In Your Face Commie Heathens!

Yes, it’s provocative, but please notice it doesn’t involve grisly carnage or any form of violence. Unlike Islam, it’s the Christian way.

Giant Christmas tree on Korean border causes North Korea to issue threats

SOUTH Korea says a giant Christmas tree near the North Korean border will stay lit up till January 8 – a move likely to anger Pyongyang since the date marks the birthday of its heir apparent.

The communist North sees the tree topped with a glowing cross as a provocative propaganda symbol.

Cross-border tensions are high after the North’s deadly artillery attack last month on a South Korean border island and military drills by the South in response.

The tree – a 29-metre metal tower strung with light bulbs – was lit up on Tuesday for the first time in seven years as marines stood guard against any cross-border attack on it.

The tree, atop a military-controlled hill near the tense land border, was due to be switched off on December 26.

”However, we have decided to keep it until early January 8, in consideration of requests from religious groups,” defence ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok told a briefing.

”At first, we planned to keep the lighting on only briefly because of (military) burdens but we had second thoughts as it may send a message of peace to the North.”

See also:
North Korea sees war games and Christmas tree as it gazes across tense border
Korea Tension Shifts to Tree
O Christmas Tree: Squabble Over South Korean Border Display Could Escalate
S Korea to keep Christmas tree lit near DPRK till January
South Korea lights border Christmas tree
South Korea Lights up Christmas Tree Near North Korean Border
South Korea lights up giant tree

Nothing, I mean nothing, drives heathens crazy like a giant Christmas tree topped with a giant cross. I’ll bet the North Koreans are just itching to shell it.

/it would be interesting to see the reaction if California’s border states tried the same thing

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How Are Those Sanctions Working Out?

Apparently, the West’s sanctions regime doesn’t seem to be slowing down North Korea’s nuclear program.

Why We’re Always Fooled by North Korea

According to Siegfried Hecker, the former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, North Korea is working on two new nuclear facilities, a light water power reactor in early stages of construction, and a “modern, clean centrifuge plant” for uranium enrichment. Mr. Hecker visited the facility over the weekend and says it appears nearly complete.

The centrifuge plant is particularly significant because it could produce more than enough highly enriched uranium to make a nuclear weapon every year—and it may not be the North’s only such facility. North Korea’s artillery bombardment of the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong on Tuesday makes it doubly clear that Pyongyang intends to leverage its new nuclear breakthrough for maximum concessions from the international community.

This nuclear revelation is not an intelligence failure. Over the past decade, intelligence analysts have consistently predicted North Korea’s path to nuclear weapons and noted the increasing evidence of its missile and nuclear proliferation. The failure has been that of policy makers and pundits who denigrated the analysis, ignored it, or clung to the fallacy that North Korea would abide by a denuclearization deal.

See also:
A Return Trip to North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Complex
North Korean Uranium Plant Stokes Proliferation Worries
North Korea’s ‘Stunning’ Secret Nuclear Plant
Uranium Enrichment ‘Long Suspected’
N.Korea’s Uranium Enrichment Facility ‘a Ploy’
Pyongyang’s New Nuclear Facility Tests World Resolve
U.S. Calls North Korea’s Nuclear Revelation a ‘Publicity Stunt’
N. Korea uranium claim condemned
North Korean uranium enrichment no surprise (Rep. Pete Hoekstra)
U.S. scientist amazed by N. Korean nuclear facility
North Korea unveils sophisticated facility for enriching uranium

So, how are we responding to North Korea’s latest nuclear revelation? We’re not responding at all, as far as I can tell, not even a strongly worded letter.

/I guess we’re just going to let North Korea assemble all the nuclear weapons they want and hope they never use or sell them. not a particularly good strategy in my opinion

Win Or Die

It sucks to be a North Korean soccer coach or player. Hell, it sucks to be a North Korean period.

