Sunday, March 31, 2013

North Korea has no justification or cause to their provocations!

I have no idea how North Korea was able to inform the UN Security Council of impending danger of nuclear war on Korean Peninsula, claiming that the US and the ROK is responsible for the current circumstance.
The recent events were all created by North Korea. It was North Korea that carried out the 3rd nuclear test, and it was the rogue st ate that threatened the peace in East Asia. It, too, was North Korea that cut off all communications lines with South Korea.
Despite all this, North Korea is using the UN to make itself look like the victim, and make the US and the ROK look like the assailant. However, North Korea’s shallow intent is to merely have a ground for justification of their provocations.
The UN Security Council has seen through North Korea’s intent. Although they have received the official letter from North Korea, they stated that they would take no actions to remedy North Korea’s requests. Even if North Korea plans for future provocations, they should know that they have no grounds or cause that will justify their actions.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

North Korea warns of 'simmering nuclear war'

North Korea has again threatened war against South Korea and the US, saying conditions for a simmering nuclear war have been created on the peninsula. North Korea openly informed the UN Security Council that the Korean Peninsula now has the conditions for a simmering nuclear war. They claimed that this is because of provocation moves by the US and the ROK. The North had announced that it was cutting all military hotline with the South, meaning that all direct inter-government and military contact has been suspended after it previously cut a Red Cross link. North Korea said its military would put all field artillery units, including long-range artillery units and strategic rocket units, into combat duty position that will target all "enemy objects" in the US, "invasionary" bases on its mainland, Hawaii and Guam. North's "attention-seeking behaviour" is in response to it feeling "cornered" by the international community. The regime wants the people of North Korea to be consolidated behind its young leader Kim Jung-un. I doubt that the North will attack first. Its capability to target the US remains limited. This is just signs that the North is ready to negotiate. All the provocations from North Korea is just to get more leverage in future negotiations.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

North Korea at No. 1 Combat Readiness Status

North Korea does not have the capability to start a full-scale war with the US and the ROK. In order to conduct a total war, a country needs to have combat rations, oil, munitions, and other military stock piles. North Korea, however, is devoid of the necessary goods to start a war. North Korea would not be able to support and sustain its armed forces. Moreover, North Korean leaders are fully aware of the fact that in case of war with the US and the ROK, North Korea would lose. The military capability of North Korea is nothing compared to the combined forces of the US and the ROK. Despite this, North Korea announced that the country was going into a No. 1 combat readiness status. This implies that North Korea is under immense pressure from the international sanctions. North Korea’s empty provocations and threats will persist. The international society must not give in and maintain the sanctions against the rogue state.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

China, tired of North Korea?

North Korea, China's longtime ally, has vexed Beijing for years with its rocket launches, nuclear tests, kidnapping of Chinese fishermen and other erratic behavior. Yet, Beijing has run interference at the United Nations to temper punishments against Pyongyang, and has even helped Pyongyang circumvent sanctions. China is trying to punish ally North Korea for its nuclear and missile tests, stepping up inspections of North Korean-bound cargo in a calibrated effort to send a message of Chinese pique without further provoking a testy Pyongyang government. North Korea's economic lifeline, China is showing signs of getting tough with an impoverished neighbor it has long supported with trade, aid and diplomatic protection for fear of setting off a collapse. The moves to crimp, but not cut off trade with North Korea come as Beijing falls under increased scrutiny to enforce new U.N. sanctions passed after last month's nuclear test, Pyongyang's third. Targeted in the sanctions are the bank financing and bulk smuggling of cash that could assist North Korea's nuclear and missile programs as well as the luxury goods that sustain the ruling elite around leader Kim Jong Un. Pyongyang has reacted with fury and threatening rhetoric against South Korea and the U.S. China's change of tack with North Korea unlikely foreshadows a total end to Beijing's support. For Beijing, North Korea remains a pivotal strategic buffer between China and a U.S.-allied South Korea, and Chinese leaders worry that too much pressure could upend an already fragile North Korean economy and cause the Kim government to collapse, leaving Beijing with a security headache and possible refugee crisis.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Japanese locals open a memorial service commemorating comfort women

