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SQUEXX
4th June 2010, 10:59 AM
This might seem to be a strange place to put articles about North Korea, but there are some things people need to know. North Korea, being across the river from China, shares the same geography and resources. This is one of the reasons, I think when Kim, Jung-il dies, China may take over NK. Number one, most of the recent histrionics from NK about war, etc... Are for the benefit of his son, Kim, Jong-un. They had the same hissy fits in 1994 shortly before Kim, Jung-il's father, Kim Il-sung died. They are trying to make a name for Jung-il's son, who they are calling "The Brilliant Comrade."

There is a lot of internal hatred and actually public displays of hostility to the government recently. This in a country where they imprison a family for 3 generations for "disloyalty." If there is internal conflict about the younger Kim taking over, I think China will get itself "invited" in to NK (like Russia did in Afghanistan) and put a puppet government that dances to the tune China sings. There are dozens of non-Han in China who hate the government, especially the Muslims. They would use any pretext of violence on the NK border to rebel against the Han. China, with nearly 1.4 billion people and 1/3 of it's country desert cannot afford to lose a foot of space, like the USSR did in the early 1990's.

And there is the matter of NK's huge mineral resources. It has large deposits of RRE's, molybdenum and the largest deposits of magnesite in the world. If China is going to control the world RRE resources, they don't NK having a free hand.

North Korea tightening grip on natural resources
January 13, 2010

http://www.zeenews.com/news595611.html

Yanji(China): North Korea, known for its rare metals and globally demanded for household electric appliances and industrial machinery, is curbing their exports and tightening grip on such precious resources, sources have said.

North Korea is initiating such measures as Chinese enterprises, which are trying to secure natural resources, are going "to exterminate them root and branch," said a source well-versed in Chinese and North Korean affairs.

At an international conference held in Yanjiin in October, Director of the Economy Institute at the North Korean Academy of Social Sciences Kim Chol Jun had revealed that his country is restricting exports of unprocessed resources.

"Mineral resources are exported at high prices by processing them. Exports of cheap unprocessed goods are a loss to the state," he said.

South Korea's Unification Ministry estimates that underground mineral resources in North Korea are valued at about 540 trillion Yen (USD 4.5 trillion), and the amount of deposits of magnesite used to trim the weight of automobile parts is the world's largest at 3 billion to 4 billion tons.

In addition to iron ore, North Korea is said to be rich in such rare metals as molybdenum and rare earths.

SQUEXX
4th June 2010, 11:01 AM
This is a very long article, I won't post all of it:

When North Korea Falls
By Robert D. Kaplan

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/10/when-north-korea-falls/5228/2/

How to Prevent Another Iraq

Stephen Bradner, a civilian expert on the region and an adviser to the military in South Korea, has thought a lot about the tactical and operational problems an unraveling North Korean state would present. So has Colonel Maxwell, the chief of staff of U.S. Special Operations in South Korea. “The regime in Pyongyang could collapse without necessarily its army corps and brigades collapsing,” Maxwell says. “So we might have to mount a relief operation at the same time that we’d be conducting combat ops. If there is anybody in the UN who thinks it will just be a matter of feeding people, they’re smoking dope.”

Maxwell has conducted similar operations before: he was the commander of a U.S. Army Special Forces battalion that landed on Basilan Island, in the southern Philippines, in early 2002, part of a mission that combined humanitarian assistance with counterinsurgency operations against Jemaah Islamiyah and the Abu Sayyaf Group, two terrorist organizations. But the Korean peninsula presents a far vaster and more difficult challenge. “The situation in the North could become so messy and ambiguous,” Maxwell says, “that the collapse of the chain of command of the KFR could be more dangerous than the preservation of it, particularly when one considers control over WMD.”

In order to prevent a debacle of the sort that occurred in Iraq—but with potentially deadlier consequences, because of the free-floating WMD—a successful relief operation would require making contacts with KFR generals and various factions of the former North Korean military, who would be vying for control in different regions. If the generals were not absorbed into the operational command structure of the occupying force, Maxwell says, they might form the basis of an insurgency. The Chinese, who have connections inside the North Korean military, would be best positioned to make these contacts—but the role of U.S. Army Special Forces in this effort might be substantial. Green Berets and the CIA would be among the first in, much like in Afghanistan in 2001.

Obviously, the United States could not unilaterally insert troops into a dissolved North Korea. It would likely be a four-power intervention force—the United States, China, South Korea, and Russia—officially sanctioned by the United Nations. Japan would be kept out (though all parties would gladly accept Japanese money for the endeavor).

