Take a look at this. North Korea fades in and out of public consciousness? And WHY?
EIN NEWSFEED 24 AUG. 2015
North Korea ‘prepares submarine attack’ on South Korea as crisis talks enter third day: live
Seoul refuses to back down and demands apology from Kim Jong-un for landmine blast it claims maimed two soldiers – follow the latest updates
• South Korea says anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts will continue
• Seoul demands apology from North Korea over claims its land mines “maimed two soldiers”
• North Korea has accused South Korea of being “war maniacs”
• Kim Jong-un accused of amassing 70 submarines for sneak attack on South Korea
• North Korean troops ordered onto war footing by Kim Jong-un: as it happened
• The bizarre photoshoots of Kim Jong-un
North Korea’s state media – Korean Central News Agency – has just issued another Shakespearean tirade against the South, accusing it of “false propaganda.”
They [South Korea] claimed the DPRK “promulgated a decree on establishing a donation system” and “the society in the north has turned into the one where loyalty can be bought and sold.” They asserted this was a “reliable source” from North Hamgyong Province.
They even took issue with the newly built Pyongyang Home for the Aged, saying this or that about “old people selected to live there.”
This is a hideous act of tarnishing the image of the dignified DPRK where everything serves its people and an unpardonable insult to their intense loyalty to their leaders.
These are the worst invectives which can be concocted only by hack writers of the reptile media in south Korea where money is everything.
The “decree” touted by them has never been promulgated in the DPRK. It is something unthinkable under its popular policy which sets store by the pure mind and conscience of its people and takes warm care of them.
As far as their loyalty is concerned, it is their spiritual world of conscience and obligation as pure as white gem and as strong as bamboo because they consider their peerlessly great leaders as protectors of their destiny.
North Korea v South Korea: How do the forces compare?
This week The Telegraph’s David Blair investigated how the two Koreas’ armies would stack up against each other:
North Korea’s bloated armed forces outnumber those of its southern neighbour by a large margin. When it comes to soldiers and artillery pieces, North Korea enjoys a two-to-one advantage over its old enemy.
Yet an abundance of soldiers carrying light arms does not translate into military dominance. North Korea’s armed forces might be immense, but their weapons and equipment are largely obsolete.
South Korea’s much smaller armed forces, by contrast, benefit from some of the best American-supplied weapons and equipment, including more than 2,000 tanks and hundreds of F5, F15 and F16 fighter jets and fighter bombers.
More importantly, it nestles under the US security umbrella, and there are 28,500 American troops permanently based in the South.
Its army moreover is better-fed – a factor which while reminiscent of a previous era to European armies remains significant in North Korea, where defectors often talk of the debilitating experience of hunger during their own military service.
Today’s crisis talks “most significant since 2007”
Given the seniority of the negotiators and the back-breaking duration of their negotiations, these talks are the most significant inter-Korean talks to be held since the meeting between South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in 2007, Andrew Salmon in Seoul writes.
Bellicosity and dire threats are nothing new from Pyongyang, and most South Koreans, having lived with North Korea for 70 years, have grown blasé. But the gravity of the current situation is underlined by the fact that North Korea offered these last-minute talks on Saturday afternoon – just two hours before Kim Jong-un’s own deadline for military action expired – and by the seniority of the North Korean delegation. General Hwang Pyong-so, the director of the General Political Bureau of the North Korean army, and so the de facto head of the North ‘s Korean People’s Army is seen as one of Kim Jong-un’s most trusted lieutenants. The second negotiator is Kim Yang-gon, Pyongyang’s point man on inter-Korean affairs. The negotiations also seem to be taking place in good faith. The marathon duration of the talks – which have extended into the early hours on two successive nights – are encouraging, as neither side has stormed out of the negotiating room.
Kim Kwan-jin, South Korea’s chief negotiator, is currently President Park Geun-hye’s National Security Advisor, hence chief aide on military affairs. Kim, a former general, was bought into government as defence minister after the sinking of a South Korean ship and a North Korean artillery strike in 2010. Seen as a principled hardliner, he vowed not to let any further North Korean provocations go by without retaliation.
South Korea’s military has expressed concern at intelligence reports that indicate that more than 50 North Korean submarines have sortied from their bases, Julian Ryall in Tokyo writes.
The sheer number of vessels that have put to sea means it is impossible to track all of the submarines, officials said, even though the boats are largely outdated and technically obsolescent versions produced in the 1960s for the Soviet Union.
