General North Korea thread

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General North Korea thread

Postby Thanas » 2013-12-21 10:27am

This thread, as has been requested by several posters, is supposed to be a general news thread for North Korea.

What goes in here:
- routine threats by North Korea to its neighbours/enemies and vice-versa
- North Korean sanction evasion and missile/weapons testing
- other general North Korea news

Actions that are extraordinary (like North Korea purging its leadership or sinking SK warships) deserve their own threads.


Mods will determine if a special action warrants its own thread. Do not bombard mods with PMs to either request such a thread or whine if they move your posts into/out of this thread. If this works out we might consider doing the same with other general areas.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby Iroscato » 2014-01-02 06:09pm

Kim Jong-Un commented on the execution of his uncle recently, I thought this is noteworthy. It really does seem like he's busy re-establishing his authority - at any cost.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25565645
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has spoken of the "elimination of factionalist filth" in his first public reference to the execution of his once-powerful uncle last month. In a new year message broadcast on state TV, he said "resolute action" had strengthened the country's unity. North Korea announced on 13 December it had executed Chang Song-thaek after convicting him of "acts of treachery". The move raised concerns of instability in the secretive nuclear-armed country.
North Korea's new year messages are closely scrutinised by South Korea and other regional powers for clues to Pyongyang's policy goals. Kim Jong-un said action to "eliminate factionalist filth" within the ruling Workers' Party had bolstered the country's unity "by 100 times".
'Warmongers'
"Our party's timely, accurate decision to purge the anti-party, anti-revolutionary elements helped greatly cement solidarity within our party," he said.
Mr Kim also accused South Korea and US of being "warmongers", working "frantically" to bring nuclear weapons to the peninsula.
An accidental conflict, he said, could trigger "an enormous nuclear catastrophe".
He called for the strengthening of North Korea's defence capabilities, adding that the country's dignity and the people's happiness depend on "the gun barrel". Mr Chang was married to the sister of late leader Kim Jong-il, and is believed to have mentored Kim Jong-un when he succeeded his father in 2011. Although seen as the second-most important figure in the country, he was dramatically removed from a special party session by armed guards and stripped of all his titles.
The state news agency KCNA later said he had admitted at a military trial to trying to overthrow the state, and had been executed immediately. Analysts said one theory for Mr Chang's downfall was that he was too keen an admirer of China's economic reform.
The 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula technically in a state of war.
About 28,500 US troops are deployed in South Korea to help deter North Korean aggression.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby Pelranius » 2014-01-03 12:28am

What did they do with Jang's body?
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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby mr friendly guy » 2014-01-03 04:53am

I have no idea how true this is, because NK is quite a secretive state, but media are now reported that Kim executed his uncle by feeding him to starving dogs.

http://www.news.com.au/world/how-kim-jo ... 6794492233


AFTER North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un declared his uncle to be "despicable human scum, worse than a dog," details of his execution have emerged.
The details were disclosed in a report, where unlike previous executions of political prisoners which were carried out by firing squads with machine guns, Jang Song Thaek was stripped naked and thrown into a cage, along with his five closest aides, the Straits Times reports.
"Then 120 hounds, starved for three days, were allowed to prey on them until they were completely eaten up. This is called "quan jue", or execution by dogs."

The report also said the entire process lasted for an hour, with Jong-Un, watching it along with 300 senior officials.
The news of how his uncle was executed comes as South Korea dismissed North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's conciliatory words in his New Year message as an empty gesture, urging Pyongyang to scrap its nuclear programs to show it is committed to better relations.

In his speech yesterday, Kim hailed the execution last month of his once-powerful uncle Jang Song-Thaek and accused the United States and South Korea of manoeuvring for a nuclear war.
JUST HOW FAR IS KIM JONG-UN PREPARED TO GO?
But he also called for a "favourable climate" to improve relations with the South, saying it was time for the two Koreas to stop doing "anything detrimental to national unity and reconciliation".

In its first official response, the South Korean government said it was sceptical about the intentions of Kim, who has ruled the nuclear-armed North since the death of his father, Kim Jong-Il, in December 2011.

