North Korea

Ex-North Korean Military Chief Possibly Dead After Reported Gun Battle

(Business Insider)   Earlier this week everyone was talking about the power struggle behind the removal of ousted North Korean military chief Ri Yong-ho.

If reports are to be believed, that struggle was very real. From South Korean paper Choson Iblo:

A gunbattle broke out when the North Korean regime removed army chief Ri Yong-ho from office, leaving 20 to 30 soldiers dead, according to unconfirmed intelligence reports. Some intelligence analysts believe Ri, who has not been seen since his abrupt sacking earlier this week, was injured or killed in the confrontation.

While the report cannot be confirmed at present, it certainly puts recent moves in North Korea into a different light. A few days after Ri was ousted (under the guise of illness), supreme leader Kim Jong Un gave himself the title of Marshall in the North Korean military.

http://www.businessinsider.com/north-korea-ro-yong-dead-battle-2012-7

Defector: Rumors Circulating Kim Jong-Il Was Assassinated

(PRISON PLANET)   Dictator’s death could have been result of internal power struggle with country’s military.  A prominent North Korean defector and a South Korean politician are contradicting reports that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il died of a heart attack, pointing to rumors that he was assassinated as result of an internal power struggle between the ruling Communist Workers’ Party and the country’s military.

“A rumor is circulating that earlier a high-ranking North Korean official was shot dead. This has yet to be confirmed, but such talk is evidence that discontent was brewing among some people in the North,” political scientist An Chan-il told the Korea Times.

Noting that numerous military officers were dismissed shortly after the anointment of Kim Jung-un as the Stalinist state’s next leader, An said that growing resentment within the ranks could have led to an assassination plot carried out “by those harboring discontent with the way he ruled the country.”

“As their vested interests were hurt due to Kim Jong-il, I would not rule out the possibility that some military officers, who believed their clout and influence had been damaged, could have played a role in his death,” An said.

Rep Chun Yo-ok of the ruling Grand National Party (GNP) also speculated that Kim Jong-Il’s death could have been an act of “homicide,” the result of an internal power struggle.

Although the dictator has been in bad health since he reportedly suffered a stroke in August 2008, recent public appearances suggest Kim Jon-Il’s health was improving.

Rumors have long circulated that not all of the country’s military units held the slavish devotion to their “dear leader” that was portrayed by the state-run media.

As Infowars reported yesterday, strong rumors of the regime’s collapse have been circulating for over a year on the back of suspicions that Kim Jong-Il had already died. The London Telegraph questioned back in September 2010 whether a double was covering for his premature death, noting that North Korea had gone to some lengths to formally name his son, Kim Jong-un, still in his twenties, as successor in a ceremony.

Meanwhile in a related report, China has sent 2,000 PLA troops to the border with North Korea in an effort to ensure refugees do not flood across the border. 30,000 Chinese troops will be in place by the end of the month, according to a report out of Taiwan’s Central News Agency . The amount of North Koreans attempting to flee the country has surged in recent years.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/defector-rumors-circulating-kim-jong-il-was-assassinated.html

South Korean Intelligence Chief Questions Timing Of Kim Jong-il’s Death

(PRISON PLANET)   Bolstering claims that North Korean dictator had been dead for over a year South Korean intelligence chief Won Seo-hoon has questioned the circumstances behind Kim Jong-il’s death, pointing to evidence that the train the North Korean dictator supposedly died traveling on was stationary in Pyongyang, lending credence to claims that the “dear leader” has in fact been dead for months or even years.

South Korean intelligence chief Won Seo-hoon has questioned the circumstances behind Kim Jong-il’s death, pointing to evidence that the train the North Korean dictator supposedly died traveling on was stationary in Pyongyang, lending credence to claims that the “dear leader” has in fact been dead for months or even years.

“The head of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) on Tuesday expressed cautious doubts over the time and location of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s death, parliamentary officials said, raising questions over whether the communist North tried to beautify Kim’s death,” reports the Korea Herald.

North Korean state media claimed that Jong-il died from a heart attack due to “overwork and stress” during a train journey Saturday, but Seo-hoon told a National Assembly Intelligence Committee that the train remained stationary at Pyongyang railway station throughout the weekend.

“There were no signs the train ever moved,” he was quoted as telling the parliamentary committee.

