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Old 12-28-2017   #121
AdamG
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1. Rhetorical: Who gave them the technology for this great leap forward?
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They've also had the means, motive and opportunity to acquire it from elsewhere.

If there are complicit parties outside of NK, they need to be hunted down and dealt with appropriately.
WAPO: Documents shed light on North Korea’s startling gains in sea-based missile technology

Quote:
A few months after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a group of American investors and Russian scientists struck a deal to begin marketing one of the crown jewels of Moscow’s strategic arsenal: an entire family of missiles designed for launch from submarines.
Up for sale were powerful missiles called “Calm” and “Ripple,” built to lob heavy warheads into space from a barge or a submarine tube, and a new model called “Surf” that could be rolled off the side of a ship and fired straight out of the water. The idea of the joint venture, as one of its U.S. partners wrote in early 1993, was to link American satellite companies to a top Russian weapons laboratory to “convert potentially threatening submarine missiles into peaceful space boosters.”

The Americans quickly ran aground on a series of legal and bureaucratic barriers, but the Russians forged ahead with a new partner willing to pay cash for Soviet military technology: North Korea. More than two decades later, some of the Soviet designs are reappearing, one after another, in surprisingly sophisticated missiles that have turned up on North Korean launchpads over the past two years. Now, newly uncovered documents offer fresh clues about the possible origins of those technical advances, some of which seemed to outside observers to have come from nowhere.
*
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The documents from the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau include marketing brochures for an array of top-of-the-line Soviet missiles that were able to deliver nuclear warheads to U.S. cities. Initially designed for the Soviet navy’s nuclear submarines, some of the models offered for sale could be launched from a large boat, a submerged barge, or a capsule dropped into the ocean, negating the need for a modern submarine fleet.
*

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The fact that it has taken Pyongyang so long to exploit the Russian designs is perplexing, but North Korea had long lacked the sophisticated materials, engineering expertise and computer-driven machine tools for the kinds of advanced missiles it has recently tested, weapons experts say. With an industrial base enhanced by years of slow, patient acquisition efforts, North Korea is only now in a position to capitalize on technology it had been sitting on for years or even decades, analysts say.
“North Korea was just recently able to acquire machine tools that were state-of-the-art in the 1990s, meaning they are still damn good machine tools,” Wright said. “Once you have the plans, and are able to get your hands on the materials and the right kinds of tools, you have a real leg up.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.b65a7c5fde20
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Old 12-29-2017   #122
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A North Korean nuclear researcher who fled to China committed suicide after being captured and returned to North Korea, Radio Free Asia reports. The man, who led a research team at Pyongyang’s State Academy of Sciences, reportedly took a leave of absence this year and disappeared across the China border. He was later captured with a group of North Korean defectors in Shenyang city, China, on Nov. 4, and returned to North Korea on Nov. 17. He took poison within hours of being placed in solitary confinement. It is unclear how he was able to get access to the poison in the North Korea lockup.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/north-...killed-himself
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Old 12-30-2017   #123
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The reported discovery of anthrax antibodies in a North Korean defector is renewing fears that the regime of Kim Jong Un is developing lethal biological weapons in violation of international law.
A South Korean intelligence officer told that nation's Channel A television that one of at least four soldiers who defected from the North this year had the antibodies in his system. Senior defense analyst Shin Jong Woo said the anthrax vaccine is probably given to North Korean soldiers working on biological weapons projects.
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/msn/a...cid=spartandhp

Historical reminder.
Quote:
Ustinov had been doing basic military research on the Marburg virus, studying its potential as a weapon. The long-term goal was to see if it could be loaded into special biological warheads on the MIRV missiles that were aimed at the United States. (A MIRV has multiple warheads, which are directed at different targets.) At the time, the Soviet biological missile warheads were designed to be loaded with strategic/operational smallpox virus, Black Death, and anthrax.
http://cryptome.info/0001/bioweap.htm

