Informal Institute for National Security Thinkers and Practitioners


Quotes of the Day:


“If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between “for” or “against” is he mind’s worst disease.”
- Sent-ts’an c. 700 C.E.


“Educate the child and it won’t be necessary to punish the men.”
— Pythagoras


“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.”
— Marcus Aurelius



1. S.Korea, U.S. to Stage Massive Drill Amid Global Instability

2. Chip 4, '3 Nos' complicate Korea-China ties

3. No to 'wolf warrior diplomacy'

4. NPT meeting in New York discusses North Korea

5. South Korea condemns North for ‘abusing’ NPT regime, urges to cease provocations

6. S. Korea, Australia to discuss defense cooperation, Indo-Pacific strategy

7. N. Korea reports no new suspected COVID-19 cases for 4th day: state media

8. New infections at over 3-month high; imported cases at all-time high (South Korea)

9. Stop the game of chicken

10. NIS director says agency reported investigation requests into ex-spy chiefs to Yoon

11. Blinken reaffirms U.S. commitment to NPT, citing threats posed by N. Korea, Iran

12. Three soldiers in Yanggang Province beaten by local patrol while trying to steal pork

13. Three soldiers in Hyesan who went AWOL voluntarily return to base

14. A Third Nuclear Age Is Upon Us

15. Hackers using malicious Gmail, Microsoft Edge extension to spy on emails (Suspected north Korea)

16. North Korea’s missiles to blame for upscaled US-South Korean military drills, South says





1. S.Korea, U.S. to Stage Massive Drill Amid Global Instability


Massive.


Learn, adapt, anticipate.


Excerpt:


A government official said, "If an emergency breaks out on the Korean Peninsula, it will be hybrid warfare like the one in Ukraine. We feel the need to prepare for that and conduct drills accordingly."



I think the Korean officials are describing the "Ulchi" part of the exercise which includes civil defense and the ROK government decision making on the transition to war.


The "Freedom Shield" portion of the exercise is defending against north Korea's military attack of the South.


S.Korea, U.S. to Stage Massive Drill Amid Global Instability

english.chosun.com

August 02, 2022 11:08

South Korean and U.S. troops stage a massive military exercise this month, preparing for emergencies amid rising geopolitical instability.


The exercise, dubbed Ulchi Freedom Shield, includes scenarios like a bomb at a nuclear plant, a fire at a semiconductor factory and paralysis of the banking network. It is held from Aug. 22-Sept. 1.


The Defense Ministry here made the plans public in a report to the National Assembly on Monday.


The ministry said it will boost capabilities by combining civil defense training and military drills. Real-life scenarios will be based on latest international conflicts, including the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and possible threats to critical infrastructure here.


South Korean and U.S. troops conduct joint training in Inje, Gangwon Province, in this undated photo. /Yonhap


Soldiers will also practice responding to terrorist attacks on airports and drone attacks on civilian and military facilities, as well as repairing damaged public facilities like subway stations.


A government official said, "If an emergency breaks out on the Korean Peninsula, it will be hybrid warfare like the one in Ukraine. We feel the need to prepare for that and conduct drills accordingly."


There are fears that South Korea's nuclear plants could become priority targets for attacks by North Korean special forces, while microchip plants could also become targets of attacks from the North or terrorists groups because their destruction could send shockwaves through the global supply chain.

USFK Conducts 1st Live-Fire Drill in 3 Years

U.S. Fighter Jets Arrive for Joint Exercises


S.Korean, U.S. Fighter Planes Stage Show of Force Against N.Korea

S.Korea, U.S. Fire Missiles After N.Korean Launches

USFK Launches New Apache Helicopter Squadron

USFK Practice Seizing Underground Nuclear Facility

S.Korea-U.S. War Simulation Exercises Kick off

Top Korean, U.S. Brass Board American Aircraft Carrier

Nuclear-Powered U.S. Aircraft Carrier to Join Drills with S.Korea

S.Korea, U.S. Stage Drills in Warning to N.Korea

S.Korea, U.S. Could Resume Massive Bomber Drills

  • Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com

english.chosun.com



2. Chip 4, '3 Nos' complicate Korea-China ties


Two key issues.  


Currently, Korea has been asked to respond to the U.S. invitation by the end of August to participate in the envisaged strategic alliance of four global chip powerhouses that also includes Japan and Taiwan, also known as the Chip 4 or Fab 4, a platform apparently aimed at countering China's growing influence in global supply chains.

In addition, Beijing has urged Seoul to stick to the previous Korean government's commitment to the "Three Nos" policy on the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) deployment, which called for no additional THAAD deployment, no Korean integration into a U.S.-led regional missile defense system and no trilateral alliance with the United States and Japan.


My comments on THAAD and the "three No's:"


First and foremost on THAAD, any decision will be made solely based on ROK/US consultations and the necessity for improving the defense of the ROK, protecting its population, defending ROK and US military personnel, and serving US interests in the region. China (and north Korea) do not get a vote on how the alliance defends itself. 


I also take some exception to the notion that the previous ROK administration accepted the Three No's. As far as I know the Moon administration denied this and it is only China who said that Moon agreed and it is only China that discusses them because they are solely in Chinese interests. They go against ROK sovereignty and self defense.


But regardless, President Yoon and the people of South Korea are not bound by any agreements that put their country and the lives of its people at risk and the "Three No's" does just that.


The only "No" from President Yoon must be a resounding "HELL NO." (e.g., Hell no we won't accept your "three No's.") South Korea as a global pivotal state must not appease north Korea nor kowtow to China.


We should have no doubt that China fears integrated missile defense but most of all a trilateral ROK-Japan-US alliance. Additional THAAD deployment, integrated missile defense, and a trilateral alliance all upset China because they indicate the strength and resolve of the three nations. If China is so afraid of it, then perhaps the ROK and Japan should seriously pursue it. The US would certainly welcome them doing so.


We should expect China and north Korea to rhetorically attack the upcoming Pacific Dragon missile defense exercises as well,


The bottomline is that Seoul should not take into account China's position on THAAD whatsoever. The ROK is a sovereign country responsible for its own defense and as part of an alliance will make decisions on how the alliance can best ensure the security of the ROK.


That said, we should expect China to undertake economic warfare against the ROK as it did in 2017. This time it is imperative that the US and like minded democracies come to the economic defense of the ROK and continue to call out CHina for its flagrant disregard for the rules-based international order.


Chip 4, '3 Nos' complicate Korea-China ties

The Korea Times · August 2, 2022

gettyimagesbank


Pelosi visit another ticking bomb for bilateral relations

By Kang Seung-woo


Korea is at a critical juncture over its ties with China as it faces increasing pressure to choose a side amid the intensifying Sino-U.S. rivalry, with any decision potentially causing further uncertainties in bilateral relations.


Currently, Korea has been asked to respond to the U.S. invitation by the end of August to participate in the envisaged strategic alliance of four global chip powerhouses that also includes Japan and Taiwan, also known as the Chip 4 or Fab 4, a platform apparently aimed at countering China's growing influence in global supply chains.


In addition, Beijing has urged Seoul to stick to the previous Korean government's commitment to the "Three Nos" policy on the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) deployment, which called for no additional THAAD deployment, no Korean integration into a U.S.-led regional missile defense system and no trilateral alliance with the United States and Japan.


