N Korean nuclear strike could cause chaos in US

According to the CBC the "newly developed ultramodern tactical weapon" won't be a nuclear weapon or a long range ballistic missile, but it could be pretty much anything else including new artillery, short range rockets, a drone, surface to air missile, or many other things.
North Korea touts new 'ultramodern tactical weapon,' prepares to deport U.S. detainee | CBC News

They also announced the release of an American who had crossed the border from China illegally.

Both moves are seen as being negotiating ploys.
 
North Korea's new 'tactical' weapon test highlights military modernisation | Reuters
The DPRK new 'wunder waffen' is reported as being a new (or updated) MLRS or short range missile. The reports of a 'steel wall' would indicate the former:
But the pact did not include any removal of MLRS from forward-deployed areas, where some long-range guns and rocket launchers can still reach Seoul.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported the newly tested weapon was a new model of MLRS, citing an unnamed military source familiar with intelligence. Other experts suggested it might be a new, short-range missile.
The update may help bring the armed forces more 'on side' as he allegedly carries on concentrating more on the economy and less on the (UN sanctioned) missiles and nukes:
“With Kim having publicly declared the economy a new priority and saying the North would denuclearise, many in the military who saw a decline in interest and support could be doubtful and anxious because he has not secured significant concessions like an end-of-war declaration,” Kim, the professor said.

“It could have been necessary for him to consolidate the nation even though such a field guidance would give a negative signal to the outside.”
Much of the kit seen on parades is updated versions of old Soviet kit but as we've seen with the missiles, they develop their own. Still, fairly impressive numbers of military hardware and of course, there's the reportedly undeclared missile bases:
The North Korean military has nearly 5,500 MLRS, 4,300 tanks, 2,500 armoured vehicles, 810 fighter jets, 430 combatant vessels and 70 submarines, according to a 2016 assessment by the South’s defence ministry.

The Centre for Strategic and International Studies said last week it has identified at least 13 undeclared missile bases inside North Korea.
200K SF who are reportedly getting hoverscaft:
The Washington-based think tank has also said Pyongyang has been developing hovercraft units for its 200,000-strong special forces as part of the military modernisation drive.
 
North Korea is continuing work on their nuclear program.
North Korea continues to expand nuclear operations, IAEA says | CBC News

North Korea appears to be still expanding operations at its main nuclear site, the UN atomic watchdog indicated on Thursday.
The statement by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is a further sign that North Korea is pressing ahead with its atomic activities despite pressure from the United States for it to scrap its nuclear weapons program.
The report seems to be mainly about continued work at North Korea's Yongbyon site, their well known and long established (but relatively small) reactors where they have produced plutonium.
At Yongbyon, North Korea's main nuclear facility that is widely believed to have provided fissile material for its bombs, components appear to have been brought into a light-water reactor being built there, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said.
"At the light-water reactor, the agency also observed activities consistent with the fabrication of reactor components and the possible transfer of these components into the reactor building," Amano said in a statement to the IAEA's board of governors, reporting on the period since August.
This shouldn't be too much of a surprise, as the US doesn't have a deal yet with North Korea and the North Koreans have quite clearly said they aren't going to make anything more than minor goodwill gestures without something in writing from the US, South Korea, China, and other interested parties. In other words, they aren't going to give up all of their bargaining chips without getting more than just vague promises in return.

Negotiations could potentially take years.
 
It's past time trump offered more than words if he wants to be known as the man who finally ended the Korean War.
Should be worth a Nobel Peace Prize...

...oh wait; Obama got one for doing f**kall, so that's what it's worth these days.
 
North Korean soldier defects to South: South's military | Reuters
Another ‘jumper of the border’. Interestingly, no reported increased tension from the DPRK. With the dismantling of some border posts on both sides, will the defections increase or stay steady?
A North Korean soldier defected to South Korea on Saturday, the South Korean military said, but there were no unusual movements by North Korea’s military in response.

The North Korean soldier was spotted moving toward South Korea, and then crossed over a military demarcation line separating the two sides, the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a statement.

The defection took place after the two Koreas removed guard posts along the border in an effort to build trust on the divided peninsula.

Such defections are rare but there have been several over recent years, sometimes raising tension on the heavily fortified border. North Korean soldiers have even shot at defecting colleagues, raising fears of a clash.

The JCS said the soldier would be investigated and there were no unusual movements on the border.
 
North Korea has reiterated their position that they won't negotiate away their nuclear program without seeing concrete steps by the Americans to fulfil their side of the proposed bargain.
North Korea says it won't denuclearize unless U.S. removes threat | CBC News
Here's the wording as quoted by the news story. The North Koreans are saying that any agreement to "denuclearise" must cover all of the North Korean peninsula and neighbouring regions.
"The United States must now recognize the accurate meaning of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and especially, must study geography the right way," the statement said.

"When we talk about the Korean Peninsula, it includes the territory of our republic and also the entire region of (South Korea) where the United States has placed its invasive force, including nuclear weapons. When we talk about the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, it means the removal of all sources of nuclear threat, not only from the South and North but also from areas neighboring the Korean Peninsula," the statement said.
What exactly that means is of course subject to negotiation. However, the North Koreans have been fairly clear that they expect a broad set of negotiations covering all aspects of relations between North Korea, South Korea, and the US.

