Keyword: pyongyang

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  • N. Korea: Pyongyang now more than one-third smaller; food shortage issues suspected

    07/22/2010 1:00:43 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 15 replies · 2+ views
    Asahi Shimbun ^ | 07/17/10 | ASAHI SHIMBUN
    Pyongyang now more than one-third smaller; food shortage issues suspected THE ASAHI SHIMBUN 2010/07/17 SEOUL--The long-term effects of continued food shortages have apparently reached the city limits of North Korea's capital. According to news agency Radiopress, which monitors North Korea, the physical size of Pyongyang's administrative district has been recently reduced by more than one-third. It said Radio Pyongyang and other state-run domestic media have recently introduced the counties of Kangnam-gun, Junghwa-gun and Sangwon-gun as well as the Sungho district as being under the jurisdiction of neighboring Hwanghae-bukdo province. The counties and the district previously belonged to Pyongyang. South Korean...
  • Chinese leaders privately debated N. Korea, backed stability and Kim dynasty

    06/30/2010 9:23:31 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 3 replies
    Inside China/ ^ | 6/23/2010 | Willy Lam
    A report by the Council on Foreign Relations stated last week that China has not signed on to the U.S. goal of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula and its main interest remains support for North Korea as a way to maintain regional stability. Evans Revere, an analyst at the Albright Stonebridge consulting group and member of a CFR task force on U.S. policy toward the Korean peninsula, said China is “very deeply conflicted” on North Korea. “We've seen that played out since March 26th, the sinking of the Cheonan, where the initial Chinese reaction to the sinking of that ship by...
  • Kim Jong-un elected to parliament

    06/29/2010 8:53:40 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 16 replies · 1+ views
    JoongAngDaily ^ | 6/30/2010 | Lee Young-jong
    Kim Jong-un, the youngest son and possible heir of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, was elected to the parliament of the one-party communist state in March of last year, a Western source told a small group of reporters in Seoul. “We confirmed Kim Jong-un was elected as a representative from District 216 through North Korean sources two months after the election,” the Western source said. The Supreme People’s Assembly is a rubber stamp for the Communist Party and is comprised of high-ranking Communist Party officials. The election of Kim Jong-un, 27, is further evidence that he is being groomed to...
  • Report: Kim Jong-Il's top aides protecting 'Dear Leader' from reality

    06/29/2010 2:20:13 AM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 7 replies
    East Asia ^ | 6/16/2010 | East Asia
    North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il's grip on state affairs is weakening as officials deliver false and exaggerated reports to please the ailing leader, according to a report here. "Kim Jong-Il's subordinates are duping their leader with false or deliberately incomplete reports on national affairs," JoongAng Ilbo newspaper said, citing a government source in Seoul. "The Dear Leader", 68, and his top aides have apparently been speeding up the process to transfer his power to third son and heir-apparent Kim Jong-Un due to concerns about his declining health condition, according to a separate source in Seoul. "Kim is increasingly dependent on...
  • N. Korea says it will bolster nuclear deterrent in a 'newly developed way'

    06/28/2010 1:34:38 AM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 7 replies · 1+ views
    Yonhap News ^ | 6/27/2010 | Chang Jae-soon and Sam Kim
    North Korea said Monday it will bolster its nuclear arsenal "in a newly developed way" to counter what it calls U.S. hostile policy and military threats toward the communist nation. The North also claimed in a separate statement that the U.S. has brought "heavy weapons" into a truce village that straddles the divided Koreas, warning of strong military action if they are not quickly withdrawn. North Korea has stepped up its fiery rhetoric against the U.S. in recent weeks after Washington sided with Seoul in condemning Pyongyang for the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship in March. "The recent...
  • North Korea seeks $65 trillion in damages from US (Barf Alert)

    06/24/2010 11:58:03 AM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 25 replies
    Economic Times ^ | 6/24/2010 | Economic Times
    Cash-strapped North Korea demanded on Thursday that the United States pay almost $65 trillion in compensation for six decades of hostility. The cost of the damage done by the United States since the peninsula was divided in 1945 is estimated at $64.96 trillion, the official news agency said, in a report on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the start of the 1950-53 Korean War. The figure includes $26.1 trillion arising from US "atrocities" which left more than five million North Koreans dead, wounded, kidnapped or missing, KCNA said. Six decades of US sanctions had caused a loss of...
  • Chinese article admits N. Korea began war in 1950

