Current News Articles

(Note: Here we collect the articles which give us a thinking. We hope you should also read them and think over as we do. However, the views expressed in the articles are not necessarily the same as ours.)
U.S. Should Face up to Reality: KCNA Commentary

Pyongyang, August 29 (KCNA) -- The U.S. war racket against the DPRK has reached an extremely risky phase.
The U.S. kicked off the largest-ever Ulji Freedom Guardian joint war exercise in league with the south Korean puppet forces despite the strong opposition of all Koreans and the world public.

The war rehearsal is a serious challenge to the efforts for peace and stability in the region as it is a military provocation aimed at a preemptive nuclear attack on the DPRK, to all intents and purposes.

The U.S. desperate bid to cover up its belligerent and risky nature of the war drumbeats will only betray its despicable colors as a harasser of the regional peace and stability.

It was well illustrated by the strong voices raised by the international community critical of the war racket when it was kicked off.
A Russian expert asserted that regime change and collapse of the DPRK seems to be set by the masterminds of the war drill as its general objective. He warned such war drumbeats may screw up tensions with an accidental outbreak of conflict and that premeditated escalation of military actions may lead to the second Korean war.

Xinhua also commented that the war drill simulating an all-out attack on the DPRK will cause Pyongyang's more offensive stance and worsen the already fragile and instable situation on the Korean peninsula.

Claiming the U.S. should think twice about the drill with south Korea, experts of the U.S. said north Korea would not abandon its present nuclear arsenal. It turns out, in the long run, that north Korea threatens the U.S. as the latter threatens the former, they added.

Many media and experts in the world are advising the U.S. to halt foolhardy sanctions and joint war drills and drop its wild dream of confrontation.
As claimed by the international community, the on-going war rehearsal is an aggressive and offensive one aimed at "toppling the social system" of the DPRK. Its danger and gravity are that it may further increase the possibility of armed clash in the region and cause a disastrous nuclear war, in particular.

It is the unanimous conclusion drawn by the public that the U.S. should be held wholly accountable if situation turns out worse.
This is also a warning to the U.S. that it has to behave with prudence, not running riot being ignorant of the trend of the times.

The service personnel and people of the DPRK have solemnly declared that they are capable of dealing a preemptive nuclear strike at the nuclear war maniacs attempting to deprive them of the cradle of their life and bring down their social system that represents their destiny.

The preemptive strike will be a merciless, deadly and final one.
The U.S. might not have imagined its mainland, on which no bomb has so far been dropped, reducing to ashes in a moment due to its provocation during the nuclear war drill on foreign soil.
Lamentation and regret over destruction always come too late.

The world-startling rapid development of the nuclear force of the DPRK physically guarantees its will and practice.
Now is just the time for the U.S. to face up to the reality and behave with discretion.

The U.S. persistent policy hostile to the DPRK being manifested in the nuclear war drills and increase of factors of nuclear threat will only precipitate the former's self-destruction, while making the DPRK steadily bolster its nuclear attack capability. -0-

No Haven for U.S. Pursuing Policy Hostile to DPRK- Rodong Sinmun

Pyongyang, August 10 (KCNA) -- Experts on Korean affairs and media of the U.S. and other countries in the West are deriding the Obama administration's wretched plight of plunging itself into an abyss due to its anachronistic policy hostile to the DPRK.
Commenting on this, Rodong Sinmun Wednesday says:

The above-said fact exposed once again that the hostile policies pursued by the successive chief executives of the U.S. against the DPRK, specifically the "strategic patience" policy of the present Obama administration, all have gone belly-up.
Nevertheless, Obama who has mocked the international community by touting a "world without nuclear weapons" is persisting in nuclear intimidation against the DPRK though he has already sustained a real flop while pursuing his ill-minded "strategic patience" policy.

The U.S. seeks to persist in posing nuclear threat to the DPRK by staging nuclear war drills but it is just the U.S. itself which will be struck by bigger uneasiness and horror.
What remains to be done now by the U.S. is to make a strategic choice only: whether to terminate its policy hostile to the DPRK or to face a nuclear disaster and make its mainland disappear on this planet.

The longer the policy-makers of the U.S. persist in their wild dream, the stronger the DPRK's nuclear deterrent for self-defence and merciless strike capability will get to blow up the den of aggressors.

The U.S. will never be able to sleep a sound sleep unless it lifts its policy hostile to the DPRK.
There is no haven for those attempting to stifle the DPRK.
U.S. politicians would be well advised to face up to the changed reality and behave with reason if they don't want to see the terrible destruction of the U.S. -0-

KCNA Slams Japan for Denying Its Past Crimes

Pyongyang, July 18 (KCNA) -- Shortly ago, Germany finished the first-stage project for joint edition of the history textbook which has been pressed ahead with Poland since 2006 and held a book-releasing ceremony of Vol. 1 of the textbook dealing with the periods up to the Middle Ages.

