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North Korea (Superthread)

MilEME09

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https://americanmilitarynews.com/2020/04/south-korea-detects-unusual-increase-in-north-korea-military-activity-amid-kim-jong-un-death-rumors/?utm_source=militarymemes&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=alt

Increased activity has been detected from the DPRK's Arty and air forces.
 

Weinie

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cavalryman said:
Didn't waddle away fast enough after strapping a beloved uncle to the missile?
I think he only has one beloved uncle left. Gotta save those silver bullets.
 
S

stellarpanther

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https://www.marketwatch.com/story/south-korea-says-it-knows-whereabouts-of-north-koreas-kim-jong-un-and-that-trump-should-have-been-notified-2020-04-28

South Korea says it knows where NK leader is.

 

shawn5o

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The hermit kingdom is in the news again.


Kim Jong-Un 'is in a coma and his sister is set to take control' of North Korea, claims South Korean diplomat

By SOPHIE TANNO FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 14:33 EDT, 23 August 2020 | UPDATED: 08:57 EDT, 24 August 2020

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8656207/Kim-Jong-coma-sister-set-control-claims-South-Korean-diplomat.html

A South Korean diplomat has speculated that Kim Jong Un is in a coma and his sister is being positioned to take control of North Korea.

Chang Song-min, an ex-aide to late-South Korean president Kim Dae-jung, believes Kim has been in a comatose state since April, and that all of his public appearances have been faked.

Chang speculated that Kim Yo-jong, the dictator's younger sister, is now being groomed for leadership after spy chiefs claimed that she has been promoted to de-facto deputy leader of the country.

Intelligence officials are said to have told a closed-door meeting of security chiefs that Kim has put his sister in charge of foreign policy toward the US and South Korea.

The role, if confirmed, would make her de-facto second-in-command of the country. Chang said that such a move is unprecedented in North Korea's history, and would only occur under two scenarios - if Kim was gravely ill, or if there had been a coup.


LINK
 

Donald H

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This could  be good news in that it placed N.K. in position for a breakthrough in which it can normalize relations with China and begin to benefit from China's capitalism under China's communist regime.

Or the other possibility of N.K. submitting to S.K./US demands, which is less likely due to N.K. being in China's/Russia's sphere of influence.

Foremost of considerations is still going to be the Korean people will to reunite their country.
 

Blackadder1916

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So what else is new since this topic was discussed on this forum back in April?  If his sister has been transitioning to power in the intervening four months, then it may be that no news is good news - or at least none that affects the daily lives of those beyond the borders of the DPRK.
 

CBH99

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My understanding is that he wasn't in a coma, and he is back to business as usual.  (Albeit there are concerns about his health, still.)

I personally believe it may have been a ruse to see who would come out of the woodwork to try and claim power, so he could verify who is loyal and who isn't.  (A tried & true tactic of long term dictators.)
 

jeffb

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Donald H said:
Foremost of considerations is still going to be the Korean people will to reunite their country.

Will aside, reunification would be a disaster for the ROK. Significant foreign aid is pushed to the ROK to contain the DRPK that would likely evaporate on reunification. The ROK would need to take on the burden of 25 million people who will require significant investment to integrate into the highly modern ROK economy. The infrastructure demands to modernize the area of North Korea will also likely be crippling. Look at the challenges associated with integration of West and East Germany. The differences between the ROK and the DPRK are far greater.
 

OldSolduer

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CBH99 said:
My understanding is that he wasn't in a coma, and he is back to business as usual.  (Albeit there are concerns about his health, still.)

I personally believe it may have been a ruse to see who would come out of the woodwork to try and claim power, so he could verify who is loyal and who isn't.  (A tried & true tactic of long term dictators.)

Maybe he caught the 9mm flu.....
 

a_majoor

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Here is a video from a defector from the DPRK describing her daily life. Very interesting look from a personal level.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afqaRpYPkFw

Eating dinner early in the winter because candles are so expensive.....
 

a_majoor

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A long article on the deterioration of the DPRK's military capabilities. Instead of just "rust out" like we face, the troops are malnourished and essentially live off plundering nearby civilians, while the regime uses a "starve the many to feed the few" strategy to shore up it's Special Forces and nuclear capabilities, although even the Special Forces are declining in quality and utility:

https://strategypage.com/qnd/korea/articles/20201103.aspx

Korea: The Fading Storm Corps

November 3, 2020: North Korea, desperate to seal the Chinese border, has been sending thousands of their special operations troops to the border because all other types of troops and secret police detachments have failed. Most of the 200,000 North Korean special operations troops belong to the 11 th Storm Corps. Most of the special operations troops are light infantry that train intensively to master one special skill. There are twelve light infantry brigades, three sniper brigades, three airborne brigades and a marine brigade. The most elite units are the 25 reconnaissance battalions, most of them trained to sneak through the DMZ and make surprise attacks early in a war.

