News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Duncan Moore.

1. China ‘enabling’ N. Korea’s nuke development

2. A missile defense triumph

3. US sidelined as China, Korea and Japan unite

4. Donald Trump’s North Korea gambit: what worked, what didn’t, and what’s next

5. Joe Biden should reach out to China for help on North Korea

6. Scrapping NK nukes should not be prerequisite for peacebuilding: Yun

7. Reinforcing U.S. alliance will be on Biden’s everyday agenda through cabinet: McDonough

8. Treasury sanctions entities involved in exporting workers from North Korea

9. U.S. needs to be more strategic but less patient in dealing with N. Korea; lawmaker

10. China’s ties with America could be tested by North Korea

11. From a crab shack to Hyundai, China’s wrath over a U.S. missile defense system weighs on South Korea

12.  South Korea’s risky quest to build nuclear-powered attack submarines

13. South Korea missing from U.N. North Korea rights resolution

14. Why Joe Biden might be able to negotiate With North Korea

15. What does South Korea think about a Joe Biden administration?

16. Korea expert discusses advancements in North Korea’s nuclear missile program

17. Landmine on Chinese border kills North Korean special forces officer

18. The “terrible circumstances” of N. Korea’s quarantine facilities

19. North Korea set to offer world glimpse of its prowess – analysis

20. Lockdown in Manpo lifted, but some 100 people have died of coronavirus-like symptoms

 

1. China ‘enabling’ N. Korea’s nuke development

Chosun Ilbo · Kim Eun-joong · November 20, 2020

It is good we are calling out China for its complicity (in nuclear weapons development and in proliferation activities and in sanctions evasion).  This article is referring to the State Department report here (the “Kennan-like” China report).

For all those calling for us to engage China to help solve the North Korean nuclear problem, perhaps they should reconsider based on Chinese actions.

 

2. A missile defense triumph

Wall Street Journal · Editorial Board · November 19, 2020

Missile defense is hard. This is a positive step forward.

 

3. US sidelined as China, Korea and Japan unite

Asia Times · William Pesek · November 20, 2020

This all goes back to our decision to withdraw from the TPP. What if we hadn’t made such a huge strategic error?

 

4. Donald Trump’s North Korea gambit: what worked, what didn’t, and what’s next

National Interest · Katie Stallard · November 19, 2020

There is no silver bullet to the North Korea problem. This is why we need to focus on the long-term solution to the security and prosperity challenges on the Korean peninsula. That is, we need to focus on resolving the Korean question, the unnatural division of the peninsula. Solve that and the nuclear issues and the human rights abuses and crimes against humanity will be fixed. The question to ask is not what worked and what did not, but whether our action advanced our interests and moved us closer to the acceptable, durable political arrangement that will protect, serve, and advance US and ROK/US alliance interests?

The way ahead is deterrence, defense, denuclearization and solving the Korea question (unification) with the understanding that denuclearization of the North will only happen when we resolve the Korea question.

 

5. Joe Biden should reach out to China for help on North Korea

National Interest · Doug Bandow · November 19, 2020

Everyone who thinks China will help solve a ROK and US national security problem, please raise your hands. What indications are there that China will be willing to assist on the North Korea issue?

 

6. Scrapping NK nukes should not be prerequisite for peacebuilding: Yun

Korea Herald · Ahn Sung-mi · November 19, 2020

I wonder if Ambassador Yun is being considered for the US Ambassador to the ROK. His comments below align somewhat with President Moon’s (tandem peace building and denuclearization), though I do not believe he supports the appeasement desires of some of the extreme Korean progressives advising Moon.

I would push back though and say a policy that includes pressure has not “failed.” Pressure is a necessary component of policy and strategy. I also think we look at the pressure of sanctions incorrectly. If we want to make concessions in the hopes of drawing the regime to negotiate, what sanctions do we want to lift as concessions? And, more correctly, we should ask what illicit and horrendous behavior do we want to condone by the regime when we lift sanctions? Sanctions are in place because of the policy decisions made by Kim Jong-Un. He has the power to lift sanctions by complying with the requirements of sanctions.

But the bottom line is we have to conduct a superior form of political warfare to deal with Kim Jong-Un.

