North Korean White Paper Claims Kim Regime is Defender of Human Rights

This claim is about as accurate as Kim Jong-un claiming he climbed Mt. Paektu:

North Korea claimed itself to be a bastion of human rights in a white paper released Saturday, defying international criticism of its long-standing abuses.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), monitored in Seoul, reported that the Human Rights Institute of the DPRK Academy of Social Sciences issued a white paper Saturday that attempts to “clarify who has defended human rights and who has violated them.” DPRK is short for North Korea’s formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

According to the KCNA’s English-language report, the white paper states: “The DPRK is a country where genuine human rights are firmly protected and successfully put into practice as the working masses’ democratic freedom and rights are most thoroughly defended and most brilliantly realized.”

The report said the white paper also slammed the United States for “styling itself a human rights judge” while finding fault with human rights records in other nations and accused Washington of trying to justify its own human rights violations.  [Yonhap]

You can read more at the link.

IOC President Wants to Visit North Korea to Beg Kim Regime to Participate in Winter Olympics

Most of the world and the IOC fought to keep Apartheid South Africa out of the Olympics, but North Korea a country with a far worse human rights record and a threat to world peace has South Korea and the IOC literally begging them to participate:

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach is seeking to visit North Korea to discuss its participation in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games, South Korean government sources said Friday.

“The IOC is believed to be discussing with North Korea a possible trip by President Bach to Pyongyang for talks on the country’s participation in the PyeongChang Olympics,” a source said.

The IOC is seeking the visit based on close consultation with the South Korean government.

It remains to be seen, however, whether the North would accept Bach’s visit despite heightened tensions over its nuclear and missile tests. The North last week test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile that appeared capable of reaching Washington DC.

“There is no guarantee that the visit will take place. But if it does happen, it could be interpreted as a positive sign for North Korea’s participation in the PyeongChang Olympics,” another government source said, adding that there was a possibility of a lower level official of the IOC making the trip instead of Bach.  [Korea Herald]

You can read more at the link.

North Korea Bashes President Trump for Moving US Embassy to Jerusalem

Even the North Koreans have decided to join in and bash the US for announcing that the US embassy would be moved to Jerusalem:

North Korea has lambasted US President Donald Trump for recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, renewing its description of him as a “dotard” in a statement released Saturday on state media.

Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un have traded threats of war and personal insults in recent months as tensions remain high over the North’s missile and nuclear threats.

Now the hermit state has joined near-universal condemnation of the US president’s decision on Jerusalem, calling it a “reckless, wicked act”.

“Considering the fact that the mentally deranged dotard openly called for a total destruction of a sovereign state at the UN, this action is not so surprising”, a foreign ministry spokesman was quoted as saying by the state-run KCNA news agency.

“But this move clearly shows to the whole world who is the destroyer of world peace and security, pariah and rogue in the international community”, he said, using epithets usually reserved for the North.  [AFP]

You can read more at the link, but last I checked President Trump was not the one causing violence in the Middle East instead Palestinian rioters were.

Kim Jong-un Claims to Have Climbed Mt. Baekdu

Let me guess he probably ran all the way up the mountain in record time and then swam completely around its icy cold lake before skiing back down the mountain and shooting targets depicting evil Yankee imperialists all at the same time:

This photo released by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Dec. 9, 2017, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at Mount Paektu.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has scaled the country’s highest mountain to emphasize his military vision, Pyongyang’s state media reported Saturday.

Kim climbed Mount Paektu with ranking military officials, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, adding that he recalled “the emotion-charged days when he realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force,” after reaching the peak.

North Korea last month claimed that it has successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Hwasong-15, that is capable of hitting anywhere in the U.S., and declared that the launch marks the completion of its nuclear armament.

North Korea considers Mt. Paektu a sacred site. The KCNA explained that it is associated with the “revolutionary careers of the great leaders and serves as the mental mainstay of the invincible DPRK.” DPRK is the abbreviation for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  [Yonhap]

You can read the rest at the link.

Activist Groups Want to Pay Off Kim Jong-un with Humanitarian Aid

It is amazing to me that people continue to think humanitarian aid will be distributed in North Korea transparently and to the people who really need it:

Kenneth Bae, the president of Nehemia Global Initiative, speaks during a session of the International Forum for One Korea in Seoul Dragon City, Thursday. From left are Ahn Chan-il, head of the World North Korea Research Center; Greg Scarlatoiu, executive director of the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea; Kang Young-sik, the secretary-general of humanitarian aid group Korean Sharing Movement (KSM); Lee Young-jong, the director at Unification Research Center of JoongAng Daily; Bae; Kim Hun-il, the secretary-general of Unitas; and Joo Hyun-lip, head of projects at the North Korea Service for Peace Foundation. / Courtesy of Global Peace Foundation

Humanitarian aid for North Korea should continue to better connect the people in the country with the outside world despite heightened missile threats by its regime, civic activists said Thursday.