"Peace and reconciliation cannot be achieved merely by words", Seoul said in a statement.
"In order to improve ties between the South and the North, North Korea must show sincerity in building trust and above all, it must make genuine efforts for denuclearisation".
It said Kim made similar comments in last year's New Year speech before a series of provocative actions from the North including a third nuclear test, threats of military attacks and the unilateral closure of an inter-Korean industrial zone.
Pyongyang shut down the complex at Kaesong in April during a spike in military tensions that followed the nuclear test but the two Koreas agreed in September to resume operations.
South Korean Defence Minister Kim Kwan-Jin on Thursday cautioned that the apparent peace overtures from the North could be a "smoke screen" aimed at hiding a provocative act, urging the military to remain alert.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby Dominus Atheos » 2014-01-03 05:53am

NBC:

Hong Kong-based pro-Beijing newspaper Wen Wei Po reported that Jang and his five closest aides were set upon by 120 hunting hounds which had been starved for five days. The report could not be independently confirmed by NBC News on Friday...

The newspaper has acted as a mouthpiece for China's Communist Party. The report may be a sign of the struggle between those in the party who want to remain engaged with North Korea and those who would like to distance themselves from Kim's regime.


So apparently the original source is a Chinese newspaper, and NBC speculates that it may not be true and just propaganda by anti-NK Chinese officials.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby LaCroix » 2014-01-03 07:33am

Allegedly China-friendly General executed - chinese newspaper breaks story about babarric method of execution. I'd order a truckload of salt with that...
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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby Isolder74 » 2014-01-03 09:04am

I think you are going to need the Great Salt Lake, the Bonneville Salt Flats and the Redmond salt mine for that a truck full isn't going to be enough.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby Broomstick » 2014-01-03 07:27pm

Is it bad that my first thought was "they could find 120 dogs still left uneaten in North Korea?"

I suppose they could import some if they felt it was necessary. I'm not sure 3 days would be enough to whip them up to attacking and eating people, though.

I'm probably overthinking it. I, too, take this with large grain of salt unless independently confirmed. It wouldn't surprise me that the North Koreans did this, but there's enough legitimate icky stuff there we do need to add to it by rumor.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby Simon_Jester » 2014-01-04 05:56am

Broomstick wrote:I suppose they could import some if they felt it was necessary. I'm not sure 3 days would be enough to whip them up to attacking and eating people, though.
They may have been attack dogs to begin with, if the story has any truth.

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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby Broomstick » 2014-01-04 06:16am

Do they use dogs to help patrol those prison camps of theirs? I've heard of human guards, guns, electrified fences, don't recall hearing about dogs off hand.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby Korgeta » 2014-01-04 09:29am

Broomstick wrote:Do they use dogs to help patrol those prison camps of theirs? I've heard of human guards, guns, electrified fences, don't recall hearing about dogs off hand.


Quite possibly, other then using dogs as weapons to kill/intimidate prisoners or for sadistic entertainment, they are good at sniffing out detecting any attempts at tunnelling. I haven't got any evidence to say they do use them but I wouldn't rule it out, Japan occupied North Korea and they used German Shepard's for their camps, so they might had picked up the practise somewhere along the line.

It is rumor (and that's all we got, because NK is very good at controlling secrets since it is such a control freak, so much so it controls everyone's preferred topic on this forum!!!)

Anyway, the only way this rumour could had materialised is by possibly from associates from Kim's deceased uncle (those still alive), and if that's true then it be evidence that there is a greater division within ranks then previously thought. Either way the 'official' or rumor about the execution is an account of how Kim is dealing with dissent, just that the 'official' version makes him look to have a control and decisive handling over the matter, whilst the rumour says he is a savage brat using extreme violence to bring people into line.

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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby bilateralrope » 2014-01-04 03:09pm

Korgeta wrote: the only way this rumour could had materialised is by possibly from associates from Kim's deceased uncle (those still alive),

One opinion piece about why this rumor is probably not true included these reasons:

First and foremost, consider the source. The story originated in a Hong Kong newspaper called Wen Wei Po, which makes the claim without citing a source. Also, a recent study found that, out of Hong Kong's 21 newspapers, Wen Wei Po ranks 19th for credibility.

Second, consider that the rest of the Chinese media have not touched this story in the almost-month since it came out. The remainder of the Chinese media have been sticking to the same story that everyone else has: that Jang was killed by either machine gun or anti-aircraft guns.

Third, South Korea's media also have not touched the story. "This story has hardly been picked up on by Korean media which is one reason to be suspicious," Chad O'Carroll, who edits the news site NKNews.org, said via email.

