04/20/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. Biden-Suga summit leaves Moon with few options

2. OMFV: Korea’s Hanwha Is Officially In

3. New policy approach for nuke-armed North Korea

4. Moon extends hand to China ahead of Biden’s summit

5. New Zealand deploying RNZDF Orion to patrol waters near North Korea

6. S. Korea considering various ‘vaccine swap’ options with U.S.

7. N.K.’s largest youth group to hold first congress in 5 years next week

8. N. Korea hands down order regarding issuance of trade certificates

9. Lazarus Group Uses New Tactic to Evade Detection

10. The Incredible Rise of North Korea’s Hacking Army

11. S. Korea again faces debate over female military draft

12. Another ‘Arduous March’ Would Be a Major Failure for Kim Jong-un

13. Majority of new houses in Pyongyang to be given to party cadres

14. U.S.-North Korea Relations will Follow Same Pattern Despite Coronavirus

15. B-52 Bombers are Back in Guam to Deter China and North Korea

16. North Korea Wants to Rebuild Its Economy but Will Keep Testing Weapons Anyway

 

1. Biden-Suga summit leaves Moon with few options

koreaherald.com · by Lee Ji-yoon · April 20, 2021

President Moon should not want to be the odd man out but strategic ambiguity could make him so and do damage to the ROK in the long term.

We will compare what happens in the Moon-Biden meeting next month with this excerpt: “It’s almost like the US and Japan have announced a set of new global orders,” said Park Won-gon, a professor of North Korean studies at Ewha Womans University. “Now the only option left for South Korea is whether to join the initiative or not.

“It had been widely expected that China issues would loom large in the summit. But discussions were much more direct and specific than expected,” he added.

Biden, three months into his term, has invested heavily in rebuilding ties with Japan and South Korea amid the growing influence of China in the Indo-Pacific region.

 

2. OMFV: Korea’s Hanwha Is Officially In

breakingdefense.com · by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

Know your target audience. See the last line. 

Excerpts:Hanwha is offering an evolution of the K21, the Redback – what it calls “the world’s most advanced Infantry Fighting Vehicle” – in a competition in Australia. The Korean company s already building Australia’s new self-propelled howitzer, the AS9, in the Geelong area outside of Melbourne.

Hanwha also makes a host of lighter armored vehicles, such as Korea’s K2000 tracked troop carrier, the 6×6 Tigon, and the 4×4 Barracuda , as well as a light tank version of the K21, the K21-105. (Korea’s main battle tank, the K2 Black Panther, is built by Hyundai Rotem).

Worldwide, the company says, “Hanwha Defense has provided over 7,000 cutting-edge combat vehicles to the Republic of Korea and exports to Malaysia, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Poland, Turkey, and India.” Now it’s making its big play for the US market.

Any vehicle bought by the US Army, however, “will be built in America with American labor,” Hanwha emphasized in a statement.

 

3. New policy approach for nuke-armed North Korea

The Korea Times · by Kim Sang-woo · April 20, 2021

For all the talk about the new administration policy toward Korea, whether engagement or pressure, small deals, phased approach, CVID, or implementation of all relevant UN Security council resolutions (or some combination of these and others), this paragraph contains the key concepts that must be the foundation for whatever policy is adopted and strategy is implemented.

 

4. Moon extends hand to China ahead of Biden’s summit

koreajoongangdaily.joins.com · by Sarah Kim

The shrimp among whales is walking a difficult tightrope. 

 

5. New Zealand deploying RNZDF Orion to patrol waters near North Korea

tvnz.co.nz

Some good news here. Happy to see an ally contributing to operations against north Korea even though we have some other strategic challenges with views toward China.

 

6. S. Korea considering various ‘vaccine swap’ options with U.S.

en.yna.co.kr · by 김승연 · April 20, 2021

 

7. N.K.’s largest youth group to hold first congress in 5 years next week

en.yna.co.kr · by 고병준 · April 20, 2021

If James Carville were advising Kim Jong-un, he would use the phrase, “Its the ideology, stupid.”

For the Kim family regime ideology is the defense against and the solution for everything.

 

8. N. Korea hands down order regarding issuance of trade certificates

dailynk.com · by Seulkee Jang · April 20, 2021

The people need this. But it looks like trade and markets will not be the same as pre-COVID. The regime’s population and resources control measures will hamper market activity. 

 

9. Lazarus Group Uses New Tactic to Evade Detection

darkreading.com

Kim’s all-purpose sword has become his most important strategic tool of choice.

 

10. The Incredible Rise of North Korea’s Hacking Army

The New Yorker · by Ed Caesar · April 19, 2021

A long read but a very comprehensive look at north Korea’s cyber activities.
 

11. S. Korea again faces debate over female military draft

en.yna.co.kr · by 이해아 · April 20, 2021

South Korea faces some severe demographic challenges though I am not sure drafting women will solve them. On the other hand one of the problems is Korean women are not having children until later ages or not having children at all. Maybe this would change decision making among women if giving birth would be an exemption from the draft.

 

12. Another ‘Arduous March’ Would Be a Major Failure for Kim Jong-un

The National Interest · by Robert E. Kelly · April 19, 2021

Or he thinks his grip on power is secure.

But this is why the people are suffering: the deliberate policy choices Kim Jong-un has made and will continue to make.

Conclusion: North Korea is now substantially cut-off from the world economy, yet it will not alter its political economy—specifically, by reducing its military spending—to accommodate that cut-off and help roll it back. In other words, this is another self-induced wound from an elite that simply does not care if its population suffers. It is not sanctions, but the choices of the regime elite that has brought North Korea to the brink again: let them eat cake if that is what’s necessary for the Kims to have nuclear weapons.

 

13. Majority of new houses in Pyongyang to be given to party cadres

dailynk.com · by Lee Sang Yong · April 20, 2021

Another of the regime’s “show projects.” (how is that new modern hospital in Pyongyang doing? – i was supposed to be finished last October) 

Is it true here is no class system in the socialist workers paradise of nK? That’s right, there are 51 classes of society (in the classless society) in the Songbun system of north Korea. There are certainly haves and have nots among the regime.

 

14. U.S.-North Korea Relations will Follow Same Pattern Despite Coronavirus

The National Interest · by Denny Roy · April 19, 2021

Lucy and the football and blackmail diplomacy.

 

15. B-52 Bombers are Back in Guam to Deter China and North Korea

19fortyfive.com · by Peter Suciu · April 19, 2021

 

16. North Korea Wants to Rebuild Its Economy but Will Keep Testing Weapons Anyway

The National Interest · by Malcolm Davis · April 19, 2021

Deliberate policy choices of Kim Jong-un are responsible for the suffering.

The subtitle highlights the long con and Kim’s blackmail diplomacy.

 

————-

 

“The ability to persuade not only one’s people but also allies and enemies was a vital attribute of the successful strategist. In this way, strategy required a combination of words and deeds, and the ability to manipulate them both. “

– Lawrence Freedman, Strategy: A History

 

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” 

– Chinese Proverb

 

 

“Glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself, to a cause, to your principles, to the people on whom you rely and who rely on you.”

-John McCain

DanielRiggs
Tue, 04/20/2021 – 8:57am

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