo ship can't confront a warship," said Baek Seung-joo of the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses.

Tension on the Korean peninsula has been running high since the North's May 25 nuclear test, with Pyongyang and Washington exchanging near-daily accusations against each other.

President Barack Obama assured Americans in an interview broadcast Monday that the U.S. is prepared for any move North Korea might make amid media reports that Pyongyang is planning a long-range missile test in early July.

"This administration — and our military — is fully prepared for any contingencies," Obama said during an interview with CBS News' "The Early Show."

Still, ever defiant, North Korea declared itself a "proud nuclear power" and warned Monday that it would strike if provoked.

"As long as our country has become a proud nuclear power, the U.S. should take a correct look at whom it is dealing with," the country's main Rodong Sinmun said in commentary. "It would be a grave mistake for the U.S. to think it can remain unhurt if it ignites the fuse of war on the Korean peninsula."

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 24, 2009, 11:20:41
They are really asking for it(to be pulverized), aren't they?

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090624/world/as_koreas_nuclear

Quote
NKorea threatens US as Washington, allies watch for signs of another missile launch  
1 hour, 3 minutes ago
 


By Hyung-Jin Kim, The Associated Press


SEOUL, South Korea - North Korea threatened Wednesday to wipe the United States off the map as Washington and its allies watched for signs the regime will launch a series of missiles in the coming days.


Off China's coast, a U.S. destroyer was tailing a North Korean ship suspected of transporting illicit weapons to Myanmar in what could be the first test of U.N. sanctions passed to punish the nation for an underground nuclear test last month.


The Kang Nam left the North Korean port of Nampo a week ago with the USS John S. McCain close behind. The ship, accused of transporting banned goods in the past, is believed bound for Myanmar, according to South Korean and U.S. officials.


The new U.N. Security Council resolution requires member states to seek permission to inspect suspicious cargo. North Korea has said it would consider interception a declaration of war and on Wednesday accused the U.S. of seeking to provoke another Korean War.  


"If the U.S. imperialists start another war, the army and people of Korea will ... wipe out the aggressors on the globe once and for all," the official Korean Central News Agency said.


The warning came on the eve of the 59th anniversary of the start of the three-year Korean War, which ended in a truce in 1953, not a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula in state of war.


The U.S. has 28,500 troops in South Korea to protect against an outbreak of hostilities.


Tensions have been high since North Korea launched a long-range rocket in April and then conducted its second underground atomic test on May 25.


Reacting to U.N. condemnation of that test, North Korea walked away from nuclear disarmament talks and warned it would fire a long-range missile.


North Korea has banned ships from the waters off its east coast starting Thursday through July 10 for military exercises, Japan's Coast Guard said.


South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported Wednesday that the North may fire a Scud missile with a range of up to 310 miles (500 kilometres) or a short-range ground-to-ship missile with a range of 100 miles (160 kilometres) during the no-sail period.


A senior South Korean government official said the no-sail ban is believed connected to North Korean plans to fire short-or mid-range missiles. He spoke on condition of anonymity, citing department policy.


U.S. defence and counterproliferation officials in Washington said they also expected the North to launch short-to medium-range missiles. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence.


South Korea will expedite the introduction of high-tech unmanned aerial surveillance systems and "bunker-buster" bombs in response to North Korea's provocations, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper said, citing unidentified ruling party members.


Meanwhile, a flurry of diplomatic efforts were under way to try getting North Korea to return to disarmament talks.


Russia's top nuclear envoy, Alexei Borodavkin, said after meeting with his South Korean counterpart that Moscow is open to other formats for discussion since Pyongyang has pulled out of formal six-nation negotiations.


In Beijing, top U.S. and Chinese defence officials also discussed North Korea. U.S. Defence Undersecretary Michele Flournoy was heading next to Tokyo and Seoul for talks.

South Korea has proposed high-level "consultations" to discuss North Korea with the U.S., Russia, China and Japan.

-

Associated Press writers Jae-soon Chang in Seoul; Pauline Jelinek, Pamela Hess and Lolita Baldor in Washington and Min Lee in Hong Kong contributed to this report.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Hamish Seggie on June 24, 2009, 11:28:23
Here's my solution:

Hire Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft, Nuke Raider. Her mission? To seek out Kim Jong Il, Dear Leader, abduct him and subject him to a good spanking, by none other than Lara Croft.

But he'd probably enjoy that!!  ;D
Seriously, Kim Jong Il is asking for a good b!tch slapping.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Gunnar on June 26, 2009, 11:05:59
Every now and again, you need to do something wholly raw, wholly indefensible, as a clear and stern warning that certain things are NOT to be considered.  Had the US simply nuked the North Korean capital when they starting rattling sabres about how kewl their nuclear program was, we wouldn't even be having these discussions.  Plus, any capability for command and control would have been wiped out.  We don't negotiate with terrorists, even if they do have their own flags.

I think it would be a horrible, horrible thing to do, or to have to do, but they have made clear that other military options simply won't be enough.  Fine.  You've set the game up at the big boys table...this is how hard the big boys hit.  Still wanna play? 

I have to wonder how many of the starved dead in the streets of that country would really care anyway....but what other clear, decisive action would make it crystal clear not only to Korea, but to others, that you don't hold the Western world, i.e., the civilized part of the planet, to ransom. 

Have I mentioned how horrible it would be?  But what other options are there to send a clear and urgent message, and to deter further attempts of that nature?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: zipperhead_cop on June 26, 2009, 21:03:07
Anybody have a concise, no BS assesment of the NK military, beyond the nukes?  I've heard the big numbers, but then Iraq had even bigger numbers and look at what they couldn't do.  Twice. 
Just curious how Korean War-Act II would trick out if it stuck to conventional means. 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Jammer on June 26, 2009, 22:24:24
Janes.com

PM me and i'll give you the DND password to access the subscriber files
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: zipperhead_cop on June 26, 2009, 23:32:00
Much obliged!   :salute:
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 27, 2009, 03:40:44
A Burma WMD connection?

Quote
"'Burma's generals admire the North Koreans for standing up to the United States and wish they could do the same.' After an exchange of secret visits, North Korean armaments began to arrive in Burma... North Korean-made field artillery pieces... truck-mounted, multiple rocket launchers and possibly also surface-to-air missiles for its Chinese-supplied naval vessels... then came the tunneling experts. Most of Pyongyang's own defense industries, including its chemical and biological-weapons programs, and many other military as well as government installations are underground." /1,2

"Myanmar's military government also has purchased on the open market technologies that are potentially usable in a nuclear program... In 2004, Myanmar's military junta was in negotiations to buy Scud missile parts from Pyongyang, but the Bush administration convinced Myanmar to back off." /3


---------------------
/1 "Tunnels, Guns and Kimchi: North Korea’s Quest for Dollars – Part I". Bertil Lintner. Yale Global. Center for the Study of Globalization. Yale University. June 9 2009 <http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=12442>

/2 "N. Korea Digs Tunnels for Myanmar's Secretive Regime". Bertil Lintner. Asia Sentinel. The Korea Times. June 14 2009. <http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2009/06/137_46782.html>

/3  "U.S. Keeps Close Eye On North Korean Ship". J. Solomon and Y. Dreazen. The Wall Street Journal. June 23 2009. <http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124571192210838865.html?mod=googlenews_wsj>

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Inky on June 27, 2009, 09:30:05
Is there a possibility of North-Korea developing enough nukes in the near future for MAD to apply in terms of their production capability?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 29, 2009, 03:47:40
Another sign of solidarity against North Korea.

Quote
Agence France-Presse - 6/28/2009 2:05 PM GMT
Japan, S.Korea in united stance against N.Korea
South Korea and Japan "will never tolerate" a nuclear-armed North Korea, South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak said on Sunday after talks with Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso.

Lee and Aso agreed to press North Korea to abandon its nuclear programme amid Pyongyang's continued sabre-rattling, and called for China to play a greater role in persuading its ally to disarm, they said in a news conference.

"During the talks, we confirmed that we will never tolerate a nuclear-armed North Korea," Lee told reporters.

"Through implementing UN resolution 1874, we need to show North Korea that they will gain nothing by obtaining nuclear weapons," Lee said, referring to UN sanctions against Pyongyang for its recent nuclear and missile tests.

Aso said: "We agreed to strengthen cooperation between Japan, South Korea and the United States, and agreed on the need to deepen cooperation with China."

China, North Korea's main ally, has always favoured cautious diplomacy toward Pyongyang, wary of any moves that could push the isolated regime to collapse and potentially send millions of refugees streaming over its border.

The summit came as Pyongyang has stepped up its confrontational rhetoric amid global suspicions that Kim Jong-Il's administration is preparing to fire more missiles and stage a military exercise off the North's east coast.

Regional tension spiked after North Korea on May 25 carried out its second nuclear test, followed by missile launches.

North Korea has also abandoned six-party talks on its nuclear disarmament, which involved the two Koreas, the United States, China, Russia and Japan.

Lee and Aso discussed the idea of holding five-party talks excluding Pyongyang, "with an aim of making progress in the six-party talks," Aso said.

Tokyo and Seoul have led the push in East Asia against the North's increasingly antagonistic stance, in which Pyongyang has repeatedly warned of a military confrontation.

North Korea has vowed to build more nuclear bombs and to start a new weapons programme based on uranium enrichment in response to the UN sanctions.

The North Sunday renewed its verbal offensive, threatening to bolster its nuclear deterrence against the United States, a close ally of South Korea and Japan.

"We will strengthen our nuclear deterrence further for our self-defence to cope with outright US nuclear threats and nuclear war attempts," Pyongyang's ruling communist party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said.

Rodong said the North's nuclear drive could be justified by the "US introduction of nuclear weapons into South Korea," despite the denial by Seoul and Washington that there are US nuclear weapons on South Korean soil.

Lee's one-day trip to Tokyo was part of regular "shuttle summit diplomacy," a system that sees the leaders visit each other twice a year for talks on issues including diplomatic and economic matters.

Lee and Aso also agreed to hold a senior-official level meeting on July 1 to resume stalled negotiations on a bilateral free trade deal.

"The bilateral free trade agreement should be completed," Lee said, adding that "South Korea will fight protectionism" amid a global recession.

The South Korean president also said that he had asked Aso "to give Korean residents in Japan the right to vote in local assembly elections."

The majority of Korean residents in Japan are descendants of forced labourers brought to Japan during during its colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula in the first half of the 20th century.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Colin P on June 30, 2009, 14:46:17
Is there a possibility of North-Korea developing enough nukes in the near future for MAD to apply in terms of their production capability?

I was reading that NK is switching to Uranium from Plutonium. Experts believe that NK could refine around 4 tons of enriched Uranium. Bombs made from Uranium are easier to make and more likely to work than Plutonium. Perhaps the last test reinforced that point. Also their stock of Plutonium is quite small.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 30, 2009, 15:33:35
Good.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090630/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_us_nkorea_ship

Quote
Source: North Korean ship now going the other way


By PAULINE JELINEK, Associated Press Writer Pauline Jelinek, Associated Press Writer – 30 mins ago
WASHINGTON – A U.S. official says a North Korean ship has turned around and is headed back the way it came, after being tracked for days by American vessels on suspicion it was carrying illicit weapons.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence, says it is unclear whether the Kang Nam is going back to its home port in North Korea or diverting elsewhere.

The ship left a North Korean port on June 17 and is the first vessel monitored under U.N. sanctions that ban the regime from selling arms and nuclear-related material.

It was suspected the Kang Nam was going to Myanmar. But the U.S. official says that after a week-and-a half at sea, it turned around on Sunday or Monday. It was off the coast of Vietnam on Tuesday.


Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Redeye on June 30, 2009, 16:16:47
I read somewhere that DPRK officials claimed the Kang Nam was carrying a cargo of rice.  Pretty funny story for a country that has had a difficult time feeding itself to be exporting rice!  BBC did report today, however, that their economy seemed to show some growth and better than normal agricultural yields were partly responsible.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on July 02, 2009, 04:38:01
Yet another threat, this time aimed at Japan.

Quote
NKorea threatens to shoot down Japanese spy planes

By KWANG-TAE KIM
The Associated Press
Saturday, June 27, 2009; 9:00 AM

SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea threatened Saturday to shoot down any Japanese planes that enter its airspace, accusing Tokyo of spying near one of its missile launch sites.

The North has designated a no-sail zone off its eastern coast from June 25 to July 10 for military drills, raising concerns that it might test-fire short- or mid-range missiles in the coming days, in violation of a U.N. resolution.

North Korea's air force said Japan's E-767 surveillance aircraft conducted aerial espionage near the Musudan-ri missile site on its northeast coast Wednesday and Thursday.

The military "will not tolerate even a bit the aerial espionage by the warmongers of the Japanese aggression forces but mercilessly shoot down any plane intruding into the territorial air of the (North) even 0.001 mm," the air force said in a statement carried by the country's official Korean Central News Agency.
ad_icon

An official from Japan's Defense Ministry said the country's planes regularly gather information on North Korea but declined to comment on the types of planes used or the locations monitored. He spoke on condition of anonymity, citing government policy.

The threat against alleged Japanese aerial espionage is rare, though the North has regularly complained of U.S. spy missions in its airspace.

Japan is very sensitive to North Korea's missile programs, as its islands lie within easy range. In 1998, a North Korean missile flew over Japan's main island. Tokyo has since spent billions of dollars on developing a missile shield with the United States and has launched a series of spy satellites primarily to watch developments in North Korea.

But in April, another rocket flew over Japan's main island, drawing a strong protest from Tokyo. Pyongyang claims it put a satellite into orbit, while the U.S. and its allies say it was really a test of the country's long-range missile technology.

The launch was one of a series of missile tests in recent months, and the communist regime further raised tensions by conducting a second underground nuclear test in May. Its actions have drawn harsh international condemnation and new U.N. sanctions.

Also Saturday, North Korea accused South Korea of planning to participate in U.S.-led cyber warfare exercises, calling it an "intolerable provocation."

North Korea "is fully ready for any form of high-tech war," said the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, which handles relations with South Korea, according to KCNA.

The U.S. leads "Cyber Storm" exercises to test its defenses against computer hackers and invites officials from other countries to participate, but a South Korean Defense Ministry official said he had no information on the exercises. Calls to South Korea's spy agency seeking comment went unanswered on Saturday.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/27/AR2009062700480.html
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: bradlupa on July 02, 2009, 09:38:42
North Korea test-fires two short-range missiles
Updated Thu. Jul. 2 2009 6:56 AM ET

The Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea -- North Korea test-fired two short-range missiles Thursday, South Korea's Defence Ministry said, a move that aggravates the already high tensions following Pyongyang's recent nuclear test and UN sanctions imposed as punishment.

The missiles were fired from the eastern coastal city of Wonsan on Thursday afternoon, a ministry official said on condition of anonymity citing department policy. He did not say what types of missiles were launched, but Yonhap news agency said they were ground-to-ship missiles.

North Korea had earlier issued a no-sail zone in waters off its east coast through July 10 for military drills. That designation has been viewed as a prelude to such missile tests.


Full story here (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090702/NK_missiles_090702/20090702?hub=TopStories)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Soldier1stTradesman2nd on July 02, 2009, 17:32:49
Curious to see how far this conflict is going to go. How long will the IC wait until NK reaches a certain threshold of nuclear (offensive) capability? Or will the IC continue to "condemn", "denounce" and otherwise amuse Dear Leader for the next 4-5 years until he has in fact armed his mil forces with nuke-tipped missiles, and becomes a credible threat (with intent AND capability)?

Or is the IC so confident that five years is too short of a time period for NK to reach this status, or that this is all a ruse to secure internal stability within NK during the "grooming" and transition period for the "Brilliant Comrade?"
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on July 02, 2009, 17:50:01
Seems the number of missiles they fired is now 4, not just two as earlier said.


Quote
Agence France-Presse - 7/2/2009 5:54 PM GMT
NKorea fires four short-range missiles amid nuclear standoff

North Korea on Thursday test-fired four short-range missiles, South Korean military officials said, further fuelling tension sparked by its nuclear standoff with the international community.

The missiles -- apparently surface-to-ship ones -- were fired into the East Sea (Sea of Japan) between 5:20 pm (0820 GMT) and 9:20 pm, defence ministry officials were quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.

All were launched from a base at Sinsang-ri, near the eastern coastal city of Wonsan, a spokesman was quoted as saying.

Other officials told the agency on condition of anonymity they landed about 100 kilometres (60 miles) off the coast, where the North has imposed a maritime ban until July 11 for what it calls a military drill.

Spokesmen from the defence ministry confirmed the first three firings to AFP but could not be reached for comment on the fourth.

It was the first military action the hardline communist state had taken since the United Nations on June 12 imposed tougher sanctions for its May 25 nuclear test.

South Korea's JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, quoting an intelligence source, said the North was likely to fire a series of short-range missiles in the coming days.

Apart from ground-to-ship weapons, it said these would likely include Scud-B missiles with a range of 340 kilometres (210 miles).

The North may also fire Rodongs, whose 1,300-kilometre range would likely be shortened to some 400 kilometre for the current round of testing, the paper predicted.

In the days after its atomic test -- the second since 2006 -- Pyongyang fired a total of six short-range missiles and renounced the truce brokered on the Korean peninsula after a civil war in 1950 to 1953.

In response to the UN resolution tightening curbs on its missile and atomic activities, it vowed to build more nuclear bombs.

US and South Korean officials believe ailing leader Kim Jong-Il, 67, is staging a show of strength to bolster his authority as he tries to put in place a succession plan involving his youngest son.

Japan's Prime Minister Taro Aso condemned Thursday's launches, telling reporters: "We have repeatedly warned that such a provocative act is not beneficial for North Korea's national interest."

The commander of US Northern Command, General Victor Renuart, told The Washington Times he did not think Pyongyang's missiles posed any real threat to the US.

"The nation has a very, very credible ballistic-missile defense capability," the paper quoted him as saying

"Our ground-based interceptors in Alaska and California ... give me a capability that if we really are threatened by a long-range ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) that I've got high confidence that I could interdict that flight before it caused huge damage to any US territory."

In Beijing, a US delegation Thursday met officials for talks on giving the UN sanctions more teeth.

The support of China, the North's sole major ally and largest trade partner, is seen as crucial in making the sanctions stick.

The delegation, led by Philip Goldberg -- the State Department's point man on coordinating implementation of the sanctions -- met officials from the foreign ministry.

His team includes members of the National Security Council and the departments of Treasury and Defence.

Goldberg declined comment on China's position.

"The US position is that we want all the various aspects of the resolutions to work," he told reporters. "It is our intention to fully implement the resolutions."

US warships have since mid-June been tracking a North Korean ship suspected of carrying weapons. The Kang Nam 1 was reportedly headed for Myanmar but US officials said Tuesday it has now turned back.

China said its top envoy on the North Korean nuclear issue, Wu Dawei, had begun a visit to Russia, the United States, Japan and South Korea.

They are members of a forum which has tried since 2003 to persuade the North to scrap its nuclear programmes in return for energy aid and diplomatic and security benefits.

The North announced it was quitting the talks after the UN censured its long-range rocket launch on April 5.

North and South Korea meanwhile held more talks about the fate of their last major joint business project, the Seoul-funded Kaesong industrial estate just north of the border.

But they failed to narrow differences or set the date for their next meeting, Seoul officials said.


 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: bradlupa on July 02, 2009, 18:01:21
Wonder when they are going to say that one was a scud missle.  I think that UN really needs to stand up at the table and really question why they are testing so much.  Really wondering why the first reports out were saying two and now it is 4.  Something fishy there
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on July 04, 2009, 12:43:44
And the saber-rattling continues with more missiles fired.

Quote
NORTH Korea has test-fired seven missiles off its east coast, South Korean officials said, in what appeared to be a calculated message of defiance timed for the US Independence Day holiday.

The launches fuelled regional tensions after the communist state's nuclear test in May, which coincided with the US Memorial Day holiday.

They came as Washington seeks support for tough enforcement of United Nations sanctions aimed at shutting down the North's nuclear and missile programmes.

Seoul's foreign ministry said the first four weapons launched into the Sea of Japan (East Sea) were ballistic missiles, which the North is banned from firing under various Security Council resolutions.

South Korea's military said the fifth, sixth and seventh missiles were of the same type. The seventh was fired at 5.40 pm (0840 GMT).

It was the first time in three years that the North had fired multiple ballistic missiles. It test-fired a long-range Taepodong-2 missile, along with six and mid-range missiles, on US Independence Day in 2006.

http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25732165-38196,00.html
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: zipperhead_cop on July 08, 2009, 02:54:32
Would I be wrong in thinking that all this is doing is making it impossible for China to support them?  Is there any serious positive side that can emerge from this for NK?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on July 08, 2009, 13:29:34
It seems North Korea has launched a "cyber offensive". And Kim Jong Il makes another rare appearance:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090708/ap_on_re_as/as_skorea_cyber_attack

Quote
Officials: N. Korea believed behind cyber attacks
          Hyung-jin Kim, Associated Press Writer – Wed Jul 8, 7:53 am ET
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korean intelligence officials believe North Korea or pro-Pyongyang forces committed cyber attacks that paralyzed major South Korean and U.S. government Web sites, aides to two lawmakers said Wednesday.

The sites of 11 South Korean organizations, including the presidential Blue House and the Defense Ministry, went down or had access problems since late Tuesday, according to the state-run Korea Information Security Agency. Agency spokeswoman Ahn Jeong-eun said 11 U.S. sites suffered similar problems. She said the agency is investigating the case with police and prosecutors.

In the U.S., the Treasury Department, Secret Service, Federal Trade Commission and Transportation Department Web sites were all down at varying points over the July 4 holiday weekend and into this week, according to American officials inside and outside the government.

Others familiar with the U.S. outage, which is called a denial of service attack, said that the fact that the government Web sites were still being affected three days after it began signaled an unusually lengthy and sophisticated attack. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter.

The Korea Information Security Agency also attributed the attacks to denial of service.

Yang Moo-jin, a professor at Seoul's University of North Korean Studies, said he doubts whether the impoverished North has the capability to knock down the Web sites.

But Hong Hyun-ik, an analyst at the Sejong Institute think tank, said the attack could have been done by either North Korea or China, saying he "heard North Korea has been working hard to hack into" South Korean networks.

On Wednesday, the National Intelligence Service told a group of South Korean lawmakers it believes that North Korea or North Korean sympathizers "were behind" the attacks, according to an aide to one of lawmakers who was briefed on the information.

An aide to another lawmaker who was briefed also said the NIS suspects North Korea or its followers were responsible.

The aides spoke on condition of anonymity and refused to allow the names of the lawmakers they work for to be published, citing the classified nature of the information.

Both aides said the information was delivered in writing to lawmakers who serve on the National Assembly's intelligence committee.

The National Intelligence Service — South Korea's main spy agency — declined to confirm the information.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency said military intelligence officers were looking at the possibility that the attack may have been committed by North Korean hackers and pro-North Korea forces in South Korea. South Korea's Defense Ministry said it could not confirm the report.

Earlier Wednesday, the NIS said in a statement that 12,000 computers in South Korea and 8,000 computers overseas had been infected and used for the cyber attack.

The agency said it believed the attack was "thoroughly" prepared and committed by hackers "at the level of a certain organization or state." It said it was cooperating with the American investigators to examine the case.

South Korean media reported in May that North Korea was running a cyber warfare unit that tries to hack into U.S. and South Korean military networks to gather confidential information and disrupt service.

An initial investigation in South Korea found that many personal computers were infected with a virus program ordering them to visit major official Web sites in South Korea and the U.S. at the same time, Korean information agency official Shin Hwa-su said. There has been no immediate reports of similar cyber attack in other Asian countries.

Yonhap said that prosecutors have found some of the cyber attacks on the South Korean sites were accessed from overseas. Yonhap, citing an unnamed prosecution official, said the cyber attack used a method common to Chinese hackers.

Prosecutors were not immediately available for comment.

Shin, the Information Security Agency official, said the initial probe had not yet uncovered evidence about where the cyber outages originated. Police also said they had not discovered where the outages originated. Police officer Jeong Seok-hwa said that could take several days.

Some of the South Korean sites remained unstable or inaccessible Wednesday. The site of the presidential Blue House could be accessed, but those for the Defense Ministry, the ruling Grand National Party and the National Assembly could not.

Ahn said there were no immediate reports of financial damage or leaking of confidential national information. The alleged attacks appeared aimed only at paralyzing Web sites, she said.

South Korea's Defense Ministry and Blue House said that there has been no leak of any documents.

___

Associated Press writers Jae-soon Chang and Wanjin Park in Seoul and Lolita C. Baldor in Washington contributed to this report.

(This version CORRECTS to remove references to sympathizers in South Korea.)

Quote
NKorea's Kim pays homage to late father  
 
SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il, appearing gaunt and thin, made a rare televised appearance Wednesday to pay homage to his late father Kim Il-Sung at a national memorial service.

 
It was only the second time that contemporaneous footage of the 67-year-old has been aired on state television since his reported stroke last August.


Kim limped slightly as he entered Pyongyang Indoor Stadium and took a seat on stage, a video clip seen in Seoul showed.


The film showed the leader with thinning hair when he bowed his head for a brief silent tribute to mark the 15th anniversary of his father's death.


Kim was last shown at an event when he attended the first meeting of the country's new parliament in April.


This year's anniversary comes amid high international tensions over the communist state's missile launches and its May nuclear test.


US and South Korean officials believe the apparently ailing leader is staging a show of strength to bolster his authority as he tries to put in place a succession plan involving his youngest son, Jong-Un.


Earlier in the day Kim visited Pyongyang's Kumsusan Memorial Palace, where the embalmed body of his father lies inside a glass coffin.


He was accompanied by top military officials including defence minister Kim Yong-Chun, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.


State media has carried a series of hagiographical reports on Kim Il-Sung's "immortal feats," and his son's achievements in preserving the legacy, in an apparent attempt to bolster support for Jong-Il.


The two Kims are the subject of an all-embracing personality cult. Kim Il-Sung was declared president for eternity after he died of a heart attack on July 8, 1994 at the age of 82.


Documentaries on the late leader are being broadcast on television and in cinemas, KCNA said.


"The films show impressively the great life of the President who had converted the motherland into a country the master of which is the popular masses, always finding himself among the people," it said.


"He willingly took boiled rice mixed with cereals, saying that when the people eat boiled millet, we should take the same food."


At the memorial service, ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-Nam described "Great Leader" Kim Il-Sung as a "peerlessly great man who the Korean people greeted and held in high esteem for the first time in the history of spanning five thousand years."


He described Kim Il-Sung was an "invincible and iron-willed commander who ushered in a new era of the anti-imperialist struggle."


Soldiers, civilians and schoolchildren laid floral baskets before statues of the late Kim in various parts of the country, KCNA said.


An "endless stream" of people was said to have visited a huge bronze statue at Pyongyang's Mansu Hill unveiled in 1972 to mark his 60th birthday.

A remembrance concert at a Pyongyang theatre began with a female solo and a chorus singing "Everlasting Smile of the President," the music pervading the building "with boundless reverence for the peerlessly great man," KCNA said.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on July 09, 2009, 02:25:16
Beijing's concerns, as stated in the article, may later translate into their pulling their support for Kim Jong Il's regime once and for all.

http://www.asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1960&Itemid=179

Quote
Top China Advisor Sees Possible New Korean War     
Tag it:Written by Mark O'Neill     
Monday, 06 July 2009 
This time Kim Jong-Il may not be bluffing

In an alarming analysis in an official Chinese publication, a senior advisor to the Chinese government expects North Korea to launch a war on the South in the belief that it has overwhelming military superiority.

Zhang Lianggui, a professor of International Strategy at the Central Communist Party School in Beijing, also writes that he regards Pyongyang's nuclear program as posing a significant and unprecedented danger to China.


Zhang, who has been at the school since 1989, is a specialist on North Korea, where he studied at Kim Il-Sung University in Pyongyang from 1964-1968. His analysis, in the June 16 issue of World Affairs magazine, is one of the most critical of the North ever to appear in an official publication. It reflects Beijing's rising anger with its neighbor and frustration that it can do so little to change its nuclear policy – despite the fact that the country relies upon it for supplies of food and oil.

The first generation of Communist leaders had strong sympathy for Kim Il-Sung, who studied at secondary school in northeast China, spoke Mandarin and fought with Chinese forces against the Japanese. The current leaders have no such feeling for his son, whom they regard as a bandit.

In the magazine, Zhang wrote that the world underestimates the magnitude of the risk on the Korean Peninsula.

"If we look at the situation as it is, the likelihood of a military confrontation on the Korean Peninsula is very high," he wrote. "It will start on the sea and then could spread to the 38th parallel. If a war breaks out, it is very difficult to forecast how it would develop. North Korea believes it now has nuclear weapons and has become stronger. It believes that it has overwhelming military superiority over the south and would certainly win a war," he said.

Since the end of the Korean war in June 1953, the North has never recognized the Northern Limit Line (NLL) which the United States designated at the time as the sea boundary between the two sides and which the South accepts. On January 17, it repeated its refusal to recognize the boundary. A scene of bloody clashes between the two sides, the area contains 2,500 islands and is rich in fishing resources.

There has been a gradual escalation in tension since January, when the North announced a “state of total war” with the South. It has since then tested long-range missiles and a nuclear bomb.

Zhang also said that the North's nuclear tests pose “a risk that it [China] had never faced for thousands of years.” Nuclear tests by the US, Russia, China, Britain and France were carried out in deserts or remote places far from population centers. But the North's tests are just 85 km from the Chinese border, Changbai county in Jilin province, and 180 km from Yanji, a city of 400,000 people.

"The tests are close to densely populated areas of East Asia. If there were an accident, it would not only make the Korean nation homeless but also turn to nothing plans to revive the northeast of China," he wrote, asking why the tests were far from Pyongyang but not far from China.

"The danger for China is extremely grave. We have not paid sufficient attention to this risk. If we cannot bring about a denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, mankind will pay a heavy price, especially the countries bordering Korea," he wrote.

Pyongyang, he said, has never liked the six-party talks that have been trying, with Beijing's help, to get the North to relinquish its nuclear program because it regards the matter as essentially a bilateral issue to be settled with the United States alone. He does not believe North Korea will return to the stalled talks.

"North Korea has turned from being a non-nuclear state into a nuclear one. In addition, it has at least 800,000 tonnes of heavy fuel [under terms of an earlier shut down of the country's main nuclear reactor]. The six-party talks have fulfilled their historical mission."

Zhang said that Kim Jong-Il is racing to fulfill the mission given to him by his father before he hands over power to his successor, expected to be his youngest son Kim Jong-woon, 25.

This includes making North Korea a nuclear state, a symbol of a powerful country: developing missiles capable of delivering these nuclear weapons, re-negotiating the NLL and obtaining possession of the five major islands in the western sea and their rich fishing grounds, using nuclear weapons to create a new international environment and achieve reunification.

Zhang's assessment of Pyongyang reflects Beijing's anger against North Korea and inability to influence policy there.


"Negotiating with North Korea is like negotiating with the mafia which is blackmailing you," said Wang Wen, a veteran Chinese journalist. "Beijing continues to supply the North with food, oil, consumer goods and other items it needs. The North does not pay. It [China] could cut off the supply, which would lead to a collapse of the regime. That would mean a unified Korea dominated by the United States. Pyongyang knows this and continues to blackmail China, like the mafia."

He said that, to prevent this scenario, Beijing has continued to keep the regime afloat. "For years, it has been pushing the North to follow its example of economic reform and not political reform. The Kaesong industrial park is a small step in this direction, but there is nothing else."


The park, a joint venture between North and South Korea10 km north of the demilitarized zone, employed 40,000 North Korean workers in more than 75 South Korean factories as of July last year. In June, the North demanded new average salaries of US$300 a month, up from US$75, which the South has ruled as unacceptable. The wages go largely to the North Korean government.

"Beijing understands very well the mind-set of Kim Jong-Il," said Wang. "It is the same as that of Mao Zedong when he built China's nuclear bomb in the 1960s, when his people were starving. The Soviet Union did not help and the US wanted to bomb the site, but it built the bomb anyway. North Korea today is more isolated than China was then, so it needs the bomb even more."
 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on July 12, 2009, 14:34:20
From a rational point of view, a military assault on the ROK by the DPRK would be a no win operation. Any initial gains would be overturned by a US led counter attack, and even absent that, the North Korean army would probably vaporize once the soldiers were able to gain access to the riches of the South. The economy of the DPRK would not be able to deal with the logistical demands of any long term military operation either (and this assumes the Chinese would not close the logistics lifeline if such an operation was undertaken).

Of course, we are not dealing with a rational regime, and many of the organs that run the DPRK are compromised by the need to maintain the favour of the "Dear Leader". I have seen no evidence that a  Count Claus von Stauffenberg exists inside the DPRK and it seems to be the nature of these sorts of regimes that people will go with the regime until it is obviously collapsing around them. (You might note that there was a resistance movement against Hitler as far back as 1938, but they could never get enough support to take action so long as Hitler led a successful regime).

Thinking back to Robert Kaplan's article (http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200610/kaplan-korea), a military operation, especially once it begins to go sour, may trigger a civil war within the DPRK as generals fight to claim resource bases and essentially become territorial warlords to preserve their own power and position. The Chinese may well be drawn into such a war simply to preserve their own backyard from the effects of a Korean war, especially floods of North Korean refugees seeking food and shelter, and nuclear armed warlords on their border. They would also be worried about the effects of the aftermath of a war, particularly the influence of the United States on a reunified Korea, and the attitude of the Koreans themselves (particularly if they believe that the Chinese somehow encouraged the DPRK or gave the DPRK the ability to start the war in the first place).

The DPRK was an interesting and amusing cats paw for the Chinese for many decades, allowing them to distract potential rivals like the United States, the ROK and Japan for very little investment on their part, but now the risks have escalated far beyond any possible rewards, and I believe the Chinese will take positive steps to restrain the DPRK for benefit of China. Throttling the flow of food and oil to the DPRK is the best, easiest and lowest risk option, and also involves little loss of "face" for the Chinese, I predict this is in fact the means they will go about it.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on July 12, 2009, 21:52:08
Bad news for this dictator.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/090712/world/international_us_korea_north_kim

Quote
North Korea leader Kim Jong-il has pancreatic cancer: report  

45 minutes ago
 
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has pancreatic cancer, South Korean broadcaster YTN said on Monday in an unsourced news flash.
 
Kim's health is one of the most closely guarded secrets in the reclusive communist state.


(Reporting by Jack Kim, Editing by Dean Yates)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Sonnyjim on July 12, 2009, 22:40:24
Anybody know the lifespan of somebody that contracts pancreatic cancer? I'm sure he'll be spending whatever it takes to make sure he has the best treatment available, but just curious.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: dapaterson on July 25, 2009, 01:49:18
An interesting report on the hermit kingdom.  Despicable, amoral and (well, I would say criminal, but that's far too tame a word).

