N Korean nuclear strike could cause chaos in US

U.S. says Russian ship suspected of illicit North Korea trade | Reuters
The US has named a Russian ship as a suspect in the (contrary to sanctions), provision of fuel to the DPRK, along with others. Reuter’s reported in February on two witnesses who said the ship supplied a N Korean vessel at sea on four occasions:
The U.S. government has named a Russian ship on a list of vessels suspected of providing fuel to Pyongyang, a month after Reuters reported the same ship violated sanctions by carrying out a clandestine transfer to a North Korean tanker.

The Treasury Department, which oversees U.S. sanctions, included the Russian vessel, the Tantal, on a new list of “vessels believed to have engaged in ship-to-ship transfers with North Korean tankers.”
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Grey Fox

*Russian Troll*
They havent got the gear to reach the US surely?

My ICBM programs more advanced than theirs.
I dont know about your ICBM program, but compare the number of unsuccessful launches in DPRK with ones in Russia and USA. Very-very low level rate of it, really. I can see two possible explanations - 1) North Koreas are much more clever than Southen ones. 2) One of Hi-Tech states (South Korea, USA, Russia, China or somebody else) help them. In both cases their actual level can be much higher than you think.
I dont know about your ICBM program, but compare the number of unsuccessful launches in DPRK with ones in Russia and USA. Very-very low level rate of it, really. I can see two possible explanations - 1) North Koreas are much more clever than Southen ones. 2) One of Hi-Tech states (South Korea, USA, Russia, China or somebody else) help them. In both cases their actual level can be much higher than you think.
You're replying to a post from 2013. Things have moved on somewhat since then.
Further to my previous post saying that North Koreans had stopped showing up at the inter-Korean liaison office, they have apparently reversed that and half are now turning up at the office again. It is not clear at this time what all this has actually meant.
Seoul says some North Korean officials back at liaison office | CBC News
South Korea said some North Korean officials returned to an inter-Korean liaison office on Monday, three days after the North abruptly withdrew its entire staff citing unspecified instructions from "higher-level authorities."
It wasn't immediately clear why North Korea sent some workers back to the office or whether it would restore a full staff.
Seoul's Unification Ministry, which deals with inter-Korean affairs, said in a statement that four to five North Korean officials showed up for work Monday at the liaison office in the North Korean border town of Kaesong and told South Korean officials they came to work their usual shifts.
Last month the North Korean embassy in Spain was raided by a mysterious group who claim to wish to overthrow the government of North Korea. They tied up the embassy staff, allegedly tortured them, and made off with computer hard drives and secret documents.
North Korea calls raid on Madrid embassy 'grave terrorist attack' | CBC News

North Korea are demanding an investigation into it, calling it a "grave terrorist attack" and a violation of international law.
North Korea said Sunday it wants an investigation into a raid on its embassy in Spain last month, calling it a "grave terrorist attack" and an act of extortion that violates international law.
The Spanish are apparently doing some sort of investigation, but the details are still under wraps.
Details have begun trickling out about the raid after a Spanish judge lifted a secrecy order last week and said an investigation of what happened on Feb. 22 uncovered evidence that "a criminal organization" shackled and gagged embassy staff before escaping with computer hard drives and documents. (...)

Spain has issued at least two international arrest warrants for members of the group.
The Americans identified the group as "Cheollima Civil Defence".
A U.S. official said the group is named Cheollima Civil Defence (also, Free Joseon), a little-known organization that recently called for international solidarity in the fight against North Korea's government.
The BBC have more information on them. The Spanish say they were armed with machetes, knives, and metal bars. The information taken was then handed over to the US.
Who was behind North Korean embassy raid?
According to a Spanish High Court document, the group entered the building on 22 February armed with machetes, knives, metal bars and cable ties and left with two computers, hard drives, USB pen drives and a mobile phone - items said to have been handed to the FBI.
The group apparently has a web site and a Youtube channel. I'm not about to visit either.

One of the known members is someone based in the US. According to the Spanish he was the ringleader of the raid on the Madrid embassy.
One member of the group has been named as Adrian Hong Chang, a human rights activist based in the US who co-founded the refugee aid agency Liberty in North Korea.

