ROK-U.S. News

Yonhap – Seoul’s top nuke envoy holds phone talks with Biegun after N.K. party congress

SEOUL, Jan. 15 (Yonhap) — Noh Kyu-duk, South Korea’s chief nuclear negotiator, spoke by phone with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun on Friday and discussed North Korea issues following a key party congress in the communist state, the foreign ministry said.

The North wrapped up its eight-day gathering of the Workers’ Party on Tuesday, in which it called the United States the North’s “foremost principal enemy” and pledged to bolster its nuclear arsenal.

During a military parade that followed the party gathering, the North showed off its latest weapons, including a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).

“The two sides shared assessments on the latest developments on the Korean Peninsula, including the North’s eighth party congress, and exchanged opinions on joint efforts to make progress toward the complete denuclearization and settlement of permanent peace on the peninsula,” the ministry said in a press release.

North Korea appears to aim at upping the ante ahead of next week’s inauguration of Joe Biden as new U.S. president amid uncertainty over the incoming administration’s policy direction on Pyongyang amid stalled denuclearization talks.

Noh was appointed as Seoul’s top nuclear envoy last month, as South Korea seeks to create fresh momentum and kick-start the stalled nuclear diplomacy between Pyongyang and Washington under the Biden administration.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun talks to Lee Do-hoon (not pictured), special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, during their meeting at the foreign ministry in Seoul on Dec. 9, 2020. Biegun arrived in Seoul the previous day for a four-day trip. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun talks to Lee Do-hoon (not pictured), special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, during their meeting at the foreign ministry in Seoul on Dec. 9, 2020. Biegun arrived in Seoul the previous day for a four-day trip. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

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Yonhap – N. Korea holds military parade, showcases new SLBM

By Yi Wonju

SEOUL, Jan. 15 (Yonhap) — North Korea staged a military parade Thursday evening in central Pyongyang, showing off its state-of-the-art weapons, including a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), state media reported Friday.

The parade, held in Kim Il-sung Square, came after Pyongyang wrapped up its eight-day congress of the ruling Workers’ Party on Tuesday, at which leader Kim Jong-un pledged to bolster the country’s nuclear arsenal.

North Korea appears to be aiming to up the ante ahead of next week’s inauguration of Joe Biden as new president of the United States amid uncertainty over Washington’s policy direction on currently stalled denuclearization talks.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) acknowledges the crowd during a military parade at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang on Jan. 14, 2021, to celebrate the recently-concluded eighth congress of the North's ruling Workers' Party, in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency the next day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) acknowledges the crowd during a military parade at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang on Jan. 14, 2021, to celebrate the recently-concluded eighth congress of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party, in this photo released by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency the next day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

Unveiled during the parade was a new type of SLBM.

“The world’s most powerful weapon, submarine-launch ballistic missile, entered the square one after another, powerfully demonstrating the might of the revolutionary armed forces,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

Photos and recorded footage later released by state media showed the SLBMs displayed during the parade labeled as the Pukguksong-5ㅅ, which looks longer than the Pukguksong-4ㅅ SLBM, first unveiled during a military parade in October last year.

The North, however, appears to have not displayed its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

Clad in a long black leather coat and wearing a big furry hat, leader Kim attended the event. He was seen saluting back to goosestepping soldiers with smiles on his face and sometimes giving a thumbs-up to the weapons rolling through the square.

He did not address the event. Instead, Defense Minister Kim Jong-gwan delivered a speech.

Columns of armored vehicles moved through the square, followed by state-of-the-art tactical missiles and other weaponry.

Fighter jets were seen flying in formation and drawing the number “eight” in the sky with fireworks in celebration of the eighth party congress.

Thousands of spectators were seen frantically waving flags and chanting “hurrah” to the leader, with some even shedding tears.

Marching soldiers participating in the parade appeared to be breathing heavily as the event took place at night in freezing cold weather. The participants, including leader Kim and other top officials, were not wearing face masks.

Kim’s powerful sister Kim Yo-jong was also spotted dressed in a long black leather coat, applauding as the military parade proceeded.

The parade was attended by other senior officials, including Choe Ryong-hae, the North’s No. 2 leader, and Jo Yong-won, a senior party official who is believed to have jumped to the country’s No. 3 position at the party congress.

