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Author Topic: North and South Korea  (Read 56253 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #100 on: December 12, 2012, 11:19:09 AM »

Q. Why did the United States stop after spring 1951 at the 38th Parallel, thereby ensuring a subsequent sixty-year Cold War and resulting in chronic worries about a North Korea armed with nuclear weapons and poised to invade its neighbor to the south?
 
A. Americans were haunted by the nightmare of November 1950 to February 1951. After the brilliant Inchon invasion, and MacArthur’s inspired rapid advance to the Yalu River and the Chinese border, the sudden entrance of an initial quarter-million Chinese Red Army troops, with hundreds of thousands to follow, had sent the Americans reeling hundreds of miles to the south (in the longest retreat in American military history), back across the 38th Parallel, with Seoul soon being lost to the communists yet again. Matthew Ridgway had arrived in December 1950 to try to save the war, and had done just that by April 1951, when he was replaced as senior ground commander by Gen. Van Fleet and in turn took over the theater command from the relieved MacArthur. But the Americans had been permanently traumatized by the Chinese entry and the North Korean recovery after the all-but-declared American victory of October 1950.
 
Ridgway, after the UN forces’ amazing recovery in early 1951, was in no mood to go much farther across the 38th Parallel. From his study of MacArthur’s debacle in Fall 1950, he knew well that the peninsula in the north became more rugged and expansive and would swallow thousands of troops as they neared the Chinese and Russian borders, and had to be supplied from hundreds of miles to the rear. Such a second advance through North Korea was felt, accurately or not, to risk a regional nuclear war with the Soviet Union, to draw in hundreds of thousands more Chinese Red Army troops, and to ensure another year or two of war at a time when the American public was thoroughly tired of this new concept of a “police action” and an “accordion war.” And while critics railed at silly political restraints on U.S. airpower that might have destroyed Chinese or Russian staging areas across the border, they did not appreciate that such attacks might also have prompted similar enemy attention on U.S. supply centers in Japan.
 
Moreover, the UN coalition had been created under quasi-coercive premises in Fall 1950. The war was seen as about over, and allied deployment might well amount to only garrison duty. European participation in Korea was also predicated on ensuring an American commitment to keeping the Soviets out of Western Europe. But by the time UN troops arrived in Korea, the Chinese were invading and slaughtering the coalition in the retreat to the south. Most European participants simply wanted a truce at any cost and an end to the war.
 
Further, the U.S. had been drawn into a depressing propaganda war. We were responsible for rebirthing Japan, Italy, and Germany as pro-Western democracies, while Russian and Chinese communists posed as the true allies of the war’s victims that were continuing their war against fascism, against a capitalist American Empire that had joined the old Axis. In the case of Korea, Americans took over constabulary duties from Japanese militarists and supported South Korean authoritarians, while Soviet and Chinese-backed hardened communists in the North posed as agrarian reformers — or so the global leftist narrative went. For many Americans, the thought of fighting a nearly endless civil war was less desirable than an armistice and an end to the hostilities, even though after three years of fighting and 36,000 American dead (and over a million Koreans lost), the borders remained almost unchanged.
 
Was that stalemate wise, given the later trajectory of North Korea to the present insanity? Perhaps not — but the American effort nonetheless jumpstarted the South, which eventually evolved into a nation with consensual government and the world free-market powerhouse of today.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #101 on: December 13, 2012, 04:11:02 PM »




North Korea put a satellite into orbit for the first time Wednesday, and in the process successfully tested a three-stage, intercontinental ballistic missile. Pyongyang had told the world that the launch would be delayed for technical reasons, but that now looks like a head fake.

If so, it was a classic North Korean maneuver that shows Kim Jong Eun is a successor in the mold of his father and grandfather. Both the U.S. and China tried to convince the young dictator to give up the test. His defiance will reinforce the internal North Korean mythology of foreigners supplicating at the feet of the Great Leader, who resists their blandishments. Conducting such ostensibly heroic acts is a means to solidify control over the military leadership, which he has been purging.

The North Korean people are being told to celebrate, but their leaders' victories have brought them nothing but misery. South Korea estimates that the missile program that culminated in Wednesday's launch has cost $1.3 billion, enough to feed the country's entire population for years. They continue to go hungry for the sake of nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them against Japan and the United States.

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A screen at the General Satellite Control and Command Center shows the moment North Korea's Unha-3 rocket is launched in Pyongyang, North Korea, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012.
.The missile program does bring significant benefits to the Kim family and cronies. They make money exporting missile technology to rogue states, especially Iran, and South Korean media are reporting that Iranian scientists were present at the launch. So the world-wide press attention to the North's triumph is free advertising for proliferation.

If the past is any guide, this is the beginning of another round of nuclear blackmail. After Pyongyang first tested a nuclear device in October 2006, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice rushed to cut a deal that traded energy aid and other benefits for the disabling of the main nuclear facilities. Two years later, the Bush Administration removed North Korea from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism in return for a verbal agreement to accept a verification regime. The North reneged on that in two months.

The North has since acknowledged that, in addition to its plutonium program, it is also enriching uranium as a path to making more bombs. The West has no way of knowing how many centrifuge facilities are hidden in caves and tunnels. According to North Korean logic, another nuclear test now would add to the pressure on the West to provide more aid.

Beijing wants to make sure that the young Kim's regime is secure, and it only acts against the North when it fears Washington might be on the verge of taking punitive action. China's own leadership transition is also incomplete, with key appointments for foreign policy posts still to be announced. For now State Councilor Dai Bingguo, a strong defender of Pyongyang, remains in charge of foreign policy, meaning only light measures can be expected from the United Nations. Likewise, South Korea and Japan are about to hold elections that will likely bring in new administrations.

The Obama Administration is also in flux, but with four years left to run it has an incentive to stop pretending it can buy off the Kim regime. The North Korean nuclear threat to U.S. security is no longer theoretical, even if it will still take time for Pyongyang to build a warhead small enough to fit on its new missile. The only way to prevent a Korean nuclear threat to American territory is by working toward regime change, not another short-lived deal with the North.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #102 on: January 02, 2013, 01:28:01 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/02/world/asia/north-koreas-leader-kim-jong-un-makes-overture-to-south.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130102
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #103 on: January 18, 2013, 08:15:06 AM »



Movement of Missiles by North Korea Worries U.S.
 
By THOM SHANKER and DAVID E. SANGER
 
Published: January 17, 2013


WASHINGTON — The discovery by American intelligence agencies that North Korea is moving mobile missile launchers around the country, some carrying a new generation of powerful rocket, has spurred new assessments of the intentions of the country’s young new leader, Kim Jong-un, who has talked about economic change but appears to be accelerating the country’s ability to attack American allies or forces in Asia, and ultimately to strike across the Pacific.
 

The new mobile missile, called the KN-08, has not yet been operationally deployed, and American officials say it may not be ready for some time. But the discovery that the mobile units have already been dispersed around the country, where they can be easily hidden, has prompted the White House, the Pentagon and intelligence agencies to reassess whether North Korea’s missile capabilities are improving at a pace that poses a new challenge to American defenses.

On Thursday, speaking in Italy, the departing defense secretary, Leon E. Panetta, broke from the usual Obama administration script — which is to write off North Korea as a broke and desperate country — and told American troops that he was increasingly worried about another, longer-range North Korean missile, one that was successfully tested last month and reached as far as the Philippines, and could lob a warhead much farther.

“Who the hell knows what they’re going to do from day to day?” Mr. Panetta said. “And right now, you know, North Korea just fired a missile. It’s an intercontinental ballistic missile, for God sakes. That means they have the capability to strike the United States.”

After he spoke, Pentagon officials said Mr. Panetta did not mean to imply that North Korea could now hit the continental United States, although intelligence and military assessments have said that Hawaii is within range. But the North has made progress toward its goal of fielding a missile that could cross the Pacific, a goal the previous defense secretary, Robert M. Gates, warned at the end of his time in office could be fulfilled by 2016.

An intensive study of the long-range missile test-flight conducted by North Korea last month, one administration official said, found that it was “largely a success, if you define success as showing that they could drop a warhead a lot of places in Asia.”

The more immediate mystery for the administration, however, is what North Korea may intend with the intermediate-range KN-08, which was first shown off by the North in a military parade last April. At the time, many analysts dismissed it as a mock-up. In fact, it has never been test-flown. But parts, including the rocket motors, have been tested separately, according to officials familiar with the intelligence reports, who described the missile developments on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the assessments.

Officials familiar with North Korean missile technology say the KN-08 weapon is designed with a range capable of striking South Korea, Japan and parts of Southeast Asia — although with uncertain accuracy.

North Korea is aware that it is a focus of American spy satellites, so the decision to roll the missile around the country to potential deployment sites might well have been partly motivated by a desire to send a message to the United States, or at least to get Washington’s attention — which it did. Officials said that North Korea’s advancements in missile technology were among the most significant reasons that Mr. Panetta, as he approached the end of his tenure, had spent so much time in Asia. Much of his effort has been aimed at spurring the development of a regional missile defense system to be deployed with allies, particularly Japan and South Korea.

There is no evidence that the KN-08 has been fitted with a nuclear warhead. While North Korea conducted nuclear tests in 2006 and in 2009 — just months after President Obama took office — American intelligence officials have said that the North has not miniaturized a nuclear device small enough to be fitted as a warhead atop its missiles. Some believe that may be the goal of its next test — and perhaps, some intelligence reports speculate, of continuing cooperation on missile design between Iran and North Korea. The Iranians, one official noted, “are grappling with the same issues.”

In fact, much remains uncertain about North Korea’s new missile. There was no question where the mobile launching trucks that carried the missile came from: they are Chinese, and almost certainly imported in violation of United Nations sanctions against the North. The new missile, like most in the North Korean arsenal, appeared to be based on Russian technology.