The two countries decided to wind up the joint edition of the textbook dealing with the modern history by 2020.
Germany jointly edited the history textbook dealing with the periods after the Second World War with France and is editing the textbook dealing with the European history during the periods before the 20th century.

These developments go to prove that Germany which inflicted the untold misfortune and pain upon other European countries through two world wars is striving to liquidate its inglorious past and promote reconciliation with its neighboring countries and ensure peace in Europe.

On the contrary, Japan which imposed tremendous damage and sufferings upon the Asian people in the last century is getting more frantic in its moves to distort history, far from making an apology and reparation for its past crimes.
Japan's behavior is quite different from Germany's one.
Japan is now openly distorting history to deny its past crimes and justify them in the eyes of the world and getting more frantic in its moves for reinvasion to repeat its crime-woven history.

In last December, Japan concluded a deceptive "agreement" on the issue of the sexual slavery for the Imperial Japanese Army with the south Korean puppet forces with a petty amount of money in a bid to twist the essence of the issue of the sexual slavery a proper solution of which is demanded by the world and evade the responsibility for its hideous crimes.

Not content with this, Japan kicked up much fuss, distributing the book which totally denies the sexual slavery among scholars across the world and letting the foreign ministry open to public a document which claims that "no evidence proving the forcible drafting of the comfort women by the Japanese army or under the control of the state has been confirmed".

In the so-called "statement issued in last August seven decades since Japan's defeat from the Pacific War", the present ruling forces openly clarified their criminal stand that there should be no apology for the past history, asserting that "Japan should not oblige the postwar generations to make an apology as they had nothing to do with the war ". Of late, they invited the U.S. president, their master, to visit Hiroshima in an effort to justify Japan's despicable history of crimes before the world and paint it as a "victim."

By shamelessly working to distort history the Japanese reactionaries seek to implant militarism into all fabrics of the Japanese society and thus create a climate favorable for realizing their ambition for reinvasion.

It was against the backdrop of the mounting campaign for distorting history in Japan that the new security legislation was put into force in Japan to pave the way for launching a war of aggression and to further step up arms buildup for reinvasion.

The Japanese reactionaries' moves for distorting history are, indeed, a blatant challenge to the desire of mankind for peace and security and criminal acts that deserve denunciation.
The Japanese ruling quarters are sadly mistaken if they calculate they can realize their ambition for reinvasion through such ridiculous campaign as that for tampering with history.

History teaches that those who fail to feel ashamed of their wrong past and draw a lesson from it and those who are keen to dominate the world by invading other nations are bound to meet ruin without exception.
Japan would be well advised to stop acting recklessly, bearing in mind that its wrong attitude to cover up its past crimes only precipitates its self-ruin. -0-

KCNA Slams U.S. Anachronistic Policy of Strength

Pyongyang, June 13 (KCNA) -- The U.S. is getting ever more frantic in its moves to develop ultra-modern weapons despite the opposition and rebuff by the international community.
The U.S. recently opened to public the test of new electromagnetic-orbit gun (Electromagnetic Railgun) in the wake of its long-diving test of the double-mode submarine not long ago.
Electromagnetic Railgun which fires a shell without powder explosion by using the character of the electromagnetic field was developed by the U.S. Navy with an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars. It is a weapon of mass destruction as it is called a "weapon capable of intercepting missiles of China and Russia" in the territory of the U.S.

The U.S. frantic development of the above-said weapons amid global nuclear arms race is a revelation of its anachronistic policy of strength to contain its major rivals with an unchallenged military edge and prevent its position as a "superpower" from sinking.
It is long since the position of the U.S. as the "only superpower in the world" sank owing to its criminal moves for world domination.

When the U.S. was saddled with huge national debt and in the grip of the crisis caused by economic slump due to its reckless "anti-terrorism war" and moves for establishing the system of unipolar domination, the Asia-Pacific region rapidly emerged a hub of world development in the 21st century.

The U.S. should have given up its ambition for domination which is precipitating its doom.
However, it is foolishly trying to contain China making rapid economic growth in Asia and Russia which recovered the position as a power and to dominate the Asia-Pacific region, far from drawing a lesson from its difficult position, blinded by its scenario for world domination.

Against this backdrop the U.S. came out with the pivot to Asia-Pacific strategy in which it adopted large-scale arms build-up in the region as its policy. It is part of its scenario for carrying out this strategy to step up the development of ultra-modern weapons while modernizing nuclear weapons.

This is clearly proved by the fact that on Feb. 25 the U.S. deputy secretary of Defense blustered that in the wake of test-fire of ICBM Minuteman 3, it was aimed to send a message that the weapon is capable of making a nuclear strike at big powers in the Asia-Pacific region, and U.S. reptile media are billing the electromagnetic-orbit gun as a "weapon of dream" for containing Russia and China.

