View Poll Results: What is the near-term future of the DPRK

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  • It will fall into chaos as a result of renewed famine and poverty, resulting in military crackdowns.

    3 15.79%
  • There will be a military coup that displaces the current leadership, hopefully soon.

    4 21.05%
  • It will continue to remain a closed society, technologically dormant and otherwise insignificant.

    12 63.16%
  • The leadership will eventually make a misstep, forcing military action from the United States.

    0 0%
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Thread: North Korea: 2012-2016

  1. #481
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    If you wanted depose a gang leader somehow though, how would you go about it? What might work? What I am getting at is what in gang dynamics might be useful against Kim III?
    If enough of Kim's inner circle were mad at him because the country could be lost then they might think it was worth the risk to do something like that. But you are dealing with 3 generations of the Kim ruling elite(all kinds of cousins and aunts and uncles floating around and on the Kim gravy train) which as I said is what makes Asian Gangs and Family Dynasties so difficult and different to the American way of dealing with things. Kim has a cult leadership quality about him that makes the situation very different and unstable. All in all a very, very low probability of success operation IMO.

  2. #482
    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    So, the way I read it, this is going to eventually end with a big fight. It could go on forever if we just kept issuing the checks forever. But human nature precludes that. Somebody will inevitably get ticked off and say no more and then the fight comes.

    So, if the fight is inevitable, would it not be better to have it sooner, while their nukes are still of uncertain utility, than later after they have had time to perfect them?

    My opinion of course makes no difference at all. Does anybody know if the South Koreans are leaning that way?
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  3. #483
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    The North has rejected South's call for talks. This indicates to me that the South is more willing to talk than to start a war. The government still balks at the cost of reunification, especially on by force. The economic and human cost is unacceptable.

    The South Korean people seem to be keen on downplaying concerns on the North's threats. I think it is recognized that the North cannot carry out afford carry out its threats, at least not in the near future.

  4. #484
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    Default Carl,

    Good path, to ask the South Koreans what they want - esp. where nukes might (at some point) be involved.

    In the Cold War Era, the South Koreans and Germans were both faced with difficult questions - basically, would the village be destroyed in order to save it ? Edward Luttwak outlined the paradoxes in his Strategy: The Logic of War and Peace (1987).

    The complex issues (when the Thermonuclear Era was younger than I) are covered by Andre Beaufre in his An introduction to strategy: With particular reference to problems of defense, politics, economics, and diplomacy in the nuclear age (1965), and Deterrence and Strategy (1965).

    Herman Kahn presented one view in his On Thermonuclear War (1960). Hugh Everett (Wiki) had a less optimistic view in his 1959 "The Distribution and Effects of Fallout in Large Nuclear-Weapon Campaigns" (see notes 11 & 12 of Wiki).

    The bottom line is that nukes change the equation drastically, where different folks will apply different strokes to avoid the "The Day After" (1983).

    Regards

    Mike

  5. #485
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default The Orchestration Of War

    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    So, the way I read it, this is going to eventually end with a big fight. It could go on forever if we just kept issuing the checks forever. But human nature precludes that. Somebody will inevitably get ticked off and say no more and then the fight comes.

    So, if the fight is inevitable, would it not be better to have it sooner, while their nukes are still of uncertain utility, than later after they have had time to perfect them?

    My opinion of course makes no difference at all. Does anybody know if the South Koreans are leaning that way?
    This is why I think criminal Behavior Theory is often better than Military Theory. If little Kim wanted War he would have already started one, no need to alert the Enemy with threats. He wants us to pay up.....straight up extortion scam IMO.

    With that in mind here is a Link to Chapter 9 From Warden's original work "The Air Campaign." This chapter is called "The Orchestration Of War" where you see Vietnam just substitute North Korea there is some good advice there.
    http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/warden/wrdchp09.htm

  6. #486
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Information source on the North

    Someone to follow on Twitter, @BruceWBennett:
    Senior defense analyst at the RAND Corporation, specializing in Northeast Asian military issues. Opinions do not represent RAND. RTs are not endorsements.
    He's just Tweeted:
    Kim Jong-Un appears to be particularly concerned about regime security.....He's tightened the border with China, put uniformed security guards around himself, & tried to cut info flow from the outside - esp. China....More signs that there may be more insecurity in North Korea than many analysts believe
    davidbfpo

  7. #487
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    Bruce might have been on something, or not but the news coming out from NK is quite chilling and comes right out of Stalins playbook...

