04/09/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

1. U.S. still in final stage of ‘careful’ N. Korea policy: State Dept.

2.  Top Priority: North Korean Human Rights in 2021 (HRNK)

3. Civil and Political Rights in the Republic of Korea: Implications for Human Rights on the Peninsula

4. North Korea Tells Citizens to Prepare for a Famine Worse than the 1990s

5. How young voters, once solid supporters of liberal causes, turned against Moon’s party in by-elections

6. S. Korean PM to visit Iran next week amid lingering tension over frozen Tehran funds

7.  Military Cuts (Part 3): Height standard for recruits is 142cm. Growing trend of avoiding enlistment.

8. Moon Ignores Voters’ Slap in the Face

9. Iran releases Korean tanker and 14 crew

10. North Korea likely to stay more reclusive in face of UN sanctions

11. North Korean authorities transfer management of special road near Sinuiju to Ministry of State Security

12. North Korean authorities execute chairman of “Distance Education Act” commission

13. South Korea unveils prototype of KF-X fighter jet

14. US military donors line up to give South Korea some much-needed blood

15. Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: What Is North Korea Doing?

 

1. U.S. still in final stage of ‘careful’ N. Korea policy: State Dept.

en.yna.co.kr · by 변덕근 · April 9, 2021

US foreign policy is going to be based on strong alliances and effective coordination and cooperation among alliance partners.

Excerpts: “He also emphasized the importance of working closely with U.S. allies and partners.

“We want to ensure that we have consulted broadly and widely and deeply with our partners and, of course, with our treaty allies,” he told the daily press briefing.

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan hosted his South Korean and Japanese counterparts in Washington last week to precisely discuss the outcome of his country’s ongoing North Korea policy.

 

2. Top Priority: North Korean Human Rights in 2021 (HRNK)

Youtube The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea

This is a must watch video. Spend 1 hour with these three brilliant Korean scholars and you will learn more about north and South Korea than reading a dozen books. Yes that sounds like hyperbole but the expertise and wisdom present among these three experts is unmatched by any other similar webinar conference.

 

3. Civil and Political Rights in the Republic of Korea: Implications for Human Rights on the Peninsula

Human Rights Commission

This will be a very fascinating hearing on April 15. Note the witnesses.

 

4. North Korea Tells Citizens to Prepare for a Famine Worse than the 1990s

rfa.org · by Jieun Kim and Albert Hong

I am starting to get worried. We have been making the analysis for quite some time now. (though some of the skeptics are cited in the article). But for Kim and the regime to state it so openly and bluntly I fear it could come to pass. Maybe this is. Kim’s way to mobilize the country to prevent it from happening but only Kim has the power to prevent it – he could sufficiently solve the problems by making the right policy decisions. He is responsible for the mess he has made but he is the only one with the power to clean it up.

I hope we have the right focus on indications and warnings (nuclear weapons or an attack tonight are not the only threats). And do we have our contingency plans up to date and are we at least conducting the table top exercises to ensure all commands have a sufficient understanding of the contingencies?

Excerpts: “The attendees were furious that they were being asked to be patient and to consent to sacrifices without specific details on how this would get them through the tough situation, according to the second source.

“So now the people are all saying that a second Arduous March is imminent. On the surface, the authorities are saying that everything will be fine once the five-year economic development plan laid out in the party congress is completed,” said the second source.

“But since they are not hiding the fact that the current economic crisis could lead to a situation more difficult than the Arduous March of the 1990s, the anxiety of the people is increasing,”

International observers were skeptical that the current situation in North Korea was anything at all like the famine of the 1990’s.

 

5. How young voters, once solid supporters of liberal causes, turned against Moon’s party in by-elections

en.yna.co.kr · by 장동우 · April 9, 2021

Excerpts: “It should be made clear that the shift in preference of young voters this time is widely interpreted as the generation punishing the ruling party for mishandling the governing of the nation and economy, as opposed to reflecting a phenomenon of growing affinity among young people toward the conservative party.