Rumors that the North Korean leader had in fact died many months or even years before yesterday’s official announcement have been persistent.

The London Telegraph questioned back in September 2010 whether a double was covering for his premature death, noting that North Korea had gone to some lengths to formally name his son, Kim Jong-un, still in his twenties, as successor in a ceremony.

Japanese professor Toshimitsu Shigemura also made the claim during a World Economic Forum meeting in Tianjin, China in 2010. Shigemura asserts that Kim Jong-il died in the fall of 2003 and had been replaced by a lookalike for past eight years, citing sources close to Kim’s family as well as “computer analysis of his voice (that) shows the present Kim Jong not to be the same man as the one of some years ago.”

As we reported yesterday, rumors continue to circulate that Kim Jong-Il, whether he died recently or months before, was in fact murdered by discontented members of the North Korean military.

“A rumor is circulating that earlier a high-ranking North Korean official was shot dead. This has yet to be confirmed, but such talk is evidence that discontent was brewing among some people in the North,” political scientist An Chan-il told the Korea Times, adding that military officers “could have played a role in his death”.

This claim was also echoed by Rep Chun Yo-ok of the ruling Grand National Party (GNP), who speculated that Kim Jong-Il’s death could have been an act of “homicide,” the result of an internal power struggle.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/south-korean-intelligence-chief-questions-timing-of-kim-jong-ils-death.html

Search for US War Dead in North Korea To Resume

(Robert Burns)   The Pentagon says it has agreed with North Korea to resume – after a six-year break – the search for remains of U.S. servicemen unaccounted for from the Korean War.

The deal was made Thursday after three days of negotiations in Bangkok.

The U.S. and North Korea began working together on the recovery of U.S. war remains in 1996. But in 2005 the Bush administration called a halt, saying it was concerned for the safety of the U.S. teams in North Korea.

The Korean war ended with an armistice in 1953.

The new searches are part of a broader U.S. effort to improve relations with North Korea. Next week it plans to hold what the State Department calls exploratory talks with the North on its nuclear weapons program.

http://www.military.com/news/article/2011/deal-to-search-for-us-war-dead-in-north-korea.html?ESRC=sm_todayinmil.nl

North Korea seeking formal end to Korean War along with a peace treaty with U.S.

(Madison Ruppert)   The nation of North Korea has been putting forth a diplomatic front that is completely opposed to the portrayal we have seen of this communist country in recent years.

A top-level North Korean diplomat arrived in New York this week in order to discuss the North Korean nuclear program.

It is now being reported that the diplomat, Vice Foreign Minister of North Korea Kim Kye-Gwan, has called for a treaty with America that would formally end the protracted Korean War.

The Korean War essentially ended in an armistice in 1953, yet the United States has kept over 28,000 troops in South Korea since the ’50s cease-fire.

The dialogue is looking promising, at least as far as the North Korean’s willingness to come to the table is concerned.
However, the United States vehemently opposes the idea of giving any wiggle room to North Korea simply for coming back to the negotiations.

One assumes that North Korea is going to request something in exchange for whatever demands the United States makes in order to sign a peace treaty.

What these sacrifices will be no one can know for sure.

One can speculate, however, that they will likely request a troop withdrawal from South Korea.

If this request is made, this writer believes it is safe to assume the United States will not grant such a wish.

The fact is, without some compromises on the part of the United States, this unnecessarily difficult negotiation process will go nowhere.

Madison. Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at admin@EndtheLie.com

North Korea Tests ‘Super-EMP’ Nuke

(NEWSMAX)   Gary Samore, a top Obama administration national security official, warned of new sanctions if North Korea conducted a third round of nuclear tests on Monday, as reports surfaced that North Korea has miniaturized its nuclear warheads so they can be delivered by ballistic missile.

North Korea’s last round of tests, conducted in May 2009, appear to have included a “super-EMP” weapon, capable of emitting enough gamma rays to disable the electric power grid across most of the lower 48 states, says Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, a former CIA nuclear weapons analyst and president of EMPact America, a citizens lobbying group.

Samore, who handles arms control and non-proliferation issues, warned that “additional strong sanctions will be imposed on the North with the support of Russia and China.”

North Korea’s nuclear tests have been dismissed as failures by some analysts because of their low explosive yield. But Dr. Pry believes they bore the “signature” of the Russian-designed “super-EMP” weapon, capable of emitting more gamma radiation than a 25-megaton nuclear weapon.

