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

1. N. Korean leader vows to further develop ties with China

2. Esper says U.S. continues to face threats from N. Korea, other rogue states

3. Abuse of Women Detained in North Korea Given Special Attention by United Nations

4. US continues pressure on Korea to stand against China

5. North Korean Human Rights Activist Suzanne Scholte, “Now, we have a golden opportunity to save North Korean refugees,” to President Moon.

6. 48 N. Koreans defected to South Korea in this year’s 3rd quarter

7. “Worth Less Than an Animal” Abuses and Due Process Violations in Pretrial Detention in North Korea

8. North Korea’s New ICBM Lacks MIRV Capability, Has 15,000 km Range: Report

9. Iran To Import North Korean missiles In 25-Year Military Deal With China

10. North Korea’s Pukguksong-3 SLBM: A Step Towards Second-Strike Capability?

11. “The Most Impressive Private Intelligence Operation”: Review of “The Mole” (north Korea illicit activities)

12. Minister renews calls for inter-Korean cooperation in railway linking, tourism

13. U.N. grants sanctions exemptions to aid programs in N.K.

14. Kiwi man raided by police over North Korean PPE donation says it was ‘like a sick joke’

15. N. Korea develops mobile payment service: propaganda outlet

16. Donju on the losing end of recent ban on “mobile money”

17. S. Korea pledges US$10 mln in humanitarian aid to conflict-ridden Sahel region

18. What is the Kim Jong Il University of Military Politics?

19. China Backs Off From Fight With K-Pop Fans

20. Exhibition commemorating War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea opens in Beijing

21. What were they fighting for? (South Korea’s 386 now 586 generation)

 

1. N. Korean leader vows to further develop ties with China

en.yna.co.kr · by 김광태 · October 20, 2020

Again, this should be no surprise.  And China will play both sides.  South Korea should not be “competing” with the north for Chinese influence and affection despite the huge trade relationship.  That trade relationship has already demonstrated the South is vulnerable to Chinese economic and political warfare.

 

2. Esper says U.S. continues to face threats from N. Korea, other rogue states

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · October 21, 2020

As I have written a number of times, I cannot recall such consistency among our senior leaders in discussing and appearing to try to implement the National Security and National Defense Strategies. I think it is a testament to how well constructed these strategies are.

 

3. Abuse of Women Detained in North Korea Given Special Attention by United Nations

csis.org · by Robert R. King · October 20, 2020

These abuses are terrible.  

Also of note, we have not had a US Ambassador for north Korean Human Rights since Ambassador King stepped down in 2017.

 

4. US continues pressure on Korea to stand against China

The Korea Times· by Kang Seung-woo · October 21, 2020

We need to tread carefully here.  Pressure is not going to work.  South Korea must come to its own conclusion that joining the Quad and aligning itself with like-minded democratic countries is in its best political, economic, and national security interests.  We have to help South Korea come to that realization but too much pressure will backfire.  

 

5. North Korean Human Rights Activist Suzanne Scholte, “Now, we have a golden opportunity to save North Korean refugees,” to President Moon.

nkfreedom.org · October 21, 2020

I am proud to serve with Suzanne Scholte on the board of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea.  She does incredible work for north Korean human rights and human rights in general around the world.

As she notes this is an important opportunity and I hope the Moon administration pays attention to her.  Note the number of escapees is in decline.

 

6. 48 N. Koreans defected to South Korea in this year’s 3rd quarter

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · October 21, 2020

Note the declining numbers of escapees (defectors). This is surely partly due to the draconian population and resources control measures implemented to defend against COVID.  But Kim has exploited COVID to impose harsh measures on the people to better control them.

 

7. “Worth Less Than an Animal” Abuses and Due Process Violations in Pretrial Detention in North Korea

hrw.org · October 19, 2020

The entire report can be accessed here.

The summary and key recommendations are at the news link.

 

8. North Korea’s New ICBM Lacks MIRV Capability, Has 15,000 km Range: Report

The National Interest · by Mark Episkopos · October 20, 2020

As Dr. Bruce Bechtol reminds me every time I send something out on the “Hwasong 16” that there is no evidence of the north having a MIRV capability.  He says the larger missile may simply be capable of carrying a larger missile.

