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

1. FDD | Don’t Trust Kim Jong Un’s Unexpected Apology Over Murder of South Korean Official

2. Seoul to promote joint Olympics with North Korea

3. north Korean Speech at the UN General Assembly

4. Defense ministry verified N. Korean order to burn body of dead official: opposition leader

5. American public bucks Trump on troop withdrawals from Korea

6. North Korea on virus threat: ‘Under safe and stable control’

7. Asia Today: South Korea has virus jump before holiday period

8. North Korea tells U.N. that now it has ‘effective war deterrent’ it will focus on economy

9. Nuclear threat against North Korea ‘continues unabated’, UN ambassador tells Assembly

10. A roundup of FinCEN Files reporting from North America

11. North Korea Arrests 20 Remittance Brokers for Using Illegal Chinese Mobile Phones

12. No Signs North Korea Moving Toward Denuclearization

13. N. Korean IT specialists disguise nationality to earn foreign currency, says UN report

14. Minerals, Minds, and Accommodation: U.S. Options Against China

15. N. Korea places western and eastern coast maritime patrol units on “top combat posture”

16. Kim Jong Un orders military to “rigorously” handle violations of territorial waters

17. North Korean killing of South Korean official deepens internal division

18. Top US diplomat to visit Korea next week amid Seoul’s push for peace regime

19. Kim Jong-Un’s Apology: Can It Spark a Diplomatic Breakthrough?

20. China Needs to Answer for Its North Korea Policy

21. Kin of South Korean killed by North rebuffs claim he tried to defect

22. Russia and China Reject U.N. Report on North Korean Sanctions Violations

23. South’s military overheard order to kill fisheries official

24. Gov’t says no shooting-related remarks in initial intelligence

 

1. FDD | Don’t Trust Kim Jong Un’s Unexpected Apology Over Murder of South Korean Official

fdd.org · by David Maxwell and Matthew Ha · September 29, 2020

The latest from Mathew Ha and me.

 

2. Seoul to promote joint Olympics with North Korea

upi.com· by Elizabeth Shim · September 29, 2020

The timing of this could not be worse.  Can you say “tone deaf?”  I do not think this will go over well with the Korean people in the South.

 

3. north Korean Speech at the UN General Assembly

Link for Speech

Here are my thoughts:

This is north Korea living up to its political warfare strategy (with Juche characteristics)

It is telling the world how benevolent a country the north is – even though it incarcerates some 200,000 political prisoners in its gulags.

It is criticizing the US and world powers for threatening nK sovereignty.

It has no intention of giving up its nuclear weapons because they are key to protecting the regime (and of course they couch that in terms of defending sovereignty)

It touts peace through strength (President Reagan is turning over in his grave).

It wants all of us to shift our focus to the north’s economic development and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.  Pay no attention to our continuing nuclear and missile development.

It wants to exploit international organizations for its own benefit (following in the footsteps of China).  

It wants to use the UN Charter against the US.

It appears to want to be a leader among the non-aligned rogue nations and non-state actors of the world. 

 

4. Defense ministry verified N. Korean order to burn body of dead official: opposition leader

en.yna.co.kr · by 박보람 · September 29, 2020

SIGINT confirmed?  

 

5. American public bucks Trump on troop withdrawals from Korea

Financial Times · by Edward White · September 30, 2020

Some good news (except for the 20%).  The American people get the importance of US alliances and deterring war.  The presence of US troops in Korea contributes to deterring war on the Korean peninsula which is a national interest of the US because war in Korea will have global effects.

 

6. North Korea on virus threat: ‘Under safe and stable control’

AP · by Ted Anthony and Kim Tong-Hyung · September 29, 2020

north Korea doth protest too much.  It is only a matter of time before the regime cannot suppress the information about outbreaks.

 

7. Asia Today: South Korea has virus jump before holiday period

AP · September 30, 2020

So what happened 10-14 days that is causing this spike?  What will it be like in another 2 weeks after Cheusok?  (hopefully reports of limited travel will reduce the potential for spikes).

 

8. North Korea tells U.N. that now it has ‘effective war deterrent’ it will focus on economy

Reuters · by Michelle Nichols, David Brunnstrom · September 29, 2020

While we focus on the anti-epidemic situation regarding COVID 19 we should remember the other epidemic the regime fears: information proliferation.  That epidemic may be under control by getting the South to crack down on the escapees’ (defectors) information warfare operations.

But the regime cannot focus on the economy unless it lifts the restrictions on cross border trade and allows the 400+ markets to flourish. That is the economic indicator we must observe. How well are the markets functioning?

 

 

 

 

9. Nuclear threat against North Korea ‘continues unabated’, UN ambassador tells Assembly

news.un.org · September 29, 2020

north Korea is a grievance based regime. Everyone is out to get them (starting with the Korean people in the north) to the south to the US.  Everybody is a threat to the Kim family regime in Kim Jong-un’s mind.  Then again there is the maxim: “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that they aren’t out to get you.”

 

10. A roundup of FinCEN Files reporting from North America

icij.org · by Spencer Woodman · September 29, 2020

This is pretty amazing.  Who would have thought financial files could be so “entertaining:” Excerpt: North Korean cash flowing through U.S. banks, the complex schemes of Russian money launderers, adult film actors seeing their savings disappear in an offshore banking scandal – these are just a few of the revelations made by North American partners on the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists FinCEN Files investigation published last week.