“North Koreans should be informed that the outside world actually cares about them,” said Kenneth Bae, president of the Nehemia Global Initiative who was once detained in a North Korean labor camp. “Helping North Koreans open their minds to the outside world is critical to prepare for a unified Korea.”

Kang Young-sik, secretary-general of the humanitarian aid group the Korean Sharing Movement (KSM), added, “Humanitarian assistance still does the role of enhancing North Koreans’ human rights. As long as transparency of the distribution process is secured, it should be further facilitated.”

These views were shared during the International Forum for One Korea sponsored by the Global Peace Foundation (GPF) and the U.S.-based think tank the EastWest Institute.  [Korea Times]

You can read more at the link, but any aid to North Korea will be considered tribute to Kim Jong-un.  Additionally every dollar of aid to North Korea is one more dollar they can invest in their military.

Ruling South Korean Party Wants Inter-Korean Summit in 2019

It appears that 2019 is the timeframe that the Moon administration will push to get a freeze deal agreed to with North Korea:

South Korea should push for a summit between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the first half of Moon’s term, a senior ruling party lawmaker said Thursday.

Rep. Lee Hae-chan of the Democratic Party made the suggestion in a speech set to be delivered at a security conference, saying 2019 will be good for a summit because the year is meaningful as the 100th anniversary of the 1919 nationwide uprising against Japanese colonial rule and the establishment of a provisional government.

“If possible, it’s important to push for a South-North summit in the first half (of Moon’s five-year term),” Lee said during the conference organized to mark late former President Kim Dae-jung’s winning of the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize following the first inter-Korean summit ever earlier that year.

“If a summit takes places in the second half, it would be difficult to guarantee its effectiveness,” he said.  [Korea Times]

That last sentence leads me to believe that the Moon administration has little confidence that what they have planned will be popular enough with voters to elect another liberal President to follow through with whatever is agreed to at this summit.

Article Claims that F-35 May Help With Intercepting North Korea’s ICBMs

Here is yet another good idea fairy in regards to defeating North Korea’s ICBMs:

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., raised more than a few eyebrows (and drew a few rolled eyes) when he suggested in November that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter could intercept North Korean missiles headed for the United States. Hunter cited analysis from Los Alamos National Labs and other sources, according to Inside Defense.

Turns out the F-35 may be an ICBM buster after all, or at least be helpful toward that end. On Tuesday, Northrop Grumman called a small group of journalists to its offices in Linthicum, Maryland, to show the results of a 2014 experiment conducted with the Missile Defense Agency, or MDA.

The U.S. has no foolproof way to down a North Korean ICBM. Physics says the best opportunity comes during “boost phase,” as the rocket is leaving the launch pad. But DPRK anti-aircraft defenses make it difficult for the U.S. to get a weapon close enough to do any good. That’s why the Pentagon is looking at elaborate, futuristic concepts like arming drones with missile-killing lasers.

But the F-35 is studded with sensors like no other aircraft, including the Distributed Aperture System, or DAS, a half-dozen 17-pound electro-optical and infrared sensors. These feed a helmet-mounted display that allows the pilot to effectively “see through the plane” and spot incoming aircraft and missiles.

In October 2014, Northrop and MDA launched FTX-20, an experiment to see, among other things, whether the DAS could track an enemy ICBM. They took data from the sensors, ran it through algorithms developed by Northrop and MDA’s Enterprise Sensor Lab, generated a 3D-moving picture of the missile’s trajectory, and conveyed it over the Link 16 tactical data exchange. This kind of targeting data can help cue the U.S.Navy’s anti-ballistic missile destroyers or short- and intermediate-range missile defenses like the Army’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, missile battery deployed in South Korea.  [Defense One]

You can read the rest at the link, but feeding data to Patriot, Aegis, and THAAD systems will not defeat North Korea’s ICBMs.  These systems are not designed to intercept ICBMs, the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system is.  That is why people who understand missile defense would have rolled their eyes at Rep. Hunter’s claim.

Additionally even the feeding of data to these systems to help with cueing the sensors to North Korean launches is of little value considering the US already has two AN/TPY-2 radar sites in Japan that provide much better cueing data.  This all adds up to limited value of the capability the F-35 provides in regards to North Korea launches.