 

7. Reinforcing U.S. alliance will be on Biden’s everyday agenda through cabinet: McDonough

Yonhap News Agency · 변덕근 · November 20, 2020

There can be no success for either the ROK or the US without the foundation of a strong or rock solid, ROK/US alliance.

I actually think that Biden is going to put together a strong Korea team to manage Korean issues on a daily basis that will allow him to keep Korea as a priority while he deals with the dual domestic priorities of protecting the economy and defeating COVID. He would do well to consider maintaining some of the current Korea hands that are already in the government, particularly in State, (e.g., Biegun, Knapper, Wong, Lambert). But, of course, there will be partisan issues about “holdovers,” which unfortunately have taken on such a negative connotation.

 

8. Treasury sanctions entities involved in exporting workers from North Korea

US Department of the Treasury · November 19, 2020

An important step forward.

 

9. U.S. needs to be more strategic but less patient in dealing with N. Korea; lawmaker

Yonhap News Agency · 변덕근 · November 20, 2020

Reminds of me of “tastes great, less filling.”

 

10. China’s ties with America could be tested by North Korea

Economist · November 19, 2020

A warning.  Kim will create a crisis.

 

11. From a crab shack to Hyundai, China’s wrath over a U.S. missile defense system weighs on South Korea

LA Times · Victoria Kim · November 19, 2020

China has been and will continue to conduct economic warfare against South Korea.

 

12. South Korea’s risky quest to build nuclear-powered attack submarines

Bulletin · Gayle Spinazze · November 18, 2020

South Korea does not need nuclear powered submarines for defense against North Korea. With all due respect, this is a vanity project.

 

13. South Korea missing from U.N. North Korea rights resolution

UPI · Elizabeth Shim · November 19, 2020

Disappointing. We cannot neglect human rights for the 25 million Korean people living in North Korea.

 

14. Why Joe Biden might be able to negotiate with North Korea

National Interest · Mitchell Lerner · November 17, 2020

Wishful thinking? I agree that a calm and reasonable response to North Korean provocation is critically important. But the implied “concession giving” and a gesture of reconciliation smells like a path to appeasement.

 

15. What does South Korea think about a Joe Biden administration?

National Interest · Daniel R. DePetris · November 18, 2020

Biden is not Obama and the conditions today are not the same as 2009-2017.

Then there is this conclusion. I do not think it is fair to say the US did not allow South Korea to have its own North Korean policy. What I think is the problem with the Moon administration’s policy is it is built on the erroneous assumption that Kim Jong-Un shares his vision of peace and reconciliation. 

 

16. Korea expert discusses advancements in North Korea’s nuclear missile program

CBS News · November 18, 2020

Michael Morell interviews Dr. Sue Mi Terry.

 

17. Landmine on Chinese border kills North Korean special forces officer

Radio Free Asia · Sewon Kim, Leejin Jun, & Eugene Whong · November 17, 2020

 

18. The “terrible circumstances” of N. Korea’s quarantine facilities

Daily NK · Jang Seul Gi · November 19, 2020

Horrific conditions and officials know they are responsible and now perhaps seem to fear future accountability.

 

19. North Korea set to offer world glimpse of its prowess – analysis

Eurasia Review · Dr. Theodore Karasik · November 19, 2020

Be prepared.

 

20. Lockdown in Manpo lifted, but some 100 people have died of coronavirus-like symptoms

Daily NK · Ha Yoon Ah · November 18, 2020

If this is accurate, the conditions are probably far worse. And I worry about OCVID infiltrating the North Korean People’s Army and how that will influence regime decision making.

 

“In most campaigns the dislocation of the enemy’s psychological   and physical balance has been the vital prelude to a successful attempt at his overthrow.”

– Captain Sir Basil H. Liddell Hart, 1944

“Without a doubt, psychological warfare has proven its right to a place of dignity in our military arsenal.”

– General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Psychological forces exert a decisive influence on the elements involved in war.”

– Carl von Clausewitz

“Psychological Warfare has always rested as an uneasy activity in democracies, even   in wartime. It is partly to do with the suspicion that using the mind to influence the   mind is somehow unacceptable. But is it more unacceptable to shoot someone’s brains out rather than to persuade that brain to drop down their weapon and live?”

– Dr. Phillip M. Taylor, Author of “Munitions of the Mind”, Manchester   University Press, 1995

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