The North Koreans have been getting technical assistance on their weapons programs from somewhere and writer Gordon Chang believes it is China:
China has helped build North Korea’s ballistic missile program by providing important military equipment and technology, a U.S. expert claimed Wednesday.
In an interview on Fox Business, Gordon Chang, an East Asia security expert, said Chinese President Xi Jinping has been “fueling” the regime in Pyongyang with transfers of “very important” weapons, equipment and technology.
“They’re weaponizing the North,” he said, citing the ballistic missile program in particular.
The intercontinental ballistic missiles North Korea fired on July 4 and 28 were transported to their launch sites on Chinese mobile launchers, according to Chang, author of “The Coming Collapse of China.”
“Those mobile launchers make North Korea a real threat because their missiles can now hide,” he said.
Other North Korean missiles launched in August last year and February and May this year also appeared to be variants of China’s JL-1 submarine launched missiles, according to the expert. [Yonhap]
You can read more at the link.
I would not be surprised if these North Korean propaganda leaflets being found in the Seoul area are not being distributed by the North Koreans, but instead South Korean leftist sympathizers:
This photo shows a propaganda leaflet, allegedly from North Korea, that was found on a street near South Korea’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Oct. 16, 2017. (Yonhap)
– A number of what appear to be North Korean propaganda leaflets have been spotted inside South Korea’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae and in nearby areas, the office confirmed Monday, prompting suspicions over how they found their way into the highly secured area.
The small propaganda bills were seen scattered on streets near the presidential office, while some were even found in the yard of Chunchugwan, the Cheong Wa Dae press center that sits on the eastern side of the presidential office, according to Cheong Wa Dae security officials.
North Korean leaflets are not hard to find in South Korea while the communist state is said to periodically send leaflets using balloons and unmanned aerial vehicles, but it marked a rare incident for such bills to be found near the presidential office. [Yonhap]
You can read more at the link.
The architect behind the failed 1994 Agreed Framework, Robert Gallucci has joined the chorus to restart talks with North Korea though they have repeatedly said they don’t want to:
Former U.S. nuclear negotiator Robert Gallucci said Monday that North Korea might not be interested in talks on its nuclear and missile programs until it secures an intercontinental ballistic missile capability that levels the playing field with the U.S.
“Maybe it’s true that the North has no interest at this moment in having the negotiations that involve its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles,” Gallucci said in a lecture at Seoul’s Yonsei University.
“Some suspect in the U.S that they don’t want to enter through negotiations with the U.S… until they have demonstrated an ICMB capability that makes the U.S. vulnerable to them… so that they have leveled the playing field,” he added. “That’s possible.” [Yonhap]
You can read the rest at the link, but Gallucci in the article tries to blame the Trump administration for not restarting talks though he even states in the article the North Koreans are likely waiting to perfect their ICBM before wanting to pursue talks.
Here is how the North Koreans were able to get access to OPLAN 5015:
A South Korea lawmaker recently disclosed that hackers suspected to be North Korean gained access to Seoul’s highly secured military intranet in September 2016 and made off with the US and South Korea’s secret war plans.
“It’s a ridiculous mistake,” the lawmaker, Rhee Cheol-hee, told The Wall Street Journal.
North Korean personnel reportedly attacked a South Korean cybersecurity firm and embedded themselves in the software. South Korea’s military used the software on its military computers, but the North Koreans still shouldn’t have been able to get in because Seoul keeps its internet, or outwardly connected network, separate from its intranet, or private network.
But it took only one computer plugged into both the internet and the intranet for the North Koreans to break in, The Journal reported.
“They should have removed the connector jack immediately after maintenance work,” Rhee said.
As a result, North Korea reportedly got ahold of Operation Plan 5015, the US and South Korea’s secret war plan to kill the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. [Business Insider]
Maybe someone with IT experience can tell me why an unclassified networked computers needs to be plugged into a classified network for maintenance reasons?
Here is the latest development in regards to drying up foreign currency to the Kim regime:
Korean waitresses play music at the Pyongyang Okryu-Gwan North Korean Restaurant in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on July 25, 2017. The UAE said Thursday, Oct. 12, it will stop issuing new visas to North Korean laborers, becoming the latest Gulf country to cut back on ties to Pyongyang.
The United Arab Emirates said Thursday it would stop issuing new visas to North Korean workers, becoming the latest Gulf country to limit Pyongyang’s ability to evade sanctions and raise money abroad amid tensions with the U.S.
A statement by the UAE Foreign Ministry did not address the hundreds of North Korean laborers already working in the Emirates. A call to the UAE’s Embassy in Washington was not immediately returned.
The statement said the UAE would pull its non-resident ambassador to North Korea as well as stop North Koreans from opening new businesses in the Emirates, a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula that is a staunch U.S. ally. [Associated Press]
You can read more at the link, but it just makes you wonder why the US government did not put this type of pressure on these governments before to cut ties?
Hyon Song-wol, the leader of North Korea’s Moranbong singing troupe and reportedly a former girlfriend of leader Kim Jong-un’s, was elected to the Workers Party’s Central Committee on Saturday. [Chosun Ilbo]
Here is the latest speculation from experts on what North Korea plans to do next:
Two key officials in charge of North Korea’s missile development were absent at recent major events, a mass rally in Pyongyang on Saturday and the Workers Party anniversary on Tuesday.
Neither Ri Man-gon, who oversees the party’s department in charge of nuclear weapons and missile development, nor Kim Rak-gyom, the head of the Strategic Rocket Forces who is in charge of ballistic missile launches, showed up.
That has given rise to speculation that they are busy somewhere else preparing for a fresh missile launch. [Chosun Ilbo]
You can read more at the link.