 

9. Iran To Import North Korean missiles In 25-Year Military Deal With China

Oil Price· by Simon Watkins · October 19, 2020

I hate to use an old “cliche” but this is truly an axis of evil.  Dr Bruce Becthol and his co-author are working on a major book project tracking north-Korean-Iranian proliferation and cooperation.

 

10. North Korea’s Pukguksong-3 SLBM: A Step Towards Second-Strike Capability?

The National Interest · by Mark Episkopos · October 20, 2020

Whether north Korea can actually develop a submarine force capable of credible second strike capability I think we can assess that they want to at the very least give us the appearance of the capability.  Surely they would like a second strike capability for real deterrence.  However, this may also be part of its eventual negotiation strategy. Like the “Hwasong 16” the “Pukguksong-4” may be something to be bargained away for concessions during some future negotiations process.

 

11. “The Most Impressive Private Intelligence Operation”: Review of “The Mole” (north Korea illicit activities)

38north.org · by Ruediger Frank · October 20, 2020

I still have not been able to track down access to this documentary in the US.  I look forward to seeing this someday.

If you want to watch something about the “star” of this report, Alejandro Cao de Benós, please see this short trailer for the film the Propaganda Game.  It is truly bizarre. 

 

12. Minister renews calls for inter-Korean cooperation in railway linking, tourism

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · October 21, 2020

Is this to provide the evil north Korean regime the opportunity to brutally murder more Korean citizens from the South? I fear the Minister is tone deaf and misguided.

 

13. U.N. grants sanctions exemptions to aid programs in N.K.

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · October 21, 2020

How cooperative and transparent will the regime be?  

Excerpt: “The delivery of supplies into North Korea is expected to be trickier this year as the communist state has tightened its borders to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.”

 

14. Kiwi man raided by police over North Korean PPE donation says it was ‘like a sick joke’

Stuff.co.nz · by Joel MacManus · October 21, 2020

All of the north Korean “friendship societies” around the world should be targets of investigation for their illicit activities.

 

15. N. Korea develops mobile payment service: propaganda outlet

en.yna.co.kr · by 이원주 · October 21, 2020

Another technical system/process I hope we are working on penetrating. Imagine if we could pump money to certain targets?

 

16. Donju on the losing end of recent ban on “mobile money”

dailynk.com· by Mun Dong Hui · October 21, 2020

Hmmmm… This is very important for the nascent markets in the north and this has significant impact.

Here is an excellent article from Yongho Kim that explains how the process works and its importance. North Korea’s Mobile Telecommunications and Private Transportation Services in the Kim Jong-un Era: 

 

17. S. Korea pledges US$10 mln in humanitarian aid to conflict-ridden Sahel region

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · October 21, 2020

This is one of the great miracles of South Korea. It went from a major aid recipient to a major donor nation.

 

18. What is the Kim Jong Il University of Military Politics?

dailynk.com· by Jeong Tae-Joo · October 21, 2020

I wonder if they are hiring (note sarcasm). I guess since Kim Jong-il is the father of Songun – Military First Politics, it is only appropriate to venerate him with his own university.

 

19. China Backs Off From Fight With K-Pop Fans

Foreign Policy · by S. Nathan Park · October 20, 2020

I think that is the problem.  China does not want to learn from South Korea or anyone.  In fact as an imminent Chia watcher has commented China is upset (and perhaps jealous) that South Korea is so popular around the world and has the first foreign Oscar winning film (Parasite) and has K-Pop groups like BTS which is the first to top the US billboard charts.

 

20. Exhibition commemorating War to Resist U.S. Aggression and Aid Korea opens in Beijing

news.cgtn.com · October 19, 2020

Ah yes, the US war of aggression.

 

21. What were they fighting for? (South Korea’s 386 now 586 generation)

The Korea Times· by Kang Hyun-kyung · October 21, 2020

A very thoughtful essay that addresses the democracy movement of the 1980’s and the current Moon administration. 

 

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“Big groups solve small problems; whereas small groups solve big problems, and guess what?  We have a lot of big problems.”

– Adrian Bogart

 

“The freedom to criticize ideas, any ideas – even if they are sincerely held beliefs – is one of the fundamental freedoms of society.”
– Rowan Atkinson

 

“Have you ever stopped to ponder the amount of blood spilled, the volume of tears shed, the degree of pain and anguish endured, the number of noble men and women lost in battle so that we as individuals might have a say in governing our country? Honor the lives sacrificed for your freedoms.”
– Richelle E. Goodrich

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