The missile developments are among a number of steps that have convinced American officials that, a year after his ascension as the third generation to inherit the role as North Korea’s dictator, Mr. Kim is proving as confrontational with the West as his father and grandfather. American specialists also warn of the prospect of a third nuclear test, for which preparations are evident.

For the Obama administration, whose last diplomatic effort with the North ended in failure nearly a year ago, the steps are reminders that everything they have tried in the past four years to lure the country out of isolation — or at least contain its nuclear and missile programs — has largely failed.

If nothing else, however, the missile efforts in the North have spurred American efforts to build a network of antimissile capabilities across Northeast Asia. Japan already has one American X-band radar, officially known as the AN/TPY-2, which is a central element in a complex technical architecture for identifying ballistic missiles and coordinating a response by interceptors. And last September, during his travels in the region, Mr. Panetta and his Japanese hosts announced a major agreement to deploy a second advanced missile-defense radar on Japanese territory.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #104 on: February 13, 2013, 11:22:42 AM »

http://live.wsj.com/video/opinion-north-korea-ticking-time-bomb/700BFBD7-C102-45BF-B992-E0C5F9C0F65B.html?mod=opinion_video_newsreel#!700BFBD7-C102-45BF-B992-E0C5F9C0F65B
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bigdog
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« Reply #105 on: March 04, 2013, 06:19:40 AM »

http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/9009814/dennis-rodman-north-korea-kim-jong-un-wants-barack-obama-call

Is basketball the key to diplomacy?
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bigdog
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« Reply #106 on: March 10, 2013, 09:24:29 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/11/world/asia/as-north-korea-blusters-south-breaks-taboo-on-nuclear-talk.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&smid=fb-share

From the article:

Adding to South Koreans’ worries, the North and its nuclear arsenal are in the hands of a young new leader, Kim Jong-un, whose brinkmanship appears to be an effort to ensure the support of his nation’s powerful military.

The South also has a new president, Park Geun-hye, the daughter of a military strongman who stood firm against North Korea, who herself also faces pressure to stand fast against the North. Just two weeks after her inauguration, Ms. Park faces a crisis as the North makes vague threats interpreted by many South Koreans as the precursor to some sort of limited, conventional military provocation. Ms. Park has promised to retaliate if her nation is attacked, aware of the public anger directed at her predecessor, Lee Myung-bak, when he showed restraint after the North shelled a South Korean island in 2010, killing four people.

That kind of limited skirmish is more likely than a nuclear attack, but such an episode could quickly inflame tensions and escalate out of control. Over the years, North Korea has sent armed spies across the border, dug invasion tunnels under it and infiltrated South Korean waters with submarines
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G M
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« Reply #107 on: March 10, 2013, 10:37:21 PM »

Why not?

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/11/world/asia/as-north-korea-blusters-south-breaks-taboo-on-nuclear-talk.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&smid=fb-share

From the article:

Adding to South Koreans’ worries, the North and its nuclear arsenal are in the hands of a young new leader, Kim Jong-un, whose brinkmanship appears to be an effort to ensure the support of his nation’s powerful military.

The South also has a new president, Park Geun-hye, the daughter of a military strongman who stood firm against North Korea, who herself also faces pressure to stand fast against the North. Just two weeks after her inauguration, Ms. Park faces a crisis as the North makes vague threats interpreted by many South Koreans as the precursor to some sort of limited, conventional military provocation. Ms. Park has promised to retaliate if her nation is attacked, aware of the public anger directed at her predecessor, Lee Myung-bak, when he showed restraint after the North shelled a South Korean island in 2010, killing four people.

That kind of limited skirmish is more likely than a nuclear attack, but such an episode could quickly inflame tensions and escalate out of control. Over the years, North Korea has sent armed spies across the border, dug invasion tunnels under it and infiltrated South Korean waters with submarines

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bigdog
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« Reply #108 on: March 11, 2013, 07:29:41 AM »

http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/11/world/asia/north-korea-armistice/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

 angry angry
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G M
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« Reply #109 on: March 11, 2013, 08:14:52 AM »


The good news is Dennis Rodman can't do any worse than Buraq or his foreign policy team.
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bigdog
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« Reply #110 on: March 11, 2013, 08:49:26 AM »


The good news is Dennis Rodman can't do any worse than Buraq or his foreign policy team.

That cracked me up.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #111 on: March 12, 2013, 07:23:44 PM »

By George Friedman
Founder and Chairman
 
On Jan. 29, I wrote a piece that described North Korea's strategy as a combination of ferocious, weak and crazy. In the weeks since then, three events have exemplified each facet of that strategy. Pyongyang showed its ferocity Feb. 12, when it detonated a nuclear device underground. The country's only significant ally, China, voted against Pyongyang in the U.N. Security Council on March 7, demonstrating North Korea's weakness. Finally, Pyongyang announced it would suspend the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953, implying that that war would resume and that U.S. cities would be turned into "seas of fire." To me, that fulfills the crazy element.
 
My argument was that the three tenets -- ferocity, weakness and insanity -- form a coherent strategy. North Korea's primary goal is regime preservation. Demonstrating ferocity -- appearing to be close to being nuclear capable -- makes other countries cautious. Weakness, such as being completely isolated from the world generally and from China particularly, prevents other countries from taking drastic action if they believe North Korea will soon fall. The pretense of insanity -- threatening to attack the United States, for example -- makes North Korea appear completely unpredictable, forcing everyone to be cautious. The three work together to limit the actions of other nations.
 
Untested Assumptions
 
So far, North Korea is acting well within the parameters of this strategy. It has detonated nuclear devices before. It has appeared to disgust China before, and it has threatened to suspend the cease-fire. Even more severe past actions, such as sinking a South Korean ship in 2010, were not altogether inconsistent with its strategy. As provocative as that incident was, it did not change the strategic balance in any meaningful way.
 
Normally North Korea has a reason for instigating such a crisis. One reason for the current provocation is that it has a new leader, Kim Jong Un. The son of former leader Kim Jong Il and the grandson of North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Un is only 30 years old, and many outside North Korea doubt his ability to lead (many inside North Korea may doubt his ability, too). One way to announce his presence with authority is to orchestrate an international crisis that draws the United States, Japan, China, Russia and South Korea into negotiations with North Korea -- especially negotiations that Pyongyang can walk away from.
 
The North Korean regime understands the limits of its strategy and has been very sure-footed in exercising it. Moreover, despite the fact that a 30-year-old formally rules the country, the regime is a complex collection of institutions and individuals -- the ruling party and the military -- that presumably has the ability to shape and control the leader's behavior.
 
It follows that little will change. U.S. analysts of North Korea will emphasize the potential ferocity and the need for extreme vigilance. The Chinese will understand that the North Koreans are weak and will signal, as their foreign minister did March 9, that in spite of their vote at the United Nations, they remain committed to North Korea's survival. And most people will disregard Pyongyang's threat to resume the Korean War.
 
Indeed, resuming the Korean War probably is not something that anyone really wants. But because there are some analysts who think that such a resumption is plausible, I think it is worth considering the possibility that Pyongyang does want to restart the war. It is always worth examining an analysis based on the assumption that a given framework will not hold. For the record, I think the framework will hold, but I am simply examining the following hypothetical: This time, North Korea is serious.
 
To assess Pyongyang's sincerity, let's begin with two untested assumptions. First, assume North Korea has determined that it is unable to develop a deliverable nuclear weapon within a meaningful time frame. Either there are problems with constructing the device or its missiles are unreliable. Alternatively, assume it has decided that any further development of weapons will likely lead to attacks by the United States against its nuclear facilities. In other words, assume it expects to lose its nuclear capability because it cannot move forward or because moving forward will invite attacks against nuclear facilities.
 
The second assumption, more likely accurate, is that North Korea has realized that the strategy it has followed since the 1990s is no longer working. The strategy has lost its effectiveness, and North Korean ferocity, weakness and insanity no longer impress anyone. Rather than generating financial and other concessions, the strategy has simply marginalized North Korea, so that apart from sanctions, there will be no talks, no frightened neighbors, no U.S. threats. Kim Jong Un would not announce himself with authority, but with a whimper.
 
An Unlikely Scenario
 
Taken together, these assumptions constitute a threat to regime survival. Unless its neighbors bought into the three premises of its strategy, North Korea could be susceptible to covert or overt foreign involvement, which would put the regime on the defensive and reveal its weakness. For the regime, this would be a direct threat, one that would require pre-emptive action.
 
It would be a worst-case scenario for Pyongyang. We consider it highly unlikely. But assume North Korea deems it more likely than we do, or assume that, despite the scenario's improbability, the consequences would be so devastating that the risk could not be borne.
 
It is a scenario that could take form if the North Korean nuclear threat were no longer effective in establishing the country's ferocity. It would also take form if North Korea's occasional and incomprehensible attacks were no longer unpredictable and thus were no longer effective in establishing the country's insanity. In this scenario, Pyongyang would have to re-establish credibility and unpredictability by taking concrete steps.
 
These concrete steps would represent a dramatic departure from the framework under which North Korea has long operated. They would obviously involve demands for a cease-fire from all players. There would have to be a cease-fire before major force could be brought to bear on North Korea. Last, they would have to involve the assumption that the United States would at least take the opportunity to bomb North Korean nuclear facilities -- which is why the assumptions on its nuclear capability are critical for this to work. Airstrikes against other targets in North Korea would be likely. Therefore, the key would be an action so severe that everyone would accept a rapid cease-fire and would limit counteraction against North Korea to targets that the North Koreans were prepared to sacrifice.
 