See also http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/...apons-accident
and https://arstechnica.com/science/2016...eapon-decoded/
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Old 12-30-2017   #124
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LONDON/MOSCOW - Russian tankers have supplied fuel to North Korea on at least three occasions in recent months by transferring cargoes at sea, according to two senior Western European security sources, providing an economic lifeline to the secretive Communist state.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-n...-idUSKBN1EN1OJ
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Old 01-01-2018   #125
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SEOUL (Reuters) - Kim Jong Un on Monday warned the United States he has a "nuclear button" on his desk ready for use if North Korea is threatened, but offered an olive branch to South Korea, saying he was "open to dialogue" with Seoul.
After a year dominated by fiery rhetoric and escalating tensions over North Korea's nuclear weapons program, Kim used his televised New Year's Day speech to declare North Korea "a peace-loving and responsible nuclear power" and call for lower military tensions and improved ties with the South.
https://ca.news.yahoo.com/north-kore...005731746.html
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Old 01-02-2018   #126
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To the outside world, North Korean propaganda posters are notorious for their militaristic and anti-American messages. Recent topics include Donald Trump being attacked with an axe and missiles pointing at Capitol Hill.
But one former Pyongyang resident is hoping that her sizable Korean poster collection can present a more nuanced picture of art in the reclusive state. Stanford fellow Katharina Zellweger -- who lived in Pyongyang for five years while working for a Swiss government agency -- has collected over 100 examples from inside the country.
Most of the images promote agriculture and science, offering an alternative to the violent scenes typically associated with North Korean propaganda. The posters, which encourage hard work and solidarity, are reinforced with depictions of smiling model citizens and images celebrating national achievements.
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...posters-reveal
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Old 01-04-2018   #127
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What happens when a North Korean ballistic missile test fails in flight and explodes in a populated area?

On April 28, 2017, North Korea launched a single Hwasong-12/KN17 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) from Pukchang Airfield in South Pyongan Province (the Korean People’s Army’s Air and Anti-Air Force Unit 447 in Ryongak-dong, Sunchon City, to be more precise). That missile failed shortly after launch and crashed in the Chongsin-dong, in North Korean city of Tokchon, causing considerable damage to a complex of industrial or agricultural buildings.

According to a U.S. government source with knowledge of North Korea’s weapons programs who spoke to The Diplomat, the missile’s first stage engines failed after approximately one minute of powered flight, resulting in catastrophic failure. The missile never flew higher than approximately 70 kilometers. The location of the missile’s eventual impact was revealed exclusively to The Diplomat and evidence of the incident can be independently corroborated in commercially available satellite imagery from April and May 2017.
https://thediplomat.com/2018/01/when...h-korean-city/
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Old 01-06-2018   #128
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Interesting opinion piece - one of the co-authors appears to be General Shankar, an Indian Army artillery guy.
http://bharatshakti.in/author/shankar-pr/

Quote:
Way back in 2003, Time magazine reported that North Korean Artillery could flatten Seoul in the first half hour of any confrontation. A South Korean security analyst suggested that North Korean artillery pieces of calibers 170 millimeter and 240 millimeter “could fire 10,000 rounds per minute to Seoul and its environs.” There are many other such analyses and reports (before and after) that have reinforced and complemented this canard. The hype that has been created is now an amoebic prophecy which feeds on itself. It dominates the national thinking of South Korea and has created a fear psychosis. Attempts to argue otherwise or question this canard have lacked depth and are not conclusive. Hence, the canard has assumed delusional proportions. We have carried out an analysis to examine if North Korea can flatten Seoul with conventional artillery in any confrontation. We have given the best to North Korea. The benefit of any doubt was given to the team which argued that North Korean artillery can flatten Seoul. Our emphatic answer is: it cannot. This article is about logically proving that North Korean artillery can never flatten Seoul—leave alone in the first half hour of any conflict
http://nationalinterest.org/feature/...rtillery-23964

Tangentially related thread (currently locked)
http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=6414

Bonus - who wants to play IMINT games?
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Old 01-11-2018   #129
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The U.S. Air Force announced it has deployed three nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers and 200 air personnel to Guam -- sending a strong signal to North Korea just a few days after its talks with South Korea.
The B-2s join a number of B-1 conventional bombers already deployed on the Pacific island.
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2018/01...rth-korea.html
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Old 01-11-2018   #130
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The more I that I think through the problem, the more I believe the U.S. should just round up the money to fund the reconstruction, re-settlement, infrastructure repair/upgrades we’d have to deal with after any war, and throw it at the re-unification problem.

