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10/01/2020 News & Commentary – Korea

10/01/2020 News & Commentary – Korea

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs

1. North Korea prepares to flex its muscle at military parade

2. New virus cases drop below 100 again, but country braces for potential flare-up during extended holiday

3. As Kim wooed Trump with ‘love letters,’ he kept building his nuclear capability, intelligence shows

4. U.S., S. Korea form 'better foundation' for declaration of war's end: S. Korean envoy

5. North Korea has tried to hack 11 officials of the UN Security Council

6. Pompeo urges religious leaders to speak up for people in N. Korea

7. An apology ricochets in the Koreas

8. Kim Jong Un statement 'not an apology.' U.N. investigator says

9. Handwriting Checks for Whole Neighborhoods After ‘Down with Party Officials’ Graffiti Appears in North Korea

10. N. Korea's spy chief demoted to colonel general

11. Defector rape case highlights widespread abuse of North Korean women

12. Coronavirus Changes South Korean’s Thanksgiving Traditions

13. The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) Launches Its Third Report Based on Satellite Imagery of North Korea’s Kyo-hwa-so No. 12, Jŏngŏ-ri – Update 3

14. India’s Ties to North Korea: Can New Delhi Overcome Challenges to Its Maturing Engagement?

15. North Korea admits ‘faults’ in its fight against Covid-19.

16. Donald Trump Would Continue to Try and Talk With North Korea in a Second Term

17. North Korea: If Reelected, Donald Trump Needs a Step-by-Step Deal With Kim Jong-Un

18. Kim Jong Un’s New Look Is More Man Than Superhuman

 

1. North Korea prepares to flex its muscle at military parade

DW · by Jon Shelton

And give us a fireworks show as well.  (Recall Kim Yo-jong asking for a DVD of the US independence Day celebration.  There have been reports that there will be a huge fireworks show on October 10th as well as the parade)

But of course we will be on the lookout for any unusual military activity.

 

2. New virus cases drop below 100 again, but country braces for potential flare-up during extended holiday

en.yna.co.kr · by 박보람 · October 1, 2020

 

3. As Kim wooed Trump with ‘love letters,’ he kept building his nuclear capability, intelligence shows

The Washington Post · September 30, 2020

Our good friend Chunn Yung-woo makes an important point - the regime has continued to develop nuclear weapons.  We should be under no illusion the regime intends to give them up (but we should still give him the opportunity to do so but without lifting sanctions.).

Excerpts:

“There have been a lot of efforts, but in substance, I see no progress at all,” said Chun Yung-woo, a former South Korea national security adviser who participated in nuclear talks with North Korea in the mid-2000s.

“North Korea is more dangerous. It has more nuclear warheads, or fissile materials with which to produce nuclear weapons,” Chun said. “In that regard, at least, North Korea has more capability to destroy peace on the Korean Peninsula. I wouldn’t describe that as any progress.”

 

4. U.S., S. Korea form 'better foundation' for declaration of war's end: S. Korean envoy

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · October 1, 2020

This excerpt must be fully understood.: "...declare an official end to the 1950-53 Korean War, which he said would provide a security guarantee the North has long sought..."  An end of war declaration is not a security guarantee (for either the north or South).  The security guarantee the regime demands is not found on a piece of paper.  The regime wants an end to the US "hostile policy" as the security guarantee. But it is the definition of the end of the US hostile policy that should concern us.  It is an end of the ROK/US alliance, removal of US troops from the peninsula, an end of extended deterrence and the nuclear umbrella over the ROK and Japan.  This is one of the main objectives of the Kim family regime's political warfare strategy.

 

5. North Korea has tried to hack 11 officials of the UN Security Council

ZDNet · by Catalin Cimpanu

The regime's "all-purpose sword" strike again. The regime's cyber capability is one of its most practical and important capabilities.  North Korean cyber capabilities (or its all-purpose sword) provide key support to the Kim family regime (North Korean leadership) and an integral part of its strategy in the gray zone (below the threshold do strategic response). The regime controls all cyber activities, there are no private entities or rogue elements conducting cyber operations. While we focus on the North Korean nuclear and missile threats and the 4th largest Army in the world, its cyber capabilities pose an immediate threat and play a key role in supporting the regime with funds, with information through espionage, subversive activities against the South, and with the capabilities that someday may be used for advanced operations during conflict or when the regime is desperate to achieve strategic effects against South Korea or the US.  Most importantly, it poses a threat to governments, international organizations, the military, banks, and businesses, the media, think tanks and academia, and individual citizens.  We all must be vigilant.

