The International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency, begins its annual meeting today. Last week, the head of the Agency, Yukiya Amano, warned that North Korea is still not allowing inspectors into its’ nuclear facilities. North Korean allies, and beneficiaries of the North’s nuclear technologies, Iran and Syria are also foci of attention for the IAEA.
A North Korean military manual, smuggled out of the DPRK, was published by newspapers from the South this weekend. The manual gives valuable insight into the camouflage and stealth techniques the North’s military uses to hide the true scope of its destructive tools. It also demonstrates a clear concern with defense against electronic warfare. International Crisis Group analyst Daniel Pinkston elaborates”
“This is maybe a little bit surprising but there’s a clear awareness early on in the document about the importance of electronics, communications systems, information, computers and how it affects command and control. There’s a recognition if your command and control is impaired, then it has a serious impact on your ability to conduct military operations,” he said.
Pinkston says the classified manual was likely distributed to commanders and other high-level military specialists concerned with electronic warfare.
Meanwhile, former Japanese Defense Minister Yuriko Koike speculates that Kim Jong-Il’s sister, Kim Kyoung-Hui, is throwing her own hat into the proverbial ring girdling the succession of her ailing brother’s power. The First Aunt, although controlling little to no military influence in a thoroughly martial government, is much better known to the populace than her nephew, supposed heir-apparent Kim Jong-Un.
“Kim Kyong-hui’s intent to exercise power after her brother’s (Kim Jong-il) death is supported by rumors she helped arrange a traffic accident in June that killed Ri Je-gang, a senior party official and perceived guardian of Kim Jong-un who reportedly attempted to oust Kim Kyong-hui and her allies from power,” Koike said.
Kim Kyoung-Hui is one of the few relatives trusted by the Dear Leader, being praised publicly in a land devoid of reliable heroes. With the cult of personality surrounding the Kim family, it will be interesting to see what happens in the upcoming party assembly, apparently still scheduled to take place. At some time.
- US to keep pressuring Iran over nuclear program(Yahoo News/AP)
- Iran, North Korea and Israel in nuclear spotlight at IAEA(CNN)
- Secret manual gives glimpse of North Korean military tactics(VOA News)
- Speculation on North Korea mushrooms(Korea Times)
- N. Korea may hold rare party meeting this month: state media(Yahoo News/AFP)