Thursday’s parade came two days after the rare party congress which was held for more than a week until Tuesday.

During the congress, Kim unveiled a new five-year economic development scheme focusing on self-reliance in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and Washington-led global sanctions on his regime.

He defined the U.S. as the “foremost principal enemy,” saying that his country is developing new weapons systems, such as a nuclear-powered submarine, while pledging to bolster its nuclear arsenal.

Experts said the North appears to be sending a message to the U.S. by showcasing its new SLBM and others ahead of Biden’s inauguration.

“North Korea doesn’t need an SLBM. It is not for the South, it’s for the U.S. In that aspect, it sends a message aimed at pressuring the U.S. ahead of the incoming Biden administration,” Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies, said.

“But the North is not sending a message to the U.S. warning that it will take action. It is sending an unspoken message to force the incoming administration to prioritize North Korea in their policies and to withdraw hostile policy against the North,” he added.

Nuclear talks have remained stalled since a no-deal summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump in 2019 as they failed to find common ground on how to match Pyongyang’s denuclearization steps with Washington’s sanctions relief.

Kim has expressed frustration with a lack of progress in denuclearization talks and has called for self-reliance in military, economic development and many other areas.

The North last staged a massive nighttime military parade in October to mark the 75th founding anniversary of the Workers’ Party and showed off a new ICBM and an SLBM.

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Yonhap – N.K. holds performance to celebrate party congress, no mention of military parade

SEOUL, Jan. 14 (Yonhap) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has attended a mass art performance held to celebrate the recently concluded party congress, state media said Thursday.

The performance took place on Wednesday, a day after the North wrapped up the eighth congress of its ruling Workers’ Party, which was held for more than a week since its opening on Jan. 5, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

“The grand art performance ‘We Sing of the Party’ took place with splendor in celebration of the 8th Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium on January 13,” KCNA said.

The event included mass gymnastics, an orchestra, a chorus and dance accompanied by “three dimension multimedia” and lighting, it added.

The performance was attended by Kim and other senior officials, including Choe Ryong-hae, the North’s No. 2 leader and president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly. Jo Yong-won, a senior party official who is believed to have jumped to the country’s No. 3 position at the party congress, also attended the performance.

KCNA did not mention whether it held a military parade after the congress.

On Tuesday, the North said it invited officials and others long involved in government affairs as special guests to “celebrations,” raising the possibility that North Korea might be preparing a military parade.

Earlier, Seoul’s military officials said signs were detected that the North carried out a military parade in central Pyongyang on Sunday night, but state media did not report on such an event, spawning speculation that it might have been a rehearsal.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) attends the sixth day of the eighth congress of the ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang on Jan. 10, 2021, in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency the next day. During the congress, North Korea endorsed Kim as the party's general secretary, following its revision of party rules to reinstate the secretariat system that was scrapped in the previous party congress in 2016. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) attends the sixth day of the eighth congress of the ruling Workers’ Party in Pyongyang on Jan. 10, 2021, in this photo released by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency the next day. During the congress, North Korea endorsed Kim as the party’s general secretary, following its revision of party rules to reinstate the secretariat system that was scrapped in the previous party congress in 2016. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

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Article: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20210114000351325?section=nk/nk

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Yonhap – S. Korea to spend 800 mln won to conduct surveys on separated families

SEOUL, Jan. 14 (Yonhap) — The South Korean government decided Thursday to spend 800 million won (US$728,000) to conduct surveys on families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War in a bid to check the state of surviving families and hear their needs.

On Thursday, a civilian-government committee on inter-Korean exchanges made the decision to conduct surveys on around 50,000 members of separated families living in the country from April to October.

Through the survey, the third of its kind since 2011, the ministry will update information on the separated families and check their demands and opinions on inter-Korean reunions.

Tens of thousands of people remain separated from their long-lost families in the North since the Korean War, which ended in a truce.

The two Koreas held their last reunion of war-separated families in August 2018 at the Mount Kumgang resort on the North’s east coast but no reunions have since been held amid strained ties.