    The accused Jang brought together undesirable forces and formed a faction as the boss of a modern day factional group for a long time and thus committed such hideous crime as attempting to overthrow the state by all sorts of intrigues and despicable methods with a wild ambition to grab the supreme power of our party and state.
    The accusation is a classic since the days of the revolutions. If your biggest goal is the revolution your biggest goal afterwards is to avoid to lose power by suffering a successful counter-revolution. Branding someone as an enemy of the people will not go out of fashion.

    Jang was appointed to responsible posts of the party and state thanks to the deep political trust of President Kim Il Sung and leader Kim Jong Il and received benevolence from them more than any others from long ago.

    He held higher posts than before and received deeper trust from supreme leader Kim Jong Un, in particular.

    The political trust and benevolence shown by the peerlessly great men of Mt. Paektu were something he hardly deserved.
    Showered with trust and benevolence by all the peerlessly great Kims, obviously among them the current great man he committed high treason against them and the state.

    When his cunning move proved futile and the decision that Kim Jong Un was elected vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea at the Third Conference of the WPK in reflection of the unanimous will of all party members, service personnel and people was proclaimed, making all participants break into enthusiastic cheers that shook the conference hall, he behaved so arrogantly and insolently as unwillingly standing up from his seat and half-heartedly clapping, touching off towering resentment of our service personnel and people

    He was so imprudent as to prevent the Taedonggang Tile Factory from erecting a mosaic depicting Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il and a monument to field guidance given by them. Jang turned down the unanimous request of the service personnel of a unit of the Korean People's Internal Security Forces to have the autograph letter sent by Kim Jong Un to the unit carved on a natural granite and erected with good care in front of the building of its command. He was so reckless as to instruct the unit to erect it in a shaded corner.
    You really could not make that stuff up. It is actually quite sad to read it, as you know that the guys writing it are trying hard to save their bottom. Certainly they don't want to be accused of leaving out important details.

    He instructed his stooges to sell coal and other precious underground resources at random. Consequently, his confidants were saddled with huge debts, deceived by brokers. Jang made no scruple of committing such act of treachery in May last as selling off the land of the Rason economic and trade zone to a foreign country for a period of five decades under the pretext of paying those debts.
    Interesting to see the Rason economic zone getting mentioned, possibly only to make the accusation of personal enrichment/sellout more plausible.

    He let the decadent capitalist lifestyle find its way to our society by distributing all sorts of pornographic pictures among his confidants since 2009. He led a dissolute, depraved life, squandering money wherever he went.

    He took at least 4.6 million Euro from his secret coffers and squandered it in 2009 alone and enjoyed himself in casino in a foreign country [China?]. These facts alone clearly show how corrupt and degenerate he was.
    It really feels like a long checklist in which every box has to be ticked off.


    As regards the means and methods for staging the coup, Jang said: "I was going to stage the coup by using army officers who had close ties with me or by mobilizing armed forces under the control of my confidants. I don't know well about recently appointed army officers but have some acquaintances with those appointed in the past period. I thought the army might join in the coup if the living of the people and service personnel further deteriorate in the future. And I calculated that my confidants in my department including Ri Ryong Ha and Jang Su Gil would surely follow me and had a plan to use the one in charge of the people's security organ as my confidant. It was my calculation that I might use several others besides them."
    There can be no doubt that after hearing so much about 'flatteres' and supporters that a considerable amount of true or imagined political allies and acquaintances of Jang, beside those already mentioned, have been arrested and maybe already executed.

    And finally:

    The era and history will eternally record and never forget the shuddering crimes committed by Jang Song Thaek, the enemy of the party, revolution and people and heinous traitor to the nation.

    No matter how much water flows under the bridge and no matter how frequently a generation is replaced by new one, the lineage of Paektu will remain unchanged and irreplaceable.

    Our party, state, army and people do not know anyone except Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un.
    Kim Jong Un has clearly tightened his grip on power but it also shows a certain amount of weakness an insecurity as his father was able to handle the elite and family with less brutal means. On the other hand he was able to get the state work according to his will, no doubt aided by the recent shuffles within which were also mentioned in the statement.

    So what does it mean for that corner of the world?


