Picture of the Day: North Korea Tells Chinese News Media “To Mind Their Own Business”

N.K. blasts Chinese media on nuke coverage

An article carried by the Rodong Sinmun, the organ of North Korea’s ruling party, on Sept. 22, 2017, blasts Chinese media for criticizing the North’s nuclear program. The article, published on Page 6, called out different outlets of China, the biggest patron of the North, by names and called their news coverage “an act of the blind whose eyes are open and the deaf and dumb” who cannot understand the essence of the nuclear issue. “They had better mind their own business, before impudently pointing an accusing finger at others,” it said. (Yonhap)

Magnitude 3.2 Earthquake Detected in Vicinity of North Korean Nuclear Test Site

I wonder if this earthquake was caused by a collapsing tunnel at the nuclear test site which hopefully isn’t leaking out radiation now:

A 3.2 magnitude earthquake detected near North Korea’s nuclear test site Saturday was judged to be a natural quake, South Korea’s weather agency said.

The tremor occurred at 5:29 p.m. , 20 kilometers southeast of the country’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the northeastern province where the North conducted its sixth nuclear test Sept. 3, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration.

The agency upgraded the scale of quake from its earlier assessment of the 3.0 magnitude.

“The quake has been analyzed to have occurred naturally,” an agency official said. “A sound wave, which is usually generated in the event of an artificial earthquake, was not detected.”

The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) said that it detected two seismic events in North Korea, but they were “unlikely (to have been) man-made.”  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link.

Defector Describes Sex Slaves and Brutal Executions in North Korea

As with many of these defector accounts it is impossible to know how true the claims really are:

A North Korean defector has told of Kim Jong Un’s teen sex slaves, lavish caviar lunches and gory public executions. Hee Yeon Lim, 26, is the daughter of a high-ranking soldier from Pyongyang and a member of the regime’s inner circle.

But when her father, Col. Wui Yeon Lim, 51, passed away, she and her family decided to flee the country in 2015. Now in South Korea, Hee Yeon has spoken of what life was like inside the secretive rogue state.

She told the Mirror she saw “terrible things” in her home city of Pyongyang despite her family’s relative privilege. She said officials came to her school to pick out teen schoolgirls to work at the chubby dictator’s homes. The escapee said they would only choose the prettiest girls, who were taught to feed him caviar and massage him.

If they refused, they would “disappear,” she said.

Hee Yeon — who has met the despot — also told how he would dine out on imported delicacies like caviar and Chinese “bird’s nest soup,” which can cost $2,700 a kilo (2.2 pounds).

And she described one occasion when she was forced to watch as a group of 11 musicians accused of making a pornographic video were slaughtered. Hee Yeon told how she and her classmates were ordered out of their classrooms in the middle of the day by soldiers who took them to a stadium at the city’s Military Academy.

She said the hooded and gagged victims were brought out and tied to the end of anti-aircraft guns in front of some 10,000 spectators. The escapee then recalled how the guns were fired one by one, saying: “The musicians just disappeared each time the guns were fired into them.  [New York Post]

You can read more at the link.

Itaewon Bar Owners Indicted for Scamming Foreign Tourists

This is an example of why I never use a credit card in a bar or restaurant when traveling overseas.  Scams like this I remember were common in the villes outside US military bases back in the day:

A promise of a fun night out at a bar in Itaewon left an American tourist with a booze tab totaling 17 million won ($15,000).

Seoul police said on Thursday owners and employees at three bars in Itaewon, Yongsan-gu, have been indicted without detention for overcharging foreign tourists.

One of the indicted bar owners, surnamed Lee, allegedly charged an American tourist 17 million won for drinks he had during his one hour and 40 minutes stay at the bar.

The tourist found out about this overcharging only after returning to the US and receiving his credit card bill.

Two other indicted bar owners allegedly conspired to rip charge a German tourist about 7.9 million won.

The police are investigating whether the bar owners deliberately intoxicated the tourist, as traces of zolpidem and other narcotics were found in his hair.  [Korea Herald]

You can read more at the link.

Picture of the Day: ROK Anti-Aircraft System

Launcher of S. Korea's anti-aircraft missile system

Children climb up the launcher of the surface-to-air guided missile system, Cheongung, during an event at the 18th Fighter Wing in the city of Gangneung on South Korea’s eastern coast on Sept. 21, 2017, to celebrate the first independent sortie that the Air Force made from Gangneung Air Base during the 1950-53 Korean War. (Yonhap)

North Korean Foreign Minister Threatens to Conduct Hydrogen Bomb Test Over the Pacific

Would such a test be pretext to launch a bombing strike, especially since they would have to fire over Japan to do this nuclear test?:

The United States began using the Marshall Islands as a nuclear testing site beginning in 1946.

Hours later, Kim’s foreign minister told reporters in New York that Pyongyang could launch a nuclear missile test in response. “This could probably mean the strongest hydrogen bomb test over the Pacific Ocean. Regarding which measures to take, I don’t really know since it is what Kim Jong Un does,” said Ri.  [CNN]

You can read more at the link.

Kim Jong-un Replies Directly to President Trump’s UN Speech By Calling Him A “Dotard”

Here is Kim Jong-un’s reaction to President Trump’s speech to the UN General Assembly:

Famous for using bombastic, derogatory and often-awkward English slams against enemies, North Korean state media sent people scrambling for dictionaries Friday with a dispatch that quotes leader Kim Jong Un calling President Donald Trump “the mentally deranged U.S. dotard.”

The what?

Dotard means a person in a feeble or childish state due to old age. It’s a translation of a Korean word, “neukdari,” which is a derogatory reference to an old person.

It was used in an unusual direct statement from Kim that the Korean Central News Agency transmitted verbatim in response to Trump’s speech at the U.N. this week, in which he mocked Kim as a “Rocket Man” on a “suicide mission,” and said that if the U.S. is “forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”  [Associated Press]

You can read more at the link.  Here is what President Trump had to say via Twitter in response:

Wouldn’t it be great if Kim Jong-un got his own Twitter account and him and President Trump could just have a Twitter war instead of going back in forth in the media like this?

North Korea Owes New York City $156,000 In Parking Tickets

Good luck New York City trying to get this money out of North Korea:

As if the U.S. and North Korea hadn’t had enough bilateral tensions, outstanding parking fines from North Korea’s diplomatic mission to the U.N. add insult to injury. According to NBC New York, the mission owes as much as $156,000 to the city of New York for more than 1,300 unpaid tickets that date back to the 1990s.

Jong Jo, identified as secretary of North Korea’s U.N. mission, came to his country’s defense. “It is false,” Jong told NBC New York. “Whenever we have a ticket, we pay. Because, you know, if we have three tickets the city does not allow us to renew their permission.”

In fact, a 2002 Memorandum of Understanding between the State Department and New York does allow the city to deny a diplomatic parking decal from vehicles that have three or more unpaid parking tickets, NBC New York reported. Even though the majority of tickets accrued by the diplomatic mission occurred after 2002, the city said that debt from parking tickets prior to that year still has to be paid.  [Newsweek]

You can read more at the link.

Would North Korea Be Willing to Use Their Missiles to Launch Future Provocations Against the United States?

Here is an excerpt from article forwarded to me that speculates how the Kim regime may try and use their missiles to launch provocations against the United States to cause a split in the US-ROK alliance:

You can read the rest at the link.  However, I don’t think the Kim regime would use their missiles to launch a provocation against the United States because the South Koreans would have to back US retaliations as part of the US-ROK alliance.  However, where things muddier is what if he launched a missile provocation against Japan?  Would the South Korean government be willing to back retaliation in support of Japan?