Foreign Minster Park Jin admitted during the first interpellation session of the Yoon Suk-yeol administration at the National Assembly, Monday, that the U.S. had proposed a preliminary conference on the chip alliance.


"We have yet to make a decision on whether to participate in the platform," he said during a session at the National Assembly in Seoul.


"We will consider the issue comprehensively based on national interests."

Chung Jae-hung, a research fellow at the Sejong Institute, said there were thorny issues between Korea and China that may greatly affect their bilateral relations.


"Amid the competition between the U.S. and China, if Korea decides to participate in the Chip 4 alliance, believed (by the Chinese Communist Party to be) an anti-China platform, it may heavily yet negatively affect its ties with China," Chung said.


Kim Han-kwon, a professor at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy, also said there were "increasing challenges to Korea-China relations" as the new Korean administration is seeking to strengthen its alliance with the U.S. amid the hegemonic competition between Washington and Beijing.


The U.S. proposal regarding the semiconductor alliance comes as the chip sector has emerged as a key sector of bilateral cooperation between Korea and the U.S., as highlighted by U.S. President Joe Biden's visit to a Samsung Electronics chip plant which was the first stop on his trip to Korea in May.


"In that respect, uncertainties in Korea-China ties are looming large," Chung said.

As for the Chinese calls regarding the THAAD deployment in Korea, it is also a volatile matter between the neighboring countries.


Last week, the Chinese foreign ministry took issue with THAAD ― a U.S. anti-missile shield. In 2016, Korea and the U.S. decided to deploy the missile defense system on the Korean Peninsula, but China, claiming that the system's radar can be used to spy on Chinese military maneuvers in surrounding airspace and hurts its security interests, insists that the new Korean government continue the Moon Jae-in administration's stance on the issue.


"We still remember vividly that in 2017, the ROK side made a solemn statement on the THAAD issue," China's foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said. The ROK stands for the Republic of Korea, South Korea's official name.


"It played a crucial role in boosting mutual trust and deepening cooperation between the two countries. A commitment made should be a commitment kept despite change of government. When it comes to major sensitive issues concerning the security of its neighbors, the ROK side needs to continue to act prudently and find a fundamental solution to the issues."


However, the Yoon Suk-yeol administration's stance on China's claim is that the Three Nos is just a measure that the Moon Jae-in administration had pursued at the time, not an official policy.


"The Three Nos are not something we had promised to China. As far as I know, the government at the time had only explained it as its position toward China," Park said.


"The Three Nos policy is directly related to our sovereignty, and it should be us making decisions on our own security. It would be hard to accept if China tells us to continue the Three Nos."


In addition, Korean Ambassador to China Chung Jae-ho reiterated the Yoon administration's stance on its ties with China during his appointment ceremony, Monday, that mutual respect is the key principle in their diplomatic relations.


Ever since Korea approved the THAAD deployment, China has been carrying out an economic retaliation campaign by imposing unofficial boycotts on Korean products and enforcing tourism restrictions.


U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, left, shakes hands with Malaysia's Parliamentary Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun during their meeting at the Malaysian Houses of Parliament in Kuala Lumpur, Tuesday. Reuters-Yonhap


Diplomatic observers believe that there is a likelihood of further retaliation from China if the Korean government rejects its call for upholding the Three Nos policy.


"It is hard to predict how China could take retaliatory action against Korea, but Beijing is likely considering how to respond to the Korean government's decision," Chung said.


U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is scheduled to visit Korea later this week and her trip is also something that may impact Korea's ties with China.


"Given that China is responding strongly to Pelosi's envisaged trip to Taiwan, if she takes issue with China's human rights violations and matters linked to Taiwan and urges Korea to express its position on issues against China, it would also affect Korea-China relations," Chung said.



The Korea Times · August 2, 2022



3. No to 'wolf warrior diplomacy'


Just say no - ​아니요 (aniyo)


China should be slammed. Its demands are more than excessive. They infringe on sovereignty and self defense.


No to 'wolf warrior diplomacy'

The Korea Times · August 2, 2022

China slammed for excessive demands on THAAD


China has come under criticism for having asked South Korea to abide by its previous pledge of "Three Nos" regarding the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Wednesday, "South Korea expressed its respectful stance on the THAAD issue in 2017." He added, "A new leader can't turn a blind eye to past debts," calling on Seoul to act with caution in relation to the sensitive issue affecting the security of neighboring countries.


His comment came in response to Foreign Minister Park Jin's statement at the National Assembly on July 25 that the "Three Nos" was just an explanation of the South Korean government's stance on the matter, not a formal agreement between the two countries. The former Moon Jae-in administration said it would neither deploy additional THAAD missiles, nor participate in the missile defense (MD) regime initiated by the United States, nor join the trilateral military alliance with the U.S. and Japan. Such a stance came to prevent China from stepping up its economic retaliation against Seoul's THAAD deployment.


Lijian's remark is entirely improper as it was taken to mean that pressure on the Yoon Suk-yeol administration is continuing so as to keep the promise for the "Three Nos." It is an infringement on the nation's sovereignty. South Korea has its sole right to opt for the THAAD deployment as a military tactic to cope with the threats from North Korea's potential nuclear and missile attacks. Should China earnestly want to see peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and East Asia, it should first proactively persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear development program.​  

If Beijing succeeds in dissuading Pyongyang from its nuclear ambition, there would be no reason for Seoul to seek THAAD deployment. China is not authorized to ask South Korea to stay away from the MD regime and the prospect of a three-way military alliance. China should stop such reckless and rude interventions.


The U.S. said THAAD is a safe and trustworthy defense system being used to protect South Korea's sovereignty from outside aggression. Martin Meiners, a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Defense, said in a press briefing, "Future development of THAAD missiles will be bilaterally agreed." The U.S. State Department also said that the THAAD decision was made for defensive purposes.

​  ​

China has taken flak by installing in Shandong Province a large radar network with a longer detection range than THAAD radars to target the Korean Peninsula and Japan. China's pressuring of South Korea in relation to the THAAD issues is "wolf warrior diplomacy" due to their aggressive foreign policy. Minister Park is set to leave for China soon to discuss bilateral issues including THAAD.

​ ​

He needs to clarify that the THAAD issue cannot be the object of China's pressure and that Seoul is authorized to determine the matter as it wishes. We hope the two nations will mutually respect each other and improve relations for a better future as this year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties.



The Korea Times · August 2, 2022


4. NPT meeting in New York discusses North Korea



​WMD free zones. Reminds me of the argument about gun free zones. Then only the bad guys will have them.


Excerpt:


The members of the conference are expected to continue the discussions on the WMD-free zone in Middle East and North Korea, as well as Iran's nuclear program


Tuesday

August 2, 2022


NPT meeting in New York discusses North Korea

https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/2022/08/02/national/northKorea/korea-north-korea-npt/20220802184932261.html


Deputy Foreign Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs Ham Sang-wook speaks at the 10th NPT review conference at the UN in New York on Monday. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

North Korea is the only country in the world that abused the Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) to develop nuclear weapons, Deputy Foreign Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs Ham Sang-wook said at a UN nonproliferation conference in New York on Monday.  

 

“How we address the nuclear challenges by the DPRK at the NPT will not only serve as a message to the DPRK but will be a litmus test on the viability of the NPT regime itself,” said Ham, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, at the 10th NPT review conference at the UN. 