The committee has also decided to spend 4.77 billion won to transform the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), separating South and North Korea, into a cultural zone. The two-year project aims to utilize facilities in the inter-Korean transit office near the border village and Dorasan Station, the northernmost train stop in the country, to remodel them for cross-border cultural exchanges.

The ministry will also spend 3.34 billion won for an ongoing project on the publication of a common Korean-language dictionary that began in 2005 as part of efforts to overcome language barriers between the two Koreas.

The committee has approved spending on other projects, including 1.92 billion won to cover the operating costs of a tourism support center at the truce village of Panmunjom and 3.75 billion won for the Center for Unified Korean Future, a state-run institution on unification-related education.

Ryang Cha-ok (L), 82, of North Korea meets with her South Korean sisters at a hotel at North Korea's Kumgang Mountain resort on the east coast as part of inter-Korean family reunions on Aug. 24, 2018. The inter-Korean reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War was the first of its kind in nearly three years. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

Ryang Cha-ok (L), 82, of North Korea meets with her South Korean sisters at a hotel at North Korea’s Kumgang Mountain resort on the east coast as part of inter-Korean family reunions on Aug. 24, 2018. The inter-Korean reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War was the first of its kind in nearly three years. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

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Yonhap – N.K. leader’s sister slams S. Korea over closely tracking military parade

SEOUL, Jan. 13 (Yonhap) — The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un harshly criticized South Korea’s military for closely tracking its military parade believed to have taken place in Pyongyang to celebrate a rare party congress.

On Monday, Seoul’s military officials said signs were detected that the North carried out a military parade in central Pyongyang Sunday night in time for the eighth congress of the ruling Workers’ Party, which has been under way since its opening last week.

“What is weird is that the joint chiefs of staff of South Korea made a senseless statement that they captured the north opening a military parade at midnight on Jan. 10 and they are in the middle of making precision tracking,” Kim Yo-jong was quoted as saying in a statement released by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Wednesday.

“They are the idiot and top the world’s list in misbehavior as they are only keen on things provoking world laughter,” she added.

Kim added that the North is only holding a military parade in the capital city and not conducting any military exercises “targeting anybody nor launch of anything.”

“Do they really have nothing else to do but let their military body make ‘precision tracking’ of the celebrations in the North?” she said.

She warned the South Korean authorities, saying “all these things must surely be reckoned up in the future.”

Given how she was referred to in the statement, Kim appears to have been demoted to “vice department director” of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party from her previous position as first vice department director.

But the latest statement released under her name indicates she still remains powerful and is likely to handle inter-Korean affairs.

In an earlier session of the party congress, she was also not listed as a member nor as an alternate member of the party’s politburo, sparking speculation of her possible demotion.

Kim last released a statement last month slamming South Korea’s foreign minister over her remarks doubting the North’s claims to be coronavirus-free. Kim said the minister will “pay dearly” and warned that the already frozen inter-Korean relations could get worse.

A file photo of Kim Yo-jong, younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (Yonhap)

A file photo of Kim Yo-jong, younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (Yonhap)

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Yonhap – N.K. leader pledges to strengthen ‘nuclear war deterrent’ as party congress closes

By Choi Soo-hyang

SEOUL, Jan. 13 (Yonhap) — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called for strengthening the country’s nuclear capabilities as he addressed the final-day session of the ruling party’s rare congress, state media said Wednesday.

North Korea on Tuesday wrapped up the eighth congress of the Workers’ Party, which had been held for more than a week since its opening on Jan. 5, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

“We must further strengthen the nuclear war deterrent while doing our best to build up the most powerful military strength,” Kim said. “We must continue to give fresh spur to making the People’s Army elite and powerful armed forces, so that it is thoroughly prepared to fulfill its mission and role as the driving force of national defense in the face of any form of threat and emergency.”

On the economy, the North Korean leader called for a “do-or-die struggle” to fulfill a new five-year development plan put forth during the party congress.

“The future of the socialist cause hinges on how the tasks set by this Party congress, including the five-year plan for national economic development, are fulfilled,” he said.