The obvious move by North Korea would be the one that has been historically regarded as the likeliest scenario: massive artillery fire on Seoul, the capital of South Korea. The assumption has always been that over a longer period of time, U.S. air power would devastate North Korean artillery. But Seoul would meanwhile be damaged severely, something South Korea would not tolerate. Therefore, North Korea would bet that South Korea would demand a cease-fire, thereby bringing the United States along in its demand, before U.S. airstrikes could inflict overwhelming damage on North Korea and silence its guns. This would take a few days.
 
Under this scenario, North Korea would be in a position to demand compensation that South Korea would be willing to pay in order to save its capital. It could rely on South Korea to restrain further retaliations by the United States, and China would be prepared to negotiate another armistice. North Korea would have re-established its credibility, redefined the terms of the North-South relationship and, perhaps having lost its dubious nuclear deterrent, gained a significant conventional deterrent that no one thought it would ever use.
 
I think the risks are too great for this scenario to play out. The North would have to assume that its plans were unknown by Western intelligence agencies. It would also have to assume that South Korea would rather risk severe damage to its capital as it dealt with North Korea once and for all than continue to live under the constant North Korean threat. Moreover, North Korea's artillery could prove ineffective, and it risks entering a war it couldn't win, resulting in total isolation.
 
The scenario laid out is therefore a consideration of what it might mean if the North Koreans were actually wild gamblers, rather than the careful manipulators they have been since 1991. It assumes that the new leader is able to override older and more cautious heads and that he would see this as serving both a strategic and domestic purpose. It would entail North Korea risking it all, and for that to happen, Pyongyang would have to believe that everything was already at risk. Because Pyongyang doesn't believe that, I think this scenario is unlikely.
 
It is, however, a necessary exercise for an analyst to find fault with his analysis by identifying alternative assumptions that lead to very different outcomes. At Stratfor, we normally keep those in-house, but in this case it appeared useful to think out loud, as it were.
 
We'd welcome well-thought-out alternatives. With so many emails, we can't promise to answer them all, but we make it a practice to read them all.


Read more: Considering a Departure in North Korea's Strategy | Stratfor
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G M
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« Reply #112 on: March 12, 2013, 07:27:21 PM »

My money is on China using the usual "Good totalitarian, bad totalitarian" game on the rest of the world.
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bigdog
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« Reply #113 on: March 22, 2013, 01:28:58 PM »

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/03/21/who_is_whois?page=0,0

From the article:

Determining who is responsible for an attack often depends on asking "cui bono?" -- who benefits? In attacks on South Korea, the North is always the lead suspect, but the target set for this attack apparently included no South Korean or U.S. government agencies. Most attacks focus on extracting money or valuable information, but that did not happen in this case. Nor did the attacker try to disrupt critical infrastructure and services. What is left is political motivation. Cyberattacks are a new and attractive form of protest and coercion. The Russians used them against Estonia; the Iranians used them against the United States. In such company, North Korea would feel right at home.

But governments are not the only ones to use these new tools. Political groups like Anonymous routinely hack websites or launch denial of service attacks (essentially, flooding the target network with traffic so that it is knocked offline). If North Korea is a suspect, so are political activists, perhaps hacktivists from China or South Korea's thriving Internet community. At the same time, the fact that a new, unknown group calling itself "Whois Team" has claimed credit means little. They could be the authors of the attack, they could be an outside group that is simply taking credit, or they could be a cover for state-sponsored efforts.
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bigdog
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« Reply #114 on: March 28, 2013, 08:39:23 AM »

Top news: North Korea severed its only line of communication with the South Korean military on Wednesday, saying that north-south military communication is unnecessary when "a war may break out at any moment." The announcement, carried by the official news agency, comes only one day after Pyongyang ordered its rocket and artillery units to be combat ready, targeting U.S. bases on the mainland, Hawaii, and Guam.
North Korea previously cut off communications with the Red Cross and the U.S. military over the international response to its third nuclear test in February. According to the New York Times, however, the joint industrial park at Kaesong remains open, with workers and trucks continuing to cross the border.
"There do not exist any dialogue channel and communications means between the DPRK and the U.S. and between the north and the south," said the statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. "Not words but only arms will work on the U.S. and the South Korean puppet forces."
North Korea last severed all military communication in 2009, when the United States and South Korea conducted joint military drills.
United Nations: The final draft of an U.N. arms trade treaty was sent to member governments Wednesday, bringing the goal of an international treaty regulating conventional weapons sales one step closer to fruition. According to analysts, however, several countries may still block approval by consensus, in which case negotiators would most likely seek two-thirds majority approval in the General Assembly next week.
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bigdog
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« Reply #115 on: March 30, 2013, 12:17:33 PM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/aggressive-talk-from-north-korea-concerns-us-leaders/2013/03/29/85dec134-989c-11e2-814b-063623d80a60_story.html?hpid=z1

From the article:

Behind the sudden decision to strengthen mainland American defenses against North Korean missiles is a fear that Pyongyang’s biggest benefactor, China, may no longer be able to act as a guarantor of baseline stability on the Korean Peninsula.

In the past month, North Korea has ignored Chinese warnings by threatening a nuclear strike on the United States and renouncing the 60-year armistice with South Korea. The rhetorical escalation followed advances in missile technology and a nuclear weapons test that China had opposed.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #116 on: April 02, 2013, 05:31:11 AM »

http://rt.com/news/chinese-military-korea-alert-184/
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G M
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« Reply #117 on: April 02, 2013, 11:40:34 AM »


Others believe openly that the US strategy is geared not towards the destabilization of North Korea, but that of China. Li Jie, an expert with a Chinese navy research institution, has told Reuters that “the ultimate strategic aim is to contain and blockade China, to distract China's attention and slow its development. What the US is most worried about is the further development of China's economy and military strength."

They are greatly overestimating our current leadership.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #118 on: April 02, 2013, 11:46:14 AM »

See my post of a few hours ago on the US-Russia thread  cheesy rolleyes cry
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #119 on: April 09, 2013, 09:50:48 AM »

By George Friedman
Founder and Chairman
 
Editor's Note: George Friedman originally wrote this Geopolitical Weekly on North Korea's nuclear strategy on Jan. 29. More than two months later, the geopolitical contours of the still-evolving crisis have become more clear, so we believe it important to once again share with readers the fundamentals outlined in this earlier forecast.
 
North Korea's state-run media reported Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered the country's top security officials to take "substantial and high-profile important state measures," which has been widely interpreted to mean that North Korea is planning its third nuclear test. Kim said the orders were retaliation for the U.S.-led push to tighten U.N. sanctions on Pyongyang following North Korea's missile test in October. A few days before Kim's statement emerged, the North Koreans said future tests would target the United States, which North Korea regards as its key adversary along with Washington's tool, South Korea.
 
North Korea has been using the threat of tests and the tests themselves as weapons against its neighbors and the United States for years. On the surface, threatening to test weapons does not appear particularly sensible. If the test fails, you look weak. If it succeeds, you look dangerous without actually having a deliverable weapon. And the closer you come to having a weapon, the more likely someone is to attack you so you don't succeed in actually getting one. Developing a weapon in absolute secret would seem to make more sense. When the weapon is ready, you display it, and you have something solid to threaten enemies with.
 
North Korea, of course, has been doing this for years and doing it successfully, so what appears absurd on the surface quite obviously isn't. On the contrary, it has proved to be a very effective maneuver. North Korea is estimated to have a gross domestic product of about $28 billion, about the same as Latvia or Turkmenistan. Yet it has maneuvered itself into a situation where the United States, Japan, China, Russia and South Korea have sat down with it at the negotiating table in a bid to persuade it not to build weapons. Sometimes, the great powers give North Korea money and food to persuade it not to develop weapons. It sometimes agrees to a halt, but then resumes its nuclear activities. It never completes a weapon, but it frequently threatens to test one. And when it carries out such tests, it claims its tests are directed at the United States and South Korea, as if the test itself were a threat.
 
There is brilliance in North Korea's strategy. When the Soviet Union collapsed, North Korea was left in dire economic straits. There were reasonable expectations that its government would soon collapse, leading to the unification of the Korean Peninsula. Naturally, the goal of the North Korean government was regime survival, so it was terrified that outside powers would invade or support an uprising against it. It needed a strategy that would dissuade anyone from trying that. Being weak in every sense, this wasn't going to be easy, but the North Koreans developed a strategy that we described more than 10 years ago as ferocious, weak and crazy. North Korea has pursued this course since the 1990s, and the latest manifestation of this strategy was on display last week. The strategy has worked marvelously and is still working.
 
A Three-Part Strategy
 
First, the North Koreans positioned themselves as ferocious by appearing to have, or to be on the verge of having, devastating power. Second, they positioned themselves as being weak such that no matter how ferocious they are, there would be no point in pushing them because they are going to collapse anyway. And third, they positioned themselves as crazy, meaning pushing them would be dangerous since they were liable to engage in the greatest risks imaginable at the slightest provocation.
 
In the beginning, Pyongyang's ability to appear ferocious was limited to the North Korean army's power to shell Seoul. It had massed artillery along the border and could theoretically devastate the southern capital, assuming the North had enough ammunition, its artillery worked and air power didn't lay waste to its massed artillery. The point was not that it was going to level Seoul but that it had the ability to do so. There were benefits to outsiders in destabilizing the northern regime, but Pyongyang's ferocity -- uncertain though its capabilities were -- was enough to dissuade South Korea and its allies from trying to undermine the regime. Its later move to develop missiles and nuclear weapons followed from the strategy of ferocity -- since nothing was worth a nuclear war, enraging the regime by trying to undermine it wasn't worth the risk.
 
