China · Information operations · Information Warfare · North Korea

DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Ad Hoc Update (32)

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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While the media have been infatuated with the DPRK / RoK presidential meeting, other important things have been happening.

  1. Much on the condition of the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site.
  2. Adm Davidson comments on GWoS.
  3. DF-26 attains IOC.
  4. PLAN Type 001A CV to start sea trials – this is an enhanced derivative of the Ukrainian designed Varyag built in the Milolaiv shipyard and rebuilt in China.
  5. Xi and Modi meet for summit.



[2018 Inter-Korean Summit] Panmunjeom Declaration full text

During this momentous period of historical transformation on the Korean Peninsula, reflecting the enduring aspiration of the Korean people for peace, prosperity and unification, President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea and Chairman Kim Jong-un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea held an Inter-Korean Summit Meeting at the ‘Peace House’ at Panmunjeon on April 27, 2018. The two leaders solemnly declared before the 80 million Korean people and the whole world that there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and thus a new era of peace has begun.

At this summit, North and South Korea took a real step towards peace | Mary Dejevsky | Opinion | The Guardian

Many obstacles remain. But this turnaround in Korean relations reflects a serious investment by Kim Jong-un, says former foreign correspondent Mary Dejevsky

Koreas Set Bold Goals: A Final Peace and No Nuclear Arms – The New York Times

Kim Jong-un of North Korea and Moon Jae-in of the South agreed to work to formally end the Korean War and rid the peninsula of nuclear weapons.

Kim crosses into South Korea to begin a new era of peace | News | The Times

Kim Jong-un was ready to become the first North Korean leader to visit South Korea this morning as part of efforts to formally end the 68-year-old conflict between the two states.He planned to travel to the border crossing of Panmunjom, where he and his heavyweight delegation would walk across the m

North and South Korea Summit Is Short on Details, but Long on Theater – The New York Times

It was the stagecraft of Friday’s meeting that offered hope, when statecraft delivered only vague pledges to work toward a peace treaty.

With Cameras Rolling, Korea’s Leaders Put a Peaceful Spin on Propaganda – The New York Times

A choreographed diplomatic dance at the DMZ added a surprise extra step, instantly turning a moment for the history books into a social media meme.

Korean Leaders Call For ‘Complete Denuclearization’ Of The Peninsula, End Of Korean War

“The two leaders declare before our people of 80 million and the entire world there will be no more war on the Korean peninsula and a new age of peace has begun,” the declaration said.

Trump Hails Two Koreas’ Deal to End War, Pursue Denuclearization – Bloomberg

U.S. President Donald Trump hailed Kim Jong Un’s effort to end his country’s seven-decade war with South Korea and pursue the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula.

Keith Koffler: North Korea’s nuclear ambitions met their match in President Donald Trump

The struggles of great nations used to be defined by ideology. But with realpolitik and raw ambition supreme, Trump is the man for the current age of crisis.

I’ve met with both Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in, and I have high hopes for the upcoming peace talks | The Independent

International relations are often said to be all about sober realpolitik. So it may have come as a surprise that it was the power of sport that provided the opening for North and South Korea to consider dialogue rather than confrontation.

Analysts Call for Sign of North Korean Sincerity

After breaking past promises to halt its nuclear program, the Kim Jong Un government could prove it is serious this time by unilaterally giving up five nuclear bombs

‘The Peace House’ Is All Set For Kim Jong Un’s First Summit In South Korea : The Two-Way : NPR

The stage is set for a historic meeting between leaders of the rival Koreas inside the Demilitarized Zone. The frenzied preparations have left very little to chance.

Why Russia is openly violating sanctions against North Korea – The Washington Post

Putin has two goals in mind.

Allies on edge over Trump summit with North Korea | TheHill

President Trump’s goal of winning a historic deal with North Korea is worrying allies who fear he will give away too much to score a political victory.