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2009/07/20097165415127287.html

Quote
...
But among the accounts they carried with them is one of the most shocking yet to emerge – namely the use of humans, specifically mentally or physically handicapped children, to test North Korea's biological and chemical weapons.

...

The former military captain says it was in the early 1990s, that he watched his then commander wrestle with giving up his 12-year-old daughter who was mentally ill.

The commander, he says, initially resisted, but after mounting pressure from his military superiors, he gave in.

Im watched as the girl was taken away. She was never seen again.

One of Im's own men later gave him an eyewitness account of human-testing.

Asked to guard a secret facility on an island off North Korea's west coast, Im says the soldier saw a number of people forced into a glass chamber.

"Poisonous gas was injected in," Im says. "He watched doctors time how long it took for them to die."

Other North Korean defectors have long alleged that the secretive nation has been using political prisoners as experimental test subjects.

Some have detailed how inmates were shipped from various concentration camps to so-called chemical "factories".
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on July 25, 2009, 16:35:58
A few more notable updates on the diplomatic front:

Quote
Agence France-Presse - 7/23/2009 8:20 PM GMT
Clinton trades jibes with 'no friends' North Korea
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that North Korea had "no friends left" to defend it from nuclear sanctions, triggering vitriolic defiance from the Stalinist regime.

Pyongyang hurled invective at "schoolgirl" Clinton and declared disarmament talks dead, as she told Asia's largest security forum that international efforts to squeeze the North over its atomic programme were paying off.

"They have no friends left that will protect them from the international community's efforts to move toward denuclearisation," Clinton told the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum (ARF) in Phuket.

"I was gratified by how many countries from throughout the region stood up and expressed directly to the North Korean delegation their concern over the provocative behaviour we have seen over the past few months."

In Phuket, Clinton has met counterparts from China and Russia, two other ARF heavyweights that have traditionally been lukewarm about forthright action against North Korea.

North Korean delegates appeared agitated as they tried to organise a rare news conference just before Clinton was supposed to speak in the press area of a seaside hotel in the Thai resort island of Phuket.

Regime officials described Clinton's renewed offer of a package of incentives in return for disarmament as "nonsense," and lambasted the top US diplomat as unintelligent, a "funny lady" and a "primary schoolgirl."

"Hearing about the comprehensive package, I should say this is basically nonsense," roving ambassador Ri Hung-Sik said, vowing no dialogue until Washington changed its "deep-rooted hostile policy."

"The six-party talks are already dead," Ri added, referring to negotiations with the United States, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea which Pyongyang quit after the UN Security Council censured it for a rocket launch in April.

North Korea then conducted an underground nuclear test in May, triggering a Security Council resolution for beefed-up inspections of shipments going to and from the country and an expanded arms embargo.

Pyongyang's state media took an even more venomous line against Clinton, who earlier this week said the North Koreans were acting out like "unruly teenagers."

"Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping," a foreign ministry spokesman was quoted as saying in attacking her "vulgar" remarks.

Meanwhile, the State Department hit back Thursday saying the unflattering characterizations of Clinton might better describe the regime in Pyongyang itself.


"What is vulgar is that the North Korean government chooses to harvest missiles rather than enough food for its people," declared State Department Philip Crowley in defense of his boss.

"And what is unintelligent is the path that the North Korean government has chosen. It's a dead-end which dooms the North Korean people to a dismal future," he said.

Clinton outlined possible incentives for North Korea including "significant energy and economic assistance," but only if it agreed to "full and verifiable denuclearisation."

"In short, our approach isolates North Korea, imposes meaningful pressure to force changes in its behaviour and provides an alternative path that would serve everyone's interests."

Clinton ramped up concerns over Pyongyang's activities earlier this week when she spoke of concerns that it was transferring weapons and nuclear technology to fellow pariah state Myanmar.

But she said Thursday that even Myanmar had now shown "encouraging" support for enforcing the sanctions against North Korea, after her aides held a rare meeting late Wednesday with a delegation from Myanmar's junta.

Myanmar had helped turn away a North Korean ship headed for the country last month, she said, noting the "positive" direction shown by the ruling generals while warning that change would not come overnight.

Clinton, who flew out of Phuket late Thursday, had urged the ARF members to deny suspect North Korean ships access to ports and help to enforce financial sanctions on firms linked to nuclear procurement.

A statement issued by the ARF at the end of the forum said ministers "of several countries" condemned North Korea's missile and nuclear tests and urged a resumption of the six-party talks.

But it included a paragraph saying that the talks "had already come to an end" and that Pyongyang "did not recognise and totally rejected" the UN resolutions.

It said North Korea "briefed the meeting of the fact that the ongoing aggravated situation on the Korean peninsula is the product of the hostile policy of the United States against her."

The US and Myanmar delegations also discussed the treatment of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, who is on trial over an incident in which a US man swam to her house.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on August 04, 2009, 15:30:17
And now ex-Pres. Bill Clinton meets with Kim Jong Il to try to intercede for the two detained US journalists.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090804/ap_on_re_as/as_nkorea_journalists_held/

Quote
Bill Clinton meets with NKorean leader Kim Jong Il
By JEAN H. LEE, Associated Press Writer Jean H. Lee, Associated Press Writer
1 hr 55 mins ago
 
SEOUL, South Korea – Former President Bill Clinton met Tuesday with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on the first day of a surprise mission to Pyongyang to negotiate the release of two Americans, holding "exhaustive" talks on a wide range of topics, state-run media said.

Clinton "courteously" conveyed a verbal message from President Barack Obama, the official Korean Central News Agency said in a report from Pyongyang. Kim expressed his thanks, and engaged Clinton in a "wide-ranging exchange of views on matters of common concern," the report said.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, however, denied Clinton went with a message from Obama. "That's not true," he told reporters.

Clinton was in communist North Korea on a mission to secure the freedom of Americans Euna Lee and Laura Ling, reporters for former Vice President Al Gore's Current TV media venture who were arrested along the Chinese-North Korean border in March and sentenced in June to 12 years of hard labor for illegal entry and engaging in "hostile acts."

His landmark visit, which was not announced in advance by North Korea or the U.S., comes at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, foes during the Korean War of the 1950s, over the regime's nuclear program.

North Korea in recent months has conducted a nuclear test and test-fired an array of ballistic missiles in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, with Washington leading the push to punish Pyongyang for its defiance.

It's only the second visit to Pyongyang by a former U.S. leader. Jimmy Carter traveled to North Korea for talks with Kim's father, Kim Il Sung, in 1994 in a groundbreaking meeting during a time of similar tensions.

Clinton's meeting with Kim would be the notoriously reclusive North Korean leader's first with a prominent Western figure since Kim reportedly suffered a stroke a year ago, sparking questions about the future of the nation he controls with absolute authority.

Kim, said to have a taste for fine wines and fancy gourmet food, also is believed to suffer from chronic diabetes and heart disease. The man who once sported a noticeable pot belly has appeared gaunt and gray in recent months.

Though Clinton was in North Korea on a private basis, his visit was treated by North Korea as a high-profile visit, with senior officials — including Kim Kye Gwan, the vice foreign minister who serves as the country's chief nuclear negotiator — meeting him on the tarmac.

Footage from the APTN television news agency showed the arriving Clinton exchanging warm handshakes with the officials and accepting a bouquet of flowers from a schoolgirl.

Kim later hosted a banquet for Clinton at the state guesthouse, Radio Pyongyang and the Korean Central Broadcasting Station reported.

Photos in state-run media of the visit showed Kim, with a broad smile, standing next to a solemn-looking Clinton. The two also posed with Clinton's party in front of a mural, and another picture showed the men and others seated around a conference table.

Though Clinton does not hold office, his stature and good relations with Pyongyang could yield positive results, analysts said.

"This is a very potentially rewarding trip. Not only is it likely to resolve the case of the two American journalists detained in North Korea for many months, but it could be a very significant opening and breaking this downward cycle of tension and recrimination between the U.S. and North Korea," Mike Chinoy, author of "Meltdown: The Inside Story of the North Korean Nuclear Crisis," said in Beijing.

There was no word in state media on the status of Clinton's negotiations to secure the release of Ling, 32, and Lee, 36. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton last month urged North Korea to grant the women amnesty, saying they were remorseful and that their families were anguished.

Lee, a South Korean-born U.S. citizen, is married and has a 4-year-old daughter in Los Angeles; a native Californian, Ling is the married younger sister of TV journalist Lisa Ling.

Clinton's administration had rocky but relatively good relations with Pyongyang, and both he and Gore, his vice president, had been named as possible envoys to bring back Lee and Ling. Also mentioned was New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who in the 1990s traveled twice to North Korea to secure the freedom of detained Americans.

However, the decision to send the former president was kept quiet. A senior U.S. official told reporters traveling Tuesday with Hillary Rodham Clinton that the White House would not comment on the trip to Pyongyang until the mission was complete.

"While this solely private mission to secure the release of two Americans is on the ground, we will have no comment," Gibbs, the White House spokesman, said later in a statement from Washington. "We do not want to jeopardize the success of former President Clinton's mission."

In New York, the Committee to Protect Journalists said it was encouraged by reports about Clinton's trip.

"This is welcome news and we are pleased to see movement in this case," said Bob Dietz, the group's Asia program coordinator. "The fate of these two women should not be linked to broader issues on the Korean peninsula, and to see both sides make a move toward the release of these reporters will bring some relief to them, their families and friends."

___

Associated Press writers Jae-soon Chang in Seoul, Matthew Lee at Naval Station Rota, Spain, and AP researcher Jasmine Zhao in Beijing contributed to this report.

___

On the Net:

http://www.lauraandeuna.com

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Neo Cortex on August 04, 2009, 18:32:00
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hM96sRn69bkN1XDLqb2_pkmFxqdgD99S8VAO0

Reproduced under the Fair Dealing provision of the Copyright Act

Quote
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has issued a "special pardon" to two American journalists convicted of sneaking into the country illegally, and he ordered them released during a visit by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, North Korean media reported Tuesday.

The release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee was a sign of North Korea's "humanitarian and peaceloving policy," the Korean Central News Agency reported.

Clinton, who arrived in North Korea earlier in the day on an unannounced visit, met with the reclusive and ailing Kim — his first meeting with a prominent Western figure since his reported stroke nearly a year ago.

North Korea accused Ling, 32, and Lee, 36, of sneaking into the country illegally in March and engaging in "hostile acts," and the nation's top court sentenced them in June to 12 years of hard labor.

I wonder what the DPRK propaganda machine will make of this?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Rifleman62 on August 04, 2009, 21:50:09
Just great, raise a little hell and you get a former POTUS with a somewhat "rock star" reputation come hair in place to your house to ask for a favor. You betta that the Obama White House gave tact approval to this, in spite of the"private" travel arrangements. NBC, repeated on Global calls it "a foreign policy coup for President Obama".

Give me a break. What's next?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Neo Cortex on August 04, 2009, 23:49:52
Just great, raise a little hell and you get a former POTUS with a somewhat "rock star" reputation come hair in place to your house to ask for a favor. You betta that the Obama White House gave tact approval to this, in spite of the"private" travel arrangements. NBC, repeated on Global calls it "a foreign policy coup for President Obama".

Give me a break. What's next?

Jimmy Carter did something similar back in '94, though that was to prevent nuclear war (if I remember.) I remember it from a documentary, but this page seems to be a good overview: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1316/is_n12_v29/ai_20089207/
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on August 05, 2009, 12:13:58
(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fd.yimg.com%2Fa%2Fp%2Fap%2F20090805%2Fcapt.3f3708b928ce459c9892818dab596373.north_korea_journalists_held_lon807.jpg&hash=e0e4f85d0aafcd19a831d098fd2c3c26)

In this photo released by Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service in Tokyo, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, right, meets with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il, left, front, in Pyonggyang, North Korea,Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009. At Clinton's right is former White House chief of staff John Podesta, others are unidentified. Clinton met Tuesday with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on the first day of a surprise visit to Pyongyang, holding 'exhaustive' talks that covered a wide range of topics, state-run media said. (AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service) JAPAN OUT

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fd.yimg.com%2Fa%2Fp%2Frids%2F20090804%2Fi%2Fra1607451020.jpg&hash=9fdfb7db852763e23ba4ee1d648d12dc)

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton (seated L) and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il (seated R) pose for a picture in Pyongyang in this photo released by North Korean official news agency KCNA August 4, 2009. REUTERS/KCNA

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fd.yimg.com%2Fa%2Fp%2Frids%2F20090805%2Fi%2Fra1229333976.jpg&hash=524df84883ffab24c6d11bdef0860df3)

U.S. journalists Laura Ling (L) and Euna Lee (2nd R) head to a chartered plane at an airport in Pyongyang August 5, 2009. REUTERS/Kyodo

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fd.yimg.com%2Fa%2Fp%2Fafp%2F20090805%2Fcapt.photo_1249464004301-2-0.jpg&hash=204fe330f2e41780d2c9dc1651ce76e7)

A photo released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency shows former US President Bill Clinton greeting two US journalists Laura Ling (in green) and Euna Lee (red) after winning their release from the communist country as they leave Pyongyang airport to the US in a chartered plane. Meanwhile, the hardline communist state savoured its highest-level American visit in almost a decade. (AFP/KCNA via KNS)

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fd.yimg.com%2Fa%2Fp%2Frids%2F20090805%2Fi%2Fr2745374030.jpg&hash=1dee313feacd53a4379fc18a6e37d14c)

American journalists Laura Ling (top) and Euna Lee disembark from the plane that brought them back from North Korea in Burbank, California August 5, 2009. Former President Bill Clinton met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to release the two women after months of detention. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES POLITICS IMAGES OF THE DAY)

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fd.yimg.com%2Fa%2Fp%2Frids%2F20090805%2Fi%2Fr341493258.jpg&hash=070673faa4d798638e4cd21f3191187d)

Freed U.S. journalist Euna Lee © is embraced by her husband Michael Saldate (top) and daughter Hana Saldate after arriving with Laura Ling and former President Bill Clinton in Burbank, California August 5, 2009. Ling, 32, and Lee, 36, American journalists freed by North Korea from months of detention, returned to U.S. soil early on Wednesday accompanied by Clinton, who secured their release in a meeting with the hermit state's leader Kim Jong-il. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES POLITICS MEDIA IMAGES OF THE DAY)

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fd.yimg.com%2Fa%2Fp%2Frids%2F20090805%2Fi%2Fr4119446151.jpg&hash=b74a488a7e12acfd5d830635c386e362)

 REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES POLITICS MEDIA)

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fd.yimg.com%2Fa%2Fp%2Fap%2F20090805%2Fcapt.9da2229b7ed74714a3366fea6a220b2e.bill_clinton_nkorea_ny122.jpg&hash=e9b68095729fcd61c9975e0de52ee605)

In this image made from AP Television News, former Vice President Al Gore , center, watches as journalists Laura Ling, left and Euna Lee speak after arriving at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Calif. early Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2009. Former President Bill Clinton says he's 'very happy' that the pair of American journalists have been freed from imprisonment in North Korea. (AP Photo/AP Television News)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Neo Cortex on August 05, 2009, 13:31:05
What did those women expect when they snuck into NORTH KOREA?

My god, I'm surprised they weren't shot on sight.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Hamish Seggie on August 05, 2009, 13:43:06
What did those women expect when they snuck into NORTH KOREA?

My god, I'm surprised they weren't shot on sight.

Good point. Maybe people will listen when we tell them that the Dragon and Bear aren't cute and cuddly as our left wingers make them out to be.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Neo Cortex on August 05, 2009, 16:43:38
Good point. Maybe people will listen when we tell them that the Dragon and Bear aren't cute and cuddly as our left wingers make them out to be.

Actually, while you're right, I think I may have been a bit harsh with my comments. While sneaking into the DPRK is indeed a stupid idea, conflicting reports abound about where they were when captured.

Their South Korean guide says they were on the Chinese side (and North Korean Border Guards had to cross over to Chinese territory to arrest them,) while the North Koreans claim they were on the North Korean side.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: zipperhead_cop on August 08, 2009, 01:57:06

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fd.yimg.com%2Fa%2Fp%2Frids%2F20090805%2Fi%2Fr2745374030.jpg&hash=1dee313feacd53a4379fc18a6e37d14c)

Were this not a fairly straight forward thread, there would be an obvious Clinton joke to go with this picture.... ;D
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Neo Cortex on August 08, 2009, 18:24:43
Huffington Post, via the Associated Press: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/07/laura-lings-sister-report_0_n_253750.html

Quote
LOS ANGELES -- Laura Ling's sister says the two American journalists briefly touched North Korean soil before they were captured and detained for months in that communist country.

"She said that it was maybe 30 seconds and then everything got chaotic. It's a very powerful story, and she does want to share it," Lisa Ling told CNN Thursday.

<snip>

Laura Ling told her family she was treated humanely, but meals were meager and her phone calls were monitored, Lisa Ling said.

"She had two guards in her room at all times, morning and night. And even though they couldn't speak to her, somehow they developed a strange sort of kinship, Lisa Ling said. "She had some really lovely things to say about the people who were watching over her."

The reporter passed her time in captivity reading, walking circles around her cell for exercise and planning when she would wash her hair, because water service was intermittent, Lisa Ling said.

At Laura Ling's house on a quiet residential street in the San Fernando Valley, a man who identified himself as her brother-in-law came to the door and said politely that she wasn't ready to speak about her ordeal yet.

Lisa Ling said her sister plans to write an editorial explaining what happened and how she was captured.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on August 28, 2009, 18:40:17
North Korean defector warns of North Korean chemical threat-July 24, 2009 video report (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3d7KLOEnp1Q&feature=fvsr)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on August 29, 2009, 00:06:13
A related update:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090829/ap_on_re_us/un_un_ship_seized

Quote
UAE reports ship seizure with NKorea arms for Iran
By JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press Writer John Heilprin, Associated Press Writer
1 hr 59 mins ago

UNITED NATIONS – The United Arab Emirates has seized a cargo ship bound for Iran with a cache of banned rocket-propelled grenades and other arms from North Korea, the first such seizure since sanctions against North Korea were ramped up, diplomats and officials told The Associated Press on Friday.

The seizure earlier this month was carried out in accordance with tough new U.N. Security Council sanctions meant to derail North Korea's nuclear weapons program, but which also ban the North's sale of any conventional arms.

Diplomats identified the vessel as a Bahamas-flagged cargo vessel, the ANL Australia. The diplomats and officials spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

"We can confirm that the UAE detained a North Korean vessel containing illicit cargo," a Western diplomat told the AP.

Turkey's deputy U.N. ambassador, Fazli Corman, who chairs the Security Council's sanctions panel, also confirmed the incident without providing details and said council members are examining the seriousness of it.

The UAE, a hub for Iranian goods, seized the ship earlier in August. The ship is registered in the Bahamas, a common country of registry for vessels, but it wasn't immediately clear who owns it nor where the owner is based.

The Security Council's latest resolution came in the wake of North Korea's second nuclear test in May and firing of six short-range rockets.

The ship's seizure and reported violation of a U.N. arms embargo was reported by the UAE in a confidential letter two weeks ago to the council's sanctions committee for North Korea, which is comprised of diplomats from all 15 nations on the Security Council, according to diplomats and officials.


The Financial Times first reported the weapons' seizure Friday.

The Security Council imposed tough new sanctions on North Korea on June 12, strengthening an arms embargo and authorizing ship searches on the high seas to try to rein in its nuclear program after Pyongyang's second nuclear test on May 25, violating a council resolution adopted after its first nuclear blast in 2006.

The council also has ordered an asset freeze and travel ban on companies and individuals involved in the country's nuclear and weapons programs — and put five North Korean officials, four companies and a state agency on the sanctions list. Three other companies were put on the list after Pyongyang launched a rocket on April 5, a move that many saw as a cover for testing long-range missile technology.

The new sanctions resolution also calls on all nations to prevent financial institutions or individuals from providing financing for any activities related to North Korean programs to build nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and ballistic missiles.

Three sets of U.N. sanctions apply to Iran, seeking to halt its uranium enrichment. Iran denies accusations by the U.S. and Western allies that its nuclear program is for more than peaceful purposes.

The ship seizure comes at a delicate time, just as the North has been adopting a more conciliatory stance toward South Korea and the U.S., following months of defiant provocations.


Earlier this month, the North freed two American journalists and a South Korean worker after more than four months of detention and pledged to restart some joint projects.

The North also sent a delegation to Seoul to mourn the death of former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung.
   
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: PMedMoe on September 26, 2009, 14:16:46
Article Link (http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Koreans+split+years+meet+goodbye/2037881/story.html)

By Jack Kim, Reuters September 26, 2009

SEOUL — Ninety-seven South Koreans crossed a heavily armed border on Saturday to meet family members in the communist North in fleeting reunions arranged by the rivals split by war and ideology more than half a century ago.

The two Koreas began reunions in 2000 for the hundreds of thousands of divided families, but the events have been on hold for about two years due to political tension, denying many Koreans their dying wish to see relatives they left behind.

Most of the hundreds of thousands of South Koreans looking for lost family members in the North are 70 or older, meaning time is running out.

The reunion at the North Korean resort of Mount Kumgang was an outpouring of sorrow, joy and relief as family members lost for more than half a century were reunited.

"Don't you have anything to say to me?" said Chung Dae-chun, who at 95 is the oldest person to be taking part in the three-day event, as he was reunited with his son, who is hearing impaired and appeared older than his trim and alert father.

Destitute North Korea, stung by U.N. sanctions triggered by nuclear and missile tests, has in recent months reached out to the South, once a major aid donor, proposing renewed business ties and resuming the emotionally charged reunions.

The 97 South Koreans are meeting 240 North Korean sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters in Mount Kumgang just miles from the border on the peninsula's east coast.

Ninety-nine North Koreans who sought relatives in the South will follow in another three days of reunions meeting 449 who will travel from the South.

More on link

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: PMedMoe on September 30, 2009, 12:01:41
Further to my post above:

NKorean meets her 100-year-old mother
Article link (http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Good_News/2009/09/29/11183466-ap.html)

SEOUL, South Korea - A North Korean woman wept as she embraced her 100-year-old South Korean mother for the first time since 1951 on Tuesday, during a fresh round of reunions of divided families - the latest sign of warming ties between the Koreas.

Amid the tears of joy, however, there was sadness: A 75-year-old South Korean who had been trying for nearly a decade to reunite with his family in North Korea threw himself in front of a train near Seoul because he was not among the hundreds selected for the reunions.

The six days of highly emotional reunions - the first in nearly two years - began Saturday at North Korea's Diamond Mountain. The first group of more than 120 South Koreans returned to Seoul on Monday after three days, and a second group of about 430 South Koreans went to the North on Tuesday.

South Korea's YTN television showed footage of 75-year-old Ri Hae Kyong, a North Korean, hugging her centenarian South Korean mother, Kim Yu-jung. The daughter, just 16 when she disappeared during the 1950-53 Korean War, used a handkerchief to wipe away her mother's tears.

"It's been 60 years, and I've been missing you even in my dreams," Ri told her mother and two sisters, the Yonhap news agency reported. "You are now 100 years old, and I thought I would never see you again."

North Korea agreed last month to allow the meetings and other reconciliation ties with South Korea as part of efforts to reach out to its wartime rival following more than a year of tensions, largely over the North's nuclear program. About 900 Koreans will be reunited during the two sessions, according to the organizer, South Korea's Red Cross.

More on link
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Soldier1stTradesman2nd on September 30, 2009, 15:28:55
Relations would really warm up if they held these reunions on the south side of the DMZ. I fathom the return train would be a few passengers short.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on October 05, 2009, 22:33:30
For now he's playing nice, possibly due to Beijing's prodding. But the cycle from talks to missile launches back to talks will start again eventually.  ::)

Quote
Agence France-Presse - 10/5/2009 9:53 PM GMT
NKorea's Kim willing to return to nuclear talks: state media
North Korea is willing to return to six-party nuclear disarmament talks if separate talks planned with the United States make progress, the communist state's official media said.

It said leader Kim Jong-Il gave the commitment at a meeting late Monday in Pyongyang with visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

"The hostile relations between the DPRK (North Korea) and the United States should be converted into peaceful ties through the bilateral talks without fail," the Korean Central News Agency quoted Kim as saying.

"We expressed our readiness to hold multilateral talks, depending on the outcome of the DPRK-US talks. The six-party talks are also included in the multilateral talks."

Kim said the North's efforts to denuclearise the Korean peninsula remain unchanged.

China's official Xinhua news agency carried a similar report, saying the two leaders reached "vital consensus" on the issue.

The North quit the six-nation forum in April after the United Nations condemned its long-range rocket launch. It vowed to restart its programme to make atomic bombs.

In May the North staged its second nuclear test, incurring tougher UN sanctions supported even by its close ally China. The United States has been leading a drive to enforce the measures.

The North has been pressing for bilateral talks with the United States, which says such talks are possible only if the goal is to restart the six-party forum.

Washington has been awaiting the outcome of Wen's visit before deciding whether to accept a reported invitation to send Stephen Bosworth, special representative for North Korea policy, to Pyongyang.

Wen's high-profile three-day visit ending later Tuesday was officially described as a goodwill trip to attend celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of Korea diplomatic relations.

But efforts to bring the North back to the six-nation talks were high on the agenda.

The forum which was formed in 2003 also groups South Korea, the United States, Russia and Japan. It reached a deal in 2007 under which the North shut down its plutonium-producing plant at Yongbyon.

In Wen's talks Sunday with Premier Kim Yong-Il and other senior officials, the North had expressed willingness to achieve denuclearisation through "bilateral and multilateral dialogues."

The North, however, blamed the United States for the nuclear standoff and linked denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula to the pace of global atomic disarmament efforts.

Pyongyang has lately been stressing its claim that it needs atomic weapons as a shield against US hostility. It also seeks formal recognition as a nuclear-armed state, something Washington and Seoul have adamantly rejected.

China is isolated North Korea's biggest trade partner and energy supplier.

In a sign of the importance which Pyongyang places on the relationship, Kim Jong-Il personally hosted an elaborate red-carpet airport welcome for Wen on Sunday and greeted him with a hug.

On Monday the two sides had hailed their friendship without mentioning nuclear disputes.

"History has proven that developing China-North Korea relations is in line with the fundamental interests and common aspirations of the two peoples and conducive to safeguarding regional peace and stability," said a Chinese foreign ministry statement, quoting Chinese President Hu Jintao and Wen.  

"We are willing to work together with North Korea to... constantly push forward friendly and cooperative relations."

In the same statement Kim was quoted as calling the bilateral relationship "a common treasure."

Wen Monday toured a cemetery for Chinese soldiers who died fighting for the North in the 1950-1953 war. Among those buried there is Mao Anying, son of the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Soldier1stTradesman2nd on October 06, 2009, 21:44:42
Maybe NK is running out of food, The Dear Leader playing brinkmanship not only with the region but his own people. Push till he can't push no mo'
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 06, 2009, 22:51:05
The Chinese will feed the North Koreans. Simple humanity will not allow the Chinese to stand idly by while famine strikes. But the Chinese will not extract any public quid pro quo; there is nothing for China in helping America to solve its North Korean problem.

But one characteristic of Chinese policy is that the biggest, most momentous events are deadly dull, barely commented upon and accomplished with minimum fanfare. The Chinese are not like Americans. One needs to look behind the hoopla to see what is really happening.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on October 08, 2009, 22:27:10
Yikes!  :o

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/091008/world/china_nkorea_military_accident

Quote
TOKYO (AFP) - China has detected deadly nerve gas at its border with North Korea and suspects an accidental release inside the secretive state, a Japanese news report said Friday.
 
The Chinese military is strengthening its surveillance activities after detecting the highly virulent sarin gas in November last year and in February in Liaoning province, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported, citing anonymous sources from the Chinese military.



Sarin gas, which was developed in Germany before World War I, was used in the deadly 1995 nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway by a doomsday cult.


The Chinese special operations forces found 0.015-0.03 microgrammes of the gas per cubic metre when they were conducting regular surveys while there were winds from the direction of North Korea, the report said.


China suspects that there were some experiments or accidents in its neighbouring country, it said.

 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on October 12, 2009, 12:21:05
Again? This is getting old and tiresome.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/091012/world/international_us_korea_north_missile

Quote
North Korea fires missiles and declares "no sail" zone


2 hours, 52 minutes ago
 

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has fired five short-range missiles off its east coast and declared a "no sail" zone in the area from October 10-20, South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted a government source as saying on Monday.
South Korean government officials were not immediately available for comment.


The latest launches, the first in about three months, come as Pyongyang has said it is ready to return to international talks on its nuclear weapons programme, though it has insisted it holds talks first with the United States.


It was not clear whether these were routine military exercises.


But they coincided with local media reports that the United States is planning to send its aircraft carrier USS George Washington to the South Korean port of Busan on Tuesday.


The reclusive North has hundreds of short-range range missiles, with the ability to strike the South Korean capital Seoul and its sprawling urban surroundings which are home to around 25 million people.


A nuclear test in May and a spate of missile tests around the same time triggered a tightening of sanctions against the North, whose desperate economic straits some analysts have said are partly behind its recent attempts to get on better terms with the outside world.


A U.N. resolution bans North Korea from launching ballistic missiles, but there are no international agreements that bar it from test-launching short-range missiles.


(Reporting by Jack Kim and Yoo Choonsik, writing by Jonathan Thatcher; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Technoviking on October 12, 2009, 12:34:49
Maybe the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate can do something about this?

:rofl:

(I almost said that with a straight face) ;D
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on October 25, 2009, 01:04:12
We'll see if anything worthwhile comes out of this summit.

Quote
South Korea: Summit should help resolve nuclear dispute (http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=517439&publicationSubCategoryId=200)
(philstar.com) Updated October 25, 2009 06:00 AM 


SEOUL (AP) – A summit between the two Koreas should help resolve the dispute over North Korea's nuclear programs, a South Korea official said yesterday, as a negotiator for the North arrived in the US in likely pursuit of bilateral talks with Washington.

North Korea's No. 2 nuclear negotiator, Ri Gun, met on yesterday in New York with the chief US nuclear negotiator Sung Kim, a State Department spokesman said.

"Ambassador Ri Gun has traveled to the US on the invitation of US private organizations," State Department spokesman Noel Clay said in a statement. "During his visit, Ambassador Sung Kim took the opportunity to meet with him in New York on October 24 to convey our position on denuclearization and the six-party talks."

The US says it is willing to have direct talks with the North if it leads to resumption of six-party talks aimed at halting North Korea's nuclear weapons programs that also include South Korea, China, Russia and Japan.

North Korea and the United States do not have diplomatic relations. Ri was given permission to visit the US for unofficial meetings that include the Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue, a forum sponsored by the University of California-San Diego.

Clay said that Kim and principal deputy assistant secretary of defense, Derek J. Mitchell, would participate in the San Diego forum which begins on Sunday. The sessions will also include government officials and scholars from China, Russia, Japan and South Korea.

Clay said the US level of participation in the forum "is the same as previous years."

The North's reported push for a summit with the South and talks with Washington is part of a series of conciliatory moves by the regime in recent months after escalating tensions with nuclear and missile tests.

Analysts have said the moves show North Korea feels the pain of UN sanctions following its May nuclear test.

South Korea's largest television network KBS reported Thursday night that a senior South Korean official met with the North's spy chief, Kim Yang Gon, in Singapore last week and talked about a possible meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

North Korea first asked for the meeting, but the talks ended without agreement as the South demanded that the reclusive Kim visit the South, and the North balked at the demand citing security concerns, the report said. It cited an unidentified South Korean official.

Officials, including the South's Unification Minister Hyun In-taek, declined to confirm the reports. But Hyun said Friday that progress in international efforts to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons programs is key to a summit with the North.

"Our government's position remains unchanged that we would not hold a meeting for meeting's sake," Lee Dong-kwan, senior presidential secretary for public relations, said yesterday in comments posted on South Korea's presidential Web site.

He said a summit "should be helpful to progress in the resolution of North Korea's nuclear issue," noting there won't be any behind-the-scenes negotiations or contract with North Korea over a summit.

North Korea's Kim has held summits with the South twice: the first in 2000 with the South's then-President Kim Dae-jung and the other in 2007 with then-President Roh Moo-hyun.

Relations between the two Koreas frayed badly after the more conservative Lee took office early last year. But Lee has said he is willing to meet with Kim Jong Il at any time, but that any such summit should tackle the North Korean nuclear issue.

North Korea pulled out of the six-party disarmament talks in April, but Kim Jong Il said earlier this month that the North could rejoin them depending on progress in its possible one-on-one negotiations with the US

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 28, 2009, 12:18:14
Apropos of nothing very much, except North Korea's incredible military power:

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Flondonkoreanlinks.net%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2007%2F01%2Fmilitary-marching1.jpg&hash=abd7e0edd9a7476fca1e53494a434d85)
North Korean Women practice their goose step.


I don't know how we plan to beat that!


Maybe we'll have to count on the Chinese who can counter step with this:


(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimages2.sina.com%2Fenglish%2Fchina%2Fp%2F2009%2F0930%2FU100P200T1D274515F8DT20090930190543.jpg&hash=61912b36116b0783b9130deb5c8e3288)
You may recall these soldiers from the recent 60th Anniversary parade (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,2941.msg879261.html#msg879261).
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Technoviking on October 28, 2009, 12:33:16
As those two commie states focus on "pretty women marching", as an officer in The RCR, it almost pains me to say that marching will not win wars.

I say that we adopt the method embodied in this photo:
(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2F2.bp.blogspot.com%2F_kKpJRdXfZuA%2FSnolaR6spmI%2FAAAAAAAAGr0%2FihM403e1LAE%2Fs400%2Fhot%2Bchick.jpg&hash=0d069a1a7fa2996fab22b2f30c3c9ffa)
Pretty is nice, but we mix it with lethal effect

;D
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Technoviking on October 28, 2009, 13:03:31
Let us not forget the USMC:
(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Feardstapa.files.wordpress.com%2F2009%2F08%2Ffemale-soldier.jpg&hash=8e209bb5e76e9b120a9c02d650c2755f)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 28, 2009, 13:38:19
Yes, but <drifting further off this serious topic> the female goose stepping is neat ...

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fpic1.nmgnews.com.cn%2F0%2F10%2F22%2F59%2F10225973_583332.jpg&hash=f912e329ffdf2291b2b673210b9b9b26)


... especially in 'scarlets' ...

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi.dailymail.co.uk%2Fi%2Fpix%2F2009%2F10%2F01%2Farticle-1217310-06A702B0000005DC-602_634x403.jpg&hash=d1d0bb58100fdddd0a852151642d5fd0)


... but, anyway, she looks tough enough:

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fcache4.asset-cache.net%2Fxc%2F71611770.jpg%3Fv%3D1%26amp%3Bc%3DIWSAsset%26amp%3Bk%3D2%26amp%3Bd%3D17A4AD9FDB9CF193CC300C081D9F47000A8462D705FCC31ED023C38D5DD3D9F4F06BF04B24B4128C&hash=12406c0f499b5d06f1f32df41feb01a3)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on November 01, 2009, 14:07:54
(Drifts even farther away)

The ladies have some way to go to beat this:
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on November 01, 2009, 15:20:09
<dragging this important topic to new lows>

That's fine, but given the interminably boring nature of UN duty, with whom would you rather spend endless nights in some remote OP: those two or these young Chinese friends?


