And… North Korea creatively executes another general

May 13, 2015
"I've got some bad news, boss..."

“The dogs aren’t hungry? OK, get the AA squad!”

I’m beginning to think this is Kim Jong Un’s hobby: some people play Chess or collect stamps, he has generals who annoy him shot:

North Korea has publicly executed the country’s defense minister after the regime accused him of treason, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Hyon Yong Chol was killed by firing squad using an anti-aircraft gun at a military school in front of hundreds of people in Pyongyang around April 30, the agency reported, citing a media briefing by the National Intelligence Service at its headquarters in Seoul.

Hyon “was purged for lese majeste” because he was seen “dozing off” during a military event and “did not carry out Kim’s instructions,” the agency said. It wasn’t clear what instructions Hyon failed to carry out.

With “an anti-aircraft gun.” (pause) (imagines) The guy was probably obliterated by the first round.

Like I said, I’m beginning to think this is not just a way for Kim to make sure the army doesn’t even think of trying to overthrow him (1), but that this is his recreation. I mean, why else think of so many bizarre ways to kill someone when a bullet to the head will do, unless you think it’s entertaining? We’ve seen execution by mortar, by flamethrower, and by being thrown to the dogs. Execution by machine gun seems almost pedestrian by comparison, unless one is wasting an ex-girlfriend in the process.

Not that I feel all that sorry for the late General Hyon. Let’s face it, he had prospered under a Stalinist tyranny that has to rank as one of worst in human history. He was, up until the moment of his arrest, one of the elite: he almost certainly enjoyed good food, a nice apartment or even a home, car and driver, and probably some graft privileges. He was an elite in a regime that runs the world’s largest prison camp masquerading as a nation, in which not only are thousands sent to horrid prison camps on the flimsiest of pretexts, but their families, too. Whole generations of people are born in those hellholes knowing nothing but a living Hell. And while I’m not familiar with Minister Hyon’s career, I wouldn’t be surprised he had denounced people a time or two along the way, nor that he dutifully cheered when someone else got the ax.

So, no, I don’t have much sympathy for the capo when the Godfather finally decides to whack him. Risks of the job and all that. But I do hope he had no young family members, who otherwise are likely on their way to the North Korean gulag.

Footnote:
(1) Yet again I have to wonder if some general or generals aren’t —very quietly and very privately— considering taking out Kim before he decides they need to meet the firing squad. With a “Dear Leader” this bloodthirsty, it would seem a necessity of survival.

 


What if Iran already has nukes hidden in North Korea?

March 31, 2015

satire nuclear explosion 2

That’s the not so subtle implication of Gordon Chang’s article in The Daily Beast. Much of the article explores the illicit nuclear proliferation network (parts confirmed, others suspected) between Iran, China, North Korea, and (formerly?) Pakistan, dating back nearly fifteen years. But the key portions follow:

In October 2012, Iran began stationing personnel at a military base in North Korea, in a mountainous area close to the Chinese border. The Iranians, from the Ministry of Defense and associated firms, reportedly are working on both missiles and nuclear weapons. Ahmed Vahidi, Tehran’s minister of defense at the time, denied sending people to the North, but the unconfirmed dispatches make sense in light of the two states announcing a technical cooperation pact the preceding month.

(…)

The North Koreans have also sold Iran material for bomb cores, perhaps even weapons-grade uranium. The Telegraph reported that in 2002 a barrel of North Korean uranium cracked open and contaminated the tarmac of the new Tehran airport.

(…)

The relationship between the two regimes has been long-lasting. Hundreds of North Koreans have worked at about 10 nuclear and missile facilities in Iran. There were so many nuclear and missile scientists, specialists, and technicians that they took over their own coastal resort there, according to Henry Sokolski,  the proliferation maven, writing in 2003.

Even if Iran today were to agree to adhere to the Additional Protocol, it could still continue developing its bomb in North Korea, conducting research there or buying North Korean technology and plans. And as North Korean centrifuges spin in both known and hidden locations, the Kim regime will have a bigger stock of uranium to sell to the Iranians for their warheads. With the removal of sanctions, as the P5+1 is contemplating, Iran will have the cash to accelerate the building of its nuclear arsenal.

