Category Archives: Koreas

North Korea developing submarine-based missiles: US think-tank | Navy & Maritime Security News at DefenceTalk

“Development of a submarine-launched missile capability would take the North Korean nuclear threat to a new level, allowing deployment far beyond the Korean peninsula.”

Recent satellite images offer fresh evidence of North Korea developing a marine-based missile system that would give the nuclear-armed state a survivable second-strike nuclear capability, a US think-tank said Friday.

The commercial satellite pictures suggest the conning tower of a new North Korean submarine — first seen in July last year — houses one or two vertical launch tubes for either ballistic or cruise missiles, the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said.

“The boat could serve as an experimental test bed for land-attack missile technology which, if successful, may be integrated into a new class of submarines,” the institute said in an analysis posted on its closely-followed 38 North website.

Development of a submarine-launched missile capability would take the North Korean nuclear threat to a new level, allowing deployment far beyond the Korean peninsula.

North Korea developing submarine-based missiles: US think-tank | Navy & Maritime Security News at DefenceTalk

North Korea’s Nukes Are Scarier Than Its Hacks – Bloomberg View

A new analysis of North Korea’s nuclear program by a group of top U.S. experts, led by David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, estimates that North Korea could have enough material for 79 nuclear weapons by 2020. The analysis, part of a larger project called “North Korea’s Nuclear Futures” being run by the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced and International Studies, has not been previously published. Albright said the North Korean government is ramping up its production of plutonium and highly enriched uranium, speeding toward an amount that would allow it to build enough nuclear weapons to rival other nuclear states including India, Pakistan and Israel.

“North Korea is on the verge of being able to scale up its nuclear weapons program to the level of the other major players, so its critical to head this off,” Albright said in an interview. “It is on the verge of deploying a nuclear arsenal that would pose not only a threat to the United States and its allies but also to China.”

North Korea’s Nukes Are Scarier Than Its Hacks – Bloomberg View

North Korea Conducts Ejection Test of Sub-Launched Missile | Washington Free Beacon

U.S. intelligence agencies observed the land-based test of the ejection launcher in late October at a facility known to be a key development center for the communist state’s submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) program, according to two officials with access to intelligence reports.

The launcher also could be used by North Korea to launch ballistic or cruise missiles from the deck of a freighter or other kinds of surface vessels.

A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on the ejection test, citing a policy of not discussing intelligence matters.

The Washington Free Beacon first reported in August that North Korea had launched a program to develop ballistic missile submarines. The program remains clouded in secrecy. North Korea’s government has not responded to reports of the program.

North Korea Conducts Ejection Test of Sub-Launched Missile | Washington Free Beacon

Looking at the path North Korea is on, it would appear that it is positioning itself to destroy South Korea and threaten the US with EMP weapons.

Satellite Photos Show N. Korean Test Stand for Submarine Missile | Washington Free Beacon

Satellite images of a North Korean submarine facility show what appears to be a missile tube being developed for a future ballistic missile submarine.

The commercial imagery was disclosed Tuesday in an article published Tuesday by the group 38 North.

The photos show was appears to be a test stand for a submarine-launched ballistic missile.

“A review of commercial satellite imagery since 2010 covering submarine bases and submarine shipyards has identified a new test stand at the North’s Sinpo South Shipyard, probably intended to explore the possibility of launching ballistic missiles from submarines or of a shipboard vertical launch ballistic missile capability,” wrote Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., a North Korea expert with AllSource Analysis, Inc.

Satellite Photos Show N. Korean Test Stand for Submarine Missile | Washington Free Beacon

North Korea Now Capable of Building Miniaturized Warhead, U.S. General Reports

North Korea probably has the capability to produce a nuclear warhead that could be mounted on a rocket, a top U.S. commander said Friday, moving it closer to building a nuclear missile.

Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. forces on the Korean peninsula, said North Korea now is capable of building a miniaturized nuclear warhead, a step needed to complete development of a nuclear-tipped missile.

Such nuclear warheads would be small enough to fit on a ballistic missile and would be a major improvement to Pyongyang’s weapons technology. Gen. Scaparrotti said he believes North Korea also has developed a launcher that could carry an intercontinental ballistic missile with a miniaturized warhead.

North Korea Closer to Building Nuclear Missile, Pentagon Says – WSJ

If North Korea has that technology, then you can bet Iran has it too. Nothing like helping some friends out for a little cash.

