News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

1. A Daughter’s Tribute – Ms. Namhi Park’s tribute to General Paik Sun-yup

2. Pompeo reaffirms U.S. goal of N. Korea’s complete denuclearization

3. N. Korea intensifies antivirus efforts in Pyongyang after border town’s lockdown

4. U.N. rapporteur: Inspection of activist groups should not undermine efforts to improve N.K. rights situation

5. ROK Government’s stance on leaflet campaigns and North Korean Human Rights

6. Two-star Marine Corps general to be relieved of command over N.K. defector’s border crossing

7. North Korea’s economy grew for first time in three years: South Korea

8. EU sanctions Russian intelligence, North Korean, Chinese firms over alleged cyberattacks

9. North Korean hackers target defense and aerospace industry in ‘Operation North Star’

10. Kim Jong-un subjects North Koreans to cruel new law in crackdown on defectors

11. South Korea: Stop Intimidating North Korean Human Rights Groups

12. Column: Korean War armistice and today’s world

13. Commentary: North Korea will never give up its nuclear weapons

14. For North Korea, phishing with fake job-recruitment emails never gets old

15. Southeastern counties agree to co-host new military airport (South Korea)

16. Co-opting the Narrative: How Changing Women’s Roles Provide Legitimacy to Kim Jong Un

17. S. Korea’s first military satellite successfully reaches orbit

18. Unification minister promises support for NGOs’ efforts to expand cross-border exchange

19. New virus cases rebound, imported cases still hampering virus fight (South Korea)

20. ‘Window of opportunity for dialogue between North Korea, US still open’

 

1. A Daughter’s Tribute – Ms. Namhi Park’s tribute to General Paik Sun-yup

Thank you to the Korea Defense Veterans Association for providing this video.

What a wonderful tribute to a great soldier. It is well worth the 5 minutes to watch this. I will be forever thankful that I was able to hear him talk about his experiences in the war so many times over the past few decades. And there is no one who supported the ROK/US Alliance more than General Paik. RIP.

 

2. Pompeo reaffirms U.S. goal of N. Korea’s complete denuclearization

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · July 31, 2020

There can be nothing less than this goal.

However, in my opinion, the only way we are going to see an end to the nuclear program and north Korean threats (as well as the human rights abuses and crimes against humanity being committed against the Korean people living in the north by the mafia-like crime family cult known as the Kim family regime) is through achievement of unification and the establishment of a United Republic of Korea that is secure and stable, non-nuclear, economically vibrant, and unified under a liberal constitutional form of government based on individual liberty, rule of law, and human rights as determined by the Korean people.  In short, a United Republic of Korea (UROK).

 

3. N. Korea intensifies antivirus efforts in Pyongyang after border town’s lockdown

en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · July 31, 2020

This the regime’s coronavirus task force: “Pyongyang City Emergency Anti-epidemic Headquarters.”  I think it is becoming increasingly clear there is an outbreak inside north Korea and probably within Pyongyang.

 

4. U.N. rapporteur: Inspection of activist groups should not undermine efforts to improve N.K. rights situation

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · July 30, 2020

Rule of law or rule by law?  Explaining their actions with technicalities.  Stopping the flow of information into north Korea is contrary to supporting the human rights of Koreans in the north.

 

5. ROK Government’s stance on leaflet campaigns and North Korean Human Rights

Received this via email from the Ministry of Unification. I have to say I vehemently disagree with the rationale that this action will help reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula and improve INTRA-Korean relations.  But the most egregious statement is the assumption the quality of life of Koreans in the north will be improved due to these actions.  Not only does the ROK and the international community have a responsibility for getting information into north Korea (re 2014 UN COI) this assumption belies the fact the Kim family regime denies the rights of the Korean people living in the north in order to keep Kim Jong-un in power.  Who does Kim fear more: the US or the Korean people? It is the Korean people and even more so when they are armed with information.  

Ministry of Unification <unikorea.eng@unikorea.go.kr>

Fri 7/31/2020 2:47 AM

To:  David Maxwell

Dear all, 

The Ministry of Unification of the Republic of Korea would like to attached document ‘ROK Government’s stance on leaflet campaigns and North Korean Human Rights’ to help your understanding concerning flying leaflets to North Korea.

The Ministry of Unification believes that it is crucial to reduce tension on the Korean peninsula and improve inter-Korean relations as part of effort to improve overall quality of life for the North Korean people.

If you have any question concerning the Ministry of Unification’s policy toward North Korea and the Unification of the Korean Peninsula, feel free to contact Ministry of Unification for more details and check our English website.

We sincerely hope that you will stay safe under this pandemic.

Regards,

——————————————
Ministry of Unification
International Cooperation Division
T. 82-2-2100-5754
E. unikorea.eng@unikorea.go.kr
——————————————

 

6. Two-star Marine Corps general to be relieved of command over N.K. defector’s border crossing

en.yna.co.kr · by 최수향 · July 31, 2020

And as a friend who flagged this for me wrote: “This approach has never changed in my 40 years in Korea. No doubt the regimental, battalion, and company commander’s careers are now over.”  This does appear to be a breakdown in security procedures but we should all keep in mind the primary mission is to defend against infiltrators from the north and not people going from South to north. But it is no. excuse especially if he was seen on video and thermal imagery some 7 times. Also, from the limited information we have rad it seems likely this 24 year old Kim had some training.  He had to be a strong swimmer at the very least but if he knew the route to take (through the drainage pipe) he must have conducted a prior reconnaissance. And he was either just lucky in terms of the tide or else he knew how to plan to use the tide for his crossing.