    06/25/2010 7:11:38 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 24 replies
    JoongAngDaily ^ | 6/25/2010 | Christine Kim, Chang Se-jeong
    A feature article from a Chinese magazine was struck from the Internet after news spread that it stated that the Korean War was started by North Korea’s invasion of the South. The lengthy feature in Xinhua’s International Herald Leader, timed for the 60th anniversary of the start of the war, had a time line that stated: “The North Korean military crossed the parallel on June 25th, 1950 and Seoul was taken in four days.” The article was widely distributed among Chinese news portals and agencies. After news of the story spread in Korean yesterday, the original article was found to...
  • US mulled North Korea nuclear strike in 1969: documents

    06/23/2010 8:51:08 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 5 replies
    AFP via Google News ^ | 6/24/2010 | AFP via Google News
    The United States studied a plan for a nuclear strike on North Korea in 1969 but advisers to then-president Richard Nixon concluded it was best to remain calm, declassified documents showed Wednesday. The documents, obtained by the National Security Archive at George Washington University, foreshadow present-day US frustration on how to handle Pyongyang following its nuclear tests and the sinking of a South Korean ship. In 1969, North Korea shot down a US spy aircraft over the Sea of Japan (East Sea), killing the 31 personnel on board. Despite US outrage, the new Nixon administration chose not to retaliate other...
  • North Korean defector from submarine crew goes public on Cheonan attack

    06/18/2010 8:48:01 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 29 replies · 1,144+ views
    East-Asia Intel ^ | 6/9/2010 | East-Asia Intel
    A North Korea submarine crew member has gone public for the first time to disclose details of Pyongyang's submarine operations. Lee Kwang Soo, 46, is the sole crew member remaining from the captured North Korean Sango class submarine that ran aground on a South Korean beach during an espionage mission in September 1996. North Korean submarine captured by South Korea in 1996. Lee broke his silence after the international investigation revealed Pyongyang’s role in the torpedo attack against the South Korean ship Cheonan. "I have seen 130-ton Yeoneo class submarines several times," he explained, refuting the North Korean claim to...
  • [N. Korea]Pyongyang area: anti-aircraft sites (about 500 of them marked on the google map)

    06/10/2010 1:39:17 AM PDT · by TigerLikesRooster · 10 replies · 104+ views
    Pyongyang area: anti-aircraft sites
  • North Korea's 'Torch Group' leverages family, party ties for illicit fortunes

    06/04/2010 7:03:46 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 5 replies · 345+ views, ^ | 6/2/2010 |,
    Western intelligence agencies have identified an unofficial group of North Korean elite who use their connections to party and military leaders to engage in counterfeiting and drug trafficking. The "Ponghwajo" or Torch Group is led by Oh Se-Wan, the son of a senior leader in North Korea's National Defense Commission, Gen. Oh Kuk-Ryol, who is a key player in the succession of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il to his son, Kim Jong-Un. The group has operated internationally and within North Korea since at least 2005. Members are said to be similar to China's so-called "princelings" — sons and daughters of...
  • Tokyo clamps down on cash flow to Pyongyang from ethnic Koreans in Japan

    06/04/2010 6:50:40 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 5 replies · 298+ views
    East-Asia-Intel ^ | 6/2/2010 | East-Asia-Intel
    Japan has acted to further tighten restrictions on cash flowing to Pyongyang following the North's torpedo attack on a South Korean warship that killed 46 sailors There are some 600,000 ethnic Koreans in Japan, many of whose ancestors were forcibly repatriated by Japan's wartime military as slave laborers during Tokyo's 1910-1945 occupation. Of these, about 200,000 are pro-Pyongyang Koreans affiliated with the Chongryon organization, while the rest favor the South. Many Chongryon members run coin-operated gambling parlors equipped with slots and pachinko machines. The North Korean regime has demanded residents in Japan who have relatives in the North to send...
  • US concerned over Myanmar's military ties with North Korea