I get it that S. Korea doesn’t want reunification to stall its economic engine, and China doesn’t want to deal with the chaos of refugees or a failed regime, should we decapitate the leadership. I think we can make reunification an attractive alternative to war on the peninsula, where every actor would and keep paying for a long time afterwards.

Convince China that it is in their best interests to nudge Kim out of his seat, or at least not demand reunification under N. Korean terms. Convince the N. Korean military that if they want to live they need to remove Kim. And most of all, convince the otherwise brainwashed civilian population that they can have a much better life in 5-10 years (even if it’s just doubling the per capita invome to $2,000 USD per year), if they just lay back and let it happen.

These should be our aiming points, because otherwise we only have three options. 1) We accept the reality of a nuclearized peninsula and stop whining about it. 2) We go to war to try to achieve certain strategic objectives and assume a mess of epic proportions after the loss of countless lives and billions of dollars in equipment and S. Korean infrastructure. 3) We attempt military action which triggers a nuclear event.

Right now, sucking up the cost of reunification and getting it over and done with, seems like the least costly COA.

In exchange for China’s support, we reduce our presence on the peninsula down to small coordination elements, and pretty much leave. It’s a massive paradigm shift and I doubt any military or political leader has the vision or balls to dream that big, but what it we could remove the nuclear threat without firing a single shot?
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Old 01-15-2018   #131
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Carpet-bomb the North with food packages wrapped in commercial advertising.



Lest you think I'm jesting.
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Old 01-15-2018   #132
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Default For all you little Minnions making up briefing slides

Additional readings.
http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...084#post210084

You're welcome.
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Old 01-16-2018   #133
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Additional readings.
http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...084#post210084

You're welcome.
The biggest shortfall in the article at this link is there is not an evaluation of the effects. The U.S. did a lot of interesting psychological operations in WWII to the present day. However, no matter how interesting, most of these actions didn't achieve the desired effect at the scale desired and required. While not directly a PSYOP mission, we provided substantial food aid to North Korea in 1990s, and it didn't put a dent in their loyalty to the Kim Regime. I'm a believer in PSYOP, but it isn't as simple as dropping food packages and sending messages via balloons. They have a isolated positive effects, but we need a larger campaign that drives mass dissatisfaction with the regime, and maybe even a little Arab Spring action. Doubtful, but still desirable.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #134
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Washington (AFP) - North Korea has made new advances in its intercontinental ballistic missile program but has not yet demonstrated all the capabilities needed to hit America with such a weapon, a top US general said Tuesday.
While Pyongyang has shown it can put the United States in range and point a rocket to the country, General Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said it has not yet proven that its fusing and targeting technologies can survive the stresses of ballistic missile flight.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/n-korea-n...152813350.html
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #135
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Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
Doubtful, but still desirable.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #136
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History may not repeat itself, but it does seem to have a continuous rhyme.

https://www.38north.org/2018/01/mlerner012318/

Remembering the Pueblo: How Internal Imperatives Shape North Korean Decisions

Quote:
The tragic details of the Pueblo Incident are certainly important on their own merits, but they can also provide a useful window into North Korea in the late 1960s and perhaps even lessons for today, especially in the wake of the release of archival materials from the former communist-bloc states during this period. The most immediate conclusion that we can now draw about the incident is the fact that, despite what most Americans instinctively believed, the North Koreans had acted alone.
It goes on to explain that China was furious with North Korea for this action, and they even cancelled cultural exchanges. Now to the national level.

