North Korea Attacks and Relations with South Korea, America and China
North Korean People Fight Starvation
North Korean Attacks and Atrocities
"Is North Korea bluffing about nuking us?" (If USA proceeds with war games near North and South Korea.) --This question was asked in August 2010 and on November 23, 2010, North Korea kept its promise to attack South Korea in the event that their southern neighbor continued to hold military drills in North Korean territory despite NK ultimatums not to do so.
These and similar events crate an omen of the NK leadership's intentions toward other nations whose leadership refuse NK orders. It is an omen echoed by my students and colleagues that have served on the south side of the North-South border in the US military. Furthermore, it is echoed by missionaries that risked their lives to begin church groups in the back of bakeries in North Korea. One missionary family, the Covingtons, lost their dad and husband Daryl in 2013 as a result of likely assassination by NK soldiers.
The NK leadership is capable of anything aggressively territorial and retaliative. For additional long term evidence, read the historical fiction work of NK refugees fleeing to Northern China in The Ginseng Hunter.
Dear Leader, Dear Dear Leader
North Korean Missile Attacks and Arrests
- United States Calls on North Korea to Free Captive American - May 2, 2013: The Obama Administration asked for the release of the American, Kenneth Bae, who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for "hostile acts." Bae was sentenced on the day that the annual South Korean-USA military drills ended. North Korea had "forbidden" the drills to occur. The arrest was a retaliation for the yearly drills being completed.
- US demands end of Iranian, North Korean attempts to gain nuclear devices - May 3, 2013: Reuters - The United States said that Iran and North Korea were trying to obtain high-tech materials linked to their nuclear programs in violation of UN sanctions already in place.
- South Korea Says North Launches 3 Missiles Into Sea - NYTimes.com - MAY 18, 2013: The South Korean Defense Ministry reported that NK missiles were fired on 5/18/13 off North Korea’s east coast.
- North Korea possesses "Musudan" medium-range missiles with a range of 2,500 to 4,000 kilometers or 1,500 to 2,500 miles. These missiles can reach South Korea, Japan and possibly US personnel on Guam.
- US Citizen detained in North Korea was on vacation tour, lawyer says. - Crime? --The tourist left a Bible in his hotel room when he left. "American citizen Jeffrey Edward Fowle entered the DPRK as a tourist on April 29, 2014 and acted in violation of the DPRK law, contrary to the purpose of tourism during his stay. A relevant organ of the DPRK detained him and is investigating him," its official KCNA news agency said. Fowle is from Miamisburg, Ohio, and worked in the Moraine city street department, local media reports said."
Ongoing Attacks and Threats
- Pentagon Warns North Korea Could Become a Hacker Haven
May 3, 2013: Even though North Korea has scant Internet connectivity, the communist government tries repeatedly to hack networks of "hostiles" that include American facilities like the Pentagon. At the same time, South Korean workers pulled out of a North Korean factory, ending years of attempted cooperation between the Two Koreas.
Around Thanksgiving week 2014, unknowns - likely North Korean agents - hacked into Sony Pictures' computer server and published damaging email messages around the world. This was in protest of the Seth Rogen - James Franco political comedy "The Interview", in which the NK dictator's was made to look foolish and his head was blown up. The film was pulled from theaters because of NK threats, but released at Christmas in limited theaters and online. Leaders in NK were angry.
Reference Map: May 18, 2013
Confirmed landing site of the three KN-02 surface-to-surface missiles created via Soviet era SS-21 missles.
Chongin is on the North Coast of NK, but from which exact cities the missles were launched, we do not know.
Guam and US military forces are to the south in the Pacific Ocean.
North Korean Human Rights Violations
Facebook Updates, Gen. Walter Sharp
Human Rights Violations
A nation such as North Korea, whose government requires its citizens to eat only once per day or face physical abuse (unless in the military), imprisonment, even execution, could sanction nuclear attack against the USA.
NK attack potential is especially true in the case of this government whose top leader is traditionally thought to, and indeed believes that, he became God when he rose to the leadership position and that any succeeding son will do the same upon accepting his reign in future. This is likely one of the most dangerous iterations of government that can exist.
The AP reported that 15 South Korean soldiers and 3 civilians suffered injuries, 2 SK military persons were killed, and that the extent of casualties in NK is unknown.
The island of Yeonpyeong, South Korea is just south of the North-South political boundary between the two Korean countries. It was attacked my NK military shelling. The island is home to a SK military base with buildings, equipment, and vehicles, as well as a group of ~ 1700 civilians, and a thriving crabbing industry. NK headquarters ordered SK military people to cease and desist any military maneuvers in an area NK claimed exclusively for itself, but which are disputed by the SK government. SK military personnel fired weapons in the disputed area but away from North Korea. KN shelled the island for about one hour, with the SK military returning fire.
From 2010 - 2013, North Korea made a nummber of threats of nuclear attack and even aircraft and ground invasions against South Korea and North America - specifically the USA.
Ode to Yeonpyeong-do
The Two Koreas
NPR Historical Outlook; 60 Years, 60 Fires
On November 27, 2010, NPR called the 3-mile-long Yeonpyeong island "charred and desolate", with photographic images of localized housing damage to match their description. The town hall and only healthcare center were severely damaged, the military base taking large damage as well.
Aside from the military installation just about 7 miles from North Korean territory, Yeonpyeong is historically a small fishing village know for high quality crab capture, civilian population estimates to be between 1,200 and 1,700 in 2010. Residents fled the island community by ferry over the course of two days to take up residence in a bath house in Incheon, South Korea.
Apparently, the conflict and irregularly occurring military attacks at Yeonpyeong Island have endured for 60 years, North Korea insisting that it owns the waters surrounding the island. In an eerie event, news media state that 60 buildings went aflame during the latest attack in November 2010 - one for each year of the conflict.
South Korean Defense Minister Kim Tae-Young resigned after the 2010 attack. The Yellow Sea where the charred island floats remained a point of contention for North and South Korea and China.
Chinese Interest in North Korea as Ally
China has a peace plan for North and South Korea. In includes building a new roadway and rail line from North Korean to the Chinese marketplace. Chinese commercial interests will use a seaport on the coast of North Korean and link that port to the Trans-Siberian railway system. China fears that a collapse of the NK government could result in a larger number of refugees fleeing into Dandong and other Northern Chinese towns. They may fear that the 1,000s of American soldiers in South Korea would follow refugees up into China.
The Divine Mountain of Korean Origin Myths
Heaven Lake Atop Mount Baekdu, a Volcano
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At the same time, a controversy boils over concerning US President Barack Obama's sales of war planes to Saudi Arabia in November 2010. Arming the rest of the world is perhaps not our best move. Surely, these fighter jets and other materials could better serve our own needs, in non-warfare capacities.
Help from South Africa
The US military supports some 28,000 personnel in South Korea. Interestingly, on 11/23/2010, South Africa was reinstated as a Member of the United Nations Command, the group that maintains the Armistice between the two Koreas.
South Africa suddenly has greater access to data about security issues with North Korea, including its claims of a new uranium enrichment facility. We look forward to related developments in future.
The UNC now has 16 nation members, led by USFK commander General Walter Sharp. They maintain the armistice from the Korean War ending in 1953, but no peace treaty was ever signed.
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