    06/03/2010 11:12:57 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 238+ views
    Times of India ^ | Times of India
    The United States is concerned over Myanmar's "growing military ties" with North Korea and will work to ensure a UN ban on arm exports from Pyongyang is enforced, a Pentagon spokesman said on Friday. US defense secretary Robert Gates's press secretary said the United States was closely monitoring Myanmar's cooperation with North Korea in light of UN Security Council resolutions banning Pyongyang from exporting weapons or nuclear technology. "We are concerned with growing military ties with the DPRK (North Korea) and are following it closely to ensure that the multiple UNSCRs (UN Security Council resolutions) are enforced," press secretary Geoff...
  • Russians to study warship sinking probe

    05/31/2010 1:38:04 AM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 6 replies · 686+ views
    AFP via Yahoo News ^ | 5/31/2010 | AFP via Yahoo News
    Russian experts arrived in Seoul on Monday to review findings of an investigation that blamed North Korea for the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship, as the South sought to build support for U.N. punishment of the North. If Russia endorses the multinational probe's conclusions, the move could convince China and other major powers to support possible U.N. sanctions against Pyongyang for the sinking two months ago of the Cheonan, which killed 46 sailors. The South Koreans shared the investigation's findings with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao last weekend before a summit, but Beijing has yet to blame North Korea...
  • Behind Beijing's intransigence on N. Korea: Monroe Doctrine with Chinese characteristics

    05/28/2010 9:14:53 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 334+ views ^ | 5/26/2010 | By Willy Lam*
    High-level lobbying by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has failed to persuade the Chinese leadership to do anything substantial regarding Pyongyang's sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan in late March. Diplomatic sources in the Chinese capital said State Councillor Dai Bingguo privately told the American delegation — which just ended the second bilateral Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SED) in Beijing — that Chinese diplomats would privately urge the Kim Jong-Il regime to refrain from further provocative acts against South Korea. But there would be no public statements from Beijing condemning Kim’s latest act of brinksmanship. At the end of...
  • Pyongyang'd Again

    05/26/2010 8:52:21 PM PDT · by XHogPilot · 12 replies · 507+ views
    Real Clear Politics ^ | 26 May 2010 | David Warren
    A North Korean submarine torpedoed and sank a South Korean gunboat in March, killing 46 sailors. This was the conclusion of a thorough investigation by experts from the U.S., Australia, Britain, and Sweden, last week. The White House then decried "an act of aggression," omitting that it was also an act of war. Perhaps the greatest tactical error in diplomacy is to make a threat you are not prepared to act on. The Bush administration earned a reputation for being as good as its word, alas at the sacrifice of much public support. The Obama administration has already squandered its...
  • North Korea gets army battle-ready: Report

    05/26/2010 1:16:40 AM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 21 replies · 976+ views
    Hindustan Times ^ | 5/25/2010 | Hindustan Times
    North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has put the Stalinist state's army on combat alert amid rising tensions after the March sinking of a South Korean warship was blamed on Pyongyang, a news report said on Tuesday. A high-ranking official read Kim's orders on national television last week, South Korea's Economic Daily newspaper said, citing reports by North Korean refugees. The order was issued after Seoul said Thursday that investigations had concluded that a torpedo fired by North Korea was responsible for the March 26 sinking of the corvette Cheonan, which killed 46 South Korean sailors. Kim did not want...
  • S. Korea to continue punishing N. Korea despite threats: official

    05/26/2010 12:53:16 AM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 8 replies · 691+ views
    Yonhap News ^ | 5/26/2010 | Sam Kim
    South Korea will continue to carry out its retaliatory measures against North Korea for the sinking of its warship, despite Pyongyang's announcement that the communist state will sever all ties with Seoul, an official here said Wednesday. Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung also said in a briefing that Pyongyang notified the South it was cutting off its hotline with South Korea at their truce village as well as their maritime communication links. North Korea said late Tuesday it would end dialogue with Seoul for the remainder of South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's tenure and expel personnel from a joint consultative...
  • BUSTED: "Is DELL Computer Aiding N. Korea [Weapons Program] In Violation of US Federal Law?"