"The other reason to be suspicious is because the rumour surfaced ages ago — but no one paid attention to it." South Korean media are quite plugged in to North Korean defector communities, to sources still in the country and most especially to South Korea's intelligence agency. Some of those outlets can be eager to pick up stories or rumours that portray North Korea in a negative light. But South Korea's many news outlets, big and small, seem to be treating this story as implausible.


I'd think that if the rumor was being intentionally spread by the uncle's associates, it would have a lot more traction. Not be a story reported by one of Hong Kong's least reputable newspapers then ignored by both South Korean and Chinese media.


On a side note, why would North Korea be using anti-aircraft guns for an execution ?

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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby Isolder74 » 2014-01-04 03:37pm

I suppose they could be referring to 20 mm machine guns that are often used as anti-aircraft guns. I don't see why they'd need to use machine guns as a one shot rifle would be more then enough.

But who knows. Sometimes there is no kill like overkill.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby Korgeta » 2014-01-04 04:03pm

bilateralrope wrote:On a side note, why would North Korea be using anti-aircraft guns for an execution ?


From the papers I read it says it was machine gun fire, not anti aircraft, but if it was then the only reason why is that it drums up the fear of someone, sure they'll be riddled by bullets by a machine gun, but what if you were strapped to the barrel of an anti aircraft gun? It's an extreme action that prompts terror and signals just what kim lengths kim will go to on someone who steps out of line. It's not why would North korea would do that, but why would Kim do that. An execution isn't about the North, it's about Kim sending a message.

First and foremost, consider the source. The story originated in a Hong Kong newspaper called Wen Wei Po, which makes the claim without citing a source. Also, a recent study found that, out of Hong Kong's 21 newspapers, Wen Wei Po ranks 19th for credibility.


The new York Times has a blog and interestingly makes a few comments.

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/03/inside-the-tale-of-north-korea-execution-by-ravenous-dog/?_r=0

The death-by-dog story got more traction online starting Dec. 24, when a commentary published in The Straits Times, based in Singapore, said the fact that Wen Wei Po ran such a lurid article was a sign of the Chinese Communist Party’s “displeasure” at North Korea. It called Wen Wei Po the party’s “official mouthpiece” in Hong Kong.


If Wen Wei Po does rank 19th out of 21 it's possibly because it's connections with Chinese state media, as well as other things. As for the south not reporting it, the media has a history of being careful what to print in relation to the North, they even banned a James bond film (die another day) There not the reasons but they arguments as to why the south may choose to stay shy of the story. the two dislike each other but I don't think any paper in the south wants to produce a poetional provocative article to the north that is unproven and be blamed for the 'results' that may follow.

Though with no direct evidence it will remain a rumour but personally I wouldn't rule it out.

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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby Ralin » 2014-01-04 04:13pm

Sorry if I'm missing the obvious, but wouldn't a hundred and twenty starving attack dogs being set on five guys lead to the dogs tripping over one another and likely tearing into each other as much as the prisoners?

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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby bilateralrope » 2014-01-04 04:27pm

Korgeta wrote:If Wen Wei Po does rank 19th out of 21 it's possibly because it's connections with Chinese state media, as well as other things. As for the south not reporting it, the media has a history of being careful what to print in relation to the North, they even banned a James bond film (die another day) There not the reasons but they arguments as to why the south may choose to stay shy of the story. the two dislike each other but I don't think any paper in the south wants to produce a poetional provocative article to the north that is unproven and be blamed for the 'results' that may follow.


Does the Chinese media have a history of being careful with what they print in regards to North Korea ?

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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby Pelranius » 2014-01-04 09:16pm

Ralin wrote:Sorry if I'm missing the obvious, but wouldn't a hundred and twenty starving attack dogs being set on five guys lead to the dogs tripping over one another and likely tearing into each other as much as the prisoners?


Even if they did unleash all 120 dogs at once, enough (like even 10-20?) would get through to the prisoners.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby mr friendly guy » 2014-01-04 09:29pm

From the NY times link posted above

Though Wen Wei Po has taken editorial stands that favor party policy, it is not an official mouthpiece of Beijing. And some scholars in Hong Kong have criticized what they call the newspaper’s low editorial standards. (It is true, however, that analysts have been saying for months that China, North Korea’s patron, is unhappy with Mr. Kim for ignoring its entreaties to stop its nuclear weapons and missile tests.)