 

North Korea was a member of the NPT from 1985 to 2003. The country held its first nuclear test in 2006, followed by five more through September 2017.

 

It has ramped up military provocations this year, launching 31 ballistic missiles including an intercontinental ballistic missile in May, and is suspected to be getting ready for its seventh nuclear test.

 

“We urge the DPRK to cease all kinds of provocations, comply with the UN Security Council resolutions, return to fully comply with the NPT, at an early date, and denuclearize in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner,” Ham said. “At the same time, we take this opportunity to make it clear that the door to dialogue remains open.”

 

The use of the phrase “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization,” abbreviated as CVID, was largely avoided during the administration of Moon Jae-in, which called for the North to incrementally dismantle its nuclear weapons arsenal and fissile material processing facilities. 

 

Ham was one of around 130 speakers at the forum, which is held every five years for around four weeks to review the NPT members’ adherence to the treaty. 

 

The conference may result in a joint statement by the members outlining their objectives for the next five years. 

 

The last conference, held in 2015, didn’t produce such a document due to disagreements over the establishment of a zone in the Middle East that would be free of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

 

The conference before that, in 2010, adopted a joint statement that called on North Korea to commit to a “complete and verifiable abandonment of all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs” and urged the country to return to the NPT and adhere to its IAEA safeguards agreement. 

 

The members of the conference are expected to continue the discussions on the WMD-free zone in Middle East and North Korea, as well as Iran's nuclear program, the Ukraine crisis and Russian nuclear threats, and other issues such as the Australia-U.S.-Britain agreement on nuclear submarines.

 

“Now, some have asked about our new partnership with the United Kingdom and Australia, known as AUKUS,” said Antony Blinken, U.S. secretary of state, addressing the conference on Monday. “Through this partnership, Australia will acquire submarines. 

 

“I want to emphasize that these submarines will be nuclear powered, not nuclear armed,” he said. “These will adhere to the highest safety and nonproliferation standards under the NPT. We’re working very closely with the IAEA to make sure that that’s the case.”

 

Blinken directly criticized Russia for violating its assurances to Ukraine years ago when it gave up its nuclear weapons.

 

“[Russia’s] actions are also contrary to the assurances that it provided to Ukraine in 1994 in the so-called Budapest Memorandum, assurances of Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence that were vital to giving Ukraine the confidence to give up the nuclear weapons it inherited when the Soviet Union dissolved and that were left on its territory,” he said. 

 

On Monday in New York, the Korean delegation hosted a forum on the sidelines of the conference on the topic of the North Korean nuclear programs. 

 

“We’re working on issuing a statement with France on North Korean nuclear weapons,” said a Foreign Ministry official in speaking with the press in Seoul on Tuesday. 


BY ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]





5. South Korea condemns North for ‘abusing’ NPT regime, urges to cease provocations


Can we read between the lines here and ask if this is a subtle reference to the South possibly withdrawing from the NPT and developing its own nuclear weapons?


Excerpt:


Ham underscored how the actions NPT members take to deter Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions will be a “litmus test” on the NPT regime’s viability. At the same time, he urged the North to return to dialogue for denuclearization.


South Korea condemns North for ‘abusing’ NPT regime, urges to cease provocations

koreaherald.com · by Jo He-rim · August 2, 2022

By Jo He-rim

Published : Aug 2, 2022 - 13:55 Updated : Aug 2, 2022 - 17:38

Ham Sang-wook, Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs of South Korea‘s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, addresses the 10th Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in New York on Monday.(Yonhap)


South Korea strongly condemned the North for “abusing” the Non-Proliferation Treaty to openly develop nuclear weapons and urged the regime to return to dialogue for complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization during international nuclear arms talks.


Addressing the 10th NPT Review Conference held at the UN headquarters in New York on Monday, Korean Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs of Foreign Ministry Ham Sang-wook said the nonproliferation goal is being challenged amid growing threats from nonmember states and delivered Seoul’s unwavering commitment to strengthening the NPT regime.


“While relentlessly developing nuclear and missile programs, the DPRK has been launching ballistic missiles at an unprecedented frequency, 31 this year alone, in flagrant violation of the UN Security Council resolutions,” Ham Sang-wook, deputy minister for multilateral and global affairs of South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said during the general session. He referred to North Korea by the acronym of its official name, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.


“Furthermore, the DPRK is assessed to be technically ready for yet another nuclear test, which would be its seventh. The DPRK is the only country to abuse the NPT regime and openly develop nuclear weapons.”


Ham underscored how the actions NPT members take to deter Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions will be a “litmus test” on the NPT regime’s viability. At the same time, he urged the North to return to dialogue for denuclearization.


“We urge the DPRK to cease all kinds of provocations, comply with the UN Security Council resolutions, return to fully comply with the NPT at an early date, and denuclearize in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner,” Ham said.


“At the same time, we take this opportunity to make it clear that the door to dialogue remains open.”


North Korea was a state party to the NPT in 1985, but withdrew from the treaty in 2003.


According to an assessment by the intelligence agencies of Seoul and Washington, Pyongyang has completed preparations to conduct its seventh nuclear test. The last nuclear test was in September 2017.


At the review conference, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also expressed concerns about threats posed by North Korea and Iran and stressed the importance of the NPT. The top US diplomat also called out Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, and for engaging in “reckless, dangerous nuclear saber-rattling” to violate multiple international agreements, including the UN Charter.


“And so we come together at a critical moment. The DPRK continues to expand its unlawful nuclear program and continues its ongoing provocations against the region,” Blinken said.


“As we gather today, Pyongyang is preparing to conduct its seventh nuclear test. Iran remains on a path of nuclear escalation.”


Before the conference opened, the US issued a joint ministerial statement with France, Britain and Northern Ireland to condemn Russia and Iran for creating military tension.


”Nuclear weapons, for as long as they exist, should serve defensive purposes, deter aggression, and prevent war,“ the statement reads.


”We condemn those who would use or threaten to use nuclear weapons for military coercion, intimidation, and blackmail. Such actions are profoundly dangerous and contrary to the purposes of the NPT and the UN Charter.”


Criticizing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “unlawful,” the countries called for Russia to stop its “irresponsible and dangerous nuclear rhetoric and behavior” and to adhere to its international commitments.


They also reiterated their commitment to bring ”complete, verifiable and irreversible” dismantlement of North Korea’s nuclear weapons, and urged Pyongyang to cease all of its nuclear tests and ballistic missiles that are banned by multiple UN Security Council resolutions.


On the sidelines of the main session, Korea’s Foreign Ministry hosted “North Korea: Addressing the Nuclear Challenge” at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations in New York, together with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Some 70 people from permanent missions to the UN and delegates to the NPT Review Conferences attended the event. The topics discussed include North Korea’s nuclear and missile development, its domestic and foreign policy, cyber capabilities, and international sanctions imposed against the reclusive regime, according to Seoul’s Foreign Ministry.


By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)



6. S. Korea, Australia to discuss defense cooperation, Indo-Pacific strategy


South. Korea is stepping up as the global pivotal state. Is this helping to lay the groundwork for the possible inclusion of the ROK in the Quad?