Many nations have tried to play the ferocity game, but the North Koreans added a brilliant and subtle twist to it: being weak. The North Koreans advertised the weakness of their economy, particularly its food insecurity, by various means. This was not done overtly, but by allowing glimpses of its weakness. Given the weakness of its economy and the difficulty of life in North Korea, there was no need to risk trying to undermine the North. It would collapse from its own defects.
 
This was a double inoculation. The North Koreans' ferocity with weapons whose effectiveness might be questionable, but still pose an unquantifiable threat, caused its enemies to tread carefully. Why risk unleashing its ferocity when its weakness would bring it down? Indeed, a constant debate among Western analysts over the North's power versus its weakness combines to paralyze policymakers.
 
The North Koreans added a third layer to perfect all of this. They portrayed themselves as crazy, working to appear unpredictable, given to extravagant threats and seeming to welcome a war. Sometimes, they reaffirmed they were crazy via steps like sinking South Korean ships for no apparent reason. As in poker, so with the North: You can play against many sorts of players, from those who truly understand the odds to those who are just playing for fun, but never, ever play poker against a nut. He is totally unpredictable, can't be gamed, and if you play with his head you don't know what will happen. 
 
So long as the North Koreans remained ferocious, weak and crazy, the best thing to do was not irritate them too much and not to worry what kind of government they had. But being weak and crazy was the easy part for the North; maintaining its appearance of ferocity was more challenging. Not only did the North Koreans have to keep increasing their ferocity, they had to avoid increasing it so much that it overpowered the deterrent effect of their weakness and craziness. 
 
A Cautious Nuclear Program
 
Hence, we have North Korea's eternal nuclear program. It never quite produces a weapon, but no one can be sure whether a weapon might be produced. Due to widespread perceptions that the North Koreans are crazy, it is widely believed they might rush to complete their weapon and go to war at the slightest provocation. The result is the United States, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea holding meetings with North Korea to try to persuade it not to do something crazy.
 
Interestingly, North Korea never does anything significant and dangerous, or at least not dangerous enough to break the pattern. Since the Korean War, North Korea has carefully calculated its actions, timing them to avoid any move that could force a major reaction. We see this caution built into its nuclear program. After more than a decade of very public ferocity, the North Koreans have not come close to a deliverable weapon. But since if you upset them, they just might, the best bet has been to tread lightly and see if you can gently persuade them not to do something insane.
 
The North's positioning is superb: Minimal risky action sufficient to lend credibility to its ferocity and craziness plus endless rhetorical threats maneuvers North Korea into being a major global threat in the eyes of the great powers. Having won themselves this position, the North Koreans are not about to risk it, even if a 20-something leader is hurling threats.
 
The China Angle and the Iranian Pupil
 
There is, however, a somewhat more interesting dimension emerging. Over the years, the United States, Japan and South Korea have looked to the Chinese to intercede and persuade the North Koreans not to do anything rash. This diplomatic pattern has established itself so firmly that we wonder what the actual Chinese role is in all this. China is currently engaged in territorial disputes with U.S. allies in the South and East China seas. Whether anyone would or could go to war over islands in these waters is dubious, but the situation is still worth noting.
 
The Chinese and the Japanese have been particularly hostile toward one another in recent weeks in terms of rhetoric and moving their ships around. A crisis in North Korea, particularly one in which the North tested a nuclear weapon, would inevitably initiate the diplomatic dance whereby the Americans and Japanese ask the Chinese to intercede with the North Koreans. The Chinese would oblige. This is not a great effort for them, since having detonated a nuclear device, the North isn't interested in doing much more. In fact, Pyongyang will be drawing on the test's proverbial fallout for some time. The Chinese are calling in no chits with the North Koreans, and the Americans and Japanese -- terribly afraid of what the ferocious, weak, crazy North Koreans will do next -- will be grateful to China for defusing the "crisis." And who could be so churlish as to raise issues on trade or minor islands when China has used its power to force North Korea to step down?
 
It is impossible for us to know what the Chinese are thinking, and we have no overt basis for assuming the Chinese and North Koreans are collaborating, but we do note that China has taken an increasing interest in stabilizing North Korea. For its part, North Korea has tended to stage these crises -- and their subsequent Chinese interventions -- at quite useful times for Beijing.
 
It should also be noted that other countries have learned the ferocious, weak, crazy maneuver from North Korea. Iran is the best pupil. It has convincingly portrayed itself as ferocious via its nuclear program, endlessly and quite publicly pursuing its program without ever quite succeeding. It is also persistently seen as weak, perpetually facing economic crises and wrathful mobs of iPod-wielding youths. Whether Iran can play the weakness card as skillfully as North Korea remains unclear -- Iran just doesn't have the famines North Korea has.
 
Additionally, Iran's rhetoric at times can certainly be considered crazy: Tehran has carefully cultivated perceptions that it would wage nuclear war even if this meant the death of all Iranians. Like North Korea, Iran also has managed to retain its form of government and its national sovereignty. Endless predictions of the fall of the Islamic republic to a rising generation have proved false.
 
I do not mean to appear to be criticizing the "ferocious, weak and crazy" strategy. When you are playing a weak hand, such a strategy can yield demonstrable benefits. It preserves regimes, centers one as a major international player and can wring concessions out of major powers. It can be pushed too far, however, when the fear of ferocity and craziness undermines the solace your opponents find in your weakness.
 
Diplomacy is the art of nations achieving their ends without resorting to war. It is particularly important for small, isolated nations to survive without going to war. As in many things, the paradox of appearing willing to go to war in spite of all rational calculations can be the foundation for avoiding war. It is a sound strategy, and for North Korea and Iran, for the time being at least, it has worked.


Read more: Ferocious, Weak and Crazy: The North Korean Strategy | Stratfor
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« Reply #120 on: April 14, 2013, 02:04:50 PM »



http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/world/asia/kerry-in-china-seeking-help-on-north-korea.html?partner=MYWAY&ei=5065&_r=1
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« Reply #121 on: April 15, 2013, 11:58:28 AM »

North Korea and Intelligence
U.S. officials keep underestimating the nuclear threat..
 
Secretary of State John Kerry visited Beijing on the weekend, with no discernible progress in persuading China to drop its support for its North Korean clients. That's a familiar China bites U.S. story. The more important—and disquieting—news is the dispute over the North Korean threat among U.S. intelligence agencies.

The dispute broke into public view on Thursday when Congressman Doug Lamborn (R., Colo.) read an unclassified sentence from a new assessment by the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency. The DIA has concluded with "moderate confidence" that North Korea may have a nuclear warhead small enough to be placed on a ballistic missile. This judgment arrives two months after North Korea tested a nuclear device—its third—and when another test missile launch is expected any day.

That news produced a scramble inside the Obama Administration, with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper issuing a statement telling everyone not to worry. Mr. Clapper quoted a separate Pentagon statement that "it would be inaccurate to suggest that the North Korean regime has fully developed and tested the kinds of nuclear weapons referenced in the passage." And in any case, Mr. Clapper added, "the statement read by the Member is not an Intelligence Community assessment" (his emphasis).

Neither of these not-to-worry statements is reassuring, especially given the U.S. intelligence track record on North Korea. Even if Pyongyang hasn't so far "fully developed" a missile that can nuke Los Angeles, the point is that it is making major progress. It's also important to understand that an "intelligence community assessment" is a lowest-common denominator bureaucratic consensus that is often wrong.

U.S. illusions about North Korea's nuclear threat go back two decades to the Clinton Administration's claim that it had stopped North Korea's plutonium-weapons program. The 1994 Agreed Framework supposedly froze the North's nuclear programs in exchange for food and energy aid.

The North kept making plutonium even as it was also developing a secret uranium-enrichment program, which it finally admitted to State Department official James Kelly in October 2002. The North later denied it had ever made such an admission, and the U.S. foreign policy elite proceeded to blame John Bolton and other Bush officials for supposedly lying about the uranium-enrichment intelligence.

Kim Jong Il, father of current dictator Kim Jong Eun, tested the North's first nuclear device in 2006. Prodded by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her emissary Chris Hill, President Bush proceeded to cut his own nuclear deal with the North, this time writing uranium enrichment out of the script. In 2007, an intelligence official told the Senate that the U.S. no longer had "high confidence" that such a facility existed.

It would have to wait until 2010 for Mr. Bolton to be proved right. That November, Siegfried Hecker, a former director at Los Alamos, was given a tour by North Korea of a state-of-the-art enrichment facility, which he described as "stunning."

Mr. Hecker suspects that the North also has a second covert facility to produce highly enriched, bomb-grade uranium, which may have been the fissile material used in its latest nuclear test in February. Mr. Hecker notes that tests are essential for the North to master the miniaturization technology it needs to put a warhead on a missile.

As for those missiles, the North has also been making notable strides. In December it successfully placed a satellite in orbit using a three-stage missile. The smaller Musudan missile that it may soon launch is modeled on a Soviet submarine-launched missile and may be able to reach as far away as Guam, where the U.S. has a military base.

Even normally cautious analysts are alarmed. "We have assessed for some time that North Korea likely has the capability to mount a plutonium-based nuclear warhead on the shorter range Nodong missile, which has a range of about 800 miles," writes David Albright of the centrist Institute for Science and International Security.

Estimating the North's capabilities is always going to be tricky given the country's totalitarian secrecy. A degree of uncertainty is inherent in any intelligence assessment, but that uncertainty applies as much to understating the threat as to overstating it.

In 1962 the consensus of the U.S. intelligence community was that Russia wouldn't dare field missiles in Cuba. In 1990 U.S. intelligence grossly underestimated Saddam Hussein's WMD programs, before overstating them in 2003. A notorious national intelligence estimate in 2007 claimed that Iran had halted its nuclear-weapons work.

