sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

North Korea Update

The second session of North Korean-South Korean military talks is taking place at Panmunjom. North Korea did not roll over and play dead at the Summit at Singapore this summer. A negotiation is underway. That's what the take away from ongoing talks is. Negotiation.

Fox News and several US newspapers published information from “spy agencies” and from commercial satellites about continuing activity at North Korea’s Sanumdong ballistic missile manufacturing complex near Pyongyang. The news outlets reported that there is activity going on at the facility.

Imagery detected new construction. It also detected trucks at the facility. One analyst of commercial imagery judged that the facility is active. 

Sanumdong facility has been assembling missiles for decades and continues to do so, most likely including North Korea’s new liquid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missiles. One of the imaged vehicles could carry a large missile airframe.

The imagery confirms that North Korean weapons factories continue business as usual. 

If satellites image a vehicle at a sensitive complex, such as Sanumdong, it means North Korea wants it to be imaged, for its purposes. In the past, Sanumdong is where North Korea has brought potential customers, including Iranians, to showcase newly made missiles and support equipment. At times, it has hung huge tarps to deny imagery of whatever was in the display area. 

Chairman Kim has not agreed to disarm or to stop making and selling North Korean military equipment. The imagery of Sanumdong conveys that message, just as the commercial imagery of the dismantling of the Sohae rocket engine test site conveys a different message. The press reports help ensure that Chairman Kim’s message gets wide dissemination.

In dealing with North Korea, deception is presumed. The North Koreans are practiced masters of showing the false, hiding the real and reinforcing mistaken perceptions and judgments. They consider deception a force multiplier, not just a national strategic security program. All branches of deception are always at work all the time, especially when its leaders are behaving well.

Over the years, satellites and other sources of imagery occasionally have detected military surprises in North Korea. Most often, the important challenge is to determine why North Korea would want a target or set of targets to be seen by the US. 

In this case, the imagery of continuity in missile production makes the imagery of dismantling at the engine test stand more vivid and, arguably, more persuasive. At this point, North Korea has agreed to suspend testing and to dismantle two sites. 

Imagery confirms the dismantlings and that everything else continues as before.

8 comments:

  1. We were listening to this on Fox News. All doom and gloom and get ready to blow them away.

    Appreciate your take on events. Thank you.

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    1. There is a negotiation underway and until something is off the table, they'll do what they do. The Norks have two ways of earning money: (1) exporting coal mined by slaves; (2) selling weapons to rogue regimes.

      The Norks did what they said they would do. They are waiting for us to give them an olive branch and it will be a give and take situation that will last many years for them.

      Remember, if there is free travel across north and south, none of their people would EVER return.

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  2. "The North Koreans are practiced masters of showing the false, hiding the real and reinforcing mistaken perceptions and judgments."

    Hmm. Much like our own leftist media. Because Trump.

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    1. Yes, that is the case. Maybe if we pulled the ugly masks from the faces of CNN anchors, we'd find North Koreans. And if the masks don't come off easily, we may need to tug and cut.

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  3. Keep our guard up at all times! Many people more knowledgeable than I can't predict which way the fat rat bastard will jump or when/if the other rats turn on him.

    Many think we were able to sabotage the USSR's missiles and that is why Gorbachev made peace moves. Now we have another President with balls, can we do the same to the Norks?

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    1. China has its paw in all of this. Never forget that part of the dynamic.

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  4. If satellites image a vehicle at a sensitive complex, such as Sanumdong, it means North Korea wants it to be imaged, for its purposes.

    People really need to internalize this. Everybody who needs to know can tell you to the second when they're visible to what satellite. If the photos are getting around Kim wants them to.

    By extension, if it's on the news, it's there to get a reaction from viewers. Perhaps not just eyeballs or clicks. Perhaps pressure your congress critter.

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    1. Congress enjoys something like a 9% approval rating in the US. ISIS, the Black Panthers, MS-13 and the American Nazi Party enjoy higher approval ratings. With cause.

      There are a few who get it. Many like Maxine Waters, Hank Johnson (the guy that thought Guam would capsize), Nancy Pelosi (the leader) and so forth, have no clue. Nancy Pelosi thought that if we cut the grass on the desert, it would turn back the tide of illegals...and she said it in front of a camera.

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