S. Korea, Australia to discuss defense cooperation, Indo-Pacific strategy

koreaherald.com · by Ji Da-gyum · August 2, 2022

Two defense chiefs will discuss ways to conduct military exercises ‘more effectively’

By Ji Da-gyum

Published : Aug 2, 2022 - 15:19 Updated : Aug 2, 2022 - 17:37

South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup (right) and Richard Marles, Australia’s deputy prime minister and defense minister, pose for a photo before their talks in Singapore on June 12. (File Photo - Ministry of National Defense)

The South Korean and Australian defense chiefs will discuss a wide range of issues including North Korea, Indo-Pacific strategy and defense cooperation in Canberra this week.


South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup kicked off his first five-day trip to Australia Tuesday at the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Richard Marles.


Lee and Marles are set to meet Thursday and “share an assessment of the security situation on the Korean Peninsula and in the region,” according to a press statement from South Korea’s Defense Ministry.


Indo-Pacific strategy, N. Korea

Lee and Marles will discuss a broad range of issues of mutual interest during the upcoming talks which is being held nearly 50 days after they met in Singapore on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue Asian security summit in June, a senior official -- who requested to remain anonymous — said during a closed-door briefing.


Security cooperation between South Korea and Australia in the Indo-Pacific region will be part of the main agenda, the unnamed official said, adding both sides “have a laundry list of topics for discussion.”


Australia -- whose ties with China have entered a downward spiral -- is the key country in the US’ Indo-Pacific engagement strategy. Australia is part of the US-led, four-member Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, better known as Quad, as well as the AUKUS trilateral security pact.


The bilateral talks on Thursday come after Lee and Marles met US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in Washington in July.


“The meeting will serve as a valuable opportunity for Minister Marles and Minister Lee to have strategic consultation on how to cooperate (in the region) by exchanging views on their visit to the US,” the senior official told reporters.


Lee and Marles are also expected to discuss ways to “conduct existing bilateral and multilateral military exercises more effectively,” the official said, adding the Australian military authorities have made a number of proposals to institutionalize and improve the format of military drills.


South Korea and Australia, for instance, are jointly participating in the Pacific Dragon multilateral ballistic missile defense exercise that kicked off Monday and continues until Aug. 14.


Australia has also a great interest in the Yoon Suk-yeol government’s Indo-Pacific strategy, according to the senior official.


First visit by foreign defense chief

Lee’s visit notably marks the first visit by a foreign defense leader to Australia for a defense ministerial meeting since the inauguration of the country’s Labor Party government on May 21.


Lee will be the fourth defense chief that Marles has personally met for bilateral talks since he took office as defense minister in June, the senior official said. Marles visited India, Japan and the US -- the other three Quad members -- and met his counterparts in June and July.


Against that backdrop, South Korea’s Defense Ministry had concerns over the adverse ramifications of Lee’s visit to Australia in light of an intricate regional dynamic, the senior official admitted.


The two defense chiefs will also exchange views on North Korea issues and discuss how to coordinate in enforcing sanctions on North Korea.


Australia has taken an initiative in supporting international efforts to monitor the implementation of sanctions on North Korea.


The Australian Defense Force has periodically deployed military assets, including naval ships and air force maritime patrol aircraft, for its Operation Argos to monitor and deter illegal ship-to-ship transfers of sanctioned goods.


Defense industrial cooperation

The two defense chiefs will also “discuss cooperation in the fields of defense and the arms industry as a follow-up to agreements made at the South Korea-Australia summit held at the NATO summit in June,” South Korea’s Defense Ministry said in the statement, without further details.


Lee and Marles plan to visit the city of Geelong in the state of Victoria where Hanwha Defense is building a new facility to produce K-9 self-propelled howitzers on Friday and “reaffirmed their commitment to bilateral defense industrial cooperation,” according to South Korea’s Defense Ministry.


Marles proposed the trip to Geelong where he was born and raised. Marles also represents the people of Geelong and surrounding areas as the Federal Member for Corio.


Seoul and Canberra have sought to expand defense cooperation. In December 2021, South Korea and Australia agreed to revive a bilateral memorandum of understanding on defense industrial cooperation which expired in 2011.


At that time, Australia signed a defense contract worth 1 billion Australian dollars ($701 million) with South Korea’s Hanwha Defense for supplying 155mm Nato-compatible K9 self-propelled howitzers. The contract marked the first major defense acquisition by Australia from an Asian country.


Hanwha Defense also seeks to be selected as a preferred bidder for the Australian Army’s LAND 400 Phase 3 project. The project aims to acquire up to 450 infantry fighting vehicles to replace M113 armored personnel carriers which have been in service since the mid-1960s.


South Korea’s Hanwha Defense and Germany’s Rheinmetall have been selected as two shortlisted contenders for the acquisition project. The two completed Risk Mitigation Activity trials -- which assess the capability of vehicles -- in October 2021.


(dagyumji@heraldcorp.com)



7. N. Korea reports no new suspected COVID-19 cases for 4th day: state media


The Propaganda and Agitation Department continues to try to make north Korea and the regime look good. It is good when you can control the narrative with your own facts.


(LEAD) N. Korea reports no new suspected COVID-19 cases for 4th day: state media | Yonhap News Agency

en.yna.co.kr · by 채윤환 · August 2, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with more info from 3rd para)

By Chae Yun-hwan

SEOUL, Aug. 2 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's new suspected COVID-19 cases remained at zero for the fourth consecutive day, according to its state media Tuesday.

No new fever cases were reported over a 24-hour period until 6 p.m. the previous day, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, citing data from the state emergency anti-epidemic headquarters.

It did not provide information on whether additional deaths have been reported. As of July 5, the death toll stood at 74, with the fatality rate at 0.002 percent.

The total number of fever cases from late April to 6 p.m. Monday stood at 4.77 million, of which 99.99 percent had recovered and 95 are being treated, it added.


The KCNA reported that the country's anti-epidemic campaign is being carried out as its "top priority."

"The state emergency anti-epidemic headquarters strictly abides by the state anti-epidemic guidelines to strongly maintain the current anti-epidemic stability and completely eliminate the source of the epidemic spread," it said in an English-language article.

It added that authorities have reinforced testing and quarantine measures at ports, while a new testing guideline for monkeypox has been distributed to anti-epidemic officials at all levels.

Pyongyang disclosed its first COVID-19 case on May 12, after claiming to be coronavirus-free for over two years. The North immediately declared a "maximum emergency" control system and implemented nationwide lockdowns.

yunhwanchae@yna.co.kr

(END)

en.yna.co.kr · by 채윤환 · August 2, 2022


8. New infections at over 3-month high; imported cases at all-time high (South Korea)


Unlike north Korea, being transparent, using facts, and telling the truth can make things look bad.


(2nd LD) New infections at over 3-month high; imported cases at all-time high | Yonhap News Agency

en.yna.co.kr · by 우재연 · August 2, 2022

(ATTN: ADDS more details in 4th para, last para)

SEOUL, Aug. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new COVID-19 cases sharply rose to over 110,000 on Tuesday as a highly infectious omicron variant has fueled a surge of new infections.

The country added 111,789 new COVID-19 infections, including 568 from overseas, bringing the total caseload to 19,932,439, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

Daily cases tend to increase through the mid-week before falling again on weekends and Mondays on fewer tests.

Tuesday's figure jumped from the previous day's 44,689 and also increased from the 99,252 cases reported a week ago, driven by the fast spread of the omicron variant BA.5, which had become dominant among South Korean cases at 66.8 percent as of Tuesday.


Earlier in the day, the country confirmed two more COVID-19 cases of BA.2.75, a new, fast-spreading omicron subvariant, taking the total such cases to nine.

