N Korean nuclear strike could cause chaos in US

North Korea has not stopped nuclear, missile program: confidential...
A (not so) confidential UN report says the DPRK are continuing with their programmes contrary to sanctions with ‘ship to ship transfers’ etc and includes military cooperation with Syria and trying to sell weapons to the Houthi’s.

The 149 page report has not been commented on yet by the DPRK:
“(North Korea) has not stopped its nuclear and missile programs and continued to defy Security Council resolutions through a massive increase in illicit ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products, as well as through transfers of coal at sea during 2018,” the experts wrote in the 149-page report.

The North Korean mission to the United Nations did not respond to a request for comment on the report.

The U.N report said North Korea is cooperating militarily with Syria and has been trying to sell weapons to Yemen’s Houthis.
The ‘ship to ship transfer’of petroleum products are becoming more sophisticated. It also includes circumventing a textile ban with $100M of products to various countries around the world. All this while some countries want to ease the sanctions:
Pyongyang also violated a textile ban by exporting more than $100 million in goods between October 2017 and March 2018 to China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey and Uruguay, the report said.

The report comes as Russia and China suggest the Security Council discuss easing sanctions after U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met for the first time in June and Kim pledged to work toward denuclearization.

The United States and other council members have said there must be strict enforcement of sanctions until Pyongyang acts.

The U.N. experts said illicit ship-to-ship transfers of petroleum products in international waters had “increased in scope, scale and sophistication.” They said a key North Korean technique was to turn off a ship’s tracking system, but that they were also physically disguising ships and using smaller vessels.
The prohibited cooperation with Assad’s govt has apparently gone unabated including visits in 2011, 2016 and last year:
The experts said “prohibited military cooperation with the Syrian Arab Republic has continued unabated.” They said North Korean technicians engaged in ballistic missile and other banned activities have visited Syria in 2011, 2016 and 2017.
An unnamed country showed a letter from July ‘16 about a proposed meeting between the Houthi’s and the DPRK in Damascus ‘to discuss the issue of the transfer of technology and other matters of mutual interest’:
The report said that experts were investigating efforts by the North Korean Ministry of Military Equipment and Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation (KOMID) to supply conventional arms and ballistic missiles to Yemen’s Houthi group.

A country, which was not identified, showed the experts a July 13, 2016 letter from a Houthi leader inviting the North Koreans to meet in Damascus “to discuss the issue of the transfer of technology and other matters of mutual interest,” according to the report.
Their ‘deceptive practices’ are undermining the financial sanctions:
The experts said that the effectiveness of financial sanctions was being systematically undermined by “deceptive practices” of North Korea.
 
North Korea, U.S. trade blows over nuclear deal at Singapore reunion
Pompeo and Ri ((DPRK Foreign Minister) appear to be disagreeing on what was discussed between Trump and Tubby III. North Korea has stopped testing nukes (for months now, same with missiles) and ‘destroyed’ the nuclear testing site in front of reporters, but not the inspectors (a site widely reported as unusable) and believe this should lead to sanctions being relaxed (as well as cancellation of a joint US/RoK exercise). This is despite reports of sanction busting as above, (denied) reports of Russian work permits and the ongoing (alleged) testing of rocket facilities.

Ri says their commitment to implementing the joint statement is firm but say the US actions are different to what they say Trump intended:
“The DPRK stands firm in its determination and commitment for implementing the DPRK-U.S. Joint Statement in a responsible and good-faith manner,” North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told a regional forum held in Singapore on Saturday.
......
“What is alarming however is the insistent moves manifested within the U.S. to go back to the old, far from its leader’s intention,” Ri said.
Ri mentions the moratorium on testing nukes, missiles and the destruction of the test facility, but thinks some ‘quid pro quo’ on the relaxation of sanctions should be made and complains that no move to ‘end the war’ has been made:
“We have initiated goodwill measures of, inter alia, a moratorium on nuclear tests and rocket launch tests and dismantling of nuclear test ground,” Ri said in a statement delivered to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) forum.