Failed N Korean World Cup coach fears for life

Kim Jong-hun might well be envious of Dunga and Maradona, the two South American coaches sacked for their teams’ “poor” performance in the recent FIFA world cup. Kim, the North Korean coach, has not just been sacked, he has suffered public humiliation and been made to work unpaid as a construction worker. News leaks from Pyongyang further say that Kim fears he might soon be executed.

According to unconfirmed reports, the entire North Korean squad, which lost all three of its World Cup games in South Africa, has been subjected to a humiliating dressing-down in public.

The hapless players spent six hours being lectured in public, on their failure and ‘betrayal’ of Kim Jong-un, son and heir of the great leader Kim Jong-il.

They were subjected to a session of harsh ideological criticism, a Chinese businessman told the South Korean media.

Under coercion, every player blamed the defeat on the coach who has reportedly been expelled from the governing Workers Party.

North Korea’s success in qualifying for the Cup had prompted the Party to organize countrywide celebratory lectures in recognition of Kim Jong-un’s accomplishment.

Ever since the team crashed out, experts on the hermit state have speculated that the players would surely be punished.

See also:
North Korea’s failed World Cup footballers undergo public mauling
North Korea soccer coach fears for his life
North Korean football team shamed in six-hour public inquiry over World Cup
North Korean soccer team forced into six-hour long public inquisition after losing at World Cup
North Korean Soccer Team Publicly Shamed For World Cup Failure
North Korean Soccer Team Punished for World Cup Failure
Sacked NKorean soccer coach fears for life
North Korea Soccer Team Reprimanded After World Cup, Radio Free Asia Says
North Korea’s World Cup Team Faces Government Wrath After World Cup Defeat
North Korean Soccer Coach Put Into Labor Camp After Disappointing World Cup
There Is No Joy in Pyongyang …
Welcome to the party, North Korean soccer team
Korea DPR national football team

Every day, more children are born in North Korea, facing a bleak, totalitarian future with no possible escape. Personally, I just can’t help but feel sorry for every last one of them.

/you know, ending the Korean War, once and for all, would eventually be viewed as the greatest humanitarian gesture in modern history

Invincible Spirit

Let the games begin.

US, S. Korea Begin Large War Games Off Korean Coast

A large 4-day exercise involving U.S and South Korea forces is under way in the Sea of Japan.

It comes in response to the sinking of a South Korean warship, the Cheonan, four months ago. An international investigation blamed a North Korean torpedo attack for the incident.

The war games off the east coast of the Korean peninsula were called to send a strong message of deterrence to Pyongyang.

The joint military exercise is known as “Invincible Spirit.” And while the forces of the United States and South Korea routinely conduct drills together, this war game is considered unprecedented in scope.

For the first time, the most advanced fighters of the U.S. Air Force are participating. They are the F-22 Raptors. U.S. officials say four of the stealth technology jets are taking part, along with nearly 200 other aircraft.

At sea is the strike group of the USS George Washington. The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is accompanied by three destroyers.

U.S. and South Korean top military officials say the exercises are a significant show of force intended to deter North Korea from further aggression.

See also:
U.S., S. Korea aim to strike the right tone as exercise kicks off
Massive show of U.S.-South Korea military might
U.S., S Korea start military drills amid concerns of neighboring countries
US and South Korea begin military drills in the face of nuclear threat from North Korea
U.S., South Korea launch naval drill to warn North Korea
U.S.-South Korean War Drills Begin
On board USS George Washington in S Korea navy drill
Anti-sub warfare part of S. Korea exercise
US rattles sabre in the Sea of Japan
America’s Spirit Invincible; China’s Still Puzzling
US and South Korea set to confront North with show of naval force
North Korea threatens ‘nuclear war’ over troop exercises
US, S.Korea begin war games

We have a pack of F-22 Raptors roaming freely over the Korean peninsula? Let’s go for it and not waste the tax dollars on an “exercise”.

/remember, we’re still at war with North Korea, today is just as good as any other day to end it, while we’re here, with the gear

Time For More Talks Or Another Strongly Worded Letter

How many more times are we going to let North Korea urinate on our leg with impunity?