The two people, both fully vaccinated and boosted once, returned to South Korea after visiting India last month. They suffered mild symptoms and are now fully recovered, the KDCA said.

Eased COVID-19 entry rules and a sharp rise in summer travelers led to record numbers of infection cases from overseas. Import cases, which have stayed in the triple digits since June 24, hit an all-time high of 568 on Tuesday.

The highly transmissible omicron variant also caused a fresh wave of hospitalizations, with serious cases reaching the highest levels in nearly three months.

The number of seriously ill COVID-19 patients was 282 on Tuesday, down five cases from a day earlier when the figure rose to the highest after May 18, when the tally stood at 313.

The KDCA reported 16 deaths from COVID-19, raising the death toll to 25,084. The fatality rate was 0.13 percent.

Health authorities said the current wave could peak at around 200,000 infection cases a day, a level that is lower than previously expected and deemed manageable.

The government has said it was not considering reimposing stringent social distancing rules to fight the resurgent virus in a firm resolve to continue to move on from the pandemic and resume normal activities.

For the week ended on July 30, the average daily caseload came in at 79,490, up 31 percent from the previous week. But the reproduction rate decreased 0.25 to 1.29 from a week earlier, according to the KDCA.


jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr

(END)

en.yna.co.kr · by 우재연 · August 2, 2022


9. Stop the game of chicken


Korea is concerned.


Excerpts:


If the balance of power is upset in the strait, it could affect the U.S. Forces in Korea and Japan, and have immense impact on the peace of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia.


The ongoing game of chicken must stop.



Tuesday

August 2, 2022


Stop the game of chicken

https://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/2022/08/02/opinion/editorials/the-US-China-Nancy-Peloci/20220802195942525.html


A tense tug-of-war between the United States and China over U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan sound loud alarms over security in Northeast Asia. She meets Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday. Over U.S. intervention in Taiwan issues, Chinese President Xi Jinping warned U.S. President Joe Biden not to get involved in China’s internal affairs. “Those who play with fire will eventually get burned,” Xi said. Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan reflects the U.S. government’s determination not to yield to pressure from Beijing. Following strong warnings from the Global Times, China’s state-run tabloid, against her visit — and after a straight warning from China’s foreign ministry “not to cross a Maginot Line” — China made public the scene of launching a hypersonic ballistic missile known as the “aircraft carrier-killer.”


Showing its respect to the “One China” policy, the White House made it clear that the U.S. does not support Taiwan’s independence. And yet, America warned China to not exploit Pelosi’s trip to reinforce its military aggressiveness. After a standoff over the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, high technology, trade and democratic values, the conflict simmering between the two countries is being renewed in the Taiwan Strait. It could turn into the worst security crisis since 1996 in the same strait.


A U.S. House Speaker’s visit to Taiwan is not the first time. In 1997, when Newt Gingrich went to Taiwan, the Chinese foreign ministry protested but it didn’t lead to a conflict. At that time, China was bent on raising its power without exposing itself to outside. This time, China is more sensitive to the visit because of Pelosi’s persistent advocacy of human rights and democracy in China. The clash symbolizes the changed U.S.-China power dynamics after China’s dramatic rise over the past 25 years.


Worse, such a tight confrontation will certainly continue. Even mentioning unification of Taiwan through force, Xi Jinping wants to extend his five-year presidential term to the third one in the third National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in October. Biden also can hardly show the image of a weak leader to the anti-China front before the midterm elections in November. He cannot but use strong presidential rhetoric and foreign policy. Depending on the situation, Beijing could order a massive fleet of fighter jets to fly into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone followed by a stern reaction from Uncle Sam.


If the balance of power is upset in the strait, it could affect the U.S. Forces in Korea and Japan, and have immense impact on the peace of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia.


The ongoing game of chicken must stop.


10. NIS director says agency reported investigation requests into ex-spy chiefs to Yoon




NIS director says agency reported investigation requests into ex-spy chiefs to Yoon | Yonhap News Agency

en.yna.co.kr · by 김나영 · August 2, 2022

SEOUL, Aug. 2 (Yonhap) -- The National Intelligence Service (NIS) has reported to President Yoon Suk-yeol that it filed complaints against two of its former chiefs on charges of mishandling controversial incidents involving North Korea, the spy agency's chief was quoted as saying Tuesday.

Early last month, the NIS asked the Supreme Prosecutors Office to investigate Suh Hoon and Park Jie-won, accusing them of mishandling the North's killing of a South Korean fisheries official in 2020 and the 2019 repatriation of North Korean fishermen.

Suh and Park had served as NIS directors from 2017 to 2022 under former President Moon Jae-in.

In a closed-door meeting of the parliamentary intelligence committee on Tuesday, NIS Director Kim Kyou-hyun told lawmakers the agency reported the matter to the president.

But whether Yoon "approved" the investigation request was not confirmed as Rep. Youn Kun-young of the main opposition Democratic Party (DP) claimed Kim said so, while Rep. Yoo Sang-bum of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) said Kim did not use the word.

The NIS director claimed there is no difficulty in sharing intelligence with the United States because of the prosecution's investigation into the cases, as the probe is only focused on suspected violations of domestic laws, the DP lawmaker said.

According to the PPP lawmaker, the NIS director also said the agency is putting in all-out efforts to track Pyongyang's moves under assessment the seventh nuclear test is imminent, though he did not elaborate on the exact timing of the test.


nyway@yna.co.kr

(END)

en.yna.co.kr · by 김나영 · August 2, 2022


11. Blinken reaffirms U.S. commitment to NPT, citing threats posed by N. Korea, Iran


Excerpts:


"This is a critical moment for the NPT," Blinken said while speaking later to reporters in New York.
"It's a challenging one, too, because different parts of this regime are under challenge, and of course, we see that particularly in the area of non-proliferation. One, we have challenges being posed by Iran, by North Korea, and now in different ways by Russia," he added.
Blinken also underscored the need to implement and further strengthen the NPT.
"This has now been enforced for 50 years. It's made a powerful difference to the world in making the world a safer place, making it less dangerous," he said.
"So (in) the next 30 days, the work that's being done here by countries around the world to reaffirm the Non-Proliferation Treaty, to strengthen it, to strengthen each one of its pillars -- disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful use -- is more vital than it's ever been," added Blinken.



(3rd LD) Blinken reaffirms U.S. commitment to NPT, citing threats posed by N. Korea, Iran | Yonhap News Agency

en.yna.co.kr · by 이치동 · August 2, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with S. Korean official's remarks in last paras; CHANGES dateline; ADDS photo)

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, Aug. 1 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken highlighted the importance of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) on Monday, citing threats posed by North Korea and Iran.

The top U.S. diplomat reiterated the world faced a "critical moment" amid fears of a potential North Korean nuclear test.

"And so we come together at a critical moment. The DPRK continues to expand its unlawful nuclear program and continues its ongoing provocations against the region," Blinken said, addressing the 10th NPT Review Conference at the U.N. headquarters in New York.


"As we gather today, Pyongyang is preparing to conduct its seventh nuclear test. Iran remains on a path of nuclear escalation," he added.

DPRK stands for North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Seoul and Washington have said the North appears to have completed "all preparations" for a nuclear test and that it may be only gauging the timing.

Pyongyang conducted its sixth and last nuclear test in September 2017. The reclusive country withdrew from the NPT in January 2003.

