Tag Archives: North Korea

North Korean hackers believed to have stolen US-South Korean plans to kill Kim Jong Un


Source: CNBC

“North Korean hackers are believed to have stolen a large amount of classified military documents, including a South Korean and U.S. plan to ‘decapitate’ North Korea’s leadership, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap Tuesday who cited a statement by a ruling party lawmaker. The news agency said that Democratic Party Representative Lee Cheol-hee said that the hackers broke into South Korea’s Defense Integrated Data Center (a center responsible for storing digital military data) in September last year to steal the secret files, with Operational Plans 5015 and 3100 mentioned in the article. Operational Plan 5015 relates to ‘the latest Seoul-Washington scheme to handle an all-out war with Pyongyang, which reportedly contains detailed procedures to ‘decapitate’ the North Korean leadership,’ Yonhap said.” (10/10/17)


South Korea: Regime threatens to drop “blackout bombs” on North

Source: news.com.au [Australia]

“South Korea is ready to deploy graphite bombs that can paralyse North Korea’s power grid in the event of a nuclear war. Military sources told the Yonhap news agency that the ‘blackout bomb’ works by spreading chemically treated carbon graphite filaments over electric facilities to short-circuit and disrupt the electricity grid. The weapons have been developed by South Korea’s Agency for Defence Development, as one element of the Kill Chain pre-emptive strike program. … The bomb is often referred to as a ‘soft bomb’ since it only affects targeted electrical power systems. It was first used by America against Iraq in the 1990—1991 Gulf War and again by NATO against Serbia in 1999.” (10/09/17)


North Korea: Kim reportedly promotes sister to politburo

Source: Fox News

“North Korean state media reported Sunday that leader Kim Jong Un had promoted his sister, Kim Yo Jong, making her an alternate member of the country’s top decision-making body, the politburo. Kim’s appointment of his 28-year-old sibling was viewed as a move to further consolidate his power. … In other appointments Saturday, Kim promoted Kim Jong Sik and Ri Pyong Chol — two of the three men behind Kim’s banned rocket program, Reuters reported. And North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho was named a full member of the politburo, Reuters reported.” (10/08/17)


Russian pol: North Korean regime preparing long-range missile test

Source: US News & World Report

“North Korea is preparing to test a long-range missile which it believes can reach the west coast of the United States, a Russian lawmaker just returned from a visit to Pyongyang was quoted as saying on Friday. Anton Morozov, a member of the Russian lower house of parliament’s international affairs committee, and two other Russian lawmakers visited Pyongyang on Oct. 2-6, Russia’s RIA news agency reported. ‘They are preparing for new tests of a long-range missile. They even gave us mathematical calculations that they believe prove that their missile can hit the west coast of the United States,’ RIA quoted Morozov as saying. … Morozov’s comments drove up the price of U.S. Treasury bonds, as investors, worried about the prospect of new North Korean missile tests, moved into assets the market views as a safe haven in times of uncertainty.” [editor’s note: Could the whole North Korea saber-rattling production be a US Treasury scheme to make it cheaper to borrow money? – TLK] (10/06/17)


North Korea gets second route to Internet via Russia link

Source: Bloomberg

“North Korea now has two ways to get on the internet, thanks to a new connection from Russia, according to cybersecurity outfit FireEye Inc. Russian telecommunications company TransTeleCom opened a new link for users in North Korea, Bryce Boland, chief technology officer for the Asia-Pacific region at FireEye, said in an interview on Monday. Until now, state-owned China United Network Communications Ltd. was the country’s sole connection. Boland was confirming an earlier report by website 38 North that said the Russian connection went live on Sunday.” (10/02/17)