(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sturmgewehr.com%2Fbhinton%2FFAMAS%2FFAMAS_ChineseWomenSoldiers.jpg&hash=c3bd94f95c9be8bca23678e9bbf1ff20)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: zipperhead_cop on November 02, 2009, 01:02:58
I guess China doesn't teach their soldiers "Finger off the trigger..."  :P
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on November 10, 2009, 00:13:36
 :o Another naval clash.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/091110/world/skorea_nkorea_military_clash

Quote
SEOUL (AFP) - North and South Korea were involved in a naval clash Tuesday off their west coast, a military official told AFP.
 
It was not known where the clash took place
, but the disputed sea border in the Yellow Sea was the scene of deadly naval clashes in 1999 and 2002.


News agency Yonhap has stated that the North Korean boat involved in the clash has been badly damaged.


The North's navy last month accused South Korea of sending warships across the border to stir tensions, and said the "reckless military provocations" could trigger armed clashes.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on December 02, 2009, 14:22:19
Economic chaos in North Korea as it sharply revalues its currency:

http//www.news.com.au/business/breaking-news/north-korea-sharply-revalues-currency/story-e6frfkur-1225805753994

Quote
North Korea sharply revalues currency  
From correspondents in Seoul From: AFP December 01, 2009 1:22PM
NORTH Korea has sharply revalued its currency for the first time in 17 years in an apparent attempt to curb inflation and clamp down on black-market trading, reports said today.

The communist state's government implemented the change yesterday morning, causing panic and confusion in the markets, Yonhap news agency and other South Korean media reported.

Yonhap, reporting from the north-eastern Chinese city of Shenyang, said the exchange rate for the new currency was 100 to 1, with old-denomination 1000 won notes being replaced by new 10 won notes.

"Many citizens in Pyongyang were taken aback and in confusion," it quoted a North Korean source engaged in trade with China as saying.

"Those who were worried about their hidden assets rushed to the black market to exchange them for (Chinese) yuan or US dollars. The yuan and the dollar jumped."

South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper and the Daily NK, a Seoul-based internet newspaper, carried similar reports.

Yonhap said the revaluation was the first since 1992.

It said the main aim appeared to be curbing inflation because the value of the North Korean won had slumped since limited economic reforms were introduced in 2002.

The reforms, to make wages and prices more realistic and introduce limited market freedoms, were largely rolled back in 2005.

Yonhap said the North may also have wanted to draw out funds from the underground economy, including money from citizens working abroad.

The country is mounting a national campaign to rebuild its crumbling economy by 2012, the 100th anniversary of the birth of its founder Kim Il-Sung.

Daily NK, in a story datelined from Shenyang, said Monday's move caused alarm in markets.

"When the news spread in the jangmadang (markets), people panicked," it quoted a source in the north-eastern province of North Hamkyung as saying.

A source in the western city of Sinuiju, on the border with China, told the paper: "Traders gathered around currency dealers. Chaos ensued when currency dealers tried to avoid them."

Seoul's unification ministry could not immediately confirm the reports.

Chosun Ilbo said the revaluation was to curb severe inflation and tighten control on society before an eventual power transfer from leader Kim Jong-Il to his son Jong-Un.

"Prices have gone up too high since the economic reform measures taken on July 1, 2002," a source told Chosun.

"The North Korean currency has been devalued too much, apparently causing the currency change."

North Korea Economy Watch said the won was officially worth around 2.20 to a US dollar before the reforms of 2002. After that the official exchange rate jumped nearly 70 times to 153.50 to one US dollar.

However, the black market rate is around 3000 to one US dollar, the blog reported earlier this year.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on December 10, 2009, 09:59:22
The DPRK need more socialism:

http://drezner.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/12/09/yeah_north_koreas_problem_is_that_its_not_socialist_enough

Quote
Yeah, North Korea's problem is that it's not socialist enough
Wed, 12/09/2009 - 9:56am

As my boss U.S. envoy Stephen Bosworth arrives in Pyongyang, I think it's worth noting that the North Korean government has not been endearing itself to its citizenry.  Hmmm... let me rephrase that -- the DPRK government has been acting with even more disregard fo its citizens than usual. 

The nub of the problem has been a currency revaluation/reform in which North Korean citizens will be forced to trade in their old notes for new ones -- and each citizen is limited in the amount they can exchange.  This move was designed to do two things:  lopping off a few zeroes of the North Korean won, and flushing out private traders along the Chinese border who are sitting on currency notes that will soon be worthless. 

It appears, according to AFP, that the DPRK regime has finally come up with a move that actually roils their population: 

Amid reports that some frustrated residents have been torching old bills, South Korean aid group Good Friends said authorities have threatened severe punishment for such an action.

Many residents would burn worthless old bills rather than surrender them to authorities, in order to avoid arousing suspicions about how they made the money, Good Friends said.

The banknotes carry portraits of founding president Kim Il-Sung and his successor and son Kim Jong-Il. Defacing their images is treated as a felony.

With nascent private markets for food collapsing because of the currency reform, citizens are finding it difficult to obtain basic staples. The U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization is already projecting another grain shortage for the country. 

Over at the U.S. Institute for Peace, John S. Park does a nice job of explaining the political economy effects of this currency move: 

As North Korean people in key market-active regions benefited from growing commercial interactions, low- to high-level DPRK officials figured out ways to get a cut of the money made. These officials used most of these bribes (viewed by traders as a "cost of doing business") to line their own pockets, but also used a portion of these for their respective organization's operating budget. With less to skim from the markets due to this revaluation, these officials will have funding gaps to fill. Given that these officials also enjoyed a higher standard of living, the discontent of the North Korean people will be aligned with these "skimming" officials. New groups of losers from this revaluation may be more advanced and better organized than protesters during previous periods of government-initiated economic and currency reforms....

If the DPRK government had improved and restored the inconsistent Public Distribution System and other public services on a national basis (a massive undertaking), a revaluation may have triggered greater state control by minimizing the benefits from the non-formal market system and making the North Korean people dependent on the state again. It does not appear that the DPRK government has improved these national systems. In an apparent effort to restore discipline through this revaluation, the DPRK government may have initiated a period of economic, social, and political destabilization by undermining a widely used coping mechanism for the people, as well as a growing number of officials.

[So a buckling DPRK regime is a good thing, right?--ed.]  From a nonproliferation perspective, not so much, no.   

Any domestic instability in North Korea is bad for Bosworth, the Six-Party Talks, and nonproliferation efforts in general.   The June uprisings in Iran have led the Iranian regime to adopt a more hardline position on the nuclear issue, both to bolster the conservative base and engage in "rally round the flag" efforts.  I see no reason why this logic would not apply to North Korea as well -- indeed, domestic instability is the likely explanation for Pyongyang's bellicose behavior earlier this year.

Developing.... in a very disturbing way.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on December 10, 2009, 22:30:26
The real open question is who the North Koreans believe will come to help them? Considering the Obama administration abandoned its Eastern European allies, voted "Present" for the Iranian democracy protestors and seems eager to accomodate authoratarian regimes, no helpwill be coming from there...

Wounded or dying regimes like the DPRK are especially irrational and dangerous as they destabilize; this might actually be the story to watch.

http://www.forbes.com/2009/12/09/north-korea-obama-climate-opinions-columnists-claudia-rosett_print.html

Quote
Give North Koreans A Chance
Claudia Rosett, 12.10.09, 12:10 AM ET

While climate delegates are quarreling in Copenhagen, and President Barack Obama is collecting his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, an important story is unfolding in relative obscurity, in North Korea. Furious over a confiscatory currency "reform," citizens of the world's most repressive state have begun publicly criticizing their government.

It is hard to overstate just how bold a move that is. North Korea's military "is on alert for a possible civil uprising," according to a major South Korean newspaper, the Chosun Ilbo. Reports have been filtering out of North Korea that the country's markets have become arenas of protest, with traders--many of them women in their 40s and 50s--publicly cursing the North Korean authorities.

Most of these reports attribute the information to anonymous sources. That's no surprise, given that North Koreans can be condemned to starve and freeze to death in labor camps for such acts as singing a South Korean song or failing to pay fawning homage to the ubiquitous portraits of their tyrant, Kim Jong Il.

That is exactly why these signs of unrest are so important. Dissent in North Korea carries individual risks even worse than the horrors that street protesters have been braving in Iran. But the stories are credible, and they suggest that North Korea's regime is approaching a fragile moment. This comes on top of Kim's questionable health, following what is believed to have been a stroke in 2008.

President Barack Obama, and other leaders of the democratic world, have a choice. They can dismiss the rising murmurs of North Korea's stricken people, and stick with the sorry tradition of bailing out and propping up the North Korean regime via yet another round of nuclear talks and payoffs. Or they can leave Kim to struggle with this nightmare of his own making, and maybe even notch up the financial pressure to nudge North Korea's totalitarian regime toward its rightful place in history's unmarked graveyard of discarded lies.

The immediate cause of the anger sweeping North Korea is a currency "reform" that amounts to the government stealing from its own deprived population. With its priorities on bankrolling the military and the production of missiles and nuclear weapons, while its people endure repression, cold and hunger, North Korea's government has produced runaway inflation. On Dec. 1, North Korean authorities imposed a surprise plan to revalue the country's currency, the won. The plan has entailed issuing new banknotes, lopping off two zeroes, so 1,000 won becomes 10. People were given just one week to swap old money for new, after which the old notes would become worthless. A limit was placed on the amount that could be officially exchanged, effectively confiscating all individual savings worth more than about $40 at informal exchange rates.

This caused so much outrage that the government then eased up slightly, raising the limits on how much old currency people could trade for new. But even with the adjustment, many North Koreans have been left with outright state theft of their money.

North Korea's government has done this before, most recently in the early 1990s, without major ructions. But that was back in the days when money was far less important, because there were no markets.

This time is different. Back in the early-1990s, when the Soviet collapse put an end to the Russian dole, North Korea's state-run distribution system largely collapsed. The result was a famine in which an estimated 1 million or more North Koreans died. Struggling to survive, North Koreans began defying the state by doing business with each other--setting up small markets. Since then, at least some market activity has been incorporated into the system. That is what many North Koreans depend on simply to eat. That is how some have been able to salt away a little cash, and a glimmer of hope for some control over their own lives.

That is what has just come under blitz attack by the North Korean regime. And though North Korea's state secrecy allows no way to know just how many people have been hit by this state thievery, the number is clearly large. "It is serious," says a North Korean defector, Kim Kwang-Jin, an expert in North Korean finance, currently a visiting fellow at the Washington-based U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea.

History suggests that while tyrannized people may endure astounding hardships before rising up, state plunder of their money is a particularly explosive gambit. In late-1987, Burma's repressive junta wiped out high denomination banknotes for Burma's currency, the kyat. That wholesale state larceny lit the fuse for the massive Burmese street protests of 1988.

China's government tried a variation on this sort of sweeping confiscation in the late 1980s, paying workers with state bonds that the state did not plan to honor anytime soon. That helped fuel the huge protest movement, which burst into public view in mid-1989 as the Tiananmen Square uprising.

Indonesia beggared millions of its emerging middle class with a currency devaluation in 1997, aggravated by a bungled bank cleanup, all of which turned into a route of the rupiah. In early-1998, stripped of their purchasing power, Indonesians rioted. That led to the resignation within months of longtime dictator Suharto.

None of these stories are pleasant. In China and Burma, the authorities regained control by gunning down protestors in the streets. Only in Indonesia, where Suharto ran a relatively benign autocracy compared with such places as China, Burma and especially North Korea, did the dictator go.

But if there is any likelihood of North Koreans rising up against their government, they deserve the chance to at least make a run for it. They live under the worst government on the planet--a racketeering, weapons-vending, nuclear extortionist regime that is a menace to the world and a horror to its own captive population. Kim keeps control by running a Stalinist gulag that has swallowed hundreds of thousands of North Koreans. Citizens caught trying to flee the country have been punished with everything from time in often-lethal labor camps, to execution--in some cases carried out in public, to deter others.

Officially, as consolation for the shock of having their money suddenly snatched away by the state, North Korea's people can turn to the usual programming of breathless affirmations of Kim Jong Il's glory. That runs to such stuff as this week's report by the state-run Korean Central News Agency that the People's Security Ministry has been giving art performances showing "the firm faith and will of the people's security men to share intention and destiny with Supreme Commander Kim Jong Il." The starring acts include a male guitar quintet performing such pieces as "Let's Defend Socialism."

Meanwhile, Obama's envoy, Stephen Bosworth, has just paid a visit to Pyongyang, trying to wheedle Kim Jong Il's regime back to the nuclear bargaining table. Both presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush trod this same slippery path, providing Kim with nuclear payoffs over the years that have amounted to massive handouts of food, fuel, hard cash and diplomatic concessions. North Korea, with an unbroken record of lying and cheating on such deals, has carried on with its weapons programs, plus such stunts as counterfeiting U.S. currency, and sending sanctions-busting arms shipments to Iran. This spring, Kim welcomed Obama's arrival in the White House by conducting North Korea's second nuclear test.

Real progress in coping with North Korea would begin with the refusal to do anything more to prop up Kim Jong Il's regime. That would mean an end to the haggling, concessions and handouts. In sheer humanitarian terms, anything leading to the end of Kim's regime would be an achievement on a par with liberating the concentration camps of Nazi Germany--as the world may one day understand, when the prison camps of North Korea are finally opened to public view and shut down forever. In terms of global security, it would send a healthy message to Iran's mullahs and other tyrannical nuclear wannabes, if North Korea were to provide a graphic demonstration that building the bomb is not, after all, the fast track to lifelong rule and out-sized leverage in world politics.

For North Koreans to curse their government in public requires not only anger, but astounding courage. Give these people a chance.

Claudia Rosett, a journalist-in-residence with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, writes a weekly column on foreign affairs for Forbes.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: sdpauoiuapdsf on December 14, 2009, 20:46:41
So, the main wealth-generating activity in North Korea is saber-rattling? Kim Po Ssible throws his nuclear tantrums so we hand him money and goods? Sounds remotely akin to paying a ransom.

Here's to the day when North Koreans finally throw off their chains.

Hope it's soon, for their sakes.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on December 27, 2009, 13:47:52
More on Korean protests:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/26/AR2009122600761_pf.html

Quote
In N. Korea, a strong movement recoils at Kim Jong Il's attempt to limit wealth

By Blaine Harden
Washington Post Foreign Service
Sunday, December 27, 2009; A16

SEOUL -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Il moved early this month to wipe out much of the wealth earned in the past decade in his country's private markets. As part of a surprise currency revaluation, the government sharply restricted the amount of old bills that could be traded for new and made it illegal for citizens to have more than $40 worth of local currency.

It was an unexplained decision -- the kind of command that for more than six decades has been obeyed without question in North Korea. But this time, in a highly unusual challenge to Kim's near-absolute authority, the markets and the people who depend on them pushed back.

Grass-roots anger and a reported riot in an eastern coastal city pressured the government to amend its confiscatory policy. Exchange limits have been eased, allowing individuals to possess more cash.

The currency episode reveals new constraints on Kim's power and may signal a fundamental change in the operation of what is often called the world's most repressive state. The change is driven by private markets that now feed and employ half the country's 23.5 million people, and appear to have grown too big and too important to be crushed, even by a leader who loathes them.

The currency episode seems far from over, and there have been indications that Kim still has the stomach for using deadly force.

There have been public executions and reinforcements have been dispatched to the Chinese border to stop possible mass defections, according to reports in Seoul-based newspapers and aid groups with informants in the North.

Still, analysts say there has also been evidence of unexpected shifts in the limits of Kim's authority.

"The private markets have created a new power elite," said Koh Yu-whan, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul. "They pay bribes to bureaucrats in Kim's government, and they are a threat that is not going away."
The third generation

The threat comes at a time of transition in North Korea. Kim Jong Il, 67, suffered a stroke last year. While he appears to have recovered, at least enough to maintain control, he has begun a murky process of handing power over to a third generation, in the person of his youngest son, Kim Jong Eun, 26.

The Kim family dynasty built and presides over a totalitarian state that has lasted more than six decades, far longer than its mentors, Stalin's Soviet Union and Mao's China. It is the only such state to have survived the death of the leader around whom a cult of personality had been built. Kim Jong Il assumed power in 1994, after the death of his father, Kim Il Sung, the state's founding dictator.

It was an exceedingly bumpy transition: Famine killed a million people, the state-run economy imploded and private markets began an inexorable spread across the country. Still, it was a transition that had been in the works for more than a decade and was elaborately rolled out to the North Korean people, unlike the current succession.

"It would seem to an outsider that much less care has been taken to ensure a smooth dynastic transition this time around," said Nicholas Eberstadt, author of several books on North Korea.

Analysts in South Korea and the United States say there is little evidence that Kim Jong Eun has been groomed for power -- or that he is equipped to deal with the regime-rotting challenge presented by the growth of private markets and the rise of a bribe-paying entrepreneurial class.

In the view of several outside experts, this month's currency revaluation was a preemptive strike against the markets by Kim Jong Il, an aging leader who is worried about succession and trying to buy time.

"This was one of the strongest measures he could take," said Cho Young-key, a professor of North Korea studies at Korea University in Seoul. "Kim is thinking that if he can't control the markets now, in the future it will get even harder, and then he will be handing power to the son."

Stripping wealth from merchants is consistent with Kim Jong Il's long-held abhorrence of capitalist reform. His government regards it as "honey-coated poison" that can lead to regime change and catastrophe, according to the Rodong Sinmun, the party newspaper in Pyongyang.

"It is important to decisively frustrate capitalist and non-socialist elements in their bud," said the newspaper.
Closing the marketplace

Kim's government in the past two years has closed some large markets, shifted Chinese-made goods to state-run shops and ordered that only middle-aged and older women can sell goods in open-air markets, to try to limit the number of North Koreans who abandon government jobs for the private sector.

But capitalism seems to have already taken root. U.N. officials estimate that half the calories consumed in North Korea come from food bought in private markets, and that nearly 80 percent of household income derives from buying and selling in the markets, according to a study last year in the Seoul Journal of Economics.

Private markets are flooding the country with electronics from China and elsewhere.

Cheap radios, televisions, MP3 devices, DVD players, video cameras and cellphones are seeping into a semi-feudal society, where a trusted elite lives in the capital Pyongyang. Surrounding the elite is a suspect peasantry that is poor, stunted by hunger and spied upon by layers of state security.

In the past year, the elites in Pyongyang have been granted authorized access to mobile phones -- the number is soon expected to reach 120,000. In the border regions with China, unauthorized mobile phone use has also increased among the trading classes. And unlike most of the mobile phones in Pyongyang, the illegal phones are set up to make international calls.

Chinese telecom companies have built relay towers near the border, providing strong mobile signals in many nearby North Korean towns, according to the Chosun Ilbo, a Seoul-based daily.

Those phones have become a new source of real-time reporting to the outside world on events inside North Korea, as networks of informants call in news to Web sites such as the Seoul-based Daily NK and the Buddhist aid group Good Friends.

Good Friends reported last week that security forces in the northeastern town city of Chongjin executed a citizen after he burned a large pile of old currency. He was apparently worried that police enforcing currency laws would investigate him to find out how he had gotten rich, the group said.

Affordable electronics are also cracking open the government's decades-old seal on incoming information. Imported radios -- and televisions in border areas -- are enabling a substantial proportion of the North Korean populations to tune in to Chinese and South Korean stations, as well as to Radio Free Asia and Voice of America, according to an unpublished survey of newly arrived defectors in South Korea. It found that two-thirds of them listened regularly to foreign broadcasts.

Special correspondent June Lee contributed to this report.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on January 11, 2010, 13:45:40
Quote
NKorea calls for peace talks, end to sanctions

BY HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press Writer Hyung-jin Kim, Associated Press Writer – 2 hrs 41 mins ago

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea proposed Monday that a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War be signed this year, saying a return to negotiations on its nuclear program depends on better relations with Washington and the lifting of sanctions.

The North has long demanded a peace treaty, but President Barack Obama's special envoy for human rights in North Korea said in Seoul on Monday that the communist regime must improve its "appalling" human rights record before any normalization of relations.

Washington and Pyongyang have never had diplomatic relations because the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, thus leaving the peninsula technically at war. North Korea, the U.S.-led United Nations Command and China signed a cease-fire, but South Korea never did.

The United States has resisted signing a treaty with North while it possesses nuclear weapons. Washington has said, however, that the subject can be discussed within the framework of six-nation negotiations aimed at ridding Pyongyang of atomic weapons. Those talks have not been held for more than a year.

But the North indicated Monday it won't rejoin the nuclear forum until talks begin on a peace treaty. The communist country pulled out of the nuclear talks last year to protest international sanctions imposed for its launch of a long-range missile.

South Korea is also suspicious of the North's calls for a peace treaty, calls for which Seoul has said are a tactic to delay its denuclearization.

The North's Foreign Ministry said in a statement the absence of a peace treaty is a "root cause of the hostile relations" with the U.S. The ministry called for a peace treaty to be signed this year, which it emphasized marks the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War.

"The conclusion of the peace treaty will help terminate the hostile relations between (North Korea) and the U.S. and positively promote the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula at a rapid tempo," the statement said.

The proposal comes after a landmark visit to North last month by Stephen Bosworth, Obama's special envoy for the country. Bosworth said after his trip that the North agreed on the necessity of returning to the talks, though the country has not said when it would rejoin them.

"This appears to be an overture by the North Koreans to try and, in their own way, break through the logjam that we have seen for more than a year now in the (six-party) talks," said Peter Beck, an expert on North Korea currently conducting research at Stanford University.

During the talks, North Korea had agreed to disarm in exchange for economic aid, security assurances and diplomatic recognition.

North Korea also suggested that the withdrawal of sanctions could lead to a speedy resumption of the talks.

"The removal of the barrier of such discrimination and distrust as sanctions may soon lead to the opening of the six-party talks," the North's statement said.

Robert King, Obama's special envoy for human rights in North Korea, harshly criticized the communist country Monday and said that the situation is preventing a normalization of relations.

"It's one of the worst places in terms of lack of human rights," King told reporters after meeting South Korea's foreign minister. "The situation is appalling."

He added, "Improved relations between the United States and North Korea will have to involve greater respect for human rights by North Korea."

North Korea holds some 154,000 political prisoners in six large camps across the country, according to South Korean government estimates. Pyongyang denies the existence of prison camps and often reacts strongly to foreign criticism regarding human rights.
From the Associated Press via Yahoo News- (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100111/ap_on_re_as/as_koreas_nuclear;_ylt=AkxDLsLMf.KJpKhwV_ffKjpvaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTJpN2plczNoBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTAwMTExL2FzX2tvcmVhc19udWNsZWFyBGNwb3MDMgRwb3MDNgRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3J5BHNsawNua29yZWFjYWxsc2Y-)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on January 17, 2010, 01:22:41
So much for the peace treaty they were discussing last week.     ::)

Associated Press article (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100117/ap_on_re_as/as_koreas_tension)

Quote
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korean leader Kim Jong Il said his country must bolster its armed forces, state media reported Sunday, two days after his regime warned it was prepared to launch a war against South Korea if necessary.
(...)

On Sunday, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said Kim had inspected a joint army, navy and air force drill that demonstrated the country's "merciless striking power" against anyone trying to infringe on its territory.

(...)
The report did not say when or where the joint drill took place.

Kim routinely visits military units and inspects their training to bolster his "songun," or "military-first," policy that rewards the 1.2 million-member armed forces — the backbone of his authoritarian rule of the country's 24 million people. He often calls for a stronger military during the visits.

(...)
 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on January 20, 2010, 00:20:30
It's about time the South Koreans put their money (or in this case, their forces) where the defence minister's mouth was.

Associated Press article link (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100120/ap_on_re_as/as_koreas_tension)

Quote
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea's defense chief called Wednesday for a pre-emptive strike on North Korea if there is a clear indication the country is preparing a nuclear attack.

The comments came as the two sides opened a second day of talks on further developing their joint industrial complex in the North, and were likely to draw an angry reaction from Pyongyang, which recently issued its own threat to break off dialogue with Seoul and attack.

South Korea should "immediately launch a strike" on the North if there is a clear intention of a pending nuclear attack, Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said at a seminar in Seoul.

Kim made similar remarks in 2008 when he was chairman of South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, prompting North Korea to threaten South Korea with destruction.

The North, which conducted underground nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, claims its nuclear weapons are not for use against South Korea, but rather are a security guarantee against what it claims is U.S. hostility.

Despite the rhetoric from both sides, officials held follow-up discussions Wednesday on the industrial complex in the North's border city of Kaesong, according to Seoul's Unification Ministry. It did not provide further details.
The South Korean delegation was scheduled to return home later Wednesday, said Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung.

On Tuesday, they met for nearly four hours to assess their joint tour of industrial parks in China and Vietnam undertaken in December.

Chun had described the talks as taking place "in a serious and practical atmosphere."

Seoul stressed the need for a quick and easy system for border crossings and customs clearance for South Koreans who travel to and from the industrial park, Chun said, in an apparent call on the North to improve the system.

The North said their recent surveys in China and Vietnam offered an opportunity to revitalize the complex, Chun said.

Kaesong, which combines South Korean capital and technology with cheap North Korean labor, is the most prominent symbol of inter-Korean cooperation. About 110 South Korean factories employ some 42,000 North Korean workers.

The complex came under a cloud in late 2008, however, when North Korea tightened restrictions on border crossings amid growing tensions between the two countries.

This week's talks came just days after Pyongyang threatened to launch a "sacred nationwide retaliatory battle" and vowed to cease all communication with the South following reports of a South Korean contingency plan to handle any unrest in the isolated North.

Meanwhile, South Korea's top nuclear envoy Wi Sung-lac left for the U.S. on Wednesday for talks with Stephen Bosworth, the special U.S. envoy to North Korea, and other U.S. officials on the North's nuclear programs, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The trip comes as North Korea has recently made repeated demands that international sanctions be lifted before it will return to stalled negotiations aimed at ending its nuclear weapons programs.

(...)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on January 27, 2010, 00:58:52
Just another border "skirmish"?

Associated Press link (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100127/ap_on_re_as/as_koreas_tension)

Quote
SEOUL, South Korea – North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire along their disputed western sea border on Wednesday, two days after the North designated no-sail zones in the area, the military and news reports said.

North Korea fired several rounds of land-based artillery off its coast, an officer at the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Seoul said. The officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of department policy, said no causalities or damage were immediately reported.

South Korea, in response, immediately fired warning shots from a marine base on an island near the sea border, according to Seoul's Yonhap news agency.


Yonhap, citing an unidentified military official, said both Koreas fired into the air.

South Korea's YTN television network carried a similar report on the exchange of fire.
(...)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: old medic on January 28, 2010, 14:10:22
http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60R1RS20100128

North Korea fires artillery again toward South

Quote
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea fired several artillery rounds on Thursday in the direction of a South Korean island off the peninsula, a second day of shooting near a disputed sea border that has been the site of deadly clashes in the past.

Rounds landed on the North's side of the disputed maritime border off the west coast of the rival states, a Defense Ministry official said. The South did not return fire.

Some analysts said the North may be trying to provoke tension with U.S. military ally South Korea to drive home its demand for talks with Washington to reach a peace treaty to replace the armistice that halted the 1950-53 Korean War.

The two Koreas remain technically at war and share one of the world's most militarized borders.

North Korea has declared a no-sail zone in the Yellow Sea waters for two months ending in late March, a sign it might be preparing to fire artillery or test launch missiles.

"They were firing at their side of the border and unlike yesterday we did not have clear visual confirmation," the defense official said asking not to be named.

The mercurial North, which has made war threats against the South in recent weeks, has also agreed to Seoul's calls for dialogue on the operations of a joint industrial park that provides the socialist state with hard cash.

Separately on Thursday, the North said it had captured an American who was trespassing in its northern region that borders China. In the past Pyongyang has used foreign detainees as bargaining chips.

It already holds another American, activist Robert Park, who was caught at the border last month. He said beforehand he was crossing to raise awareness about the North's human rights abuses.

Clashes between the neighbors have been contained in recent years with impact on financial markets negligible or short-lived, but analysts said the North could further escalate tension by shooting across the sea border or firing short-range missiles.

North Korea fired about 100 artillery rounds on Wednesday and threatened to fire more as a part of a military drill. South Korea returned fire with warning shots and said the North's move was a cause for grave concern while urging Pyongyang to stop.

South Korea's won was down slightly after the initial reports of the firing. The main stock index was muted.

North Korea has more than 10,000 pieces of artillery aimed at the wealthy South and which could in a matter of hours destroy much of the capital Seoul, 25 miles from the border.

The firing came when President Lee Myung-bak was traveling to Davos in Switzerland for the World Economic Forum after a state visit to India.

The latest clash comes amid signals from Pyongyang it was ready to return after a year-long boycott to six-country talks on ending its atomic arms programme.

Earlier this week Pyongyang accused the South of declaring war by saying it would launch a pre-emptive strike if it had clear signs the North was preparing a nuclear attack.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on February 05, 2010, 23:04:09
Is this really how North Koreans think? If true, it is really worrying:

http://www.slate.com/id/2243112/

Quote
A Nation of Racist Dwarfs
Kim Jong-il's regime is even weirder and more despicable than you thought.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, Feb. 1, 2010, at 10:01 AM ET

Visiting North Korea some years ago, I was lucky to have a fairly genial "minder" whom I'll call Mr. Chae. He guided me patiently around the ruined and starving country, explaining things away by means of a sort of denial mechanism and never seeming to lose interest in the gargantuan monuments to the world's most hysterical and operatic leader-cult.

One evening, as we tried to dine on some gristly bits of duck, he mentioned yet another reason why the day should not long be postponed when the whole peninsula was united under the beaming rule of the Dear Leader. The people of South Korea, he pointed out, were becoming mongrelized. They wedded foreigners—even black American soldiers, or so he'd heard to his evident disgust—and were losing their purity and distinction. Not for Mr. Chae the charm of the ethnic mosaic, but rather a rigid and unpolluted uniformity.

I was struck at the time by how matter-of-factly he said this, as if he took it for granted that I would find it uncontroversial. And I did briefly wonder whether this form of totalitarianism, too (because nothing is more "total" than racist nationalism), was part of the pitch made to its subjects by the North Korean state. But I was preoccupied, as are most of the country's few visitors, by the more imposing and exotic forms of totalitarianism on offer: by the giant mausoleums and parades that seemed to fuse classical Stalinism with a contorted form of the deferential, patriarchal Confucian ethos.

Karl Marx in his Eighteenth Brumaire wrote that those trying to master a new language always begin by translating it back into the tongue they already know. And I was limiting myself (and ill-serving my readers) in using the pre-existing imagery of Stalinism and Eastern deference. I have recently donned the bifocals provided by B.R. Myers in his electrifying new book The Cleanest Race: How North Koreans See Themselves and Why It Matters, and I understand now that I got the picture either upside down or inside out. The whole idea of communism is dead in North Korea, and its most recent "Constitution," "ratified" last April, has dropped all mention of the word. The analogies to Confucianism are glib, and such parallels with it as can be drawn are intended by the regime only for the consumption of outsiders. Myers makes a persuasive case that we should instead regard the Kim Jong-il system as a phenomenon of the very extreme and pathological right. It is based on totalitarian "military first" mobilization, is maintained by slave labor, and instills an ideology of the most unapologetic racism and xenophobia.

These conclusions of his, in a finely argued and brilliantly written book, carry the worrisome implication that the propaganda of the regime may actually mean exactly what it says, which in turn would mean that peace and disarmament negotiations with it are a waste of time—and perhaps a dangerous waste at that.

Consider: Even in the days of communism, there were reports from Eastern Bloc and Cuban diplomats about the paranoid character of the system (which had no concept of deterrence and told its own people that it had signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty in bad faith) and also about its intense hatred of foreigners. A black Cuban diplomat was almost lynched when he tried to show his family the sights of Pyongyang. North Korean women who return pregnant from China—the regime's main ally and protector—are forced to submit to abortions. Wall posters and banners depicting all Japanese as barbarians are only equaled by the ways in which Americans are caricatured as hook-nosed monsters. (The illustrations in this book are an education in themselves.) The United States and its partners make up in aid for the huge shortfall in North Korea's food production, but there is not a hint of acknowledgement of this by the authorities, who tell their captive subjects that the bags of grain stenciled with the Stars and Stripes are tribute paid by a frightened America to the Dear Leader.

Myers also points out that many of the slogans employed and displayed by the North Korean state are borrowed directly—this really does count as some kind of irony—from the kamikaze ideology of Japanese imperialism. Every child is told every day of the wonderful possibility of death by immolation in the service of the motherland and taught not to fear the idea of war, not even a nuclear one.

The regime cannot rule by terror alone, and now all it has left is its race-based military ideology. Small wonder that each "negotiation" with it is more humiliating than the previous one. As Myers points out, we cannot expect it to bargain away its very raison d'etre.

All of us who scrutinize North Korean affairs are preoccupied with one question. Do these slaves really love their chains? The conundrum has several obscene corollaries. The people of that tiny and nightmarish state are not, of course, allowed to make comparisons with the lives of others, and if they complain or offend, they are shunted off to camps that—to judge by the standard of care and nutrition in the "wider" society—must be a living hell excusable only by the brevity of its duration. But race arrogance and nationalist hysteria are powerful cements for the most odious systems, as Europeans and Americans have good reason to remember. Even in South Korea there are those who feel the Kim Jong-il regime, under which they themselves could not live for a single day, to be somehow more "authentically" Korean.

Here are the two most shattering facts about North Korea. First, when viewed by satellite photography at night, it is an area of unrelieved darkness. Barely a scintilla of light is visible even in the capital city. (See this famous photograph.) Second, a North Korean is on average six inches shorter than a South Korean. You may care to imagine how much surplus value has been wrung out of such a slave, and for how long, in order to feed and sustain the militarized crime family that completely owns both the country and its people.

But this is what proves Myers right. Unlike previous racist dictatorships, the North Korean one has actually succeeded in producing a sort of new species. Starving and stunted dwarves, living in the dark, kept in perpetual ignorance and fear, brainwashed into the hatred of others, regimented and coerced and inculcated with a death cult: This horror show is in our future, and is so ghastly that our own darling leaders dare not face it and can only peep through their fingers at what is coming.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on February 15, 2010, 20:57:31
China uses its economic power to prod N.Korea to get back to talks:

Canadian Press link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100214/world/as_koreas_nuclear_20)

Quote
SEOUL, South Korea - China plans to invest billions of dollars in North Korea in an apparent effort to prod the impoverished country to rejoin international nuclear disarmament talks, a news report said Monday.  