Nevertheless, by swamping the South’s maritime defences, the North’s submarines may be able to land infiltration parties on the coast to carry out attacks behind the front line. Alternatively, they may target warships of the South Korean or US navies.
Earlier this year, North Korea released images purportedly showing a ballistic missile being fired from a submerged submarine. Although the images were dismissed at the time as being computer enhanced, there have been concerns that the North’s navy is attempting to fit at least one of its submarines with a missile.
A video has emerged of South Korean protesters tearing up a North Korean flag.
The protestors were calling for retaliation against North Korean landmines which the South Koreans say injured two of their soldiers, Olivia Rudgard reports.
After chanting and holding up images of the North Korean flag with a cross through it, the group tore down the flag and ripped it into pieces.
The protest ended in a minor confrontation with police, and some protestors were knocked to the floor.
You may recall from Friday’s liveblog that the hashtag #PrayForKorea took the internet by storm over the weekend.
It has emerged that the Koreans are responding with a hashtag of their own – #WeAreFineThankYou.
The President of South Korea is talking tough today, vowing there will be “no retreat” from North Korea.
“There will be no retreat in the face of North Korean threats,” Park Geun-Hye said this morning, promising “stern retaliation” for any further provocation, AFP reports.
Park has maintained a strong line on not appeasing North Korea since she came to office, and will push back hard against any compromise that might be seen as rewarding its behaviour.
The talks that began Saturday in Panmunjom between top aides to both countries’ leaders have so far failed to thrash out a mutually acceptable way to calm the situation, despite two all-night sessions.
Photo: REUTERS/Shin Wong-su/ News1
North Korea deploys ‘hovercraft invasion force’ targeting South Korean beaches
North Korea has deployed 10 large hovercraft designed to put special invasion forces ashore on South Korean beaches, Julian Ryall in Tokyo writes.
Military sources in Seoul told Yonhap news agency that the crafts were seen leaving their home port at Cholsan and moving to an advanced base some 40 miles north of the Northern Limit Line, the disputed border off the west coast of the peninsula.
The North is able to deploy two types of assault hovercraft, a 35-ton Gongbang II, which has a top speed of 60 mph, and the smaller but faster Gongbang III.
The Korea Observer reported that around 20 crafts were moved to the sea border.
North Korean youngsters are signing up to the army in their hundreds of thousands (according to state media) because they are “brainwashed,” an expert has told an Australian newspaper.
Dr Leonid Petrov from ANU’s College of Asia and the Pacific told news.com.au:
The young generation don’t know much about life outside. They’re curious about what’s going on but constantly brainwashed that the world is hostile. Life in North Korea is pretty artificial. There’s access to fashionable clothes in Pyongyang, where people can see, but in rural areas, even if you have a mobile phone there’s no electricity, or access to the web. People eat a little better now but life is pretty difficult.
China steps up military presence on North Korean border
Concerned at the growing North/South tensions, China has reinforced its military units on the border with North Korea, Julian Ryall in Tokyo reports.
Beijing’s concern would be a possible flood of refugees attempting to cross the border into China should hostilities break out, while a massive military presence on Pyongyang’s northern border may serve to concentrate the minds of the North Korean military and the inner-circle of Kim Jong-un.
And despite the ongoing talks at Panmunjom designed to ease tensions on the border, North Korea is keeping up is own propaganda assaults against the South.
An editorial on Monday in The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Workers’ Party, accused South Korea of driving the situation to the brink of war as part of a deliberate plan concocted with the United States to invade the North.
The newspaper also insisted that South Korea had made up the story about a land mine maiming two of its troops as a pretext for going to war.
In a report on the newspaper’s coverage, state-run Korea Central News Agency reported, “The editorial said the puppets’ confrontational mental illness has reached the later stages”.
The growing tensions between North and South have seen the former’s rhetoric reach new heights of extremity.
“A rat who should be struck by lightning,” a “crafty prostitute” and “Obama’s pimp” are just a few examples picked by the Telegraph’s video team here.
The US are not just planning to send a warplane, it has emerged.
It is also poised to send a nuclear submarine presently based at the naval base at Yokosuka, in Japan, to waters off the Korean peninsula, Julian Ryall in Tokyo writes.
The US Seventh Fleet is the largest in the US navy’s arsenal, with up to 100 surface vessels and submarines and 200 aircraft forward deployed to Japan and the Pacific island of Guam.
The Seventh Fleet conducts regular military exercises in conjunction with South Korean forces and has been put on standby in South Korean waters at times of inter-Korean tensions in the past.
