Small Wars Journal

06/06/2021 News & Commentary – Korea

Sun, 06/06/2021 - 12:45pm

News & commentary by Dave Maxwell. Edited and published by Daniel Riggs.

1. Putin calls for guaranteeing N. Korea's security to resolve nuclear quandary

2. Unification minister calls for 'maximum flexibility' on joint military exercises with U.S.

3. Calls intensify for Biden administration to help save former Marine's life

4. N. Korea accuses Israel of turning Gaza into 'human slaughterhouse'

5. Ex-N.K. admiral responsible for Yeonpyeong naval skirmishes dies

6. President Moon's quiet, effective leadership

7. South Korea to Accelerate Space Program, Expand U.S. Cooperation

8. Moon vows to reform military, rid it of 'backward culture'

9. Investigation into deadly helicopter crash ends without indictment (South Korea)

10. Pound-foolish procurement robs super soldiers of superpower (South Korea)

11. BTS moment for Korea-US alliance and tasks ahead


1. Putin calls for guaranteeing N. Korea's security to resolve nuclear quandary · by 김승연 · June 5, 2021

Nice thoughts Vlad, but...

But the Koreans are shrewd students of world affairs. The Kim family regime recalls the Ukraine example when, in return for giving up its nuclear weapons, Russia and the US guaranteed its security. It looks at what happened in 2014 in Crimea/Ukraine. Russian and the US both reneged on their "security guarantee" - Russia by invading/annexing Crimea and the US by not coming to the aid of Ukraine to ensure its security. This example likely made a stronger imprint on the Kim family regime mind than the "Libya model," though that example is used more often.

We should keep in mind what is a security guarantee for the Kim family regime. First and foremost it is about the security of the regime, not the security of the Korean people living in the north.

"Only by ensuring the security of its people, and with patience and a careful approach, should we be able to resolve this problem," he said.

Second, it is not about written or verbal guarantees or promises or even an end of war declaration or peace treaty. It requires physical action for the regime to trust in such a security guarantee. Unfortunately for the ROK/US alliance that physical action means an end of the ROK/US alliance, removal of US troops from Korea, and the. end to extended deterrence and the nuclear umbrella over the ROK and Japan. 

This kind of security guarantee is also required for proof the US has ended its hostile policy toward the regime. But what we really need to understand if the nature, objectives, and strategy of the regime. It is using an end of war declaration, a peace agreement, an end of the US hostile policy as part of its political warfare strategy and supported by blackmail diplomacy to create the conditions to ultimately unify the Korean peninsula under the rule of the Guerrilla Dynasty and Gulag State.  

We should not be duped by the recent announcement about the new Workers Party of Korea rules that omit that the regime no longer seeks unification through revolution.

Do we believe that Kim Jong-un has abandoned the seven decades old strategy of subversion, coercion-extortion (blackmail diplomacy), and use of force to achieve unification dominated by the Guerrilla Dynasty and Gulag State in order to ensure the survival of the mafia like crime family cult known as Kim family regime?

In support of that strategy do we believe that Kim Jong-un has abandoned the objective to split the ROK/US Alliance and get US forces off the peninsula? Has KJU given up his divide to conquer strategy - divide the alliance to conquer the ROK?

Show me the evidence to answer the above questions in the affirmative.

The answers to these questions should guide us to the strategy to solve the "Korea question" (para 60 of the Armistice) and lead to the only acceptable durable political arrangement: A secure, stable, economically vibrant, non-nuclear Korean peninsula unified under a liberal constitutional form of government with respect for individual liberty, the rule of law, and human rights, determined by the Korean people.  In short, a United Republic of Korea (UROK)

The root of all problems in Korea is the existence of the most evil mafia- like crime family cult known as the Kim family regime that has the objective of dominating the Korean Peninsula under the rule of the Guerrilla Dynasty and Gulag State. 

But I digress. Putin's proposal is simply in support of the regime's political warfare strategy and not a serious path to denuclearization. 


2. Unification minister calls for 'maximum flexibility' on joint military exercises with U.S. · by 장재순 · June 6, 2021

The Unification Minister does not understand deterrence and defense and the absolute necessity to maintain sufficient readiness to ensure the security of the ROK and protect US interests.

I have to through the BS flag on this statement:

"But one obvious thing is that combined exercises should never work in a way that causes or further escalates tensions on the Korean Peninsula," he said. "Our government should carry out a policy coordination process with maximum flexibility, and I also hope North Korea will show flexibility."

North Korea has long denounced joint military drills between the U.S. and the South as a rehearsal for invasion. In recent years, Seoul and Washington have called off or scaled back some of the drills due in part to the pandemic and also as part of efforts to give diplomacy more of a chance.

It is not the combined exercises that further escalates tensions. It is the actions and rhetoric of the Kim family regime. The Unification Minister's line of thinking is dangerous for the alliance. The Moon administration really needs to muzzle him because he is going to undo all the good that was achieved at the Biden-Moon summit.

Note the second part of the above excerpt: we have called off or scaled back exercises in the past 3 years and there has been no reciprocity from the north. In fact, during that period the north conduct more than 20 missile and rocket tests, a number of which are only intended to support the north Korea offensive by attacking what the regime calls the "fat target" of Camp Humphreys, Osan Air Base, and Cheongju Air Base (where the ROK F-35s are based). The north continues to develop offensive warfighting capabilities to support its campaign plan to unify the peninsula by force.  Failing to train the ROK/US combined military force puts the security of the ROK and US strategic interests at great risk.


