N Korean nuclear strike could cause chaos in US

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.
The Spanish are apparently doing some sort of investigation, but the details are still under wraps.
The Americans identified the group as "Cheollima Civil Defence".
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?
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.
The Spanish press report that the group has links to the American CIA.
Just for the record, an ex marine has been arrested allegedly in connection with this incident.
Former Marine arrested in North Korea embassy attack in Madrid
The report is dated 22 April.
Ask any N Korean about the shortage of food and they will tell you they can’t complain.

Ask the fat kid and he will say it’s heaven on earth with so much around he’s had to go on a diet.
North Korea has reportedly conducted several test launches of short range missiles. These missiles travelled approximately 200 km before landing in the sea to the northeast.
The South initially reported a single missile was fired, but later issued a statement that said "several projectiles" had been launched and that they flew up to 200 kilometres before splashing into the sea toward the northeast.
A month ago North Korea said they had developed a new type of guided weapon. It is possible that this recent event was a test of it.
North Korea said last month that it had tested a new type of unspecified "tactical guided weapon."
The most interesting part of the report is that Japan downplayed the significance of the test, apparently because Japanese PM Abe is working to get his own summit with North Korea's Kim.
Japan's Defense Ministry said the projectiles weren't a security threat and didn't reach anywhere near the country's coast. Japan will likely avoid any harsh response as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seeks to secure his own summit with Kim.
The country is starving, their ‘God’s’ response fire off a bunch of rockets.

A truly awe-inspiring display of complete dysfunction.
The following story has more news on the recent North Korean missile test. The tests were shown in North Korean media on Sunday. These include both a short range missile and multiple rocket launchers.
North Korean state media on Sunday showed leader Kim Jong-un observing live-fire drills of long-range multiple rocket launchers and what appeared to be a new short-range ballistic missile, a day after South Korea expressed concern that the launches were a violation of an inter-Korean agreement to cease all hostile acts.
The rocket launchers were apparently 240mm and 300mm models.
In its updated assessment on Sunday, the JCS did not confirm whether the North fired a ballistic missile, but said a "new tactical guided weapon" was among the weapons tested by the North, which also included 240 millimetre- and 300 millimetre-calibre multiple rocket launchers. The JCS said the various projectiles flew from 70 to 240 kilometres before splashing into sea.
The guided missile appears to be similar to the Russian 9K720 Iskander and can manoeuvrer in flight.
The North Korean missile appeared to be modeled after Russia's 9K720 Iskander mobile short-range ballistic missile system, said Kim Dong-yub, an analyst from Seoul's Institute for Far Eastern Studies. The solid-fuel North Korean missile was first revealed in a military parade in Pyongyang in February last year and is likely the unspecified tactical weapon the North said it tested last month, he said. (...)

The missile is also likely designed to be manoeuvred during flight and warhead delivery, which would make it less likely to be intercepted by missile defense systems, he said.
North Korea has tested two more short(er) range missiles. According to South Korea The first went 420 km and the other 270 km. www.cbc.ca/news/world/south-korea-north-fired-projectile-1.5128966?cmp=rss
The South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the weapons fired flew 420 kilometres and 270 kilometres, respectively.
They were launched from an area which North Korea has long used as test launch site.
The South's military said earlier at least one projectile was launched from the Sino-ri area of North Pyongan Province, an area known to host one of North Korea's oldest missile bases where a brigade operates mid-range Rodong missiles. It said later the launch was made from the province's Kusong town, about 40 kilometres from Sino-ri, where the North conducted its first successful flight test of the Hwasong-12 intermediate range missile in May 2017.
North Korea described the previous tests on Saturday as being part of normal defensive military exercises.
North described its firing of rocket artillery and an apparent short-range ballistic missile on Saturday as a regular and defensive military exercise. The North also ridiculed South Korea for criticizing those launches.
South Korea's president Moon suggested that the tests may have been a form of protest against the lack of progress in recent peace talks.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said North Korea's latest missile launch was probably a subdued protest against the U.S. after a failed summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi in February.
"North Korea seemed to be discontented it could not reach a deal in Hanoi," Moon said in an interview with South Korean broadcaster KBS.
But the North appeared to have refrained from using weapons that directly threaten the United States, Moon said.
A North Korean cargo ship, the Wise Honest, was seized by Indonesia last year, apparently at the request of the US. It is apparently now in the process of being taken by the Americans to the US territory of American Samoa.
The U.S. has revealed it seized a North Korean cargo ship last year, after it was allegedly used to violate international sanctions, a first-of-its-kind enforcement action that comes amid a tense moment in relations between the two countries.
North Korea's second largest cargo ship, the Wise Honest, was detained in April 2018 as it travelled toward Indonesia and is in the process of being moved to American Samoa, U.S. Justice Department officials said.
The Americans claim the move of the ship was not a response to the recent North Korea short range missile tests.
Officials made the announcement hours after the North Korea fired two suspected short-range missiles toward the sea, a second weapons launch in five days and a possible signal that stalled talks over its nuclear weapons program are in trouble. The public disclosure that the vessel is now in U.S. custody may further inflame tensions, though U.S. officials said the timing of their complaint was not a response to the missile launch.
The ship had been used to export North Korean coal to China, Russia, and other countries (presumably Indonesia among them).
The 177-metre ship was used to transport North Korean coal to China, Russia and other countries, generating badly needed revenue to a country that is under UN sanctions because of its nuclear weapons program. It also delivered heavy machinery to North Korea.
The Indonesians intercepted and seized the ship in the East China Sea after it was photographed loading coal in North Korea. The captain has apparently been arrested but it is not clear what has happened to the crew.
Indonesian authorities intercepted and seized the Wise Honest in the East China Sea a month after it was photographed at the port of Nampo, North Korea, where it took on a load of coal. The captain of the ship was charged in Indonesia with violating that country's maritime laws and convicted, the complaint says. It was not immediately clear what happened to the crew.
The Americans apparently intend to sell the ship.
The U.S. has prosecuted people and businesses for violating sanctions but has never before seized a North Korean ship. The country will have an opportunity to contest the seizure in court. If the U.S. prevails, it will be able to sell the vessel.
We can’t feed ourselves but...we have rockets!!!!