Quote:
Moreover, a general disillusionment and demoralization had fallen over the country, one that appears to have been at the heart of a series of purges Kim launched against a number of officials. Accordingly, Kim seems to have latched onto the Pueblo as a means of rallying the people behind him during this difficult time. “The spreading military psychosis had other functions,” noted Czech officials in North Korea a few weeks after the Pueblo capture, “like distracting people from the existing economic difficulties, ‘justifying’ stagnation of the standard of living, demanding the strictest discipline and obedience, and preventing any criticism.”
I think the following statement is false, because many analyst consider this. It is still an important point though.

Quote:
Few voices consider the possibility that North Korea might be driven by internal imperatives, rooted in changing economic or political circumstances and national ideology. For a reminder of how indigenous forces can shape DPRK behavior, contemporary policymakers could do worse than turn the clock back to 1968 and “Remember the Pueblo.”
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Old 3 Weeks Ago   #137
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https://beyondparallel.csis.org/nort...-bases-part-1/

North Korean Special Operations Forces: Hovercraft Bases (Part I)

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If used as a staging area for an attack, the hovercraft units from Kibong-dong could land as many as 2,700 special force troops on South Korea’s western islands within two to four hours. Units from Tasa-ri could land an additional 800 troops within 2.5 to 4.5 hours of a first wave attack.
Sounds more like a MEU OTB offensive operation than SOF. One would hope South Korea could detect the craft and defeat them before the Marines dismounted.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #138
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China is reportedly moving missile defense batteries and troops closer to its border with North Korea, a potential sign that Beijing anticipates either a large refugee wave north or a military disturbance triggered by the belligerence of communist dictator Kim Jong-un.

The South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo cited Radio Free Asia (RFA) in a report Monday, stating that RFA had compiled evidence that China had “late last year deployed another missile defense battery at an armored division in Helong, west of Longjing in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture.”

The “North Korean source in China” speaking to RFA also noted that Pyongyang had observed the movement of 300,000 troops closer to the North Korean border and “missile defense batteries near North Korean reservoirs by the Apnok [Yalu] and Duman [Tumen] rivers.” The batteries would prevent the violent outpouring of those reservoirs into China in the event of an airstrike.

On Friday, China’s state-run People’s Daily newspaper reported that Beijing was also investing in establishing nuclear monitoring stations throughout the world, but especially near North Korea, to more rapidly gather information about a potential airstrike. While carefully noting that “detection is not targeted at any particular country,” the newspaper noted that the planned 11 nuclear monitoring stations “are responsible for detecting nuclear activities in neighboring countries, including North Korea.”
http://www.breitbart.com/national-se...korean-border/

https://legacy.lib.utexas.edu/maps/m...h_pol_2005.jpg
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #139
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US military officials and policymakers are devoting increased attention to the potential for conflict with a near-peer competitor, and they've pursued a number of operational and equipment changes to prepare for it.
Among the latest moves is the roll out of more cold-weather gear among the US Army and Marine Corps, underscoring the military's growing concern about its ability to operate in extreme environments outside the Middle East.
For the last several years, the Army has been looking to update its gear for extreme environments, mainly jungles and the harsh cold. Included in that search was a new cold-weather boot and a cold-weather clothing system that could be adjusted for various temperatures.
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/th...cid=spartandhp
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
https://beyondparallel.csis.org/nort...-bases-part-1/

North Korean Special Operations Forces: Hovercraft Bases (Part I)

Sounds more like a MEU OTB offensive operation than SOF. One would hope South Korea could detect the craft and defeat them before the Marines dismounted.
That's a really good analysis, but that's to be expected from Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. That whole place looks like one giant T.R.P., which would imply that any activity (like springtime exercises) there could be an early indicator of an assault.

The UK Telegraph synthesized Joe's writing, but mentioned 'hardened' shelters (when the original did not).
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