 

7. North Korea’s economy grew for first time in three years: South Korea

Reuters · by Cynthia Kim · July 31, 2020

It is all relative: A 0.4% increase after a 4.1% contraction the year before and three years of decline.  Except for the increased export of non-sanctioned goods (such as shoes, hats and wigs) there is not much good news in the numbers below for north Korea.

 

8. EU sanctions Russian intelligence, North Korean, Chinese firms over alleged cyberattacks

ca.reuters.com · by Francesco Guarascio

The EU got the hat trick. Good for them.

 

9. North Korean hackers target defense and aerospace industry in ‘Operation North Star’

siliconangle.com · by Duncan Riley · July 30, 2020

Note the comments on social engineering and spear phishing attacks.  We need good cyber civil defense and cyber hygiene. We all have to take responsibility for protecting our networks: work, industry, academic, government and military, and personal networks.

 

10. Kim Jong-un subjects North Koreans to cruel new law in crackdown on defectors

Mirror · by Ryan Merrifield · July 31, 2020

I would just note in this and many other media reports how dependent journalists are on RFA and VOA reporting for their stories.  Our great RFA and VOA journalists have extensive contacts and networks that reach into north Korea and provide access to information the general media does not have access to.

 

11. South Korea: Stop Intimidating North Korean Human Rights Groups

hrw.org · July 31, 2020

Yes.

 

12. Column: Korean War armistice and today’s world

Chicago Tribune · by Arthur I. Cyr

An interesting column and short history of the Armistice and the end of the war (cessation of hostilities).  Credit to both Truman and Eisenhower for their decision (though the massive bombing campaign that ran out of targets in the north remains a central focal point of north Korean propaganda to this day – the north fears the devastation of US air power). 

Note the comments on US impatience and our adversaries understanding this.

Of course President Rhee wanted unification.  But It is interesting that people make a big deal about South Korea not signing the Armistice as if that somehow delegitimize the South or the South has forfeited some right to future peace negotiations. We should recall the Armistice was a military agreement and not a political agreement.  The US did not sign the Armistice either. It was signed by military leaders on both sides – the UN forces on one (and the South Korean military was part of the UN forces) and the north Korean People’s Army and Chinese Peoples Volunteers on the other side. It would not have been appropriate for President Rhee to sign.  Para 60 of the Armistice recognized there needed to be a political settlement as the Armistice was only a temporary agreement to cease hostilities between military forces.

 

13. Commentary: North Korea will never give up its nuclear weapons

channelnewsasia.com · by Robert E. Kelly · July 31, 2020

Sigh. An argument for living with north Korean nuclear weapons.  And what good does it do to pay north Korean a huge amount of money (and lift sanctions) to give up some of its nuclear weapons?  What does that accomplish except for Kim saying his strategy worked?  His long con paid off.

 

14. For North Korea, phishing with fake job-recruitment emails never gets old

cyberscoop.com · by Sean Lyngaas · July 30, 2020

Smokey says, “Only you can prevent…phishing attacks?”  We need the same kind of individual responsibility to protect our networks as we do to prevent forest fires.

 

15. Southeastern counties agree to co-host new military airport (South Korea)

en.yna.co.kr · by 유지호 · July 30, 2020

K2 has been an important Air Base in Korea.  It looks like there won’t be a “Futenma dilemma” in relocating it. Of course the difference is it is a ROK Air Base with US units only temporarily based there for training and exercises.

 

16. Co-opting the Narrative: How Changing Women’s Roles Provide Legitimacy to Kim Jong Un

38north.org · by Darcie Draudt · July 30, 2020

Good reference to the dictator’s three step playbook.  Very useful analysis form Darcie Draudt.

 

17. S. Korea’s first military satellite successfully reaches orbit

en.yna.co.kr · by 최수향 · July 31, 2020

I bet it will do a lot more than play music like north Korea’s satellite (and I think it actually failed at that as well).

 

18. Unification minister promises support for NGOs’ efforts to expand cross-border exchange

en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · July 31, 2020

But not escapees (defectors) and information efforts  to the north. And obviously escapees cannot go back to the north for fear of “arrest.”

 

19. New virus cases rebound, imported cases still hampering virus fight (South Korea)

en.yna.co.kr · by 김수연 · July 31, 2020

You cannot get frustrated by the day to day changes and ups and downs. But unless they shut down international travel these outbreaks will persist.

 

20. ‘Window of opportunity for dialogue between North Korea, US still open’

The Korea Times · July 31, 2020

Andrew Kim’s interpretation of Kim Yo-Jong’s remarks.  I guess he must go to Pyongyang to hand deliver the DVD of US Independence Day celebrations. 

 

——————-

 

“It is not enough to win a war; it is more important to organize the peace.”

– Aristotle

 

“The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who have not viewed the world.” 

– Alexander von Humboldt

 

“Soldiers can sometimes make decisions that are smarter than the orders they’ve been given.”
– Orson Scott Card

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