...and cause chaos in the US...

...we think.

Terminal you are flogging a very dead horse. If push came to shove they could be reduced to glass ‘toute suite,’ as the Japanese... say?
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U.S. State Department approves possible $314 million sale of missiles to South Korea - Reuters
S Korea look set to acquire 94 more SM-2 missiles, guidance eqpt etc. in a $313.9M contract. They already use SM-2 and are apparently building more destroyers capable of using the missiles, which also has a secondary anti-ship role:
South Korea, a key Asian ally of the United States, asked to buy up to 94 SM-2 missiles used by ships against air threats, along with 12 guidance systems and technical assistance for a total cost of $313.9 million, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said on its website.
North Korea asks U.N. chief to address ship seizure by 'gangster' U.S. - Reuters
DPRK are complaining to Guterres regarding the ‘gangster state US’ seizing one of their ships back in April 2018:
“This act of dispossession has clearly indicated that the United States is indeed a gangster country that does not care at all about international laws,” the North Korean ambassador to the United Nations said in a letter sent to Guterres dated Friday, according to North Korea’s KCNA news agency.
The US say it was used for ‘sanction busting’ by importing coal:
The U.S. Justice Department said the North Korean cargo ship, known as the “Wise Honest”, was seized and impounded to American Samoa. The vessel was accused of illicit coal shipments in violation of sanctions and was first detained by Indonesia in April 2018.
Trump is currently visiting Abe in Japan. At a news conference Abe complained about North Korea's recent test of short range missiles, but Trump said that they didn't particularly bother him.
U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday he is not "personally bothered" by recent short-range missile tests that North Korea conducted this month, breaking with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is hosting Trump on a four-day state visit full of pageantry.

Abe, who stood beside Trump at a news conference after hours of talks, disagreed with the U.S. president, saying the missile tests violated UN Security Council resolutions and were "of great regret."
Trump said that while the tests may bother some people, they don't bother him.
Trump later downplayed the missile tests, tweeting, "North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me."
I suspect that Trump sees the recent North Korean tests as a negotiating tactic (whether they are or not), and so isn't going to let himself look as if they have any affect on him.
North Korea executes envoy in a purge after failed U.S. summit - media - Reuters
Usual caveats apply, as some officials reported as executed, appear later in different roles. However, It would appear failure at the Hanoi Conference has consequences. His failure (and four others) in understanding the US's intentions meant he was spying for the US. Some reports say he was executed. Others that he was sent to a labour camp for 're-education':
Kim Hyok Chol was executed in March at Mirim Airport in Pyongyang, along with four foreign ministry executives after they were all charged with spying for the United States, the Chosun Ilbo reported, citing an unidentified source with knowledge of the situation.

“He was accused of spying for the United States for poorly reporting on the negotiations without properly grasping U.S. intentions,” the source was quoted as saying.
No independent verification yet:
Reuters was unable to independently confirm the report. Previously, some North Korean officials have reportedly been executed or purged only to reappear with a new title.

U.S. State Department officials said they had no information to confirm the report.
An unnamed diplomatic source reports that he and others were sent to a labour camp for 're-education'. The Unification Ministry and the Blue House have declined to comment:
A spokeswoman at South Korea’s Unification Ministry declined to comment. An official at the presidential Blue House in Seoul said it was inappropriate to comment on an issue that should first be verified.