    PS: As it is a statement of the NK party I quoted more then usual.
    Last edited by Firn; 12-13-2013 at 05:42 PM.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

    General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

  8. #488
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firn View Post
    Kim Jong Un has clearly tightened his grip on power but it also shows a certain amount of weakness an insecurity as his father was able to handle the elite and family with less brutal means.
    Just spitballing, perhaps irresponsibly so, but I wonder if the age difference between Kim Jong Un and his uncle has something to do with the execution? Age normally carries so much weight in Korean society. By having Jang Song Thaek executed, Kim Jon Un may hope to make it plainly clear that his position trumps his youth.

    Even if that is part of it, I would assume there are plenty of other things at play. I’m not claiming to be an expert on the situation or anything.
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  9. #489
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    Default An unpredictable n'bor causes alarm

    A short commentary by Mark Fitzpatrick, from IISS (London), which is worth reading and ends with:
    North Korea is also a more dangerous state to its citizens. The danger is most palpable to Jang’s associates, who numbered in the thousands. Facing a similar purge, many will seek escape, by self-exile if possible, or self-defence if necessary. Given Kim Jong-un’s control over the military and party, a coup d’état is unlikely. On the other hand, Jang’s execution, which up until a few days ago was entirely unexpected, shows how unpredictable North Korea is.
    Link:http://www.iiss.org/en/politics%20an...rth-korea-f530

    These three sentences though say it all:
    The power struggle under way in North Korea is often portrayed as balancing the relative strength of the military and the Party. In practical terms, it is a struggle over resources. Over the past year, the military was stripped of control over foreign currency-earning enterprises.
    Even for such a workers paradise foreign exchange earnings exert a powerful influence. Earnings that do not come from traditional exports
    davidbfpo

  10. #490
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    Indeed, as I wrote before, the many 'flatters' must fear for their health and life if they did not already lost it.

    In other words, Jang was letting his country be taken advantage of by China. As Beijing’s principle partner in Pyongyang, Jang advocated certain economic reforms encouraged by China, including free-enterprise zones. With his execution, China may have lost its best means of exerting positive influence over North Korean policy.
    The economic part is quite interesting. Economy is to a good degree about scarce ressources like capital, labour & land and so forth while political power is to various degrees about it's control. Within a liberal Western democracy the overall control over the economy and it's ressources is obviously far less stringent then in a country like NK.

    The almost complete dominance of the political power over the (economic) ressources and the overall extreme scarcity make the stakes a lot higher, sometimes a question of life and death. An example for the common man might have been the hunger years in which every bit of food counted.

    For the elite a key goal seems to be the consumption of luxury goods, which are mostly not producable within the borders. So as a mean to obtain those one needs hard currency which is difficult to get and a specific kind of scarce good. The most important streams of foreign currency must be the FEZ and the export of natural ressources and both get mentioned in the statement, but more importantly were indeed likely strongly connected with Jang. In any case I wouldn't be surprised if the FEZ would stay intact and even get pushed by Kim, as the fight over them has been won and they still key to get many pleasures of the outside world.

    To sum it up the struggle for political power in NK can indeed be a 'winner takes it all, loser loses everything' game which makes the stakes so high. Not much time ago Jang had almost all which a Noth Korean can dream of, now he has nothing.
    ... "We need officers capable of following systematically the path of logical argument to its conclusion, with disciplined intellect, strong in character and nerve to execute what the intellect dictates"

    General Ludwig Beck (1880-1944);
    Speech at the Kriegsakademie, 1935

  11. #491
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    Default North Korea is going to the dogs

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/01...ors_picks=true

    North Korean leader fed uncle to starving dogs, report says

    The Singaporean Straits Times cited a report from Wen Wei Po, a Beijing-control newspaper, that said Jang Song Thaek and five close associates were stripped and fed to 120 dogs that had not eaten for three days. The entire process, witnessed by 300 senior officials, lasted for about an hour, the report said. Fox News could not immediately verify the report
    Unfortunately, true or not, this story could be true in the crazy fiefdom of North Korea, but

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/why-kim-...104-30a85.html

    Why Kim Jong-un probably didn't feed his naked uncle to 120 dogs

    But there are five big reasons that this story just does not seem particularly plausible. The fact that the Western media have so widely accepted a story they would reject if it came out of any other country tells us a lot about how North Korea is covered - and how it's misunderstood.
    Third, South Korea's media have also not touched the story. "This story has hardly been picked up on by Korean media which is one reason to be suspicious," Chad O'Carroll, who edits the news site NKNews.org, told me via email. "The other reason to be suspicious is because the rumour surfaced ages ago - but no one paid attention to it," he said.