On March 23rd, some 100 Japanese locals of Yonaguni island have opened a memorial service commemorating comfort women who were sexually enslaved by the Japanese imperial army. On 1944, Japan created 17 comfort women posts when it was anticipated that the US will invade the Japan. They forcefully brought women from occupied Korea and Taiwan to serve some 30,000 Japanese soldiers. On December 1944, a ship that was carrying 53 Korea comfort women were headed for Miyako island from Yonaguni island. The ship was bombarded by the US military, leaving 46 dead. Most of the bodies of the comfort women were missing. It’s believed that Japan has forcefully mobilized around 20,000 comfort women. Enslaving women into sexual labor is a crime, even in dire situations of war. Japan must give a sincere apology, and compensate for the damages.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cyber warfare between the two Koreas

South Korea will push to increase its cyber warfare forces to more than 1,000 to enhance preparedness against an unprovoked attack, as this week's massive hacking highlighted the potential danger of cyber terror by North Korea. It may seem unlikely that impoverished North Korea, with one of the most restrictive Internet policies in the world, would have the ability to threaten affluent South Korea, a country considered a global leader in telecommunications. For several years, North Korea has poured money into science and technology. The cyber attack against three major broadcasters and three banks, the biggest in two years, brought fresh attention to potential cyber attacks in South Korea, one of the world's most wired nations. Initial investigations found malware code used in the attack was from China. Authorities are focusing on possible links with North Korea as it has repeatedly threatened to launch various attacks on Seoul in light of new sanctions for its nuclear test and annual joint drills with the U.S. South Korea has about 400 personnel under the Cyber Command, a special unit launched in early 2010, but the military will increase the number of personnel to more than 1,000 in the wake of the growing cyber threat.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Change in China’s attitude towards North Korea

Stopping illicit money flows are a key part of the sanctions imposed on North Korea in response to its February 12 nuclear test. China is Pyongyang's sole diplomatic and economic ally, although it negotiated the latest sanctions with Washington and has said it wanted them implemented. It's no secret that there is a fair amount of financial relationship between China and North Korea and Chinese financial institutions in North Korea
We encourage the Chinese regulatory authorities to inform the Chinese banking sector about Security Council Resolution 2094 to the provisions that call for preventing financial services to North Korea if they could contribute to nuclear/ballistic missile programs or North Korea's conventional arms sales. Chinese banks and Chinese regulators will take heed of the Security Council resolution.
China has become increasingly frustrated with North Korea's actions. Besides the February 12 nuclear test, North Korea tested a long-range missile in December and has stepped up its rhetoric against the United States and South Korea.
Chinese regulators appear to have issued a warning shot to North Korean banks, telling them to stay within the remit of their permitted operations in China or risk penalties. Beijing has joined every round of U.N. sanctions against North Korea although questions remain over how closely it imposes restraints on its neighbor.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A North Korean Version of Operation Linebacker II

The United States said it was flying training missions of nuclear-capable B-52 bombers over South Korea, in a clear signal to North Korea at a time of escalating military tensions. The flights - part of annual joint South Korea-US military exercises - should be seen as underscoring US commitment and capacity to defend Seoul against an attack from the North. The Boeing B-52 was designed to carry nuclear weapons for Cold War-era deterrence missions. The bomber carries up to 31 tons of weapons. The zenith of B-52 attacks in Vietnam was Operation Linebacker II which consisted of waves of B-52s. Over 12 days, B-52s flew 729 sorties and dropped 15,237 tons of bombs in Vietnam. The B-52 strikes were an important part of Operation Desert Storm. With about 1,620 sorties flown, B-52s dropped 25,000 tons of bombs. The B-52 also contributed to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The B-52s are capable of carrying 24 2000 pound bombs that are capable of destroying underground facilities. If the B-52s are deployed and used against North Korea, it will literally rain hell on North Korea.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