    05/25/2010 12:56:42 AM PDT · by AmericanInTokyo · 102 replies · 2,151+ views
    Just found this photo from Communist North Korea from several days ago apparantly during one of dictator Kim Jong il's "on the spot guidance tours".and also here: Note the manufacturer of the computer monitor (and presumably the hard drive itself) (Dell Computer, Round Rock, Texas, USA), which General Secretary Kim Jong-il is inspecting. Link to article on North Korean news through Japanese website: LINK
  • North Korean leader Kim orders military to be on combat footing: report

    05/24/2010 6:53:41 PM PDT · by rdl6989 · 84 replies · 2,646+ views
    Reuters ^ | May 24, 2010
    It's just a banner now on Reuters home page.
  • Lee says Seoul ready to invoke self-defense against future N.K. provocation

    05/24/2010 12:57:28 AM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 10 replies · 735+ views
    Yonghap News ^ | 5/24/2010 | Lee Chi-dong
    South Korea said Monday it will unhesitatingly exercise its right of self-defense in the event of future armed provocation by North Korea and freeze all of its remaining exchanges with the communist neighbor, except for Kaesong industrial park. Announcing a set of tough punitive steps against Pyongyang for its fatal attack on one of its warships in March, President Lee Myung-bak said his government will request the U.N. Security Council take up the case."From now on, the Republic of Korea will not tolerate any provocative act by the North and will maintain a principle of proactive deterrence," the president said...
  • The Pakistan-North Korean Nexus

    05/22/2010 10:17:39 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 2 replies · 200+ views ^ | 3/8/2010 |
    Pakistan's arms supply relationship with North Korea dates back to 1971 when the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, then foreign minister under the late General Yahya Khan, visited Pyongyang and sought North Korean arms supplies to strengthen the Pakistani armed forces in the face of a looming war with India. Pakistan then did not have diplomatic relations with North Korea. The visit led to the signing of an agreement on September 18, 1971, 10 weeks before the outbreak of the war with India, for the supply of North Korea-made conventional weapons to Pakistan. Under another agreement signed the same day, the...
  • DPRK Hardliners Sink Talks?

    05/21/2010 8:43:02 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 1 replies · 360+ views
    The Diplomat ^ | 5/21/2010 | Patrick Cronin
    The official investigation is over. After weeks of careful technical review, an expert team of South Korean, US and European investigators believe that a North Korean torpedo blew in half and sunk a South Korean Navy corvette on March 26. The torpedo not only struck its immediate intended target (killing 46 sailors in the process), but has also undermined planned nuclear arms talks. On Thursday, officials in Seoul released critical evidence with photos of the recovered wreckage showing colossal damage to the keel. The Ministry of National Defense simulated striking the ROKS Cheonan near the ship’s gas turbine room—a strike...
  • Talk of War in North Korea is good.

    05/21/2010 2:25:54 AM PDT · by joey703 · 5 replies · 341+ views
    Breaking Down Borders: Korea ^ | March 21, 2010 | Joe
    Anyways, talk of war is just people like us realizing that South Korea is definitely taking a leading role in this crisis by internationlizing this incident as it forces China and to an extent the U.S. to address the issue. So here, when we read about 3,000+ articles about the possibility of war, it's actually a good thing. Yes, I'm saying it's a good thing [well, not so much for China] as it puts a giant magnifying glass on both China and obscure, little North Korea. This makes the political and diplomatic price of China supporting North Korea very expensive...
  • GOTTA SEE THIS: Anti-North Korea Rally in Seoul/N. Korean Announcer Declares War is Coming (VIDEO)

    05/20/2010 11:53:48 PM PDT · by AmericanInTokyo · 109 replies · 4,368+ views
    FNN News, Japan (TV) via Yahoo! Japan ^ | 21 May 2010 | FNN News, Japan (original in Japanese) video clip
    Video Link is HERE.Video may stream for 1/2 more day. Not all systems can stream. Hit the white triangle in the center of the photo of the irate South Korean demonstrators bashing the cr*p out of an effigy of a North Korean torpedo, with sledgehammers, in busy downtown Seoul today.**NOTE THE CLOSING SECONDS OF VIDEO WITH RABID NORTH KOREAN TV GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCERETTE ON PYONGYANG (NORTH) KOREAN CENTRAL NEWS TV JUST TODAY DECLARING THAT NORTH KOREA WILL GO TO WAR AGAINST THE SOUTH IF THEY TRY TO DO ANYTHING UNWARRANTED IN RESPONSE.** She/he/it(?) spits this out in usual psychotic North...
  • North Korea shipping arms to Hamas, Hizbullah