N Korea ‘in final uranium phase’

North Korea has entered the final phase of uranium enrichment, the North’s state media are reported as saying by South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.

“Uranium enrichment tests have been successfully carried out and that process is in the concluding stage,” state media were quoted as saying.

If confirmed, the move would be in defiance of international pressure for the North to abandon its nuclear work.

The UN passed tougher sanctions after a nuclear test by Pyongyang in May.

Both that test and an earlier nuclear test by North Korea in 2006 were understood to have been plutonium-based warheads.

Defiance

The North’s KCNA news agency reported that North Korea’s delegation at the United Nations had written to the Security Council, saying Pyongyang was now ready “for both sanctions and dialogue”.

“Reprocessing of spent fuel rods is at its final phase and extracted plutonium is being weaponised,” the AFP news agency reported the delegation as saying.

“If some permanent members of the UN Security Council wish to put sanctions first before dialogue, we would respond with bolstering our nuclear deterrence first before we meet them in a dialogue,” the delegation said.

South Korea’s defence minister had warned in June that the North was going ahead with plans to enrich uranium, a step towards making nuclear weapons.

Observers say the US has long suspected the existence of a secret uranium enrichment programme in the North, though experts say it remains little-developed.

In the past few months, North Korea has fired a long-range rocket over Japanese territory and conducted an underground, plutonium-based nuclear test.

Renewed tensions

But more recently, the secretive communist nation has made more conciliatory gestures on the world stage.

Two US reporters and a South Korean worker were released from detention and Pyongyang said it was interested in resuming cross-border tourismand industrial projects with the South.

Less than two weeks ago, the first meeting between officials from the North and South for nearly two years took place unexpectedly in the southern capital, Seoul.

However, the latest communique indicated that the North was unhappy that the UN allowed South Korea to launch a satellite last month, after having condemned its own rocket launch in April, Reuters reported.

Correspondents said Pyongyang’s latest remarks appeared to seek once again to ratchet up tensions on the Korean peninsula.

See also:
N. Korea Says It’s in Last Stage of Uranium Enrichment
North Korea says in final phase of uranium enrichment
N. Korea Reports Advances in Enriching Uranium
N.Korea says in last stage of enriching uranium
UAE seizes North Korean weapons. Now what?
Why Are We Not Stomping North Korea’s Guts Out?

Between Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan, it’s just a matter of time before a working nuclear device ends up in the hands of some rogue state or non-state actor with a strong desire to detonate it at a time a place that is contrary to U.S. national interests.

/talks, letters, lots of whistling past the graveyard

Good On Bubba!

Clinton, 2 journalists depart NKorea for US

Former President Bill Clinton brought two freed U.S. journalists out of North Korea early Wednesday following rare talks with reclusive leader Kim Jong Il, who pardoned the women sentenced to hard labor for entering the country illegally.

Euna Lee and Laura Ling were heading back to the U.S. with Clinton, his spokesman Matt McKenna said, less than 24 hours after the former U.S. leader landed in the North Korean capital on a private, humanitarian trip to secure their release.

The women, dressed in short-sleeved shirts and jeans, appeared healthy as they climbed the steps to the plane and shook hands with Clinton before getting into the jet, APTN footage in Pyongyang showed. Clinton waved, put his hand over his heart and then saluted.

North Korean officials waved as the plane took off. McKenna said the flight was bound for Los Angeles, where the journalists will be reunited with their families. The White House had no comment.

Their departure was a jubilant conclusion to a more than four-month ordeal for the women arrested near the North Korean-Chinese border in March while on a reporting trip for Current TV, the media venture founded by former Vice President Al Gore. They were sentenced in June to 12 years of hard labor for illegal entry and engaging in “hostile acts.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had urged North Korea last month to grant them amnesty, saying they were remorseful and their families anguished.

North Korean media characterized the women’s release as proof of “humanitarian and peace-loving policy.”