“However, the United States, instead of responding to these measures, is raising its voice louder for maintaining the sanctions against the DPRK and showing the attitude to retreat even from declaring the end of the war, a very basic and primary step for providing peace on the Korean peninsula.”
Pompeo has expressed a desire that the unanimously voted for sanctions are upheld and appears to believe the allegations that Russia is not complying with them and issuing work permits:
“I want to remind every nation that has supported these resolutions that this is a serious issue and something that we will discuss with Moscow,” he said.

“We expect the Russians and all countries to abide by the U.N. Security Council resolutions and enforce sanctions on North Korea.”
Russia of course denies the allegations of work permits and oil supplies:
Russia has denied a report by the Wall Street Journal that said Moscow was allowing thousands of fresh North Korean laborers into the country and granting them work permits in a potential breach of U.N sanctions.

Russia’s ambassador to North Korea also denied Moscow was flouting U.N. restrictions on oil supplies to North Korea.
Both Ri and Pompeo said they should meet and talk again and the US Ambo (to the Philippines as well as the former US Special Representative for North Korea Policy) handed Ri a letter for Tubby III from Trump:
At a group photo session, Pompeo walked up to Ri and shook hands and exchanged words and smiles. He told Ri: “We should talk again soon,” according to the State Department.

“I agree, there are many productive conversations to be had,” Ri replied, according to the State Department.

U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim handed Ri a letter from Trump for North Korean leader Kim in Singapore, the State Department said.
Pompeo remains upbeat about the process:
On Saturday, Pompeo was more upbeat about making progress on the denuclearisation agreement, saying: “We’ve been working since then to develop the process by which that would be achieved.”
 
One really does have to wonder who really believes that NK would ever give up Nuclear Weapons????
North Korea has not halted nuclear missile programme, UN report finds

Or...that they have continued their various WMD programs, that have conveniently not been mentioned... and will carry on doing so!
North Korea | Countries | NTI
North Korea Chemical Weapons | Chemical Weapons Threat | NTI

Kim in a fit of youthful Godlike exuberance provoked a showdown that only he could lose. He was called to heel by China, kowtowed and kissed Trump’s ass. A move that suited both fine.

To expect him to change is unfortunately possibly a stretch too far.
 
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One really does have to wonder who really believes that NK would ever give up Nuclear Weapons????
Certainly not without a deal on scrapping them actually signed.

If it's in their interests, they'll do it. If they can free up the resources to bolster the party's position at the top of North Korean society without leaving them open to being regime-changed, they'll do it. If they can't, they won't.
 
Certainly not without a deal on scrapping them actually signed.

If it's in their interests, they'll do it. If they can free up the resources to bolster the party's position at the top of North Korean society without leaving them open to being regime-changed, they'll do it. If they can't, they won't.
It is indeed a bit premature to talk about either side keeping to the terms of a treaty that hasn't even been negotiated yet, let alone signed and ratified.

Personally, I won't be slagging off Trump for being a failure until he's at least had a chance to try.
 
Personally, I won't be slagging off Trump for being a failure until he's at least had a chance to try.
There is no doubt that Trump definitely tried, certainly in a stick and carrot manner that at least produced a face to face meeting of the respective heads of state, something that had never happened before.

If it's in their interests, they'll do it.
What seems reasonably obvious is that Neither Kim nor NK is going to change a culture and way of life that has been entrenched for so many years, with ample evidence that this is the case, despite the various promises made.
North Korea has not stopped nuclear, missile program: confidential...

It is a pattern that has been sadly familiar with every single preceding attempt to negotiate with this country, and the family that has risen to the carefully cultivated status of omnipotent ‘Gods’.

A United Nations Panel of Experts has also expressed concern over collaboration between Iran and NK. A 2017 report noted the presence of designated North Korean weapons traffickers living in Tehran, and the similarity between missile designs in the two countries.
North Korea foreign minister to visit Iran on Tuesday

Hardly the actions of a country set on abolishing its nuclear weapons which it is unlikely that the Kim regime is looking to do. His basis for legitimacy derives from the Kim family mythology and from his ability to protect the North Korean people from perceived outside threats.

If however North Koreans were to become more prosperous and have greater access to the outside world, and relations with the West were to improve, then Kim would lose the justification for his totalitarian rule. Obliged to open up NK he would risk being carried away by forces that he could no longer control.

