Category Archives: Koreas

Did North Korea Just Launch a Chinese Missile? | The National Interest

“Bechtol thinks it unlikely Pyongyang obtained Western technology, so the leading candidates for the source of this missile are Russia and China.”

As Bechtol points out, the North Koreans are adept at stealing weapons tech, buying it, and getting it with the help of rogue scientists and engineers. “All that is certain today is that the North Koreans did not develop this missile system completely on their own,” he told me, “and the missile fired Sunday as a land-based missile and several months ago as an SLBM has almost exactly the same appearance and capabilities as the Chinese JL-1.”

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“This is truly dangerous,” Fisher tells me. North Korea has “crossed the line from failure-prone, liquid-engine, long-range missiles to long-range, solid-fuel ones.” And now, having made it to the other side of the threshold, it can make rapid improvements: “We can now expect the North will soon produce solid-fuel, intermediate- and intercontinental-range ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles.”

Moreover, to make matters worse, the Pukguksong-2 is carried on a transporter-erector-launcher, essentially a truck. That means the North Koreans can hide missiles before shooting them.

Did North Korea Just Launch a Chinese Missile? | The National Interest

Given that North Korea and Iran are working together on missiles and nuclear weapons, it won’t be long before Iran has the same technology if it doesn’t have it already.

North Korea sacks head of secret police amid signs of ‘crack in elite’ – One America News Network

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea has dismissed its minister of state security, a key aide to the reclusive state’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, South Korea said on Friday, in what a high-profile defector said would be another sign of a “crack in the elite” in Pyongyang if true.

Kim Won Hong was removed from office as head of the feared “bowibu”, or secret police, in mid-January apparently on charges of corruption, abuse of power and human rights abuses, Jeong Joon-hee, South Korea’s Unification Ministry spokesman, said, confirming media reports.

North Korea sacks head of secret police amid signs of ‘crack in elite’ – One America News Network

North Korean Defector Says Kim Jong-Un’s Control Is Crumbling – The New York Times

The highest-ranking defector from North Korea in years said on Wednesday that the days of the country’s leadership were “numbered,” and that its attempts to control outside information were not working because of corruption and discontent.

“I am sure that more defections of my colleagues will take place, since North Korea is already on a slippery slope,” the defector, Thae Yong-ho, said during a news conference in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. “The traditional structures of the North Korean system are crumbling.”

North Korean Defector Says Kim Jong-Un’s Control Is Crumbling – The New York Times

China’s boost to North Korean nukes – Washington Times

On Sept. 9, Pyongyang tested a 20- to 30-kiloton nuclear weapon, perhaps suitable for a warhead, and some estimate it could have 100 nuclear weapons by 2020. But it is China’s launchers, perhaps up to eight of them, according to Japanese reports, which will give North Korea’s ICBMs the mobility they need to conduct surprise nuclear strikes against the United States and then to evade U.S. counter-attack.

This gets even more troubling. In June 2012, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun, citing an anonymous Japanese “government” source, reported that on Aug. 1 2011, the “spy satellites of Japan, the United States and South Korea” observed a Cambodian ship transporting four of the Chinese missile launchers from Shanghai to the North Korean port of Nampo. But despite this early knowledge, the Asahi report stated, “On the urging of the United States, the three governments also decided not to publicize the shipment of the vehicles to avoid publicly embarrassing China.” Unbelievable.

China’s boost to North Korean nukes – Washington Times

Here’s How China Will Test Trump With North Korean Nukes – The Daily Beast

China is demanding South Korea not defend itself from North Korean missiles and nuclear weapons, which Beijing has helped Pyongyang develop.

Now, China is threatening South Korea over THAAD. And Beijing’s move is especially outrageous. It has been helping the North Koreans develop nuclear weapons and missiles by, among other things, supplying uranium, components for nukes, mobile launchers for long-range ballistic missiles, and maybe even plans for submarine-launched missiles. At the same time, China is demanding the South not defend itself from the threat it has been creating.

If Beijing succeeds, it will be even more emboldened to take on the United States, and the heightened Chinese belligerence could fast become the 45th president’s biggest problem.

Here’s How China Will Test Trump With North Korean Nukes – The Daily Beast

China, Russia reportedly agree “countermeasures” over U.S. missile defense plan in South Korea (THAAD) – CBS News

Both Russia and China, North Korea’s now largely estranged ally, see the deployment as exceeding what is necessary to defend against any North Korean threat, and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said it would “directly affect strategic security of Russia and China.”

That could “add fuel to the fire of an already tense situation and even possibly wreck the regional strategic balance,” Wang said in April.

Their remarks came days after President Obama told CBS News’ Charlie Rose that the U.S. was working fast to position missile defenses in the region.

China, Russia reportedly agree “countermeasures” over U.S. missile defense plan in South Korea (THAAD) – CBS News

Trump Has Four Main Options for Stopping North Korean Missiles

Here are four options that Trump may consider to make good on his statement.

Military Strike

In 1994, the U.S. deployed an aircraft carrier for a potential strike on North Korea’s nuclear compound, according to a memoir published in 2000 by former South Korean President Kim Young-sam. The crisis ended after talks between ex-President Jimmy Carter and North Korean founder Kim Il Sung.

The costs of a strike would be higher now. North Korea’s arsenal has grown with five nuclear tests since 2006. A surgical attack risks provoking a full-fledged war that could kill millions of people on the peninsula — including in South Korea, a key American ally.

Trump Has Four Main Options for Stopping North Korean Missiles

US Intel Images Suggest Another N. Korean Missile Launch Site

The silo, an underground chamber used for storing and firing missiles, seems analogous to the one at a missile base in Tabriz, Iran, with the same 7.4-meter-wide sliding cover and the same type of exhaust vents, the intelligence consultancy told VOA on Tuesday.

That U.S.-based group added that this rectangular-shaped structure appears large enough to house current North Korean missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads that can strike neighboring countries, such as South Korea and Japan.

“If this Iranian site is housing missiles and the North Korean site that we have uncovered is the exact same dimension, then it’s quite possible that the site that we have uncovered is housing missiles as well,” said Ryan Barenklau, founder of Strategic Sentinel.

He also suggested a possible nuclear cooperation between the two countries.

US Intel Images Suggest Another N. Korean Missile Launch Site

North Korea ‘racing ahead’ on nuclear plan, defector says – CNNPolitics.com

Political uncertainty in the United States and in South Korea could give North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “an apt time” to develop nuclear weapons “at all costs by the end of 2017,” a high-profile North Korean diplomat who recently defected to South Korea said Tuesday.

“Due to domestic political procedures, North Korea calculates that South Korea and the US will not be able to take physical or military actions to deter North Korea’s nuclear development,” Thae Yong-ho, formerly No. 2 at the North Korean Embassy in London, said in a news briefing, according to the Yonhap News Agency.

North Korea ‘racing ahead’ on nuclear plan, defector says – CNNPolitics.com