As noted previously in this thread, those people who have direct expertise in the field of nuclear negotiations have said that genuine negotiations with North Korea would take years as the overall issue is much more complex than can be encompassed in a sound bite.
 
In his New Years speech, Kim Jong repeated his previous position that although North Korea will give up their nuclear weapons, they won't bargain them away without the US making reciprocal measures. Importantly, he said that North Korea will have to pursue a "new path" if the US continues to make demands on North Korea without committing to anything in return.
Kim Jong-un warns he'll seek a 'new path' if U.S. continues to demand unilateral action from North Korea | CBC News
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Tuesday that his resolve for complete denuclearization remains unchanged but he may have to seek a "new path" if the United States continues to demand unilateral action from his country.
North Korea appears to want the following in return.
  1. The west agreeing to an official end to the Korean War.
  2. The end of trade sanctions.
  3. No more US military exercises involving "strategic assets" in South Korea.
  4. Multilateral negotiations on a permanent peace system in the Korean Peninsula.
Pyongyang has demanded Washington lift sanctions and declare an official end to the 1950-53 Korean War in response to its initial, unilateral steps toward denuclearization, including dismantling its only known nuclear testing site and a key missile engine facility.
Kim also called for South Korea to "completely stop" joint military drills with the United States involving strategic assets, while multilateral negotiations should be pursued to build a permanent peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
"Now that North and South Korea decided on the path of peace and prosperity, we insist that joint military exercises with outside forces should no longer be allowed and deployment of war weapons such as outside strategic assets should be completely stopped," Kim said.
 
In his New Years speech, Kim Jong repeated his previous position that although North Korea will give up their nuclear weapons, they won't bargain them away without the US making reciprocal measures. Importantly, he said that North Korea will have to pursue a "new path" if the US continues to make demands on North Korea without committing to anything in return.
Kim Jong-un warns he'll seek a 'new path' if U.S. continues to demand unilateral action from North Korea | CBC News


North Korea appears to want the following in return.
  1. The west agreeing to an official end to the Korean War.
  2. The end of trade sanctions.
  3. No more US military exercises involving "strategic assets" in South Korea.
  4. Multilateral negotiations on a permanent peace system in the Korean Peninsula.


Seems reasonable, so long as NK itself abides by any agreement (regarding which they've a less than perfect record).
 
Kim has arrived by train in Beijing for discussions with top Chinese officials.
North Korea's Kim Jong-un arrives in Beijing for talks | CBC News
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in Beijing on Tuesday to start of a four-day visit, in what's likely an effort to co-ordinate with his only major ally ahead of a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump that could happen early this year.
A long motorcade including motorcycle outriders reserved for state leaders left a Beijing train station shortly after the arrival of an armoured train consisting of 20 to 25 cars — most of whose windows were blacked-out —along tracks lined by police and paramilitary troops.
The article speculates that Kim may be looking to see what they might have to concede in negotiations in order to get China's support at the UN in order to get some sanctions rremoved.
Instead, Kim may be seeking to gauge China's attitude toward sanctions ahead of the talks, including what the North would have to concede in order to win Beijing's support at the UN. (...)

"The two leaders will further communicate over the issue of sanctions to further refine their previously general and vague attitudes," said Cheng Xiaohe, professor at Renmin University's School of International Studies in Beijing.
"It is impossible to see the cancellation of all sanctions, but what kind of sanctions can be cancelled and what are China and North Korea's views on that will be discussed," Cheng said.
The US has said that North Korea and US-China trade talks are separate issues and that China is not linking them.
Asked whether China was linking to issues in an interview Monday with CNBC, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: "The Chinese have been very clear to us that these are separate issues."
"Their behaviour has demonstrated that as well and we appreciate that. China has actually been a good partner in our efforts to reduce the risk to the world from North Korea's nuclear capability. I expect they will continue to do so."
The rest of the article has some more detail about Kim's trip as well as a summary of past events, but nothing else of particular interest.
 
My congratulations to Kim Jong Un - one of the best leaders of the free world, with his 34th birthday!
View attachment 370463
36. He was 30 in 2013. Your views on ‘free world’ clearly are at odds with most sensible people:
Rodman Gives Details on Trip to North Korea
Speaking at a news conference arranged in New York on Monday by Paddy Power, an Irish betting company that helped finance his trip to Pyongyang, Mr. Rodman also revealed that Mr. Kim was 30 years old and that his birthday was Jan. 8. The age and birthday conform with what South Korean intelligence officials have said.
 
I liked the bits with the women in uniform. I could watch North Korean women marching past for hours without getting bored, especially when shot from a low angle. The rest of the video was rather less interesting though.
Hmm... I like fit birds in uniform too, but I like lyric of the song even more. Tsoi made much for the worlds culture. BTW, this song was also translated in English:
 
It has been revealed that Canada had a visit from high level officials from North Korea last autumn to hold private discussions. Trudeau government brought North Korean officials to Ottawa for nuclear talks | CBC News
CBC News has confirmed that in late September, a five-person delegation from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) arrived in Ottawa for a series of meetings with Canadian bureaucrats.
Discussions revolved around "de-nuclearization" and human rights.
A senior government official speaking on background said Canada used the two days of discussions "to push for de-nuclearization and present very real human rights concerns directly, face-to-face, with North Korean interlocutors."
Canada has not had an ambassador to North Korea since 2010. There is a video with an interview with the former Canadian ambassador to both Koreas at the end of the news story.
 

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