As Korean Leaders Meet for Talks, Here’s What You Need to Know – The New York Times

On the table are issues that have bedeviled the Korean Peninsula for much of the 20th century, and some that are already shaping the 21st.

Trump Will Tell Kim Jong Un That Dismantling Nuclear Arsenal Must Precede Economic Benefits – WSJ

President Trump is expected to urge North Korea to act quickly to dismantle its nuclear arsenal when he meets Kim Jong Un and isn’t willing to grant Pyongyang substantial sanctions relief in return for a freeze of its nuclear and missile tests.

Trump will tell N. Korea dismantling nuclear arsenal must precede economic benefits – media | UNIAN

U.S. President Donald Trump will urge North Korea to act quickly to dismantle its nuclear arsenal when he meets North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and isn’t willing to grant Pyongyang substantial sanctions relief in return for a freeze of its nuclear and missile tests, administration officials said. The pace of Pyongyang’s nuclear dismantlement and the timetable for sanctions relief stand to be the major issues of the summit.

With few cards to play, does Kim Jong Un hold the trumps? – The Boston Globe

Donald Trump may have met his match in the North Korean leader.

As U.S., North Korea plan to meet, Iran warns against Trump deals

A U.S. push to change the Iran nuclear deal was sending a “very dangerous message” that countries should never negotiate with Washington, Iran’s foreign minister warned as U.S. and North Korean leaders prepare to meet for denuclearization talks.

Korean peace talks pose new challenge for Trump | TheHill

It’s unclear what concessions Pyongyang would expect from the United States in order to bring the decades-long conflict to a close.

South Korea halts border propaganda broadcasts, Trump cautious on North Korea crisis

South Korea halted the propaganda broadcasts it blares across the border at North Korea on Monday ahead of the first inter-Korean summit in a decade, as U.S. President Donald Trump cautioned the nuclear crisis on the peninsula was a long way from being resolved.

North Korea Is Not De-Nuclearizing – Defense One

The Trump administration shouldn’t get too excited about Kim Jong Un’s pledge to limit his weapons program.

Why Kim Jong Un came in from the cold: 3 theories – CNN

In one week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet Moon Jae-in, his South Korean counterpart in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that divides the two countries.

Gordon Chang: NKorea’s Kim ‘Unnerved’ by Syrian Airstrikes |

Author Gordon Chang said Friday that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was unnerved by the Syrian airstrikes President Donald Trump ordered last week, most likely leading to his announcement to suspend Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missiles tests.

North Korea Says it Will Suspend Nuclear and Missile Testing |

North Korea Says it Will Suspend Nuclear and Missile Testing

North and South Korea Open First Direct Phone Line Between Leaders – WSJ

North and South Korea established for the first time a direct telephone line between their leaders, a move aimed at building trust and momentum one week before the two men are slated to meet at the inter-Korean demilitarized zone.

Trump on NKorea Move: ‘Big Progress’ |

President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that North Korea’s decision to end its nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests and close its atomic test site was big progress.

Pence Praises NKorea on Nukes: ‘Welcome News’ |

Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that North Korea’s announcement that it would suspend its nuclear and missile testing was welcome news — adding that maximum pressure is working on dictator Kim Jong Un.

Analysis: Questions Remain on NKorea’s Nuclear Program |

Analysis: Questions Remain on NKorea’s Nuclear Program

North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Unusual Activity Observed | 38 North: Informed Analysis of North Korea