For two decades U.S. officials have pretended that Pyongyang will give up its weapons and that its technological progress is too slow to pose a real threat. Now we're learning the opposite is closer to the truth. A wiser policy begins by recognizing that no negotiation is going to end what will sooner or later become the North's ability to kill millions of Americans. The only way to end the threat is a new policy aimed at ending the regime.
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« Reply #122 on: April 16, 2013, 07:15:24 AM »

Does China Really Want a Nuclear Japan and South Korea?
The potential for an atomic arms race in East Asia is real. Beijing must realize this..
By Senator BOB CORKER

North Korea's increased belligerence has alarmed the U.S. and its allies and heightened tensions in the Asian-Pacific region. As usual, though, the hand-wringing in Washington, Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul isn't accompanied by any new ideas on what to do to solve the perennial problem of Pyongyang and its illicit nuclear weapons program.

Most problematic, perhaps, is that nothing has altered the strategic calculus of China—the most influential player with respect to North Korea, and the one without which it is hard to see a resolution.

North Korea was high on the agenda during my recent visit to Northeast Asia, but the reaction in Beijing to Pyongyang's bluster and threats was markedly different than in Tokyo or Seoul. Officials I met with in Japan and South Korea, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Park Gyun-hye, voiced similar concerns over North Korea's growing capabilities and the potential consequences of escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula.

In contrast, my Chinese interlocutors seemed rather nonplused by our allies' reaction to the prospect of an enduring "nuclear-armed" North Korea. China views North Korea as a nuisance—a distraction from the domestic challenges that Beijing must confront as it continues its remarkable economic growth and development.

Chinese officials are urging all parties to remain calm and avoid actions that could escalate tensions on the Korean peninsula. Yet one I met with went so far as to suggest that the U.S. routinely overstates the North Korean threat. This particular Chinese official's advice on dealing with North Korea: The U.S. should "just relax." That precise sentiment may not be shared by all Chinese officials, but it is emblematic of Beijing's overall laissez-faire approach to North Korea.

Telling the U.S. to relax is relatively easy for Beijing to do, as Pyongyang is a nominal "ally." Washington, Tokyo and Seoul don't have that luxury in the face of Pyongyang's continued threats, the possibility of pre-emptive nuclear strikes, and the North's maturing nuclear and missile capabilities. Indeed, most analysts believe that North Korea is pursuing the ability to mount a miniaturized nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile that could reach the continental U.S. As reports in recent days have noted, at least one U.S. intelligence agency has "moderate confidence the North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles."

The recent flight of two nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over South Korea was a welcome demonstration of U.S. security commitments to our allies in Tokyo and Seoul. But U.S. assurances may no longer be enough to maintain stability in the region. A number of Japanese and South Korean officials I met on my trip expressed genuine concerns over our ability to keep our security commitments to them given our worsening fiscal situation.

While the administration has repeatedly reaffirmed U.S. extended deterrence commitments to Japan and South Korea, there are growing voices in the region advocating greater national defense self-sufficiency and additional military capabilities. The Obama administration's recent decision to delay a long-scheduled Minuteman 3 missile test in order to avoid actions that might "exacerbate the current crisis with North Korea," according to a senior U.S. defense official, likely did nothing to assuage those regional allies.

Undoubtedly, these potential posture shifts are indicative of growing insecurity in Tokyo and Seoul. Tokyo is considering revising the way it interprets its constitution to enable the Japanese Self-Defense Forces to operate as a "normal" military. There is growing public sentiment in South Korea for developing its own nuclear deterrent—and if Seoul pursues such an approach, Tokyo likely won't be far behind. Japan already possesses the relevant technology, and South Korea is now seeking to develop additional civilian nuclear capabilities.

With the prospect of a nuclearized region, Beijing's relatively blasé attitude toward Pyongyang is all the more problematic. This attitude is seemingly driven by Chinese national interests, including a desire to maintain stability on the Korean peninsula and prevent a flood of refugees into China. Yet Beijing's reluctance to use its economic leverage and influence over Pyongyang could present a greater near-term challenge to its security than any perceived threat of refugees spilling across its border.

In recent weeks, former senior Obama administration officials have suggested that China is slowly shifting its stance on North Korea, pointing to Beijing's support for additional United Nations sanctions. Yet there is no tangible evidence that China has undertaken measures to attempt to modify North Korea's behavior. Food and fuel continue to flow across the Chinese border into North Korea. Chinese financial institutions reportedly continue to process North Korean transactions.

During Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to Beijing over the weekend, Chinese officials merely reiterated the same tepid talking points urging "dialogue and consultation." According to Chinese state television, Premier Li Keqiang advised the U.S. to avoid actions that could provoke the North. "There's no need to pick up a stone and hurt your own foot," he reportedly told Mr. Kerry.

That attitude is unacceptable. China must understand that so long as North Korea remains a threat, the U.S. will pursue a deeper and more visible military presence in the region, and Washington will continue to showcase its military muscle in China's backyard. Moreover, Tokyo and Seoul will explore measures to strengthen their own defensive and offensive capabilities. The potential for a nuclear arms race in East Asia is real and not merely a theoretical exercise.

As successive administrations—Republican and Democratic—have discovered through trial and error, there is no easy solution on North Korea. However, if the policy objective remains the denuclearization of the North, then the U.S. must get serious with China and develop a tailored strategy to persuade Beijing that the costs of its continued support for Pyongyang far outweigh any perceived benefits. For starters, the U.S. should make clear that any financial institution that continues to handle tainted North Korean funds runs a reputational risk and potential blacklisting, particularly those seeking to gain a foothold in the global financial system.

The time is past due for Washington and Beijing to engage in an honest and frank dialogue on the future of the Korean peninsula. The status quo is no longer an option.

Mr. Corker, a U.S. senator from Tennessee, is the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
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« Reply #123 on: April 28, 2013, 05:16:00 AM »

http://trumanproject.org/doctrine-blog/north-korea-never-a-threat-to-take-lightly/

From the article:

I suspect what kept me up at night is still what keeps up whoever is in that job now.  Trash talk by North Korea is nothing new, but the focus is on what are they actually doing with their military forces.  Media reports government officials saying they have not seen signs of North Korea mobilizing its military forces.  I’d say that in and of itself means little.
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« Reply #124 on: May 27, 2013, 10:23:15 AM »

English version of Korean economic reporting

http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2013/04/16/2013041601219.html

Why Korea's Middle Class Is Collapsing

Global consulting firm McKinsey said in a report on Sunday that half of all middle-class Korean households risk falling into poverty as they are trapped by slow income growth and increased expenditures.

The proportion of middle-class households shrank from 75.4 percent in 1990 to 67.5 percent in 2010, and 55 percent of middle-class families are having a tough time making ends meet as they are burdened by debt, according to McKinsey.

The biggest reason for the decline of the middle class is a drop in the number of high-paying jobs with major business conglomerates, which led to a standstill in income growth. Productivity of major manufacturers increased 9.3 percent on average annually from 1995 to 2010, but their overseas production also rose from 6.7 percent in 2005 to 16.7 percent in 2010, resulting in an average 2 percent fall a year in domestic hiring.

Small- and mid-sized businesses, which account for 88 percent of domestic jobs, and the service sector, which accounts for 70 percent, are suffering from low productivity.

Productivity in SMEs plummeted from 49 percent of the level of major conglomerates in 1990 to 27 percent in 2010, while pay stands at half the amount of the conglomerates. In Germany, SMEs’ productivity stands at 62 percent of the level of big businesses, and salaries at 90 percent. In the service sector, productivity reaches 40 percent of the level of big companies.

But while incomes stagnate, the mortgage repayment burden is mounting, as is education spending for children. As a result, the household savings rate fell from 20 percent in 1994 to just 3 percent in 2012, the lowest in the OECD, while household debt surged.

The consulting firm pointed out that Korea has the world’s highest suicide rate and is seeing a surge in divorces and a low birthrate, all of which also contribute to the decline of the middle class. At this rate, the Korean economy would be "unable to continue growth," it added.

If the Korea is to obtain a new growth engines, it must boost the competitiveness and efficiency of small businesses and the service sector. This solution is nothing new, but no concrete measures have been put into practice so far.

In order for the economy to gain momentum again and to create high-quality jobs, businesses wallowing in low productivity must be left to fail according to the principles of the free market and their workers must shift to new and efficient industries. That is the only way to improve productivity across the board, restore the middle class and enhance the quality of life.
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« Reply #125 on: July 16, 2013, 04:40:47 PM »

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/07/16/panama-north-korean-ship/2520109/
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« Reply #126 on: August 29, 2013, 08:13:54 AM »


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/10272953/Kim-Jong-uns-ex-lover-executed-by-firing-squad.html
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« Reply #127 on: November 04, 2013, 12:02:34 PM »

 South Korea Focuses on a Blue-Water Navy
Analysis
October 30, 2013 | 0835 Print Text Size
South Korea Focuses on a Blue-Water Navy
A helicopter leaves South Korea's Choe Yeong destroyer during drills in 2010. (LEE JIN-MAN-POOL/Getty Images)
Summary

Recent reports of South Korean shipbuilding and naval plans demonstrate that the country's maritime ambitions are far greater than simply focusing on the threat from North Korea. According to a Defense News report that cited a South Korean navy source, as well as recent comments by Rep. Chung Hee Soo of the ruling Saenuri Party, Seoul is seriously considering greatly expanding its blue-water maritime capabilities. Several challenges lie ahead -- difficulties developing or acquiring needed technology, the ever-present danger from North Korea and fiscal constraints -- but South Korea's long-term interests are closely linked to the sea.
Analysis

The South Korean navy already had plans to commission three more highly capable destroyers by 2023 and to greatly enhance its subsurface fleet with larger, more powerful submarines. However, recent reports indicate that the South Koreans are also seeking to build the second ship of the Dokdo-class landing platform helicopter ship before 2019 with a ski ramp in order to launch fixed-wing aircraft. Furthermore, Seoul is exploring the possibility of building two 30,000-ton light aircraft carriers between 2028 and 2036.