So while the international community inspects Iranian facilities pursuant to a framework deal, the Iranians could be busy assembling the components for a bomb elsewhere. In other words, they will be one day away from a bomb—the flight time from Pyongyang to Tehran—not one year as American and other policymakers hope.

(Emphasis added)

Think about it. Pretend for a minute you’re one of the Muslim fanatics who rule Iran. Maybe you’re part of the faction that sees it as its duty to bring about the Islamic “end times.” You definitely want to crush the Jews and destroy Israel. You hate America as the Great Satan and see Iran’s Islamic Revolution as the one hope for truly making Allah’s religion supreme. To protect the revolution and fulfill Allah’s goals, you’ve decided Iran needs nuclear weapons.

But the Great and Little Satans (America and Israel) stand in your way. They don’t want you to have these weapons. They are infidels and enemies of Allah. So, to buy yourself the time to make them, you enter into negotiations — not to give anything away, but merely to delay. And, so far, it’s worked. The infidels are weak and anxious for an agreement, so they keep playing along, no matter how outrageous your demands.

And yet there are risks. What if the Zionist Entity (Israel) loses patience and attacks? That might set back your program. What if a new president takes charge in America, one who isn’t afraid to use his nation’s awesome resources to weaken your regime by supporting the opposition, as Reagan did with Poland, or through the direct use of armed force, as they did to Saddam? That could wreck your nuclear dreams, if not overthrow you altogether. How do you guard against that?

Well, like any well-run operation, you have a disaster back up plan. In this case, an offsite nuclear program, parallel to the one in Iran. One so offsite that  it is in another country, an allied nation with a nuclear program of its own and that hates America, too, and is obsessed with security.

A place like North Korea.

This is all speculative, of course, but it is also plausible. It’s what any reasonable person would consider doing in a similar situation. And, while the mullahs are aggressive antisemitic religious fascists, they are not stupid.

Keep your eye out: Iran has been playing hardball in the negotiations, demanding so much that even Obama and Kerry must have been tempted at times to walk out. The deadline for an agreement is coming up: If Iran suddenly and to everyone’s relief makes major concessions, I think the North Korean backup scenario goes from “likely” to “almost certain.”

Sleep well.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Kingdom of Madness: North Korea’s “village of the dwarfs”

March 13, 2015
"You are too short! banished!"

“You are too short! Banished!”

Is there a regime on the planet more evil than North Korea’s? I’m hard-pressed to think of one:

North Korea’s communist government has created a dwarf village in a remote part of the country where short people it regards as undesirables are prevented from reproducing and forced to fend for themselves within the harsh Stalinist system.

(…)

Several North Korean defectors disclosed the existence of the village, called Yeonha-Ri, and said it is located in Kimhyongjik County, a border region in northeastern Ryanggang Province. The province is named after North Korea’s founding dictator Kim Il-Sung’s father, Kim Hyong-Jik.

Dwarfs are persecuted by the regime under a policy that combines Korean superstitions about physical deformities manifesting from personal or ancestral sin, and the hardline communist regime’s demand that all citizens must work, according to North Korean defectors.

As part of the anti-dwarf measures, all people under 120 centimeters in height, or just under four feet, have been forced to relocate to the farming village at Yeonha-Ri.

One defector, who disclosed details of the village on condition of anonymity, said the North Korean government originally planned to exterminate the dwarfs as part of a policy of eliminating those within the population with undesirable physical traits. But concerns about international reaction to the population “cleansing” instead resulted in allowing the dwarfs to set up the farming village.

How nice. Instead of killing them, they’re allowed to farm for food. Not their own food, though. Don’t forget that this “worker’s paradise” is a Communist tyranny: everything a worker produces belongs to the state — including the food, for  which the government sets your ration.

According to the article, the dwarfs of Yeonha-Ri get smaller rations.

In a state that already suffers from frequent famines.