So the original Chinese source isn't even a party mouthpiece. Further on it seems other sources in China are reporting the standard, ie Jang was machine gunned down (is machine gunned even a word? :D ). I wonder if Wen Wei Po is the HK equivalent to the Daily Mail?

It is worth noting that feeding people to animals, an ancient Roman specialty in the day, is not at all normal in North Korea. In literature from ancient Korea, there are references of bodies of traitors, not live humans, being denied an immediate burial and exposing them to dogs and other animals.

So it seems in old days Koreans might have fed the corpses of people they don't like to dogs as a mark of disrespect, but no reference to feeding live people. That might be where some person who was lapsed with the truth might have got this idea from.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby bilateralrope » 2014-01-04 09:36pm

Ralin wrote:Sorry if I'm missing the obvious, but wouldn't a hundred and twenty starving attack dogs being set on five guys lead to the dogs tripping over one another and likely tearing into each other as much as the prisoners?


6 guys
Jang Song Thaek was stripped naked and thrown into a cage, along with his five closest aides, the Straits Times reports.


That's still 20 dogs per person, so it seems like a problem unless some of the dogs wait for the others to have had their fill.


Have any of you tried searching for information on "quan jue" online ?
Wikipedia produces two articles relating to Falun Gong (Quan Jue is a person who taught its founder). Google returns pages related to Jang Song Thaek's execution or, when I try to filter them out, pages on Falun Gong.

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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby Korgeta » 2014-01-04 10:26pm

bilateralrope wrote:
Korgeta wrote:If Wen Wei Po does rank 19th out of 21 it's possibly because it's connections with Chinese state media, as well as other things. As for the south not reporting it, the media has a history of being careful what to print in relation to the North, they even banned a James bond film (die another day) There not the reasons but they arguments as to why the south may choose to stay shy of the story. the two dislike each other but I don't think any paper in the south wants to produce a poetional provocative article to the north that is unproven and be blamed for the 'results' that may follow.


Does the Chinese media have a history of being careful with what they print in regards to North Korea ?


I honestly can't say, the state media is perhaps careful for the same reasons as the south korea has with the north because all state media is generally the voice of the communist party, but in relation to Wen's popularity in HK the only thing I can question is the reliability of a survey, I do have a friend living there (working with CNNi) and to sum up basic social issues between HK and China is that HK sees China as Draconian and condensending (ie: China rescued them) whilst mainland China sees HK as problematic because of open criticism towards government and unappreciative. It's not a reflection of the entire population but there is division and I wouldn't rule out Wen Wei Po is 19th because it's a loosely owned by Mainland China just in the same way that 'The Sun' is barely sold in Liverpool because even though it's cheaper and has a great puzzle section, it's rarely bought because it's seen as a loose mouthpiece of conservatives and also wrote a set of lies blaming the fans for Hillsborough (which is another subject altogether)

Ralin wrote:Sorry if I'm missing the obvious, but wouldn't a hundred and twenty starving attack dogs being set on five guys lead to the dogs tripping over one another and likely tearing into each other as much as the prisoners?


Depends, if it was open terrain then it just be kim's version of fox hunting just you have 120 dogs chasing and tearing six naked men.

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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby Grumman » 2014-01-05 01:12am

bilateralrope wrote:On a side note, why would North Korea be using anti-aircraft guns for an execution ?

Didn't they use a mortar for one execution? Maybe Kim makes them spin on the Wheel of Punishment to decide their fate.

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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby Thanas » 2014-01-05 11:33am

There are a couple of soviet/Russian AA guns that are essentially machinecannons coupled together. They would work very well as oversized machine guns.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby Ralin » 2014-01-05 11:57am

Grumman wrote:
bilateralrope wrote:On a side note, why would North Korea be using anti-aircraft guns for an execution ?

Didn't they use a mortar for one execution? Maybe Kim makes them spin on the Wheel of Punishment to decide their fate.


I don't want to give an one-liner answer, but "Because they can" does seem to fit here.

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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby Broomstick » 2014-01-05 02:39pm

Throughout history political executions have often been less about a specific way of rendering someone dead and more about putting on a show or making a point.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Postby Korgeta » 2014-01-05 04:41pm

You would think Kim being younger and having western education (sort of) I would not wish any of the Korean troops (or anyone else) to be anywhere near these (you don't even need to be near them)


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