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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #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

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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 2 Weeks Ago   #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 2 Weeks Ago   #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.
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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 2 Weeks Ago   #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 2 Weeks Ago   #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 2 Weeks Ago   #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 1 Week Ago   #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 1 Week Ago   #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/

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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 6 Days Ago   #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 6 Days Ago   #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 3 Days Ago   #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 2 Days Ago   #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 2 Days Ago   #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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