N Korean video imagines attack on Washington

North Korea has produced a new propaganda video portraying a simulated attack on the White House and the US Capitol Building in Washington DC. The four-minute video, entitled "Firestorms will rain on the Headquarters of War", was posted Monday on the YouTube channel of the North Korea’s semi-official central news agency Uriminzokkiri. A series of shots depicting North Korean soldiers, artillery fire, and military hardware culminate in an image of crosshairs zooming in on the White House. The scene quickly cuts over to images of computer rendered explosions bursting around the dome of the US Capitol building. "There is no limit to the range of our strategic rockets," the narrator warns. This is not the first time a North Korean Propaganda video has depicted a military strike on the United States. In February, Uriminzokkiri circulated an internet video showing a skyline resembling New York, up in flames.
Provocations and aggressive rhetoric by the DPRK (North Korea) are unhelpful and undermine international efforts to ensure peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

Monday, March 18, 2013

North Korea's obstinance will no longer work

"They bang the spoon on the table and then suddenly they get food aid. Or they get other concessions. And then they come back to the table and negotiate a little bit, and then if they get bored they start- provocative actions again. We've broken that pattern. Now, what we need to see is whether they're willing to come in a serious way to negotiate these issues." This is what President Obama said on ABC's 'Good Morning America' on the 13th. North Korea should take some confidence building measures to break the cycle of confrontation, which would prompt the US and other players in the frozen six-party talks to respond. They could start by ending nuclear testing. They could start by ending some of this missile testing. There is a whole battery of confidence-building measures that they could engage in. One thing the US must do is to make sure that North Korea is not being rewarded for bad behavior.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

US imposes additional sanctions on North Korea

The US Treasury Department has added its own financial sanctions against North Korea to ones recently imposed by the UN Security Council. The new measures are expected to have major repercussions. The department included North Korea's Foreign Trade Bank, the country's institution in charge of foreign banking transactions and foreign exchange, as one of the targets for sanctions as a means of "Blocking Property of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferators and Their Supporters." The measure bar it from doing business with US banks and freeze all assets under US legal jurisdiction. The US already has executive orders sanctioning more than 20 North Korean institutions, but the latest measures are different in that they target the country's key foreign exchange bank. The decision to halt transaction with the FTB is expected to have significant repercussions, since the business will have to migrate over to other banks. Moreover, the US Treasury Department issued a press release urging banks around the world to be wary of the risks of doing business with FTB. One factor that could affect the impact of the US sanctions is the response form China, which is far and away North Korea's top trading partner. As with the UNSC sanctions, the question is how much cooperation can be expected from Beijing. China will probably go along with the US since have already took sides with the UN Security Council in imposing sanctions on North Korea. Moreover, Some observers have hinted that China may cooperate with the US for fear of encountering problems with its own dollar transaction system.

Friday, March 15, 2013

North Korea overreacts to ROK-US exercise by surge in air force sorties

North Korean jet fighters have flown an unprecedented number of sorties in recent days in apparent response to a joint ROK-US military exercise. The number of sorties by fighter jets and helicopters peaked at 700 on the day Key Resolve exercise was launched. North Korea spent around $2.7m on air force sorties. This is the equivalent of a day's worth of food for all of North Korea. It almost seems like North Korea is trying to compete with the ROK-US in the scale of the exercise. However, it is very obvious that North Korea lacks resources to conduct such exercise. The Soviet Union did not collapse because it did not have nuclear weapons. They collapsed because they invested in nuclear weapons when they could not really afford it. North Korea is taking the same path as the Soviet Union.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

US issues new sanctions on North Korea

The Obama administration reacted with new sanctions and blunt warnings to North Korea's declaration that it had completely scrapped the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War. Sharpening the tension on the peninsula, the North Korean regime declared the truce was over and the time for final showdown has arrived. However, Obama administration officials insisted they would not seek toi ease tensions, as past administrations have done, by providing aid in exchange for Pyonyang's promises to scale back its weapons program.
The US announced that the administration was issuing sanctions aimed at cutting the Foreign Trade Bank of North Korea from the US financial system, saying the bank provides financing for Pyonyang's missile and nuclear programs. The punishments, which also blacklist three individual North korean officials, come on top of financial sanctions imposed last week by the UN Security Council.
North Korea should learn that the US will not play the game of accepting empty promises or yielding to threats. To get assistance it desperately needs and the respect it claims it wants, North Korea will have to change course.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