The congress, the first in nearly five years, took place as North Korea has faced a triple whammy of the fallout of back-to-back typhoons in the summer, a protracted border closure due to the coronavirus pandemic and global sanctions on its economy.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un (C) visits the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang, the mausoleum for the country's former chiefs Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, who are respectively the grandfather and the father of the current leader, on Jan. 12, 2021, in this photo released by the North's Korean Central News Agency the next day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un (C) visits the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang, the mausoleum for the country’s former chiefs Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, who are respectively the grandfather and the father of the current leader, on Jan. 12, 2021, in this photo released by the North’s Korean Central News Agency the next day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

Kim also said he feels “greatly honored” and “heart heavy” for having been elected as the party’s general secretary amid a “grim and acute” external environment.

On Sunday, North Korea “unanimously” elected Kim to the top post in a move to further cement his grip on power. The title was previously held by Kim’s late predecessors, his grandfather Kim Il-sung and father Kim Jong-il.

Delegates at the congress adopted a resolution on “thoroughly implementing the tasks set forth” by Kim in a report delivered in the earlier sessions of the congress. The full text of the resolution was not released.

In the report, Kim defined the United States as the North’s “foremost principal enemy” and vowed to bolster its nuclear arsenal, which experts see as aimed at pressuring the incoming Joe Biden administration.

Following the closure of the congress, Kim paid tribute at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, where the bodies of the former leaders lie in state.

The eight-day party congress was the longest after the fifth one was held for 12 days in 1970. The previous congress in May 2016 was held for four days.

North Korea said it will convene a Supreme People’s Assembly meeting in Pyongyang on Sunday to discuss what was put forth during the party congress.

“The session will discuss the organizational issue and the issue of adopting a law on the five-year plan for national economic development and the issue of fulfillment of the state budget,” KCNA said.

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Yonhap – USFK begins administering COVID-19 vaccine to more members, including S. Koreans

SEOUL, Jan. 13 (Yonhap) — U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) said Wednesday it has begun administering coronavirus vaccines to a broader range of its members, after front-line health care workers were first inoculated starting last month.

“USFK began administering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on a voluntary basis to all eligible USFK-affiliated individuals possessing a critical ‘Fight Tonight’ capability including key leaders, mission command nodes, and frontline units earlier this week,” the U.S. military said in a Facebook post.

USFK received the first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 25 and doses were administered to front-line health care workers, first responders and its command team from late last month.

“Korean Nationals, KATUSAs and ROK military who fall within this group will also be offered the vaccine if they choose to receive it,” it said. KATUSA refers to the Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army and ROK stands for South Korea’s official name, the Republic of Korea.

U.S. Navy Korea also said on a Facebook post Tuesday, “Sailors, classified as first responders and front line workers, in South Korea were offered the COVID-19 vaccine on a voluntary basis.”

A second shipment of the vaccine arrived here earlier and more will come until the amount is enough to vaccinate all USFK-affiliated population who are willing to receive the vaccine, a USFK official said.

A member of U.S. Forces Korea receives a coronavirus vaccine in this photo released by the U.S. military. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

A member of U.S. Forces Korea receives a coronavirus vaccine in this photo released by the U.S. military. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


Article: https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20210113009800325?section=national/defense

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VOA News – Security Experts “References North Korea’s New Weapons Development, Diplomatic Message Rather Than Immediate Threat”

In July 2019, North Korea revealed that Chairman Kim Jong-un visited the new submarine building facility.
In July 2019, North Korea revealed that Chairman Kim Jong-un visited the new submarine building facility.

 

Recently, at the 8th Congress of the North Korean Labor Party, a plan to develop a nuclear-powered submarine and a hypersonic missile was first mentioned. Security experts in the United States analyze it as a statement that is conscious of future diplomatic strategies rather than immediate threats. Reporter Kim Dong-hyun covered it. 

Chairman Kim Jong-un officially mentioned the development of nuclear submarines and hypersonic missiles in the report on the 8th Labor Party Conference.

Nuclear submarine and hypersonic missile development formalized at the North Korean Labor Party conference

In particular, he emphasized that the design study for nuclear-powered submarines has been completed and is in the final screening stage, and proposed the possession of nuclear submarines and underwater-launched nuclear strategic weapons that can improve nuclear long-range strike capability as a national task.

In the case of strategic nuclear weapons, he stated that it is necessary to improve its accuracy within the range of 15,000 km to improve its nuclear preemptive and retaliatory strike capabilities, and emphasized that the multi-warhead development guidance technology has reached the deadline.

