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Thread: "Mass" NK officals defect.

  1. #1
    Idiot Mode [ON] OFF Senior Contributor YellowFever's Avatar
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    "Mass" NK officals defect.

    Translated from an original article here (not my translation)

    Http://segye.com/content/html/2013/1...218006587.html




    70 high-ranking North Korean Officials, including Jang’s former aides, fled to China.

    A senior official related to North Korea’s nuclear arms and slush funds in secret contact with Seoul concerning possible defection

    List of possible defectors includes former ambassador and high-ranking party and military officials.

    Jang is reported to have transferred more than ₩70 million to Kim Jong-nam, the elder half brother of Kim Jong-un.

    A group of about 70 North Koreans-high-ranking party, military officials, and their families-are reported to have fled North Korea into China around the time Jang Song-Taek, former deputy chairman of North Korea’s Military Commission, was executed.

    Some of the group are known to be in touch with South Korean intelligence while they lie low at a safe place in China and decide whether to defect.

    A North Korean officer watches the hunt for Jang Song-Taek’s associates and makes a call to South Korea’s intelligence service, saying he may have some interesting information…

    On December 18th, a source within the South Korean government said, “Jang’s aides, who are concerned about being targeted for a political purge by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the wake of the execution of Jang Song-thaek, as well as some other officials fearing the reign of terror in the North have escaped from Pyongyang to China en masse.” The sources added, “Intelligence authorities (of South Korea) have already identified about seventy North Koreans who fled in recent days.”

    The mass exodus of North Koreans to China, including dignitaries, is highly unusual, presenting fresh challenges to China-North Korea relations as well as inter-Korean ties over the handling of the escapees.

    The sources said, “the group of seventy North Koreans does not count the ordinary North Koreans who may have fled, the list includes a former ambassador who served in multiple European countries and an official who handed over confidential documents containing Pyongyang’s provocation plans.”

    In a November 17th teleconference with military commanders, Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin stated that North Korea is highly likely to make provocations sometime between late January and early March in 2014. The government source said that the minster’s comments were based on the classified documents from the high-ranking North Korean official who spoke with South Korean intelligence.

    Military sources familiar with intelligence on North Korea said, “We know that among the North Korean officials is one who is well aware of how slush funds of the ruling family in North Korea have been run and another heavyweight who is bargaining with the National Intelligence Service (of South Korea) to share a list of Pyongyang-deployed spies in the South and nuclear arms-related information,” adding, “Most of the escaped North Koreans want to defect to South Korea.”

    Another source said, “If one of Jang’s lieutenants want to defect to South Korea, chances are high that he has been in charge of Jang Song-Taek’s secret funds. An official who has handled Jang’s money would not survive in North Korea, since one of the charges Jang faced was corruption.”

    Some lawmakers of the ruling Saenuri Party floated the possibility that Kim Jong-nam, the elder half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, might even decide to seek asylum in the South.

    According to the intelligence agency’s assessment, Jang’s swift execution was triggered by his attempt to make Kim Jong-nam the leader of North Korea rather than his nephew. Jang is known to have sent a total of $70 million to the elder Kim.

    Diplomatic sources said, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has yet to receive any information regarding the flight and possible defection to South Korea of North Korean officials,” adding, “It appears that intelligence authorities will be taking direct control of the situation in the interest of security.”

    In a hurriedly-arranged meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee of the National Assembly, Minister of Unification Ryoo Kihl-jae said, “We need to keep a close watch on the possible defections of Jang’s aides,” adding, “I have no knowledge about the defection of Jang’s aides and a deputy prime minister-level official that has been reported in the media.”

    Translated from a Korean news article.
    Last edited by YellowFever; 23 Dec 13, at 16:50.

  2. #2
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Fight or flight.
    ...

  3. #3
    Idiot Mode [ON] OFF Senior Contributor YellowFever's Avatar
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    I was thinking the same thing.

    I love the members here.

  4. #4
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    This is the headline discussion in the Chinese forums I frequent. Most of the Chinese bloggers seem to care a great deal about Koreans then Japan. Seriously.
    “the misery of being exploited by capitalists is nothing compared to the misery of not being exploited at all” -- Joan Robinson

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by xinhui View Post
    This is the headline discussion in the Chinese forums I frequent. Most of the Chinese bloggers seem to care a great deal about Koreans then Japan. Seriously.
    The Koreans are more fun.

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    From what I'm reading about the make up of the defectors this guy was NOT an immediate threat to Kim s power. He had no military support.