Their families said they were “overjoyed” by the pardon. Lee, 36, a South Korean-born U.S. citizen, is the mother of a 4-year-old. Ling, a 32-year-old California native, is the younger sister of Lisa Ling, a correspondent for CNN as well as “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “National Geographic Explorer.”

Clinton’s landmark trip to Pyongyang also resulted in rare talks with reclusive Kim Jong Il that state-run media described as “wide-ranging” and “exhaustive.” The meeting was Kim’s first with a prominent Western figure since reportedly suffering a stroke nearly a year ago.

While the White House emphasized the private nature of Clinton’s trip, his landmark visit to Pyongyang to free the Americans was a coup that came at a time of heightened tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program.

State media said Clinton apologized on behalf of the women and relayed President Barack Obama’s gratitude. The report said the visit would “contribute to deepening the understanding” between North Korea and the United States.

The meeting also appeared aimed at dispelling persistent questions about the health of the authoritarian North Korean leader, who was said to be suffering from chronic diabetes and heart disease before the reported stroke.

Kim smiled broadly for a photo standing next to a towering Clinton. He was markedly thinner than a year ago, with his graying hair cropped short. The once-pudgy 67-year-old, who for decades had a noticeable pot belly, wore a khaki jumpsuit and appeared frail and diminutive in a group shot seated next to a robust Clinton.

The journalists’ release followed weeks of quiet negotiations between the State Department and the North Korean mission to the United Nations, said Daniel Sneider, associate director of research at Stanford University’s Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center.

Clinton “didn’t go to negotiate this, he went to reap the fruits of the negotiation,” Sneider said.

See also:
North Korea: 2 US journalists pardoned
Clinton Leaves North Korea With Two Journalists, Spokesman Says
N Korea frees US reporters after Clinton visit
Will nukes creep into Bill Clinton’s North Korea agenda?
Analysis: Obama lets NKorea’s Kim save face
Bill Clinton’s ‘rock star status’ delivers in North Korea
Clinton’s Unwise Trip to North Korea

Thank God the two journalists are free, safe, and on the way home to their families. Oh, and thanks to Bill Clinton too.

/still, you have to wonder exactly what we gave North Korea in return for thei release

Hey Obama, Thanks For The Naval Escort!

This is nationally embarrassing, can someone please check Michelle’s purse for her husband’s balls?

US will not use force to inspect NKorean ship

The United States will not use force to inspect a North Korean ship suspected of carrying banned goods, an American official was quoted as saying Friday.

An American destroyer has been shadowing the North Korean freighter sailing off China’s coast, possibly on its way to Myanmar.

Defense Undersecretary Michele Flournoy met with South Korean officials in Seoul on Friday as the U.S. sought international support for aggressively enforcing a U.N. sanctions resolution aimed at punishing Pyongyang for its second nuclear test last month. The North Korean-flagged ship, Kang Nam 1, is the first to be tracked under the U.N. resolution.

North Korea has in response escalated threats of war, with a slew of harsh rhetoric including warnings that it would unleash a “fire shower of nuclear retaliation” and “wipe out the (U.S.) aggressors” in the event of a conflict.

On Thursday, the communist regime organized a massive anti-American rally in Pyongyang where some 100,000 participants vowed to “crush” the U.S. One senior speaker told the crowd that the North will respond to any sanctions or U.S. provocations with “an annihilating blow.”

That was seen as a pointed threat in response to the American destroyer.

Flournoy said Friday that Washington has ruled the use military force to inspect the North Korean freighter.

“The U.N. resolution lays out a regime that has a very clear set of steps,” Flournoy said, according to the Yonhap news agency. “I want to be very clear … This is not a resolution that sponsors, that authorizes use of force for interdiction.”

Flournoy said the U.S. still has “incentives and disincentives that will get North Korea to change course.”

“Everything remains on the table, but we’re focused on implementing the resolution fully, responsibly and with our international partners,” she said.

Flournoy’s trip came as the U.S. sought international support for aggressively enforcing the U.N. sanctions.