Pry believes the U.S. intelligence community was expecting North Korea to test a first generation implosion device with an explosive yield of 10 to 20 kilotons, similar to the bomb the U.S. exploded over Nagasaki in 1945. He said, “So when they saw one that put off just three kilotons, they said it failed. That is so implausible.”

The technology for producing a first generation implosion weapon has been around since 1945, and is thoroughly described in open source literature.

South Korean defense minister, Kim Kwan-jin, told his country’s parliament on Monday that North Korea had succeeded in miniaturizing its nuclear weapons design, allowing them to place a nuclear warhead on a ballistic missile.

His analysis coincided with Congressional testimony in March by Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, who stated that North Korea “may now have several plutonium-based warheads that it can deliver by ballistic missiles.”

The Soviet Union conducted an atmospheric test of an EMP weapon in 1962 over Kazakhstan whose pulse wave set on fire a power station 300 kilometers away and destroyed it within 10 seconds.

Such a weapon — equal to a massive solar flare such as the “solar maxima” predicted by NASA to occur in 2012 — poses “substantial risk to equipment and operation of the nation’s power grid and under extreme conditions could result in major long term electrical outages,” said Joseph McClelland of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Senate testimony last month.

Pry said that a group of Russian nuclear weapons scientists approached him in 2004 when he served as staff director of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack, to warn the United States that the technology to make that weapon “had leaked” to North Korea, and possibly to Iran.

“They told us that Russian scientists had gone to North Korea to work on building the super-EMP weapon,” Pry told Newsmax. “The North Koreans appear to have tested it in 2006 and again in 2009.”

North Korea’s main partner in its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs is Iran. Dr. William Graham, chairman of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack, warned Congress three years ago that Iran had conducted missile launches in an EMP mode, detonating them high in the atmosphere.

Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., has introduced legislation known as the SHIELD Act that would require U.S. utilities to harden large transformers and other key elements of the nation’s power grid to protect them from a devastating EMP attack or a geomagnetic storm.

The House last year passed a similar measure by unanimous consent, but the bill died in the Senate, where Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D, N.M., and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, the chair and ranking member of the Senate Energy Committee, insisted that the threat from cyberattack was more dangerous than the possibility of an EMP strike or a solar flare.

John Kappenman, the chief science adviser to the EMP commission, believes it would require just $1 billion to harden an estimated 5,000 power transformers around the country to shield them from the impact of an EMP-like event.

“We built this infrastructure without any awareness of this threat,” he told Newsmax. “We have no design code that takes this threat into account. We’ve been doing everything to design the grid to make it greatly more coupled, and therefore more vulnerable, to this threat.”

He compared the national power grid to a series of giant skyscrapers, “and only now we’ve discovered that it’s located on a big fault line.”

President Obama’s science adviser, John Holdren, warned in a March 10, 2011 Op-Ed co-authored with his British counterpart of the potentially catastrophic impact of a solar maxima event in the next 12 to 18 months.

“Space weather can affect human safety and economies anywhere on our vast wired planet, and blasts of electrically-charged gas traveling from the Sun at up to 5 million miles an hour can strike with little warning,” Holdren wrote. “Their impact could be big — on the order of $2 trillion during the first year in the United States alone, with a recovery period of 4 to 10 years.”

Rep. Trent Franks, who authored the SHIELD Act, warned of “catastrophic consequences” should Congress fail to act.

“The U.S. society and economy are so critically dependent upon the availability of electricity that a significant collapse of the grid, precipitated by a major natural or man-made EMP event, could result in catastrophic civilian casualties,” he said. “This vulnerability, if left unaddressed, could have grave, societal altering consequences.”

http://www.newsmax.com/KenTimmerman/super-emp-emp-northkorea-nuke/2011/06/16/id/400260

Chinese Troops Deploying In North Korea

(HELIUM)   South Korea’s daily newspaper is reporting that what Western analysts have feared has happened: Chinese troops have been deployed into North Korea. The Chinese now have a presence in the rogue state for the first time in more than 15 years.

China has had no military presence in the rogue country since 1994 after it quit the Military Armistice Commission that supervises the Armistice that suspended the Korean war.