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    In Memoriam Military Professional Minskaya's Avatar
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    I've read that most of Jang's relatives have been rounded up and sent to the gulags. Rather than a coup plot, it seems the main point of friction was over how to divvy up the corruption pie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minskaya View Post
    I've read that most of Jang's relatives have been rounded up and sent to the gulags. Rather than a coup plot, it seems the main point of friction was over how to divvy up the corruption pie.
    So, I think this is the crux to figuring out what's going on inside NK.

    1. Jang was not an immediate threat.
    2. Jang's removal was botched and conducted in unjustifiable haste - mass defections, late recalls, rapid execution before his portfolios could be properly handed over.
    3. Jang's execution was highly unusual - I read some where that an execution of someone from the top tier of leadership has not happened since the Kim Il Sung days.

    This leaves, in my mind, two possibilities:

    A. Jang was an immediate and existential threat to another faction who had to kill him post-haste due to a crisis type power struggle and is now in control of NK, including KJU, whose life is in mortal danger.
    B. KJU is nuts.

    So far I'm not seeing convincing signs of A. This is leading me towards the conclusion that KJU is, for all practical purposes, actually nuts. Earlier last year he removed the military old guard. Now he's purging the civilian side. We cannot depend on him to continue his father and grandfather's stratagems in which regime survival was the ultimate end. We no longer know what his bottom line is and will likely be seeing very destabilizing developments on the Korean peninsula in the next 24 months.

  9. #9
    Officer of Engineers
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    Why are A and B mutually exclusive? KJU could be seeing threats when there is none.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Why are A and B mutually exclusive? KJU could be seeing threats when there is none.
    Col, in that case I think it still counts as B. If it was A, eg, KJU is not in control and someone else is, the NK leadership may still behave rationally towards the outside.

    I'm thinking of the Qing dynasty example where one of Emperor Kangxi's guardian regents knocked off or cowed the others into submission. For Kangxi it was a bad deal but there was still a somewhat rational head of government in charge. In this case I don't see signs of that happening. As far as I can tell, the guardians have been knocked off and their heads are in the back room of the People's Hall, and for all we know Emperor Kim maybe getting his lyre ready for the burning of Pyongyang:

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/12...ng-executions/

    Also, I think I get your point though about KJU being paranoid. However, if his paranoia continues, his state will start dismantling around him. I mean, think about how much damage this hasty execution has done to his money handling mechanisms. I think the conclusion is still the same: bad times are ahead on the peninsula.
    Last edited by citanon; 28 Dec 13, at 01:04.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by YellowFever View Post
    Translated from an original article here (not my translation)

    Http://segye.com/content/html/2013/1...218006587.html




    70 high-ranking North Korean Officials, including Jang’s former aides, fled to China.

    A senior official related to North Korea’s nuclear arms and slush funds in secret contact with Seoul concerning possible defection

    List of possible defectors includes former ambassador and high-ranking party and military officials.

    Jang is reported to have transferred more than ₩70 million to Kim Jong-nam, the elder half brother of Kim Jong-un.

    A group of about 70 North Koreans-high-ranking party, military officials, and their families-are reported to have fled North Korea into China around the time Jang Song-Taek, former deputy chairman of North Korea’s Military Commission, was executed.

    Some of the group are known to be in touch with South Korean intelligence while they lie low at a safe place in China and decide whether to defect.

    A North Korean officer watches the hunt for Jang Song-Taek’s associates and makes a call to South Korea’s intelligence service, saying he may have some interesting information…

    On December 18th, a source within the South Korean government said, “Jang’s aides, who are concerned about being targeted for a political purge by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the wake of the execution of Jang Song-thaek, as well as some other officials fearing the reign of terror in the North have escaped from Pyongyang to China en masse.” The sources added, “Intelligence authorities (of South Korea) have already identified about seventy North Koreans who fled in recent days.”

    The mass exodus of North Koreans to China, including dignitaries, is highly unusual, presenting fresh challenges to China-North Korea relations as well as inter-Korean ties over the handling of the escapees.

    The sources said, “the group of seventy North Koreans does not count the ordinary North Koreans who may have fled, the list includes a former ambassador who served in multiple European countries and an official who handed over confidential documents containing Pyongyang’s provocation plans.”

    In a November 17th teleconference with military commanders, Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin stated that North Korea is highly likely to make provocations sometime between late January and early March in 2014. The government source said that the minster’s comments were based on the classified documents from the high-ranking North Korean official who spoke with South Korean intelligence.

    Military sources familiar with intelligence on North Korea said, “We know that among the North Korean officials is one who is well aware of how slush funds of the ruling family in North Korea have been run and another heavyweight who is bargaining with the National Intelligence Service (of South Korea) to share a list of Pyongyang-deployed spies in the South and nuclear arms-related information,” adding, “Most of the escaped North Koreans want to defect to South Korea.”

