06/05/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

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

1. N.K. leader presides over politburo meeting in first public appearance in a month

2. NKorean leader calls for meeting to review battered economy

3. Ruling party chief to push to visit U.S. to find way for resumption of Kaesong complex

4. Upcoming joint exercise with South Korea, Japan is frequently held drill: Pentagon spokesman

5. Lifting missile curbs on S. Korea ‘complementary’ to U.S. regional deterrence efforts: senator

6. Scholar: North Korea is working to normalize its government

7. Korean Workers’ Party Changed Its Goals? No, It’s Terminology Confusion Tactics

8. Is North Korea Facing a Food Shortage?

9. A New Skyline Emerges in Sinuiju

10. Hwangtho Island: No More Target Practice

11. South Korea on stage

 

1. N.K. leader presides over politburo meeting in first public appearance in a month

en.yna.co.kr · by 황장진 · June 5, 2021

He’s back! He remains on the pandemic work regimen: Work one day, take a month in isolation. (note attempt at humor).

 

2. NKorean leader calls for meeting to review battered economy

AP News · by Kim Tong-Hyung

How many times have we heard that Kim Jong un- (or Kim Jong-il or Kim Ils-sung) is going to reform the economy? Probably as many times as the regime has said it would denuclearize.

 

3. Ruling party chief to push to visit U.S. to find way for resumption of Kaesong complex

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · June 5, 2021

To Mr. Song Young-gil. Please recall that our two presidents have agreed to full implementation of all relevant UN Security council Resolutions. If Kaesong is in violation of UN sanctions (or US law) you are unlikely to get support for resumption of activities at Kaesong (or in reality support for the direct transfer of funds to the Kim family regime royal court economy which is what occurs through the Kaesong Industrial Complex.) 

On the other hand, we are starting to see come Congressmen in the US embrace a number of north Korean positions from end of war declaration and end of US hostile policy to sanctions relief as they have come under the influence of some NGOs who have ties (directly and indirectly) to the United Front Department of the north.

 

4. Upcoming joint exercise with South Korea, Japan is frequently held drill: Pentagon spokesman

The Korea Times · June 5, 2021

This is one of the few times “no comment” is useful – though even though he says he is not going to comment – his words provide important commentary about north Korean rhetoric. We should not allow ourselves to be influenced by the north’s rhetoric and we should not take action to try to avoid north Korean rhetoric. Let the blow hard Propaganda and Agitation Department sound off about our exercises and expose their rhetoric and hypocrisy 

Excerpts: “I’m not going to comment on the reaction by North Korean officials. I would simply add that this is an exercise that we conduct very frequently,” the spokesman said in a press briefing.

 

His remarks came one day after a North Korean propaganda outlet denounced Seoul’s decision to take part in the annual multinational air force Red Flag exercise to be held in Alaska.

Kirby highlighted the importance of the upcoming joint military drills as it will involve both South Korea and Japan for the first time in more than two years.

“You have heard the secretary talk about the importance of trilateral cooperation when he visited Japan and South Korea not too long ago, so this is an example of that,” said the spokesman, referring to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s visits to Seoul and Tokyo in March.

 

5. Lifting missile curbs on S. Korea ‘complementary’ to U.S. regional deterrence efforts: senator

en.yna.co.kr · by 송상호 · June 5, 2021

Excerpts:“I think that just because we lift the cap doesn’t mean that South Korea should immediately go out and throw a lot of money into developing these new long range missiles,” Duckworth said.

“I think it’s complementary to the work that we’re doing here and I think it shows the maturity of the partnership and of the security alliance,” she added.

After last month’s summit between President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Joe Biden, Moon announced the lifting of the guidelines barring South Korea from developing or possessing ballistic missiles with a maximum range greater than 800 kilometers.

Speculation has since persisted that Seoul’s ability to field longer-range missiles could enhance U.S. security interests in the context of an intensifying Sino-U.S. rivalry, though Seoul framed it as a restoration of “missile sovereignty.”

 

6. Scholar: North Korea is working to normalize its government

UPI  · Thomas Maresca

Normalize its “government?” I am sure the Professor must understand the north is ruled and run by the party and not the government or the state.

But it is this kind of response from people like Professor Moon that the north is trying to engender. This is what they want us to believe. They are trying to create the conditions where we will give concessions in return got a promise to negotiate. We want to believe the north is “reforming.”

Remember, the new Biden administration policy is to provide Kim the opportunity to act as a responsible member of the international community. But the key word is “act.” It must take substantive actions to show its sincerity. Words are insufficient. Continued political warfare and blackmail diplomacy must end but the recent announced changes to the party rules are really an example of the regime’s political warfare. There is no substance behind those words.

If the regime was ending its revolution unification strategy it would need to change its constitution. And more importantly it would have to end not only its indoctrination of the Korean people living in the north, it would have to admit to the people that its objectives and strategy for the last 7 decades were wrong. When the regime does that I will consider taking the announcement of the change in party rules seriously. Until then it is simply a continuation of the regime’s political warfare with juche characteristics. And we should not be duped by it.

 

7. Korean Workers’ Party Changed Its Goals? No, It’s Terminology Confusion Tactics

East Asia Research · June 4, 2021

Important analysis of the regime’s changes to the party rules from Dr. Tara O.

Conclusion: “In states with a communist party, and KWP is a communist party in North Korea, the party is above the state. Thus, what the Party does or says is carefully watched. The Party may make some minor adjustments, but its fundamental goals do not change. If it appears to be, consider the tactics often employed—the Terminology Confusion Tactics.”

 

8. Is North Korea Facing a Food Shortage?

19fortyfive.com · by Eli Fuhrman · June 4, 2021

If so it is because of the deliberate policy decision of Kim Jong-un. He is responsible.

 

9. A New Skyline Emerges in Sinuiju

38 North · by Martlyn Williams · June 4, 2021

Where does the regime get the resources for this work? How does this help the Korean people in the north?

 

10. Hwangtho Island: No More Target Practice

38 North · by Martlyn Williams and Peter Makowsky · June 4, 2021

Perhaps they are constructing target facilities for more advanced direct action SOF training.

 

11. South Korea on stage

ellsworthamerican.com  · by Marvin Ott · June 4, 2021

Professor Ott’s analysis of the Biden-Moon summit and the future of the alliance.

Conclusion: “It all adds up to an interesting and complex dynamic between Washington and Seoul. As the U.S. shifts its strategic focus and priorities to Asia, the Republic of Korea (ROK) seems certain to occupy a growing role in American thinking and policy.”

 

——————

 

“Democracy alone, of all forms of government, enlists the full force of men’s enlightened will.”

– Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

“Democracy, like liberty, justice and other social and political rights, is not “given”, it is earned through courage, resolution and sacrifice.”

– Aung San Suu Kyi

 

“Conflicts may be the sources of defeat, lost life and a limitation of our potentiality but they may also lead to greater depth of living and the birth of more far-reaching unities, which flourish in the tensions that engender them.”

– Karl Jaspers

DanielRiggs
Sat, 06/05/2021 – 1:03pm

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