Since that time, Pyonyang has stridently announced that it will no longer abide by the agreement. During 2010 the North Korean government officially declared that it is once again in a state of war with South Korea and the U.S.

The South Korean government confirmed reports on January 18, 2011 that China has stationed military forces in the special economic zone of Rajin-Sonbong.

It’s a move on China’s part that has seen U.S. and South Korean military experts rushing back to reprogram their war games scenario computers. 

A week earlier, the South Korean daily newspaper, Chosun Ilbo, carried quotes from a government official wishing to remain anonymous. The official who works for the South Korean president stated that Party leaders in Beijing and Pyongyang’s leaders recently held “substantive” talks about the need to station Chinese troops in the troubled region.

“North Korea and China have discussed the issue of stationing a small number of Chinese troops to protect China-invested port facilities,” said the official. “The presence of Chinese troops is apparently to guard facilities and protect Chinese nationals.” 

The unnamed official further revealed that the Chinese planned to deploy their troops in the city of Rason, within Rajin-Sonbong, a special economic zone  located in North Korea’s northeastern quadrant. 

The reasoning behind the Chinese troop deployment is presumably to afford protection for Chinese ports that might be at risk if a war breaks out on the Peninsula, but South Korean analysts consulted by the paper point out that the targeted location positions the troops in a militarily strategic location. 

The city gives the Chinese direct access to the Sea of Japan.

One senior South Korean official downplayed the report saying that it only permits China to come to North Korea’s aid in the event of greater North Korean instability.

“Pyongyang and Beijing have reportedly discussed the matter of stationing a small number of Chinese troops in the Rajin-Sonbong region to guard port facilities China has invested in,” a Cheong Wa Dae official said. “If

it’s true, they’re apparently there to protect either facilities or Chinese residents rather than for political or military reasons.” 

The government of North Korea has grown increasingly dependent upon their giant communist neighbor. As the North’s economy continues to deteriorate their saber-rattling has become increasingly bellicose. During December of 2010 they warned that they were ready to annihilate any aggressor and would be more than willing to defend themselves with their nuclear stockpile.

Military nuclear experts estimate the North now has between six to twelve nuclear weapons. None have been successfully modified to arm missiles yet.

The South Korean paper also reported that Seoul’s International Security Ambassador Nam Joo-Hong believed that China had the capability to rush large numbers of troops into the North if extreme instability became evident.

“The worst scenario China wants to avoid is a possibly chaotic situation in its northeastern provinces which might be created by massive inflows of North Korean refugees,” Chosun Ilbo quoted Nam as saying.

A China based source told the South Korean newspaper “In the middle of the night around Dec. 15 last year, about 50 Chinese armored vehicles and tanks crossed the Duman (Tumen) River from Sanhe into the North Korean city of Hoeryong in North Hamgyong Province.”

The Daily NK, a North Korean newspaper and online news source, claims the North and China signed an economic agreement the end of 2010. As part of the contract, China will construct three more piers at the seaport and build a new highway. Daily NK also reports that a new railroad will be built between Quanhe in Jilin and Rajin-Sonbong.  

Both the North and South newspapers failed mentioning the concerns raised by South Korean and U.S. military leaders about the dangers of a Chinese involvement in a new Korean war.

Learn more about this author, Terrence Aym.

http://www.helium.com/items/2068349-china-moves-troops-into-north-korea?page=2

FALSE FLAG ALERT: North Korean hackers blamed for sweeping cyber attack on US networks

{EDITORS NOTE – This tip came to us via a visitor’s phone call to the FederalJack.com NewsDesk… thank you!}

By Matthew Shaer | 07.08.09

korea_computerPolice officers from National Police Agency show a seized computer which was used for hacking at the agency’s headquarters in Seoul July 8. South Korean authorities issued a cyber-security warning on Wednesday after the Web sites of government agencies and financial institutions were disabled by apparent hacker attacks, possibly linked to North Korea. (Hwang Gwang-Mo/Yonhap/Reuters)

(Christian Science Monitor) – A series of attacks on computer networks in South Korea and the US was apparently the work of North Korean hackers, several news agencies are reporting today. The attacks, which targeted the White House, the Pentagon, and the Washington Post, among other high-level institutions, are raising concerns that the long-simmering conflict with North Korea is expanding into a dangerous new theater. Continue reading

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