The news came one week after North Korean leader Kim Jong Il told a visiting high-level envoy from Beijing that he was committed to a nuclear-free Korea. Kim subsequently dispatched his top nuclear envoy to Beijing for talks on the resumption of six-nation negotiations on ending its nuclear program in return for aid.


Several state-run Chinese banks and other multinational companies neared an agreement to invest about $10 billion to build railroads, harbours and houses in North Korea following their negotiations with Pyongyang's official Korea Taepung International Investment Group, according to Seoul's Yonhap news agency.


More than 60 per cent of the $10 billion investment would come from the Chinese banks
, Yonhap reported citing an unidentified source it described as knowledgeable about the situation at the North Korean investment agency.


(...)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: CANADIAN F0RCES on March 11, 2010, 07:59:00
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,588342,00.html



SEOUL, South Korea —  North Korea's army said Monday it is ready to "blow up" South Korea and the U.S., hours after the allies kicked off annual military drills that Pyongyang has slammed as a rehearsal for attack.

South Korea and the U.S. — which normally dismiss such threats as rhetoric — began 11 days of drills across South Korea on Monday morning to rehearse how the U.S. would deploy in time of emergency on the Korean peninsula.

The U.S. and South Korea argue the drills — which include live firing by U.S. Marines, aerial attack drills and urban warfare training — are purely defensive. North Korea claims they amount to attack preparations and has demanded they be canceled.

The North's People's Army issued a statement Monday, warning the drills created a tense situation and that its troops are "fully ready" to "blow up" the allies once the order is issued.

The North also put all its soldiers and reservists on high alert to "mercilessly crush the aggressors" should they encroach upon the North's territory even slightly, said the statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

The communist country has issued similar rhetoric in the days leading up the drills. On Sunday, it said it would bolster its nuclear capability and break off dialogue with the U.S. in response to the drills.

South Korea's military has been closely monitoring Pyongyang's maneuvers but hasn't seen any signs of suspicious activities by North Korean troops, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said earlier Monday.

"We see it as (North Korea's) stereotype denouncement," Defense Ministry spokesman Won Tae-jae told reporters.

About 20 anti-U.S. activists held a peaceful protest near a joint drill command center south of Seoul on Monday, chanting slogans such as "Stop war rehearsal."

About 18,000 American soldiers and an undisclosed number of South Korean troops are taking part in the drills, dubbed Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, according to U.S. and South Korean militaries.

The training comes as the U.S. and other regional powers are pushing for the North to rejoin international disarmament talks on ending its atomic weapons program in return for aid. The North quit the six-nation weapons talks and conducted its second nuclear test last year, drawing tighter U.N. sanctions.

The North has demanded a lifting of the sanctions and peace talks with the U.S. on formally ending the Korean War before it returns to the negotiations. The U.S. and South Korea have responded that the North must first return to the disarmament talks and make progress on denuclearization.

The U.S. stations about 28,500 troops in South Korea.






hmm, any input on this?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on March 26, 2010, 14:21:10
In addition to the possible latest skirmish between North and South Korean warships as described in this thread (http://forums.navy.ca/forums/index.php/topic,92819.0.html), this other update shows that the North Korean propaganda minister and his commissars are still smoking the same stuff:  ::)

Quote
Associated Press link (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100326/ap_on_re_as/as_koreas_nuclear)

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea's military warned South Korea and the United States on Friday of "unprecedented nuclear strikes" over a report the two countries plan to prepare for possible instability in the totalitarian country.

The North routinely issues such warnings and officials in Seoul and Washington react calmly. Diplomats in South Korea and the U.S. instead have repeatedly called on Pyongyang to return to international negotiations aimed at ending its nuclear programs.

"Those who seek to bring down the system in the (North), whether they play a main role or a passive role, will fall victim to the unprecedented nuclear strikes of the invincible army," North Korea's military said in comments carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

The North, believed have enough weaponized plutonium for at least half a dozen atomic bombs, conducted its second atomic test last year, drawing tighter U.N. sanctions.

(...)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on March 28, 2010, 22:10:49
Another update in the wake of the sinking of that ROKN warship that rose tensions earlier this week:

Reuters link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/100329/world/international_us_korea_north)


Quote
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea warned on Monday of unpredictable disaster unless the South and the United States stop allowing tourists inside a heavily armed border buffer that is one of the most visited spots on the peninsula.   The warming comes as tensions were raised on the peninsula after a South Korean navy ship sank on Friday. Early reports that the North may have been involved spooked markets but were later played down when Seoul said it was almost certain Pyongyang had no part in the incident.


North Korea has made no mention of the ship-sinking incident in its official media.


An unnamed army spokesman of the North's Korean People's Army said South Korea was engaged in "deliberate acts to turn the DMZ into theater of confrontation with the (North) and a site of psychological warfare" by allowing tours inside the border zone.

(...)

 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on March 30, 2010, 02:07:02
The South Korean President orders his military on full alert in the wake of the recent ROK warship sinking:

Associated Press link (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100330/ap_on_re_as/as_skorea_ship_sinks)

Quote
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea's president ordered the military on alert Tuesday for any moves by rival North Korea after the defense minister said last week's explosion and sinking of a South Korean ship may have been caused by a North Korean mine.
The blast ripped the 1,200-ton ship apart last Friday night during a routine patrol mission near Baengnyeong Island, along the tense maritime border west of the Korean peninsula. Fifty-eight crew members, including the captain, were plucked to safety; 46 remain missing with dim prospects for finding any further survivors.

The Joint Chief of Staff said the exact cause was unclear, and U.S. and South Korean officials said there was no outward indication of North Korean involvement.

However, Defense Minister Kim Tae-young told lawmakers Monday that a floating mine dispatched from North Korea was one of several scenarios for the disaster. "Neither the government nor the defense ministry has ever said there was no possibility of North Korea's involvement," Kim said.

(...)

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on April 21, 2010, 17:05:49
An update from the Associated Press:

Quote
Analysts say NKorea hinting at 3rd nuke test
Updated April 22, 2010 03:00 AM

SEOUL (AP) – North Korea may be preparing to carry out a third nuclear test, analysts and a high-ranking defector said yesterday, citing language in state media hinting of an impending crisis on the peninsula.

Speculation that communist North Korea might conduct another nuclear test, in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, grew after the South Korean cable network YTN reported Tuesday that the North has been preparing since February to conduct a test in May or June. YTN cited an unidentified diplomatic source.

Tensions are high on the Korean peninsula in the wake of the deadly sinking of a South Korean navy ship near the maritime border with North Korea.

Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan said he had no information to suggest preparations for a nuclear test were underway.

However, analysts and a former North Korean official said recent statements hint of preparations for another nuclear test.

(...)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on April 26, 2010, 16:38:58
So much for the South seeking retribution for the sinking of their warship, Cheonan, last month:

Quote
Wall Street Journal link (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704446704575205400833858626.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read)

"Though the public favors punishing the North, there is little appetite for warlike action that would disrupt the South Korean economy or destabilize the North enough to require the South to take it over.

President Lee Myung-bak said last week he has no intention of invading the North.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday called for calm.

(...)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on April 26, 2010, 23:27:31
Quote
there is little appetite for warlike action that would disrupt the South Korean economy or destabilize the North enough to require the South to take it over.

Robert Kaplan wrote about this in the Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/10/when-north-korea-falls/5228/), and pointed out that the projected costs of reconstituting the civil society and infrastructure of the DPRK after the fall was so horrendous that the ROK and United States are very hesitant to even move in that direction. The Japanese would be shut out of any meaningful role in the reunification for historical reasons, and China and Russia would both work to find ways to benefit at the expense of a tied down American/ROK nation building effort.

Greater Korea would probably discover the port and transport infrastructure of the Tumen River region have been absorbed by China or (long shot) Russia during the turmoil of reunification, and no doubt many other nasty surprises would be waiting for would be nation builders. On the other hand, "Downfall" is pretty much inevitable in brittle, authoritarian regimes, so someone, somewhere should be making plans.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on April 27, 2010, 00:03:18
Greater Korea would probably discover the port and transport infrastructure of the Tumen River region have been absorbed by China or (long shot) Russia during the turmoil of reunification,

Thucydides,
Speaking of a "Greater" or "United" Korea, did you read this other recent thread on the future possibility of a united Korea as a superpower?(link) (http://forums.navy.ca/forums/index.php/topic,92881.0.html)

Also, wouldn't China's claim on such a region be shaky, considering part of historical Korea actually extends into what is now northeast China?  (And in spite of the fact that Korea was recognized as just another "tributary state" by Qing Dynasty-era China later on) And there are still many Chinese citizens of Korean descent within the northeast Chinese border regions.

Look at this map below showing the old kingdoms of Korea:

 (https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2Fthumb%2F7%2F77%2FThree_Kingdoms_of_Korea_Map.png%2F477px-Three_Kingdoms_of_Korea_Map.png&hash=4872b74d6be12e15b4c7226082b8f99e) 

This map shows the real extent of the ethnic Korean nation, regardless of present-day national borders. Millions of more peninsular Koreans moved into China during the Japanese annexation of 1910 and even before.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on May 13, 2010, 18:29:15
I'm not sure how the people of Korean ancestry will factor in China's plans if/when the DPRK collapses, just another variable in the complex calculus. What is a bit disconcerting is the fact that no one seems to have a coordinated response (or even a unilateral response) plan in mind. Perhaps there is one under reaps, we can only hope:

http://the-diplomat.com/2010/05/12/get-ready-for-dprk-collapse/

Quote
Get Ready for DPRK Collapse
May 12, 2010

The Six-Party Talks are looking hopeless, says Minxin Pei. It’s time for policymakers to start planning for the worst. Now.
By Minxin Pei

The motives behind North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s ‘unofficial’ visit to China last week may not be that hard to decipher. Most analysts suspect he went to see his most important patron to seek more aid and, in all likelihood, his Chinese patrons would have thrown a bone or two to him to bribe him back to the increasingly meaningless Six-Party Talks.  But if the stakeholders in East Asia’s peace and stability focus their attention on whether China’s prodding will lead to a more fruitful outcome in dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme this time, they’re simply wasting their time.

Pyongyang’s record on this issue speaks for itself: North Korea has no intention of honouring its commitments to the Six-Party Talks or abandoning its nuclear capabilities.

Judging by recent developments inside North Korea, however, clinging on to its nukes may not actually help prolong Kim Jong-il’s regime. The country’s unfolding economic catastrophe has clearly taken a toll on the regime’s legitimacy and durability—only the most desperate governments in history have resorted to outright confiscation of its people’s money. Seasoned analysts have also reported rising popular resentment against Pyongyang. Thanks to the sanctions imposed by the United Nations and other efforts to weaken Kim Jong-il’s regime, North Korea has failed to blackmail the international community into supplying more economic assistance.

More importantly, the Kim Jong-il regime, which has become a classic family dictatorship, is about to face its most difficult test of survival: succession. Stricken by a stroke not too long ago, Kim Jong-il is in frail health and his hold on power is certain to weaken. He appears desperate to install his 27-year old son, Kim Jong-un, as his successor. Unfortunately for the Kim dynasty, this process is likely to end in failure. A review of transfers of power in modern family dictatorships (excluding traditional monarchies) shows that the chances of a successful succession from the first-generation dictator to his son are roughly one in four, and no grandson of a first-generation dictator has ever succeeded in taking over a regime and consolidating his power.

Of course, the Kim dynasty may set a precedent. But given the worsening economy, the inexperience of the putative successor and the unknown reliability of the Korean military and security forces in the event of Kim Jong-il’s death, the rest of East Asia should be prepared for a scenario of rapid collapse in North Korea.

What is most worrying about a possible North Korean collapse is that the key players in the region are not talking to each other, even informally, about such an eventuality. It’s almost certain that these powers—China, the United States, Japan, South Korea and, possibly, Russia—have all drawn up their own contingency plans for Pyongyang’s quick collapse. However, they’ve done nothing to explore a collective response to what is without doubt a geopolitical game-changer.

As a result, many crucial questions remain unanswered. For instance, how should the United States and South Korea react if China sends combat troops into North Korea to conduct ‘humanitarian assistance’ missions? In all likelihood, Beijing will be tempted to do so if millions of refugees start fleeing into China. Which country will take the lead in securing nuclear materials? How will China respond to the crossing of the 38th parallel by South Korean and US forces? Who will take the lead in reaching out to Pyongyang’s post-Kim regime? What will be the collective security architecture after the Korean peninsula is reunified?

These critical issues are deemed too sensitive for US, Chinese, Japanese and South Korean government officials to discuss. As a result, few are thinking about these difficult issues, let alone exploring workable solutions that could help avoid a possible conflict between China and the United States over a collapsing North Korea and construct an enduring peace after the departure of the Kim dynasty.

Given the lack of strategic trust among the key players in this volatile region, it’s probably a bad idea to count on government officials to have a sudden change of heart. Instead, a track-two approach, which consists of well-structured informal discussions and scenario planning among former government officials, academics and policy specialists, may be a first step forward. If nothing else, such privately sponsored efforts should put the most important and potentially most de-stabilizing issues on the table.

For Kim Jong-il’s Chinese hosts, even such a modest proposal may be anathema. But they would be in denial. All they need to do is to take a look at the photo of the sickly Kim and ask themselves a simple question: should we have a Plan B?

Minxin Pei is Professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College and adjunct senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on May 13, 2010, 18:50:05
At a guess:

1. China is ready and able, on almost no notice to occupy the DPRK and manage it as a sort of (temporary) Autonomous Region, not quite like Tibet and Xinxiang which are integral parts of China but, rather, as something akin to a trusteeship.

2. China will aim to keep all the Koreans in Korea.

3. China can and will secure the DPRK nuclear programmes - civil and military.

4. US and South Korean troops will not cross the 38th parallel. China will not permit such an incursion and neither the US nor South Korea will want to risk offending China on this matter.

5. China will, quickly, open long term reunification talks with South Korea. The US will not be invited to participate.

6. China's long term aim is a reunified Korea which is friendly to China and 'free' of US 'occupation.'

My guess, anyway, worth what you are paying for it.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: GAP on May 13, 2010, 19:03:06
That is the most sound analysis I have read on the subject....simple, but concise, and VERY likely..
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: GAP on May 15, 2010, 12:16:14
 South Korea Gets Ready For Anything
 Article Link (http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htlead/articles/20100513.aspx)

May 13, 2010: South Korea, alarmed at what appears to be the North Korean use of a Yu-3 type torpedo to sink one of their warships, has undertaken to reform their armed forces to better deal with tactics like this. North Korea officially denies having anything to do with the loss of the 1200 ton corvette Cheonan, but most North Koreans accept the fact that North Korea did the deed, and northerners are proud of that. Examination of the salvaged wreckage made it clear that it was an external explosion, using military grade explosives, that sank the ship and killed 46 sailors on March 26th. North Korea was believed to have done this avenge earlier skirmishes that led to the sinking of North Korean warships.

The reforms are meant to prepare South Korean forces to better deal with these North Korean tactics. This includes coping with the large force of commandos and small submarines North Korea has created. For decades, North Korea has been sending commandos and agents south, landing them from these small subs. North Korea has also assassinated South Korean officials and civilians in other countries. South Korea tolerated this until now, but the sinking of the Cheonan crossed a line, and the South Korean government wants to develop ways to strike back.

For the last decade, the South Korean military has been preparing to deal with collapse in the north. Last year, the government made public what many have suspected for several years now. If North Korea attacks, South Korea is prepared to go north. This is no surprise to those who have been observing the South Korean armed forces development after the end of the Cold War in 1991. During the same time, the North Korean armed forces have declined because of a bankrupt economy and no money for replacing obsolete equipment, or for training. Meanwhile, the booming economy in the south led to the growth of domestic arms industry, and the re-equipping the South Korean military with modern, and locally made, weapons.

Over the last two decades, South Korea has developed, and produced in large numbers, their own equivalents of the U.S. M-1 tank (the South Korean K-1 and K-2), the U.S. M-2 Infantry Fighting Vehicle (the South Korean K-21) and the U.S. M-109 self-propelled 155mm howitzer (the South Korean K-9), and much more. The South Koreans used the American equipment as models, and then built on that.

South Korea also manufactures an Aegis destroyer (the KDX III class), a new class of frigate (FFK) and a light fighter/trainer jet (the T-50). South Korea offers most of this new gear for export, at a substantial discount to what their U.S. equivalents would cost, and backs them up with the South Korean reputation of producing sturdy and reliable industrial goods (everything from large ships to tiny micro chips). This provided South Korea with a decisive military edge over its aggressive northern neighbor, North Korea.
More on link
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on May 16, 2010, 02:07:23
Speaking of "anything"...


link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100516/world/as_skorea_ship_sinks)

Quote
SEOUL, South Korea - Two North Korean naval boats briefly crossed the tense western sea border with South Korea in the first such violation since a South Korean warship sank in the area following a mysterious explosion in March, the South's military said Sunday.

A North Korean patrol boat sailed about 1.6 miles (2.8 kilometres) into the South-controlled waters on Saturday night but quickly retreated after a South Korean broadcast warning, according to Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff.


In less than an hour, another North Korean patrol boat intruded across the border but returned to its waters after another warning broadcast and two shots from the South Korean vessel, a Joint Chiefs of Staff officer said on condition of anonymity citing department policy. There were no injuries reported, he added.


The Korean maritime border is not clearly marked, and violations by North Korean military and fishing boats are not unusual. But Saturday's incursion marks the North's first border violation since the 1,200-ton South Korean warship went down near the area on March 26, killing 46 South Korean sailors.


Seoul has not directly blamed North Korea for the sinking, and Pyongyang has denied involvement, but suspicion has focused on the North given its history of attacks. The two Koreas remain technically locked in a state of war because their three-year conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, in 1953. Their navies fought three bloody sea battles near the disputed sea border since 1999.


South Korea has said it will take stern action against anyone responsible for the sinking — one of its worst maritime disasters. The government was to announce the results of its investigation in the coming week.


On Sunday, Yonhap news agency reported that South Korean investigators have obtained unspecified evidence showing North Korea's involvement in the sinking. Yonhap citing an unidentified government source as saying South Korea's military was considering issuing an anti-North Korea statement after the investigation outcome is announced.


South Korea's Defence Ministry and Joint Chiefs of Staff said they could not confirm the report because the investigation was still under way.

(...)

 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on May 17, 2010, 10:03:49
Here's a link to North Korea Econ Watch and other links. Good resource material.


http://www.nkeconwatch.com/

Military:
http://www.nkeconwatch.com/north-korea-military-resources/
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on May 17, 2010, 23:41:10
Meanwhile, the US and South Korea both seek a "full accounting" of the sinking of the ROKNS Cheonan last March.

Agence-France Presse link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/100518/world/skorea_nkorea_us_military_naval)

Quote

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Barack Obama and South Korea's Lee Myung-bak have spoken by telephone and stressed the need for a "full accounting" of the sinking of a South Korean warship in March, the White House said.
"President Lee provided an update on the status of the investigation into the sinking of the ROK naval vessel Cheonan in which 46 Korean sailors lost their lives," the White House said in a statement.


"The two leaders emphasized the importance of obtaining a full accounting of the event and committed to follow the facts of the investigation wherever they lead."


Plus: "decisive evidence" found?

Agence-France Presse link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/100518/world/skorea_nkorea_military_naval)

Quote
SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea has found "decisive evidence" that a North Korean torpedo sank one of its warships after analysing chemical traces found on the wreckage, a media report said Tuesday.
 
A multinational team investigating the March 26 sinking of the Cheonan is due to report on Thursday.

South Korea has promised a "resolute response" if the North is proved to have been to blame.


"The analysis of metal pieces and traces of explosive recovered from the Cheonan and the seabed led us to secure decisive evidence that there was a North Korean torpedo attack," Yonhap news agency quoted a military source as saying.


The explosive traces have a similar chemical make-up to substances found in a stray North Korean torpedo secured by South Korea seven years ago, the source was quoted as saying.


The defence ministry refused comment before the official announcement on Thursday.


An explosion broke the 1,200-tonne corvette in two near the disputed inter-Korean border with the loss of 46 lives.


Yonhap and other media also said a fragment presumed to be part of the torpedo's propeller had been found
. Dong-A Ilbo newspaper said investigators have concluded the fragment was from a torpedo made in either China or Russia.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: burnaby on May 19, 2010, 03:39:18
http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/05/18/southkorea-warship-sunk-by-north.html

It is "obvious" North Korea sank one of the South Korea's warships in March, killing 46 sailors, South Korea's foreign minister said Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan told reporters that investigators have enough evidence of North Korean involvement in the sinking of the Cheonan to take Pyongyang to the UN Security Council.

Yu's comments are the first by a South Korean official clearly pointing the finger at North Korea for one of the worst attacks on the South since the two Koreas signed a truce in 1953 to end three years of fighting.

Asked whether North Korea sank the ship, Yu said: "I think it's obvious." He declined to provide further details, saying the official results of the multinational investigation into the incident would be released Thursday.

North Korea has denied involvement in the sinking of the Cheonan.....

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/05/18/southkorea-warship-sunk-by-north.html#ixzz0oM4FpgF8

Another similar incident:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8685053.stm

South Korea's navy has fired warning shots at a patrol boat from the North, the most serious skirmish since a Southern ship was sunk on 26 March.

Two vessels had violated a disputed border known as the Northern Limit Line, South Korea's military said.

"Two patrol boats crossed on two separate occasions and warning shots were fired," an official said.

Tensions have been high since a South Korean warship mysteriously sank on March 26, killing 46 sailors.

A North Korean patrol boat sailed 2.8km (1.6 miles) into South-controlled waters on Saturday, said Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff.

It retreated after a South Korean ship broadcast a warning, reports say.

Read More: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8685053.stm

My question is what do North Korea have to gain? it already have enough political leverage to gain resources from the West.

Oh can some move this to the North Korean super thread? Thanks
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: ArmyVern on May 20, 2010, 04:07:56
It will be very interesting to watch this play out indeed.

Reproduced under the fairdealings provisions of the copyright act ...

North Korea Denies Sinking Warship (http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/05/19/south.korea.ship/index.html?hpt=T2)

Quote
Washington (CNN) -- The president of South Korea has vowed "resolute" measures against North Korea for its alleged attack on a South Korean warship, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported Thursday.

A five-country committee announced Thursday morning in Seoul that they had concluded a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo that sunk the South Korea warship in March.

Investigators recovered a propeller from the torpedo that blew the Cheonan in half on March 26, Yoon Duk-yong, the committee's co-chair, told reporters.

The propeller was from the kind of "torpedoes that were exported from North Korea and the letters and the fonts on the torpedo are the are the same that are used by North Korea," Yoon said at a Thursday morning news conference. "This torpedo was manufactured in North Korea."

Yoon said that the investigation found that a small to mid-sized North Korea sub "fired the torpedo that sunk the Cheonan vessel and retreated back to their border."

As the 1,200-ton vessel went down, 46 sailors were lost near disputed waters in the Yellow Sea.

"(We) will take resolute countermeasures against North Korea and make it admit its wrongdoings through strong international cooperation and return to the international community as a responsible member," President Lee Myung-bak told Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in phone talks, according to Lee's office, Yonhap reported.

North Korea denied torpedoing the warship just as the team of investigators in Seoul unveiled their report.

"We had already warned the South Korean group of traitors not to make reckless remarks concerning the sinking of warship Cheonan of the puppet navy," North Korea's National Defence Commission said in a statement, according to the Korean Central News Agency. "Nevertheless, the group of traitors had far-fetchedly tried to link the case with us without offering any material evidence."

"It finally announced the results of the joint investigation based on a sheer fabrication" the defense commission said, according to the state-run KCNA. The commission called the new report part of a "smear campaign."

The White House backed the report issued Thursday in Seoul, saying it "points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that North Korea was responsible for the attack."

"This act of aggression is one more instance of North Korea's unacceptable behavior and defiance of international law," said a statement by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. "This attack constitutes a challenge to international peace and security and is a violation of the Armistice Agreement."

President Obama spoke with South Korean President Lee bak on Monday and "made clear that the United States fully supports the Republic of Korea, both in the effort to secure justice for the 46 service members killed in this attack and in its defense against further acts of aggression," Gibbs said.

"North Korea must understand that belligerence towards its neighbors and defiance of the international community are signs of weakness, not strength," Gibbs' statement said. "Such unacceptable behavior only deepens North Korea's isolation. It reinforces the resolve of its neighbors to intensify their cooperation to safeguard peace and stability in the region against all provocations."

The United States has a mutual defense treaty with South Korea and Japan to defend "against any aggression," so if a military confrontation develops, the United States would be responsible for defending South Korea, a U.S. military official said.

"I don't think it will come to that," the official said. "They know they need to have a response, but there is too much at stake for South Korea to have a confrontation on the Korean peninsula. North Korea has nothing to lose, but South Korea is a serious country with a huge economy."

There are military options for South Korea beyond firing missiles, said John Delury, who studies North and South Korea at the Asia Society.

Anything combative would hurt South Korea economically, Delury said, but the country could increase its naval presence along the line that divides South and North Korea in the waters surrounding the countries. He notes that comes with a risk.

"Those actions could trigger a conflict," he noted.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who will visit Seoul next week, will talk with the South Korean government about the investigation, Assistant Secretary Campbell said.

Clinton will also visit Japan and China during her trip, and the North Korean issue is likely to be high on the agenda.

Clinton will have "the closest possible consultations with Japan, China and South Korea about the next phase," Campbell said.

On Monday, President Obama spoke on the phone about the investigation with President Lee.

The president reiterated "the strong and unwavering commitment of the United States to the defense and the well-being of its close friend and ally, the Republic of Korea," a White House statement said about the conversation.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Jammer on May 20, 2010, 07:50:56
I suspect there will be a lot of public posturing and flag waving, but nothing tangible in the way of retaliation will come of it..
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: GAP on May 20, 2010, 07:56:36
I suspect there will be a lot of public posturing and flag waving, but nothing tangible in the way of retaliation will come of it..

Oh, I suspect it will come, but we may not hear about it....North Korea will sure know who did it though...
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on May 20, 2010, 10:16:04
More:


Quote

military.com link (http://www.military.com/news/article/nkorea-warns-war-if-punished-for-sinking.html?wh=news)

 
NKorea Warns War if Punished for Sinking
May 20, 2010
Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea -- Tensions deepened Thursday on the Korean peninsula as South Korea accused North Korea of firing a torpedo that sank a naval warship, killing 46 sailors in the country's worst military disaster since the Korean War.

President Lee Myung-bak vowed "stern action" for the provocation following the release of long-awaited results from a multinational investigation into the March 26 sinking near the Koreas' tense maritime border. North Korea, reacting swiftly, called the results a fabrication, and warned that any retaliation would trigger war. It continued to deny involvement in the sinking of the warship Cheonan.  
"If the [South Korean] enemies try to deal any retaliation or punishment, or if they try sanctions or a strike on us ... we will answer to this with all-out war," Col. Pak In Ho of North Korea's navy told broadcaster APTN in an exclusive interview in Pyongyang.

An international civilian-military investigation team said evidence overwhelmingly proves a North Korean submarine fired a homing torpedo that caused a massive underwater blast that tore the Cheonan apart. Fifty-eight sailors were rescued from the frigid Yellow Sea waters, but 46 perished.

Since the 1950-53 war on the Korean peninsula ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty, the two Koreas remain locked in a state of war and divided by the world's most heavily armed border.

The truce prevents Seoul from waging a unilateral military attack.

However, South Korea and the U.S., which has 28,500 troops on the peninsula, could hold joint military exercises in a show of force, said Daniel Pinkston, a Seoul-based analyst for the International Crisis Group think tank.

South Korean and U.S. officials also said they are considering a variety of options in response to the warship's sinking, ranging from U.N. Security Council action to additional U.S. penalties.

The exchange of war rhetoric raised tensions, but the isolated communist regime -- already under international pressure to cease its nuclear weapons program -- often warns of dire consequences against South Korea or Washington for any punitive steps against it. Its large but decrepit military would be no match for U.S. and Korean forces
.



The impoverished country is already chafing from international sanctions tightened last year in the wake of widely condemned nuclear and missile tests. U.N. sanctions currently block funding to certain officials and companies, while North Korea is barred from exporting weapons and countries are authorized to inspect North Korean ships suspected of carrying illicit cargo.

South Korea "will take resolute countermeasures against North Korea and make it admit its wrongdoings through strong international cooperation," Lee said during a call with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, the presidential office said. Lee convened an emergency meeting for Friday.

The White House called the sinking an unacceptable "act of aggression" that violates international law and the 1953 truce. Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama declared his support for South Korea, calling North Korea's actions "inexcusable."

China, North Korea's traditional ally, called the sinking of the naval ship "unfortunate" but stopped short of backing Seoul.  
Pyongyang continued its steadfast denials of involvement in the sinking.

"Our Korean People's Army was not founded for the purpose of attacking others. We have no intention to strike others first," Col. Pak, the naval spokesman, told APTN in the North Korean capital. "So why should we attack a ship like the Cheonan which has no relation with us, no need to strike it and we have no significance in doing so."

North Korea's powerful National Defense Commission warned the South against provocative acts near their border, and urged the U.S. and Japan to "act with discretion," the state-run Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch monitored in Seoul.

North Korea has waged a slew of attacks on South Korea since the 1950-53 fighting ended, including the 1987 downing of a South Korean airliner that killed all 115 people on board.

Pyongyang has never owned up to the attacks.

North Korea also disputes the maritime border drawn unilaterally by U.N. forces at the close of the Korean War, and the waters have been the site of several deadly naval clashes since 1999.

Detailed scientific analysis of the wreckage, as well as fragments recovered from the waters where the Cheonan went down, point to North Korea, investigators said.

The bending of the ship's keel backs the theory that an underwater torpedo triggered a shockwave and bubble effect that tore the ship apart, the report said.

The report also cites fractures on the main deck, statements from survivors and a sentry on a nearby island, and fractures and lacerations on the remains of deceased sailors.

Pieces of the torpedo "perfectly match" the schematics of a North Korean-made torpedo Pyongyang has tried to sell abroad, chief investigator Yoon Duk-yong said.

A serial number on one fragment is consistent with markings from a North Korean torpedo that Seoul obtained years earlier, Yoon said.

"The evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that the torpedo was fired by a North Korean submarine," he said. "There is no other plausible explanation."
 

At Seoul's main train station, scores of people watched raptly as the investigator laid out the evidence against North Korea.

"I'm afraid," said Naima Vela, 26-year-old student from Italy. "I still have a month or two to stay in Seoul and I don't know if I should."

Near the Demilitarized Zone, tourists peered across the border into North Korea.

"As a mother of a boy who is serving his military duty right now, I don't want a war to break out," Jeon Bok-soon said in Paju as she looked across the border into North Korea.

"However if [North Korea] keeps mentioning war, I think we should also show our strong military power," she said.

 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: thunderchild on May 20, 2010, 19:44:40
I have been reading about the situation in Korea, I printed off the copy of the report  that was issued today (Thurs 20 may 2010 the joint civilian-military investigation group available on the BBC.COM web site) It seem like a closed case.  I only have a question to put out there, It is regarding how these torpedo components were gathered.  "the torpedo parts were recovered at the site of the explosion by a dredging ship"  How do they know it is the same torpedo if no shrapnel was in the ship's hull or the bodies of the crew?  What should be south Korea's responce?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on May 20, 2010, 20:44:14
China has been quite clear: it wants peace on the Korean peninsula. China is the dominant regional power so its wishes matter.

North Korea will be prevented, by China, from doing anything really stupid. South Korea and the USA must be smart, too.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: SocialyDistorted on May 20, 2010, 21:36:59
China has been quite clear: it wants peace on the Korean peninsula. China is the dominant regional power so its wishes matter.

North Korea will be prevented, by China, from doing anything really stupid. South Korea and the USA must be smart, too.

Yes, but it almost seems like NK is using the "HAHA WE'LL DECLARE WAR IF YOU PUNISH US FOR [allegedly] SINKING ONE OF YOUR SHIPS!!!" card against SK and the US
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: uncle-midget-Oddball on May 20, 2010, 22:06:20
Yes, but it almost seems like NK is using the "HAHA WE'LL DECLARE WAR IF YOU PUNISH US FOR [allegedly] SINKING ONE OF YOUR SHIPS!!!" card against SK and the US


That is exactly what they have been doing for years. Question is what happens if ROK calls their bluff? Or at what point does the DPRK aggression and attacks go too far? If the North can torpedo ships from the ROK Navy at will because they threaten all out war... how many ships need to be sunk at the cost of how many lives before war is a "resaonable" option for the South?

Oddball
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: milnews.ca on May 21, 2010, 08:42:01
This (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2010/05/116_66284.html) from koreatimes.co.kr:
Quote
The United Nations Command (UNC) in South Korea said Friday that it will begin investigating whether North Korea's torpedoing of a South Korean frigate violated an armistice agreement or not.

The probe comes after the Ministry of National Defense requested the UNC investigate the case after North Korea denied its involvement in the sinking of the South Korean vessel near the West Sea border on March 26.

The disaster killed 46 South Korean sailors.

The UNC and the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC) will team up to "review the findings of the investigation and determine the scope of the armistice violation that occurred in the sinking of the Republic of Korea Ship Cheonan."

The multinational investigation team concluded Thursday that North Korea torpedoed the warship.

North Korea denied the findings, saying it was willing to send a team to the South to see if the evidence was true.

South Korea said the North officially made such an offer to the U.N. Command Military Armistice Commission as the two Koreas technically remain at war.

A government source said North Korea may be allowed to join the investigation if it promises not to take advantage of the probe and is willing to play its part sincerely.

Representatives from South Korea, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, New Zealand, Turkey, Britain, the United States, Sweden and Switzerland and members of the NNSC will participate in the investigation ....

From the United Nations Command news release (attached)
Quote
Now that the ROK-led multinational investigation has concluded, United Nations Command is convening a Special Investigations Team consisting of members from the UNC and the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission to review the findings of the investigation and determine the scope of the armistice violation that occurred in the sinking of the Republic of Korea Ship Cheonan.

UNC contributing team members include representatives from Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. The NNSC includes members from Sweden and Switzerland.

The team will report their findings to the United Nations.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: zipperhead_cop on May 21, 2010, 10:33:10
Oh wow!  If the United Nations is on it, you're gonna see some results! 





(surely, nobody takes that seriously)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on May 21, 2010, 17:11:03
While we wait for the United Nations to hold meetings on the agendas of the upcoming meetings, more serious minds might consider:

http://strategypage.com/on_point/20100511232546.aspx

Quote
Winning the Korean Face War

by Austin Bay
May 11, 2010
In late March, an explosion in disputed waters off the Korean Peninsula sank the South Korean corvette Cheonan, killing 46 sailors. This week, investigators concluded a weapon, possibly a German-made torpedo, destroyed the ship.

North Korea deploys mini-subs and commando submersibles that deliver torpedoes with extraordinary stealth, so Pyonyang's strange Stalinist regime has the capability to conduct surreptitious naval attacks and then plausibly deny responsibility.