Though the South Korean military remains fixated on the threat across the demilitarized zone, it is also increasingly pursuing ambitious maritime goals. It is important to remember that historically, forces emanating from China and Japan have threatened Korea. Indeed, the Koreans had to combat Japanese fleets during the Japanese invasions of Korea between 1592 and 1598. To that end, maintaining the maritime capability to prevent an amphibious landing on the Korean Peninsula is also a key mission of the South Korean military.

As the Chinese continue their extensive naval modernization and the Japanese pursue their military normalization, the South Koreans are determined not to be left behind. South Korea and Japan continue to be locked in a largely maritime territorial dispute over the Dokdo Islands (known as the Takeshima Islands in Japan). Furthermore, with explosive economic growth in the 1970s as well as its status as a peninsula with a virtually closed land border, South Korea is also currently entirely dependent on sea-lanes of trade and communication for its survival. And as a major trading power at a time when the United States is pursuing a closer military relationship with its regional maritime competitor, Japan, South Korea has further reason to bolster its naval capability.

Add the fact that South Korea's military superiority over the North is continuing to grow and it is easy to see why the South, part of a peninsular region that has historically prioritized the development of its land forces, is increasingly devoting resources to shipbuilding. That is not to say that the reported naval ships to be built cannot be useful against the North, but such expensive vessels are not the most efficient use of resources to be used against the North Korean threat. Already the South employs cruise missiles and fighter-bombers with the range to strike targets across the breadth and length of North Korea. In addition, the larger, 3,000-ton submarines the South Korean navy is building are better suited to blue-water operations than the 1,800-ton submarines currently in use.

For all South Korea's ambitious plans, significant obstacles remain. Increased tensions with North Korea could force Seoul to shift its focus and resources to its land and air forces. The South could also encounter problems in the development of the indigenous technologies it is pursuing to equip its future vessels, and it could face disagreements in negotiations with foreign partners, particularly the United States, in fielding the technologies Seoul does not plan to develop itself, such as improved Aegis radar and vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. However, the greatest obstacle remains the tight fiscal situation at a time of economic uncertainty. This is abundantly highlighted in the clash over the cost of a new fighter between the South Korean Defense Acquisition Program Agency and Finance Ministry on one side and the South Korean air force on the other.

While constraints may force the South Koreans to temporarily delay or moderate their maritime ambitions, South Korea remains a country whose fate and national interests are closely tied to the sea. Forced to disproportionately allocate resources to its land forces due to the crisis on the peninsula, the South Koreans will increasingly seek to strengthen their blue-water capabilities in response to the developing Chinese and Japanese naval programs.

Read more: South Korea Focuses on a Blue-Water Navy | Stratfor

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« Reply #128 on: November 18, 2013, 06:44:14 AM »



http://www.dickmorris.com/history-of-the-korean-war-dick-morris-tv-history-video/?utm_source=dmreports&utm_medium=dmreports&utm_campaign=dmreports
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« Reply #129 on: January 03, 2014, 09:54:01 AM »

Let this be a lesson to the rest of you:

(the inhumanity of man to man just never ceases does it?  I wonder what Dennis Rodman will say. 

PS My Rodman story:
Katherine and I driving in a rental in our short stay in Los Angeles back around 1998 on hiatus to Hawaii.  I noticed a Rolls Royce.  Pulled up along side it and looked over.  The driver then looked back at me - it was Dennis.  In the passenger side was a comedian whose name I forever forget.  The comedian saw Katherine and jested that I roll down our window as he tapped Rodman on the shoulder.  I do not want to imagine what he was thinking.  Needless to say I didn't.   We pulled into the hotel and Rodman behind us.  I just remember thinking that he didn't look as wide as on TV.  Same impression I had when I saw Shaquille in Orlando airport in 1996.  They are huge of course and large shouldered.  But when they are that tall proportionately one just seems to notice the height.  I recall seeing Shaq get on an elevator suddenly and the shock on the faces of the people already standing in the elevator as he ducks to get inside.)

Back to a quick respite from evil:

Kim Jong Un fed his uncle to 120 starving dogs: report

Olivier Knox, Yahoo News
By Olivier Knox, Yahoo News 46 minutes ago
 
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (R), accompanied by his uncle Jang Song Thaek (L), waves as he inspects a parade of the Worker-Peasant Red Guards at Kim Il-Sung Square in Pyongyang, on September 9, 2013

Forget the hangman’s noose, the firing squad or lethal injection: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un executed his uncle and a handful of the man’s aides by feeding them to a horde of 120 starving dogs, according to a shocking account.

Jang Song Thaek, the former No. 2 official in the secretive regime, was stripped naked and tossed into a cage along with his five closest aides.

“Then 120 hounds, starved for three days, were allowed to prey on them until they were completely eaten up. This is called ‘quan jue’, or execution by dogs,” according to the Straits Times of Singapore. The daily relied on a description of the execution in a Hong Kong newspaper that serves as the official mouthpiece of China’s government.

“The entire process lasted for an hour, with Mr. Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader in North Korea, supervising it along with 300 senior officials,” the Straits Times said in a piece published Dec. 24, 2013, but only now getting traction in the United States. Two American national security officials contacted for comment said they had not heard that account, which first appeared in the Wen Wei Po newspaper on Dec. 12, 2013.

While China acts as North Korea’s patron, relations between the two have been strained. The United States wants Beijing to take a more active role in pressuring Kim’s Stalinist regime in Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons. The Straits Times suggested that China’s government leaked the account of the December execution to signal its anger at Kim’s government.

The United States has labored to get a grip on what kind of leader Kim Jong Un will be, amid worries in Washington that he is more reckless than his father, Kim Jong Il, whom he succeeded as supreme leader in December 2011.
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« Reply #130 on: March 31, 2014, 10:10:11 AM »

http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/31/world/asia/north-korea-live-fire-exchange/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

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« Reply #131 on: March 31, 2014, 10:35:10 AM »


It seems like the world's thugs have figured out that they have no one to stop them.
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« Reply #132 on: April 17, 2014, 10:08:19 AM »

APRIL 17, 2014 4:00 AM
New Spotlight on North Korea’s Horrors
A U.N report exposes gulags and systematic torture going back decades.
By Marco Rubio
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/375920/new-spotlight-north-koreas-horrors-marco-rubio

This week, Australian justice Michael Kirby, who led the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea, is briefing members of the U.N. Security Council regarding the widespread atrocities being committed on a daily basis against innocent people by one of the world’s most repressive regimes.

Given Russia’s recent actions in Ukraine and other global challenges, the report of this U.N. commission has not received the attention it deserves.
 
Under the dictatorship of Kim Jong Un, the North Korean regime routinely engages in torture, arbitrary detentions, indiscriminate disappearances, starvation, and executions. North Koreans who pay insufficient homage to the country’s deceased founder, Kim Il Sung, can be sent to prison along with their families. Prisoners are often subjected to human experiments, denied food, and essentially worked to death in North Korea’s network of infamous prison camps.
Pyongyang continues to isolate itself and its people from the rest of the world. There is no freedom of the press or access to the Internet. If you are one of the “lucky elite” in North Korea to have access to a radio, the simple act of tuning your dial to a foreign broadcast could result in your imprisonment or even execution. Similarly, there is no freedom of religion, and members of North Korea’s dwindling community of Christians face significant persecution.

The horrific, systematic violations of human rights in North Korea have been going on for many years. And for far too long, these abuses have taken a back seat to international concerns about North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program and other provocative behavior. Publicly and frequently documenting the widespread abuses and mistreatment of the North Korean people is an important step toward change and a potential deterrent to other would-be human-rights abusers.

This is exactly what the three-member United Nations Commission of Inquiry (COI) on Human Rights in North Korea did with their report, after spending a year looking into the North Koreans’ plight. During hearings in Seoul, Tokyo, London, and Washington, the commission heard firsthand accounts from individuals who fled torture and inhumane conditions in North Korea. Some of them will join Justice Kirby in briefing Security Council members this week.

Their report concludes that crimes against humanity were committed in North Korea over a multi-decade period “pursuant to policies established at the highest level of the state.”

North Korea, unsurprisingly, refused to cooperate with the COI investigation. Many countries in the region did support the commission — with the important exception of China, which refused to grant the commission access to its territory, raising concerns about Beijing’s ongoing support for Pyongyang.

Yet despite these attempts to withhold access, more information about the brutality of the Kim regime is emerging, as North Korean defectors courageously share their personal stories of deprivation and, ultimately, survival. I was honored to be able to meet with a number of North Korean defectors on a trip to South Korea earlier this year and to hear their stories firsthand. They told me that it is important to recognize that exposing the regime’s heinous crimes against humanity as often and as publicly as possible is one of our most powerful tools against the continued brutality of the North Korean regime.

I am under no illusion that this commission will profoundly alter the present-day horrific human-rights situation for the long-suffering North Korean people. But I do believe that the work of the Commission of Inquiry will raise — and, indeed, already has raised — public consciousness about the deplorable plight of the North Korean people.

When we look back at the Holocaust and the murders of millions of innocents in Europe during World War II, many ask why we didn’t do more to stop those atrocities until it was too late for so many who did not survive to see the day the camps were liberated. Some hide behind supposed lack of knowledge, but in this day and age, we have no excuse. Anyone with an Internet connection can use Google Earth to view the modern-day gulags in North Korea.