It is as clear as pikestaff that the arms race and political and military tension are bound to escalate in the Asia-Pacific region due to the U.S. development of WMDs and arms build-up.

The U.S. policy of strength remains unchanged. Consequently, the moves for multi-polarization against it are sure to be stepped up.
It is self-evident that the U.S. ridiculous policy of strength can never help realize its "dream" of conquering the world.
The U.S. anachronistic strategy for domination is bound to go bust. -0-

Rodong Sinmun Accuses S. Korean Authorities of Their Moves to Increase Capability for Preemptive Attack upon DPRK

Pyongyang, May 16 (KCNA) -- The south Korean warmongers are mulling deploying four transport planes for special infiltration until next year, while seeking to secretly introduce special warfare forces and equipment in a bid to make a "surprise preemptive attack" upon the nuclear and missile facilities of the DPRK.

Meanwhile, they disclosed their intention to gradually introduce four ships supporting a special warfare for naval infiltration and 20 special infiltration crafts from 2020 while talking about operation for "disabling nuclear and missile facilities."
They are also mulling introducing global hawk while trumpeting about the "quick detection" of signs of "nuclear and missile provocations".

Rodong Sinmun Monday in a commentary denounces this as an impudent provocation to bolster up the capability for a preemptive strike at the DPRK.
The reality clearly proves that the south Korean ruling forces do not want detente and peace on the Korean peninsula and stability in Northeast Asia but work hard to lead the situation to an extreme phase of a nuclear war, the commentary says, adding:

The DPRK has stood for the peace and security on the peninsula and made positive efforts to achieve them.
But, the south Korean warmongers have resorted to military provocations while challenging the DPRK's will to preserve peace.

It is not hard to guess the consequences to be entailed by them.
The south Korean authorities should drop a foolish daydream and stop at once reckless provocations to escalate the tension and ignite a nuclear war. -0-

Nuclear Arms Race Hot among Big Powers-KCNA Commentary

Pyongyang, April 26 (KCNA) -- A nuclear arms race is getting hot among big powers to gain a strategic edge worldwide.
Recently U.S. media and military experts claimed that a new Cold War era is in the offing due to the imbalance of nuclear force among big powers including Russia and China as the Obama administration is putting increased spurs to the development of ultra-modern supersonic delivery means, while miniaturizing nuclear warheads.

According to the New York Times on April 17, the U.S. scenario to bolster up the nuclear force is to produce smaller nuclear warheads and improve the stealth capacity of delivery means and strike accuracy. Pursuant to this scenario, the U.S. is pressing forward the plan to develop five types of new nuclear warheads including the development of supersonic warheads and their delivery means.

The U.S. Center for Strategic and International Studies said in a report released last year that the U.S. should have in place nuclear warheads of diverse power fit for use at every phase of increasing nuclear threat.
The U.S. publicly declared that it would put greater spurs to the modernization of nuclear weapons including nuclear warheads-tipped missiles, nuclear strategic bombers and nuclear-powered submarines by investing 1 trillion dollars in 30 years to come, sparking off a new nuclear arms race.

The U.S. has been loudmouthed about the "nuclear disarmament" so far. This was nothing but a hypocritical slogan to weaken its strategic rivals, while covering up its moves to modernize nuclear weapons.

Russia is not hiding the fact that it is not interested in the unilateral nuclear disarmament any longer and goes its own way, now that it has become clear the U.S. has an axe to grind while playing a trick as regards the issue of nuclear disarmament.
Russia has begun to deploy long-range ballistic missiles of the new generation tipped with four smaller nuclear warheads and the Russian Navy is going ahead with the development of submarine nuclear strike means capable of reducing coastal cities to debris through radioactive contamination by exploding smaller nuclear weapons in coastal waters of the rival forces.

China has also mounted several smaller nuclear warheads on many long-range ballistic missiles and is stepping up the development of "ultra supersonic glider" capable of mounting a nuclear attack on any target in any place on the earth within one hour.
This means the start of a hot nuclear arms race in the 21st century among the U.S., Russia and China.

Recently the director of the CIA testified at the Senate Armed Services Committee it is highly likely that the nuclear arms race will be under way among the above-said countries in a manner similar to that in the Cold War era.
The prospect of the denuclearization of the world is becoming dimmer because the U.S. trumpeting about "nuclear disarmament" turned out to be hypocritical and a new nuclear arms race has become hot among big powers. -0-

KCNA Commentary Condemns Japan for Rushing Headlong into Militarism

Pyongyang, April 2 (KCNA) -- Japan obsessed with the ambition to revive militarism and launch overseas expansion has finally entered the phase of enforcing the "security legislation" on March 29 despite the strong protest and denunciation at home and abroad.

