Report Claims North Korea Preparing for SLBM Test

Could an Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile test be the next North Korean provocation?  I guess we will find out:

This undated picture released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on August 25, 2016 shows a test-fire of strategic submarine-launched ballistic missile being launched at an undisclosed location. KNS/AFP/Getty

The Pentagon says the U.S. is “well postured” to deal with a possible submarine-launched ballistic missile from North Korea.

The Japanese daily Tokyo Shimbun reported last week that North Korea has completed development of five prototypes for an upgraded SLBM and will likely test it soon.

Pentagon spokesman Robert Manning wouldn’t comment on any matters of specific intelligence regarding North Korea on Monday – but said within the deep arsenal of U.S. capabilities, Washington is well postured to deal with it.  [KBS Global]

You can read more at the link, but an SLBM test is something that has been speculated on for many months.

US Secretary of State Says He is Willing to Meet with North Korea to Discuss the Weather

Another ICBM test has quickly changed the calculations at the State Department in regards to talks with North Korea:

Rex Tillerson

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday that Washington is willing to begin talks with North Korea without preconditions.

Tillerson’s remark came as tensions have increased over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs with its latest test of an intercontinental ballistic missile on Nov. 29.

“We’re ready to talk whenever North Korea is ready to talk and we’re willing to have a first meeting without preconditions,” he told a forum here. “We can talk about the weather if you want.”

It was a markedly different tone from Washington’s earlier insistence that Pyongyang first halt its missile and nuclear testing and demonstrate its sincerity about denuclearization.

“I don’t think it’s realistic if you say we’re only going to talk if you give up your programs,” Tillerson continued. “It really depends on how you bring it up. He’s clearly not like his father or his grandfather, and we don’t know what it will be like to engage with him.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

Report from Imagery Experts Claims North Korea Preparing for Seventh Nuclear Test

It appears that the Kim regime is ready to nuke Mt. Mantap again:

North Korea appears to be preparing for another nuclear test despite probable aftershocks from its sixth and largest nuclear test, Sept. 3, still occurring, according to American experts on Pyongyang.

In a joint analysis released Monday, Frank Pabian, Joseph Bermudez Jr. and Jack Liu, citing satellite imagery, said there has been a “consistently high level of activity” at North Korea’s main nuclear test site in Punggye-ri.

The analysis was released by 38 North, a U.S. website specializing in North Korea-related issues.

The analysts claimed the suspected activity was detected at the West Portal, leading to an unused tunnel complex, but not the North Portal, where five of the six tests took place.

“Despite the continuation of small tremors near Mt. Mantap since North Korea’s last nuclear test, tunnel work at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site is still underway,” they said. “These efforts continue to be concentrated at the West Portal, leaving the North Portal…mostly dormant and likely abandoned, at least for the time being. At the West Portal, there has been a consistently high level of activity since North Korea’s last nuclear test.”

The activity included the routine presence of vehicles and personnel around the portal, movement of mining carts to an adjacent spoils pile and signs of fresh spoils being dumped there.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

Convicted US Military Wannabe Pimp Was Allowed to Become a Foster Parent

I never thought I would see the face of Gregory McQueen gracing the pages of the Stars & Stripes ever again after his conviction for trying to be a pimp at Ft. Hood, but I was wrong:

Gregory McQueen

On paper, Gregory McQueen must have seemed like a great candidate to become a foster-care parent in Texas.

A married man and Army veteran, McQueen had served as battalion representative on a task force to prevent sexual harassment at Fort Hood in central Texas.

But some important information didn’t show up in a state background check before a foster-care agency hired McQueen and his wife last March to care for abused and neglected children

Two years ago, former Army 1st Sgt. McQueen pleaded guilty to more than a dozen military charges for attempting to run a prostitution ring in Fort Hood. As part of the plea deal he was demoted to private, sentenced to 24 months in prison, was stripped of his retirement pay and received a dishonorable discharge.  [Stars & Stripes]

You can read more at the link, but I would hope the Defense Department is aggressively pursuing the updating of national databases because clearly people like McQueen should not be a foster parent.  With that said what kind of background checks are being done when a simple Google search would have exposed McQueen’s background that was highly publicized?