    05/13/2010 9:33:19 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 3 replies · 290+ views
    World Tribune ^ | 4/13/2010 | World Tribune
    North Korea was said to have become the latest military supplier to Hamas. Officials said North Korea has received orders from Iran for a range of missiles, rockets and other weapons for Hamas and Hizbullah. They said the orders were submitted in late 2009 with the first attempt at deliveries in February 2010. We saw this kind of cooperation only two or maybe three months ago with the North Korean plane in Bangkok with huge numbers of different weapons with the intention to smuggle these weapons to Hamas and Hizbullah," Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on May 12. Lieberman...
  • Get Ready for DPRK Collapse

    05/13/2010 4:35:55 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 27 replies · 792+ views
    The Diplomat ^ | 5/12/2010 | By Minxin Pei
    The motives behind North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s ‘unofficial’ visit to China last week may not be that hard to decipher. Most analysts suspect he went to see his most important patron to seek more aid and, in all likelihood, his Chinese patrons would have thrown a bone or two to him to bribe him back to the increasingly meaningless Six-Party Talks. But if the stakeholders in East Asia’s peace and stability focus their attention on whether China’s prodding will lead to a more fruitful outcome in dismantling North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme this time, they’re simply wasting their time....
  • China Prefers Devil It Knows

    05/13/2010 5:30:54 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 4 replies · 194+ views
    The Diplomat ^ | 5/10/2010 | By Richard Weitz
    Following his return from a May 3-7 visit to the People’s Republic of China, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il affirmed his government’s willingness to respect his hosts’ desires and resume participation in the Six-Party Talks on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula at an appropriate time. The talks have remained suspended following an upsurge in tensions last April, when the UN Security Council imposed additional sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea after North Korea launched a ballistic missile under the guise of testing space rockets. Pyongyang responded defiantly by withdrawing from the talks and then testing another nuclear weapon, the...
  • SKorean minister: Torpedo likely sank warship

    04/25/2010 2:51:39 AM PDT · by Enchante · 9 replies · 609+ views
    AP via Yahoo News ^ | April 25, 2010 | HYUNG-JIN KIM
    SEOUL, South Korea – An explosion from a torpedo likely sank a South Korean warship that went down near the tense border with North Korea last month, the South's defense minister said Sunday amid growing speculation Pyongyang may be behind the blast. Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said the most likely cause of the disaster was a torpedo exploding near the ship, with the force of the underwater blast ripping the vessel apart. Investigators who examined salvaged wreckage separately announced Sunday that a close-range, external explosion likely sank it. "Basically, I think the bubble jet effect caused by a heavy torpedo...
  • S.Korea raises warship, finds clues on sinking (torpedo)

    04/24/2010 2:03:58 AM PDT · by XHogPilot · 63 replies · 4,104+ views
    Yahoo News ^ | 24 April, 2010 | Jon Herskovitz and Jungyoun Park
    South Korea on Saturday raised the front half of a warship that exploded and sank a month ago near a contested sea border with North Korea, finding clues that support growing suspicions Pyongyang attacked the vessel. The 1,200-tonne corvette Cheonan sank in what military officials said was a torpedo attack. Forty-six South Korean sailors were killed in what could be one of the deadliest strikes by Pyongyang on its rival since the end of the Korean War. The North denies involvement. South Korea's president on Friday gave the clearest signal yet Seoul had no plan to launch a revenge attack,...
  • Would-Be Assassins' Route (South Korea) (Map Included) Released

    04/20/2010 5:06:51 PM PDT · by AmericanInTokyo · 41 replies · 2,279+ views
    Chosun Ilbo (original in Korean) ^ | 21 April 2010 | Chosun Ilbo daily news
    In connection with the breaking news out of South Korea, here is a Korean language map from South Korean daily conservative newspaper Chosun Ilbo, showing the land and air routes the potential assassins (two males; highly trained) took from North Korea under orders from North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, until they were arrested in the South. Will post other breaking news as it comes in. No photographs have emerged yet of the two arrested and or whether weaponry was found on their persons.
  • North Korea succession moves seen as sign Kim's health declining