    South Korean media are quite plugged in to North Korean defector communities, to sources still in the country and most especially to South Korea's intelligence agency. Some of those outlets can be eager to pick up stories or rumors that portray North Korea in a negative light. And, as O'Carroll pointed out, they're not shy about running single-source stories. But South Korea's many news outlets, big and small, seem to be treating this story as so implausible it's not even worth mentioning. And they would know.

  12. #492
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    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...CampaignId=795

    Secret State of North Korea

    Interesting video, about 60 minutes with some insightful secret filming of North Korea society. There is definitely potential for a North Korea Spring despite the naysayers who are focused on historical North that had more control over the information their people received.

    Comment towards the end of the video is along my line of thinking, and that is of course the Arab Spring made sense in hindsight, but no one saw it coming.

    The upcoming video should provide additional insights.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontl...pm-et-wed-115/

    Is There Hope for Resistance in North Korea?

    “What surprised me the most wasn’t the poverty and poor conditions people live in—which are, undoubtedly, shocking,” says FRONTLINE director James Jones. “It was the ordinary North Koreans who were standing up to authority.”

    What forms is the resistance taking? Is it organized? Do dissidents have a chance to challenge Kim Jong-Un’s authority? Are we on the brink of a “North Korean Spring” — or a major crackdown?

  13. #493
    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Thanks for the heads-up on this one, Bill. Definitely looks worth a watch.
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

  14. #494
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    Washington (AFP) - North Korea poses a mounting threat to the United States due to its pursuit of long-range missiles and nuclear weapons, the Pentagon said Tuesday in its latest strategy document.
    The release of the Pentagon's strategic review came as North Korea flexed its military might three times over the past week, firing short-range Scud missiles and rockets into the sea. The test launches were timed to coincide with joint US-South Korean drills that Pyongyang opposes.

    The strategy document said the United States will seek to stay ahead of the threat of ballistic missile arsenals in Iran and North Korea, noting plans to bolster the number of ground-based interceptors on US soil from 30 to 44 while investing in better sensors.
    http://news.yahoo.com/n-korea-poses-...004803319.html
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  15. #495
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    South Korean military gains authority to launch pre-emptive strike against North when necessary

    http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_V...760&category=2
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  16. #496
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    BEIJING (Reuters) - China declared a "red line" on North Korea on Saturday, saying that China will not permit chaos or war on the Korean peninsula, and that peace can only come through denuclearization.
    China is North Korea's most important diplomatic and economic supporter, though Beijing's patience with Pyongyang has been severely tested following three nuclear tests and numerous bouts of saber rattling, including missile launches.
    http://news.yahoo.com/china-says-not...032259434.html
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  17. #497
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Default Paranoia in Pyongyang

    Separate for maximum visibility and insight into what makes Dear Leader tick. Some of this is just too Orwellian to let languish in a larger thread.

    North Korean intelligence official tells of aborted coups and assassination attempts
    One of only a handful of North Korean intelligence officials ever to have escaped the country paints a dark portrait of plotting and factions in Pyongyang
    In one plot, a group of officers hoping to provoke a Russian intervention against the regime planned to stage a bomb attack on the Russian consulate in the North Korean city of Chongjin. In another, a north eastern army unit planned a missile strike on key targets in Pyongyang. Both plots, said Mr K, were discovered before they took place.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...-attempts.html
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  18. #498
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    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — North Korea on Friday accused the United States of being "hell-bent on regime change" and warned that any maneuvers with that intention will be viewed as a "red line" that will result in countermeasures.

    Pyongyang's deputy U.N. ambassador Ri Tong Il also repeated that his government "made it very clear we will carry out a new form of nuclear test" but refused to elaborate, saying only that "I recommend you to wait and see what it is."

    His comments came at North Korea's second press conference at the United Nations in two weeks, a surprising rate for the reclusive Communist regime.
    http://news.yahoo.com/north-korea-sa...164854158.html
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  19. #499
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    North Korea will execute 200 supporters of Jang Song Thaek, executed uncle of Kim Jong Un: report
    The government made a list of about 200 high-ranking supporters and their family members, who have been declared followers of Jang Song Thaek, who was executed in Dec. 2013. The families will likely be sent to concentration camps, according to reports.
    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/worl...#ixzz2xyDuA0J4
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  20. #500
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    200 executions at a shooting range with an audience! And here I thought the only open gate to hell was in the Great Lakes region of Africa.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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