The overwhelming evidence of systemic human-rights abuses and world wide universally criminal activities perpetrated by the state would ensure that Kim would have no place in a free, open North Korea, much less a unified peninsula.

If he were to be spared a violent end like so many deposed Dictators the best Kim could hope for would be a cell in The Hague awaiting trial, and he will no doubt do his best to avoid that for as long as he can.

Kim knows perfectly well that any transformation of North Korean society is risky. He will keep his nuclear weapons and economy just stable enough to prevent another famine or exodus of refugees. because it is simply not in his interest to accept opening NK up to the world.

The bigger his nuclear arsenal the more he has to negotiate with, on his terms. He can dictate the pattern for talks, and the US and rest of the world will accept, thinking that as long as they are talking, the North will become more tractable.

An avenue that possibly stands a better chance is effecting regime change from within NK itself. Information on what is available in the outside world. We have a hugely unstable violent and unequal world...however to a large extent it is better, in most cases, than what is available within NK at the present time.

The possible gains, China would get a more stable less odious business partner, the US, a government in Pyongyang that would not be threatening nuclear war. As NK slowly reformed its political system and established relations with the rest of the world South Korea would be able to form a better relationship with North Korea, then begin to try and even up the huge disparities that exist between their peoples, much like W Germany did with it’s divided Communist East.
 
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What does seem reasonably obvious is that Neither Kim nor NK is going to change a culture and way of life that has been entrenched for so many years, with ample evidence that this is the case, despite the various promises made.
Exactly. That's why we can rely on them to act in the interests of regime preservation before all else.

Given that the major threats to regimes like that come from inside the country, there has to be a pretty pressing motive to convince them to devote resources to external threats instead.
 
Normally despotic regimes such as the DPRK are threatened more by internal insurrection than by external factors. However, in the case of the DPRK they have invested a lot of time, money and effort in building up forces (nukes on missiles, CW and BW, all contrary to UN Resolutions) because of what they perceive as an external threat.
 
Certainly what Kim would like the NK population to believe is a external threat, and, justification for his retention of absolute power and control over the lives of over 25 million of his unfortunate citizens.

It also makes him a potent danger to the rest of the world if/when a loss of internal control within the country could possibly trigger him into ‘going out in style’, and ‘punishing’ those who would remove him, when a major chaos would be created within NK itself.
 
It also makes him a potent danger to the rest of the world if/when a loss of internal control within the country could possibly trigger him into ‘going out in style’, and ‘punishing’ those who would remove him, when a major chaos would be created within NK itself.
So unlike any other totalitarian regime in history, the Kims would ignore the rabble at the gates and focus instead on someone else entirely.

Of course! It's all so simple now!
 
Certainly what Kim would like the NK population to believe is a external threat, and, justification for his retention of absolute power and control over the lives of over 25 million of his unfortunate citizens.
They’re still at war. It’s an armistice. If you listen to RoK propaganda when there was a military govt in charge, their rhetoric was on a par. I’ve no doubt they live in fear of a US/RoK invasion. It’s been handed down generation to generation.

Whether it is fact is a seperate matter but (much as I hate to say it), if you get lumped into an ‘axis of evil’ and see ‘fellow travellers’ regime changed or perceived as such, it makes you think you need to hold a couple of aces such as some WMD and the ability to strike at the heart of those who oppose you.

I personally don’t think it’s a reality as the PRC and Russia would’ve had something to say about it, but it is an understandable perceived threat.
It also makes him a potent danger to the rest of the world if/when a loss of internal control within the country could possibly trigger him into ‘going out in style’, and ‘punishing’ those who would remove him, when a major chaos would be created within NK itself.
It does, hence unanimous UNSC Resolutions and the last ones seemingly bringing him finally to the negotiating table. There’s a whole U.N. Cttee (1718 ) on sanctions for DPRK.

It’s finding the balance between making him stop breaking the Resolutions and breaking the actual country when he and his cohorts have nothing to lose. I’d have to say the whole UN effort is not aided at all by the (alleged) sanctions busting, but there is a line between bringing him to heel and the country failing with 10M refugees going north, 10M south etc.
 