This means unhesitatingly embarking upon the road of overseas reinvasion, oblivious of the lesson taught by its defeat more than 70 years ago. It is a serious threat to the world peace and security and an unpardonable war crime.
Japan's enforcement of the "security legislation" in total disregard of the just voices demanding the abolition of the war law reveals before the world its true colors as a war state after completely discarding the mask of "peace-loving state" which it has worn for form's sake.

The ruling forces of Japan are now vying with each other to claim that the enactment of the law helps tighten the "Japan-U.S. alliance" and provides "a guarantee for the consolidation" of the defense system of Japan and "it is indispensable for Japan to prevent a war."

Japan, a state for aggression and war, is now driving the chariot of militarism at breakneck speed to reemerge "greater Japanese empire," backed by the U.S. keen to world domination.
It is the consistent ambition pursued by Samurai Japan to launch reinvasion to conquer the world with the backing the U.S. since its defeat in World War II.
Right after the defeat the Japanese reactionaries have made desperate efforts to remove legal and institutional mechanisms obstructive to overseas aggression.
Especially the present ruling authorities have become more undisguised in their moves to revise laws for justifying overseas aggression while talking about the "departure from the postwar system" and the revision of the "Pacifist Constitution".

They not only officially raised issues of turning Japan into a major military power and launching overseas aggression as state policies but also worked in real earnest to form the National Security Council and map out a strategy of the national security modeling after the U.S. war mechanism.

Abe, after naming a new Cabinet the "Cabinet challenging the future", dismissed 10 cabinet ministers from offices at a time and appointed his confidants to those posts in a bid to adopt the "security legislation".

It is by no means accidental that the public opinion at home and abroad is terming Abe's Cabinet the one which has realized the ancestors' long-cherished desire, branding it as the "war cabinet" and the "cabinet aimed at long-term office".
The present Japanese ruling forces are shouting "bravo" for the fact that they can further boost the military cooperation with the U.S. by enforcing the law.

But Japan is sadly mistaken.
The U.S. which Japan so deeply trusts is not the only superpower in the world and its bluffing is nothing but an ill-advised bravery of Hitler who brought about ruin by himself in return for going against the trend of the justice of history.

Only death and doom awaited Japan which has entered the road of world domination backed by the U.S. through the conclusion of "Katsura-Taft Treaty".
What is deplorable indeed is that Japan is rushing headlong into overseas aggression with outcries for the tightened alliance with the U.S., failing to discern between what is right and what is wrong in the past and properly understand the trend of the present situation.

What matters is that Japan is making profound confusing of right and wrong to mislead public opinion in a bid to create impression that the enforcement of the "security legislation" is to cope with the DPRK's "threat".
What should not be overlooked is the fact that Abe blustered the cooperation between Japan and the U.S. would be developed whenever the north Korea launches ballistic missiles by enforcing the law and the chief Cabinet secretary claimed the enforcement of the law helped guarantee the people's life and peaceful living under serious security environment surrounding Japan.

Japan has infringed upon the sovereignty of other countries so far but no country has invaded or threatened Japan.
Even now there is no country threatening Japan.
It is unpardonable that Japan turns a blind eye to such a reality and openly tries to join in the aggressive military moves of the U.S. which is technically at war with the DPRK under the pretext of coping with someone's "threat".

The DPRK's service personnel and people will never tolerate Japan keen to launch militarist reinvasion without liquidating the past crimes before the Korean people.
Japan which enacted the war law obsessed with the anachronistic ambition for reinvasion will meet a miserable war disaster again and will have to regret it forever. -0-

KCNA Commentary Blasts Most Shameless U.S. DPRK Policy

Pyongyang, March 12 (KCNA) -- The U.S. test-fired Minuteman-3 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on February 25.
The U.S. impudently branded the DPRK's satellite launch for peaceful purposes as a long-range missile launch. This brought to light the true colors of the U.S. as the arch criminal harassing global peace and security.

It test-fired ICBM while incriminating the DPRK's exercise of the right to use space for peaceful purposes. This is little short of an open declaration that it is the U.S. only in the world which can enjoy all rights and humankind should be dominated by it without condition.
Pursuant to such brigandish logic, the U.S. conducted ceaseless nuclear tests of various types in a concealed manner despite the opposition of the international community and has conducted ICBM tests 15 times since 2011.

These facts made clearer the fact that the U.S. scenario to block the space development by the DPRK is truly aimed to stifle and dominate it.
World media are unanimous in calling on the international community to approach the confrontation between the DPRK and the U.S. from a fair viewpoint, greatly stunned by the U.S. test-fire of new-type nuclear strike means and its trumpeting about the use of nuclear weapons.