Blinken said the U.S. will not use nuclear weapons, unless necessary to defend itself and its allies.

"As long as nuclear weapons exist, the fundamental role of U.S. nuclear weapons is to deter nuclear attacks on the United States, on our allies and partners," he said.

"The United States would only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States and its allies and partners," added Blinken.


He noted the treaty was facing many challenges.

"This is a critical moment for the NPT," Blinken said while speaking later to reporters in New York.

"It's a challenging one, too, because different parts of this regime are under challenge, and of course, we see that particularly in the area of non-proliferation. One, we have challenges being posed by Iran, by North Korea, and now in different ways by Russia," he added.

Blinken also underscored the need to implement and further strengthen the NPT.

"This has now been enforced for 50 years. It's made a powerful difference to the world in making the world a safer place, making it less dangerous," he said.

"So (in) the next 30 days, the work that's being done here by countries around the world to reaffirm the Non-Proliferation Treaty, to strengthen it, to strengthen each one of its pillars -- disarmament, non-proliferation and peaceful use -- is more vital than it's ever been," added Blinken.


Speaking separately at the conference, a senior South Korean official also emphasized the urgency of addressing the North Korea problem, pointing out its continued nuclear and missile programs.

"Another top priority non-proliferation issue is North Korea," Ham Sang-wook, deputy minister for multilateral and global affairs of the foreign ministry, said. "North Korea is the only country openly developing nuclear weapons by misusing the NPT system."

He noted that the North has conducted unprecedentedly frequent ballistic missile launches this year amid reports that it is even preparing for another underground nuclear test.

How to deal with the North's nuclear issue would be a "litmus test" of the sustainability of the NPT mechanism itself, not a mere message to Pyongyang, he added, calling on the regime to halt all kinds of provocations, abide by U.N. resolutions, return fully to the NPT and get its nuclear program denuclearized in a "comprehensive, verifiable and irreversible" way.

(END)

en.yna.co.kr · by 이치동 · August 2, 2022


12. Three soldiers in Yanggang Province beaten by local patrol while trying to steal pork


Is this an indicator of cracks in the three chains of control (military chain, political china, security chain). Could this indicate they are on a path toward the loss of military coherency (one half of the conditions leading to regime instability and collapse).


And of course the question is how bad are conditions within military units? Can the regime sufficiently support all military units or will some type of prioritization. occur? If some military units are "deprioritized" because the regime cannot support them, then we could see a "competition" for resources among the nKPA.


Three soldiers in Yanggang Province beaten by local patrol while trying to steal pork - Daily NK


“The origins of this beating incident can be traced to the poor treatment soldiers receive,” a source told Daily NK

By Kim Chae Hwan - 2022.08.02 4:49pm

dailynk.com · by Kim Chae Hwan · August 2, 2022

A North Korean ballistic missile on display during the country's Victory Day parade in 2013. (Wikimedia Commons)

Three soldiers in Yanggang Province were recently beaten by a local disciplinary patrol while allegedly burglarizing homes to obtain pork to eat on “Victory Day,” a holiday held on July 27 to commemorate the day the Korean War armistice was signed.

According to a Daily NK source in Yanggang Province on Monday, the three soldiers, all with the 10th Corps, suffered the beating in Samsu County during the early morning hours of July 24.

The soldiers were allegedly burglarizing a village in Samsu County to obtain pork for the July 27 holiday when they were caught by a local disciplinary patrol affiliated with the county branch of the Ministry of Social Security. When they resisted, the patrol, which was made up of five veterans of the country’s special forces, beat the soldiers. The alleged burglars were then arrested for theft by local police.

The police investigated the men to determine their names, ranks and unit, not to mention why they were robbing a village. The police then called in the men’s commanding officers to hand them over.

North Korea usually tightens security nationwide in the run up to national holidays or memorials to prevent incidents and other mishaps. To prevent the destruction or theft of state or personal property during this period, the country’s authorities typically mobilize everyone from workers at factories and companies to the Worker-Peasant Red Guards and Ministry of Social Security disciplinary patrols.

Above all, the Ministry of Social Security works hard to crack down on unusual behavior or dangerous movements, bolstering patrols by the police.

One of these patrols appears to have been involved in the recent beating of the soldiers.

Relatedly, the Yanggang Province branch of the Ministry of Social Security has greatly bolstered the number of former special forces soldiers in its disciplinary patrols, tasking them with a variety of public control activities, including efforts to enforce the border closure and interregional travel bans.

Ahead of the July 27 holiday, many of these former special forces soldiers were on crime prevention patrol. One of their patrols appears to have discovered the three soldiers engaging in criminal activity.

“The origins of this beating incident can be traced to the poor treatment soldiers receive,” said the source. “If the government cared just a bit more about giving them supplies for the holiday, the soldiers would not have been robbing a civilian village, nor would they have been beaten by the patrol.”

As news of the beating has spread, an odd sense of tension has emerged between the alleged burglars’ military unit and the county police, the source added.

Please direct any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.

Read in Korean

dailynk.com · by Kim Chae Hwan · August 2, 2022



13. Three soldiers in Hyesan who went AWOL voluntarily return to base


Two recent anecdotes do not equal data. But these indicators bear watching for breakdowns and loss of coherency in the north Korean military.



Three soldiers in Hyesan who went AWOL voluntarily return to base - Daily NK

The 125th Light Infantry Brigade simply investigated the deserters, handing down no punishments, a source told Daily NK


By Kim Chae Hwan - 2022.08.02 4:00pm

dailynk.com · by Kim Chae Hwan · August 2, 2022

FILE PHOTO: North Korean soldiers on a boat in Sinuiju, North Pyongan Province. (Daily NK)

Three soldiers with the 125th Light Infantry Brigade of the Eighth Corps of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) voluntarily returned to their unit after going AWOL around the anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s death on July 8. With the three men returning on their own volition, the military unit has collectively heaved a sigh of relief.

According to a Daily NK source in North Korea on Wednesday, the three soldiers recently returned to base about 20 days after deserting in early July.

While this brought the incident to a conclusion, the military’s security department investigated what the men did during their unapproved leave and why they deserted in the first place.

During the investigation, the three soldiers said they deserted because of hunger and a desire to sleep soundly, if only for a single night. They also cited acts of cruelty by their superiors as a decisive motivating factor for running away from their unit.

According to their testimony, the trio roamed about North Pyongan Province after their defection. Due to tightened crackdowns on interregional travel and accommodations as part of COVID-19 lockdowns, they hid in the mountains during the day and descended into civilian villages during the night to obtain food.

Daily NK’s source said that the three men explained they had returned on their own after one of them said that with the “Victory Day” holiday marking the armistice that ended the Korean War fast approaching on July 27, they would face lighter punishments if they just returned to base.

The 125th Light Infantry Brigade simply investigated the deserters, handing down no punishments, the source said.

Not only that, but the commander of the unit called in the deserters’ direct superior, beseeching him to “take good care” of his men and “never curse or beat them,” he added.

The source explained that as a special forces unit, the 125th Light Infantry Brigade usually hands out harsh punishments to deserters.

“In this case, however, army commanders appear to have chosen to soothe rather than punish them, taking into consideration that they were teenagers who haven’t been in the army that long,” he said.

Daily NK reported in late July that the 125th Light Infantry Brigade had gone into a state of emergency after the three recently recruited soldiers ran away from their posts.