North Korea urges U.S. to drop sanctions as Seoul probes illicit...
It would appear the sanctions are having an effect and the DPRK is requesting some ‘quid pro quo’ for no nuke or missile testing, blowing up the test site in front of reporters and the repatriation of remains. All while a RoK investigation into illegal coal smuggling is ongoing:
The Rodong Sinmun accused Washington of “acting opposite” to its plan to improve ties, despite goodwill gestures by Pyongyang, such as a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests, the dismantling of a nuclear site, and the return of the remains of U.S. soldiers killed in the Korean War.

“There have been outrageous arguments coming out of the U.S. State Department that it won’t ease sanctions until a denuclearisation is completed, and reinforcing sanctions is a way to raise its negotiating power,” it said in an editorial.

“How could the sanctions, which were a stick the U.S. administration had brandished as part of its hostile policy against us, promote the two countries’ amity?”
Pompeo remains upbeat despite his discussion with Ri:
Returning to Washington, Pompeo played down the exchange with Ri, saying the tone was far different from last year.

“The minister made very clear of their continued commitment to denuclearize,” Pompeo told reporters traveling with him.

“I probably don’t have his words exactly right, but it’s pretty close. Compare the anger, frankly, over years and years, and hatred, as spewed by the North Koreans; his comments were different.”
Replacing the armistice with a peace plan will come after the DPRK gives up its nuclear weapons programme according to the State Dept:
The State Department has said it is committed to building a peace mechanism to replace the armistice, but only after the North abandons its nuclear program.
A spokesman for the Blue House is asking tor denuclearisation to be hastened and for the US to show sincerity over the DPRK’s demands for reciprocal steps:
Kim Eui-kyeom, a spokesman for South Korea’s presidential Blue House, said on Monday the government was asking the North to hasten denuclearisation and the United States to show sincerity over the North’s demands for reciprocal steps.
 
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Red Cross warns of food crisis in North Korea as crops fail in heat
IFRC warning of a 'full-blown food security crisis' in the DPRK due to what hasn't quite yet been declared as a drought due to the heatwave. Reportedly in the 90's, the last famine led to the death of 3M people:
“This is not yet classified as a drought, but rice, maize and other crops are already withering in the fields, with potentially catastrophic effects for the people of DPRK,” said Joseph Muyamboit, the IFRC’s program manager in Pyongyang.

“We cannot and must not let this situation become a full-blown food security crisis. We know that previous serious dry spells have disrupted the food supply to a point where it has caused serious health problems and malnutrition across the country.”

North Korea called last week for an “all-out battle” against the record temperatures threatening crops, referring to an “unprecedented natural disaster”.
The RoK unification ministry say they've been notified by the IFRC who are helping in S Hamgyong and S Pyongan province:
In Seoul, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said it had no specific information on the situation in the north, but that the Red Cross had notified them of the heat wave last week.

The IFRC was helping the national Red Cross to support 13,700 of the most vulnerable people at risk, in South Hamgyong and South Pyongan provinces. It had deployed emergency response teams and 20 water pumps to irrigate fields in the hardest-hit areas, it said.
 
The heads of South and North Korea will meet in Pyongyang some time in September. This will be the third leaders' summit since April.
Leaders of rival Koreas agree to meet in Pyongyang next month | CBC News
The rival Koreas announced Monday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet in Pyongyang sometime in September, while their envoys also discussed Pyongyang's nuclear disarmament efforts and international sanctions.
The two sides talked about the international sanctions against North Korea, although there were no details on what was discussed.
Cho, chief of the South Korean delegation, said the two sides also "talked a lot" about international sanctions meant to punish the North for its development of nuclear weapons, but he didn't elaborate.

Seoul has been preparing for possible economic collaboration with Pyongyang that could go ahead when sanctions are lifted. Pyongyang has urged Washington to ease the economic punishments, but the United States says that can't happen until the North completely denuclearizes.
The South Koreans apparently want the nuclear talks with the US to be "accelerated".
The South Korean envoy said he urged Pyongyang to accelerate its current nuclear negotiations with the United States. The North said it was making efforts to disarm, but Cho said there were no new details on those efforts.
There's no real news released to the public beyond the above. The main thing is the two sides are continuing to talk including at a high level.
 