The U.S. newspaper The World Post in its internet homepage said that those countries which had been increasingly critical of the DPRK over its satellite launch in early February reacted partially to the U.S. recent test-fire of ICBM, expressing concern over the present trend of the world where injustice stalks.

Media of various countries commented that some countries are failing to reason out the origin of the issue and the key to its solution while exaggerating the "threat" from the DPRK and that the U.S. has undisguisedly posed a nuclear threat to it since the Cold War era and paid no heed to its demand for stopping the joint military drills and building peace-keeping mechanism. This is a problem, they added.

The Korean peninsula is not free from the Cold War-style confrontation chiefly because some countries are refusing to give up their goal to bring down the socialist state and their military position in Northeast Asia, they noted, stressing that the confrontation has escalated on the peninsula owing to sustainable blockade and military pressure.

This indicates that the U.S. DPRK policy is by no means "a policy for defending peace" to cope with "threat" from the DPRK.
The said policy, from A to Z, is an unjust policy to "bring down" the social system in the DPRK and accelerate the world supremacy and the most shameless policy to stifle and dominate the sovereign state as it leaves no means untried such as taking issue with its legitimate right for its implementation.

Humankind will never escape from the miserable fate of being trampled down by the U.S. imperialists unless a sledge-hammer blow is dealt at the U.S. high-handed policy characterized by extreme arrogance and impudence.
This is evidenced by the fact that the U.S. openly threatened to mount a nuclear attack on other countries, conducting the recent ICBM test-fire.

The DPRK will fight to the last to defend the sovereignty of the country and the nation and their right to live and global justice and truth now being mercilessly trampled down by the U.S. double standards.
The U.S. moves to stifle the DPRK and dominate the world are bound to go bust thanks to the indomitable struggle of the DPRK. -0-

Korea: Paranoia Escalates Up North

February 28, 2016: The problem with North Korean officials fleeing to China has gotten worse in an embarrassingly obvious way. In January 2016 rumors began to surface in northeast China of a small team (it turned out to be three people) of North Korean secret police trying to discreetly find and bring back three senior North Korean officials who had fled to China. Actually, one of the three was working in China when he disappeared. Apparently the North Korean government wanted to keep this incident quiet but the three men the agents sought were known to some of the Koreans and Chinese questioned and that was eventually made the investigation too interesting to keep quiet about. It was also noticed that the three agents seemed increasingly desperate as time went by with no results. That was probably because North Korea, in fear of secret policemen defecting to China, only sends those who have something to lose (like wife, parents, children) back in North Korea. Moreover these agents are often told that failure is not an option. This has led to some agents fabricating evidence to satisfy their bosses back home. If that led to innocents being punished, so what. Getting away with that sort of things is what secret police do. China cooperates with all this as it has done for decades.

In mid-2015 China allowed North Korea to expand the use of North Korea secret police in China as long as these agents spoke fluent Chinese and wore Chinese police uniforms and tried to act Chinese. By the end of 2015 there were believed to be over a hundred of these agents in China looking for North Korean illegally in China. When such people are found Chinese police must be called in to make the arrests and then send the escapees back to North Korea for punishment. The North Korean agents are also expected to report anything of interest (to local police or intelligence) to China and to behave themselves. In return these North Korean agents are allowed to go anywhere in China, which allows the agents to pursue North Koreans travelling south to get to an South Korean embassy in Southeast Asia when enables the one to ask for asylum and be moved to South Korea.

Apparently the three defecting North Korean officials have still not been found. The three were probably involved in some corrupt deal that was in danger of being found out. For senior officials the punishment for this sort of thing is death. Another possibility is that China is only cooperating here in the hopes of being contacted by the defectors with an offer of much insider information in return for protection. If such a deal were made it would be done so quietly.

Another response to the disappearance of senior officials are new rules requiring senior officials (about 200 people) to report their locations on an hourly basis and submit reports on daily activities. The secret police monitor this data for suspicious behavior and act accordingly. Suspicious activities include corruption, defecting, working for foreigners or plotting to overthrow the government. Not reporting on these activities by other officials is also an offense. In addition all government officials must now have approval from the secret police before speaking with any foreigner. Violating this rule will be punished with loss of employment or worse (imprisonment or execution).

Over the last few years loyalty has become an obsession with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But his secret police report that disloyalty continues to increase at all levels. The government has ordered more loyalty lectures for all North Koreans but secret police informants note that these additional mandatory lectures make people angry and decrease loyalty to the government. The recent atomic bomb and long range missile tests were meant to increase pride in North Korea and loyalty to the government. That did not happen and most North Koreans are more concerned about getting more food and fuel (for warmth, transportation and electrical power). What most North Koreans really want the government can¡¯t deliver. And the threat of new economic sanctions means less food and fuel.