Please direct any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.

Read in Korean

dailynk.com · by Kim Chae Hwan · August 2, 2022




14. A Third Nuclear Age Is Upon Us


In my opinion to north Korea nuclear weapons are weapons. They are weapons to be used. I expect they will use them as an integral capability as they initiate their campaign plan to attack and dominate the South.


Excerpts:


In a prescient 2019 essay, the scholars Nicholas L. Miller and Vipin Narang identified three main components of this new, third nuclear age: “renewed nuclear competition among several great powers” as arms-control agreements fall apart and these countries modernize their arsenals, the “emergence of new nuclear powers” (potentially including both U.S. allies and adversaries), and “a greater tolerance for escalation among existing nuclear powers.” North Korea’s work on tactical nuclear weapons testifies to the second and third dimensions.
This dangerous moment combines the challenges of great powers competing with and seeking to deter one another in the nuclear realm (the hallmark of the first nuclear age) with the challenges of stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons (the focus of the second)—plus destabilizing new weapons systems and vanishing international cooperation to keep any of it in check.
The third nuclear age ushers the world into “truly uncharted waters,” the scholar David Cooper has observed. “Everything we think we know about nuclear weapons—deterrence, coercion, etc. … is based on a very short, finite history from two of the world’s most stable periods: the frozen, bipolar stalemate of the Cold War and then the subsequent … ‘unipolar moment’ of the post–Cold War world where the United States essentially was unrivaled in power.”



A Third Nuclear Age Is Upon Us

North Korea’s moves to develop tactical nuclear weapons show that the slope toward a new era is steepening.

By Uri Friedman

The Atlantic · by Uri Friedman · August 2, 2022

On the brink. That’s how we tend to think of humanity’s predicament during the most dangerous moments of the nuclear era. But as Thomas Schelling, the godfather of nuclear strategy, once pointed out, the phrase is misleading. The nuclear frontier is not “the sharp edge of a cliff where one can stand firmly, look down, and decide whether or not to plunge,” he wrote, but rather “a curved slope that one can stand on with some risk of slipping”—the slope getting steeper and riskier “as one moves toward the chasm.” Now the slope is getting steeper before our eyes.

That’s not just because of the potential for Russian President Vladimir Putin to use nuclear weapons in a desperate effort to avert defeat in Ukraine. It’s also the result of a threat that isn’t making many headlines but that experts are currently concerned about: North Korea’s development of tactical nuclear weapons—less explosive, shorter-range arms designed for use on a battlefield.

North Korea has been pursuing tactical nuclear weapons for many years, but the latest chapter in this story begins in January 2021, when the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, explicitly pledged to build such weapons. Then came Pyongyang’s April 2022 test of a short-range missile expressly intended to be wielded as a tactical nuke, followed by cryptic June military announcements that some analysts interpreted as an indication that Kim is planning to deploy the weapons to his frontline artillery units. North Korea watchers expect the country to conduct its seventh nuclear test any day now, which would most likely be aimed at further honing small warheads that could be mated with shorter-range missiles.

If those predictions bear out, North Korea’s next nuclear test would herald what some scholars have dubbed a “third nuclear age.” The first age was dominated by the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union, the second by post–Cold War dynamics among various emerging and aspiring nuclear-weapons powers.

From the July/August 2022 issue: We have no nuclear strategy

In a prescient 2019 essay, the scholars Nicholas L. Miller and Vipin Narang identified three main components of this new, third nuclear age: “renewed nuclear competition among several great powers” as arms-control agreements fall apart and these countries modernize their arsenals, the “emergence of new nuclear powers” (potentially including both U.S. allies and adversaries), and “a greater tolerance for escalation among existing nuclear powers.” North Korea’s work on tactical nuclear weapons testifies to the second and third dimensions.

This dangerous moment combines the challenges of great powers competing with and seeking to deter one another in the nuclear realm (the hallmark of the first nuclear age) with the challenges of stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons (the focus of the second)—plus destabilizing new weapons systems and vanishing international cooperation to keep any of it in check.

The third nuclear age ushers the world into “truly uncharted waters,” the scholar David Cooper has observed. “Everything we think we know about nuclear weapons—deterrence, coercion, etc. … is based on a very short, finite history from two of the world’s most stable periods: the frozen, bipolar stalemate of the Cold War and then the subsequent … ‘unipolar moment’ of the post–Cold War world where the United States essentially was unrivaled in power.”

Tactical nuclear weapons are often described as “small” nuclear weapons, but that’s something of a contradiction in terms—like saying not to worry about the small asteroid barreling toward your town. The smallness holds only when compared with the kinds of “strategic” nuclear weapons that the U.S. and the Soviet Union threatened to obliterate each other with during the Cold War. Many tactical nuclear weapons in the American and Russian arsenals pack more potential explosive power than the U.S. atomic bomb that killed roughly 70,000 people in Hiroshima, although these explosive yields can be adjusted to lower levels.

After the Cold War, the U.S. scaled back its tactical nuclear weapons amid the triumphalism and diminished security threats of that period. But Russia largely maintained its stockpile, which is currently about nine times the size of America’s.

And as Ankit Panda of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has argued, if North Korea adopts tactical nuclear weapons, it would “manipulate [Schelling’s] slope” and “invite the United States and South Korea to stand on it.” North Korea is already predisposed to use its nuclear weapons early in a conflict with more powerful adversaries. The addition of tactical nukes, given their less destructive nature relative to strategic nukes, would further lower the bar for North Korean use of nuclear weapons. Deploying tactical nukes could involve Kim delegating some authority for command and control of those weapons to lower-ranking military commanders, particularly in wartime, and storing the weapons at more military bases throughout the country—which could significantly increase the risks of nuclear use as a result of accidents or miscalculations.

In, say, a non-nuclear conflict sparked by an act of North Korean aggression, Kim or one of his commanders, operating in the information-distortion field that is North Korea, could mistake a U.S. or South Korean retaliatory attack (or even something mundane, such as a civilian plane nearing North Korean airspace) for a more existential military offensive to wipe out the regime or its nuclear-weapons arsenal. They could respond by firing tactical nuclear weapons at U.S. or South Korean targets, leaving Washington and Seoul unsure about how to respond—particularly given U.S. qualms about again crossing the nuclear threshold and North Korea’s suspected capability to target the U.S. mainland with longer-range nuclear weapons.

North Korea could also deliberately turn to tactical nuclear weapons during an intensifying or stalemated conflict in an effort to spook its enemies and compel them to back down—an “escalate to de-escalate” strategy that the Russian military is thought to embrace.

Eric Schlosser: What if Russia uses nuclear weapons in Ukraine?

The suddenly more real (if still very low-probability) prospect of Russian nuclear use in Ukraine is forcing policy makers, unpracticed in nuclear strategy and planning, to think hard about response options to such a brazen but bounded crossing of the nuclear threshold. In a similar vein, U.S. and allied officials need to proactively craft new policies and strategies for how to deter North Korea from using tactical nuclear weapons—and how to respond should deterrence fail. That could involve, for example, the U.S. and South Korean militaries making their bases less attractive targets for Pyongyang. It could also entail Washington and Seoul shifting their focus from the long-standing but now-quixotic goal of “denuclearizing” North Korea to engaging it in talks aimed at reaching arms-control agreements, reducing the threat that each side perceives from the other, managing crises before they spiral out of control, and mitigating the chances of a nuclear conflict erupting.

Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and the former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev famously declared that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” That reassuring sentiment was affirmed as recently as earlier this year by the five internationally recognized nuclear-weapons states. But in this third nuclear age, the line needs a corollary that recognizes the harsh realities of the times: Some nuclear-weapons states may indeed believe that a nuclear war can be won—and thus that one could be fought.

We often talk about the potential use of nuclear weapons in apocalyptic terms—as an act that would destroy the whole world. But that description of nuclear war as unthinkably horrific is a legacy of the Cold War. Limited use of nuclear weapons—use that could inflict tremendous destruction and shatter international norms but not destroy the world—is unfortunately thinkable. At the very least, it is incumbent upon policy makers to act as if it is thinkable; the very concept of tactical nuclear weapons is, in fact, premised on the idea that limited nuclear war is thinkable. We need to plan for such scenarios—even as we expend every effort to prevent them from materializing.

The Atlantic · by Uri Friedman · August 2, 2022



​15. Hackers using malicious Gmail, Microsoft Edge extension to spy on emails (Suspected north Korea)





Hackers using malicious Gmail, Microsoft Edge extension to spy on emails

bhaskarlive.in · by IANS News


New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) A group of hackers from North Korea is using a malicious Google Chrome or Chromium-based Microsoft Edge extension to spy or user email accounts.

The malicious extension by the hacker group titled ‘SharpTongue’ is capable of stealing email content from Gmail and AOL, according to cybersecurity firm Volexity.

“This actor is believed to be North Korean in origin and is often publicly referred to under the name Kimsuky. The definition of which threat activity comprises Kimsuky is a matter of debate among threat intelligence analysts,” the cybersecurity researchers said in a statement.

SharpTongue is targeting and victimising individuals working for organisations in the United States, Europe and South Korea who work on topics involving North Korea, nuclear issues, weapons systems, and other matters of strategic interest to North Korea.

Within the last year, Volexity has responded to multiple incidents involving SharpTongue and, in most cases, has discovered a malicious Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge extension dubbed as ‘SHARPEXT’.

“Since its discovery, the extension has evolved and is currently at version 3.0, based on the internal versioning system. It supports three web browsers and theft of mail from both Gmail and AOL webmail,” the researchers informed.

By stealing email data in the context of a user’s already-logged-in session, the attack is hidden from the email provider, making detection very challenging.

Similarly, the way in which the extension works means suspicious activity would not be logged in a user’s email “account activity” status page, were they to review it, the cybersecurity firm noted.

–IANS

na/ksk/

bhaskarlive.in · by IANS News



16. North Korea’s missiles to blame for upscaled US-South Korean military drills, South says


It is not just north Korean missiles. It is about maintaining readiness to defend against the full spectrum of north Korean threats from sabotage and subversion, use of cyber in all scenarios, to instability and regime collapse, to a full scale invasion (to include use of WMD) ​of South Korea to try to dominate the peninsula. It is not just about missiles.



North Korea’s missiles to blame for upscaled US-South Korean military drills, South says

Stars and Stripes · by David Choi · August 1, 2022

Rim of the Pacific, a U.S.-led multinational maritime exercise near Hawaii and Southern California, ends Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. It includes the largest-ever fleet of warships sent by South Korea for the monthlong event. (Timothy Hamlin/U.S. Army)


CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — North Korea’s “very fraught” and consistent provocations will strengthen the U.S.-South Korea alliance and a nuclear test from the communist regime will prompt a firm response from Washington and Seoul, according to a weekend statement from the South’s Ministry of Defense.

Following a meeting between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup on Friday, the two defense chiefs “reaffirmed the combined defense commitment” in light of North Korea’s continuous provocations, the statement said.

North Korea has conducted 17 rounds of missile tests so far this year in addition to several artillery drills. North Korea last fired an unprecedented volley of eight short-range missile on June 5, roughly two weeks after Joe Biden’s first presidential trip to South Korea and Japan.

The U.S., Japanese and South Korean militaries have also said in recent weeks that they have compiled evidence suggesting Pyongyang is preparing to conduct a nuclear test, which would be the regime’s first since 2017 and its seventh overall.

Austin and Lee “emphasized a point that the more North Korea provokes, the stronger the [South Korea]-U.S. alliance would be,” the statement said.

“They made it clear that if North Korea carries out its seventh nuclear test despite the opposition of global society, South Korea and the U.S. will firmly work together based on the adamant combined defense posture,” the statement added.

In a separate statement from acting Pentagon Press Secretary Todd Breasseale on Saturday, Austin and Lee were said to have “emphasized the importance of close cooperation and maintaining ‘fight tonight’ readiness to reinforce deterrence in the face of [North Korea’s] destabilizing activities.”

The two leaders agreed that the U.S. and South Korea would expand their upcoming joint military drills in response to the North’s provocations.

South Korea’s military last month announced it would resume large-scale field exercises with the U.S. that were suspended in 2018. Exercise Ulchi Freedom Shield will start late August and run for a week; exercise Freedom Shield will commence the first half of 2023.

In addition to the drills, 11 separate field exercises between U.S. and South Korean troops are scheduled in the coming months, according to the Defense Ministry. Those drills will encompass a variety of unit-level missions, such as constructing bridges and special warfare training.

Meanwhile, a separate large-scale exercise between U.S. and South Korean forces is already underway. Rim of the Pacific, a U.S.-led multinational maritime exercise near Hawaii and Southern California, ends Thursday. The event includes the largest-ever fleet of warships sent by South Korea for the monthlong event.

The U.S., South Korea and Japan on Monday also kicked off Pacific Dragon, a ballistic missile defense exercise off the coast of Hawaii. The drills aim to detect and track simulated ballistic missiles, as well as share that information with allied forces.

The Defense Ministry stressed that the upcoming exercises are defensive in nature.

North Korea’s leadership often bristles at the South’s joint military exercises. In statements published in state-run media outlets, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the Foreign Affairs Ministry describe the drills as a rehearsal for an invasion of its country and threatened the allies with attacks.


Stars and Stripes · by David Choi · August 1, 2022




17.








De Oppresso Liber,

David Maxwell

Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Senior Fellow, Global Peace Foundation

Senior Advisor, Center for Asia Pacific Strategy

Editor, Small Wars Journal

Twitter: @davidmaxwell161

VIDEO "WHEREBY" Link: https://whereby.com/david-maxwell

Phone: 202-573-8647

email: david.maxwell161@gmail.com


V/R
David Maxwell
Senior Fellow
Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Phone: 202-573-8647
Personal Email: david.maxwell161@gmail.com
Web Site: www.fdd.org
Twitter: @davidmaxwell161
Subscribe to FDD’s new podcastForeign Podicy
FDD is a Washington-based nonpartisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.

If you do not read anything else in the 2017 National Security Strategy read this on page 14:

"A democracy is only as resilient as its people. An informed and engaged citizenry is the fundamental requirement for a free and resilient nation. For generations, our society has protected free press, free speech, and free thought. Today, actors such as Russia are using information tools in an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of democracies. Adversaries target media, political processes, financial networks, and personal data. The American public and private sectors must recognize this and work together to defend our way of life. No external threat can be allowed to shake our shared commitment to our values, undermine our system of government, or divide our Nation."

Company Name | Website
Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest  
basicImage