In addition, it announced that it would further develop small and lightweight tactical nuclear weapons and continue to promote ultra-large nuclear warheads, and emphasized the development of hypersonic gliding vehicles and reconnaissance satellites within the near term.

US Department of Defense succeeds in flying hypersonic gliding vehicle… Experts “Possibility of securing North Korean-related technology
The U.S. Department of Defense announced that it has succeeded in testing a hypersonic glide that is being developed as part of the development of a next-generation strategic weapon system. It is characterized by overwhelmingly faster speed than intercontinental ballistic missiles, and experts point out that North Korea has the potential to secure technology as well.

US security experts have analyzed that the announcement of North Korea’s state-of-the-art weapons development plan is based on diplomatic purposes.

Former Commander Brooks “Mostly no performance tests… Internal-diplomatic aim” 

On the 11th, the chairman of the USFK Combat Association (KDVA), who served as commander of the ROK-US Combined Forces, pointed out to the VOA on the 11th, “If it was a military message, a performance demonstration would have been accompanied, but it was not.”

[Recording: Former Commander Brooks] “So I view more as a diplomatic message, not a military message. And it is evident that Kim Jong Un is resetting the arrangement that makes possible an engagement with South Korea and with the United States. That’s my conclusion… That’s why I say it is a diplomatic message, not a military one. So if it were a military message, it would be coupled with demonstrated capability and this is not demonstrated capability. This is projected capability, and maybe some demonstrated capability within it but mostly projected capability… And that’s why the ranges that were included, the hypersonic glide vehicles, multiple reentry vehicles, those are things that concern the United States. And so that was a way of saying,’And we want the United States to remain interested in us’… ”

It is explained that the majority of North Korea’s new weapons development plans are “expected capabilities” rather than current practical capabilities.

In particular, he analyzed that hypersonic missiles and reentry of multiple warheads seem to be targeting the areas of greatest concern to the United States, and sent a signal to the new administration of Biden that the United States wants the United States to remain interested in North Korea.

US experts have mixed views on the evaluation of competing North Korea ICBM re-entry capability  
US experts have expressed mixed views on some opinions that North Korea has improved the ICBM reentry to a level that would operate normally. However, if this evaluation is true, it is predicted that there is a high possibility of promoting multiple battles.

Former Commander Brooks said that the details of the weapons plan specifically targeted three types of audience, and the top priority was the hard-liners in the North Korean military, with the intention of reducing the impact of the military in the party and minimizing the ramifications of major position changes. I did.

[Recording: Former Commander Brooks] “I view it as messaging to three primary audiences. And I would say in priority they are to hardliners in North Korea. So his first priority is to internal audiences to signify a continuance of military strength, even after he has reduced military power over the period of this last Congress and with the changes of positions that he made, perhaps moving away from some of the older generation hardliners …The second audience is South Korea. Most of the weapon systems are in the array of things that directly threaten South Korea and Japan, but especially South Korea. Submarine launched ballistic missiles, reconnaissance in depth, etc, satellite. I believe that has the purpose of saying that North Korea wants to have dialogue with South Korea, but that South Korea has to respect North Korea’s strength in this dialogue…

“The purpose of dialogue with Korea is bigger… Possibility to resume high-level dialogue sooner or later”  

In addition, externally, it is a signal to Korea, Japan, and the United States, but considering that most of the weapons mentioned pose a direct threat to Korea, they analyzed that the intention to engage in dialogue with Korea is more intense than the United States.

In particular, the message that this year is the year of inter-Korean dialogue was sent to South Korea, clarifying the condition that South Korea should respect the power of North Korea if dialogue becomes a reality. .

Gary Seymour, former White House WMD coordinator, also analyzed the high-tech weapons listed by North Korea as foreign messages aimed at diplomacy, saying that the high-tech weapons listed by North Korea are not realistically available in the near future.

Former Seymour Coordinator “Resume of nuclear-long-range missile tests not mentioned…very positive” 

In particular, Seymour’s former coordinator said that as an external signal to the United States, not specifying whether to resume long-range missile tests is an interesting and important indicator.