International Cooperation for Sanctions on North Korea

In order for the sanction on North Korea to be effective, international cooperation is essential, and China needs to take a more active role in making the UN security council resolution effective. Even if the US and the international community imposes sanctions on North Korea, without China, all the efforts would be futile. China has great influence in North Korea. Therefore, China should no longer advocate North Korea, and face the reality. North Korea is no longer an ally to China. North Korea is a menace that will harm China's well-being. North Korea's nuclear development is not only a threat to the US and South Korea. It is a threat to East Asia and the world. If the Chinese government wishes to protect her people, and maintain peace and stability, nonproliferation in North Korea should be China's number one priority.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

North Korea must take responsibility for nullifying armistice

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland characterized North Korea's statement on pulling out of the Korean War armistice as dangerous rhetoric, and not action. She called the statement concerning but said its impact was unclear. She claimed the one-sided declaration was insufficient. Unilateral abrogation or termination of the armistice agreement is not allowed under its regulations or according to international law. The armistice is an agreement signed by UNC Commander, North Korean General, representing the North Korean People's Army and the Chinese People's Volunteer Army in July 27, 1953. The agreement was designed to insure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed forces in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved. However, the armistice agreement has been adopted by the UN General Assembly, and could not be unilaterally dissolved by either North Korea or South Korea. If North Korea wants to nullify the armistice and start a war, they must pay the price.

Monday, March 11, 2013

What is there to gain for North Korea?

North Korea canceled the armistice agreement that brought a cease-fire to the Korean War, and threatened to destroy South Korea or turn Seoul into a sea of fire. North Korea vowed to cancel any agreements made between the two Koreas starting today, March 11. This date coincides with the date of the annual Key Resolve exercise. North Korea had condemned the annual joint maneuvers as a provocative invasion rehearsal. North Korea is using the exercise to create tensions in the Korean peninsula in order to gain leverage in other matters. However, the tides have changed and North Korea will no longer be able to get away with their provocative actions. This time it's very different. China no longer can support North Korea's insanity. And the US will not give in to North Korea's requests.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

UN Security Council denounces North Korea's nuclear test

The UN Security Council ordered new economic sanctions (sanctions 2094) against North Korea on Thursday for its third nuclear test last month, unanimously approving a resolution that the US negotiated with China, the North Korea's greatest protector. In an angry response, North Korea stated that it would nullify all agreements of nonagression and denuclearization with South Korea and was cutting off the North-South hot line. The 2094 sanction condemns the rogue state's nuclear test last month and imposes significant new penalties under the Council's enforcement powers. The resolution strengthens and expands the scope of the strong sanctions regime already in place. It requires member states to freeze or block any financial transaction or financial service that could contribute to North Korea's ilicit nuclear arms and ballistic missile programs or the violation of Security Council resolutions. It also emphasizes the importance of the catch-all clause, which provides comprehensive control of all transactions in parts and technology related to nuclear weapons and missiles. Whether this tough resolution will make any difference in breaking North Korea will depend on the decisions that the North Korean leadership makes.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Chicken game between two Koreas

Have you seen chickens fighting each other? They have a tendency to go at it until one is seriously injured.
Actually, the game of chicken has a long history. Prof. John Nash was a mathematician who developed game theory. For this, he won the Nobel Prize for economics, not mathematics because there is no Nobel Prize for mathematics.
Director Ron Howard even made a movie out of Nash’s life story. Like other geniuses, Nash was not perfect. He suffered from paranoid schizophrenia, which is usually characterized by withdrawal from reality, illogical patterns of thinking, and delusions.
“A Beautiful Mind” was released in December 2001, grossed over $313 million worldwide, and won four Academy Awards, for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress.
Although Nash did not mention it, many scholars have applied his theories to real problems, and playing chicken is one of them, describing two parties participating on a collision course, just like a head-on collision of two cars or two trains.
Every time I hear headlines about North Korea in the mass media, I think of a game of chicken. The policies of North Korea and South Korea are on a collision course.
North Korea continues to develop missiles and nuclear weapons, while South Korea counters with a voice of reason coordinated through the United Nations and other countries pursuing freedom. The problem with reality is that good people do not always win.
This is the reason why South Korea under new President Park Geun-hye may have to develop a new paradigm to counter North Korea’s latest nuclear test on Feb. 12, only three weeks after the United Nations passed new sanctions against it.
Think this way. Can South Korea wage a war against North Korea? No way.
Even if South Korea is assumed to win at the end, war is too costly and cruel. Have sanctions against North Korea worked? The answer is clearly no.
If you believe sanctions work, you are naïve or dumb, or both. Will China keep North Korea from being too aggressive? As much as China benefits from trade with South Korea, it would be foolish to depend on China to keep North Korea from provoking South Korea.
China may not even have as much control over North Korea as some may think. Do we not have the U.S. to keep South Korea safe? Yes we do, but did you notice that the only time the U.S. was really mad at North Korea was when North Korea tested long-range missiles that could reach the U.S. mainland?
Do you think the six-party talks will lead to peace? If you believe it will, again you are either naive or dumb or both. All the factors listed so far that might protect South Korea from provocative actions of North Korea are, for all practical purposes, beyond the control of South Korea.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wy North Korea is turning up the heat again - Key Rsolve Exercise