A diplomatic source told Reuters there were signs Kim Hyok Chol and other officials were punished for the breakdown of the summit, such as by being sent to a labour camp for reeducation, but there was no evidence they were executed.
According to the original reporting, he was chosen as an interim to insulate the leads on negotiations:
“This is a man who might provide some tactical advice to the leader but is otherwise a message bearer with little negotiating or policymaking latitude,” said Michael Madden, a North Korea leadership expert at the Washington-based Stimson Centre.

“Instead, they put in someone like Kim Hyok Chol to insulate Choe Son Hui and more substantive diplomatic personnel, to a certain degree he is expendable and his superiors are not.”
According to Rodung Sinmun, 'two faced officials would face stern judgement of the revolution':
North Korea’s official party mouthpiece Rodong Sinmun warned on Thursday that “two-faced” officials would face the “stern judgement of the revolution”.

“It is an anti-Party, anti-revolutionary act to pretend to be revering the leader in front of him when you actually dream of something else,” it said in a commentary.

“There are traitors and turncoats who only memorize words of loyalty towards the Leader and even change according to the trend of the time,” it said.

The newspaper accused Jang Song Thaek, Kim Jong Un’s uncle, of committing “anti-party, anti-revolutionary acts” after he was executed in December 2013.
It could be a signal that anything discussed in previous meetings is now null and void:
Hong Min, a senior fellow at the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul, said it was possible Kim Hyok Chol and other officials faced some penalty but further verification was needed.

“Executing or completely removing people like him would send a very bad signal to the United States because he was the public face of the talks and it could indicate they are negating all they have discussed,” Hong said.
North Korea executes envoy in a purge after failed U.S. summit - media - Reuters
Usual caveats apply, as some officials reported as executed, appear later in different roles. However, It would appear failure at the Hanoi Conference has consequences. His failure (and four others) in understanding the US's intentions meant he was spying for the US. Some reports say he was executed. Others that he was sent to a labour camp for 're-education':

No independent verification yet:

An unnamed diplomatic source reports that he and others were sent to a labour camp for 're-education'. The Unification Ministry and the Blue House have declined to comment:

According to the original reporting, he was chosen as an interim to insulate the leads on negotiations:

According to Rodung Sinmun, 'two faced officials would face stern judgement of the revolution':

It could be a signal that anything discussed in previous meetings is now null and void:
Quoting myself, but he's alive ...... so far:
KCNA named Kim Yong Chol as the 10th person among a group of 12 “leading officials” who accompanied Kim Jong Un and his wife, Ri Sol Ju, to an amateur art performance by wives of officers in the North Korean Army on Sunday.

On Friday, South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo had said Kim Yong Chol, the leader’s righthand man and a counterpart of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before the failed summit, had been sent to a labour and re-education camp, citing an unidentified North Korean source.

Asked on Sunday about the last U.S. contact with Kim Yong Chol and North Korea in general, Pompeo declined to answer, saying, “We conduct our negotiations in private.”

Asked about reports of a “shakeup” of Kim’s negotiating team in a May 5 interview with ABC News, Pompeo said it did appear that his future counterpart would be somebody else, adding “But we don’t know that for sure.”

He said, “Just as President Trump gets to decide who his negotiators will be, Chairman Kim will get to make his own decisions who he asks to have these discussions.”
Canada will be taking part in enforcing UN sanctions against North Korea over the next two years. The deployment will involve frigates, maritime patrol aircraft, and possibly submarines.
The Canadian navy and air force will begin regular deployments to help enforce United Nations sanctions against North Korea, the Department of National Defence said Monday.

(...) The deployments — known as Operation Neon — will involve a rotation of frigates, maritime patrol aircraft and possibly submarines.
The first to go will be the HMCS Regina and the MV Asterix.
The department announced in a statement that HMCS Regina and the replenishment ship MV Asterix will be the first assets deployed.
Canada has been involved in sanctions enforcement against North Korea before, but this latest announcement came as part of a program involving greater defence cooperation between Canada and Japan.
Following their meeting on Monday, the two ministers also laid down more details on how Canada and Japan will co-operate more closely on defence matters.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discussed better military co-operation at their meeting in Ottawa at the end of April.

The two countries will, among other things, work together to improve peacekeeping and engage in regular navy and air force exchanges.
Japan has been looking for new allies to help them maintain their position in east Asia, and Abe visited Ottawa in April to discuss this as well as other issues.
U.S., allies accuse North Korea of violating U.N. cap on fuel imports - Reuters
Last years suggestion that the DPRK was importing oil was stalled as the PRC and Russia 'wanted more information' on breaches of the sanctions. Now a further accusation is being put before the UNSC that 79 illegal deliveries of fuel took place this year, breaching a cap of 500,000 barrels imposed in December '17:
The U.S.-led complaint to the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee listed 79 illegal deliveries of fuel this year and concluded that the country - officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)- had breached an annual cap of 500,000 barrels imposed in December 2017.