Although Japan’s proximity to the peninsula gives it the most to fear from reunification, Korean hatred of the Japanese makes participation of Japanese troops in an intervention force unlikely. Between 1910 and 1945, Japan brutally occupied not only Korea but parts of China too, and it defeated Russia on land and at sea in the early twentieth century. Tokyo may have more reason than any other government for wanting to put boots on the ground in a collapsed North Korea, but it won’t be able to, because both China and South Korea would fight tooth and nail to prevent it from doing so.

Whereas Japan’s strategic position would be dramatically weakened by a collapsed North Korean state, China would eventually benefit. A post-KFR Korean peninsula could be more or less under Seoul’s control—and China is now South Korea’s biggest trading partner. Driving along the coast, all I saw at South Korean ports were Chinese ships...............

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/10/when-north-korea-falls/5228/2/

SQUEXX
8th June 2010, 05:27 AM
Kim Jong-il's key ally dies, exposing political infighting ahead of succession
A close political ally of Kim Jong-il has been killed in a car crash, exposing deep in-fighting in the North Korean regime ahead of plans to anoint Kim’s successor in Pyongyang.
By Julian Ryall in Tokyo and Peter Foster in Beijing
06 Jun 2010

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01646/Kim-Jong-il_1646949c.jpg
Kim Jong-il's key ally dies, exposing political infighting ahead of succession
Kim Jong-il is expected to name his successor in the coming days Photo: AP

Ri Je-Gang, the first vice director of the Central Committee of the Worker’s Party and widely seen as the strongman of the reclusive North Korean leader’s regime, died in a car crash shortly before 1 am on Wednesday morning, North Korean media reported on Sunday.

The death of Ri, who was 80, came just days before an unprecedented second session of the Supreme People’s Assembly, at which North Korean watchers had anticipated that the ailing Kim would formally name his inexperienced son, Kim Jong-un, 27, as his successor.

The death of such a key figure so close to the expected announcement has deepened speculation that the upper echelons of the North Korean leadership are in the grip of a severe and destabilising bout of political infighting.

“Ri Je-Gang was a very strong supporter of Kim Jong-un and there has been a power struggle in Pyongyang between the factions,” said Toshimitsu Shigemura, a professor of international relations at Tokyo’s Waseda University.

The military is now thought to have the upper hand in the succession struggle, with the name of Army General O Kuk-Ryol coming forward as a possible replacement, Professor Shigemura added.

Ri was one of Kim Jong-un’s two most important promoters — the other being Kim Jong-il’s brother-in-law Jang Song-taek — and his death so soon after the death of another top official and the dismissal of a third has led to speculation that Ri was the victim of a political assassination.

However, all political rune-reading in the hermit state is mired in uncertainty, and other experts said it was likely Ri had died in an accident driving home from one of the alcohol-laced late-night policy meetings to which North Korea’s reclusive leader is prone to summon officials at short notice.

Whatever the actual cause, the death comes at a time when tensions on the Korean Peninsular are at their highest for a decade, after an international inquiry blamed North Korea for torpedoing a South Korean warship with the loss of 46 lives last March.

North Korea threatened on Sunday to retaliate against South Korea after the country’s president Lee Myung-bak referred Pyongyang to the UN Security Council last week, an action which the North’s official media said was an “intolerable provocation”. South Korea has already cut trade links with the North and banned all North Korean shipping from its sea-lanes. The North added that its military would extract a “stern punishment” against the South if it did not rescind the measures, without elaborating.

The international community remains divided over the appropriate response to the North’s action, with China still understood to be against imposing further economic sanctions against Pyongyang’s already-bankrupt economy for fear of destabilising the country.

UN diplomats familiar with consultations in New York said that the UN would issue a presidential statement condemning the North, rather than further economic penalties.

Robert Gates, the US defence secretary, warned at a security conference in Singapore over the weekend that North Korea may stage more “provocations” while being held to account for sinking of the South’s warship.

However, while promising not to allow North’s action to go unpunished, Mr Gates admitted that the international community had very few practical options when trying to rein in a regime that is so deeply isolated from the outside world.

“As long as the regime doesn’t care what the outside world thinks of it, as long as it doesn’t care about the well-being of its people, there’s not a lot you can do about it, to be quite frank, unless you’re willing at some point to use military force,” he told the BBC, “And nobody wants to do that.”

DMac
8th June 2010, 07:13 AM
Great thread SQUEXX!