[Recording: Former Seymour Coordinator] “What I found most interesting is that Kim Jong Un did not mention resumption of testing, which is very important because the most immediate concern we’ve all had is that North Korea would resume nuclear or long range missile testing this year. And the fact that Kim Jong Un was silent, I think is a very positive, encouraging indication that North Korea is waiting to hear what the Biden administration has to say about resumption of diplomacy…”

Former Seymour coordinator said it is likely a signal from North Korea to observe the position of the new administration of Biden on the resumption of diplomacy, and that the new administration of Biden needs to respond in response that it is willing to resume diplomacy based on the agreement to denuclearize Singapore.

Bruce Bennett “Goals Unrealistic Given Limited Resources” 

Senior researcher Bruce Bennett’s Rand Research Institute pointed out that given North Korea’s limited resources, there are many practical difficulties in deploying the various advanced weapons mentioned in the conference right away.

[Recording: Senior Researcher Bennett] “First, you’ve got to say, do they have the financial resources to do that? And the answer is got to be no. Secondly, do they have the technology to do all of that? and it’s unlikely they’ve developed their own technology to do all that.”

In particular, it is possible to promote this goal with external help such as China and Russia, but it is still unrealistic to realize all of the plans listed. Rather, it is analyzed that the political purpose is stronger externally.

Prof. Holmes “Successful about the capacity to deploy nuclear submarines”

James Holmes, a professor at the U.S. Naval Staff College, said, “Technology must be followed in order to realize the political aspirations against the United States in order to realize the VOA’s evaluation of the final stage of the design of a nuclear-powered submarine. “I do.”

[Professor Holmes VOA written question answer] “Being able to deter the United States directly is surely an aspiration, but the technology has to catch up with political aspirations for a deterrent strategy to work… North Korea has defied predictions many times in the past, but it still has to obey the laws of physics and engineering to field advanced military hardware… I would also point out that high-tech arms could be aimed at mobilizing national pride and support for the Kim regime, no small thing.”

Professor Holmes explained that North Korea has a history of violating external expectations in the past, but the actual deployment of nuclear-powered submarines requires very difficult technology, and explained that despite high ideals, it is inevitable to follow the laws of physics and advanced military engineering. .

Professor Holmes analyzed that the high-tech targets listed by North Korea are effective in inspiring self-esteem for their country and raising support for the Kim Jong-un regime.

This is VOA News, Donghyun Kim.

Article: https://www.voakorea.com/korea/korea-politics/dprk-labor-party-congress-military-development-plan-expert-analysis

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Yonhap – Xi congratulates N.K. leader on election as ‘general secretary,’ calls for stronger ties

SEOUL, Jan. 12 (Yonhap) — Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message congratulating North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on his election as general secretary of the ruling party and called for strong relations between the two countries, Pyongyang’s media said Tuesday.

Xi noted that Kim’s election “fully showed the trust, support and expectation of all the WPK members and other Korean people for him,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, referring to the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea.

He also expressed his will to “safeguard the regional peace and stability, development and prosperity” by strengthening relations at a time of “confusion and changes.”

In response, the North’s ruling party expressed “sincere gratitude to the CPC Central Committee for sending a wholehearted congratulatory message to the congress ahead of others,” KCNA said, referring to the Communist Party of China.

It stressed that the ruling Workers’ Party “opened up a new chapter of firm friendship with socialism as its core” between the two parties of the North and China as mentioned in the report at the party congress.

Kim was endorsed as the general secretary of the ruling Workers’ Party at the sixth-day session of the eighth congress in Pyongyang on Sunday, following the North’s revision of party rules to reinstate the secretariat system that was scrapped in 2016.

North Korea has emphasized its ties with China at a time when talks with Washington to receive sanctions relief in return for denuclearization steps have stalled. In an earlier session of the party congress, Kim highlighted North Korea-China ties that have been strengthened over the past few years.

This graphic image shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Yonhap)

This graphic image shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Yonhap)

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NBC News – Behind the viral photo of Rep. Andy Kim cleaning up at midnight after riots

Rep. Andy Kim, the first member of Congress of Korean descent in the Democratic Party stayed until 3 a.m. to help clean up debris after Capitol riots.