China Changes Sides

A major worry for North Korea recently China agreeing increase economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea. This includes no more sales of aviation fuel. Other petroleum products will be sold. China stopped gifts of oil back in 2013. China is also reducing some North Korean imports, like coal. North Korea also gets half its food imports from China. There is also the threat of interfering with smugglers getting forbidden goods into North Korea. This includes large quantities of luxury goods to keep senior officials loyal and the Kim clan comfortable. North Korea will now be looking for illegal aviation fuel as well. While Russian smugglers can supply whatever China blocks, it costs more and takes longer to route smuggled goods through Russia. In part this is because Russia is also under a growing list of sanctions. Then again this makes Russia more willing to tolerate smuggling into North Korea.

China is also cracking down on North Korean use of Chinese banks. China has long tolerated North Korea using Chinese banks to avoid a growing list of international sanctions. In northeast China, where a lot of this illegal banking takes place, North Korean bank accounts are being emptied. Some of the cash is being switched to accounts owned by locals who have no obvious connection to North Korea. But a lot of the cash is staying cash and despite the risk of theft or getting caught by the Chinese police, North Korea is preparing to use cash transactions despite China now enforcing banking sanctions.

The fact that China is openly agreeing to actually enforce more sanctions has long been a worst-case scenario for North Korea. China long refused to back the strict UN sanctions on North Korea believing it could persuade North Korea to behave and fix its economy and foreign relations. The United States has been increasingly public in its criticism of the Chinese approach. Since 2015 China has, with little fanfare, been agreeing with the Americans. This included more public criticism, via state controlled media, of the North Korean leadership. China quietly cracked down on some of the illegal trade with North Korea resulting in overall trade declining 15 percent in 2015. That did not seem to have any impact on North Korean behavior. Then in late 2015 China announced that if North Korea continued work on its nuclear and ballistic weapons programs North Korea could no longer depend on support from China if North Korea got involved in a war. To emphasize that point China quietly increased cargo checks and border security on the North Korean border with an emphasis on stopping the North Korean smuggling of weapons and technology that is normally tolerated. North Korea may be able to ignore Chinese criticism but they cannot ignore the special kinds of economic pain China can inflict. So far in 2016 North Korea has responded with another nuclear test and another long range ballistic missile test. There are limits to what can be done. China could cut off all trade, which would cause a major economic crisis in North Korea and China would have to clean up the mess if there were a political collapse in North Korea. Chinese trade is essential for North Korea. While that trade only amounts to about five billion dollars a year, it is over 80 percent of North Korean foreign trade.

North Korea apparently fears that the only option the Chinese have left is to take over North Korea via a coup or outright invasion. Both options are expensive, embarrassing and risky. China and North Korea are both socialist police states and they go way back as allies. It would be embarrassing to the Chinese government to take over its ¡°socialist brother¡± and that will be avoided until the North Korean nukes become a more immediate threat to China. The Chinese also advise Americans, and Westerners in general, to take into account that with China now unfriendly, North Korea has no useful foreign allies. There are countries like Iran and Cuba but there are not very useful. North Korea is still obsessed with the United States and China long believed that when the North Korean leadership got desperate enough they would be willing to do a real (enforceable) nuclear disarmament deal with America. Unfortunately China now seems to side with the U.S. and is seeking a unilateral solution.

South Korean Suspicions

As a side effect of the North Korean mess the United States has changed its attitude towards South Korean missiles defense, now saying there is no need to hurry the deployment of THAAD to South Korea. Because of the latest North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile tests South Korea sped up its efforts to obtain and put into service the American THAAD anti-missile system. China, Russia and North Korea have long opposed THAAD. South Korea wants THAAD for protection from North Korean missile attack and always resisted Chinese objections, even when China hinted that failure to drop THAAD might result in less trade with China. That was a signal to South Korean voters to carefully consider the cost of defying China. The Chinese will not come right out and say it but they object mainly because THAAD would also make South Korea less vulnerable to intimidation by Chinese ballistic missiles. South Korean voters understand that so the economic threats are having less impact that China expected. South Korean public opinion polls show voters are even more enthusiastic about the high tech and very expensive (over $100 million per launcher and associated equipment) THAAD system now that North Korea has launched another ballistic missile. Chinese leaders, as South Korea has long feared, made a deal with the Americans to back sanctions in return for delay or cancellation of the THAAD sale to South Korea. The Americans have denied this and China has openly said it still objects to THAAD but agrees that South Korea has the right to do what it considers best to defend itself against North Korea. South Koreans won¡¯t feel better about this until THAAD arrives and is operational. That will still take a few years, without any new delays.