 

11. North Korea Arrests 20 Remittance Brokers for Using Illegal Chinese Mobile Phones

rfa.org· by Sewon Kim

Important implications here from information warfare to internal corruption.  Excerpts: “The source said that some of the arrested phone brokers are city or provincial secret intelligence agents, who were supposed to have been the “eyes and ears of the state,” but acted as phone brokers themselves for years.” They made money by selling internal information to South Korea or by working as remittance brokers while on duty as secret intelligence agents,” the source said.”

 

12. No Signs North Korea Moving Toward Denuclearization

voanews.com · By Margaret Besheer · September 29, 2020

I hate to beat the dead horse but I have to repeat my beliefs: 

The root of all problems in Korea is the existence of the mafia- like crime family cult known as the Kim family regime that has the objective of dominating the Korean Peninsula under the rule of the Guerrilla Dynasty and Gulag State.

The only way we are going to see an end to the nuclear program and security 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).

 

13. N. Korean IT specialists disguise nationality to earn foreign currency, says UN report

donga.com · September 30, 2020

There is still a lot to parse from the UN PAnel of Experts report.  But the regime’s cyber capabilities and activities are critical to survival and is a domain in which we must fight the regime because it is doing damage to countries, businesses, and people around the world.

 

14. Minerals, Minds, and Accommodation: U.S. Options Against China

divergentoptions.org · by Peter Foran · September 30, 2020

Three options for consideration:

Option #1: The U.S. could attempt to carefully decouple its critical minerals relationship and defense-industrial base needs in a neo-Hamiltonian way, referring to the Secretary of State Alexander Hamilton and his belief in infant industry support and fostering research and development to build competitive industries.

Option #2: The United States creates a sister channel to Radio Free Asia that exclusively highlights the horrors of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Option #3: A perhaps counterintuitive option involves the U.S. could taking a long-term accommodation strategy

 

15. N. Korea places western and eastern coast maritime patrol units on “top combat posture”

dailynk.com· by Jeong Tae Joo · September 29, 2020

Remember that it was an innocent South Korean civil servant who was brutally murdered by the nKPA.  But it is the regime that is raising tensions with the intention to place the blame on the South.

 

16.  Kim Jong Un orders military to “rigorously” handle violations of territorial waters

dailynk.com · by Jang Seul Gi· September 29, 2020

A not so veiled threat to the South.

 

17. North Korean killing of South Korean official deepens internal division

The Korea Times · September 29, 2020

We should remember that a key part of the regime’s strategy is subversion of the ROK.  The murder of an innocent South Korean civil servant is contributing to the regime’s subversion line of effort.

What is subversion? The undermining of the power and authority of an established system or institution.
As in: “the ruthless subversion of democracy”

 

The Kim family regime engages in active subversion of the ROK as well as the ROK/US Alliance.

 

18. Top US diplomat to visit Korea next week amid Seoul’s push for peace regime

The Korea Times · September 30, 2020

I hope there is a frank discussion about the strategic assumptions on which alliance policy and strategy is based.  Does Kim Jong-un seek peace in line with President Moon’s vision?  This assumption must be examined and it if is proven to false then the alliance policy and strategy must be adjusted.

 

19. Kim Jong-Un’s Apology: Can It Spark a Diplomatic Breakthrough?

The National Interest · by Daniel R. DePetris · September 29, 2020

Diplomatic breakthrough based on murder?  Do not be duped by the regime’s non-apology apology.

This is quite a conclusion: “In the end, the U.S. possesses more than enough military power to live with a nuclear-armed North Korea. What it can’t afford is an environment where tension is considered normal along the most militarized border in the world.”

 

20. China Needs to Answer for Its North Korea Policy

WSJ · by John Bolton· September 29, 2020

Ambassador Bolton’s warning to China and challenge to the US: “North Korea hasn’t pursued nuclear weapons in a vacuum. China knows it, and it needs to understand that the U.S. knows it too.”

 

21. Kin of South Korean killed by North rebuffs claim he tried to defect

NBC News · by Reuters · September 29, 2020

One of the tragedies surrounding this murder is the denigration of the victim.

 

22. Russia and China Reject U.N. Report on North Korean Sanctions Violations

freebeacon.com · by Jack Beyrer · September 29, 2020

But booth countries have representatives on the Panel of. Experts.  They helped water down the report.  But even with their obstructionist efforts the report still shows Russian and Chinese complicity in north Korean sanctions evasion.

 

23. South’s military overheard order to kill fisheries official

 koreajoongangdaily.joins.com · by Han Youngik and Ser My-Ja

Again, the military confirmed SIGINT capabilities.

 

24. Gov’t says no shooting-related remarks in initial intelligence

en.yna.co.kr · by 김광태 · September 30, 2020

You do not need a specific order to kill if the rules of engagement, standing orders and SOPs are to

shoot infiltrators.  To the ROKG, please do not water down this murder.

 

——————–

 

“Unconventional Warfare (UW) … remains uniquely Special Forces’. It is the soul of Special Forces: the willingness to accept its isolation and hardships defines the Special Forces Soldier. Its training is both the keystone and standard of Special Forces Training: it has long been an article of faith, confirmed in over forty years of worldwide operations, that “If you can do the UW missions, you can do all others.” The objective of UW and Special Forces’ dedication to it is expressed in Special Forces’ motto: De Oppresso Liber (to free the oppressed)”

– Robert M. Gates, Remarks at dedication
of OSS Memorial, 12 June 1992

 

“And where is the Prince who can afford to so cover his country with troops for its defense, as that ten thousand men descending from the clouds, might not in many places do an infinite deal of mischief, before a force could be brought together to repel them?”
– Benjamin Franklin

 

“We have to face the fact that either all of us are going to die together or we are going to learn to live together and if we are to live together we have to talk.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

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