    04/01/2010 10:38:55 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 4 replies · 387+ views
    Geostrategy Direct ^ | 3/30/2010 | Geostrategy Direct
    The Kim Jong-Il regime in North Korea is moving closer to appointing Kim's son as the new dictator by preparing official portraits of Kim Jong-Un. The Daily NK, which boasts of having sources and communications with people inside the totalitarian state, reported March 15 that authorities in Pyongyang are preparing to distribute portraits of Kim Jong-Un, Kim's youngest son. Some analysts have interpreted the portrait preparations as a further sign in the decline of Kim's health. The leader suffered a stroke last year but U.S. intelligence analysts said he appeared to have recovered after treatment by foreign doctors. Lee Young...
  • China is not the key to North Korea

    03/19/2010 12:20:12 AM PDT · by joey703 · 150+ views
    Breaking Down Borders: Korea ^ | March 17th, 2010 | Joe
    It's as if China wishes to project this image that the country does have leverage over North Korea. But, as argued in this book and as I have been saying all along in this blog... However, Scott Snyder puts it best when he writes: Thus, China's increased use of aid, trade, and investment as vehicles for enhancing political influence on North Korea has thus far worked in precisely the opposite manner, making China hostage to and enabler of North Korean provocations (132). Moreover, if you think about it, if Korea ever does re-unifiy, I believe a unified country will be...

    03/03/2010 9:47:40 PM PST · by Velveeta · 532 replies · 5,882+ views
    3/3/2010 | Freeper Collaboration
    Image by Cool Text: Logo and Button Generator
  • 'New Iran rocket launch site shows NKorea links'

    03/05/2010 9:52:13 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 23 replies · 638+ views ^ | 3-06-2010 |
    Iran is building a new rocket launch site a short distance from an existing complex in the north of the country, and seems to be working with North Korea, information group IHS Jane's has said. Construction visible from satellite imagery of the new site, near the city of Semnan east of Tehran, seems to suggest that Tehran has been collaborating with Pyongyang, said the London-based defence intelligence group. Iran unveiled the Simorgh space-launch vehicle (SLV) on February 3, but had not yet publicly revealed the location of the rocket's launch complex, it reported on Friday. But Jane's said it had...
  • Plush life of Pyongyang’s power leaders

    03/05/2010 8:14:47 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 21 replies · 688+ views
    Associated Press ^ | 03/06/2010 | Associated Press
    A North Korean colonel who spent two decades going on European shopping sprees for his country’s rulers said the late dictator Kim Il Sung lived in luxury while many people struggled to survive in his impoverished communist nation, sometimes even eating bark. Kim Jong Ryul, who spent 16 years undercover in Austria, also described Thursday how the “great leader” and his son and successor Kim Jong Il spent millions pampering and protecting themselves with Western goods - everything from luxury cars, carpets and exotic foods, to monitors that can detect the heartbeats of people hiding behind walls and gold-plated handguns....
  • Seeking Pyongyang’s train of thought

    02/05/2010 1:44:52 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 5 replies · 257+ views
    JoongAng Daily ^ | 02/05/2010 | JoongAng Daily Analysis
    A competition between military leaders to show the most loyalty toward North Korean leader Kim Jong-il may have been behind the North’s firing artillery shells near the inter-Korean maritime border in the Yellow Sea last week. But that may not have been the only motive. Kim Jong-il reportedly gave the go-ahead for the North’s military to fire shells and it’s possible the move was meant as a saber-rattling display intended to gain leverage with the United States. “It is highly likely that the reclusive nation’s excessive devotion to its leader led to the shooting,” a high-ranking South Korean defense official...
  • 400,000 troops needed to secure N. Korea and its 'loose nukes'

    01/29/2010 3:53:40 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 9 replies · 414+ views
    World Tribune ^ | 1/25/2010 | Donald Kirk
    If there's one sure way to infuriate the North Koreans, it's to talk of "regime collapse" and "contingency planning". As far as Pyongyang is concerned, such speculation is proof positive of United States-led plotting of a "pre-emptive strike". Against this background, one should not be surprised if the North Koreans see a study conducted by Rand Corporation analyst Bruce Bennett and Dartmouth College scholar Jennifer Lind as the most conclusive evidence to date that the planning is in an advanced stage. Considering Rand's contracts with the U.S. defense establishment, one has to perceive the study as a scenario for an...
  • Iran acquires upgraded non-conventional missiles from North Korea