Part of the current peace efforts in Korea include restarting the visits by South Koreans to their relatives in the north. On Monday a group of South Koreans went to the Diamond Mountain holiday resort in North Korea to visit relatives.
South Koreans enter North to meet relatives separated decades ago by war | CBC News
Dozens of elderly South Koreans crossed the heavily fortified border into North Korea on Monday for heart-wrenching meetings with relatives most haven't seen since they were separated by the turmoil of the Korean War.

The week-long event at North Korea's Diamond Mountain resort comes as the rival Koreas boost reconciliation efforts amid a diplomatic push to resolve a standoff over North Korea's drive for a nuclear weapons program that can reliably target the continental United States.
Most of the story is a repeat of background information previously discussed on this thread so I won't go into the details here. The story itself however discusses the general context and history of these family re-unification visits and those not familiar with how these work may wish to read the story for more details.
 
No indication North Korean nuclear activities stopped - IAEA
IAEA saying 'no change' on Tubby III's nuclear programme:
“The continuation and further development of the DPRK’s nuclear programme and related statements by the DPRK are a cause for grave concern,” the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a report published late on Monday.
They obviously can't inspect, so their report is based on a dwindling source:
“As the agency remains unable to carry out verification activities in the DPRK, its knowledge of the DPRK’s nuclear programme is limited and, as further nuclear activities take place in the country, this knowledge is declining,” the IAEA said.

Between late April and early May there were indications of the operation of the steam plant that serves a radiochemical laboratory, the report said. However, the duration of the steam plant’s operation was not sufficient to have supported the reprocessing of a complete core from the experimental nuclear power plant reactor.
Pretty much stating the obvious i.e. that full 'de-nuclearisation' would take a while, but they're best placed to verify any deal:
Dismantling Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme and verifying it would be a large and complex task. The IAEA has said it is best placed to verify a deal.
As an example, S Africa stopped in '89, signed the NPT in '91, and in '94 one partial and six complete nukes were dismantled.

E2A:U.S. sanctions Russian firms, vessels over North Korea oil transfers
US sanctions 6 Russian vessels and 2 companies it says are breaking the sanctions:
The U.S. Treasury identified the firms as Vladivostok-based shipping companies Primorye Maritime Logistics Co Ltd (Primorye) and Gudzon Shipping Co LLC (Gudzon).

It also named six Russian-flagged vessels: Bella, Bogatyr, Neptun, Partizan, Patriot and Sevastopol.

“Ship-to-ship transfers with North Korea-flagged vessels from Russia or elsewhere of any goods being supplied, sold, or transferred to or from (North Korea) are prohibited under the U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korea and are sanctionable under U.S. law,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

“Consequences for violating these sanctions will remain in place until we have achieved the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea.”
 
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And the US still hasn't met any of the items on North Korea's list either. Oh wait, isn't a treaty something you fulfil after both sides have negotiated the details of, agreed to, signed, and ratified rather than before?

Let's put this in terms that a Daily Mail/Express reader can understand. Imagine that North Korea is Britain and the US is the EU and they are negotiating Brexit. The EU doesn't start by saying that Britain must accede to and fulfil all of the EU's demands before the EU will even sit down to the negotiating table. If the UK did, there wouldn't be any reason from the EU's perspective to even bothering to show up for the negotiations, would there? And in that case, why would any rational leader of a sovereign state agree to negotiate under such terms?

Trump and Kim agreed to have their underlings talk to one another, they agreed on a general direction the talks should take, and they agreed on some minor concessions as good will gestures. So far as we know with respect to the conversation that took place, Kim has so far kept every concrete direct promise that he made to Trump.

The overall treaty covering what "denuclearisation" means in practice, how and when it will be fulfilled, and what South Korea and the US will do in return however is currently being negotiated by people who actually know how to do this stuff. There were previous posts in this thread where genuine experts on North Korea and nuclear weapons programs were quoted as saying that a genuine process, as opposed to one involving mere window dressing, would take years to both negotiate and implement. I believe that one nuclear weapons expert said we are talking about time frames on the order of a decade.

Or we could just agree that Trump is a moron and a failure who got suckered by a millennial with an iPhone and a bad haircut. The people who agree with this latter position though seem motivated to a large extent by a desperate desire to avoid admitting to a potential success by Trump.
 
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