He was said in court documents to have been the ringleader of the Madrid embassy raid.
The Spanish press report that the group has links to the American CIA.
Spanish daily newspaper El País also reports that two members of the group have links with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The CIA declined to comment to the BBC.
The Malaysians have reduced the charges against the remaining suspect in the death of Kim Jong-nam, half brother to Kim Jong-un, from murder to "voluntarily causing injury with a dangerous weapon".
Vietnamese woman pleads guilty to lesser charge in killing of Kim Jong-un's brother | CBC News
The murder charge that Huong had faced carried the death penalty if she was convicted. Huong nodded Monday as a translator read the new charge to her: voluntarily causing injury with a dangerous weapon, VX nerve agent.
She was then sentenced to 3 years and 4 months in prison, including time spent in jail awaiting trial. With time off for good behaviour this means she will be out in the first week of May.
High Court Judge Azmi Ariffin sentenced Huong to three years and four months in prison from the day she was arrested on Feb. 15, 2017. Huong's lawyer, Hisyam Teh Poh Teik, said his client is expected to be freed by the first week of May, after a one-third reduction in her sentence for good behaviour.
Charges against the second woman were dropped earlier (see above posts on this).

The defence cases had revolved around the prosecution not being able to adequately prove that the two women knew that the substance they applied to Kim Jong-nam was a deadly poison, which likely explains the dropping of murder charges.

The North Koreans allegedly in the incident have not been apprehended.
South Korea is considering sending a "special envoy" to North Korea to help get the nuclear and peace talks going again.
Moon's national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, told lawmakers on Thursday that his government is also considering sending a special envoy to North Korea. He didn't elaborate.
South Korean president Moon is scheduled to visit Washington next week to discuss diplomacy with US president Trump.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who facilitated U.S.-North Korean talks last year, is scheduled to travel to Washington next week to discuss the nuclear diplomacy with Trump.
President Moon of South Korea has said he is ready for another north-south meeting.
"Whenever North Korea is ready, we hope that the South and North could sit down together and hold concrete and practical discussions on ways to achieve progress that goes beyond what was accomplished in the two summits between North Korea and the United States," Moon said in a meeting with senior aides.
North Korea's Kim said on Friday that he is willing to meet with US president Trump again, but said he wants any deal to be negotiated before the end of the year.
In a speech delivered to North Korea's rubber-stamp parliament on Friday, Kim said he is open to a third summit with Trump but set an end-of-year deadline for Washington to offer mutually acceptable terms for an agreement.
Kim has blamed the lack of progress so far on the US making unilateral demands without offering North Korea anything in return.
Kim blamed the collapse of his second summit with Trump on what he described as Washington's unilateral demands. He said the North's economy would preserve through heavy U.S.-led sanctions imposed over its nuclear weapons program and that he "wouldn't "obsess over summitry with the United States out of thirst for sanctions relief."
Trump, Pompeo brush aside Kim's deadline for nuclear talks flexibility - Reuters
It appears Pompeo and Trump have dismissed Tubby IIIs imposed deadline of the end of the year. They say they're still moving forward diplomatically, but need to see the outcome of denuclearisation move forward:
Asked about Kim’s statement last week that he was only interested in meeting Trump again if the United States came with the right attitude, Pompeo told reporters that the president was “determined to move forward diplomatically.”

But Pompeo said Kim had made a commitment to denuclearise and “we collectively need to see that outcome move forward.”

“Our teams are working with the North Koreans ... to chart a path forward so that we can get there. He said he wanted it done by the end of the year. I’d love to see that done sooner.”
Trump appears happy to have a third summit and says he has a 'very good relationship' with Tubby III.He also seems to think it is moving along with the current freeze on testing nukes and missiles. Obviously, the tests are contrary to UN Resolutions:
In a speech on Monday in Burnsville, Minnesota, Trump nevertheless maintained an upbeat tone on North Korea, saying the issue was “moving along” with Pyongyang sticking to a freeze in nuclear and missile testing in place since 2017.

He again stressed his “very good relationship” with Kim “who just said the other day he looks forward to more talks.”

“Talk is OK. Talk is OK,” Trump said adding that he did not want the process to move fast. “It doesn’t have to move fast. Right now it’s moving along just perfectly. And we have a good relationship, the sanctions are on ... there’s a lot of constructive things going on.”