A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Frank V. Pabian, Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Jack Liu On April 21, 2018 the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), quoted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as saying, “under the proven condition of complete nuclear weapons, we no longer need any nuclear tests, mid-range and intercontinental ballistic rocket tests, and that the nuclear test site in northern area has also completed its mission.” Commercial satellite imagery of the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site from April 20, the day before the site’s closure was announced, shows some unusual activity. Most notably, approximately one dozen mining carts—at least eight connected in a long train—could be observed in an unusual arrangement on the spoil pile in the area closest to the West Portal. It is too early to conclude whether this display is related to Kim Jong Un’s announcement. West Portal Shortly after the September 3, 2017 underground nuclear test involving a tunnel accessed through the North Portal, the North Koreans quickly restarted tunneling at the West Portal, which seemed to slow down in early April.[1] Imagery from April 20 indicates a significant increase in the number of mining carts (~one dozen) near the West Portal compared to when last viewed. (Figures 1 & 2). Most notably, at least eight carts appear to have been connected in an unusually long train and parked out on the spoil pile. Also new is a small bright object, possibly a shack, which was noted for the first time at the end of the West Portal’s spoil pile. It is unclear at this time what role that structure might serve, particularly given the just-announced site closure.

Kim’s nuclear test site has collapsed, say scientists | World | The Times

North Korea’s nuclear test site is believed to have collapsed, rendering the secret base unusable and potentially explaining Kim Jong-un’s newfound willingness to discuss ending his weapons programme. At least five of the six nuclear tests carried out over the past 12 years were at Punggye-ri, in

North Korea’s Nuclear Test Site Is Largely Unusable, Chinese Scientists Say – WSJ

A large part of North Korea’s underground nuclear test facility is unusable due to the collapse of a cavity inside the mountain after the latest test-detonation occurred, according to Chinese seismologists.

Kim Jong Un is a tyrant. Talk of peace in Korea doesn’t change that – CNN

Even without the shadow of nuclear threats hanging over the Korean Peninsula, the sight of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-In embracing one another and spending a full day in substantive conversation would have been enough to stir emotion.

North and South Korea summit: The people Kim trusts the most – BBC News

A sister and a father figure are among the nine trusted people Kim is taking on his historic visit to the South.

Otto Warmbier Family Sues North Korea for ‘Brutal’ Murder of Their Son

The family of Otto Warmbier filed a lawsuit Thursday in a federal court against North Korea for the death of the 22-year-old U.S. college student, alleging that Kim Jong Un’s dictatorial regime had brutally tortured and murdered their son when he was in custody. Warmbier died in June days after being

Top US admiral says China now capable of controlling South China Sea | Fox News

Admiral Philip Davidson, the likely pick to replace departing US Pacific Command Chief Admiral Harry Harris, said China now has the capability to control the hotly disputed South China Sea “in all scenarios short of war with the United States.”

US Admiral warns: Only war can now stop Beijing controlling the South China Sea – NZ Herald

The island fortresses are built. The airfields are ready. The harbours are open. All China needs do now is move in the warships and combat jets. The chief of US Fleet Forces Command has told US Congress that Beijing has built up enough military infrastructure in the South China Sea to completely control the disputed waterway. “Once occupied, China will be able to extend its influence thousands of miles to the south and project power deep into Oceania,” Admiral Philip S Davidson wrote. “The PLA will be able to use these bases to challenge US presence in the region, and any forces deployed to the islands would easily overwhelm the military forces of any other South China Sea claimants. “In short, China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States.” It emerged last Thursday that two Australian warships and their supporting tanker were reportedly confronted by the Chinese Navy a week ago as they moved through the region’s vital sea lanes towards a goodwill visit to Vietnam. In the past, such visits to nations including the Philippines via the South China Sea have been routine. What has changed is China’s assertion – flying in the fact of a 2016 international arbitration court ruling – that it holds national sovereignty over the entire 3.5 million square kilometre waterway. The sea bounds the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam. Beijing has established its claim as almost a fait accompli through illegally turning coral reefs and tidal rocky outcrops (the ownership of which is disputed) into enormous fortresses. It says that now these have artificially been turned into islands, they represent sovereign territory.

U.S. air force says trains in vicinity of South China Sea | Reuters

U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers have carried out training in the vicinity of the South China Sea and the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, the Air Force said on Friday, in what a Chinese newspaper linked to China’s drills near Taiwan.