Much to the relief of China and disappointment in Russia American military commanders in the Pacific have gone on record that the United States considers North Korea, not China, the biggest military threat in the region. Russia comes second overall but China is second in the Pacific. China considers the United States a more immediate threat than North Korea which, no matter what it does, is still a miniscule military threat to China. Other nations bordering the South China Sea are more concerned about the Chinese threat and look to the United States for help.

February 24, 2016: China and the United States agreed on new sanctions against North Korea. This agreement was the result of meetings and negotiations that began shortly after the January 6th North Korean nuclear test. In the past China has made a show of reluctantly going along with more sanctions on North Korea but this time China is making it clear that it is behind the latest round of sanctions and responsible for suggesting some of them. The message to North Korea is that China will not look the other way on any of these new sanctions, or most of the existing ones either.

February 17, 2016: Off the west coast a South Korean patrol boat fired warning shots at a North Korean patrol boat that had crossed the maritime boundary between the two countries. The North Korean boat quickly turned around and crossed back into North Korean waters. The North Korean government complained but that was all.

February 13, 2016: The U.S., Japan and South Korea agreed to expand the scope of the year old Trilateral Information Sharing Agreement. Just creating this deal took over a decade of effort. The agreement exists to better counter North Korean aggression. Creating, and expanding, this agreement was long believed impossible because of long-standing political obstacles to greater Japanese and South Korean cooperation. Despite the threat both countries faced from North Korea (and China) such cooperation has been impossible to achieve. Until 2014 South Korea turned down all Japanese proposals that both nations coordinate military policy against common enemies China and North Korea. Such cooperation is still very unpopular in South Korea because of continued anger over 40 years of brutal Japanese occupation early in the 20th century. This the Japanese consider self-destructive as it wallows in the past at the expense of dealing with current and future threats. Yet Japan continues to ignore the fact that its post-World War II policy (documented in decrypted Japanese diplomatic messages sent out right after the Japanese surrender in August 15, 1945) of claiming to be a victim in World War II and guilty only of trying to liberate all Asians from Western oppression is the obstacle. That ¡°Japan as victim¡± view was never very popular with Japan¡¯s neighbors, who saw Japan as no better (and often a lot worse) than Western imperialists. To the countries of East Asia Japan compounds these historical sins by continuing to insist that Japan is innocent of any wrongdoing. This made it difficult to unite to deal with threats from North Korea and China, but eventually both Japanese and South Koreans agreed to cooperate to protect their common interests.

February 12, 2016: Japan is imposing new sanctions on North Korea, including limiting money transfers (to $870) between Japan and North Korea. Japan will also ban all North Koreans from entering Japan. Exceptions can be made but they have to be negotiated. North Korean vessels can no longer dock at any Japanese port nor can any ships that have been to North Korea.

February 11, 2016: South Korea ordered South Korean firms to cease operations at the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC) because of the recent atomic bomb and long range missile tests. South Korea supplies the electricity and water to KIC and those were shut off today. South Korea noted that the North Korean government took 80 percent of the wages (about $150 a month) of North Koreans working at KIC and that money helped make possible continued work on nuclear weapons and long range missiles. Since 2005 the North Korea government has made at least half a billion dollars from the KIC.
North Korea responded to the closing by seizing all South Korean property there. KIC was financed and run by over a hundred South Korean firms employing (at the closing) 50,000 North Koreans and about a thousand South Koreas. This closure appears final and the South Korean firms will lose half a billion dollars in equipment and facilities and about $200 million in inventories. The property and inventory now belongs to the North Korean government which is selling it off for whatever it can get. Resuming production at KIC is difficult because there is already a severe electricity shortage in North Korea and water supplies depend on electrical power. Over 100,000 North Koreans are now out of work (KIC staff plus local businesses).
Despite the high government ¡°tax¡± on their pay KIC workers were making more than the average North Korean and, more importantly, had dependable electricity and water supplies. There was also free medical care and all sorts of other fringe benefits. That¡¯s all gone now and the North Koreans affected blame their government, not South Korea, for the loss. This is a major disappointment to the North Korean government, which now has lost $72 million a year in foreign currency plus the loyalty of several hundred thousand North Koreans who benefitted, directly or indirectly, from the KIC.

Similar tensions caused a five month closing in 2013. This cost the South Korean firms running KIC about a billion dollars and when KIC reopened it was running at only half its pre-closure rate. Many of the firms there have shut down completely. North Korea was demanding more money from the South Korean firms at Kaesong and caused more companies to leave. North Korea closed the facility to punish South Korea for trying to get the North Koreans to halt their nuclear weapons program. The northern leaders soon discovered that the foreign currency generated by Kaesong was sorely missed. Few of the senior people in North Korea know much about accounting or how the world economy works, but the cash shortage created by the Kaesong shutdown got their attention. This was seen as an opportunity by China who soon convinced the northern leadership to make up with South Korea and get Kaesong operating again. China also pointed out that Chinese firms in North Korea (especially mining operations) are major suppliers of foreign currency and that China could shut these down if North Korea does not become more cooperative.

