Posts Tagged north korea

Korean Ship Detained In Panama With Missiles On Board

From Military Times:

Martinelli said the undeclared military cargo appeared to include missiles and non-conventional arms and the ship was violating United Nations resolutions against arms trafficking.

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China and North Korea: A Tangled Partnership

China and North Korea: A Tangled Partnership is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By Rodger Baker
Vice President of East Asia Analysis

China appears to be growing frustrated with North Korea’s behavior, perhaps to the point of changing its long-standing support for Pyongyang. As North Korea’s largest economic sponsor, Beijing has provided the North Korean regime with crucial aid for years and offered it diplomatic protection against the United States and other powers. To outsiders, China’s alliance with North Korea seems like a Cold War relic with little reason for persisting into the 21st century. However, Beijing’s continued support for Pyongyang is not rooted in shared ideology or past cooperation nearly as much as in China’s own security calculations.

Perhaps nothing sums up the modern relationship more effectively than the oft repeated comment that the two countries are “as close as lips and teeth.” Far from a statement of intense friendship, the completion of that Chinese aphorism — “When the lips are gone, the teeth will be cold” — highlights China’s interest in propping up the North Korean regime. North Korea serves as a buffer state for China’s northeast, and though Pyongyang can exploit that need, the North Korean leadership harbors no illusion that China is truly interested in the survival of any particular North Korean regime so long as Beijing can keep its buffer. Read the rest of this entry »

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N Korea Preps Rockets to Attack U.S.

From The Telegraph:

In the announcement, North Korea said it would “show off our army and people’s stern reaction to safeguard our sovereignty and the highest dignity through military actions.”

The comments were condemned by the Pentagon in the US as “bellicose rhetoric”, who added that the US was ready “to respond to any contingency.”

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Considering a Departure in North Korea’s Strategy

Considering a Departure in North Korea’s Strategy is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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New Sanctions For North Korea

From Sky News:

A resolution passed by the 15-member body added three new individuals and two entities to the UN sanctions blacklist.

It also tightened restrictions on the North’s financial dealings, including “bulk cash” transfers, linked to its weapons programmes.

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Ferocious, Weak and Crazy: The North Korean Strategy

Ferocious, Weak and Crazy: The North Korean Strategy is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By George Friedman
Founder and Chairman

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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North Korean Leader Kim Jong Il’s Death

Special Report from STRATFOR.

December 18, 2011

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died the morning of Dec. 17, according to an official North Korean News broadcast at noon Dec. 19. Initial reports say Kim died of a heart attack brought on by fatigue while on board a train. Kim is believed to have suffered a stroke in 2008, and his health has been in question since.

Kim’s death comes as North Korea was preparing for a live leadership transition in 2012, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim’s father and North Korea’s founding leader, Kim Il Sung, a transition that had been intended to avoid the three years of internal chaos the younger Kim faced after his father’s death in 1994. Kim Jong Il had delayed choosing a successor from among his sons to avoid allowing any one to build up their own support base independent of their father. His expected successor, son Kim Jong Un, was only designated as the heir apparent in 2010 after widespread rumors in 2009 and thus has had little experience and training to run North Korea and little time to solidify his own support base within the various North Korean leadership elements. Now, it is likely that Kim Jong Un’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, will rule behind the scenes as Kim Jong Un trains on the job. Like the transition from Kim Il Sung to Kim Jong Il, it is likely that North Korea will focus internally over the next few years as the country’s elite adjust to a new balance of power. In any transition, there are those who will gain and those who are likely to be disenfranchised, and this competition can lead to internal conflicts.

The immediate question is the status of the North Korean military. Kim Jong Un is officially the Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers Party of Korea and was recently made a four-star general, but he has no military experience. If the military remains committed to keeping the Kim family at the pinnacle of leadership, then things will likely hold, at least in the near term. There were no reports from South Korea that North Korea’s military had entered a state of heightened alert following Kim Jong Il’s death, suggesting that the military is on board with the transition for now. If that holds, the country likely will remain stable, if internally tense.

Kim’s death does not necessarily put an end to recently revived discussions with the United States and others over North Korea’s nuclear program. Pyongyang has increasingly felt pressured by its growing dependence on China, and these nuclear talks provide the potential to break away from that dependence in the long term.

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In North Korea, Even Army Is Starving

Food shortages in North Korea have become so acute that even the traditionally well-fed military is starving, according to hidden camera footage from inside the impoverished communist state.