    01/25/2010 1:15:07 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 13 replies · 705+ views
    Geostrategy Direct ^ | 1/25/2010 | Geostrategy Direct
    Iran has acquired surface-to-air missiles modified with chemical weapons. Western intelligence sources said Iran has acquired modified SA-2 air defense systems from North Korea. They said Pyongyang has converted the SA-2 from a surface-to-air to a surface-to-surface missile. "The North Koreans took an old clunky SAM system and turned it into a tactical non-conventional missile with excellent accuracy," an intelligence source said. The sources said Iran was believed to have acquired the converted SA-2 in 2008. The system has been deployed along the Iranian coast near Qatar in what has become escalated regional tension. The heritage SA-2, a 1950s-era Soviet...
  • Japanese Reports Kim Jong il's Son Kim Jong Un Birthday to Be Celebrated in North Korea (Jan. 8th)

    01/05/2010 7:00:55 AM PST · by AmericanInTokyo · 13 replies · 595+ views
    Jiji Press from North Korean Refugees Based in South Korea Using N. Korean Sources ^ | 5 January 2010 | Jiji Press in Japan (original in Japanese)
    Word is being reported that the Communist Government of North Korea is preparing people to celebrate JANUARY 8TH, as the birthday of Kim Jong-il son and heir apparant Kim Jong-un. This is the first time there have been public reports of celebrations or observances of such a birthday.No word yet on any DPRK speeches, songs or other commemorations, but it remains to be seen if he is elevated in any way as additional steps to transfer power to him. Already there are reports the notoriously lying North Korean media is faking sonny boy's true age and getting him into his...
  • North Korea may conduct nuclear test, while calling for peace

    01/02/2010 10:31:33 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 4 replies · 434+ views
    Space War ^ | 12/30/2009 | Lee Jong-Heon
    North Korea is likely to conduct a nuclear test next year in an attempt to boost itself as an atomic power and shore up the regime's legitimacy at home as Pyongyang prepares for a dynastic power transfer, South Korea's state-run think tank warns. North Korea is also expected to launch more long-range ballistic missiles and provoke military clashes along the heavily fortified border with South Korea, the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses said in its 2010 outlook. North Korea conducted its second nuclear test last May following its first in 2006, which led to tougher trade and financial sanctions by...
  • Koreas set to link modern military hot lines: officials

    12/22/2009 1:51:16 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 189+ views
    Yonhap News Service ^ | 12/22/2009 | Sam Kim
    South and North Korea were poised Tuesday to link their military hot lines they have been working to modernize, an official in Seoul said, just a day after Pyongyang raised tension by declaring the western sea border its firing zone. Construction aimed at linking the optical cable lines began on Dec. 1 and is expected to end later Tuesday, Moon Sang-gyoon, an official at the Ministry of National Defense, told reporters. The sides, technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, plan to test the lines on the west and east coasts on Thursday and Friday,...
  • Seized North Korean arms 'bound for Iran'

    12/21/2009 9:25:28 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 5 replies · 423+ views
    Space War ^ | 12/21/2009 | Staff Writers Via Space War
    A planeload of North Korean arms seized in Bangkok was reportedly bound for Iran, which has been buying up large amounts of weaponry in recent months as it braces for a possible onslaught by Israel, and possibly the United States. Mystery has shrouded the destination of the Georgian-registered Ilyushin Il-76 cargo plane that was found be to carrying 35 tons of arms, including surface-to-air missiles and rocket launchers, in 12 crates when it was detained during a refueling stop on Dec. 11 following a tip-off from U.S. intelligence. The five-man crew, all former Soviet air force members from Belarus and...
  • Unlocking Russian Interests on the Korean Peninsula

    12/21/2009 2:27:57 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 2 replies · 450+ views
    U.S. Army Professional Writings ^ | 10/2009 | Major John Bauer
    The close relationship that once existed between Moscow and Pyongyang is a relic of the Cold War. In fact, there is reason to believe that the two neighbors now share little in common. Yet decades ago, the Soviets exercised tremendous influence over the North Korean regime, anecdotally evidenced by Kim Il-sung's fateful request to Josef Stalin asking to invade the South in 1950. Stalin, after much consternation, finally gave his approval.1 By deferring to Stalin, Kim Il-sung sought continued Soviet support, which he received for roughly 40 years until the breakup of the Soviet Union. In the early 1990s, however,...
  • North Korea declares disputed waters 'firing zone'