February 10, 2016: South Korea has officially begun an effort to develop and build their own jet fighter (KFX) to replace its aging U.S. built F-4 and F-5 fighters. The KFX is intended to be an aircraft somewhere between the F-16 and the F-35 and will have some stealth capabilities. The KFX is expected to enter service in about ten years now that the government has found the cash and foreign partners to make it happen. Indonesia will be a partner in this effort by contributing 16 percent of the $8.5 billion required. South Korea will buy at least 120 KFXs while Indonesia will buy up to fifty as the first export customer. Indonesia will also get access to some of the technology and build some of the components.

February 3, 2016: General Ri Yong Gil, chief of staff of the North Korean army, was arrested yesterday at a major conference. He was later executed for corruption and conspiring against the government. His successor was announced several weeks later without any mention of his predecessor. This is normal up north in situations like this. There were reports in 2015 that Ri was one of the veteran generals complaining about the appointment of inexperienced (in military matters) civilians to general rank mainly because these men were considered more loyal to the Kim dynasty.

Human Rights Abuses in S. Korea Denounced by Int'l Community

Pyongyang, February 2 (KCNA) -- A special rapporteur of the UN called a press conference in Seoul on January 29 to make public the results of investigation into the human rights situation in south Korea.
The results of intensive survey of human rights abuses in south Korea including the authorities' suppression of assemblies and demonstrations, restriction of the three labor rights, etc. made me feel that the freedom of assembly and association has stepped back in south Korea in recent years, the rapporteur said.

The rapporteur expressed concern over the fact that the south Korean authorities are citing "security threat from north Korea" as a pretext for abridging the freedom of assembly and association.
Conveying the news of the press conference, the south Korean internet newspaper Voice of People in an editorial on January 30 said that the results of the investigation were important as they were international community's observation and diagnosis of the present regime's unilateral revival of dictatorship.

The editorial warned the authorities that if they persistently seek excuses, defying recommendations of the international organization, they will suffer international disgrace, leaving a serious stain. -0-

KCNA Commentary Terms U.S. Harasser of Peace

Pyongyang, December 26 (KCNA) -- An American political critic who was a former member of U.S. Congress in a recent interview spoke ill of the present U.S. administration's foreign and human rights policies.
Referring to the U.S. military provocations in different parts of the world which plunged not a few countries into wars, the critic commented that it is not an exaggeration to say that the third World War has already started due to the U.S. foreign policy for aggression.

This is in denunciation of the arch criminal that escalated tension and harassed peace by plunging the world into the crucible of war to meet the ambition for world domination.

The U.S. fattened after the Second World War is causing wars and armed conflicts in different parts of the world nonstop to lord it over as "emperor". Under the signboard of "peace", it is committing aggression wars and armed intervention, harassing the world peace order and inflicting untold misfortune and disaster on the people.

Under the pretext of "war on terrorism" it has committed aggression wars against weak countries, typically Iraq and Afghanistan. Wherever the misanthropic U.S. forces set their boots there were a number of casualties and disputes between religious sects and tribes, throwing citizens into uneasiness and horror.
The "war on terrorism" that has lasted more than a decade has thrown the whole Mid-east into an evil cycle of terrorism and retaliation.

The military and political antagonism is getting serious among countries in the regions which the U.S. dark tentacles have reached, notably Ukraine which turned into the theatre of conflict and stand-off following its disintegration.

The U.S. moves to dominate the world find their vivid manifestation on the Korean Peninsula.
Calling the Asia policy a key in its foreign policy in the 21st century and the Korean Peninsula a focus in it, the U.S. has persisted in its moves to stifle the DPRK.

Finding fault with the just measure for self-defence taken by the DPRK to cope with the aggression threats as "provocation and threats", the U.S. has massively beefed up nuclear strike means around the Korean Peninsula, straining the situation in a planned and deliberate way.
Staging Key Resolve, Foal Eagle and Ulji Freedom Guardian joint military exercises every year, the U.S. described them as drills for "defense" and the ones for "safeguarding" south Korea.

The U.S. is the chieftain escalating tension and chief culprit harassing peace as it flatly declined the DPRK's sincere proposals for replacing the Armistice Agreement with a peace treaty and has brought the dark clouds of a war to hang over the peninsula through ceaseless joint military drills.

Due to the U.S. the world is being inveigled into the whirlwind of war and confusion reminiscent of the world wars in the last century and the hope of the peace-loving people to see peace and stability in the 21st century has not yet come true.
All the countries of the world loving peace have to see through the criminal nature of the U.S. and intensify the struggle to foil it. -0-

¡ã U.S. Should Face up to Reality: KCNA Commentary