Malaysia: Two women accused of murdering Kim Jong Nam plead not guilty

Source: CNN

Two young women pleaded not guilty in a Malaysian court Monday morning charged with the murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half-brother, Kim Jong Nam. In one of the most audacious assassinations of the 21st century, Kim was poisoned with VX nerve agent at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in February on his way back to his home in the Chinese territory of Macau. Security footage showed the two women, 25-year-old Indonesian Siti Aisyah, and 29-year-old Vietnamese citizen Doan Thi Huong, walking up behind Kim and rubbing their hands on his face. … representatives of Doan and Aisyah said the two women were duped into thinking that they were participating in a prank TV show.” (10/02/17)


Coroner: Evidence inconclusive on Otto Warmbier being tortured in North Korea

Source: ABC News

“Otto Warmbier died on June 19, just six days after he was evacuated from North Korea, where he had been arrested for allegedly trying to steal a propaganda poster in January 2016. … Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco held a press conference Wednesday afternoon to discuss the findings of the coroner’s report on Warmbier’s death, saying that his body was considerably ‘well nourished’ considering he had been bedridden for more than a year, and that the 22-year-old would have had to receive ”round-the-clock’ care. But on Tuesday, his parents appeared on Fox News’ ‘Fox & Friends,’ saying he was tortured. ‘It looked like someone had taken a pair of pliers of rearranged his bottom teeth,’ Fred Warmbier said. Sammarco said there was ‘no evidence of trauma’ to Warmbier’s teeth. When asked by a reporter whether he could have been tortured, she responded, ‘We don’t have enough evidence … to draw any complete conclusions.’ Investigators only documented a few smalls scars to his body, and did not find evidence of any healing fractures that would have happened while he was in North Korea, Sammarco said.” (09/27/17)


The dangerous misunderstanding at the core of the North Korea debate

Source: The Atlantic
by Peter Beinart

“When he unveiled a new national security strategy in 1955, Dwight Eisenhower similarly insisted that, ‘[t]he United States and its allies must reject the concept of preventive war.’ In explaining John F. Kennedy’s refusal to launch a preventive attack during the Cuban missile crisis, Robert Kennedy explained: ‘My brother is not going to be the Tojo of the 1960s.’ … Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy would likely be appalled to find that in 2017, an American president seems to consider preventive war preferable to deterrence. And linguistic subterfuge helps make that possible. George W. Bush helped initiate the rhetorical deceit. In calling his attack on Iraq ‘preemptive,’ he laundered a term for wars launched in response to imminent attack, and thus considered legitimate under international law. Tragically, his lie has stuck. During the Obama administration, the [New York] Times used the term to describe a potential Israeli strike on Tehran. Now the paper uses it to describe a potential American attack on Pyongyang. In so doing, it normalizes something Americans once rightly considered barbaric.” (09/26/17)


North Korea is the most predictable regime on Earth. The real threat is the erratic US government.

Source: The Intercept
by Peter Maass

“For an excruciatingly long stretch of time, the North Korean regime has been saying the same thing (sometimes crazy-sounding) and acting the same way (sometimes firing missiles or detonating nuclear devices) and generally doing a bang-up job of going to the brink but never over it. North Korea has had just three leaders in its entire existence: Kim Il-sung, then his son, Kim Jong-il, then his son, Kim Jong-un. It’s crucial to understand that rather than being a wild card, North Korea is perhaps the most predictable regime in the world; they are not the X-factor in today’s unnerving game. … the dynamics have changed, and it’s not due to the Dennis Rodman-loving Kim Jong-un or the nuclear weapons he is fond of detonating (as was his father, who created North Korea’s nuclear program and oversaw its first detonations — the family’s consistency is as crushing as its brutality). We now have Donald Trump and cable news, playing the 24/7 jester on his West Wing wall.” (09/26/17)


North Korea: Regime notices that Trump declared war, says it can take countermeasures

Source: US News & World Report

“North Korea’s foreign minister said on Monday that U.S. President Donald Trump had declared war on North Korea and that Pyongyang reserves the right to take countermeasures, including shooting down U.S. strategic bombers even if they are not in the country’s air space. ‘The whole world should clearly remember it was the U.S. who first declared war on our country,’ Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters in New York.” (09/25/17)