North Korea has the weapons, and it has intent -- decades of demonstrated intent. For 60 years, North Korea has repeatedly attacked South Korea. The Korean War began 60 years ago this June, and it isn't over, not officially -- an armistice holds combat in tenuous abeyance, not a peace treaty. One wonders if the naval attack isn't an anniversary celebration of a disguised, macabre sort, appealing to the malign psyche of North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong-Il.

The Korean War started with an explosive communist attack that raised the specter of global nuclear war. Now it appears it may end with a communist implosion, one that risks igniting a brief but terrible nuclear conflict in East Asia, should North Korea hit Seoul or Tokyo with a nuke.

Seoul's suburbs lie within range of North Korean artillery. A North Korean fighter-bomber, heading south from communist airspace, will reach Seoul in minutes. South Korea's Samsung Corp. is one of the largest private employers in the Texas county in which I live. This means Pyongyang doesn't need nukes to attack Texas' economy, a fact of life among the 21st century's economically, politically and technologically linked.

Global linkage and Pyongyang's nuclear quest explain the caution stirring this strange twilight of an old war -- caution expressed in Washington, caution followed to the point of kowtow by a South Korean government that hoped the Cheonan suffered a tragic accident.

The South Korean people, however, are outraged, as their government -- if only for its own political survival -- says it is preparing a response.

South Korea must demand reparations for the Cheonan, but if the North fails to comply, what then? Talk does not faze mass-murdering dictators. When Adolf Hitler militarized the Rhineland, the Western allies flinched -- and the Nazis became more audacious. The Rhineland was a strategic probe of allied will. Sinking the Cheonan is a probe of the U.S.-South Korean relationship and ultimately a probe of U.S. President Barack Obama's commitment to mutual defense. His diplomatic track record, and his personality, incline toward appeasement.

South Korea is mulling tough economic and political sanctions. North Korean elites, however, shield themselves from the consequences of sanctions, and any truly effective sanctions regimen requires rigorous Chinese support. Securing firm support is unlikely as long as Beijing sees South Korean and U.S. leadership as too supine for military action.

Covert options include stoking factionalism within North Korea's armed forces and perhaps among Kim Jong-Il's sons. Kim favors his third son. Setting prince on prince is an ancient tool for toppling tyrant kings. South Korea must pursue these fratricidal solutions. They take time, however, and meanwhile, the nuclear clock ticks.

Destroying selected Northern naval facilities by air attack is an option, though this involves striking land targets, which Kim's propagandists would portray as escalation.

Explicit naval tit-for-tat, which exposes and exploits North Korean strategic weakness before a global audience, has more political impact. Seoul and Washington should consider seizing North Korean ships in open waters around the globe. Ships and cargoes could be held pending reparations. In Asia, Pyongyang might route its ships through Chinese and Vietnamese coastal water (paying bribes to local coast guards in the process), but eventually they will encounter the U.S. Navy. The maritime cowards will encounter cameras and appear on YouTube. The Google world will get it.

In the Rhineland fiasco, the Western allies lost face. This Korean confrontation is also about political face, and it's time Kim and his killers lost theirs.

South Korea and the U.S., its closest ally, cannot avoid forcefully responding to the Cheonan attack because it prefigures a more terrible future where a further emboldened, fully nuclear-capable North Korea acts even more brutally.

Also see:

http://newledger.com/2010/05/overthrowing-kim-a-capitalist-manifesto-part-1/

http://newledger.com/2010/05/overthrowing-kim-a-capitalist-manifesto-part-2/
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on May 21, 2010, 23:00:16
More tough rhetoric from the US and its allies against N.Korea. The question now is: what next?

Agence-France-Presse link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/100521/world/skorea_nkorea_military_naval)

Quote
US, S.Korea say they will make N.Korea pay for sinking


Fri May 21, 3:21 PM
 

SEOUL (AFP) - The United States and South Korea vowed Friday to make North Korea pay the price for torpedoing a warship in March, as international anger grew over the attack which claimed 46 lives.


 
In Tokyo, visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said it was "important to send a clear message to North Korea that provocative actions have consequences".


Seoul Defence Minister Kim Tae-Young, a day after investigators reported overwhelming evidence that a North Korean submarine sank the South Korean corvette, said: "North Korea surpassed the limits and for such an act we will make it pay."


At the start of an Asian tour that later Friday took her to Shanghai, ahead of planned stops in Beijing and Seoul, Clinton said she and Japan's Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada agreed the North must end its belligerence towards neighbours.


"We cannot allow this attack to go unanswered by the international community," she said, adding she looks forward to "intensive consultations in China".


The attack on the Cheonan near the disputed border with the North on March 26 sparked outrage and grief in South Korea, but Seoul has apparently ruled out any military counterstrike for fear of triggering full-scale war.

(...)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: uncle-midget-Oddball on May 24, 2010, 01:15:13
http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/05/23/skorea.ship/index.html?hpt=T2

From CNN. Highlights are my own.

Quote
Seoul, South Korea (CNN) -- South Korean President Lee Myung-bak announced Monday his country is suspending trade with North Korea, closing its waters to the North's ships and adopting a newly aggressive military posture after the sinking of a South Korean warship.

"We have always tolerated North Korea's brutality, time and again," Lee said. "We did so because we have always had a genuine longing for peace on the Korean Peninsula. But now things are different."

"North Korea will pay a price corresponding to its provocative acts," he said, according to an English translation of the speech provided by Lee's office. "I will continue to take stern measures to hold the North accountable."

South Korean military officials on Thursday announced the results of an official investigation into the sinking of the ship, the Cheonan, which concluded that North Korea fired a torpedo that cut the vessel in half.

North Korea has denied that it sunk the warship, which went down on March 26, killing 46 sailors.

In the nationally televised speech Monday morning, Lee said his country was adopting a posture of "proactive deterrence" toward the North, announcing that "combat capabilities will be reinforced drastically" and that he will focus on improving national security readiness and military discipline.

"If our territorial waters, airspace or territory are violated, we will immediately exercise our right of self-defense," Lee said.


Sounds to me like the South is taking a more 'offensive defensive' stance with the DPRK. 
 
Oddball

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on May 24, 2010, 16:49:48
South Korea's strongest response so far was to freeze trade with North Korea.

BBC link (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/asia_pacific/10144059.stm)


Quote
 
  South Korea has suspended trade with the North and demanded an apology, after a report blamed Pyongyang for sinking a Southern warship.

President Lee Myung-bak said those who carried out the attack, which killed 46 sailors, must be punished.

North Korea's main newspaper called the investigation an "intolerable, grave provocation".

The White House endorsed the South's move, and pledged its co-operation "to deter future aggression".

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has urged China to co-operate with the US on North Korea.

Mrs Clinton told a US-China summit in Beijing that Pyongyang must be held to account for the attack on the Cheonan.

"We ask North Korea to stop its provocative behaviour... and comply with international law," she added.

China is North Korea's closest trading partner and has in the past been reluctant to take tough measures against the communist state.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: jollyjacktar on May 24, 2010, 17:04:26
South Korea's strongest response so far was to freeze trade with North Korea.

BBC link (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/asia_pacific/10144059.stm)

Phew!! Saying "Sorry" will make it up to the families of the 46 Sailors for sure.  >:(
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: SeaKingTacco on May 24, 2010, 18:48:35
It was South Korea's ship that was sunk.  It is entirely up to them- not Canada or anyone else- to decide or to seek that which will make them happy in this whole sorry affair.

Now, who was it again that said that ASW was dead?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Ex-Dragoon on May 24, 2010, 18:55:47
I have been reading about the situation in Korea, I printed off the copy of the report  that was issued today (Thurs 20 may 2010 the joint civilian-military investigation group available on the BBC.COM web site) It seem like a closed case.  I only have a question to put out there, It is regarding how these torpedo components were gathered.  "the torpedo parts were recovered at the site of the explosion by a dredging ship"  How do they know it is the same torpedo if no shrapnel was in the ship's hull or the bodies of the crew?  What should be south Korea's responce?

Why would there have to be shrapnel in the hull or in the bodies. A torpedo only has to explode underneath and cause a pressure wave to break a ships keel and send it to the bottom. Much more effective then hitting the ship.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on May 24, 2010, 23:57:46
Images of the torpedo that was recovered.

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg59.imageshack.us%2Fimg59%2F1658%2Fx610o.jpg&hash=0bd74f68774a93390ba4910c7682f285)

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg69.imageshack.us%2Fimg69%2F1152%2F610xyu.jpg&hash=f29a0ee12a71b7cf9149cf43804ef6b3)

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg197.imageshack.us%2Fimg197%2F5804%2F610xgd.jpg&hash=8042ed049b88697e326f28755db6aae5)

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg195.imageshack.us%2Fimg195%2F1923%2F610xpi.jpg&hash=cbce9ebda3a20d291c6e48c23375a2bc)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: milnews.ca on May 25, 2010, 12:24:13
At least according to the North Korean news agency (http://www.kcna.co.jp/item/2010/201005/news23/20100523-01ee.html):
Quote
The South Headquarters of the Pan-national Alliance for Korea's Reunification, the Solidarity for Implementing the South-North Joint Declaration, the People for Achieving Peace and Reunification, the Solidarity of Youth and Students and other civic and social organizations grouping people from all walks of life in south Korea Thursday held a joint press conference to accuse the puppet group of traitors of falsifying the truth about the sinking of its warship.

A press release, which was read out at the conference, referred to the fact that the Lee Myung Bak group made public the "results of investigation" on the same day in which it dismissed the sinking of the warship "Cheonan" as "the north's provocation by armed attack."

The authorities are presenting fragments, which they claim found out in the waters of the incident, as decisive "evidence" but they cannot be related to the sinking of the warship in the light of their possible drifting to the waters at issue from other sea area by the tide, the thick rust formed on the fragments and the fact that the said waters are used for the firing drill of the south Korean army, the release said, and went on:

The authorities made themselves busy proving the "outside attack" only, far from making public the record of the ship's track and messages exchanged before and after the case, the statements of survivors, etc., which are the core and basic data for proving the truth about the case. They went to the length of cracking down persons and organizations which raised questions as to the case.

The release said that they could never accept the "results of investigation" in view of all the aspects including its contents, process, orientation and the sponsor organization.

The release charged that the announcement of the "results of investigation" is prompted by a foolish attempt of the authorities to flee from their responsibilities by diverting elsewhere the resentment of people critical of them and, at the same time, create the situation in favor of the conservative forces at the forthcoming "elections to local self-governing bodies."

It demanded the authorities open to the public the core data understandable to the people and opt for the total reinvestigation into the case.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Marlowe on May 25, 2010, 22:34:02
There really isn’t much South Korea and the USA (or the rest of the world) can do about any provocation from North Korea as long as China still plays neutral (which isn’t really neutral, given who is always playing dirty). The only thing that can deter North Korea is military action.

Honestly, we’ve tried everything else.

And frankly military action is too big a gamble. Miscalculate North Korea’s response and good bye Seoul.

We also need to consider the possibility that this hasn’t been orchestrated by Kim Jong-Il. I mean, the regime actually apologized—let me repeat that, apologized—to the citizens of North Korea for the effects of the currency reform. I don’t recall too much apologizing while North Koreans were dying of starvation (which some still are . . . thanks KJI!). Does this mean the regime is aware their grip on power is slipping?

So why NKor would do this? Brinkmanship is one thing, but you’d need to be damn sure the South wouldn’t decide to retaliate to pull something this big. Back in the day, when NKor might have lasted for more than a few hours in a throw-down, they’d do crazy stuff like attacking the Blue House (home of the Korean president) or blow up airliners in the South. Things have been quiet since the 90s. And by quiet I mean mini-subs, commandos, and naval skirmishes. And now this?

Is this an attempt to get the hardliners to back Kim Jong-Un as heir apparent? Is this a hardliner plot to force NKor into a confrontation, give them a chance to remove KJI? Was it a mistake? Was it some kind of Dr. Strangelove individual statement? Is someone after their precious bodily fluids?

What is going on up there, and who is in charge?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: uncle-midget-Oddball on May 25, 2010, 23:58:54
The DPRK has announced that it has severed communications and diplomatic relations with the South and backed out of the non-aggression pact. The ROK has resumed psych-warfare using loudspeakers along the border, which the North have threatened to destroy with artillery. 
   The South has also d (re)designated the DPRK as their "main enemy."   
   
Fun times on the peninsula in the days and weeks ahead.


Oddball
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on May 26, 2010, 00:43:34
Nothing new here. As long as China prevents any real sanctions the North Koreans can do as they please - until they overreach.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Colin P on May 26, 2010, 01:13:11
There really isn’t much South Korea and the USA (or the rest of the world) can do about any provocation from North Korea as long as China still plays neutral (which isn’t really neutral, given who is always playing dirty). The only thing that can deter North Korea is military action.

Honestly, we’ve tried everything else.

And frankly military action is too big a gamble. Miscalculate North Korea’s response and good bye Seoul.

We also need to consider the possibility that this hasn’t been orchestrated by Kim Jong-Il. I mean, the regime actually apologized—let me repeat that, apologized—to the citizens of North Korea for the effects of the currency reform. I don’t recall too much apologizing while North Koreans were dying of starvation (which some still are . . . thanks KJI!). Does this mean the regime is aware their grip on power is slipping?

So why NKor would do this? Brinkmanship is one thing, but you’d need to be damn sure the South wouldn’t decide to retaliate to pull something this big. Back in the day, when NKor might have lasted for more than a few hours in a throw-down, they’d do crazy stuff like attacking the Blue House (home of the Korean president) or blow up airliners in the South. Things have been quiet since the 90s. And by quiet I mean mini-subs, commandos, and naval skirmishes. And now this?

Is this an attempt to get the hardliners to back Kim Jong-Un as heir apparent? Is this a hardliner plot to force NKor into a confrontation, give them a chance to remove KJI? Was it a mistake? Was it some kind of Dr. Strangelove individual statement? Is someone after their precious bodily fluids?

What is going on up there, and who is in charge?

I suspect the investigation is about convincing China that their nutbar really did this, which to the Chinese mind would require a heavy handed response. I suspect the Chinese have or will shortly tell SOK and the US to what level of a response they are com foratable with. None of this will be public.

As for shelling Seoul I think most of the NK leadership knows that it would be the end of them. I suspect the NK without major support from China would not last more than a Month against combined SOK/US forces once they begin to move North. They could inflict a lot of damage in that time however. An attack on Seoul would not have China's consent, stirring the bee's nest that much would not serve them at all. If it happened i would expect China to close it's borders, prepare an army there and the US & China would be busy talking to each other to ensure there was no misunderstanding when the troops get close.
 I would expect a land thrust would take place up the West coast as far as Sinsang and then turn west to Pyongyang to keep the US/SOK and Chinese armies far apart. Plus it means the US can resupply by sea. Once the intial defenses are breached I doubt the NK army could stand against the US and if they did they would be bypassed and destroyed on the flanks. the US/SOK would have to guard against overextending themselves though as mass suicide attacks could be possible.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Inky on May 26, 2010, 12:25:55
I suspect the investigation is about convincing China that their nutbar really did this, which to the Chinese mind would require a heavy handed response. I suspect the Chinese have or will shortly tell SOK and the US to what level of a response they are com foratable with. None of this will be public.

As for shelling Seoul I think most of the NK leadership knows that it would be the end of them. I suspect the NK without major support from China would not last more than a Month against combined SOK/US forces once they begin to move North. They could inflict a lot of damage in that time however. An attack on Seoul would not have China's consent, stirring the bee's nest that much would not serve them at all. If it happened i would expect China to close it's borders, prepare an army there and the US & China would be busy talking to each other to ensure there was no misunderstanding when the troops get close.
 I would expect a land thrust would take place up the West coast as far as Sinsang and then turn west to Pyongyang to keep the US/SOK and Chinese armies far apart. Plus it means the US can resupply by sea. Once the intial defenses are breached I doubt the NK army could stand against the US and if they did they would be bypassed and destroyed on the flanks. the US/SOK would have to guard against overextending themselves though as mass suicide attacks could be possible.

Just food for thought: Do you think that Canada would get to play any part in this "Korea war II" scenario?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Colin P on May 26, 2010, 17:56:41
An excellent question, it would be interesting to see how the current opposition would support their reasons to say no, since we have death camps, starvation, nuke smuggling, etc,etc. Even if the will was there, I doubt Canada could meaningfully respond. Pretty much all of our land combat power is tied up in Afghanistan or supporting that. What I could see is Canada providing it’s newly rebuilt CF-18’s and a few ships from the West Coast. Unless they come up with a quick fix for the torpedo system, I afraid our subs won’t be able to do much. In a perfect world as NK start going nuts, Western and concerned Central/SE Asian Countries start moving troops and equipment into southern SK as a sign of solidarity and determination. I wonder if India and Turkey would be interested? I certainly don’t see another UN force like the last time. China would more than likely veto any such thing.

A question for the more strategic types out there. If you were going to attack and destroy NK how would you invade? I looked at Google and felt that a Eastern Seaboard attack would have the benefit of being as far from China as possible. Keeping near the coast means that the army could seize small ports and resupply that way. Go as far North as Sansing, turn west to move on the capital. The advantage of this is the eastern approaches are likely the least protected.
The Downside is the eastern portion is quite mountainous, coastline is somewhat shallow and likely heavily defended. The route is much longer than a Northern push up the west side. Resulting in a long logistical tail that has to be protected.
I suspect that most of the NK army would quickly become static as their logistical system could not cope with a rapidly changing situation. I doubt the average army unit has enough rations or fuel for any sustained moves, plus the inertia created by years of absolute authority would paralyze units once comms went down. I can’t independent commanders doing well in their current command structure.   
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Marlowe on May 26, 2010, 19:08:21
I suspect the investigation is about convincing China that their nutbar really did this, which to the Chinese mind would require a heavy handed response. I suspect the Chinese have or will shortly tell SOK and the US to what level of a response they are com foratable with. None of this will be public.

I would argue that the investigation was for everyone. South Korea wants to dot all the 'i's and cross all the 't's so that if push does come to shove, it has its butt covered. It is looking to go to the UN with definitive proof, not vague accusations.

As for shelling Seoul I think most of the NK leadership knows that it would be the end of them.
The shelling of Seoul is the first blast on the trumpet. If it happens, it is war, and the NK leadership knows very well where that road leads. If they didn't have big brother China to hide behind, they wouldn't have even pushed it this far. Shelling Seoul isn't going to be provocation, it's going to be Pearl Harbour.

I suspect the NK without major support from China would not last more than a Month against combined SOK/US forces once they begin to move North.
A month? There might be fighting for a month, but that would be partisans and werewolves (in the sense of the Nazi squads, not Larry Talbot). In the late 90s, the estimate was that NKor had no more than a few days of fuel. After a few days, unless NK liberated a sizable amount of fuel, they'd be a horse and buggy army.

Now, where'd I leave those Brown Besses?  ;)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Technoviking on May 26, 2010, 21:25:13

A question for the more strategic types out there. If you were going to attack and destroy NK how would you invade?
You suppose that to attack and destroy NK you would have to invade.  To attack and destroy NK, me, personally, I would nuke it.  All airbursts, to minimise the effects of radiological fallout.  I would target logistical nodes as a primary set of targets.  This would minimise pers casualties, and then render the north incapable of surviving as a society for longer than say a week.  They would be unable to launch on the south, and the effect over in China would be minimal.

But this is probably why I am not leading the attack on NK.  Trust me, though, the political stink from China would be all but over in a few months.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on May 27, 2010, 07:15:59
If there is going to be an invasion of North Korea my guess is that it will come from the North, across the Yalu River and that the PLA will drive very quickly down the Western lowlands to Pyongyang and to the Inter-Korean Border. I would also guess that a small Chinese force will arrive, just as quickly, in Rason, in the far North East, in the China/Russia/North Korea border area, to remind the Russians that mischief making is not welcome.

China does not want a war on the Korean peninsula; it would prefer that Korea is reunified without any US presence or interference.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on May 27, 2010, 13:50:09
If there is going to be an invasion of North Korea my guess is that it will come from the North, across the Yalu River and that the PLA will drive very quickly down the Western lowlands to Pyongyang and to the Inter-Korean Border. I would also guess that a small Chinese force will arrive, just as quickly, in Rason, in the far North East, in the China/Russia/North Korea border area, to remind the Russians that mischief making is not welcome.

China does not want a war on the Korean peninsula; it would prefer that Korea is reunified without any US presence or interference.

It seems the North Korea are aware of the threat of invasion from their Cold War-era ally and neighbour:

(reposted from another forum)


Quote
NK reportedly bulking NK/China border  
rfa.org (in Korean section) reports NK has reinforced NK border guard units on NK/China border with heavy weapons units such as 82mm mortar/Recoilless rifles. NK also relocated truck-mounted 122 mm multiple rocket launcher (BM-21 Grad) units to NK/China border.

It's unusual this is happening as the NK border guard units on NK/China border is usually armed with rifles to stop NK people from fleeing NK.

 China and South Korea already have a huge amount of trade between each other, in spite of ideological differences (the same goes for trade between China and Taiwan); just look at all the South Korean companies doing business in China and all the S.Korean students learning Mandarin at language schools there. Therefore a unified Korea under the ROK would have tremendous economic benefits for them especially if Chinese firms get to partake in the reconstruction efforts; in spite of their past Cold-war shared interests, the China of today only maintains a nominal relationship with its former protege state and sees the DPRK as more of a liability than an ally.

The "Shanghai clique" (which includes Pres. Hu Jintao, and Wu Bangguo as well as others the CCP's Shanghai branch that then-Pres. Jiang Zhemin brought to Beijing with him in the 1990s) which has been steering Politburo Standing Committee since the 1990s/Jiang years cares more about ensuring China's continued prosperity and thus are paranoid about any threat to economic stability in the region- whether external or internal.

Thus, China does not care about other communist countries; they invaded Vietnam in 1979, although that invasion force was later withdrawn. That was an example of how they act more in their own interests than for any so-called outdated "Cold-War-era commie solidarity" against democracy. And this same thing might just happen to North Korea if they continue on this path of provocative brinksmanship with its neighbours.

Unlike the 1979 Chinese invasion of Vietnam (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/prc-vietnam.htm) however, which saw the PLA suffer as many as 20,000 casualties against the battle-hardened Vietnamese Army, invading North Korea may be an opportunity for the PLA to demonstrate just how far they've taken implementing the doctrine of "People's War under modern conditions" (http://www.jstor.org/pss/653779) since it was first put forward during the Deng years. That is, if the reforms from that doctrine have really made the PLA capable of fighting a modern combined-arms conflict.

Another question that comes to mind is whether the North Korean Army, with its mostly aging equipment, could stand up to the refurbished PLA, even with static defences on both land borders (probably much more in depth at the DMZ than at the Yalu river) that they've had time to prepare?

------------------------------------------------------------

Plus, another update:

Quote

Reuters link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/100527/n_top_news/cnews_us_korea_north)

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's navy staged anti-submarine drills on Thursday in tense waters bordering North Korea amid signs that China, under pressure from regional powers, is reviewing ties with the isolated communist state.


The naval exercise is aimed at better detecting intrusions by North Korean submarines after a team of investigators, including experts from the United States and Sweden, accused the North of firing a torpedo that sank a South Korean warship, killing 46.


The drills, which also come after the South's military upgraded its alert level, are likely to further anger Pyongyang, which has already cuts most ties with Seoul after it sanctioned the hermit state for sinking the Cheonan corvette.


The North has threatened to shut the last road link with the South if Seoul resumes loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts across their heavily armed border
. It has warned of war if the South went ahead with sanctions announced this week.

(...)

   
   
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: sean m on May 27, 2010, 14:11:05
If war does happen, hopefully it does not but if.. This could have a huge impact on the whole region of Asia even strect south- south west to mynamar (Burma). The North Koreans are the major ally of this nation, and both need each others support in numours sectors. If there is war and North Korea loses, this will hugely impact Mynamar since they will not have a major ally. I hope this would then lead to the nations of the world to force Burma to adopt a democratic system or face the consequences.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Neolithium on May 27, 2010, 15:14:30
If war does happen, hopefully it does not but if.. This could have a huge impact on the whole region of Asia even strect south- south west to mynamar (Burma). The North Koreans are the major ally of this nation, and both need each others support in numours sectors. If there is war and North Korea loses, this will hugely impact Mynamar since they will not have a major ally. I hope this would then lead to the nations of the world to force Burma to adopt a democratic system or face the consequences.

 It will not "hugely" impact the Burma - while Western Nations have banned investments, import bans and arms embargos there are many Asian nations which have plenty of wealth that continue to trade uninterrupted with them.  I can't find the article at the moment, but the biggest contributions to the Burmese economy come from China and India, North Korea has trade relations but the impact they have on their coffers could be likened to a mouse fart in a hurricane. The DPRK of course has done a lot more prick-waving than in past decades, but I'm not ready to underestimate Beijing being quick to slap their Fearless Leader upside the head so fast he wouldn't know East from West.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: sean m on May 27, 2010, 15:20:57

You're right , sorry I forgot about India. You are also right that India and China are more important allies as well. I think the west would have better luck trying to get india to stop having relations with the country. Plus losing North Korea as an ally would still have a big impact, more than you say

It will not "hugely" impact the Burma - while Western Nations have banned investments, import bans and arms embargos there are many Asian nations which have plenty of wealth that continue to trade uninterrupted with them.  I can't find the article at the moment, but the biggest contributions to the Burmese economy come from China and India, North Korea has trade relations but the impact they have on their coffers could be likened to a mouse fart in a hurricane. The DPRK of course has done a lot more prick-waving than in past decades, but I'm not ready to underestimate Beijing being quick to slap their Fearless Leader upside the head so fast he wouldn't know East from West.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Carcharodon Carcharias on May 27, 2010, 21:18:15
If war does happen, hopefully it does not but if.. This could have a huge impact on the whole region of Asia even strect south- south west to mynamar (Burma). The North Koreans are the major ally of this nation, and both need each others support in numours sectors. If there is war and North Korea loses, this will hugely impact Mynamar since they will not have a major ally. I hope this would then lead to the nations of the world to force Burma to adopt a democratic system or face the consequences.

Whatever you're smoking, you should patent it.

 :pop:

OWDU
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: sean m on May 27, 2010, 22:42:06

I dont smoke it, I snort it.

VERBAL WARNING

YOU LOSE SIR

GOOD DAY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDEdKzAZgko&feature=related


Whatever you're smoking, you should patent it.

 :pop:

OWDU
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: sean m on May 27, 2010, 23:31:06

I am sorry I was trying to be funny, I don't think it worke. My apologese.

I dont smoke it, I snort it.

VERBAL WARNING

YOU LOSE SIR

GOOD DAY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDEdKzAZgko&feature=related
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Carcharodon Carcharias on May 27, 2010, 23:36:02
Where does that youtube link come into play with DPRK/ROK issues? That made no sense whatsoever.

I don't think 'engrish' is your first language.

 :worms:

EDITs to add - Dude, are you giving me a verbal?? And yelling too match?

shakes head

OWDU

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Technoviking on May 27, 2010, 23:38:39
I am sorry I was trying to be funny, I don't think it worke. My apologese.
I note that you are from Montréal.  Are you francophone?  If so, your posting in your second language may be more of a hindrance that you think it may be.

(as Mentor)
Technoviking
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Neolithium on May 27, 2010, 23:41:05
Where does that youtube link come into play with DPNK/ROK issues? That made no sense whatsoever.

I don't think 'engrish' is your first language.

 :worms:

If you prefer a youtube link that relates to Kim Jong Il and the DPRK, this should make you smile!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_YDXvAaWpQ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_YDXvAaWpQ)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Carcharodon Carcharias on May 27, 2010, 23:44:09
I thought I was gonig to get 'supermarionation' a la Team America  :nod:

Good link though.

Cheers,

OWDU
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on May 28, 2010, 00:48:48
The goal of the US and its allies should be to sell unification to the Chinese. A unified Korea could be good for the PRC as well as the region. Its going to happen eventually, either through war or internal meltdown neither of which would be good for the Chinese. Unification by the ROk would be extremely expensive and an internal security nightmare with the communist infrastructure.

Short of peaceful unification,the ROK and its UN allies need to be ready for war. The North has only one real wartime scenario - a massive invasion thrust that captures Seoul. Some experts think that if this scenario played out the North would then negotiate a cessation of hostilities. IMO if they embarked on this plan they would go all out to subjugate the south. If they could capture Seoul they would be hard to stop until you get to the Pusan region [the old Pusan Perimeter]. I think the ROK ground forces supported by the USAF/USN would be enough to stop an invasion - but would they have the stones to drive on Pyongyang ? Unless the North used WMD I dont see that happening.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Marlowe on May 28, 2010, 01:03:01
The goal of the US and its allies should be to sell unification to the Chinese. A unified Korea could be good for the PRC as well as the region. Its going to happen eventually, either through war or internal meltdown neither of which would be good for the Chinese. Unification by the ROk would be extremely expensive and an internal security nightmare with the communist infrastructure.
In my opinion, the only way one could get China on board with reunification is for it to be under North Korea. China does not want a strong US ally right on its border. That's part of the reason why China allows NKor to get away with so much crazy stuff--NKor is a buffer state.

That and they fear--with good reason--the flood of refugees across their border a destabilized or destroyed NKor would initiate.

Short of peaceful unification,the ROK and its UN allies need to be ready for war. The North has only one real wartime scenario - a massive invasion thrust that captures Seoul. Some experts think that if this scenario played out the North would then negotiate a cessation of hostilities. IMO if they embarked on this plan they would go all out to subjugate the south. If they could capture Seoul they would be hard to stop until you get to the Pusan region [the old Pusan Perimeter]. I think the ROK ground forces supported by the USAF/USN would be enough to stop an invasion - but would they have the stones to drive on Pyongyang ? Unless the North used WMD I dont see that happening.
In 1950, it took a fully equipped and mobile NKor just over a month to make it to Pusan. That was with a SKor army in disarray (or actively defecting) and a US army ill-prepared.

Now? You have a very highly trained and motivated SKor army, a massive number of reserves (every fit male is supposed to do national service and then gets a weekend of training every month), and a very prepared US army, as well as the JDF that would be MORE than willing to jump in the fight. NKor, on the other hand, now has the ill-motivated, poorly equipped force which may not even have enough fuel to drive to Pusan.

I honestly don't think JKI is totally loony. I don't think he nor any of his generals actually believe they can win a war against SKor without the full and unrestricted participation of China. And I'm pretty sure China has been clear that this ain't gonna happen.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: sean m on May 28, 2010, 01:15:57
Probably not possible but does anyone does anyone have any information on how the North Korean people view their government
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on May 28, 2010, 05:28:02
As far as I can read it's public policy: China wants a unified Korea but it must, specifically, exclude the USA and Japan. I think they would happy with a 'free,' democratic and resolutely capitalist (e.g. Seoul led) Korea but they will not accept any measurable foreign (other than Chinese) presence there.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on May 28, 2010, 11:59:24
In my opinion, the only way one could get China on board with reunification is for it to be under North Korea. China does not want a strong US ally right on its border. That's part of the reason why China allows NKor to get away with so much crazy stuff--NKor is a buffer state.

In spite of years of cooperation and alliance between S.Korea and the US, why must we automatically assume that a united Korea under an ROK government will automatically remain a US ally? Of course there will be the initial years of infrastructure and economic rebuilding after the reunification that will see the ROK rely on the assistance of the US and other neighbours, but why should we assume that later down the road, the ROK won't follow independent foreign policy interests not necessarily aligned with the US (or even China later on)? Does the word "Finlandization" (http://forums.navy.ca/forums/index.php/topic,2941.msg911998.html#msg911998) ring a bell?

Why should a unified Korea (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,92881.msg920132.html#msg920132) necessarily want to keep US troops on its soil if the North Korean threat is gone and it has strong economic links with mainland China?

And is anyone not going to comment on this other post (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,46809.msg938433.html#msg938433) exploring the possibility of China invading North Korea? 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: GAP on May 28, 2010, 12:33:07
If I remember some of my history right....Korea, the whole Korea, has always had a strong propensity for being aggressive, domineering to it's neighbours....put the whole Korea together again, it may very well go back to its' ways of old....
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: VIChris on May 28, 2010, 14:32:53
Should we see a united Korea, I can't seem them becoming an aggressive force anytime soon. I can't help but think they'd be facing at least a decade of serious social work trying to integrate a brainwashed populace into South Korean ways. The North may not be as detached as that, but a lot of what I've seen and read suggests their grasp on how the rest of the world works is pretty weak.  Furthermore, as has been mentioned elsewhere in this thread, the infrastructure in NK appears to be royally hooped. Again, years of work to bring the country around before a united Korea would look at aggression.

Just my  :2c:
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: dapaterson on May 28, 2010, 15:41:15
And once he industrious Western ally successfully integrates their former communist brothers and sisters, they'll suddenly find themselves on the hook to bail out their lazy, corrupt neighbours, if recent history is any indication.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: 2010newbie on May 28, 2010, 16:04:59
Probably not possible but does anyone does anyone have any information on how the North Korean people view their government

The quote below is from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/735397/inside_north_korea_national_geographic.html

It is a review of a documentary called Inside North Korea http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7RtFZCpyv0&feature=related (watch between 3:40 to 5:40 to see the first example of the praise).

Quote
In fact, every one of the over 1000 patients who had cataract surgery documented in Inside North Korea lifted their hands and gave shouting thanks and praise to a large wall print of their fearless leader after the completion of their operation.

The documentary was very good and it looks like it is posted on YouTube in multiple parts. Whether or not the people of North Korea or "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" as Kim Jong Il likes to call it, would actually praise him like this in private or it is just a show for the cameras, who knows. You do see one of the "minders" take great offense to one of the camera men when he laid down in front of a statue of Kim to take a picture. The :minder" told him he would be deported the next day for disrespecting their great General. His offense seemed genuine enough.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Colin P on May 28, 2010, 16:55:44
My hope is that the Chinese have set up contacts with senior leadership there to know instantly what is about to happen and if things are about to go over the edge, advise their chosen few to decapitate the Kim leadership and his closest followers. Of course this will happen behind closed door and with certain troop movements to secure critical nodes. The Public would be advised that the “Dear Leader” has died of natural causes and a Month of Mourning is imposed. Meanwhile police and army units loyal to the new leadership dispose of the remnants of the old guard. The new leadership will receive public blessing from China, likely China will quietly ensure that the US,SOK and Japan are aware who the new leaders are working for. This allows the world to open it’s door to NK and start correcting the worst of the damages. At best NK moves up to a status near Burma’s in regards to living conditions and human right. It will take at least a generation to undo the worst of the Dear Leaders policies.
I also have no doubt that Kim has thought of this scenario and works hard to prevent to much Chinese influence in his senior leadership. Let us hope the senior commanders that receive orders to start a full blown war are sympathetic to the Chinese and will ignore those orders. A lightening fast Invasion by China assisted or least unopposed by NK Generals would be the best scenario for all concerned.   
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: sean m on May 28, 2010, 18:29:00
The most difficult situation is trying to change a peolpe's way of life when they do not want it to change. You cannot force change on people, it has to come with their support. There would need to be thorough intel on this, I doubt how easy it would be to get in there. It would be a good idea to communicate with organizations in North Korea, which support democratic and human rights principles in the country, maybe get their viewpoint on how they see things inside there.