It is not clear what was on board the North Korean freighter, but officials have mentioned artillery and other conventional weaponry. One intelligence expert suspected missiles.

The U.S. and its allies have made no decision on whether to request inspection of the ship, Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said Wednesday in Washington, but North Korea has said it would consider any interception an act of war.

If permission for inspection is refused, the ship must dock at a port of its choosing, so local authorities can check its cargo. Vessels suspected of carrying banned goods must not be offered bunkering services at port, such as fuel, the resolution says.

A senior U.S. defense official said the ship had cleared the Taiwan Strait. He said he didn’t know whether or when the Kang Nam may need to stop in some port to refuel, but that the ship has in the past stopped in Hong Kong’s port.

To recap, we’ve had one U.S. destroyer or another shadowing the Kang Nam for more than a week now, ever since it left North Korea. We’re almost positive she’s carrying banned weapons or technology but we refuse to board her and find out because, the U.N. resolution says we can’t, China says no, and we’re scared to death that North Korea might retaliate.

In fact, our entire strategy is that we’re hoping that the Kang Nam has to stop to refuel in a port that will enforce the U.N. sanctions and inspect her cargo. Gee, don’t you think the North Koreans already know this and have factored it in, what if the Kang Nam doesn’t have to stop to refuel? There might be a reason she’s proceeding along at 10 knots, to conserve fuel, or maybe she has extra fuel aboard. And what if the Kang Nam does pull into, let’s say, Singapore, where she will be searched, might not the North Koreans respond in the same manner as if the United States had boarded her at sea? One thing’s for damn sure, if the Kang Nam makes Myanmar without having to refuel, there isn’t going to be any inspection of her cargo as per the U.N. sanctions.

Likely Destination of N Korean Ship Often Used for Weapons Deliveries

The Myanmar International Terminals Thilawa (MITT), believed to be the destination of the Kang Nam 1, a North Korean cargo ship being tracked by the US Navy, has often been used for deliveries of weapons, according to sources at the facility.

The Kang Nam 1, which left a North Korean port on June 17, is believed to be carrying weapons, missile parts or possibly even nuclear materials.

“There are two reasons to use Thilawa,” said an MITT operator. “First, it is not too close to Rangoon, and second, it is easy to increase security here so people don’t know what is being unloaded.”

The international multi-purpose container port, Burma’s largest deep sea port, is located about 30 km south of Rangoon.

According to other MITT employees, the facility has often been used for deliveries of weapons since it was built in the mid-1990s.

“Cargo ships carrying many kinds of weapons from Russia, China, North Korea and the Ukraine have docked at Thilawa,” said an MITT worker.

Normally, the source explained, the ships are offloaded around midnight to avoid attracting attention. Then, around 2 a.m., convoys of trucks deliver the weapons to a military depot at Intaing, about 25 km north of Rangoon.

“When cargo ships carrying military equipment dock at the port, naval personnel based near Thilawa take over port security and coordinate the unloading of the ships,” he said. “No unauthorized personnel are allowed near the port when cargo ships carrying weapons dock here.”

On Wednesday, officials from the Myanmar Port Authority, which operates under the Ministry of Transport, met with the Thilawa port authorities. It is believed that the meeting was related to the imminent arrival of the Kang Nam 1.

See also:
Whither the Kang Nam, North Korea’s suspect cargo ship?
Why Burma May Be North Korea’s Best Friend
Burma denies link to N Korea ship
Suspect North Korean Ship Has Been Detained Several Times for Maritime Violations
US needs to be able to search NKorea ships: Top lawmaker
Why Are We Not Stomping North Korea’s Guts Out?

C’mon President Obama, grow a pair, we’re still technically at war with North Korea already, are you going to let them intimidate us at will too?

/unless we let our attendant destroyer board and search the Kang Nam, she’ll make Myanmar International Terminals Thilawa, we’ll never find out what her cargo was, and North Korea will just be that much more emboldened to push the envelope further