North Korea has vowed to disregard the 1953 truce that ended the Korean War, in response to South Korea's joint military drills with the US. North Korea has threatened to cancel the truce that ended the Korean War if South Korea continues its joint military exercises, 'Key Resolve', with the United States. North Korea's military accused the two allies of "hostile policies" and said it would respond with "more and stronger countermeasures. Pyeongyang says it will also recall its delegates from Panmunjom, the border village where the 1953 armistice was signed and where the North and South's negotiators still meet for talks. South Korea's military must be fully prepared to strike back at the North if its neighbor uses military force. If North Korea undertakes provocation and threatens peace, South must make it clear that they have all preparations in place for a strong and decisive punishment not only against the source of the aggression and its support forces but also the commanding element.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Japanese rock band kills comfort women twice

A group of South Korean women forced into wartime sexual slavery by Japan filed a defamation suit Monday against a little-known, far-right Japanese rock band for calling them prostitutes. An album containing a song with the allegedly defamatory lyrics by the band "Scramble" was mailed to a shelter caring for so-called "comfort women" in Korea last week. The song, with an accompanying video posted on YouTube in January, is titled "Slashing Koreans" and contains inflammatory lyrics, exhorting violence against "the elderly prostitutes." Historians say about 200,000 women from Korea, China, the Philippines and other countries were drafted to work in Japanese army brothels in Asia. This is inhumane to subject the women, who had already suffered so much in their lives, to such hatred. These are the types of acts that could damage bilateral relations between the neighboring countries.
The Japanese band released the song last week and sent a CD with it to a shelter in Korea for former sex slaves along with a copy of the lyrics translated into Korean.

Monday, March 4, 2013

K-Food, the reason why Americans want to visit Korea

Over the recent five years, the number of Americans who want to visit Korea increased. I thought that this may have to do with Psy's Gangnam Style, but according to a survey done by the the Korea Tourism Organization done on 464 Americans, of the 91% people who responded that they wanted to visit Korea, 52% wanted to visit Korea because of Korean food. Bulgogi, Kimchi, and other tasty and healthy K-food must have caught the hearts of Americans. Korean electronic consumer products like smartphones and Korean automobiles were also one of the reasons why Americans wanted to visit Korea. This accounted for 23% of the total replies. 13% of the people wanted to visit Korea because of K-pop. The survey came as a surprise because I did not expect foreigners to think this positively of Korea.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

North Korea tries to win back defectors to maintain regime stability

Another North Korean defectors had returned to North Korea. North Korea held a press conference for the couple and their daughter on the 24th as well as four other female defectors who defected to South Korea and returned to North Korea. Ko Kyung-hee and others have returned to North korea claiming that South Korea is a very dirty world, full of malice and deception. This is hard to believe. Although the defectors may have difficulty adjusting into a capitalist society, living conditions in South Korea is much better than the living conditions in North Korea. Many of these defectors did not return because they yearned for their homeland, bu because they feared for the safety of their loved ones left behind. The North Korean government is threatening defectors to use them as propaganda to control the public outrage caused by economic recessions. There are even cases where the re-defectors are actually some of hundreds of agents who have been sent to the South by the regime and are simply returning to their masters for various purposes, of which one of them is propaganda.