As Kim Jong Un ordered more and more Strom Corps troops troops to the Chinese border this year, it became painfully obvious that these units were not as special as described. Years of less food and less time for intensive training became apparent on the Chinese border where Storm Corps patrols were often sloppy and there were obvious discipline problems. In the last decade, even the special operations troops have lost much of their specialness. Only about 20 percent of these troops retain their “special” skill levels. That does not exempt them from the electricity shortages and the knowledge that the rest of the military, and most North Koreans in general are in worse shape.

The decline has been going on for some time. In 2010 the government began providing special food bonuses for their secret police and special operations troops. The latter force has been increased from 120,000 to 200,000 since 2004, These elite troops have to be well fed, and kept loyal, to be effective. The rest of the military began getting less food from government supplies and were ordered to spend more time farming or being rented out to commercial firms. Foreign food donors noted that the hungriest North Koreans were not getting a lot of the food aid sent. Much of it was diverted to the military or sold to raise cash for the government. The donors understood that the North Korean government, as a communist police state, would look after its own interests first and make sure the security forces were fed first. That was one of the reasons less free food aid was offered to North Korea.

The young (about 30 then) Kim Jong Un took power in 2011 and by 2016 he understood that the “starve the many to fatten the few” strategy was a rational response to an unpleasant reality. Kim Jong Un saw the situation with fresh eyes and it was obvious that conventional North Korean forces were now no match for the South Korean army, even though North Korea had 50 percent more troops. South Korea had been upgrading its forces since the 1990s, often with modern weapons now built in South Korea and increasingly exported. In contrast the North Korean economy and military budget had been in decline since the early 1990s when over four decades of Russian subsidies of cash, food and cheap military equipment ended. Leaders during the 1990s through 2010 refused to fully appreciate the degree to which the situation had changed. Kim Jong Un did and he began making obvious and long overdue, changes Nukes and special operations forces were all North Korea could pay for and these weapons would not win a war, but they would make it easier to extort free food and other aid from neighbors. So far this is not working but Kim Jong Un apparently sees no other choice. By 2020 the special operations force was facing more and more cuts and only the missile and nuclear units and development programs are well cared for.

The rest of the article at the link is interesting as well.
 

CBH99

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Thucydides said:
A long article on the deterioration of the DPRK's military capabilities. Instead of just "rust out" like we face, the troops are malnourished and essentially live off plundering nearby civilians, while the regime uses a "starve the many to feed the few" strategy to shore up it's Special Forces and nuclear capabilities, although even the Special Forces are declining in quality and utility:

https://strategypage.com/qnd/korea/articles/20201103.aspx

The rest of the article at the link is interesting as well.


About a year ago, I watched a video on Youtube of Chinese tourists taking river tours throughout the northern parts of North Korea.  I'll search for it later, but I doubt I'll find it again.

In various parts of the North Korean & Chinese border, guided tours are available.  My understanding is they are mostly river tours, with the odd land stop to see landmarks, eat, and 'tourist trap' type of stuff.


Throughout the video you see quite a few members and what I would call 'sub units' of North Korean soldiers.  It's creepy.  They look like extremely malnourished ghosts of WW2 soldiers.  Extremely thin and obviously malnourished, with ill-fitting long jackets and in some cases what looked like bolt-action rifles.  :( :eek:


While the massive amounts of artillery pointed south over the border will absolutely devastate Seoul, and there will be unique challenges to deal with in regards to their rocket/nuclear forces, and potentially some submarine challenges (doubtful) -- just from looking at the soldiers themselves, I can't imagine they won't surrender en-masse within the first few days.

Once they see M1A3 tanks, Super Hornets, Strykers, and the high-tech modern American or South Korean soldier... it'll be like fighting robocop with a cap gun.


While most North Koreans are brought up being brainwashed about the virtues of their society and their leadership, I can't imagine the soldiers near the borders still drink the cool-aid. 





I quite enjoyed this lovely young lady's video about growing up in North Korea.  Worth a watch  :2c:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afqaRpYPkFw
 

YZT580

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Of possibly greater importance in the event of conflict north/south, how many battalions does China maintain on the border and what is their specialities?  Because those will be the folks that South Korea faces after the first few days.
 

CBH99

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YZT580 said:
Of possibly greater importance in the event of conflict north/south, how many battalions does China maintain on the border and what is their specialities?  Because those will be the folks that South Korea faces after the first few days.


Very good point indeed
 

Edward Campbell

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YZT580 said:
Of possibly greater importance in the event of conflict north/south, how many battalions does China maintain on the border and what is their specialities?  Because those will be the folks that South Korea faces after the first few days.
But, economically, South Korea is far, far more important to China than is North Korea. Before Xi Jinping I believe that the prevailing view in Beijing was that North Korea could be, even should be sacrificed, as a pawn, to get the US ~ a rook, plus a bishop, at least ~ off the board, the board being the Korean peninsula.
 
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