On Saturday, Trump said a third summit with Kim “would be good in that we fully understand where we each stand.”
After the meeting with RoK President Moon, Trump says the sanctions will remain:
At a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Washington last Thursday, Trump expressed a willingness for a third summit with Kim but said Washington would leave sanctions in place.
However, the rhetoric from the DPRK seems to be changing somewhat, with the sanctions being described as trying to put out a fire with oil. Presumably, they're working then:
On Friday, Kim accused Washington of escalating hostility “despite its suggestion for settling the issue through dialogue” and called the U.S. policy of sanctions and pressure “as foolish and dangerous an act as trying to put out fire with oil.”

Last month, a senior North Korean official warned that Kim might rethink the test freeze unless Washington makes concessions such as easing sanctions.
E2A: U.S. diplomat for North Korea to discuss denuclearisation with Russia - Reuters
Beigun is off to Russia to discuss DPRK denuclearisation:
U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun will visit Moscow this week to discuss Pyongyang’s denuclearisation, the U.S. State Department said in a statement on Tuesday.

Biegun will meet with Russian officials in Moscow on Wednesday and Thursday, the department said.
North Korea have announced the testing of a "new-type tactical guided weapon".
North Korea has test-fired a "new-type tactical guided weapon," its state media announced Thursday, a move that could be an attempt to register the country's displeasure with deadlocked nuclear talks with the United States without causing those coveted negotiations to collapse.
It is not clear what this weapon is, but it is apparently not a long range ballistic missile.
The recent activity, however, is likely not a banned ballistic missile test, which would jeopardize diplomatic talks meant to provide the North with concessions in return for disarmament.
One of the persons mentioned in the announcement has some connection with artillery.
One of the lower-level officials mentioned in the North's report on the test — Pak Jong Chon — is known as an artillery official.
The impression given in the story is that the North Koreans are making an announcement that is intended to show their displeasure while not actually doing anything too provocative.

If it is some sort of guided projectile, then such a weapon would take years to develop, so this represents something that has been in the works for a long time. So, the testing itself is not significant, just the choice to make an announcement of it.
North Korea calls for Pompeo to be dropped from talks; tests tactical weapon - Reuters
Tubby III appears to have a sad on with Pompeo. It may relate to Pompeo calling Tubby III a tyrant earlier in the week before a Congressional hearing:
KCNA quoted Kwon, who is in charge of U.S. affairs, as saying the Vietnam summit, the second between the two leaders, showed that talks could go wrong “whenever Pompeo pokes his nose in”.

“I am afraid that, if Pompeo engages in the talks again, the table will be lousy once again and the talks will become entangled,” Kwon said.

“Therefore, even in the case of possible resumption of the dialogue with the United States, I wish our dialogue counterpart would be not Pompeo but other person who is more careful and mature in communicating with us.”
But he's still happy with Trump:
Kwon also said the two leaders were on good terms, even as he castigated Pompeo for “fabricated” stories as part of a “publicity stunt”. He did not elaborate.

Kwon said Pompeo had made “reckless remarks hurting the dignity of our supreme leadership”, apparently referring to him agreeing to the characterisation of Kim as a “tyrant” at a U.S. Congressional hearing last week.
North Korea's Kim will apparently be visiting Russia in a few weeks, and meeting with president Putin. www.cbc.ca/news/world/north-korea-kim-russia-1.5103239?cmp=rss
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will visit Russia later this month, the Kremlin said Thursday, in a meeting that offers President Vladimir Putin an opportunity to emerge as a broker in the long-running nuclear standoff and raise Russia's profile in regional affairs.
The Kremlin said in a brief statement Thursday that Kim will visit Russia "in the second half of April" on Putin's invitation, but gave no further details.
Speculation is that the two may meet in Vladivostok, before or after Putin's upcoming visit to China.
Putin is set to visit China later this month, and some media speculated that he could meet with Kim during a stopover in Vladivostok, the far eastern port city near the border with North Korea.
For years Russia has talked about trans-Korea railways, natural gas pipelines and electric transmission lines to better access the South Korean market but tensions between the two Koreas have thus far prevented these plans from going forward.
For many years, Moscow has touted the prospects of a trans-Korean railway, natural gas pipeline and power lines — ambitious projects that would allow Russia to significantly increase its regional clout. No visible progress has been made.
North Korea in turn is interested in Russian investment in mining, industrial, and infrastructure projects in North Korea.
Russia is interested in gaining broader access to North Korea's mineral resources, including rare metals. Pyongyang needs Russia's electricity supplies and wants to attract Russian investment to modernize the obsolescent Soviet-built industrial plants, railways and other infrastructure.

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