China’s New ‘Guam Killer’ Missile Could Reach U.S. Military Bases

Defense Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian said the DF-26 intermediate range ballistic missile was now in service and could carry conventional and nuclear warheads to attack targets at land or sea. It has a range of up to 4,000 kilometers, or 2,500 miles, meaning it could hit important U.S. installations

China Commissions Dongfeng-26 Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missile Into People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force

China today said it has commissioned a new nuclear- capable intermediate-range ballistic missile that can carry out precision strikes against land- and sea-based targets into the People’s Liberation Army or PLA Rocket Force.

China’s first home-built aircraft carrier Type 001A readies for maiden journey at sea – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

China’s first home-built aircraft carrier is set to begin its maiden sea trial, demonstrating the country’s growing naval capabilities as the country inches closer to its ambitions of building a mighty people’s navy.

How Does China’s Navy Compare to America’s?

China is investing heavily in its navy and has made a point of executing huge military drills to signify its determination to advance its national interests.

China’s New Aircraft Carrier Is Already Obsolete – Foreign Policy

But it’s still a powerful signal of Beijing’s ambitions in a post-U.S. Asia.

China’s homegrown aircraft carrier Type 001A will start sea trials

There’s a possibility carrier groups may be deployed in geopolitical hotspots such as the South China Sea and Indian Ocean.

China is getting increasingly aggressive with Taiwan — but war would be disastrous for both sides | Business Insider

Recent Chinese military action shows that Xi Jinping has taken a much more aggressive stance on Taiwan than his immediate predecessors. The tension between the two countries stems from the result of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. War with Taiwan could be disastrous because the Taiwanese military is powerful and a conflict risks the involvement of the US.

The Marginalization of Taiwan Must End: A Response | The National Interest

It is not clear what advantage the United States would gain by returning to Cold War practices.

Never mind Vietnam, US should bolster naval defense of Taiwan | Asia Times


Why a U.S-China War over Taiwan Won’t Be Anything Like the Syria Strikes

Judging from recent Chinese words and deeds, next week could see the U.S. Navy attempting to repulse a Chinese assault on nearby Taiwan. The Chinese Communist Party depicts the island as a wayward province and has pledged to restore mainland sovereignty there—by force if necessary. As China amasses

Trump’s ambassador switch risks estranging Australia and angering China – CNN

A possible parachuting of Adm. Harry Harris, the head of America’s military in the Asia Pacific, as US envoy to South Korea shows President Donald Trump’s administration is focusing all its effort and attention on the Korean Peninsula ahead of pivotal talks.

An Australian defence official reportedly confirmed China’s desire for increased military presence the South Pacific | Business Insider

Australian defence forces are reportedly aware that China “expressed its interest” in increasing its military presence in Vanuatu. The report comes just weeks after heavily-denied reports that China wanted to turn a wharf it funded in the South Pacific nation into a naval base. If China was talking about increasing its presence in the Pacific that would likely raise tensions with Australia even further.

South-North Korea summit between Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in features dessert Japan doesn’t like – CBS News

As highly symbolic menu for North-South Korea banquet revealed, Japan calls South's mango mousse map &quot;extremely regrettable&quot;

The Latest: Japan expects concrete action by North Korea – 4/27/2018 5:51:22 AM | Newser

GOYANG, South Korea (AP) — The Latest on the summit between the leaders of North Korea and South Korea (all times local): 7:50 p.m. Japan’s leader is welcoming the outcome of the inter-Korean summit… – 4/27/2018 5:51:22 AM | Newser

China’s Xi says hopes to open a new chapter in India ties

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese President Xi Jinping told visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday that he hopes their meeting opens a new chapter for bilateral ties, state radio reported. Modi arrived in the central Chinese city of Wuhan earlier in the day for an ice-breaking informal meeting

What the Modi-Xi Meeting Tells us About China and India | Time

The leaders of the world’s two most populous nations met Friday in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

India and China have big opportunity to work together, Modi tells Xi – The Hindu

On his part, Mr. Xi says the two countries have established closer partnership and made positive progress in recent years.