“The restriction on the DPRK’s refined petroleum imports is critical to maintaining pressure on the DPRK, including those parties responsible for its WMD (weapons of mass destruction) programme, to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearisation of the DPRK,” read the report to the committee.
No names this time, but Russia has been named as breaching in the past and of course denied:
While the latest U.S. complaint that North Korea has breached the U.N. cap does not name who it believes is supplying refined petroleum for the transfers at sea, former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley accused Russia in September of “cheating” U.N. sanctions on North Korea.

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected the U.S. accusations.

Reuters has also reported that Russian tankers had supplied fuel to North Korea by transferring cargoes at sea.
Kim Jong-un met with President Xi of China in North Korea where the two apparently discussed the nuclear situation.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, meeting in Pyongyang with Chinese President Xi Jinping, said Thursday that his country is waiting for a desired response in stalled nuclear talks with the United States.
Xi said the world expects the US and North Korea to continue talking.
"The international community expects the U.S. and North Korea to continue to talk and achieve results," he said, according to CCTV.
Xi is on a two day visit to North Korea, where he is the first head of China to visit the country in 14 years.
Xi, who is on a two-day state visit to North Korea, is the first Chinese leader to visit North Korea in 14 years.
Some think that Kim will be asking Xi to deliver a new proposal to Trump when they meet at the upcoming G-20 meeting in Japan.
A former North Korean diplomat who defected in 2016 said he thinks Kim wants to give Xi a message to deliver to Trump when the two meet at next week's G-20 summit in Japan.
Thae Yong-ho said that Kim may offer some kind of compromise on his nuclear facilities to set up a third summit with the U.S. president. But he cautioned such a move would be only to buy time and not to denuclearize. Thae spoke at a news conference in Tokyo while promoting the Japanese translation of his book.
President Moon of South Korea stated that the US and North Korea are holding talks to arrange a third meeting between Kim and Trump.
North Korean and U.S. officials are holding "behind-the-scenes talks" to arrange a third summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on the fate of the North's expanding nuclear arsenal, South Korea's president said, four months after a second meeting between the leaders in Hanoi collapsed without any agreement.
Moon also said that the overall negotiations will take time, and that people should not expect immediate results from each summit.
Moon said he doesn't see the Hanoi summit as a failure. He said he thinks the meeting served as a chance for both Washington and Pyongyang to better understand each other's positions and "put everything they want on the negotiating table."
"The success of denuclearization and the peace process on the Korean Peninsula cannot be determined by a summit or two," Moon said, adding that discussions in Hanoi will form the basis for future talks. "Both sides clearly understand the necessity for dialogue," he added.
The rest of the news story is mainly a recapitulation of events of the past few months.
Kim and Trump met at the North-South Korean border on Sunday, and agreed to continue talks.
With wide grins and a historic handshake, U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong-un met at the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone on Sunday and agreed to revive talks on the pariah nation's nuclear program. Trump, pressing his bid for a legacy-defining accord, became the first sitting American leader to step into North Korea.
Talks between officials are expected to resume "sometime in July".
Trump announced afterward that the two nations had agreed to resume discussions in the coming weeks. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters shortly before departing South Korea on Sunday that a fresh round of talks will likely happen "sometime in July" and the North's negotiators would be foreign ministry diplomats.
Trump and Kim stepped back and forth across the border into North and South Korea. There is a short video in the news story showing some of the event.
In a made-for television moment, the two leaders strode toward one another from opposite sides of the Joint Security Area and shook hands over the raised patch of concrete at the Military Demarcation Line as cameras clicked and photographers jostled to capture the scene. After asking if Kim wanted him to cross, Trump took 10 steps into the North with Kim at his side, before escorting Kim back to the South for a sit-down at Freedom House.
This was supposed to be just a short 2 minute exchange of greetings, but the two sat down for a 50 minute meeting. Trump was in Osaka recently for the G20 meeting, and so was in the area anyway.
What was originally expected to be a brief exchange of pleasantries over the raised line of concrete marking the border between North and South — Trump had said it would last "two minutes" — turned into private talks stretching about 50 minutes. Trump was joined in the Freedom House conversation with Kim by his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, both senior White House advisers.
Trump said that he has invited Kim to visit the US, although it's not clear whether that was a firm invitation or just more of Trump's usual waffling. Kim in turn seemed to suggest that Trump may be invited to visit Pyongyang in the future.
Trump told reporters he invited the North Korean leader to the United States, and potentially even to the White House.
"I would invite him right now," Trump said, standing next to Kim, who speaking through a translator, reciprocated that it would be an "honour" to invite Trump to the North Korean capital of Pyongyang "at the right time."

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