    12/21/2009 12:39:42 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 9 replies · 553+ views
    Associated Press via Yahoo ^ | 12/21/2009 | Associated Press via Yahoo
    South Korea – North Korea declared waters along its disputed sea border with South Korea a "firing zone" Monday and warned ships from the South to stay away from the area, which was the scene of a deadly clash last month. The naval command in Pyongyang accused the South of "reckless military provocations" in the area in an attempt to hold on to what it called an illegal border. It accused its neighbor of violating its waters and staging military drills in the area and vowed to protect its border by force. North Korea does not recognize the sea border,...
  • 'Matter of time' before N.Korea miniaturises nuke: report

    12/20/2009 11:54:27 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 2 replies · 305+ views
    Space War ^ | 12/20/2009 | AFP via Space War
    North Korea will eventually be able to make a nuclear warhead small enough to fit in a missile, a news report said Sunday. Seoul's Yonhap news agency, citing the state-run Korea Institute for Defence Analyses (KIDA), said Pyongyang developing the technology to achieve miniaturisation was inevitable. "It is believed that North Korea has not completed the technology for the miniaturisation... of nuclear warheads," KIDA said in a report to be issued in January, according to Yonhap. But KIDA said it is "just a matter of time", noting the country has a high-explosives test site and an estimated 3,000 nuclear scientists...
  • NKorean weapons were bound for Mideast: US spy chief

    12/20/2009 11:59:09 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 3 replies · 426+ views
    Space War ^ | 12/20/2009 | AFP via Space War
    An illicit North Korean arms shipment seized in Thailand last week was destined for the Middle East, the head of US intelligence said Friday. About 30 tonnes of sanctions-busting weapons were confiscated in Bangkok on Saturday but it had remained unclear where the North Korean shipment was headed. "Teamwork among different agencies in the United States and partners abroad just last week led to the interdiction of a Middle East-bound cargo of North Korean weapons," Dennis Blair, the director of national intelligence, wrote in a commentary in the Washington Post. Blair's reference marked the first public comment by the administration...
  • North Korean arms plane linked to East European arms traffickers

    12/15/2009 1:27:55 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 9 replies · 755+ views
    The Times Online ^ | 12/15/2009 | Anne Barrowclough
    The weapons laden plane seized in Bangkok en route from North Korea at the weekend has been linked to two renowned East European arms traffickers by a respected Swedish think-tank in the latest twist in the mysterious saga. The Ilyushin-76 aircraft, which was found to be carrying 35 tons of weapons including rockets and grenades, was most recently registered under a company called Beibars, linked to Serbian arms dealer Tomislav Dmanjanovic. It had previously been registered with three companies identified by the US Department of the Treasury as firms controlled by the notorious Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, according to...
  • Report: Iran delays missile test after N. Korea fails to ship components

    12/13/2009 8:39:11 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 1 replies · 402+ views ^ | 12/16/2009 |
    Iran's military has postponed a test firing of a new intermediate-range ballistic missile after a shipment of parts from North Korea was delayed, Japan's Kyodo news service reported Dec. 6. The report quoted a western diplomatic source in South Korea familiar with North Korean issues as saying that Tehran told Pyongyang that it needs electronic components for improving the missile's accuracy that were ordered from North Korea. The delay in delivering the parts is a source of friction between the two countries, the source said. According to the report, North Korea has said it shipped the components in 10 containers...
  • U.S. Fails to Persuade N.Korea Back to 6-Way Talks

    12/10/2009 5:36:05 PM PST · by AmericanInTokyo · 15 replies · 704+ views
    Chosun Ilbo News, Seoul (English) ^ | 11 December 2009 | Chosun Ilbo, Seoul, S. Korea (English)
    A visit to North Korea by U.S. envoy Stephen Bosworth ended in failure Thursday to convince the North to return to multilateral nuclear disarmament talks. "We identified some common understandings on the need for and the role of the six-party talks and the importance of the implementation of the 2005 Joint Statement," Bosworth told reporters. "It remains to be seen when and how [North Korea] will return to the six-party talks." He added, "This is something that requires further consultations among all six of us." But Bosworth claimed he had "very useful" meetings with senior North Korean officials. Further bilateral...