News and Commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and Published by Riley Murray.

1. Department of Justice Announces Charges of North Korean and Malaysia Nationals for Bank Fraud, Money Laundering and North Korea Sanctions Violations

2. U.S. charges suspect in Kim Jong Nam assassination with North Korean sanctions violations

3. U.S. Prosecutors Step Up Pressure on North Korea

4. Joint Press Statement for the 18th Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue

5. Gentlemen Apparently Do Read Other Gentlemen’s Mail: Kim Jong Un’s Letters to President Trump

6. Moon to Make Fresh Advance to N.Korea in UN Speech

7. South Korea Has a New Way to Kill North Korea’s Tanks

8. S. Korea reaffirms commitment to new dialogue with U.S.

9. Kang calls for region’s ‘unified message’ for resumption of N.K. dialogue

10. Korea, US to discuss OPCON transfer at ministerial talks: defense dept.

11. Pres. Moon, Kim Jong-in should meet first without preconditions

12. S. Korea and U.S. agree to set up working-level consultative body

13. United Nations Command and a Korean Peace Process

14. US Military Chief in Korea Confirms North Korean Kill Zone on China Border

15. Meet The New Anonymous – 100 Million BTS ARMY And K-Pop Stans, A Cyber Force To Be Reckoned With?

1. Department of Justice Announces Charges of North Korean and Malaysia Nationals for Bank Fraud, Money Laundering and North Korea Sanctions Violations

justice.gov · September 10, 2020

Another positive step forward by DOJ.

2. U.S. charges suspect in Kim Jong Nam assassination with North Korean sanctions violations

The Washington Post – by Spencer S. Hsu – September 11, 2020

Father and daughter: ” set up front companies that transmitted banned dollar transactions through the United States to purchase commodities on behalf of North Korean customers.”

3. U.S. Prosecutors Step Up Pressure on North Korea

WSJ · by Aruna Viswanatha and Kate O’Keeffe

More details here.  Keep up the good work, DOJ (and the interagency as well, as I am sure this is the result of good coordination).

4. Joint Press Statement for the 18th Korea-U.S. Integrated Defense Dialogue

defense.gov

I hope the meeting was as productive as the statement indicates, especially in this area: “the importance of establishing stable access to training facilities and other critical sites and resources as essential to maintaining a steadfast combined defense posture.”  We heard General Abrams discuss the impact of the reduction in training areas in Korea at his talk at CSIS this week.

5. Gentlemen Apparently Do Read Other Gentlemen’s Mail: Kim Jong Un’s Letters to President Trump

38north.org · by Robert Carlin · September 11, 2020

An interesting hypothetical interpretation of Kim’s letters from Bob Carlin.   He provides a very optimistic interpretation as if Kim Jong-un is really interested in substantive negotiations, to include at the working level, and that Kim does want to reach an agreement.  It seems like Bob Carlin’s analysis is along the lines of President Trump’s beliefs and interpretation.  President Trump’s statements about US intelligence analysts on Korea are telling (from Woodward’s book).  It prompted this response from the former National Intelligence Officer on Korea, Markus Garlasukas who has been briefing Trump and Obama on north Korea for the past 6 years.  I agree.  I do not know a single Korean intelligence analyst who would describe (or has described) Kim as stupid.

6. Moon to Make Fresh Advance to N.Korea in UN Speech

english.chosun.com

I fear this will fall on deaf (or at least unreceptive) ears.

7. South Korea Has a New Way to Kill North Korea’s Tanks

The National Interest · by Caleb Larson · September 11, 2020

Seems like a very good capability to develop.

8. S. Korea reaffirms commitment to new dialogue with U.S.

en.yna.co.kr · by 유지호 · September 12, 2020

The alliance continues to evolve.  This should be a positive development and way forward.

9. Kang calls for region’s ‘unified message’ for resumption of N.K. dialogue

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · September 12, 2020

Minister Kang is exactly right here.  There is no short-term silver bullet to the security issues on the Korean peninsula.

10. Korea, US to discuss OPCON transfer at ministerial talks: defense dept.

The Korea Times · September 12, 2020

OPCON transition, not transfer.  OPCON is transitioning from a US commander to a Korean commander.  It is NOT being transferred from Washington to Seoul.  The ROK/US Combined Forces Command belongs equally to both governments now and it will continue to be co-equally owned by both when a Korean general takes command.  The US does not exercise OPCON of Korean forces and when the transition occurs the ROK will not exercise OPCON of US forces.  The press, pundits, politicos, and public need to understand this.

A key agenda item for these ministerial talks needs to be an effective information campaign to inform and educate those in Korea and the US on the true scale, scope, meaning, and benefits of OPCON transition.

11. Pres. Moon, Kim Jong-in should meet first without preconditions

donga.com – 11 September, 2020

I think President Moon has already met with Kim Jong-un a number of times without pre-conditions.  I think the precedent has been established.  Of course, the pre-condition that Kim may demand is giving in to his coercion and extortion.  He may require a large cash fund payment for a meeting. We must avoid that at all costs otherwise his blackmail diplomacy strategy will be reinforced which will lead to continued execution and that is not a path to peace.

 12. S. Korea and U.S. agree to set up working-level consultative body

donga.com – 12 September, 2020

AD -“Alliance Dialogue.”  Will that abbreviation catch on? I think there needs to be a more pithy title. Since working group has such negative connotations we need something new.

Alliance Dialogue Structure (ADS)?  Alliance Diplomatic Committee (ADC)? (a counterpart of the ROK/US Military Committee).  Alliance Strategy Committee (ACS)?  Alliance Consultative Committee (ACC)? 

13. United Nations Command and a Korean Peace Process

kdva.vet – by Seung Joon Lee – September 10, 2020

Interesting analysis and proposal from Steve Lee.   Koreans need to view the UNC as an asset and ally and not an obstacle (as the north Korean Kim family regime does for its propaganda purposes).

14. US Military Chief in Korea Confirms North Korean Kill Zone on China Border

rfa.org – by Eugene Whong – 11 September 2020

It is important the Korean people in the north get this message that the Commander of the ROK/US Combined Forces Command knows their plight.  This is one example of the importance of RFA (and VOA).

15. Meet The New Anonymous – 100 Million BTS ARMY And K-Pop Stans, A Cyber Force To Be Reckoned With?

Forbes · by Davey Winder · September 8, 2020
This is an interesting development.

“Genius is the ability to put into effect what is in your mind. There’s no other definition of it.”

– F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

“The willow submits to the wind and prospers until one day it is many willows – a wall against the wind.”

– Frank Herbert, Dune

 

“If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

– Dalai Lama

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