It is time for the United States and for all who cherish freedom to make it our common cause to pressure the regime to open these camps for international inspection and to make clear that those involved in these horrific crimes will one day be held accountable.
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« Reply #133 on: April 17, 2014, 10:12:32 AM »

Amen to that!

In a not-unrelated vein, some analysts are wondering if the Norks are behind the mysterious explosion that suddenly sank a ferry yesterday or the day before with several hundred people on it.  It would not be the first time the Norks have done this.   Didn't they wipe out the Sork cabinet while in Thailand several years ago or something like that?
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« Reply #134 on: May 05, 2014, 03:45:26 PM »

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/report-n-korea-has-nuclear-warheads-for-missiles/
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« Reply #135 on: October 12, 2014, 07:47:54 PM »

Is Korea up to it's old tricks or does this mean something with regard to power shift in N Korea?

*****The Koreas
Till Kimdom come
An unusual visit to South Korea by a powerful Northern trio raises plenty of questions
Oct 11th 2014 | SEOUL | From the print edition Timekeeper CloseSave this article
 
THE surprise at the Asian games, in the South Korean city of Incheon, did not come on the track. Rather it was when three of North Korea’s most powerful men suddenly appeared on October 4th, the day of the games’ closing ceremony.

The seniority of the men visiting South Korea was unprecedented. Though it was at least the third trip south for Kim Yang Gon, North Korea’s point-man on relations with the South, it was the first for Choe Ryong Hae, thought to be the closest aide of the young dictator, Kim Jong Un—until watchers believed he had been purged in May. Most surprising, however, was Hwang Pyong So, head of the political bureau of the Korean People’s Army and probably the North’s second-in-command.

The trio dropped in with only a day’s notice and had, it appears, no particular message. Still, they were warmly welcomed by the South’s unification minister for lunch and tea; Mr Hwang in turn conveyed Mr Kim’s “heartfelt greetings” to President Park Geun-hye. They also met Ms Park’s national security adviser, Kim Kwan-jin, and the prime minister, Chung Hong-won. After months of refusals, the North agreed to a new round of talks soon.

On the face of things, it marks a transformation of the lousy North-South relations since Ms Park took office last year. North Korea has fired a score of rockets into seas around the Korean peninsula this year. A relentless propaganda offensive has taken aim at Ms Park. Now, North Korea may want to patch up with the South as its relations with China sour. Remarkably, the Chinese media made no mention this week of the 65th anniversary of the two countries’ ties; North Korean mouthpieces returned the compliment. But money usually counts for much with the North. It may be keen to see South Korean trade sanctions eased and to restart hard-currency tours to Mount Kumgang, a resort shut off since 2008, when a soldier shot dead a South Korean tourist.

High-level officials from the North have not come south since the funeral of a former president, Kim Dae-jung, in 2009. Indeed, no one as senior as Mr Hwang has ever visited South Korea before, says Michael Madden, who runs “North Korea Leadership Watch”, a blog. Mr Hwang arrived in full military garb and on Mr Kim’s personal plane. Sending its heavyweights for snaps with foreign officials makes North Korea look “more like a sovereign state, less like a gangster fiefdom”, says Robert Kelly of Pusan National University. North Korea is burnishing its image elsewhere, too. Last month its foreign minister attended the UN’s General Assembly, for the first time since 1999, and in Europe a senior diplomat even met the EU’s top human-rights official.

All this has rumbled on while the young Mr Kim has been out of view. He was last seen on September 3rd, attending a concert with his wife. Mr Kim’s late father, Kim Jong Il, would disappear for months. But his son has been much more visible, and this is his longest absence yet. He even skipped a set-piece meeting of the North’s parliament.

Mr Kim, who may be 31, is fat, drinks heavily and smokes even in front of the cameras. In July he was seen limping. Gout and an ankle injury are thought to be reasons for his “discomfort” announced by state media last month—possibly the first-ever acknowledgment of problems with a North Korean leader’s health.

Now Mr Hwang’s sudden appearance in the South has some wondering who wields ultimate power in the North. Mr Hwang has been promoted five times this year, an “unprecedented, almost scary” rise, says Mr Madden. He gained his most senior title yet, that of vice-chairman of the National Defence Commission—the North’s top executive body, headed by Mr Kim—at the very gathering from which Mr Kim was absent.

Mr Hwang is also an official of the Organisation and Guidance Department (OGD), seen by some as a party within the party and established by Kim Jong Il to keep rivals and relatives in check. It has the power to appoint and dismiss all party members. Jang Jin-sung, a former propaganda official for Kim Jong Il who fled the North in 2004, thinks there has been a power grab. Mr Hwang arrived in Incheon flanked by two bodyguards: a move that Mr Jang sees as lèse-majesté, for hitherto only the supreme leader could ever be seen to be guarded. The trio looked in control, “not like anyone’s delegation”, says Aidan Foster-Carter, an analyst of North Korea at Leeds University. They also stinted in public on flattering the Young Leader; and rather than bridle at questions about his ill health, they denied any problem.

Few besides Mr Jang support the theory of a coup, however. Had the Kim family been overthrown, there would presumably have been troop movements, particularly in sensitive border areas. And, despite strained ties, the top brass would surely first turn to China for reassurance, says Hahm Chai-bong of the Asan Institute, a South Korean think-tank. Still, the tantalising possibility arises of Mr Kim being at the centre of a cult, but not the centre of power.

As soon as the trio had returned home, calls grew in South Korea for a response to their unusual gesture. For the first time, members of the ruling conservative party asked to lift trade sanctions introduced in 2010 after a South Korean corvette was torpedoed, killing 46. Yet just three days after the visit, North and South Korean ships exchanged fire when a Northern patrol boat crossed a disputed maritime boundary. The North can surprise. But it can also be wearyingly predictable.

From the print edition: Asia

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« Reply #136 on: October 29, 2014, 07:35:27 AM »


Mystery Of Kim Jong Un's Disappearance May Be Solved
 
AP      | By KIM TONG-HYUNG 
Posted:  10/28/2014 8:14 am EDT    Updated:  10/28/2014 10:59 pm EDT   
 
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's spy agency believes it has solved the mystery of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's 6-week public absence that set off a frenzy of global speculation, a lawmaker who attended the agency's closed-door briefing said Wednesday.

The National Intelligence Service told legislators Tuesday that a foreign doctor operated on Kim in September or October to remove a cyst from his left ankle, lawmaker Shin Kyung-min said. He said the spy agency also told lawmakers that the cyst could recur because of Kim's obesity, smoking and heavy public schedule.

After last being seen in state media on Sept. 3, Kim reappeared on Oct. 14 hobbling with a cane, but smiling and looking thinner. The speculation during his absence was particularly intense because of the Kim family's importance to the country locked in a long-running international standoff over its nuclear and missile programs. The family has ruled the nation since its founding in 1948.

Shin said the spy agency identified Kim's condition as tarsal tunnel syndrome, an often painful condition that is caused by the compression of a nerve, sometimes because of a cyst. Surgery is generally seen as a last resort after other treatments are unsuccessful.

No weight should be put on the foot for 10 days after an operation, and an improvement in symptoms may take two to three months, according to the website of the NYU Langone Medical Center's Department of Neurosurgery.

It wasn't immediately clear how the information about Kim's condition was obtained by the spy agency, which has a spotty track record of analyzing developments in opaque North Korea.

The agency also told the lawmakers that North Korea has expanded one of its five political prisoner camps in the country. The agency said it believes authorities are relocating inmates held in the Yodok camp, northeast of Pyongyang, to the expanded camp in the northeastern town of Kilju, according to Shin's office.

Shin said the agency also believes that North Korea recently used a firing squad to execute several people who had been close to Kim Jong Un's uncle, Jang Song Thaek, who was considered the country's No. 2 power before his sudden purge and execution in December 2013.

In an intelligence success, South Korea's spy agency correctly said that Jang had likely been dismissed from his posts before North Korea officially announced his arrest.

However, it received heavy criticism when its director acknowledged that it had ignored intelligence indicating North Korea's impending shelling of a South Korean island in 2010. It also came under fire because of reports that it only learned of the 2011 death of then leader Kim Jong Il, the father of Kim Jong Un, more than two days after it occurred when state media announced it to the world.

___

Associated Press writer Hyung-jin Kim contributed to this report
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« Reply #137 on: October 29, 2014, 09:47:15 AM »

I wondered what ankle injury could take a leader out for 6 weeks.  Maybe they flew him to the best in the world, in Cuba, where Hugo Chavez was treated.

"the agency also believes that North Korea recently used a firing squad to execute several people who had been close to Kim Jong Un's uncle, Jang Song Thaek, who was considered the country's No. 2 power before his sudden purge and execution in December 2013."

And Joe Biden thinks he gets rough treatment. 