The question is what are we going to do about it?  

 

6.  Pompeo urges religious leaders to speak up for people in N. Korea

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · October 1, 2020

We must remain focused on human rights as well as security.

 

7.  An apology ricochets in the Koreas

The Christian Science Monitor · by The Christian Science Monitor · September 30, 2020

This is a non-apology apology.  No one should be duped by the regime's political warfare strategy.

 

8. Kim Jong Un statement 'not an apology.' U.N. investigator says

upi.com· by Elizabeth Shim· September 30, 2020

Correct.

 

9. Handwriting Checks for Whole Neighborhoods After ‘Down with Party Officials’ Graffiti Appears in North Korea

rfa.org· by Hyemin Son · September 30, 2020

Low level perhaps but an indicator of resistance potential.

More importantly it brings to light the answer to Dr. Jung Park's question: Who does Kim fear more, the US or the korean people living in the north?  It is the Korean people he fears the most.

Thanks to RFA for this report as this is reporting that can only come from a handful of media organizations (VOA being another one).

 

10. N. Korea's spy chief demoted to colonel general

en.yna.co.kr · by 김광태 · September 30, 2020

I wish we had a Colonel General rank!  But the point is he is still a Colonel General and does not appear to be sent to a gulag.

 

11. Defector rape case highlights widespread abuse of North Korean women

The Telegraph · by Nicola Smith

Such a tragedy.  South Korea must protect escapees from this kind of abuse.  Their human rights must be protected.

 

12. Coronavirus Changes South Korean’s Thanksgiving Traditions

learningenglish.voanews.com

This is quite a change for Korea.  One thing I know from my time in Korea is never to travel on Chuseok (or the Lunar New Year).

As an aside I am sending this to call attention to one of the many important roles of VOA and that is providing some English language exposure to target audiences.

 

13. The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) Launches Its Third Report Based on Satellite Imagery of North Korea’s Kyo-hwa-so No. 12, Jŏngŏ-ri – Update 3

hrnk.org

One of the many important contributions the Committee For Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK) makes is research on and exposure of the north Korean prison system. Those who follow north Korea (in government, in international organizations, and in academia) benefit greatly from this research.

The 59 page report can be downloaded here and it is described in the press release.

Two key points:

“A former prisoner provided HRNK with a gruesome account of the crematory operation: ‘Every Monday, we burned the corpses at Bul-mang Mountain. There’s a place that looked like a house, and we piled up the corpses in the round tank in it.’”

“According to Bermudez, ‘This imagery report takes us another step closer to understanding the cruel system of imprisonment in North Korea and highlights a real place where we know people are suffering beyond imagination. The atrocities committed throughout North Korea’s vast system of unlawful imprisonment, including Kyo-hwa-so No. 12, require the immediate attention of the international community.’"

 

14. India’s Ties to North Korea: Can New Delhi Overcome Challenges to Its Maturing Engagement?

38north.org · by Jagannath Panda · September 30, 2020

An unusual relationship.

 

15. North Korea admits ‘faults’ in its fight against Covid-19.

The New York Times · by Choe Sang-Hun · September 30, 2020

But Kim Jong-un himself will never be blamed. Yet he is responsible.  It is his policy choices that make the people suffer.

 

16. Donald Trump Would Continue to Try and Talk With North Korea in a Second Term

The National Interest · by Miyeon Oh · September 30, 2020

I wish pundits and scholars would stop planting the seeds of a deal to trade US troops in a deal with north Korea. Such a deal would be on a scale of failure that would make Dean Acheson's statement on Korea pale in comparison.

 

17. North Korea: If Reelected, Donald Trump Needs a Step-by-Step Deal With Kim Jong-Un

The National Interest · by Patricia Schouker · September 30, 2020

How many step-by-step deals have we tried?  How many have worked?  Why have they failed?  One reason and one reason only: The nature of the Kim family regime and its strategy.

 

18. Kim Jong Un’s New Look Is More Man Than Superhuman

WSJ · by Andrew Jeong

The importance of the Propaganda and Agitation Department.  But this comment from our good friend Cheon Seong-whun is a critically important assessment.

 

---------------

 

"The truth is cruel, but it can be loved, and it makes free those who have loved it.”

- George Santayana

 

"It is one thing to show a man that he is in error, and another to put him in possession of truth.”

- John Locke

 

"A single lie destroys a whole reputation of integrity.”

- Baltasar Gracian

DanielRiggs Thu, 10/01/2020 - 8:23am


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