Meanwhile, state media in North Korea have yet more pictures of the “million” young people who are said to have signed up to the army to help fight South Korea.
The US is planning to send a “bunker-buster” warplane to the Korean peninsula act as a deterrent to the North, Julian Ryall in Tokyo writes.
In response to Kim Jong-un announcing that North Korea’s military were in a state of readiness for war, South Korea and the United States are discussing the transfer of a B-52 Stratofortress bomber to an air base in South Korea.
“Keeping close tabs on the crisis situation on the Korean Peninsula, South Korea and the US are flexibly reviewing the timing of the deployment of strategic US military assets”, Kim Min-seok, a spokesman for the defence ministry in Seoul, said.
Yonhap news reported that the Stratofortress, which is equipped with deep-penetration “bunker-buster” ordinance, will arrive from the mainland US and is designed as a show of force to the North.
“Our initial concept against North Korea’s provocations is deterrence”, Mr Kim said. “The South Korean and US militaries are in principle combining to deter North Korea from making provocations.”
Mr Kim reiterated the South Korean government’s position that any North Korean attacks will be met with powerful counter-attacks.
“We stand in a powerful position of readiness for war to deter North Korean provocations and, if provoked, we will react harshly and to an extent that the North would regret their actions”.
Photo: EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS
North Korea will never apologise for the land mine blast which allegedly maimed two South Korean soldiers – and Seoul is fully aware of that, experts have said.
Yang Moo-Jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, told Reuters:
President Park knows that of course…Both sides are really just trying to ramp up pressure on the other, looking for an upper hand in what are clearly very tough negotiations.
Photo: REUTERS/Min Gyeong-seok/ News1
North and South Korea seem stuck in a deadlock in their crisis talks at a remote village on the border, Julian Ryall in Tokyo writes.
Discussions between senior officials of the governments of North and South Korea continue at the border village of Pannmunjom, but neither side appears to be willing to make the concessions that could ease tensions on the frontier.
South Korea insists that the North must acknowledge that its forces planted land mines in the South’s sector of the Demilitarised Zone that divides the two nations. Two members of a South Korean patrol were seriously injured on August 9 when they trod on a mine.
Park Guen-hye, the South Korean president, said Monday that Pyongyang must also apologise for the incident or loudspeakers will continue to broadcast propaganda over the border into the North.
Pyongyang’s negotiators continue to deny that it had anything to do with the land mine incident. They also refuse to accept that North Korea fired first in an exchange of artillery fire across the DMZ that further raised tensions on Thursday.
The North is demanding that the South halt the propaganda broadcasts or it will use military means to silence the loudspeakers.
A million young North Koreans have joined army to “annihilate” South Korea – state media
It emerged yesterday that Pyongyang’s state broadcaster claimed a million people had signed up in North Korea to fight the “war maniacs” in the South.
The Korean Central News Agency said:
Young people across the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are turning out in the sacred war for defending the country with their faith and will to annihilate the enemies.
The regime has now released these images, which it says show North Koreans signing up to the army en masse.
NBC News has been speaking to South Korean officials this morning who accuse North Korea of using “war and peace” tactics.
Tensions are said to be at boiling point after South Korean defence officials said they were “detecting unusual movement from North Korean submarines, in that they have left their bases, and also North Korea has doubled artillery power along the border.”
A South Korean official told NBC News the submarine movement suggested the North was using a “dual tactic” of “war and peace strategies” as envoys met in the Panmunjom truce village inside the Demilitarized Zone.
The negotiations have now dragged on for more than thirty hours – ten hours during the first session on Saturday and another 21 hours on Sunday.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye has told her most senior aides that Seoul would not “stand down even if North Korea ratchets up provocation to its highest level and threatens our national security,” AFP reports.
Photo: YONHAP/AFP/Getty Images
Good morning and welcome to the Telegraph’s live coverage of the crisis talks between North and South Korea as they enter their third day. Here is what we know so far:
- North and South Korea are locked in negotiations after Kim Jong-un declared a “quasi state of war” last week
- Row erupted after South Korea resumed anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts
- Both sides exchanged artillery fire amid escalating tensions and threats of ‘nuclear’ warfare
- On Sunday Kim Jong-un amassed an army of 70 submarines for a strike on South Korea, Seoul intelligence sources claim
- South Korea’s President, Park Geun-hye, is refusing to back down and has demanded an apology from North Korea