This should be taken with some caution, since defector reports can be unreliable. That it’s at all plausible, however, is a testament to the lunatic horrors we know have happened.

Like I’ve said many times before: North Korea isn’t a country: it’s the world’s largest prison camp masquerading as a nation.

And the chief warden needs to swing from a lamppost.


The Hawaiian independence movement should be grateful…

February 10, 2015

Map of Hawaii

Via Moe Lane, I didn’t even know Hawaii had an independence movement, let alone that elements of the Chinese military had made noises about arming it in revenge for our help to Taiwan. Not that I give it much credence; I suspect the Judean People’s Front has more supporters.  One part did catch my eye, however:

Not surprisingly, both the Hawaiian state government and the federal government dispute the independence activists’ claims. Both have tried to placate the movement by offering to recognize native Hawaiians as an American Indian tribe, with the same level of independence Indian tribes have had within the U.S. system of government.

Siu says the federal government has dismissed the independence claims as “water under the bridge” arguing that because of long U.S. government control that past claims of independence are no longer valid.

“Native Hawaiian people are quite insulted to be grouped as an American Indian tribe and so that has been totally rejected by our people,” he said.

I’m not sure Mr. Siu will gain much sympathy for his movement by calling it an insult to be grouped with the American Tribal Peoples; in fact, I think he should be darned grateful the US government has never carried out this threat. The Indians received wretched treatment at the hands of the US, such that I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. The kindest thing we could do for these people is abolish the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Meanwhile with regard to the Chinese “threat,” these guys need to get out more.


And…. North Korea shoots another general

February 5, 2015
"I've got some bad news, boss..."

“Who said I was wrong?”

“Pour encourager les autres,” (1) I’m sure:

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un executed an army general last month in his latest purge of senior officials.

General Pyon In Son, one-time head of operations in the Korean People’s Army, was killed for expressing an opinion that differed to that of to MrKim’s, a South Korean official told reporters in Seoul on Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity. The official didn’t say what they disagreed on.

Mr Kim still mistrusts the military, the official said, adding that senior officers are growing increasingly uneasy. The “Supreme Leader” also removed Ma Won Chun, a National Defence Commission official overseeing construction design, from office in November for alleged corruption and a failure to follow orders.

Mr Kim has relied on purges to consolidate his grip on power since he took over North Korea, a country with a nuclear arms program and 1.2 million troops in 2011. After killing his uncle and one-time deputy Jang Song-thaek in 2013, he executed about 50 officials last year on charges ranging from graft to watching South Korean soap operas.

“The purge of Pyon sends a message that helps to discipline the military,” said Kim Yong Hyun, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul. “The execution is a symbol that will help tighten loyalty.”

Well, that’s one way to put it, I suppose, though I’m not sure it’s their loyalty that “tightens” at the possible consequences of saying something Psycho III Kim Jong Un doesn’t like.

This kind of capricious tyranny often contains the seeds of the tyrant’s downfall: not only might his subordinates get rid of him to save themselves (as the Romans did with Caligula and Domitian, among others), but no is going to give this guy the bad-but-necessary information every ruler needs in order to make good decisions. Instead it’s “Yes, Dear Leader” and taking notes on his every word, while hoping he doesn’t decide you annoy him. In a regime dependent on one (pudgy, alcoholic) man, that’s a recipe for disaster. And that includes his neighbors, should a nuclear-armed Lil Kim decide that now is a good time to settle the Korean War.

Meanwhile, one has to wonder how many high-ranking generals Kim can kill before one of them decides to shoot first.

Footnote:
(1) Admiral Byng could not be reached for comment.


A reminder that North Korea is evil

December 14, 2014
Hope and Change?

Needs hanging

And not in some abstract, “we all know this” sense, but in a gut-wrenching, “their leaders need to be hung from lampposts” way. The kind of reaction you have when you learn, for example, that North Korea tests chemical weapons on the disabled and then leaves them to die:

North Korea is systematically “cleansing” its population by making those with mental or physical disabilities disappear, a defector has claimed.