3. Calls intensify for Biden administration to help save former Marine's life · by Eric Shawn

I do not know why Trump did not take care of this while he was president. Couldn't this have been covered by some kind of "pardon" that would prevent his extradition?

We should be under no illusion that if he is extradited to Spain and is tried and convicted he will be vulnerable to assassination by the north in public or in prison. And perhaps, even worse, he might be further extradited to north Korea by Spain.  

But this is the key point for our Korea team at State and the NSC:

“Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Lulejian argued that the Warmbier's plea should have no bearing on the extradition proceedings.

"While the United States empathizes with the Warmbiers and the tragic loss of their son, it must object to any attempt to expand these court proceedings – to which North Korea is not a party -- beyond their statutorily prescribed scope," he wrote in response.

He said it is up to the State Department to deny the extradition and argued that it should not be "denied on humanitarian grounds." Lulejian disputed the claims that Ahn would be in danger in Spain, and cited treaty obligations as the reason to uphold the extradition request.

Are we going to take the right humanitarian action or are there voices trying to influence this decision by arguing that by allowing him to be extradited it will somehow contribute to denuclearization negotiations. I know no one on our Korea team believes that but I am sure there are some who would like to keep this out of the news. My recommendation is to just rip the bandage off the wound right now. It will make some headlines. The regime will spew its usual rhetoric and then it will blow over. It can actually help reinforce that we are concerned with human rights and that we will not be a victim of blackmail diplomacy. The we allow this hanging chad to persist the more the north believes that its political warfare strategy and blackmail diplomacy is working. We need to explain to our Spanish allies that going through with our extradition and their trial will only embolden the regime and make it believe it has power and influence internationally. The regime will double down on its blackmail diplomacy because it will assess nations are afraid of the regime.


4.  N. Korea accuses Israel of turning Gaza into 'human slaughterhouse'

Israel Hayom · by Neta Bar and ILH Staff · June 6, 2021

The Kim family regime thinks it can be an international player. But this is a fascinating reaction to the regime's statement. Everyone recognizes the hypocrisy of the Kim family regime.

Reactions to the post were diverse, with one user in Ramallah tweeting: "North Korea is not an ally Palestine wants or needs. I'm so confused. I don't know whether to thank North Korea for condemning Israel or feel sick by their hypocrisy in writing such a thing when they themselves are perpetrating crimes."


5.  Ex-N.K. admiral responsible for Yeonpyeong naval skirmishes dies · by 장재순 · June 6, 2021

RIP. (not!)


6. President Moon's quiet, effective leadership

The Korea Times · by Arthur I. Cyr · June 6, 2021

Hmmm.... Did Professor Cyr write this using South Korean press releases and talking points?

I mean, come on. This?

“As a youth, Moon was imprisoned for political activism. Later, he became a human rights lawyer. He also served in the Republic of Korea army special forces, and saw action in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) along the 38th Parallel.”

He might explain that as a "human rights lawyer" he has never taken any action regarding human rights for Koreans in the north. The only human rights he has focused on are connected to the democracy movement of the 1980s and shaping the narrative of that period. And saw "action" in the DMZ?  He was a support soldier in the Special Warfare Command, not an actual operator. 

But what the professor overlooks the real issue. President Moon's peace agenda and his vision that Kim Jong-un actually supports peace and reconciliation is dangerous and wrong. He is willing to give concessions to the regime which will weaken the security of the ROK and further embolden Kim Jong-un to conduct political warfare and blackmail diplomacy while developing the military capabilities to unify the peninsula by force when the conditions to do so are sufficient.


7. South Korea to Accelerate Space Program, Expand U.S. Cooperation

Bloomberg · by Jeong-Ho Lee · June 6, 2021


8. Moon vows to reform military, rid it of 'backward culture' · by Esther Chung · June 6, 2021


9. Investigation into deadly helicopter crash ends without indictment · by Michael Lee · June 6, 2021


10. Pound-foolish procurement robs super soldiers of superpower · by Park Yong-Han and Michael Lee · June 6, 2021

I wonder about the similarities between the Korean and US programs in this area. Is there any collaboration?


11. BTS moment for Korea-US alliance and tasks ahead

The Korea Times · by Kim Won-soo · June 6, 2021

A very interesting interpretation of the summit and the future of the alliance.

Here are the three reasons why I think it was a diplomatic BTS moment.

The first, B, stands for "bold." 

The second, T, stands for "tough."

The third, S, stands for "surprising."




“Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely ... I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory! Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”

- General Dwight Eisenhower, in a message to troops before Normandy


​“All that remained on the beach was some sniping and artillery fire, and the occasional startling blast of a mine geysering brown sand into the air … That plus the bodies of soldiers lying in rows covered with blankets, the toes of their shoes sticking up in a line as though on drill. And other bodies, uncollected, still sprawling grotesquely in the sand or half hidden by the high grass beyond the beach. That plus an intense, grim determination of work-weary men to get this chaotic beach organised and get all the vital supplies and the reinforcements moving more rapidly over it from the stacked-up ships standing in droves out to sea. Now that it is over it seems to me a pure miracle that we ever took the beach at all.”

- Ernie Pyle, D-Day column, excerpts from ‘Ernie’s War: The Best of Ernie Pyle’s World War II Dispatches’

Categories: News