North Korea lethality adapts and grows. Bruce Bechtol, author, “North Korea and Regional Security in the Kim Jung-Un Era.” @GordoGChang

Aug 24, 2017, 03:52 AM

08-23-2017 (Photo: Korean War: America's Forgotten War | SOFREP. >) http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/contact http://JohnBatchelorShow.com/schedules Twitter: @BatchelorShow

North Korea lethality adapts and grows. Bruce Bechtol, author, “North Korea and Regional Security in the Kim Jung-Un Era.” @GordoGChang

(CNN)Newly released photos appear to reveal unexpected advances in North Korea's missile program, experts say, including a previously unseen type of projectile. On Wednesday, North Korean state media KCNA announced leader Kim Jong Un had visited the country's Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Sciences. "He instructed the institute to produce more solid-fuel rocket engines and rocket warhead tips by further expanding engine production process," the statement said. But it was the photos of the inspection released by state media which missile analysts seized upon immediately. "This is the North Koreans showing us, or at least portraying, that their solid-fuel missile program is improving at a steady rate," David Schmerler, research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey's James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, told CNN.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/23/asia/north-korea-missile-program-photos/index.html


Authorities in North Korea are engaging in a new round of changing the composition and names of state-run commercial enterprises to circumvent new sanctions imposed by the United Nations earlier this year as punishment for missile launches and nuclear tests, sources inside the country said. Since July, authorities have been dividing up state-run trade organizations cited on international sanctions blacklists, giving them new names, and putting them under the nominal ownership of individuals, they said. Trade enterprises that engage in business activities abroad and generate much-needed foreign currency for the isolated regime are being broken down into smaller firms, a source in the country’s capital Pyongyang said, citing an executive officer at a trade group as the source. “The main reason the state has decided to enforce the system is to avoid sanctions against it,” the source, who requested anonymity, told RFA’s Korean Service. Large trading firms, such as the Daeheung General Bureau, Geumgang General Bureau, and Kyonghung Guidance Bureau under Office No. 39 of the ruling Korean Workers’ Party, have been divided into small “private” companies, he said. The U.S. Treasury Department has described Office No. 39, which is believed to be under the direct control of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un, as “a secretive branch of the government … that provides critical support to [the] North Korean leadership in part through engaging in illicit economic activities and managing slush funds and generating revenues for the leadership.” In a statement issued in November 2010, the U.S. government cited Korea Daesong Bank and Korea Daesong General Trading Corporation as “key components of Office 39’s financial network supporting North Korea's illicit and dangerous activities." Daesong General Bureau’s crude steel firm, for instance, has been split into many private companies, he said. But the companies that operate in China’s special administrative region Macau, where the bureau’s crude steel company is located, continues to do business in the name of the parent firm, the source said. The Kyonghung Guidance Bureau has a business partner in Guangzhou, a sprawling Chinese port city northwest of Hong Kong on the Pearl River, and runs a port-themed restaurant and store to generate foreign currency for the North Korean government, he said. The organization also operates the Daedonggang Store and Kyonghung Store in Pyongyang that mainly carry products imported from China, North Korea’s most important trade partner, he said. “I wonder how they will conduct business if they are split into ‘private’ companies,” the source said. 'Sneaky' business ...