The quote below is from http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/735397/inside_north_korea_national_geographic.html

It is a review of a documentary called Inside North Korea http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7RtFZCpyv0&feature=related (watch between 3:40 to 5:40 to see the first example of the praise).

The documentary was very good and it looks like it is posted on YouTube in multiple parts. Whether or not the people of North Korea or "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" as Kim Jong Il likes to call it, would actually praise him like this in private or it is just a show for the cameras, who knows. You do see one of the "minders" take great offense to one of the camera men when he laid down in front of a statue of Kim to take a picture. The :minder" told him he would be deported the next day for disrespecting their great General. His offense seemed genuine enough.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Marlowe on May 28, 2010, 19:39:56
In spite of years of cooperation and alliance between S.Korea and the US, why must we automatically assume that a united Korea under an ROK government will automatically remain a US ally?

Why would a unified Korea remain a US ally? In the long term (if we consider a time frame measured in decades rather than years) there’s no reason it would. In the short term, there are a few factors that I think would tend to support continued Korean alliance with the US.
 
If Korea is unified under the RoK, there will be the ingrained political legacy of the support of the USA. As much as radicals want to vilify it, the political establishment is well aware that the country survived and prospered in some part due to US support.
 
Second, under the RoK, the Unified Koreas (UK? how about UKor?) would be democratic. While China offers much in terms of economic growth, there will always be tension between democratic and absolutist/plutocratic regimes. There is a required disconnect between the political philosophy and ethics of a democracy vs. those of an absolutist regime like China.
 
Third, the other regional partner closest to RoK, Japan, will remain a strong ally of the USA into the foreseeable future. That is going to add an impetus to RoK adherence to the USA.
 
I’m not saying that Korea would forever be an ally of the USA, but I think diplomatic and political inertia would see to it that the alliance would remain in force for at least two or three presidential administrations.
 
There is also the possibility that UKor would want a USA presence—though likely greatly reduced—to attempt to avoid a repeat of the 19th century. The USA can be overbearing sometimes, but it tends towards isolationism when left to its own devices and is rarely expansionist except when threatened. Historically, this has not been the pattern Korea has seen from its neighbours.
 
I also believe that China can certainly be sold on the idea of an officially non-aligned UKor. China has proven to be pragmatic at times, at least as long as it sees profit in it and no threat to its national interests.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Marlowe on May 28, 2010, 19:44:50
If I remember some of my history right....Korea, the whole Korea, has always had a strong propensity for being aggressive, domineering to it's neighbours....put the whole Korea together again, it may very well go back to its' ways of old....
One would need to go back pretty darn far to find an aggressive Korea. Gochoson (Ancient Choson, as opposed to Choson/Yi Dynasty) and Goguryuh--both predating the first real unified Korean kingdom of Silla--dominated much of what is now northern China or Manchuria. Koryuh, which followed the Three Kingdoms period (of which Silla was part), was pretty strong, but was not aggressive against its neighbours. So you really need to go back to pre 500 AD for an aggressive and domineering Korea.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Marlowe on May 28, 2010, 19:51:45
My hope is that the Chinese have set up contacts with senior leadership there to know instantly what is about to happen and if things are about to go over the edge, advise their chosen few to decapitate the Kim leadership and his closest followers.
In trying to make sense of the Cheonan sinking, one of the possibilities I posited (http://chaoslite.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/why-sink-the-cheonan/) was "regime destabilization"--an inside job by those who wanted to remove Kim Jong-il, so I'm going with your scenario as at least a possibility.

I also have no doubt that Kim has thought of this scenario and works hard to prevent to much Chinese influence in his senior leadership. Let us hope the senior commanders that receive orders to start a full blown war are sympathetic to the Chinese and will ignore those orders. A lightening fast Invasion by China assisted or least unopposed by NK Generals would be the best scenario for all concerned.
I think that is a little radical for usually conservative China. Not saying it is outside the realm of possibility, but it sounds like more of an extreme example. However, supporting a coup d'etat and then being invited in by the new government to help stabilize, I can see that happening for sure. First, of course, China would secure their border with NKor, just in case of an invasion . . . of refugees!
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on May 28, 2010, 21:07:03
China's Premier Wen Jiabao (one of China's higher ranking officials after Pres. Hu Jintao and who also sits on the Politburo's Standing Commitee) is in Seoul trying to help defuse the crisis:

Quote
 
South Korean, Chinese leaders meet amid North Korea tension
Updated May 28, 2010 03:39 PM 

SEOUL (AP) – North Korea's neighbors ramped up efforts to take Pyongyang to the UN Security Council for sinking a South Korean warship, with South Korea's president seeking China's support during a summit Friday.

China's backing would be key to any bid to condemn or sanction North Korea for the March 26 torpedo attack that killed 46 South Korean sailors. Beijing, a veto-wielding permanent Security Council member, so far has refrained from committing to Security Council action against Pyongyang, its neighbor and traditional ally.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak will lay out the case against North Korea during bilateral talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, a South Korean government official said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with department policy.
Wen and Lee were meeting at the presidential Blue House on Friday afternoon, a day before a three-way summit that will also include Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.


"South Korea is fully concentrating on diplomatic efforts to hold North Korea responsible," Lee's spokesman Park Sun-kyu said in a statement. He said the matter would be discussed Friday, at the weekend summit and at a security meeting in Singapore in early June.

A multinational investigation concluded last week that a North Korean submarine fired a torpedo that tore apart and sank the Cheonan in the worst attack on the South Korean military since the Korean War.

North Korea has denied responsibility for the attack, and has warned that retaliation or punishment would mean war.

Tensions have soared since Lee laid out a series of punitive measures and pledged to haul Pyongyang before the UN Security Council. The measures include slashing trade with Pyongyang, resuming anti-North Korean propaganda broadcasts across the border and launching large-scale naval exercises off the western coast. US-South Korean military drills are to follow in the coming months.

North Korea threatened Thursday to attack any South Korean ships entering its waters and scrapped an accord meant to prevent naval clashes.

(...)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: 2010newbie on May 28, 2010, 21:40:33
Here are some pics I took of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (aka North Korea) display at the 2010 World Expo. This was the first Expo that North Korea had ever participated in. Interestingly enough there were no military photos or KJI photos on display anywhere, just happy city landscapes with huge ferris wheels and fountains..... There was a gift shop that sold some KJI books with his photo, but that was it.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on May 29, 2010, 12:16:45
And China pledges not to defend the nation which sank the S.Korean warship.

link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100529/world/as_skorea_ship_sinks)

Quote
SEOGWIPO, South Korea - The premier of China, North Korea's main ally, offered condolences Saturday to South Korea for the sinking of a warship blamed on Pyongyang after promising that Beijing — under pressure to punish the North — would not defend any country guilty of the attack.

Premier Wen Jiabao later joined the leaders of South Korea and Japan in a three-way summit on the southern Korean island of Jeju, saying he hoped it would help achieve peace.


"I hope this summit will conclude with solid results and that we will try together to ensure that it will contribute to world peace," Wen said, according to a Korean-language transcript released by the South Korean president's office.


A multinational team of investigators said last week that evidence proved a North Korean torpedo struck the ship, and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has pledged to take the North to the U.N. Security Council.


North Korea has denied responsibility and warned that any retaliation or punishment would mean war.


The two-day summit was expected to be overshadowed by the sinking in March of the 1,200-ton Cheonan, which killed 46 sailors in one of South Korea's worst military disasters since the 1950-53 Korean War. But the summit's first session Saturday focused on improving economic co-operation. The ship sinking was not discussed but is on Sunday's agenda, said Kazuo Kodama, a Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman.


Before the meeting, the three leaders observed a 10-second moment of silence for the Cheonan's dead crew members, a gesture proposed by Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.


Laying out the investigation results, Lee urged the Chinese premier during bilateral talks Friday to play an "active role" in convincing North Korea to admit its wrongdoing, the presidential Blue House said. Wen told Lee that his country "will defend no one" responsible for the sinking, Lee's office said.

(...)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on May 29, 2010, 18:44:11
Both Japan and South Korea pledged to stand together against North Korea:

*On a sidenote, I wonder how long it will take the JGSDF to get troops on to the Korean peninsula if full-blown hostilities resume?

Reuters link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/100529/n_top_news/cnews_us_korea_north)

Quote
South Korea, Japan united against North Korea

Sat May 29, 11:27 AM
 

By Jack Kim and Yoko Nishikawa
 
SEOGWIPO, South Korea (Reuters) - South Korea and Japan vowed on Saturday to stand united against North Korea in a showdown over a sunken ship, raising pressure on China which has been reluctant to join other countries in condemning Pyongyang.


Leaders of the three big northeast Asian powers are meeting in Seogwipo, a honeymoon resort on the South Korean island of Jeju, for a summit that was meant to boost plans for greater regional cooperation and economic integration.



Instead, the standoff between North and South Korea has overshadowed the summit. The two sides of the divided, heavily armed peninsula have been engaged in an escalating confrontation since Seoul concluded that North Korea was behind the sinking of a South Korean warship in late March that killed 46 sailors.


In talks over two days, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao are likely to focus on the dispute, which has opened a breach between China and its neighbors, both of whom back firm international action against Pyongyang.


At Hatoyama's suggestion, the three leaders observed a moment of silence for the dead sailors before starting their talks.


"North Korea's provocative actions are unforgivable," Hatoyama was quoted by a senior Japanese government official as telling Lee ahead of the three-way summit. "Japan, along with the international community, is condemning such moves and strongly backs South Korea

(...)

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on May 30, 2010, 16:42:23
Agence France Presse link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/100530/usa/skorea_nkorea_us_military)

Quote
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The top US military officer said Sunday he was concerned about a possible North Korean "follow-on" to a torpedo attack that sank a South Korea warship, killing 46 sailors.

Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the US goal was to "certainly not have a conflict break out."



In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Mullen said he was concerned about North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's intentions because "he just doesn't seem to do single things."


"So I'm concerned that, you know, there could be follow-on activities," he said.


Mullen said the torpedo attack on the 1,200-tonne Cheonan corvette on March 26 had made stability on the Korean peninsula "more fragile," noting that a lack of clarity about Kim's succession plans added to the uncertainty.

International investigators reported on May 20 their conclusion that a North Korean submarine had fired a heavy torpedo to sink the warship. The North has denied involvement, and responded to the South's reprisals with threats of war.

(...)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on May 31, 2010, 11:42:30
Reading very murky tea leaves:

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/north-vs-south-korea-how-bad-could-a-war-get/?print=1

Quote
North vs. South Korea: How Bad Could a War Get?

Posted By Stephen Green On May 27, 2010 @ 11:25 am In Asia, China, Column 2, Koreas, Politics, US News, World News | 130 Comments

“As we enter the summer of 2010,” writes Austin Bay [1], “the risk of all-out war on the Korean peninsula is quite high, and possibly the highest it has been since the armistice was signed in 1953.”

The good news: It’s unlikely that North Korea has enough gasoline to fight for more than a few days.

The bad news: they could really mess up the South in less time than that.

The worse news: nobody knows what would happen after the inevitable North Korean collapse, but everybody knows that nobody could afford it.

The downright scary news: even a wildly unspectacular North Korean invasion would serve as a test of our CINC’s mettle — a test we can’t be certain he’d pass.

Let’s go through these points one at a time.

The Good News

An army, Napoleon said, travels on its stomach. But a modern army travels on POL: petroleum, oil, lubricants. It’s doubtful Pyongyang has enough POL to grease their tanks much further south than midtown Seoul. Also, an army needs lots of ammo and tons of spares. How many new tank tracks do you think the North has been able to beg, borrow, buy, or steal in the last 20 years? Answer: not many. And ammo needs to be replaced every couple of decades — even bullets have a shelf life. The situation for aircraft is even more critical, so it’s a good guess that the North’s air force is in even worse shape than the army. The DPRK navy can still pack some punch, as we learned last month, but sneak attacks don’t guarantee victory — just ask Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto.

Another bit of good news is that China is giving North Korea some small diplomatic cover over the sinking of the Cheonan. That might not seem like a good thing at first blush, but as long as China maintains influence over the DPRK, the odds of war are reduced.

The Bad News

North Korea has special forces up the Pyongyang. This tiny, starving, impoverished nation has tens of thousands of special forces — and they have a reputation for being tough, skilled, and deadly. They’re also expected to swarm the South’s airports and seaports and do a pretty savage job of knocking them out of service. They also might have a pretty easy time of blending into the civilian population (or even disguise themselves as ROK soldiers) and continuing to wreak havoc until found and killed, one by one.

Another bit you should know. Seoul is in range of thousands of DPRK artillery tubes and missiles — many of which are in hard-to-bomb mountain hideaways. It would take hundreds of aircraft sorties, and an untold amount of counter-battery fire, before Seoul would be safe again — and the damage could take years to repair. An unprovoked attack at pre-dawn could serve up death and destruction unseen in any major city since World War II.

And I’m not even factoring in the possibility of the North kicking off the festivities with a nuke, because I like to sleep at night.

The Worse News

Yes, there’s worse news. Now, I’ve written about a North Korean collapse pretty extensively [2], and going back seven years. If you don’t want to go through the archives, just know this: it would be the biggest humanitarian crisis since The Flood, only with loose nuclear materials.

The Downright Scary News

So, yes, North Korea could seriously mess up the South, after which the North would cease to exist as an independent nation. And I believe that China would move to intervene in the DPRK long before ROK or U.S. troops (technically, UN troops) could get through the DMZ. Then what’s so downright scary?

It’s almost certain that the South could handle the North without much in the way of American help — and a Chinese coup de grace would certainly bring hostilities to a quick end. (Let’s assume that China would find it much more beneficial this time around to stop a Korean War than to enlist in one.) But: if President Obama did anything less than to order a full and immediate reinforcement of South Korea — on land, sea, and air — our other enemies and rivals would read much into such inaction. They might read too much into it, but they would read it just the same.

More importantly — most especially — is the message our allies would receive: that America is no longer a reliable ally.

Turkey has already de facto left NATO, in favor of rising Persian power. Obama has personally handed Israel its hat and coat, and shoved it towards the door. Britain has been insulted, India snubbed, and the French ignored. It wouldn’t take much more to see what remains of our alliances blown apart. In fact, it wouldn’t take anything more than the slightest wobble in dealing with a Second Korean War.

And as this administration continues to do little or nothing as “the risk of all-out war” reaches historical highs, the signal being sent is most un-American.

“Tread on Me.”
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/north-vs-south-korea-how-bad-could-a-war-get/

URLs in this post:

[1] writes Austin Bay: http://www.strategypage.com/on_point/20100525205853.aspx

[2] North Korean collapse pretty extensively: http://pajamasmedia.com/vodkapundit/2010/05/13/its-deja-vu-all-over-again-all-over-again/
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on May 31, 2010, 12:45:29
The "Downright Scary News," above, is the most likely outcome: "China would move to intervene in the DPRK long before ROK or U.S. troops (technically, UN troops) could get through the DMZ ...  a Chinese coup de grace would certainly bring hostilities to a quick end ... But: if President Obama did anything less than to order a full and immediate reinforcement of South Korea — on land, sea, and air — our other enemies and rivals would read much into such inaction. They might read too much into it, but they would read it just the same ...  the message our allies would receive: that America is no longer a reliable ally ... Turkey has already de facto left NATO, in favor of rising Persian power. Obama has personally handed Israel its hat and coat, and shoved it towards the door. Britain has been insulted, India snubbed, and the French ignored. It wouldn’t take much more to see what remains of our alliances blown apart. In fact, it wouldn’t take anything more than the slightest wobble in dealing with a Second Korean War."

Obama doesn't have enough forces to order a "a full and immediate reinforcement of South Korea" and it is not clear, to me anyway, that, faced with a Chinese coup de main, South Korea would even accept, much less seek American reinforcement.

If the Americans cannot prevent another Korean War then they will, most likely, find themselves expelled from the Asian Mainland.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on May 31, 2010, 14:21:49
Technically a state of war still exits on the Korean peninsula. Only unification will end the war either with a communist takeover or an economic collapse in the north,of the type faced by Germany. Once the ROK unified with the North there wouldnt be a need for a UN or US military presence - something the PRC could live with. The US could still support the ROK from its bases in Japan if necessary. The PRC would be able to focus its military on its border with Russia.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Colin P on May 31, 2010, 16:26:36
Everyone claims that if the North collapses, havoc will ensure. You mean like mass starvation, shortages of essential goods, lack of jobs? Maybe I am missing something, but that sounds like present day NK already. I don’t see a lot of starving NK making much of a march considering their current caloric intake.
If the collapses is internal and civil war starts within NK, all sides involved would be trying convince China that they will be the best leaders for the country. Once China picks a horse in the race, the fighting will end as the losing side will not have the fuel, food and ability to fight the other forces being freshly supplied by China. I would then foresee a quick and nasty culling of old guard and people that jumped into the wrong bandwagons. Life for the average NK would still suck, but I suspect that China would then use it’s influence to force the new government to improve things so they won’t have a mass of refuges coming over the border. From there I would expect gradual improvements as many governments would give aid in hopes of getting the new government up and running to improve life for the people. 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: TCBF on May 31, 2010, 18:03:32
- Fastest way for North Korea to cripple South Korea would be for North Korea to surrender:

 " Good morning, comrades - we surrender.  It is 0800 hours.  We will be hungry at lunch.  Bring food for 24,000,000 people.  See ya !"

- North Korea does not have to nuke another country - it only needs to nuke itself.  One warhead detonated near the DMZ when the prevailing winter winds are from the north or north west: " Hi! We are going to have a test.  Surface or shallow sub-surface burst. We apologize for the inconvenience."

- Then what?  If nothing, a week later: "Hi! We are going to have another test..."

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Marlowe on May 31, 2010, 19:50:33
Everyone claims that if the North collapses, havoc will ensure. You mean like mass starvation, shortages of essential goods, lack of jobs? Maybe I am missing something, but that sounds like present day NK already. I don’t see a lot of starving NK making much of a march considering their current caloric intake.

SKor fears the collapse for financial reasons. As I recall, after studying German reunification, and considering East Germany was fairly affluent as Warsaw Pact countries went, SKor decided maybe reunification could wait. Like until NKor at least had a functioning economy.

As for China, you totally answered that yourself:
. . .but I suspect that China would then use it’s influence to force the new government to improve things so they won’t have a mass of refuges coming over the border.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Marlowe on May 31, 2010, 19:53:07
Apparently, NKor’s Supreme People’s Assembly will be meeting for the second time in two months on 7 June. This is odd because the SPA usually only meets annually. There might be a number of reasons for this. I’ve seen strengthening the succession and resolutions to legitimize military actions as possible causes for the meet.

Given what China has said, might there be something else? Is it possible that China has let it be known that NKor has gone too far this time, and that China would rather spend the money to seal up the NKor border rather than have to clean up KJI’s mess yet again? KJI might be trying to rein in elements that he had previously allowed to run rampant. Maybe they are deciding who to throw under the bus for the Cheonan.

I wonder if China is considering backing another horse. Little Kim ain't quite the man his father had been.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: TCBF on June 01, 2010, 02:17:19
Nightmare scenario 347B: Where is Tom Clancy when you need him?

1. China launches ground assault and air strikes on DPRK, announcing to the world it only wants to secure DPRK's WMD and bring about effective regime change. 
2. Chinese special forces kill KJI and much of the top tier, as well as secure many WMD sites, but follow-on heliborne and airborne waves suffer heavy casualties.
3. DPRK recovers, isolate Chinese teams at WMD sites and begins to trade space for time as they become more organized in their withdrawl south from the frontier.
4. Chinese cannot extract or usefully re-inforce their WMD site teams. DPRK does not wipe them out, instead uses them to bait more Chinese avn assets into the areas.
5. Chinese advance south begins to stall despite having flattened all major military targets. China begins to bomb low grade targets in densely populated urban areas. One third of DPRK now in Chinese hands.
6. ROK (and the world) aghast at DPRK civ casualties from Chinese airstrikes.
7. ROK and surviving DPRK leadership announce re-unification, order China to cease operations and withdraw to China.
8. China does not recognize the United Korean Republic (UKR) and warns ROK to stay south of the DMZ.
9. ROK launches ground forces across, over and under the DMZ in order to seize and hold as much ground as possible before directly combatting China. 
10. China launches air attacks against ROK forces north of the DMZ. ROK airforce turns many of the attacks back.
11. China launches air and missle strikes against ROK military targets in South Korea.  Some US facilities hit, causing US casualties.
12. Second wave of PRC airstrikes south of the DMZ encounter USAF fighters and Japanese AWACS aircraft...


Having fun, yet?

 8)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Technoviking on June 01, 2010, 07:58:19
Nightmare scenario 347B: Where is Tom Clancy when you need him?

1. China launches ground assault and air strikes on DPRK, announcing to the world it only wants to secure DPRK's WMD and bring about effective regime change. 
2. Chinese special forces kill KJI and much of the top tier, as well as secure many WMD sites, but follow-on heliborne and airborne waves suffer heavy casualties.
3. DPRK recovers, isolate Chinese teams at WMD sites and begins to trade space for time as they become more organized in their withdrawl south from the frontier.
4. Chinese cannot extract or usefully re-inforce their WMD site teams. DPRK does not wipe them out, instead uses them to bait more Chinese avn assets into the areas.
5. Chinese advance south begins to stall despite having flattened all major military targets. China begins to bomb low grade targets in densely populated urban areas. One third of DPRK now in Chinese hands.
6. ROK (and the world) aghast at DPRK civ casualties from Chinese airstrikes.
7. ROK and surviving DPRK leadership announce re-unification, order China to cease operations and withdraw to China.
8. China does not recognize the United Korean Republic (UKR) and warns ROK to stay south of the DMZ.
9. ROK launches ground forces across, over and under the DMZ in order to seize and hold as much ground as possible before directly combatting China. 
10. China launches air attacks against ROK forces north of the DMZ. ROK airforce turns many of the attacks back.
11. China launches air and missle strikes against ROK military targets in South Korea.  Some US facilities hit, causing US casualties.
12. Second wave of PRC airstrikes south of the DMZ encounter USAF fighters and Japanese AWACS aircraft...
Having fun, yet?
 8)
Who needs Clancy?  He's a pompous....anyway...
1. China launches nuclear assault on DPRK, announcing to the world it only wants to eliminate the DPRK as a threat to Asian economic prosperity.
2. Several dozen low yield tactical nuclear bombs hit targets all across the peninsula.  Within minutes, the DPRK no longer has a functioning government or military.
3. Wave after wave of humanitarian aid flows in, etc. 
In other words, after the nukes, all rather boring.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on June 01, 2010, 09:38:53
Here, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail, is a pretty fair article about China and North Korea; I agree with almost everything except the penultimate paragraph:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/can-china-keep-its-balance-in-east-asia/article1587071/
Quote
Can China keep its balance in East Asia?
If it remains neutral on the sinking of the Cheonan, Beijing risks alienating regional partners

Frank Ching

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

Ever since international investigators concluded that the South Korean naval ship Cheonan, which sank in March with the loss of 46 lives, was struck by a North Korean torpedo, China has been under growing pressure to condemn its close friend and ally in the United Nations Security Council.

The report was issued May 20, just days before top American officials arrived in Beijing for high-level strategic and economic talks. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on China to take part in joint action to deal with the latest North Korean challenge.

This past weekend, Premier Wen Jiabao was in South Korea to take part in a summit meeting involving China, Japan and South Korea. There, he came under pressure to endorse the findings of the international investigators.

The Premier said China had not yet made up its mind on the issue and would make a judgment on the evidence in an “objective and fair manner.” He promised that Beijing would not protect the guilty party.

The summit meeting, the third of its kind, is part of a process to accelerate the regional integration of northeast Asia. The new Japanese government of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, in particular, has emphasized the need for the creation of an East Asian Community.

The Cheonan incident will cause South Korea and Japan to reassess China’s reliability as a political and economic partner in view of Beijing’s closeness to Pyongyang.

It is putting the international spotlight on Beijing, emphasizing the closeness of its relationship with Pyongyang. North Korean leader Kim Jong-il paid a five-day visit to China in May and was fêted by President Hu Jintao.

The Cheonan incident is also underlining the importance of the U.S. military alliance to both South Korea and Japan, both of which have talked in recent years about the need for more equality in the alliance.

Increasingly, voices have been raised calling for greater “balance” in relations. Thus, even though the United States is an ally, some Japanese politicians argue that Tokyo-Washington-Beijing relations “should be equally balanced like an equilateral triangle.”

Even in Taiwan, which relies on the United States to guarantee its security, there are voices calling for the balancing of relations with China and the United States.

It is probably no accident that the Obama administration’s just-released document, the National Security Strategy of the United States, says of the alliances with Japan and South Korea: “We are modernizing our security relationships with both countries to face evolving 21st century global security challenges and to reflect the principle of equal partnership with the United States.”

Mr. Hatoyama took office in Japan after his party, the Democratic Party of Japan, promised to shift the government’s focus from America to Asia. The DPJ election platform called for re-examining Japan’s ties with the United States.

Since the Hatoyama administration came to power last year, it has held four summit meetings with China and five meetings of their respective foreign ministers. “Japan has conducted such extensive bilateral talks with China alone,” Kazuo Kodama, a foreign ministry spokesman, has pointed out. “No other countries have enjoyed such extensive meetings on the political level.”

It is not clear how China is going to reach a determination regarding whether North Korea was responsible for the torpedo attack on the Cheonan.

Russia has said that it would not support Security Council action unless it had “100-per-cent proof of North Korea’s role.” Russian experts have accepted an invitation to go to South Korea and are reportedly sifting through the evidence.

China, too, has been invited to send experts to assess the evidence gathered by South Korea, which includes a torpedo propeller allegedly with North Korean markings. So far, it is not clear whether China has accepted the invitation.

Clearly, China, too is trying to “balance” its relations with North and South Korea. On the face of it, the decision for Beijing should be simple. After all, China’s trade with South Korea is expected to be close to $200-billion this year, about 70 times greater than its trade with North Korea.

And yet, China evidently continues to value its ties with North Korea, which is also under Communist Party rule. Part of this is historical. After all, the two countries were allies against the United States and South Korea during the Korean War.

But China should realize that if it tries to remain neutral on the sinking of the Cheonan, South Korea and Japan will both be asking questions about China’s reliability as a partner.

Frank Ching is author of China: The Truth About Its Human Rights Record.


I think China’s reaction is tailored by a number of considerations, I’m not sure which is more important:

•   China wishes, actually needs to maintain its policy of strict respect for sovereignty, including the sovereignty of North Korea, because it insists that the whole world respects its absolute sovereignty and that no one interfere, in any way, with China’s “internal affairs.” What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, etc;

•   The status quo, a certain amount of tension between the two Koreas, is better than reunification under American leadership;

•   While trade relationships with South Korea are very important they are just part of a larger, longer, Chinese perspective on East Asia. A reunified Korea is part of that visions – so long as it, the “new Korea” excludes America and is beholden to China;

•   A stable “peace,” even an artificial peace such as now exists in Korea, is always better than a crisis – even though crises, traditionally, produce opportunities;

•   In an almost Elizabethan way, the Chinese make indecision a key element of their policy making. The leadership is archly conservative, cautious to a fault. Decision making is, generally, by consensus and decisions can take a looooong time to materialize.   

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Marlowe on June 02, 2010, 20:57:25
So, China is totally playing the hypocrite (http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2010/06/01/tongue-tied-on-north-korea-china-blasts-israel/) condemning Israel regarding the Gaza Flotilla with little to no evidence of what actually transpired.

Still on the fence about the Cheonan though.

Seriously, first the Kim Jong-Il visit, now this--are they trying to look like total dicks? If so, mission accomplished.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on June 03, 2010, 11:38:48
Hypocrisy is not new to international politics and the Chinese certainly do not have a monopoly on it.

The Chinese may have fallen into a worse trap: smugness which can lead to hubris.

The Chinese are, I think, pleasantly surprised to find themselves in the catbird seat; everything seems to be going their way. The West is divided, the US' leadership is not unchallenged, the US, itself, appears to lurch from crisis to crisis and mistake to mistake, Europe is trembling on the brink of disaster. It is easy to be smug; it is simple to take advantage of yet another crisis to make China "look good" at America's expense. Obama, unlike Hu, is actually being statesmanlike: he's asking for some time to investigate and consider before he jumps on Israel; but jumping on Israel is too easy and too popular so the Chinese have done it. It is also cheap, given that China/Israel trade is only around $5 Billion/year and is unlikely to slow because of all this.

It is wrong, for the Chinese, to misjudge or underestimate America or to overestimate China's rise.

China is rising, without question, but it is dangerous to believe that China can duplicate the 125 "golden years" of US history (1865 to 1990) in 50 or even 75 years without some major hiccoughs. China does not have America's manifold geographic (space and resources) advantage and America never had China's socio-economic disadvantages. China is rising but pulling equal to and even overtaking America as the world's preeminent "power" is not a foregone conclusion.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: dapaterson on June 03, 2010, 11:58:12
I think DND’s reaction is tailored by a number of considerations, I’m not sure which is more important:
•   A stable “peace,” even an artificial peace such as now exists in Korea, is always better than a crisis – even though crises, traditionally, produce opportunities;

•   In an almost Elizabethan way, DND make indecision a key element of their policy making. The leadership is archly conservative, cautious to a fault. Decision making is, generally, by consensus and decisions can take a looooong time to materialize.

Two minor changes can also describe the situation here at home...
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Colin P on June 04, 2010, 17:57:11
Who needs Clancy?  He's a pompous....anyway...
1. China launches nuclear assault on DPRK, announcing to the world it only wants to eliminate the DPRK as a threat to Asian economic prosperity.
2. Several dozen low yield tactical nuclear bombs hit targets all across the peninsula.  Within minutes, the DPRK no longer has a functioning government or military.
3. Wave after wave of humanitarian aid flows in, etc. 
In other words, after the nukes, all rather boring.

The worlds reaction will be muted,  either through economic fear or invasion fear. Depending on location. However such an action would open up Panadora box in regards to the use of Tactical nukes.

In TCBF scenario one option missed, ROK comes to the aid of the Chineses forces trapped. The NK army caught between 2 forces with total air superiority (assuming NK used up most of it's aircraft against the Chinese.) the NK folds and collapses. China secure and destroys (or takes) the WMD's out of the country. China and ROK agree on a NK based leadership to run the country. Chinese troops withdraw. China wins for being a proactive world power preventing the use of WMD's (Can we say Iraq), A NK state still exist with a leadership in thrall. ROK wins as it prevents the use of nukes on Korean soil destroys the current regime and gets the Chinese to leave Korean soil, plus ROK does not have to absorb the collapsed state.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 08, 2010, 10:52:46
Three Chinese smugglers killed at Northern border by North Korean border guards.

Reuters link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/100608/world/international_us_china_korea_north)

Quote
Beijing says North Korea killed three Chinese at border

2 hours, 36 minutes ago
 

BEIJING (Reuters) - North Korean border guards shot and killed three Chinese suspected smugglers and wounded a fourth last week, prompting a complaint from Pyongyang's only major ally, China's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
 
China formally complained to Pyongyang, and the incident was being investigated, ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular news briefing in the Chinese capital
.


"In the early morning on June 4, North Korea's border defense troops fired at some citizens of Dandong in Liaoning province, because they were suspected of illegally crossing the border to trade," Qin said.


"Three people were killed, and one was wounded."


Pyongyang has a heavily militarized southern border which sees occasional exchanges of fire, and a South Korean tourist was shot dead by a North Korean soldier in 2008 while at a resort in the North.


But attacks on Chinese citizens are rare. The Sino-Korean border, in China's northeast, is quiet and fairly porous, with a steady flow of refugees and traders coming over to escape food shortages or profit from them.


(...) 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Marlowe on June 08, 2010, 22:43:36
And Russia is weighing in on the Cheonan investigation (http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2921522), basically giving South Korea the middle finger. A real gem from the article:

Quote
But while they admitted that there was no possibility that the external blast was caused by anything other than a torpedo, the Russians never said that a torpedo sunk the ship.

Wow. And I thought the Chinese were bad. The only way the Russians could make this conclusion even more insulting is if they said: "there was no possibility that the external blast was caused by anything other than a North Korean torpedo, but we are not saying the Cheonan was sunk by a North Korean torpedo."
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on June 09, 2010, 11:40:13
Here, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail, is more on the China vs. North Korea topic:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/china-cools-toward-north-korea-as-trade-with-south-heats-up/article1597451/
Quote
China cools toward North Korea as trade with South heats up
Pyongyang’s volatile behaviour making Beijing increasingly uncomfortable

Mark MacKinnon

The dangerous crisis over the sinking of a South Korean warship poses an uncomfortable dilemma for China, which finds itself caught halfway between a historic alliance with North Korea and its increasingly important trading relationship with Seoul. And that was before North Korea’s always unpredictable military shot and killed three Chinese citizens.

The case, and Beijing’s rare expression of disapproval toward its long-time client, will heighten a growing debate in China over how to handle the country’s volatile neighbour. Some were already questioning how much longer to continue supporting the regime of Kim Jong-il, given China’s increasing economic ties with Seoul and Beijing’s desire to broadcast “soft power” throughout East Asia.

The reflexive position – to provide backing and cover for Pyongyang, no matter what its actions – had already been discarded as inappropriate before the latest incident, which saw a North Korean border guard open fire on a group of suspected smugglers.

The shooting occurred Friday, but only came to light Tuesday.

The Chinese citizens “were shot by a DPRK border guard on suspicion of crossing the border for trade activities, leaving three dead and one injured,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said, using the acronym for North Korea’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. “China attaches great importance to that and has immediately raised a solemn representation with the DPRK. Now the case is under investigation.”

China has grown increasingly uncomfortable with its role as North Korea’s last major ally, particularly since Mr. Kim’s Stalinist regime defied it by carrying out nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009. China accounts for almost 80 per cent of Pyongyang’s foreign income (excluding shipments between the two Koreas, which are currently suspended), and it’s not clear how long the regime could survive without Beijing’s support.

Ties with the North have cooled as economic links with Seoul have strengthened. Bilateral trade between China and South Korea hit $156.2-billion (U.S.) last year, versus only $2.7-billion in commerce between China and the North. China, Japan and South Korea are also in the midst of a push to put historic animosities aside and sign a three-way free-trade agreement.

“China is about to make the choice: whether we should put the ideological interests ahead of the state’s interests, or vice versa. I think this is a major challenge facing Chinese decision makers,” said Zhang Liangui, a North Korea expert at the influential Central Party School of China’s ruling Communist Party.

Unlike 60 years ago, when China fought alongside the North against a U.S.-led United Nations force, Mr. Zhang said that China would now prefer to remain “relatively balanced” and to let the two Koreas resolve the matter themselves. “The situation has already totally changed and is different from the past. … Even if there are some military clashes, I don’t think China will get a foot into it.”

