Putin Says Global Strike to Disarm North Korea Possible, But Outcome Would Be Uncertain

Here is the latest on what Russian strongman President Vladimir Putin had to say about the current crisis over North Korea’s nuclear program:

Vladimir Putin

A global strike to disarm North Korea would be possible, yet its outcome uncertain, as it is a “closed state,” Russian President Vladimir Putin stated.

“Let us speak to the point, after all – can someone launch a global disarming strike? Indeed. Will it reach its targets? It’s unclear because no one knows for sure what is where,” Putin said while addressing the 2017 International Forum on Energy Efficiency on Wednesday.

He added there is no “100 percent knowledge” about North Korea’s objects as it is “a closed country.”

Meanwhile, Putin said, coercive rhetoric against Pyongyang and attempts “to speak from a position of strength” only give more power to the North Korean leadership.

The Russian leader urged all sides to cool down their rhetoric and engage in dialogue.

“All sides must ease rhetoric and find ways for face-to-face dialogue between the United States and North Korea, as well as between North Korea and countries in the region,” he said.

“Only this would help find balanced and reasonable decisions.”

“At any rate, it is not my cup of tea to define and assess policies of the United States president,” Putin added.  [Russia Today]

You can read more at the link.  Of course no one knows exactly where every strategic military asset the North Koreans have is located at.  However, we do know where the Yonbyong nuclear facility, their test launch site, SLBM barge, and missile manufacturing facilities are located at.  Taking those out would not end their nuclear or missile programs, but would set them back.

US Strategic Assets To Participate In Joint Exercise with ROK Forces This Week

There is going to be a lot of firepower in the Korea area of operations this week so it will be interesting to see what North Korea’s reaction to this will be:

This photo, provided by the U.S. military Oct. 13, 2017, shows the Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN-727) arriving at the southern port of Busan in South Korea. (Yonhap)

The United States is poised to show off its military might this week through joint drills and a defense exhibition in South Korea, deploying an aircraft carrier, nuclear-powered submarine, stealth fighters and other strategic assets.

The show of force comes amid growing tensions on the peninsula, with North Korea expected to engage in additional provocations in protest against the South Korea-U.S. military drills  (…..)

The allies’ militaries are set to hold a joint exercise in the East and West Seas from Monday to Friday, during which the U.S. will deploy its nuclear-powered carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76).

It is one of America’s key power projection means of countering military threats in a volatile region.

The 333-meter-long, 100,000-ton Nimitz-class flattop is stationed in Yokosuka, Japan, as part of the Seventh Fleet in charge of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. The Reagan has a deck the size of three football fields, with some 70 aircraft on board, ranging from fighter jets to helicopters.

During the maritime drills, the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System, the airborne battle management aircraft, is expected to be deployed. It is capable of monitoring North Korea’s ground force movements and coastal artillery.

The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN-727) has already arrived at the southern port of Busan as part of a regularly scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific, military officials said.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

North Koreans Steal OPLAN Because Someone Left an Unclassified Computer Plugged Into Its Secret Network

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?

UAE Announces Plan to Cut Ties with North Korea

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?

Where Are North Korea’s Rocket Men?

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.