Ji Seong-ho, 32, who escaped from North Korea after losing his left leg above the knee and his left hand at the wrist, said the disabled are considered a stain on North Korea’s image and a “humiliation” to the ruling regime.

(…)

A former officer in North Korea’s special forces, who defected in the 1990s after watching chemical and biological weapons tests on disabled children and adults, told The Telegraph about the programme.

“The regime wants to do this ‘legally’ so they offer to buy disabled children from their parents and they say they will take care of them,” said Im Cheon-yong.

“If that doesn’t work, they threaten them. They use them for chemical weapons experiments,” he said. “But not only children, they also use disabled adults.” Mr Im said he first saw such tests, involving anthrax and other chemical weapons, in 1984.

Granted, it’s always possible that defectors will tell their hosts what they want to hear in order to gain asylum and good treatment, but there are too many of these reports coming out of he world’s largest prison camp masquerading as a nation for them all to be fables.

Some day that place is going to collapse and, when it does, I hope the Korean people take a well-earned and bloody revenge against their tormentors.

via Business Insider


Naval officer punished for speaking honestly about China?

November 13, 2014
"A short, sharp war?"

“A short, sharp war?”

(Photo credit: AP)

This seems more like a chain-of-command discipline or “speaking out of turn” issue (in other words, don’t publicly contradict your bosses), but it is worrisome to think that Captain James Fannell may have been punished for holding an unpopular view of the threat from China:

A senior Navy intelligence leader whose provocative comments this year about Chinese bellicosity stirred an international controversy has been shelved in the wake of an investigation into his conduct, Navy Times has learned.

Capt. James Fanell, the director of intelligence and information operations at U.S. Pacific Fleet, has been removed from that position by PACFLT boss Adm. Harry Harris and reassigned within the command, Navy officials confirmed.

What did Captain Fannell say that landed him in hot water? Speaking at a naval conference earlier this year, he voiced his opinion that China was preparing for “a short, sharp war with Japan,” one that  would inevitably involve us:

“[We believe] the [People’s Liberation Army] has been given the new task to be able to conduct a short, sharp war to destroy Japanese forces in the East China Sea following with what can only be expected [as] a seizure of the Senkakus or even southern Ryukyu [islands],” Fanell was quoted as saying.

Fanell has also stated that China is at the center of virtually every maritime territorial dispute in the Asia-Pacific and that the Chinese were engaging in a blatant land-grab of islands that would enhance their exclusive economic rights to fishing and natural resources.

“I do not know how Chinese intentions could be more transparent,” he said, adding that when Beijing described its activities as the “protection of maritime rights,” this was really “a Chinese euphemism for the coerced seizure of coastal rights of China’s neighbors,” the Financial Times reported.

Fanell’s views have supporters inside naval intelligence, and he has become a high-profile spokesman for a more alarmist view of the rise of China than those espoused by Navy senior leadership, an intelligence source who spoke to Navy Times said. Fanell’s articles on China have been published by Hoover Digest, Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly and the U. S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings.

Trouble is, this time his remarks placed senior officers on the spot with China, at a time when the US Navy is trying to build better relations with its Chinese counterparts, part of the Obama administration’s Asia policy. Army Chief of Staff General Odierno, for example, was peppered with questions from journalists in China and had to disavow Fannell’s remarks. I’m sure he wasn’t happy. One hopes this is a case of an officer being reprimanded for a lack of command discipline, rather than for speaking uncomfortable but honest opinions his superiors don’t wish to hear.

That doesn’t mean he was wrong, however. Even if Captain Fannell overstates Chinese intentions, the thrust of their rearmament, including their naval buildup, is clear: they want to displace the United States as the preeminent power in the Western Pacific and bring the nations to its east and south, including its old foe Japan, into Beijing’s sphere of influence. Whether this involves a shooting war to seize the Senkakus and even the southern Ryukyus, or simply aggressive diplomacy meant to take advantage of a declining America, the point is that China is a powerful strategic competitor to the United States: the risk of conflict is real and we cannot afford to blind ourselves to it in pursuit of “building bridges.”

Especially when the other side may have an interest in blowing them up, someday.

via The Daily Caller


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