Based on the footage, shot by an undercover North Korean journalist, ABC News reports: “It is clear that the all-powerful army, once quarantined from food shortages and famine, is starting to go hungry.”

One soldier told the journalist: “Everybody is weak. Within my troop of 100 comrades, half of them are malnourished.”

The regime “used to put the military first, but now it can’t even supply food to its soldiers,” said Jiro Ishimaru, who trained the undercover reporter. “Rice is being sold in markets but they are starving. This is the most significant thing in this video.”

http://news.newsmax.com/?Z64DYtn7uU737iUev.DT36E-6QyexJI1Z

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North Korea Developing EMP Bomb, Electronic Weapons

From ABC News:

The North is believed to be nearing completion of an electromagnetic pulse bomb that, if exploded 25 miles above ground would cause irreversible damage to electrical and electronic devices such as mobile phones, computers, radio and radar, experts say.

The current attempts to interfere with GPS transmissions are coming from atop a modified truck-mounted Russian device. Pyongyang reportedly imported the GPS jamming system from Russia in early 2000 and has since developed two kinds of a modified version.

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North Korea Shells South Korea: Video

This is security camera footage from the South Korean island that was attacked earlier today.

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North Korean Artillery Attack on a Southern Island

This is republished with permission of STRATFOR

RED ALERT

North Korea and South Korea have reportedly traded artillery fire Nov. 23 across the disputed Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the Yellow Sea to the west of the peninsula. Though details are still sketchy, South Korean news reports indicate that around 2:30 p.m. local time, North Korean artillery shells began landing in the waters around Yeonpyeongdo, one of the South Korean-controlled islands just south of the NLL. North Korea has reportedly fired as many as 200 rounds, some of which struck the island, injuring at least 10 South Korean soldiers, damaging buildings and setting fire to a mountainside. South Korea responded by firing some 80 shells of its own toward North Korea, dispatching F-16 fighter jets to the area and raising the military alert to its highest level.

South Korean President Lee Myung Bak has convened an emergency Cabinet meeting, and Seoul is determining whether to evacuate South Koreans working at inter-Korean facilities in North Korea. The barrage from North Korea was continuing at 4 p.m. Military activity appears to be ongoing at this point, and the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff are meeting on the issue. No doubt North Korea’s leadership is also convening. Read the rest of this entry »

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Overview of Potential threat: Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack

“If Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda — or the dictators of North Korea or Iran — had the ability to destroy America as a superpower, would they be tempted to try?

Wouldn’t that temptation be even greater if that result could be achieved with a single attack, involving just one nuclear weapon, perhaps even one of modest power and relatively unsophisticated design?

And, what if the attacker could be reasonably sure that the United States would not know who was responsible for such a devastating blow?

Read the rest of this entry »

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NKorea tensions spike at Asian security forum

Ri Tong-il (C), spokeman for North Korean Foreign Minister Park Ui-chun speaks with mediaduring the sidelines of the 17th ASEAN Regional Forum in Hanoi July 23, 2010.

“HANOI, Vietnam- North Korea on Friday threatened the United States and South Korea with a “physical response” to planned weekend naval exercises as tensions with the communist nation rose in the aftermath of the sinking of a South Korean warship blamed on the North.

In Vietnam for a Southeast Asian regional security forum, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and a North Korean official traded barbs over the ship incident, the upcoming military drills and the imposition of new U.S. sanctions against the North.”

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Headlines/Default.aspx?id=1098560

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North Korea sentences Boston man to 8 years hard labor

Aijalon Mahli Gomes of Boston

Aijalon Mahli Gomes of Boston

“SEOUL — North Korea threatened yesterday to increase punishment for a Boston man who was sentenced to hard labor for illegally entering the country, citing what it called a hostile US policy toward Pyongyang.

Aijalon Mahli Gomes was sentenced in April to eight years of hard labor and fined $700,000 for entering the country illegally and for an unspecified “hostile act.’’

The Obama administration urged North Korea not to link his case with efforts to censure the communist nation for the sinking of a South Korean warship in March.

The United States and South Korea have vowed to hold Pyongyang accountable for the sinking of the warship, in which 46 South Korean sailors died.”

http://www.boston.com/news/world/asia/articles/2010/06/25/nkorea_threatens_reprisal_on_american/

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