Has North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Been Toppled? – The Daily Beast

Indeed, there are signs that not only has Hwang risen, but also that Kim has fallen. The young ruler did not preside over last’s month meeting of the Supreme People’s Assembly, the first time that has happened since he took power after his father’s death in December 2011. Yes, he may have been ill, but if he was politically healthy, the meeting would have been postponed until he was able to appear.

Also extremely unusual: The reports on the meeting from the state-run Korean Central News Agency mention Kim—first secretary of the Workers’ Party, first chairman of the National Defense Commission, and supreme commander of the People’s Army, all the top positions in the state and party—only at the end and only in passing. In a regime like North Korea’s, these state media reports spell political infirmity.

Has North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Been Toppled? – The Daily Beast

IAEA says sees signs North Korea reactor may be operating | Reuters

Last month, the U.S.-based Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) said that commercial satellite imagery from late June showed that the reactor was active.

“North Korea has apparently made a decision to renovate the aged 5 MW (e) reactor to make plutonium for nuclear weapons for many more years,” it said. “However, without more data, such as regular steam production, it is hard to determine the operational status of the reactor and thus to estimate the amount of plutonium produced by the reactor.”

But there has been a shift in thinking since it conducted a nuclear test in February last year – its third since 2006 – and some experts have said it may be closer than previously thought to putting a nuclear warhead on a missile.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog said it has seen releases of steam and water indicating that North Korea may be operating a reactor, in the latest update on a plant that experts say could make plutonium for atomic bombs.

IAEA says sees signs North Korea reactor may be operating | Reuters

North Korea May Soon Have More Powerful Rocket – NYTimes.com

Satellite images indicate that North Korea is likely to have the ability to launch a longer-range rocket that can carry a heavier payload by the end of this year, according to an American research organization that monitors the North’s activities.

The research organization, the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Affairs, reported Thursday on its website, 38 North, that North Korea’s expansion of its Sohae Satellite Launching Station was on track to be completed by fall. The expansion, which began last year, will enable it to launch a rocket more powerful than the country’s Unha rocket, one of which was used in 2012 to put a satellite into orbit, the report said.

“As a result, the North will be able to conduct new launches from this site before the end of the year should it decide to do so,” the report said.

North Korea May Soon Have More Powerful Rocket – NYTimes.com

Abe Stops Apologizing To China And Korea, While Bowing To The U.S.

Ask almost any citizen, young or old, in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou or Wuhan whether Japan has ever apologized for its aggression against China. They will all answer “no.” People in China believe this because Chinese propaganda organs, particularly since the tenure of Jiang Zemin, have beaten a drum proclaiming that Japan is unrepentant for the war and refuses to apologize.  To which, when Japan apologized again, the organs have declared that the apology was insufficiently humble, specific, sincere, graphic, etc., and was therefore “unacceptable”–i.e., that it was not, in fact, made.

Abe and his circle are plainly tired of this type of self-serving, cynical Chinese response, and have concluded that continuing to seek to mollify Beijing is futile and self-defeating; rather, they in doing so they play into their opponents’ hands.  In this sentiment and decision, he is correctly representing the feelings of the vast majority of Japanese citizens.

Relations with China and Korea are among Abe’s greatest challenges, as he seeks to lead Japan into a “post-war era,” and into becoming “a normal country.”  But the biggest challenge is with the United States, whose geopolitical strategy, now squarely (but mistakenly and perversely) focused on containing Chinese influence, especially in respect of military power, places Japan in the middle of a great power power game.

Abe Stops Apologizing To China And Korea, While Bowing To The U.S.

Beijing asks Seoul to stop providing weapons to Manila | WantChinaTimes.com

The source said that Chinese senior officials demanded the South Korean foreign and defense ministries not send the vessels to the Philippines. Former US president Bill Clinton has also expressed his support for the Philippines in the dispute over the South China Sea. Clinton said that the Philippines is too powerless to deal with China alone.

Clinton suggested that China and all nations claiming the sovereignty over the South China Sea resolve their dispute together through multilateral negotiations. Agence France-Presse said on Aug. 4 that the Philippines has already gained support from Vietnam, Indonesia and Brunei to find a comprehensive solution for the dispute over the South China Sea during the 47th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting held in Naypyidaw, the capital of Myanmar, this week.

The paper reported that China, Japan, South Korea and the United States are all invited to send representatives to attend the meeting in Naypyidaw on Aug. 8. China’s Global Times said it will be a tough battle for Chinese diplomats to fight since they are going to encounter pressures from Japan, Vietnam, the Philippine and the United States over the South China Sea.

Beijing asks Seoul to stop providing weapons to Manila | WantChinaTimes.com