China’s leadership has long viewed North Korea as a strategic buffer against American influence in the region, and there are factions in Beijing that still worry about what the collapse of North Korea would mean. One nightmare scenario might see China flooded with refugees, and facing a newly united Korea on its border, perhaps with U.S. soldiers still based on its soil.

Others now argue that China’s broader goals in East Asia risk being undermined if Beijing continues to back the unpredictable Mr. Kim. After a meeting in Seoul with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao promised that his country would “defend no one” who was responsible for sinking the corvette Cheonan on March 26, an attack that left 46 South Korean sailors dead.

However, China has yet to accept the results of an international investigation that examined the wreckage and found the warship had been sunk by a North Korean torpedo. Mr. Kim was received in Beijing with full honours just days before the results of the Cheonan investigation were made public.

“I think China is not willing to make a choice between its traditional friendship [with North Korea] and its trading relationship with its neighbours. The international community wants China to make a judgment, but China won’t do so unless she has no other options,” said Jin Linbo, director of the Asia-Pacific division of the China Institute for International Studies.

It is becoming increasingly difficult for Beijing to walk that tightrope. Seoul last week asked the UN Security Council to take action against North Korea in response to the Cheonan sinking. Any action would have to be approved, at least tacitly, by China, which has veto power as one of five permanent members of the Security Council.

South Korea’s vice-foreign minister Chun Yung-woo was dispatched to Beijing on Thursday in an effort to persuade China’s leaders not to use their veto. South Korea has portrayed the Cheonan sinking as part of a pattern of attacks, rather than a one-off incident, linking it with the 1987 bombing of a Korean Airlines jet, which killed 115 people, and a 1983 bomb attack on South Korean cabinet members visiting Burma that killed 17.

The crisis over the Cheonan has unfolded in parallel with an even murkier series of events inside North Korea that seem tied to the question of who will succeed Mr. Kim, who is 69 years old and in failing health.

On Monday, North Korea’s long-serving premier, Kim Yong-il, was shuffled out of his post and Kim Jong-il’s brother-in-law was promoted to a powerful military post. Both moves were seen as further clearing the way for Mr. Kim’s youngest son, Kim Jong-un, to eventually succeed him.

Here are the factors Mark MacKinnon presents, in his order, with my order of importance shown before them.:

5. Very recent shooting of three Chinese citizens by DPRK border guards;

3. DPRK nuclear tests;

2. Increasingly important China<>South Korea economic ties;

1. Kim Jong-il is increasingly erratic;

4. Sinking of the Cheonan

6. Possible coup in the mill – replacing Kim Jong-il with Kim Jong-un.

More important than all of them is what I think is China’s long term goal: a peacefully reunified Korea, without any US military presence, which recognizes China as the regional (East Asian) hegemon.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: 57Chevy on June 10, 2010, 11:59:56
N. Korea tells UN it did not sink ship
 
Says investigation results part of U.S. conspiracy
 
By JACK KIM, Reuters June 10, 2010


Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Korea+tells+sink+ship/3134355/story.html#ixzz0qSj4xMeI

North Korea has sent a letter to the UN Security Council rejecting accusations from South Korea that it was behind the sinking of one of its neighbour's navy ships, saying it was the victim of a U.S.-led conspiracy.

The letter, addressed to the UN Security Council president from the North's permanent representative to the body, followed the filing of a complaint by the South last week demanding action by the international community to deter further aggression.

A team of international investigators led by South Korea's military said in May that a North Korean submarine torpedoed the corvette Cheonan on March 26, snapping the vessel in half and killing 46 sailors.

North Korea, through its official media, has already rejected the charge, saying it was a ploy by the South's President Lee Myung-bak aimed at political gains for his conservative government.

"With time it is becoming clearer through military and scientific analysis that the 'investigation findings' by the U.S. and the South, which had been from their announcement subject to doubts and criticism, is nothing more than a conspiracy aimed at achieving U.S. political and military goals," said the letter, signed by the North's permanent representative to the UN Sin Son-ho and carried by the official news agency.

"If the Security Council goes ahead with discussions on the 'investigation findings' ... no one will be able to guarantee there won't be grave consequences to peace and stability on the Korean peninsula."

North Korea has driven tensions to new heights in recent weeks by threatening war if Seoul imposes sanctions. The mounting antagonism between the two Koreas has unnerved investors worried about armed conflict breaking out in the region.

Many analysts say neither side is ready to go to war, but see the possibility of skirmishes in a disputed sea border off the west coast or along their heavily armed border.

Despite the tense confrontation, the South said yesterday it had approved the shipments of baby formula for North Korean infants as a rare exception to the ban on trade, travel and movement of goods across their border.

The United States, the South's biggest ally, said Seoul may not seek a full Security Council resolution because of rising tensions. Seoul said it would hold discussions with its allies to ensure action was taken.

© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette


Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: dapaterson on June 10, 2010, 12:23:05
Interesting article on the hermit kingdom in the NYT today, built on interviews of North Koreans in China -  some visiting, some defecting.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/10/world/asia/10koreans.html?ref=world&pagewanted=all

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 10, 2010, 12:55:02


6. Possible coup in the mill – replacing Kim Jong-il with Kim Jong-un.

More important than all of them is what I think is China’s long term goal: a peacefully reunified Korea, without any US military presence, which recognizes China as the regional (East Asian) hegemon.

Kim Jong-un, the son? He probably might just become a figurehead (probably needed after all those years of indoctrinated, cult-like reverence for Kim Il Sung before his death and then his son Kim Jong Il) for any new regime that takes over.

That is if the new regime does not get rid of Kim Jong Il's whole family in the process and another leader- probably one of the more senior generals- takes his place with the "blessing" of Beijing.

As for a unified Korea, what do you think of what was said earlier (http://[url=http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,46809.msg938895.html#msg938895) about a non-aligned, unified Korea?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: karl28 on June 10, 2010, 13:35:31
           In my own opinion I think it's horrible that the ship was sunk and all those sailors died .  Unfortunately the politic structure of most of South Korea  allies we will never see more than sanctions against North Korea as those allied government do not have the stomach for anything harsher .
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: 57Chevy on June 10, 2010, 13:57:42
do not have the stomach for anything harsher .

A sure sign of weakness. Media coverage is the major cause of so many protests of just about
anything on the world scene. The slightest stir and half the world flips out.
If you do this..........protest. If you do that..........protest.
A real... :worms:
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: karl28 on June 10, 2010, 14:12:01
57Chevy


           I here you on that seems like every time you turn the news on there are protesters some where . 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on June 10, 2010, 14:14:39
What would you suggest the West do, if they had the stomach for it?

How would the US and its allies fight and win a major land war in Asia? How long would it take? How much would it cost? How would we mobilize the millions and millions of soldiers required IF the Chinese decide to enter the fray?

Just asking ...
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: 57Chevy on June 10, 2010, 15:18:27
What would you suggest the West do, if they had the stomach for it?

How would the US and its allies fight and win a major land war in Asia? How long would it take? How much would it cost? How would we mobilize the millions and millions of soldiers required IF the Chinese decide to enter the fray?

Just asking ...

I'm not talking about war with China.
I was stating the fact that no matter what happens on the world scene there are protests for and against any particular decision taken by governments. This is the way the world has become.

The media input (which at times is biased) caters toward one side or the other. One must therfore
read a multitude of news articles of the given topic to get a true idea of what is really happening.
Most people don't go that far, and are somewhat manipulated into believing that what they read is the whole truth....and nothing but the truth. As they say, "BS baffles brains". End result....people
protesting things that they know very little about. Some are follower protesters, who protest for the
simple reason of protesting. And then there are the "hate" protesters, who protest anything government.
Personally speaking, I don't take part in protests of any kind. No matter what the issue.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 12, 2010, 13:22:10
An update about the DPRK submarine fleet:

Quote
Between 70 and 80 percent of North Korea's submarine fleet is stationed along the eastern coast, where four shark-class submarines disappeared recently from South Korean radars. Compared to the shallow waters of the West Sea, conditions in the East Sea are so favorable to submarines that it has been referred to as a "paradise" for them.

North Korea has around 70 submarines -- 20 Romeo-class subs weighing 1,800 tons, 40 shark-class subs (325 tons) and 10 salmon-class subs (130 tons). A salmon-class sub is believed to be responsible for sinking the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan.

There are four North Korean submarine bases along the east coast, including Chaho Base where the four shark-class subs that vanished are stationed, as well as Mayangdo, Toejo and Wonsan, all in South Hamgyong Province.

Chaho and Mayangdo are the main bases. Chaho is equipped with a cave to protect submarines from aerial attacks as well as a canal that can transport submarines faster to the ocean. A Google Earth image unveiled a few years ago shows eight Romeo-class and three shark-class submarines at Chaho.

The Mayangdo Base is near the site of an abortive light-water reactor project in Sinpo and is ideal for safe docking and hiding submarines. It apparently houses Romeo, shark and even whiskey-class training submarines. The base in Toejo is home to North Korea's eastern naval command and the shark-class submarine that was stranded off the coast of Gangneung in 1996 carrying 25 North Korean spies.

Using the East Sea, which makes it difficult to detect submarines, small North Korean submarines apparently infiltrated South Korean waters regularly during the 1990s. A log found aboard a yugo-class North Korean submarine captured off the coast of Sokcho in 1998 showed records of numerous infiltrations. South Korea's First Naval Command, which covers the East Sea, has dispatched destroyers, convoys and corvettes to search for the four submarines that have disappeared from radars.

link (http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2010/05/27/2010052701296.html)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: 57Chevy on June 15, 2010, 11:32:45
UN council 'gravely concerned' at Korea ship sinking:

       UNITED NATIONS - The UN Security Council expressed grave concern Monday over the deadly sinking of a South Korean naval ship in March that has heightened tension on the Korean peninsula.

Seoul, which has accused North Korea of torpedoing the corvette Cheonan on March 26, killing 46 sailors, brought the dispute to the Security Council this month, asking the 15-nation body to take action to deter "further provocation."

Mexican Ambassador Claude Heller, president of the council this month, read out an agreed statement to reporters after two separate informal briefings from South and North Korean delegations on the incident.

"The Security Council is gravely concerned with this incident that caused the death of 46 sailors and its impact on peace and stability on the Korean peninsula," Heller said. The careful wording did not say who was to blame for the incident.

"The Security Council makes a strong call to the parties to refrain from any act that could escalate tensions in the region and makes an appeal to preserve peace and stability in the Korean peninsula," he said. "The Security Council will continue its consultations on this incident."

(article continues)

Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/council+gravely+concerned+Korea+ship+sinking/3154021/story.html#ixzz0qvqkpUZt

              (Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 19, 2010, 13:05:47
Quote
Chosun link (http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2010/06/17/2010061700535.html)


North Korea asked China to provide it with the latest J-10 fighter jets and other hardware but was rejected, it emerged Wednesday.

According to a high-ranking source in the North, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il made the request to Chinese President Hu Jintao when he visited China in early May. But Hu apparently told Kim that China will protect and support him if attacked.
Observers guess this is the reason why Kim left a day earlier than scheduled.

One North Korean defector who used to be a high-ranking official said, "Kim is increasingly afraid of an attack by South Korean and U.S. forces" following the North's sinking of the South Korean Navy corvette in March. The North Korean leader therefore wanted to get his hands on the latest Chinese fighter jets to counter South Korea's F-15 and F-16 fighter planes.

"Kim wouldn't have visited China with such a large entourage if he merely wanted economic assistance," the defector said. Another North Korean defector and former soldier said Pyongyang may have bolstered its so-called asymmetric warfare capabilities by strengthening special forces "but still lags behind South Korea in terms of naval and air force capabilities and feels threatened."

There is speculation that North Korea is forced to lean on China because it does not have the money to buy expensive Sukhoi fighters from Russia.



Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 24, 2010, 17:04:26
Quote
Defense News link (http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4663333&c=ASI&s=LAN)

The leaked secrets include a military operation to be carried out in case of all-out war with North Korea, Yonhap said.

The arrest of the general followed the June 3 detention of two people accused of handing over military secrets to North Korea, Yonhap said.

It said one of them was a former spy for South Korea who acquired military secrets through the general and handed them to a North Korean agent in China in return for an unspecified payment.


The South periodically detains people accused of spying for its communist neighbor.

A female North Korean spy arrested last month used sex to secure sensitive information on Seoul's subway system, prosecutors have said.

In another case, a female North Korean spy was arrested and jailed for five years in 2008.
She had admitted having sex with a South Korean army officer to secure secret information."


Also note this older thread below about another N.Korean female spy who used sex to get military secrets:

link (http://forums.navy.ca/forums/index.php/topic,79329.msg749624.html#msg749624)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: 57Chevy on June 24, 2010, 21:54:14
North Korea issues no-sail warning; missile eyed: report

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has issued a no-sail warning off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula in what may be preparations for a missile launch, a South Korean news report said on Friday.
Tensions between the two Koreas have grown since the South blamed the North of torpedoing one of its navy ships in March killing 46 sailors. The North denies involvement in the sinking, saying the accusation is a fabricated political ploy.

"North Korea has designated a north-west area of the (Yellow Sea) as a no-sail zone for June 19th to 27th," the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper quoted a government official as saying.

"This could be a measure aimed at launching a short range missile," the official said.

North Korea test launched a barrage of missiles last year including a long-range ballistic missile, defying calls by the South and the United Nations to halt them.

Analysts said the moves were aimed at boosting leader Kim Jong-il's political standing at home and were also military grandstanding intended to gain a better bargaining position as regional powers tried to coax Pyongyang back to nuclear negotiations

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65O00F20100625?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FworldNews+%28News+%2F+US+%2F+International%29

    (Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: GAP on June 26, 2010, 08:37:42
  North Korea to pick new leader
By Jack Kim, REUTERS
Article Link (http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2010/06/24/14509651.html)

 North Korea will hold a ruling Workers' Party convention in September to choose a new leadership, state media said on Saturday, as leader Kim Jong-il seeks to pave the way for his youngest son to succeed him.

Kim suffered a stroke in 2008 and his son Jong-un is widely believed to be his favoured choice as the dynastic state's next leader.

"The Political Bureau of the WPK Central Committee decides to convene early in September ... a conference of the WPK for electing its highest leading body reflecting the new requirements of the WPK," the North's official KCNA news agency reported.

The Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) is the ruling body of the reclusive state and Kim Jong-il serves as the general secretary, besides his official role as the chairman of the increasingly powerful National Defence Commission.

Analysts said the role of the Workers' Party has diminished over the past decades as the North put increasing focus on its military power, but the party's ideology dictates political legitimacy of its leadership.

Kim, 68, has also reshuffled the Defence Commission to put close aides sympathetic to dynastic succession on the panel.

At the same time, Pyongyang is under intense diplomatic pressure to concede responsibility in the sinking of a South Korean navy ship in March that killed 46 sailors and drove security tensions on the Korean peninsula to new heights.

GROOMING A NEW LEADER

Jong-un has been tipped as the most likely successor to his father, but he has little experience and is believed to be only in his 20s.

But South Korea's spy chief has been quoted as telling a closed-door session of a parliamentary committee this week that a campaign to boost his image has been ongoing behind the scenes due to concerns in Pyongyang about Kim's poor health.

Kim himself began his official role to succeed his father and state founder by taking on a Workers Party title at a convention in 1980 when he was 38.

Becoming a standing member of the Political Bureau that year was widely believed to be the first step in establishing himself as an heir to Kim Il-sung, who died suddenly in the summer of 1994.
More on link
 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Hamish Seggie on June 26, 2010, 09:42:49
Will this one be as ronry as his fajer?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: spear on June 26, 2010, 15:55:05
Just can't imagine how great would these 2 countries become if they ever reunited in peace with one armed forces.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: uncle-midget-Oddball on June 27, 2010, 22:04:15
Just can't imagine how great would these 2 countries become if they ever reunited in peace with one armed forces.

Seems like someone has already had that thought cross their mind...
http://article.wn.com/view/2010/06/11/Homefront_E3_2010_Trailer_Shows_Chilling_Future_War/

Oddball
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: karl28 on June 27, 2010, 22:14:49
Oddball
                  Hey there interesting link is that for an upcoming movie that is coming out ?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: uncle-midget-Oddball on June 27, 2010, 22:25:50
Oddball
                  Hey there interesting link is that for an upcoming movie that is coming out ?

I believe it is a videogame. Looks like a modern take of Red Dawn.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 27, 2010, 23:03:20
Well the backstory writers behind "Homefront" apparently didn't do enough research since their scenario is ludicrous.

Homefront video game trailer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5yyWZ2Z6Ps)

No matter how charismatic the real Kim Jong Un may turn out to be when he finally assumes power, the people of South Korea will not be conned into uniting with the North and putting themselves under Pyongyang's rule in such a short time, as seen in the game trailer.

Then you have Japan summarily surrendering in 2018 and joining the "Greater Korean Republic" after 3-5 years of intimidation and threats from the Koreans? As well as the new unified/Greater Korea conquering East and Southeast Asia unchecked for a number of years before they launch their "Red Dawn" attack on North America?

Riiiiiiiight.  ::)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: uncle-midget-Oddball on June 27, 2010, 23:51:52
Well the backstory writers behind "Homefront" apparently didn't do enough research since their scenario is ludicrous.

Homefront video game trailer (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5yyWZ2Z6Ps)

No matter how charismatic the real Kim Jong Un may turn out to be when he finally assumes power, the people of South Korea will not be conned into uniting with the North and putting themselves under Pyongyang's rule in such a short time, as seen in the game trailer.

Then you have Japan summarily surrendering in 2018 and joining the "Greater Korean Republic" after 3-5 years of intimidation and threats from the Koreans? As well as the new unified/Greater Korea conquering East and South Asia unchecked for a number of years before they launch their "Red Dawn" attack on North America?

Riiiiiiiight.  ::)

There's been a couple nights where a couple friends and I sat for hours drinking a flat of Keith's while shooting Nazi Zombies in a bombed out Japanese airstrip .... realism and videogames aren't exactly synonymous. 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: hold_fast on June 28, 2010, 02:46:08
Seems like the fun-loving country isn't too happy about some G8 comments, of course. They're back to talking about nuclear war and anti-US demonstrations:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704212804575333912405879680.html?mod=googlenews_wsj (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704212804575333912405879680.html?mod=googlenews_wsj)

Quote
SEOUL – North Korea on Monday raised the specter of testing another nuclear explosive in a statement that leveled more criticism at the United States.

The statement used the term "nuclear deterrent," as it did before testing nuclear explosions in October 2006 and May 2009, and went a step farther by suggesting it had a new or different approach.

"The recent disturbing development on the Korean peninsula underscores the need for the DPRK to bolster its nuclear deterrent in a newly developed way to cope with the U.S. persistent hostile policy," the statement said.

It was issued by the country's foreign ministry and transmitted by its state news agency. DPRK is the acronym for North Korea's full name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

It's unclear what development North Korea was referring to and the country's authoritarian regime has long told its people that the U.S. and South Korea are poised to invade it.

But officials in Pyongyang have sharply increased the harsh statements aimed at the U.S. and South Korea since late May, when South Korea formally accused the North of the March sinking of a South Korean warship that killed 46 sailors.

South Korea, the U.S. and Japan are pushing for the United Nations Security Council to recognize North Korea's culpability in the ship sinking.

The topic came up at the summit meeting of world economic leaders in Canada over the weekend. U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday said the security council should produce "a crystal clear acknowledgement that North Korea engaged in belligerent behavior that is unacceptable to the international community."

He said he used "blunt" language to try to persuade Chinese President Hu Jintao, who leads North Korea's closest political ally and economic benefactor, to also recognize that North Korea sank the South's ship. China has so far refused to blame North Korea and hasn't accepted South Korea's invitation to examine the results of its investigation into the cause of the sinking.

"I think there's a difference between restraint and willful blindness to consistent problems," Mr. Obama said. "My hope is that President Hu will recognize as well that this is an example of Pyongyang going over the line."

North Korea has repeatedly denied its involvement in the sinking and demanded that its military be allowed to examine the South's evidence, which includes the apparent remnants of a North Korean torpedo.

Last Friday, on the 60th anniversary of the North's invasion of the South that started the Korean War, a speaker at an anti-U.S. rally in Pyongyang said, "If the U.S. were to isolate and stifle our nation, we would bolster nuclear deterrent for self defense."

Reproduced with the fair dealings and copyright and all that stuff.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on June 29, 2010, 13:12:38
Surprise, surprise.  ::)  ::)

Reuters link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/100629/world/international_us_korea_north_son_1)

Quote
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's son and handpicked heir has been elected to parliament but he will at best become a figurehead under a military-led collective leadership, news reports said on Tuesday quoting a source.
 
Kim Jong-un was elected to the Supreme People's Assembly at the elections in March last year from district 216, South Korean media quoted a Western source familiar with the North as saying.



The election may have been kept under wraps because the North has been wary of inciting discontent by publicly promoting Kim Jong-il's son as heir during economic difficulties, analysts said.


"I have been able to confirm directly from a North Korean official that Kim Jong-un has been elected from the 216 electoral district," the unnamed Western source was quoted by the Chosun Ilbo newspaper as telling reporters.


The number 216 signifies the birthday of the current leader and is reserved for persons of special entitlement, making it likely "Kim Jong" who appears on the list of elected delegates is in fact the youngest son of Kim Jong-il,
the source said.


The Supreme People's Assembly is the country's rubberstamp body that formally approves decisions by the leadership but key officials of the military and the ruling party are typically its elected members.
(...)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: 57Chevy on June 30, 2010, 22:16:31
NKorea proposes joint investigation with South Korea of deadly sinking of SKorean warship:

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — North Korea, which has vehemently denied accusations that it sank a South Korean warship, is calling for a new joint investigation by both Koreas "to verify objectively the truth of the incident."

In a letter to the Security Council dated Tuesday and obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, North Korea's U.N. Ambassador Sin Son Ho called for "high-level military talks" between the two Koreas. He also reiterated the North's call for its own inspection team to be sent to the site of the sinking near the tense Korean sea border.

Sin urged the council to "take measures" to help realize these talks before it deals with the results of the international investigation led by South Korea which concluded that North Korea torpedoed the 1,200-ton Cheonan in March, killing 46 South Korean sailors
South Korea sent a letter to the Security Council on June 4 asking the U.N.'s most powerful body to respond to the sinking "in a manner appropriate to the gravity of North Korea's military provocation."

Since then, the council has been holding consultations on a response.

North Korea has warned that its military forces will respond if the Security Council questions or condemns the country over the sinking

(article continues)
 http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/06/30/nkorea-proposes-joint-investigation-south-korea-deadly-sinking-skorean-warship/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+foxnews%2Fworld+%28Text+-+World%29


          (Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act)


Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: milnews.ca on July 12, 2010, 15:20:26
North Korean soldiers defect to China fuelling fears of imminent military clash
An upsurge in the number of North Korean soldiers defecting into China fuelled fears of food shortages and an imminent military clash.
Julian Ryall, The Daily Telegraph (UK), 12 Jul 10
Article link (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/7885642/North-Korean-soldiers-defect-to-China-fuelling-fears-of-imminent-military-clash.html)
Quote
Previously considered to be among the regime's most important assets, the North Korean People's Army has always been well provisioned in order to ensure the troops remain loyal.

But a poor harvest and the disastrous revaluation of the North Korean currency in November of last year has worsened the nation's already dire economic straits.

Defectors have claimed that they were required to survive on noodles made of ground corn and that meat or fish were a luxury, a journalist for Japan's Asahi Shimbun reported from the Chinese  city of Shenyang.

On one stretch of the border, Chinese troops apprehended five North Korean soldiers in May alone. Prior to the sinking of the South Korean corvette Cheonan in March, allegedly by a torpedo fired from a North Korean submarine, it was rare for troops to be taken into custody on the Chinese side of the Yalu River.

The defectors have claimed that senior members of the party and the armed forces were stockpiling provisions, another indication that the regime is steeling itself for a military confrontation.

"In the past there have been cases of North Korean troops crossing the border and plundering Chinese farms for their food, which they then took back to their posts in the North," Kim Sang-hun, a human rights activist in Seoul, told The Daily Telegraph.

However, these soldiers chose to return to the North with the supplies ....
More on link
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Rifleman62 on July 12, 2010, 19:38:48
The leadership of NK is nuts enough to nuk a region of the country (that they consider unstable) and blame it on the US.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: 57Chevy on July 20, 2010, 09:10:42
U.S., S.Korea to hold navy drills against N.Korea
 Korea  (http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Korea+hold+navy+drills+against+Korea/3299204/story.html#ixzz0uDusEtdr)
CAMP CASEY, South Korea -- The United States and South Korea announced on Tuesday they would hold military drills next weekend to send a clear message to the North to curb its aggressive behaviour.

China, North Korea's only powerful ally, has condemned the planned drills and launched its own naval exercises off its eastern coast.

"These defensive, combined exercises are designed to send a clear message to North Korea that its aggressive behaviour must stop, and that we are committed to together enhancing our combined defensive capabilities," visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in a joint statement with his South Korean counterpart.

Gates will be joined in Seoul on Wednesday by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a show of support for South Korea after it accused the North of sinking one of its warships last March, killing 46 sailors.

The two will visit the heavily defended Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) border that has divided the peninsula since the 1950-53 Korean War for which there is still no formal peace treaty.

North Korea denies responsibility for the sinking and a U.N. statement earlier this month criticising the sinking, apparently under pressure from China, avoided any mention of Pyonyang.

Pyongyang has recently signalled it wants a return to talks with regional powers on its nuclear weapons programme and which it has boycotted for 1-1/2 years.

Analysts say Washington and Seoul are reluctant to head back into the nuclear talks which in the past the ostracised North has used to leverage benefits from the international community while still pressing ahead with trying to develop a nuclear arsenal.

But they may have little choice with Washington nervous about North Korea's potential to export atomic weapons, while South Korea's leaders do not want to be seen as competely turning their back on their neighbour.

article continues:
          (Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act)



Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on July 22, 2010, 02:20:40
The perfect "gift" for Kim Jong Il on the 60th anniversary of the North Korean invasion of the South: tougher sanctions.

Washington Post link (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2010/07/21/ST2010072102394.html?sid=ST2010072102394)

Quote
U.S. to strengthen sanctions against N. Korea after sinking of S. Korean ship

 
By Craig Whitlock and Karen DeYoung
Thursday, July 22, 2010

SEOUL -- Searching for new ways to punish North Korea after blaming it for sinking a South Korean warship in March, the Obama administration announced Wednesday that it will strengthen existing sanctions against the North and impose new restrictions on its weapons trade and trafficking in counterfeit currency and luxury goods.

Administration officials traveling here with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates offered few details of what seemed a hastily put-together addition to previously announced warnings and measures reflecting displeasure. On Tuesday, the United States and South Korea said they would hold "large-scale" military exercises in an attempt to deter further hostile acts by North Korea.

Seoul and Washington have also agreed that U.S. commanders will retain operational control of their joint military forces in South Korea, in the event of a new war, until at least December 2015. Previously, the U.S. military was scheduled to hand over operational command in 2012.

Officials from both countries said they had been considering the delay before the March 26 sinking of the Cheonan, but that recent concerns about North Korea clinched the decision.

On an unprecedented joint visit Wednesday to the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two Koreas, Clinton and Gates marked the 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War
. Clinton said that as she gazed through binoculars across the most heavily guarded border in the world, delineated by razor wire and land mines, "it struck me that although it may be a thin line, these two places are worlds apart."

Gates was making his third trip to the DMZ; Clinton had never been there. The defense secretary said his last visit was 20 years ago, when he was director of the CIA.

"It is stunning how little has changed up there and yet how much South Korea continues to grow and prosper," Gates said, standing with Clinton in the rain outside a small U.N. building that straddles the border. "The North, by contrast, stagnates in isolation and deprivation. And, as we saw with the sinking of the Cheonan, it continues its history of unpredictable and, at times, provocative behavior."

Clinton and Gates later laid a wreath at the Korean War memorial and met with their South Korean counterparts. They were to meet Wednesday night with President Lee Myung-bak. Along with a visit to Seoul by Adm. Mike Mullen, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, the meetings and events were intended to send a message of strong U.S.-South Korean relations at a time of heightened tensions in the region.


(....)



Plus, the DPRK has a bad day in court:

Jerusalem Post link (http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=182168)
Quote
US court fines N. Korea $300m  
By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER 
07/22/2010 00:31


Penalty levied for role in '72 Ben-Gurion attack.
 
WASHINGTON – A US judge has fined North Korea for its role in a 1972 terror attack in Israel, a landmark ruling that for the first time holds Pyongyang accountable for such activity, according to lawyers involved with the case.On the heels of the decision, the US separately announced Wednesday that it was intensifying sanctions on Pyongyang as a response to the sinking of a South Korean warship apparently at the hands of North Korea in March.



The moves have the shared effect of intensifying pressure on the isolated regime of Kim Jong-Il, though few expect his government to pay the $300 million demanded by the court.

In a ruling delivered Friday, US District Court Judge Francisco Besosa in Puerto Rico found North Korea liable for its role in providing material support to the Japanese Red Army and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which killed 26 people and wounded more than 80 others in a shooting spree at Lod Airport, now Ben- Gurion Airport.


Many of those killed were tourists from Puerto Rico, including Carmelo Calderon- Molina. His family, along with that of Pablo Tirado-Ayala, who was wounded in the attack, brought the suit in 2006.

“It’s very significant, since it’s the first judgment against North Korea,” said Israeli lawyer Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who represented the families.

She said the case was motivated in part as a protest against the US’s removing North Korea from its statesponsors- of-terror list, adding that she hoped this would encourage the government to reconsider its decision, since the ruling demonstrated that North Korea “is involved with terrorism.”

Darshan-Leitner acknowledged that it was very unlikely the families would recoup the $78m. in compensatory damages and $300m. in punitive damages awarded by the court, short of a US-North Korea reconciliation in which restitution was part of the conditions for rapprochement. But she said she would seek North Korean assets in the US that could be seized and other means of obtaining some of the owed money in the meantime.


(...)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: 57Chevy on July 22, 2010, 08:54:58
N. Korea says U.S. drills pose 'danger' to region
 KOREA  (http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Korea+says+drills+pose+danger+region/3308724/story.html#ixzz0uPYRIbIF)

HANOI — North Korea on Thursday denounced planned U.S.-South Korean military drills as a "grave" danger to the region and criticized new U.S. sanctions as "hostile".

The comments by a North Korean diplomat in Hanoi at Asia's largest security forum came a day after the United States announced expanded sanctions against the North and two days after Seoul and Washington unveiled plans for joint military exercises.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who arrived in Hanoi on Thursday, is expected to seek stronger regional support for South Korea, which with U.S. backing has sought repercussions for Pyongyang for the sinking a South Korean naval vessel.

Relations across the divided peninsula have deteriorated after Seoul accused Pyongyang of torpedoing one of its warships in March, killings 46 sailors.

The large-scale joint military exercises scheduled to begin on July 25 are the first overt military response to the attack on the South Korean warship.

"This move is not only a grave threat to peace and stability of the Korean peninsula but also to the region," North Korean official Ri Tong-il, a member of Pyongyang's delegation at the security forum, told reporters.

"It also violates the spirit of the UN Security Council president's statement," he added, referring to a UN statement which condemned the sinking of the ship Cheonan but did not cite North Korea by name.

China, North Korea's only powerful ally, has harshly criticized the military drills and launched its own naval exercises off its eastern coast.

article continues

          (Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: 57Chevy on July 23, 2010, 07:59:02
North Korea threatens 'physical response' to U.S. military exercise:

Hanoi, Vietnam (CNN) -- North Korea vowed Friday that there would be a "physical response" in reaction to the planned joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea.

"There will be a physical response against the threat imposed by the United States militarily," North Korea spokesman Ri Tong Il told reporters outside the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting.

About 8,000 military personnel from the United States and South Korea are scheduled to participate in joint military exercises beginning this weekend.

article continues
 KOREA  (http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/07/23/north.korea.threat/index.html?eref=edition#fbid=_ukM-qRUoc9)
          (Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act)

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: zipperhead_cop on July 23, 2010, 13:09:08
Could they be so stupid as to actually take action against an American vessel?  I bet that doesn't get ignored by the UN. 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: 57Chevy on July 24, 2010, 18:06:57
U.S. calls on North Korea to avoid 'provocative words'
 KOREA  (http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Korea+threatens+sacred/3318712/story.html#ixzz0udUj1rAU)

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2010 (AFP) - The United States called on North Korea Saturday to avoid "provocative words" after Pyongyang threatened a nuclear response to new US sanctions and joint US naval exercises with South Korea.

"We are not interested in a war of words with North Korea," said State Department spokesman Philip Crowley.

"What we need from North Korea is fewer provocative words and more constructive action."

North Korea said earlier Saturday it was ready for a "retaliatory sacred war" in response to ramped-up US pressure against Pyongyang, including joint US-South Korean naval exercises.

"The army and people... will legitimately counter with their powerful nuclear deterrence the largest-ever nuclear war exercises to be staged by the US and the South Korean puppet forces," North Korea’s National Defense Commission said.

Seoul and Washington have said their four-day joint exercises, scheduled to begin Sunday, are a bid to deter North Korea’s "aggressive" behavior.

"This is irresponsible and precisely why we are committed to denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," Crowley told AFP.

The North routinely threatens military action in response to joint military exercises by the United States and South Korea, saying they are a rehearsal for war.

But tensions in the region have been particularly high for the past two months, after Washington and Seoul accused the North of torpedoing a South Korean warship, killing 46 people.

The North denies involvement and says the "smear campaign" is a pretext for aggression.

          (Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on July 24, 2010, 18:41:07
Right now the North is doing what they do best - threaten. Its all talk. Now if they want to launch some missiles or try another nuclear test then things get amped up a bit. Unless the Chinese let their attack dog slip its leash its all a distraction.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: 57Chevy on July 25, 2010, 11:54:02
U.S., South Korea stage naval exercise despite nuclear threats
 KOREA  (http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/South+Korea+stage+naval+exercise+despite+nuclear+threats/3319451/story.html#ixzz0uhooMOeg)

SEOUL, July 25, 2010 (AFP) - The U.S. and South Korea on Sunday launched a major naval exercise involving a nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier in the Sea of Japan despite North Korea’s threats of nuclear retaliation.

The drill is the first in a series intended "to send a clear message to North Korea that its aggressive behaviour must stop," US Defence Secretary Robert Gates and the South’s Defence Minister Kim Tae-Young said in a joint statement this week after talks.

South Korea and the United States, citing the findings of a multinational investigation, accuse the North of torpedoing a South Korean warship near the tense Yellow Sea border in March.

The communist North denies involvement in the sinking of the Cheonan, which claimed 46 lives.

The US-led United Nations Command said the four-day drill would involve about 20 ships, including the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, and some 200 fixed-wing aircraft.

Around 8,000 service personnel from the two allies were to take part in the show of force.