“It’s a room that I love so much. … It pained me so much to see it in this kind of condition,” the New Jersey Democrat said.

Image: Andy Kim

Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., cleans up debris and personal belongings strewn across the floor of the Rotunda in the early morning hours on Jan. 7, 2021, after a mob stormed the Capitol.Andrew Harnik / AP

Unlike many of his congressional colleagues, Rep. Andy Kim, D-N.J., was in his office in a separate federal building when President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday afternoon. So he didn’t actually see the damage live until nearly midnight, after the House had voted down the last challenge to the presidential election result.

When he finally did walk around the rotunda — his favorite and arguably the most storied room of the building — the disarray left him speechless. Water bottles, broken furniture, tattered Trump flags and pieces of body armor and clothing were strewn on the marble floor as if it were an abandoned parking lot.

“It’s a room that I love so much — it’s the heart of the Capitol, literally the heart of this country. It pained me so much to see it in this kind of condition.”

“I was just overwhelmed with emotion,” Kim, 38, told NBC Asian America. “It’s a room that I love so much — it’s the heart of the Capitol, literally the heart of this country. It pained me so much to see it in this kind of condition.”

So for the next hour and a half, he crouched down and filled a half dozen trash bags with debris. When he finished cleaning up the rotunda, he began working on the adjacent rooms, including the National Statuary Hall and the Capitol crypt downstairs.

Then he returned to the House floor to debate Pennsylvania’s vote count, a session that lasted until 3 a.m. By Thursday evening, he’d been awake for more than 36 hours.

On a day in which video of mayhem and bloodshed inundated social media, a widely shared photograph of Kim, alone on his knees, picking up the final pieces of garbage in a nearly empty rotunda, was a radical break from — and rejection of — the violent impulses that drove the country to the brink of collapse. Many people labeled him a “true patriot.” While Kim said he didn’t dwell much on the symbolic heft of his actions, the term was on his mind.

“I feel blessed to have this opportunity as a son of immigrants to be able to serve in Congress,” he said. “Democracy to me is this place of opportunity that is affording me a chance to do something extraordinary.”

“I feel blessed to have this opportunity as a son of immigrants to be able to serve in Congress,” he said. “Democracy to me is this place of opportunity that is affording me a chance to do something extraordinary.”

Andy Kim speaks during a debate in Newark, New Jersey, on Oct. 31, 2018.
Andy Kim at a debate in Newark, N.J., on Oct. 31, 2018.Julio Cortez / AP file

In 2018, Kim became the first Asian American to represent New Jersey in Congress, flipping a predominantly white district that voted for Trump in 2016 and did so again in 2020. (Kim won re-election in November despite voting to impeach the president last year.)

The irony of a history-making Korean American lawmaker dusting up after a white supremacist riot is not lost on Kim. But he also pointed to the progress that’s been made.

“I represent a district where the vast majority of people do not look like me,” he said. “But they’ve voted for me twice now to be their representative, and that’s a beautiful thing. There are others who seek to make me seem like an ‘other’ whether it’s because of skin color, or gender, or sexuality. But that’s not what this is about. We’re all Americans.”

A former national security aide under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, Kim recently spoke about how simmering ideological tensions can become dangerous during presidential transitions. But while he expected the hate and anger that defined the Trump era to escalate in the aftermath of the election, Wednesday’s events still shocked him. In the roughly six hours he spent sheltered in his office, he worried about the safety of his colleagues and staffers as the pro-Trump mob ransacked the Capitol.

At one point, he recalled receiving a security alert that Capitol police had lost control of the building.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in Afghanistan and Iraq, I’ve been in war zones where I’ve had to shelter in place, but I never would have imagined that this would happen here,” he said, noting that he didn’t know at the time whether the rioters were armed. “It was a terrifying experience.”

Bridging the deep racial and ideological chasms in this country, Kim said, will require legislative action to rein in the radicalization of white supremacists and the proliferation of disinformation.

At the same time, he said, there must also be profound shifts in the way Americans treat one another on a personal level.

“The depth of the divisions that we have isn’t something any single law can wipe off the face of our planet,” he said. “We also need to recognize that how we get through that is by seeing the humanity in each other. There are ways we can have debates and disagreements but not resort to violence.”

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