I wouldn't want to be the doctor who tells Dear Leader he's overweight and smokes too much.
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« Reply #138 on: December 21, 2014, 11:03:39 AM »

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/21/obama-north-koreas-attack-cybervandalism-not-act-w/
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« Reply #139 on: December 21, 2014, 02:40:01 PM »


North Korea acted stupidly. Beer summit!
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« Reply #140 on: December 21, 2014, 03:02:37 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/12/21/obama-has-no-idea-how-to-handle-north-korean-attack-on-private-citizens/
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« Reply #141 on: December 22, 2014, 12:03:54 AM »

http://mediamatters.org/video/2014/12/21/sharyl-attkisson-compares-sony-hack-to-benghazi/201973
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« Reply #142 on: December 25, 2014, 02:07:37 PM »

http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2014/12/norad_santa_says_north_korean.html
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« Reply #143 on: December 26, 2014, 08:09:07 AM »

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/12/24/new-study-adds-to-skepticism-among-security-experts-that-north-korea-was-behind-sony-hack/?emc=edit_th_20141226&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193
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« Reply #144 on: May 16, 2015, 08:37:04 PM »

 North Korea: The Shortcomings of a Successful Missile Test
Analysis
May 15, 2015 | 14:38 GMT
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A man watches a report on a North Korean missile launch at the Seoul Railway Station in March 2014 in Seoul, South Korea. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
Summary

On May 9, North Korea tested its new KN-11 submarine-launched ballistic missile under the watchful gaze of U.S. satellites, aircraft and observation ships. North Korea’s launch was successful: military personnel ejected the missile from underwater, its engine ignited at the surface and it flew about 150 meters (490 feet) before crashing into the sea. Fully developing this technology would extend the reach of North Korean nuclear missile systems and improve the country's second-strike capability in case its ground-based facilities are taken out. The smoothness of the test and the resulting media attention, however, obscure the major obstacles to developing this capacity. Developing the missile technology is one step, but Pyongyang also needs a suitable ballistic missile submarine of the requisite size, endurance and stealth — something that it does not have and will find challenging to develop.
Analysis

Pyongyang is naturally secretive about its submarine-launched ballistic missile program and has carefully guarded the details of it. Because of this, post-test estimates of the program’s progress have varied. An anonymous South Korean defense official told the media that North Korea could develop a fully operational system within two to three years. U.S. officials, however, believe a fully functional system is far from completion and allege the test was not actually carried out from a submarine. Instead, they suggest it was a simulated firing to test an underwater ejection system, perhaps from a towed launch pad.

Fielding a submarine-launched ballistic missile is difficult. The technology is much more complex than land-based missile technology, which itself has already proved challenging for North Korea. Underwater launch first requires a successful ejection system and a gas generator for reducing hydrodynamic resistance. Still, a reliable submarine-launched ballistic missile is not completely out of North Korea’s reach. With time, continuous tests and the necessary resources, the North Koreans could eventually develop a successful system.
North Korea's Geographic Challenge

The technology for the missile system itself, however, is just one aspect of a successful system. A sea-based nuclear missile capability hinges on developing an adequate carrier vessel — a ballistic missile submarine. Without a large, stealthy and long-range submarine, the North Korean submarine-launched ballistic missile effort will simply consume significant resources without altering the nuclear equation.

On paper, North Korea’s submarine fleet is quite large, comprising around 70 vessels. But the majority of these are mini-submarines that displace about 300 tons of water and are unsuited for operations beyond littoral waters. The North Korean navy’s largest submarines at the moment are Chinese Type 033 vessels. These are copies of Russia’s 1950s-era Romeo-class submarines and displace 1,830 tons. Rumors suggest North Korea is developing a replacement for these submarines: the Sinpo-class. These new vessels, however, are unlikely to exceed the capabilities of the improved Type 033 variants currently in use and will be of around the same size, displacing approximately 1,500 tons.

Unfortunately for Pyongyang, the Sinpo-class submarines under development simply do not meet the requirements to be an adequate ballistic missile launching platform. In order to function in this capacity, a submarine would need to be of sufficient size to carry a ballistic missile. The smallest submarine to ever carry a submarine-launched ballistic missile is the Soviet Zulu IV-class, which carried one to two nuclear ballistic missiles, displaced approximately 2,000 tons and was a full quarter heavier than North Korea’s Chinese Type 033 or Sinpo-class submarines. Pyongyang will need bigger vessels in the future to carry one to two missiles in an operational capacity. To carry more would require a new and entirely different class of submarine.

Despite these challenges, the benefits of a fielded submarine-launched ballistic missile are substantial. This capability would give North Korea two advantages not offered by ground-based missiles. First, it would extend the reach of North Korea's missile systems and theoretically enable it to strike targets outside of ground-based missile range. Second, submarine-launched missiles, because they are offshore and mobile, would give North Korea a second-strike capability, allowing it to retaliate against attacks on its land-based nuclear bases and launch pads. These benefits assume, however, that North Korea’s submarines have an adequate level of endurance, the amount of time a vessel can remain at sea unsupported. Submarines would need to be able to remain unsupported long enough to reach targets beyond the range of land-based missiles. In order to fulfill a second-strike role, vessels would need to be deployed for months far from vulnerable ports and remain ready for counterattack.

North Korea’s current Type 033 submarines, even with modifications, cannot meet these endurance requirements. A fully functioning KN-11 missile would have a range of approximately 2,500 kilometers (1,553 miles). The Type 033 submarine has a range of around 15,000 kilometers. This is not enough to approach within 2,500 kilometers of the U.S. mainland and return without at-sea refueling. Were North Korea to refuel these vessels at sea, it would significantly degrade the stealth variable of these vessels.

Stealth would be essential in order to avoid being detected and neutralized by an enemy in long patrols at sea or a mission to the U.S. mainland. The Type 033 is a diesel electric boat and can be stealthy in short missions within littoral waters. Beyond these near-shore environments, however, the submarine would have a more difficult time concealing itself without the noise or clutter typically found in littoral waters. The Type 033 would also be forced to spend significant time at the surface to recharge its batteries by running its diesel engines, a process for which they need atmospheric oxygen. Many of the latest conventional submarines, by contrast, are equipped with air-independent propulsion, which means they do not need to surface to run their engines.

Without an adequate submarine, the resources Pyongyang is investing in new missile technology will not improve the capability of its existing land-based missile program. The missiles in the current KN-08 program will still have greater range and will be able to be more rapidly dispersed in large numbers and in difficult terrain. Eventually, North Korea could develop a suitable ballistic missile submarine, but it would take several years to complete. Such a development would truly change the nuclear equation. For now, however, the successful test conducted May 9 is not going to alter North Korea’s nuclear capability.
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« Reply #145 on: January 10, 2016, 12:53:10 PM »

I forget where I saw this idea recently, but the suggestion was that the Chinese are the ones in the best position to pressure the Norks about their nukes and that the way to pressure the Chinese to do so was to threaten to help/encourage the Japanese to go nuke and develop their military.

edited to add that the suggestion also included the South Koreans.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 03:23:03 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #146 on: January 10, 2016, 03:08:06 PM »

I forget where I saw this idea recently, but the suggestion was that the Chinese are the ones in the best position to pressure the Norks about their nukes and that the way to pressure the Chinese to do so was to threaten to help/encourage the Japanese to go nuke and develop their military.

At this point, both Japan and Taiwan would be best served by going nuclear. Another Obama legacy!
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« Reply #147 on: January 10, 2016, 04:02:01 PM »

I forget where I saw this idea recently, but the suggestion was that the Chinese are the ones in the best position to pressure the Norks about their nukes and that the way to pressure the Chinese to do so was to threaten to help/encourage the Japanese to go nuke and develop their military.
At this point, both Japan and Taiwan would be best served by going nuclear. Another Obama legacy!

Yes, he is the President who ended non-proliferation.  Legitimized NK and paved Iran's path, what could possibly go wrong?  Everyone goes nuclear but the worst countries have no fear of (mutually) assured destruction.

For one thing, if Iran destroyed Israel tomorrow or if NK landed a bomb on Los Angeles, Secretary Kerry would immediately accerate diplomatic efforts with them.  Perhaps require more self inspection.  No one would expect him to strike back. 

And Trump would threaten a trade war.
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« Reply #148 on: January 10, 2016, 04:06:16 PM »

Well if history serves us correctly here NK is playing the same game they always play.

They are all bluff awaiting another appeasing deal the West is great at caving into.

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« Reply #149 on: February 08, 2016, 10:46:33 AM »

By Paul McLeary with Adam Rawnsley

3-2-1. The big news over the weekend was North Korea’s long-range rocket launch which it claimed put a satellite into space. The move, which comes just weeks after the North tested a nuclear device, has rattled world leaders and added to some existing tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Almost immediately upon news of the launch, the U.S. and South Korea announced they were kicking off “formal consultations” over deploying the U.S.-made Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system to South Korea. A statement released on Saturday by U.S. Forces-Korea claimed the system “would be focused solely on North Korea and contribute to a layered missile defense that would enhance the Alliance’s existing missile defense capabilities against potential North Korean missile threats.” But Beijing isn’t so sure.

Beijing unhappy. The Chinese government has long cited concerns over the potential deployment of THAAD’s radar system to South Korea, which can penetrate deep into China. The Lockheed Martin-built THAAD is a long-range missile defense system that can knock ballistic missiles out of the sky at high altitudes, even outside the earth’s atmosphere. Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani said late last year that Tokyo is considering deploying the system the bolster its Patriot missile capability.

And if you need to see what THAAD looks like in action, here’s some video.

As concerning as the North’s actions are, Ben Goodlad, an analyst at IHS Aerospace, Defence and Security, urged some caution. It’s “important to remember that this wasn't a ballistic missile test, however the rocket motors tested during the launch could be used to form the first and second stages of any future weapon," he said. Reports indicate that the satellite launched Sunday weighed about 440 pounds, doubling the weight of a satellite launched in a similar test in 2012.

Blame Clinton (the other one). The launch came up on the campaign trail here in the States, with Republican presidential hopefuls using it to try and secure some national security leverage. Texas Senator Ted Cruz reached back almost two decades in assigning blame for the North’s ability to launch the rocket and continuing ability to test nuclear devices, FP’s John Hudson writes. “The fact that we’re seeing the launch and we’re seeing the launch from a nuclear North Korea is a result of the failures of the first Clinton administration” for loosening sanctions against the nation, Cruz said. “What we are seeing with North Korea is foreshadowing of where we should be with Iran.”
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