"The USS George Washington left the southern port of Busan around 7:00am Sunday (2200 GMT Saturday). It’s sailing towards the Sea of Japan (East Sea) for the exercise," a US military spokesman told AFP.

atricle continues...
                  (Reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: thunderchild on July 26, 2010, 23:24:43
I think that it is more likely that China "occupies" North Korea rather then let it start a war that will cause millions of deaths and has no hope of  winning.   Any Ideas?
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on July 26, 2010, 23:48:29
China and the USA are both using the sinking of the ROK corvette and the ongoing US/ROK exercises in the Sea of Japan to press their own regional agendas.

Currently, the DPRK is playing into America's hands by creating "fears" when none should exist. In the longer term China hopes that, as there usually is, there will be a counter-reaction to the US "security" posture. Their hope, perhaps even their plan, is that there will be no DPRK action at all, and, in a month or so, the incipient anti-Americanism that is growing in Japan and ROK and, indeed, all the ASEAN nations will assert itself.

Secretary Clinton's recent remarks re: South China Seas dispute settlement provoked the strongest language from a Chinese foreign minister that I have heard in many years and, as far as I can tell from watching/reading both Chinese (CCTV News) and Western/Asian channels (CNN Asia, BBC, etc) and newspapers, the "expert" (TV talking head/columnist) reaction is that the US poked China in the eye and China poked back, surprisingly quickly and shockingly harder.

My quesstimate: China is willing (but able?) to play "hardball" with the current US administration in this (East and South-East Asia) region. The DPRK is a Chinese tool which, to date, it has, mostly - the sinking of the corvette being an exception, used carefully and effectively.

I repeat: the Chinese aim, in the medium to long term, is a united Korea - under Seoul's capitalist and democratic leadership, but without a US military presence on the Korean peninsula.

The Chinese have, broadly, proved to be pretty good at setting achievable, long term goals and seeing them through to fruition.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on July 27, 2010, 01:04:58
(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fd.yimg.com%2Fa%2Fp%2Frids%2F20100725%2Fi%2Fr4166522223.jpg&hash=eb01f25f685195ccb0b148c5f9ff3b45)

The U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington  (bottom) and the South Korean Navy's Landing Platform Helicopter ship Dokdo leave for a U.S.-South Korea joint naval and air exercise at a South Korean naval port in Busan, about 420 km (262 miles) southeast of Seoul, July 25, 2010. The aircraft carrier is participating in the massive combined air and naval exercise held by South Korea and the U.S. in the East Sea from July 25 to 28 to demonstrate their deterrence plans against North Korea, according to the defence ministries of the two countries. REUTERS/Jo Jung-Ho/Yonhap
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: zipperhead_cop on July 27, 2010, 09:37:42
Slight hijack observation...
Are there any non-nuclear powered aircraft carriers anymore?  It always strikes me as 80's style hype when the news always tacks "NUCLEAR POWERED" on to a vessels designation.  Who cares? If it was bio-diesel or solar powered, that might be interesting.  Nuclear?  Not so much. 

[/hijack]
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on July 27, 2010, 10:14:30
The answer is no, for the USA anyway, Zipperhead. The last conventional US carrier, the John F. Kennedy was decommissioned in 2007.

However, there are conventional carriers in other countries: India, Italy, France, Brazil, the UK, and more if you look at "baby carriers".
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on July 27, 2010, 13:58:12
More pics of the joint USN-ROKN exercise:

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fd.yimg.com%2Fa%2Fp%2Frids%2F20100726%2Fi%2Fr1568715600.jpg&hash=01b1ae760dd09a253fa9dcbb5bbce756)

The Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Tucson (SSN 770) is underway ahead of the U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington (first row, 2nd L) and South Korean Navy's Landing Platform Helicopter ship Dokdo  (first row, 2nd R) during the U.S.-South Korea joint naval and air exercise in the open sea east of South Korea July 26, 2010. North Korea has declared a "sacred war" against the United States and South Korea in retaliation for the allies' military drills that began on Sunday, accusing them of driving the Korean peninsula to the brink of explosion. The drills are aimed at boosting deterrence against the North. REUTERS/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam K. Thomas-US Navy/Handout

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fd.yimg.com%2Fa%2Fp%2Frids%2F20100726%2Fi%2Fr3700459587.jpg&hash=58cd69734ed133fdaf9f246530e31bce)

REUTERS/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Adam K. Thomas-US Navy/Handout

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fd.yimg.com%2Fa%2Fp%2Frids%2F20100726%2Fi%2Fr3593417864.jpg&hash=1dd724e6d3ba3fe427cdece3d32265a9)

REUTERS/South Korean Navy/Handout
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: zipperhead_cop on July 28, 2010, 01:58:45
The answer is no, for the USA anyway, Zipperhead. The last conventional US carrier, the John F. Kennedy was decommissioned in 2007.

However, there are conventional carriers in other countries: India, Italy, France, Brazil, the UK, and more if you look at "baby carriers".

Thanks for the info, good to know  :salute:

I still don't get how the energy system of a vessal has anything to do with a given news item though. 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on July 28, 2010, 09:26:01
If I may suggest a possibility here: Perhaps these journalists use the same rule as these forums, that you do not use acronyms unless universally understood.

I look at the caption on the picture and see, for instance that they describe the Dodko but do not use naval identifier for it either.

The description before either ship corresponds to their naval identifier:

Dodko  is LPH 6111: LPH stands for Landing Platform Helicopter.

The Washington is CVN 73, meaning Aircraft-carrier (CV) Nuclear powered.

The use of N, for nuclear, is of importance for naval planning purposes and is used for all classes of ships to distinguish the nuclear ones from the non nuclear (for instance, SSK is a hunter-killer submarine, while a SSN is a Nuclear powered hunter-killer submarine.) In naval circles, knowing the type of propulsion (classic vs nuclear) permits planning taking into consideration issues of speed, need for resupply in fuel, range, maximum transit speeds etc. So it is important to know.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: 57Chevy on July 28, 2010, 17:27:56
The largest warships ever built. A small city that goes 30kt........amazing  :D
Other information:  Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carriers  (http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/nimitz/)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: zipperhead_cop on July 29, 2010, 05:54:21
If I may suggest a possibility here: Perhaps these journalists use the same rule as these forums, that you do not use acronyms unless universally understood.

I look at the caption on the picture and see, for instance that they describe the Dodko but do not use naval identifier for it either.

The description before either ship corresponds to their naval identifier:

Dodko  is LPH 6111: LPH stands for Landing Platform Helicopter.

The Washington is CVN 73, meaning Aircraft-carrier (CV) Nuclear powered.

The use of N, for nuclear, is of importance for naval planning purposes and is used for all classes of ships to distinguish the nuclear ones from the non nuclear (for instance, SSK is a hunter-killer submarine, while a SSN is a Nuclear powered hunter-killer submarine.) In naval circles, knowing the type of propulsion (classic vs nuclear) permits planning taking into consideration issues of speed, need for resupply in fuel, range, maximum transit speeds etc. So it is important to know.

Awesome!  Thanks for the info, at least that makes sense. 
Now if we could just do something about that Hans Brix!!
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on August 01, 2010, 00:46:50
Tragic:

Agence-France-Presse link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/100801/world/skorea_nkorea_military_mine)

Quote
Drifting N.Korean mine kills S.Korean

30 minutes ago
 

SEOUL (AFP) - A North Korean mine which drifted along a river into the neighbouring South killed a man and badly injured another when it exploded, military officials said Sunday.
 
Several wooden box mines have been retrieved by South Korean soldiers and police, but it was not immediately clear how the mines ended up drifting into the South
.


The explosion was reported shortly before midnight Saturday in a restricted border area in Yeoncheon, 60 kilometres (35 miles) northeast of Seoul, the defence ministry said.


A 48-year-old man died and a 25-year-old man was seriously injured.


"Han was killed by one of the North Korean wooden box mines which had drifted south along the border river," a ministry spokesman told AFP.


South Korean soldiers and police have retrieved 29 boxes of North Korean mines in their joint search which began on Friday along all streams connected to the Imjin River, he said, of which 18 boxes were empty.


Heavy rain has hit the northern part of the peninsula in recent weeks, swelling water levels. The North has discharged water from dams north of the river flowing to South Korea.


Last September six South Korean campers died when North Korea suddenly discharged dam water and created a flash flood.
(...)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 02, 2010, 22:01:29
The weapons that we dont know about are the real concern. Of course as soon as they start firing their positions will be revealed. :camo:


Quote
North repositions artillery: sources

August 03, 2010
North Korea is repositioning its arsenal near the South Korean border in an attempt to make it more difficult for long-range artillery fire to inflict significant damage on its resources, according to intelligence sources.

The sources told the JoongAng Ilbo on Sunday that the North Korean military is relocating its long-range artillery fire, which is set up in mountain caves, from near the southern gate of the caves to the northern gate. The North is also building a protective cover over the facility, the sources said.

“Over several years, South Korea and the United States have prepared against the threat from North Korean long-range artillery fire,” said a military official. “As far as I know, the North Korean military is taking measures to improve the chances that its long-range artillery fire will survive [an attack from the South] by repositioning them inside the [caves].”

Another source said if artillery were relocated to the back of the caves, the South Korea-U.S. alliance would have trouble counterattacking a North Korean attack and hitting the North Korean long-range artillery fire with K9 (155-millimeter) artillery and a multiple launch rocket system.

Only a Joint Direct Attack Munition (a kind of smart bomb) or missiles dropped from a combat plane could destroy the long-range artillery fire moved to the rear, the second source said, adding that it would significantly limit the ways Seoul and Washington could respond to an attack.

The protective cover the North is setting up is meant to counter cluster bombs, the second source said. Cluster bombs are air-dropped weapons that eject a cluster of smaller bombs. The sources said the South Korean military is considering developing new weapons that could destroy this cover.

North Korea’s long-range artillery fire, either a 240-millimeter caliber multiple-launch rocket system or a 170-millimeter self-propelled artillery, claim an effective range of 55 to 65 kilometers (34 to 40 miles). According to the South Korean Defense White Paper and other military data, about 600 such North Korean munitions have been set up near the border, posing a significant threat to Seoul.
 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on August 04, 2010, 02:07:12
Agence-France Presse link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/100804/world/skorea_nkorea_us_military_sanctions)


Quote
S.Korea warns N.Korea on eve of naval drill  
34 minutes ago

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea warned North Korea Wednesday it would not tolerate provocations during an upcoming naval exercise in the Yellow Sea, after Pyongyang threatened "strong physical retaliation" for the drill.

"Our military will keep a close eye on our enemy, be ready under any circumstances during the training and will not tolerate any type of provocation," Rear Admiral Kim Kyung-Sik told a briefing.


A spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff told AFP separately that if the North fires at the South, "we will stage an immediate counter-attack".


The five-day anti-submarine drill starting Thursday is a response to the North's alleged torpedo attack in March on a South Korean warship, the Cheonan, which killed 46 sailors.


Military officials said 29 ships including a submarine and a destroyer, 50 fixed-wing aircraft and 4,500 army, navy, air force, marine and coastguard personnel would take part.


They said marines stationed on islands near the disputed Yellow Sea border with the North would stage live-fire exercises
, but naval ships would stay far south of the line.


Kim said the exercise would be a legitimate defensive drill in the South's waters. Its aim was "to warn North Korea, and show our military capability to them, that future provocations will not be tolerated".

(...)
 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on August 08, 2010, 13:58:38
The DPRK at it again:

Associated Press link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100808/world/as_koreas_tension)

Quote
NKorea seizes SKorean fishing boat amid tension

2 hours, 59 minutes ago
 

By Kwang-Tae Kim, The Associated Press
 
SEOUL, South Korea - North Korean authorities seized a South Korean fishing boat and its crew Sunday in waters off the divided peninsula's eastern coast, the South's coast guard said amid heightened tensions over the sinking of a southern navy ship.


Four South Korean and three Chinese fishermen were questioned for an alleged violation of the North's exclusive economic zone, South Korea's coast guard said in a statement. It said the fishing boat was being taken toward the North Korea's eastern port of Songjin.


A South Korean fisherman told South Korea via a satellite phone that his boat was being towed by a North Korean patrol, according to the coast guard.


The coast guard said it was not clear where exactly the 41-ton fishing boat was operating when it was seized. The boat departed South Korea's southeastern port of Pohang on Aug. 1 and was scheduled to return home on September 10.


South Korea called on the North to quickly return the fishing boat and its crew. However, the prospect of their quick return is being complicated because of tension over the March sinking of a South Korean warship off the western coast blamed on North Korea.


South Korea also conducted naval drills off the western coast, including areas near the two countries' disputed sea border. The exercises, which end Monday, were aimed at strengthening South Korea's ability to counter any North Korean provocations.



North Korea — which has denied involvement in the sinking — warned last week it would "counter the reckless naval firing projected by the group of traitors with strong physical retaliation" and advised civilian ships to stay away from the maritime border.


Maritime incidents involving fishing boats and other commercial vessels occur from time to time between the two Koreas. While most are resolved amicably, the rival navies engaged in three deadly skirmishes near their disputed western sea border in 1999, 2002 and November last year.


Last August, North Korea freed four South Korean fishermen after detaining them for a month for illegally entering North Korean waters.


Kim Yong-hyun, an expert on North Korean affairs at Seoul's Dongguk University, said the North may release the fishermen within a month after its investigation, since their boat appeared to have accidentally strayed into the North's waters.


"South Korea should use the issue as a lubricant to improve relations with North Korea by actively seeking their quick return," Kim said. He also noted that North Korea should quickly free the fishermen because a prolonged detention could worsen ties with South Korea at a time when the North may need food aid from the South.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 08, 2010, 19:38:21
Odd that there would be 3 Chinese onboard a South Korean fishing craft.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Old Sweat on August 08, 2010, 20:45:25
And that the ship with three Chinese on board would be the one seized by the North Koreans.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: zipperhead_cop on August 08, 2010, 23:58:42
If the idea is that it was a Chinese/SKor JFO to keep an eye on NKor, wouldn't that be REALLY ballsy?  Outting Chinese operatives would probably honk off thier bosses.  I was of the impression that NKor needs to keep China happy for a while, given their recent shenanigans. 
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: uncle-midget-Oddball on August 09, 2010, 02:27:18
  I was of the impression that NKor needs to keep China happy for a while, given their recent shenanigans.
 
DPRK would like to keep China happy and China would like to keep DPRK in line.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on August 09, 2010, 11:35:02
Agence-France-Presse link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/100809/world/skorea_nkorea_military_boat)

Quote
N.Korea fires artillery into sea as tensions rise
2 hours, 36 minutes ago
 

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea fired an artillery barrage Monday into waters near the disputed inter-Korean sea border as tensions rose over a South Korean naval exercise and the seizure of one of a Seoul's fishing boats.
 
Batteries fired about 110 shells which all fell on the North's side of the Yellow Sea borderline, a spokesman for Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff told AFP
.


The salvos began after the South's navy ended a five-day naval exercise south of the border, for which the North had threatened retaliation.


"Our navy was placed on high alert, closely watching the movement of North Korean troops," the spokesman said.


The North's seizure Sunday of a South Korean fishing boat in the Sea of Japan (East Sea), on the other, eastern side of the peninsula, has further inflamed tensions.


South Korea's largest anti-submarine exercise yet was a show of force after Seoul accused its neighbour of torpedoing a South Korean warship in March near the contested border.


The North, which denies staging the attack that killed 46 sailors, had warned of "strong physical retaliation" against the navy drill which it described as a preparation for invasion.


The border drawn by UN forces after the 1950-53 war was the scene of deadly naval battles in 1999 and 2002 and a firefight last November which left a North Korean boat in flames.


Some analysts believe the alleged torpedo attack was in revenge for the November clash.


Earlier Monday Seoul urged Pyongyang to free the 41-ton squid fishing boat and its crew as soon as possible.


It was unclear whether the weekend seizure was a response to the naval drill, or just an attempt to curb alleged illegal fishing.

(...)

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on August 16, 2010, 23:15:03
A "master plan" ( >:D) for reunification...with a "unification tax" ?

Chosun link (http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2010/08/16/2010081600756.html)

Quote
Lee Lays Out 3-Stage Master Plan for Reunification  

President Lee Myung-bak in a speech on Sunday marking the 65th anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japanese rule proposed a three-staged method of reunification with North Korea and the introduction of a "unification tax" to prepare for the massive cost.

"Today, inter-Korean relations demand a new paradigm," Lee said. "The two of us need to overcome the current state of division and proceed with the goal of peaceful reunification." The comments mark a shift from policies aimed at maintaining stability to active steps toward reunification.

"We long for the common prosperity and peace of both the South and the North, which will lead to reunification, and this is the right way to achieve the genuine liberation of the nation," he said. He urged North Korea to face reality and make a choice for change.

 President Lee Myung-bak and leading political figures celebrate the 65th anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japanese colonial rule in central Seoul on Sunday. The three-stage plan would start with a "peace community" that assures security on the peninsula including a denuclearized North, followed by the creation of an "economic community" developing the North's economy through exchanges, and eventually the full integration. His proposal of the "unification tax" was seen as a way of taking active steps toward those goals.

There have been two broad theories of reunification. One is the so-called Sunshine Policy of gradual reunification proposed by former President Kim Dae-jung and favored by progressives. Proponents of the Sunshine Policy believe sudden reunification stemming from regime collapse in North Korea or other unexpected causes would entail tremendous social and financial costs for South Korea. They therefore favor reunification further down the road after the two Koreas narrow their economic differences and acclimatize to each other's societies.

In contrast, conservatives say such an approach would only prolong North Korea's autocratic regime and warn that the South must prepare for a sudden regime collapse in the North. Some even say South Korea should pressure North Korea in order to trigger regime collapse. 

Lee's speech leans to the conservative approach
, as is evident from his mention of the "need to overcome the current state of division," the establishment of a "peace community" and the shouldering of reunification costs, apparently in preparation for sudden changes in North Korea.

Evidently concerned about conveying such a strong message, Cheong Wa Dae issued a customary supplementary gloss of the presidential statement explaining that the unification tax and other measures were not designed specifically with a potential North Korean regime collapse in mind.

Lee's speech is expected to lead to a major debate in South Korea over how to deal with the North. At a press conference in Washington D.C. in 2008, Lee said reunification in the name of democracy is the "ultimate goal." He added it is important for the North and South to coexist in peace. Since then the North has severed ties with the South and stepped up military provocations. One close aide to Lee said, "The fact that the president, who is fully aware of repercussions, has raised the issue again at the start of the second half of his term reflects his determination."
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on August 16, 2010, 23:33:44
If this is really the goal of the South (and it may well be), then they will also have to be prepared to move much faster than the Americans or Chinese in the event of the collapse of the DPRK (either internal or one they engineer) in order to make "Greater Korea" their own state and not a beachhead for the Americans in Asia nor a lever for the Chinese to force the Americans out of Asia.

I still think Robert Kaplan has the best prediction of the endgame in the article When North Korea Falls (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/10/when-north-korea-falls/5228/).
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on August 18, 2010, 14:38:38
Quote
BBC link (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/mobile/world-asia-pacific-11008466?)

North Korean plane crashes in China
18 August 10 05:25 ET

 
A North Korean aircraft, which may be a fighter jet, has crashed in China near the country's shared border, say Chinese and South Korean reports.

It is believed the pilot, who was killed, may have been trying to defect to Russia, according to unnamed intelligence sources cited by Yonhap.

The crash happened on Tuesday afternoon in Fushun county, Liaoning province.

Defections are common but an attempt by plane is highly unusual and would be a source of embarrassment for Pyongyang.

China has a repatriation agreement with North Korea, which could explain why the pilot may have been trying to reach Russia, the report added.

North Korea has a military airbase in Sinuiju, near the border with China.

China's state media confirmed an unidentified small plane had crashed and that it may belong to North Korea.


An investigation into the cause of the crash was under way, Xinhua reported.

Soviet-era jet

Photographs of the wreckage reportedly taken by a local resident and posted on the internet showed North Korea's insignia on the plane's fuselage.

Military experts said the plane appeared to be a Soviet-era fighter jet, which were used during the 1950-53 Korean War.

A report in Hong Kong's Ming Pao newspaper said that a second pilot had bailed out but gave no information on his whereabouts. It conflicts with the South Korean report of only one pilot on board.

Technically, North and South Korea remain at war although a ceasefire agreement ended fighting in 1953.

Their border is the most heavily militarised zone in the world.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Thucydides on August 18, 2010, 19:51:58
Applying enough pressure to brittle regimes will crush them like eggshells; the only problem is are we willing to clean up the mess made? I suspect that if (huge hypothetical here) the United States or an alliance were to take steps such as suggested here, not only would the DPRK fold up and blow away, but many other hostile regimes would become remarkably restrained and compliant overnight after a show of strength. Remember how quiet the Middle East became for a year after OIF? Few others stuck their heads up either, until they were satisfied that the United States was fully occupied in Iraq and unwilling to take on more challenges at the time.

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/targeting-north-korea-let’s-think-like-a-kim/?print=1

Quote
Targeting North Korea: Let’s Think Like a Kim
Posted By Gordon G. Chang On August 17, 2010 @ 10:42 am In Asia, Koreas, World News | 12 Comments

On Monday, the United States and South Korea began the 11-day Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise. The ongoing drill, “one of the largest joint staff-directed theatre exercises in the world,” is an annual event. This year it involves 86,000 troops. It is, not coincidentally, taking place at the same time 400,000 of the South’s officials and government employees are participating in an anti-terrorism exercise.

Moreover, it has only been a week since Seoul wrapped up its most extensive anti-submarine drill and 19 days after the end of joint naval maneuvers in the Sea of Japan by the American and South Korean navies. The two allies, obviously, are intensifying their preparations for war.

As they should. The North Koreans, in March, torpedoed the Cheonan and killed 46 South Korean sailors on the frigate. Since then, Pyongyang has snatched [1] a South Korean fishing boat with its crew of seven and been hurling invective toward the South.  For instance, on Sunday the North Korean military promised to inflict [2] the “severest punishment no one has ever met in the world” for the Ulchi Freedom Guardian drill.

Of course, we know the North Koreans have no intention of initiating hostilities at this moment. For one thing, they always issue bellicose statements whenever the Americans and South Koreans participate in military drills, even though they are defensive in nature. And, as a shrewd aggressor, Kim Jong Il, the North’s wily leader, would not think of committing an act of violence when his adversaries have deployed so many military assets on or near the Korean peninsula.

Yet we also know that, in the near future, Chairman Kim will order his forces to kill South Koreans — and possibly Americans as well. Why? First, he and his dad, Kim Il Sung, have established a pattern of wanton events. Among other things, they grabbed the Navy’s Pueblo in international waters and tortured the crew, shot down an unarmed Navy reconnaissance plane and killed 31 aviators — the largest loss of U.S. servicemen in a single incident in the Cold War — bombed the South Korean cabinet in Burma, shot down a South Korean civilian airliner, and regularly attacked targets in the South.

Moreover, creating incidents is good politics at home — it rallies members of the regime and demonstrates Kim’s power to ordinary citizens. And murder — let’s call Kim’s acts by their proper name — has convinced weak American and South Korean leaders to provide assistance to the regime. Washington and Seoul have, if the truth be told, paid Mr. Kim to refrain from slaughtering their citizens and soldiers.

This dynamic — horrible incidents, followed by acts of resolve, and then payment of rewards — continues. No one outside North Korea likes it, but no one wants to risk war with the Kim family regime. How do we finally break this iron cycle?

Here’s a suggestion: Let’s think like a Kim. Kim commits minor acts of aggression because he knows he can get away with them.  Case in point: He sinks the Cheonan, and two things happen. The president of the Security Council reads a statement, and then Seoul and Washington conduct military drills. Kim, who is not adversely affected by either of these moves, knows we will not start a war to avenge his acts of murder.

So let’s recognize that Kim won’t start hostilities if we retaliate with small steps that injure his regime. He knows that a general conflict on the Korean peninsula will destroy his state. So he won’t start one if he has any hope of continuing his family’s rule.  This situation gives us considerable room for maneuver.

To stop his acts of killing, we have to make him hurt. For example, after the sinking of the Cheonan, Seoul could have closed down the Kaesong industrial zone, which is just north of the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas. There, about 120 South Korean businesses employ around 44,000 North Korean workers. That, by itself, would deprive Kim of a substantial source of funding because Pyongyang skims a large portion of the wages.

Similarly, we can cut off North Korea’s access to the international financial system. The Bush administration did just that in September 2005 when it declared Banco Delta Asia, a bank Kim used in Macau, to be a “primary money laundering concern.” As such, no financial institution would do business with it. And as a result, North Korea, for two years, had to use its diplomats to ferry cash in bulging suitcases around the world. And, lo and behold, Kim Jong Il did not start a war even though the U.S. Treasury Department crippled his government.

Washington, in the wake of the Cheonan incident, has announced [3] a new set of financial sanctions, but they are too narrowly crafted. Why not expand them and really injure Kim? This would be a particularly good time to do that because he is in failing health and preoccupied by the internal opposition to his efforts to install his 27-year-old son, Kim Jong Un, on the throne.

Similarly, we can ring the waters around the North with frigates and begin inspecting all cargoes on the high seas. Similarly, we should search every plane leaving North Korea when they land in countries friendly to us. Kim has been exporting nuclear technologies to Iran and Syria, so we need to stop him in any event.

Kim will not start a war if we employ the same tactics against him that he uses against us. And if we do not change our approach toward his aggressive regime, we know one thing: the killing of Americans and South Koreans will continue.

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/targeting-north-korea-let%e2%80%99s-think-like-a-kim/

URLs in this post:

[1] snatched: http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/08/08/south.korea.fishing.boat/index.html
[2] inflict: http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/dprk/2010/dprk-100815-kcna01.htm
[3] announced: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/07/21/clinton-impose-new-sanctions-defiant-north-korea-stop-nuclear-proliferation/
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on August 22, 2010, 15:28:38
North Korea unveils a "new" MBT:

Chosun link (http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2010/08/17/2010081700503.html)

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi195.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fz181%2FMSantor%2FNorth%2520Korea%2520misc%2520military%2FDPRKM2002Stormtank.jpg&hash=8b016cd7e7a3e0886dd9db85fbc97e37)

Quote
N.Korea Unveils New Battle Tank

Intelligence authorities are analyzing footage of a new battle tank shown on North Korean state TV recently. So far the existence of the "Pokpung" (Storm) had only been a rumor.

A South Korean military source on Monday said the Pokpung appears to be an improved version of the North Korean Army's previous model "Chonma" (Flying Horse) in terms of firepower and maneuverability.

The Pokpung tank is also known as the M-2002, as it is presumed to have been rolled out in 2002.

Armed with a 125 mm or 115 mm gun, the Pokpung appears to be a drastically improved version of the former Soviet Union's T-62 tank, the latest issue of Defense Science & Technology Information, a magazine published by the Defense Ministry says.


It seems to be more heavily armed with a 14.5 mm KPV anti-aircraft machine gun, which is more powerful than the 12.7 mm machine gun mounted on older tanks. Also equipped with a laser range finder and an infrared searchlight, the tank is presumed to have a higher accuracy as it has a more modern fire control system than earlier models.

The magazine said that the Pokpung has been built at the Ryu Kyong-su Tank Factory since it was developed in the 1990s. How many of the tanks have been deployed warfare-ready is not known, but they are said to have been deployed only at an elite tank unit.

The North Korean Army has about 3,900 tanks, much more than the South Korean Army's 2,300, but they are believed to perform much more poorly.

Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on August 24, 2010, 16:23:07
When I first read this, I initially thought that maybe these troops were being moved in to prevent a power struggle.

Agence-France-Presse link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/100824/world/nkorea_politics_succession)


Quote
S.Korea detects 'massive' N.Korea troop deployment

54 minutes ago

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea has detected a "massive" deployment of North Korean troops and arms near the capital Pyongyang, Seoul's defence ministry said Tuesday.

The large number of soldiers, armoured vehicles and artillery have been stationed near the communist state's capital since July 12, the ministry said in a report to parliament.


The deployment appears to be related to political events such as a meeting of key communist party delegates next month and the party's 65th anniversary on October 10, a ministry spokesman told AFP.


"The massive deployment of troops could be designed to show their military power at home and abroad, or for security," he said.


North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has not publicly appointed an eventual successor, but his youngest son, Kim Jong-Un, is widely believed to be being groomed to take over from his ailing 68-year-old father.


Some analysts say Kim Jong-Il will probably designate the son as his political heir at the September meeting, the third such gathering since the communist state was founded in 1948.


It is seen as the most important party event since 1980
, when a convention of all-party members made public Kim Jong-Il's status as the eventual successor to his father, and founding president, Kim Il-Sung.


Kim Jong-Il took over from his father in 1994.


South Korea's spy chief said in June that the leader's poor health was driving him to speed up preparations for a handover and that Jong-Un was taking a greater role in policymaking and often accompanied his father on inspection tours.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: S.M.A. on August 29, 2010, 22:02:22
Reuters link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/100829/world/international_us_korea_north)

Quote

North Korea's Kim not seen heading for retirement yet

Sun Aug 29, 4:05 AM
 

By Jack Kim
 
SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea's ruling party holds its biggest meeting in 30 years early next month to pick a new leadership and likely anoint an heir to the dynasty as Kim Jong-il's health deteriorates.


Kim, suspected of suffering a stroke in 2008, is believed to have accelerated succession plans, but analysts say the meeting of the Workers' Party won't send its supreme leader into retirement just yet.



The decision by the powerful Political Bureau of the party Central Committee in June to call September's meeting indicated it will be a watershed, and that it will involve a major reshuffle of its officials for the first time in decades.


The big question is whether Kim's youngest son, Jong-un, will be given an official title and how it will rank in seniority. Additionally, North Korea watchers will be monitoring to see what positions his backers get.

"I think what will happen is Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un will begin a joint leadership system in 2012, and until then, the son will hold a key position but one that is not as public," said Yang Moo-jin of the University of North Korean Studies.

 Experts say North Korea, hit by sanctions punishing it for its nuclear weapons programme, could adopt a collective leadership when Kim dies with his son identified as figurehead leader but real power held by a group of officials from the ruling Workers' Party and the military.



The meeting takes place at a time of great hardship for the impoverished North as it tries to work around the sanctions and accomplish something to show for its pledge to become a "powerful and prosperous" nation by 2012.


By all accounts, the North's coffers are hopelessly low in cash and heavy rains this year have hit food production that even in a good year falls a million tonnes short of the amount needed to feed its 23 million people.


The meeting in early September comes amid a flurry of diplomatic activity in the region, home to the world's second- and third-largest economies and a massive arms build-up straddling the Korean peninsula military border.


Kim this week was on his second visit to China in a few months, a trip observers say was probably designed to let Beijing know of the North's planned father-to-son power transition process.


At around the same time, North Korea expressed a willingness to return to nuclear disarmament talks, which have been in limbo since 2008 when North Korea walked out and said they were finished. China has hosted the on-again-off-again talks since they began in 2003.


THIRD GENERATION


Speculation over who will succeed as the third generation of leader to the world's first communist dynasty has grown with Kim's noticeable decline in health.


South Korea, China, the United States and Japan will all be watching for clues as to how the transfer of power proceeds in the country with a military-first policy and enough fissile material for at least six to eight nuclear weapons.


With North and South still technically at war, having only signed an armistice in 1953, regional powers are anxious to know what changes are afoot and who will command the country's nearly 1.2 million troops and another 7.7 million in the reserves.


Founded on October 10, 1945, the Workers' Party of Korea has been the pinnacle of power in the North, the source of the go-it-alone Juche ideology, a mix of Marxism and ultra-nationalism preached by Kim's father and state founder, Kim Il-sung.


Kim Jong-il rules as the party's general secretary on top of his role as chairman of the National Defense Commission. His grooming as a future leader began at the party level three decades ago when he was given a formal role at a convention.

There has been barely a handful of sessions of the solemn national convention since the party's founding. But each was a milestone in the evolution of the state from a revolutionary movement fighting Japan's colonial rule to a reclusive regime that has stoked regional tensions with armed provocations and pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on September 03, 2010, 09:06:08
See here (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,2941.msg968449.html#msg968449) for some comments on China and North Korea.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on September 16, 2010, 12:20:49
South Korea does a little sabre rattling of it own.

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fbeta.images.theglobeandmail.com%2Farchive%2F00882%2Fdip1509-13-korea_882944gm-e.jpg&hash=788602fa7bd7b51b5ee393b64a7670e7)
Photo: JO YONG-HAK/REUTERS
South Korean Marine Corps' amphibious vehicles and the Navy's Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH) ship Dokdo (behind) take part in a mock landing operation in the sea off Incheon, west of Seoul. The operation marked the 60th anniversary of the U.S.-led United Nations troops' Incheon Landing Operations during the 1950-1953 Korean War.

Reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Globe and Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/in-photos/best-from-the-past-24-hours/article1709455/).
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: George Wallace on September 16, 2010, 12:31:29
The first thing to come to mind when I looked at that photo was:  "Oh my God!  The North Koreans have created a Donut Bomb."
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Technoviking on September 16, 2010, 17:52:33
The first thing to come to mind when I looked at that photo was:  "Oh my God!  The North Koreans have created a Donut Bomb."
The first thing I thought was "Oh my God, the Koreans have perfected the Mortar Bomb!"



(For those who don't know such things of lore and slander, Infantry Mortarmen were often derided and ridiculed for having insatiable appetites for doughnuts.  Total and utter lies, I say, but still pretty funny!)
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: b7197 on September 16, 2010, 19:05:12
Not the North Koreans, but the South Koreans.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: E.R. Campbell on September 16, 2010, 19:26:08
Not the North Koreans, but the South Koreans.

Perceptive of you to notice that, especially since the posting was headed: "South Korea does a little sabre rattling of it own." That would have led several people astray.
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: Hamish Seggie on September 16, 2010, 22:40:09
The first thing I thought was "Oh my God, the Koreans have perfected the Mortar Bomb!"



(For those who don't know such things of lore and slander, Infantry Mortarmen were often derided and ridiculed for having insatiable appetites for doughnuts.  Total and utter lies, I say, but still pretty funny!)

Its true, we did love our donuts in 2VP Mortar Pl!!   ;D
Title: Re: North Korea (Superthread)
Post by: 57Chevy on September 30, 2010, 09:39:02

SEOUL - Secretive North Korea on Thursday published a photograph of the youngest son and heir apparent to the communist state's ailing leader Kim Jong-Il, the first official image of him ever released.
 Article continues.....Read more: N.Korea publishes first photo of heir apparent (http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Korea+publishes+first+photo+heir+apparent/3602067/story.html#ixzz1110IWD9d)
                     _________________________________________________________

This undated picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on September 30, 2010 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il (front R) during a photo session with the newly elected members of the central leadership body of the Workers' Party of Korea at the plaza of the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang. The Worker's Party of Korea on September September 28 held its highest-level gathering for 30 years to elect a new leadership. The party senior postgiven to Kim's son Jong-Un appeared to confirm his stat