“The PPP’s victory, despite the party not having done much, is a sign that the DP has made huge errors. But this administration and the ruling party is reluctant to own up to its mistakes, having the tendency to blame the press, the prosecution service and young voters,” Kim In-gyun, a 29-year-old worker in Seoul, said.

 

6. S. Korean PM to visit Iran next week amid lingering tension over frozen Tehran funds

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · April 9, 2021

Excerpt: “Chung’s visit to Iran from Sunday to Tuesday — the first such trip by a South Korean premier in 44 years — follows Tehran’s release this week of a Korean oil tanker and its captain about three months after its seizure over alleged oil pollution.”

 

7.  Military Cuts (Part 3): Height standard for recruits is 142cm. Growing trend of avoiding enlistment.

asiapress.org

That is 55.9 inches or 4 feet 7.9. inches.

I wonder if north Korean marching cadences include “standing tall and looking good.”  

Excerpt: A: “The passing height for boys is 142 cm. There is no standard for weight, and unless they are really skinny and frail, they are allowed to enlist.”

 

8. Moon Ignores Voters’ Slap in the Face

english.chosun.com

ABM – anyone but Moon.

Excerpts: “The ruling party was only able to win elections because the opposition was in hopeless disarray. But this time voters had enough. “Anyone but Moon,” could have been their desperate slogan. They cast their votes to express their anger at the president, and the MP would have lost no matter which candidates it fielded.

And still Moon shows no sign of relenting. He hid behind the curtains and let his chief secretary read two sentences on his behalf. Any decent person would at least have the guts to stand in front of the people and bow down to the ground.

 

9. Iran releases Korean tanker and 14 crew

koreajoongangdaily.joins.com · by Ser Myo-Ja

 

10. North Korea likely to stay more reclusive in face of UN sanctions

The Korea Times · April 9, 2021

If you wanted to make an analysis with as close to 100% certainty as possible it would be that north Korea will stay more reclusive.

 

11. North Korean authorities transfer management of special road near Sinuiju to Ministry of State Security

dailynk.com · by Jeong Tae Joo · April 9, 2021

Excerpt: “The road has been put under heightened security because it is located near Uiju Airport, which is guarded by a unit under the country’s Air and Anti-Air Force. Additionally, because the September Iron and Steel Complex also serves as an arms factory, North Korean authorities keep the road under special management in order to prevent military secrets from leaking out of the facility.”

 

12. North Korean authorities execute chairman of “Distance Education Act” commission

dailynk.com · April 9, 2021

Note the power of the Organization and Guidance Department.

How effective can distance education be in a country without sufficient networking capability?

Excerpts: “Interestingly, Ri Guk Chol, the president of Kim Il Sung University, is the chairman of the reorganized commission. Ri’s appointment could indicate the government’s determination to enforce the Distance Education Act by raising the prominence of the commission.

After the authorities reorganized the commission, Kim Jong Un addressed the matter in a “handwritten remark,” reportedly writing that “Just as I became the commander in the battle for forest restoration, I will also become the commander of a farsighted grand policy for national education.”

According to the source, the “handwritten remark” – interpreted as a sign that Kim Jong Un will fully support and assist the implementation of the Distance Education Act – has reportedly been distributed to all members of the commission.”

 

13. South Korea unveils prototype of KF-X fighter jet

Reuters · by Josh Smith · April 9, 2021

 

14. US military donors line up to give South Korea some much-needed blood

Stars and Stripes · by Matthew Keller · April 7, 2021

 

15. Yongbyon Nuclear Facility: What Is North Korea Doing?

The National Interest · by Stephen Silver · April 8, 2021

 

————–

 

“Too many people learn about war with no inconvenience to themselves.”

– Guy Sajer

 

The plan on paper was that the indirect actions were primary, and that direct action was only meant to buy space and time. But in practice, direct action came to rule the day.

 -Admiral Eric Olson, former commander of US Special Operations Command, October 8, 2020

 

“The only way to fight the plague is with decency.”

– Camus, The Plague

 

DanielRiggs
Fri, 04/09/2021 – 8:36am

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