Picture of the Day: Comfort Women on Truk

New records of comfort women found for South Pacific island

These photos provided by the Seoul City government on Dec. 11, 2017, show South Korean comfort women who were taken to the South Pacific island of Truk. City officials said they found U.S. military documents and other material that show 26 Korean women were taken to the South Pacific island as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during World War II. The Japanese military had a naval fleet on the island. (Yonhap)

Dennis Rodman Advocates for Basketball Game Between North Korea and the US Territory of Guam

The unofficial US ambassador to North Korea, Dennis Rodman now is advocating for a basketball game to be played between North Korea and the US territory of Guam:

Dennis Rodman plans to organize a basketball game between North Korea and the U.S. territory of Guam, the retired basketball star said Monday, as he seeks to personally mitigate a dangerous war of words between Washington and the isolated, nuclear-armed state.

“We thought, ‘This would be awesome!’” Rodman said in an interview in Beijing, his third stop on a “humanitarian tour” of Asia to promote peace between the U.S. and North Korea. “The people in Guam are all about it. They love it. You get a team from North Korea, get these guys from Pyongyang. Play it in Beijing.”

Guam’s national basketball team’s head coach, E.J. Calvo, said in an email that “this possible game would be a great opportunity.”

“We hope to inspire our young players and with something like this, the positive impact could be much greater,” he wrote.  [LA Times]

You can read more at the link, but like I have said about efforts to get North Korea to participate in the Olympics, why is sports diplomacy being used with North Korea, but not when Apartheid South Africa existed?  During its existence Apartheid South Africa was shunned from most international sporting competitions.  The Kim regime has a far worse human rights record than Apartheid South Africa ever had and are arguably the greatest threat to world peace today and yet people are begging the North Koreans to participate in international sporting events.

Just like Apartheid South Africa, the Kim regime should be shunned from international sporting events not championed to participate in them.

Former Defector to North Korea, Charles Robert Jenkins Dies of Heart Problems

The sad Cold War era tale of Charles Robert Jenkins has come to an end:

This file photo taken on October 12, 2005 shows U.S. army deserter Charles Jenkins, who spent 40 years in North Korea, showing off his new book “To Tell the Truth,” which was published in Japanese last week, at a press conference in Tokyo. Charles Jenkins, a U.S. Army deserter who spent four decades in communist North Korea and married a Japanese woman abducted by Pyongyang, has died at the age of 77, officials said on December 12, 2017. / AFP-Yonhap

Charles Jenkins, a U.S. soldier who defected to North Korea and became a movie star there, has died in Japan, according to reports on Tuesday. He was 77.

The former U.S. sergeant died on Sado island on Monday, where he was living with his wife Hitomi Soga, also a former prisoner of North Korea.

He was among four U.S. soldiers who defected to the North in 1965 and was the only one who was released. The others reportedly died in the isolated state, including James Dresnok, who was said to have died of a stroke in 2016.

According to the BBC, Jenkins collapsed outside his home and died of heart problems in hospital. His wife said in a statement that she was “very surprised” by his death and “cannot think of anything,” according to AFP.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link, but what is interesting about this death is that back in August 2017 Jenkins said in an interview that the North Koreans wanted him dead:

Then there was the apparent assassination of Kim Jong Nam — Kim Jong Un’s half-brother — in a Malaysian airport in March. Two women ambushed Kim with VX nerve agent, one of the world’s most toxic substances. To Jenkins, it was a reminder that Pyongyang’s brutality knows no bounds — and no one is immune.

“I worry about my daughters more than anything,” he said as he drove his Subaru along the coast. He has forbidden them to comply if Japanese police should attempt to pull them over while driving. Anyone could be a North Korean agent.

“North Korea give them enough money, you don’t know what they’ll do,” he said. “North Korea wants me dead.”

Jenkins’ death is probably just a coincidence, but it is kind of eerie how he died so soon after making that statement.  Jenkins was a heavy smoker so heart problems from his smoking is definitely plausible.

You can read more about Jenkins’ time in North Korea from this interesting interview he gave back in 2006.  You can also read his book, The Reluctant Communist: My Desertion, Court-Martial, and Forty-Year Imprisonment in North Korea that was actually a very good read.  Despite being a deserter, I always appreciated how Jenkins took responsibility for his own actions and did not try to blame others for what happened to him.

Condolences to the friends and family of Charles Robert Jenkins.