    Another source said, “If one of Jang’s lieutenants want to defect to South Korea, chances are high that he has been in charge of Jang Song-Taek’s secret funds. An official who has handled Jang’s money would not survive in North Korea, since one of the charges Jang faced was corruption.”

    Some lawmakers of the ruling Saenuri Party floated the possibility that Kim Jong-nam, the elder half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, might even decide to seek asylum in the South.

    According to the intelligence agency’s assessment, Jang’s swift execution was triggered by his attempt to make Kim Jong-nam the leader of North Korea rather than his nephew. Jang is known to have sent a total of $70 million to the elder Kim.

    Diplomatic sources said, “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has yet to receive any information regarding the flight and possible defection to South Korea of North Korean officials,” adding, “It appears that intelligence authorities will be taking direct control of the situation in the interest of security.”

    In a hurriedly-arranged meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee of the National Assembly, Minister of Unification Ryoo Kihl-jae said, “We need to keep a close watch on the possible defections of Jang’s aides,” adding, “I have no knowledge about the defection of Jang’s aides and a deputy prime minister-level official that has been reported in the media.”

    Translated from a Korean news article.
    Did you translate it yourself or did someone else did the translating? No online translator could have done it or there could have been an English article but I doubt it as the newspaper is not big.
    Another new development is that some of the defectors could have potentially important information regarding the North Korean nuclear program. It's being investigated now from what I hear but most of it's speculation which is undoubtedly inevitable due to the importance of such information. If true then it may mean that the purging of Jang's "faction" was incredibly botched to allow such leaks and/or that it was hastily done.
    As for my personal opinion, it's more likely that they have relatively unimportant information if they have any. From what I have seen, the NK leadership is extremely effective in their goal which is maintaining power. I can't believe that they would make such a careless blunder.

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    Or KJU is not nuts and is just solidifying his hold on the power apparatus. No collective government for KJU, he has to be 100% in control.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inst View Post
    Or KJU is not nuts and is just solidifying his hold on the power apparatus. No collective government for KJU, he has to be 100% in control.
    The manner in which he is consolidating power is what proves he is nuts. Its not who he has killed but the manner in which he killed them and the large number who slipped through the net. If the mass defections are true, it shows that this purge was done in haste. However, if Jang was not a mortal threat to KJU, then the haste is unjustifiable. In other words, he killed his uncle on impulse in a manner that damaged his own power. In my eyes this means he's nuts or so stupid as to make no difference from being nuts for the leader of a country.

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    Tanistry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    When you're dealing with someone so high-up the ladder, they'll have contacts and sources, and especially if you're consolidating power, you need to strike as fast as you can to eliminate the threat, then worry about the clean-up later.

    Consider Wang Lijun; Bo Xilai acted in such a way as to alert Wang Lijun that something big was about to happen; Wang's contacts kept on either disappearing or cutting him off, and it was pretty obvious to Wang that something was going to happen, so he fled to the American consulate. If Bo had tried to eliminate Wang Lijun first, Bo might still have a Politburo seat at the moment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inst View Post
    Tanistry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    When you're dealing with someone so high-up the ladder, they'll have contacts and sources, and especially if you're consolidating power, you need to strike as fast as you can to eliminate the threat, then worry about the clean-up later.

    Consider Wang Lijun; Bo Xilai acted in such a way as to alert Wang Lijun that something big was about to happen; Wang's contacts kept on either disappearing or cutting him off, and it was pretty obvious to Wang that something was going to happen, so he fled to the American consulate. If Bo had tried to eliminate Wang Lijun first, Bo might still have a Politburo seat at the moment.
    I've thought about this but it doesn't add up for Jang for several reasons.

    1. He was not an immediate threat. So far I have not seen any signs that military officers were amongst defectors or those purged this round. No military support = no threat to KJU's power.
    2. Quiet purges have been conducted in NK before. This type of mass defection is unprecedented.
    3. There were clearly better ways to conduct the purge, even if KJU's end goal was to kill Jang. First arrest Jang's aides and place them under investigation. Place Jang under house arrest and investigation. Then place Jang under formal investigation and make him hand over details on his dealings and associations. He will suspect that this is a temporary purge or a soft purge as happened to him 2x before. Recall the officials from abroad and place those within the country under arrest or investigation. Control their movement but kill no one. Allow them to elucidate their dealings and hand over accounts. Make them write self denunciation documents and apologies to the party and the leader. Keep them guessing about their ultimate fate so that they don't escape and risk the lives of their families. Finally when all affairs are in order, then start executing them quietly, one by one, until he's ready for the show trial for Jang. The outcome would have been equally brutal but much more clean and effective for KJU, and this was entirely feasible since Jang had no military support.


    KJU did not take the above route. He went with the brutal+rash+impulsive+stupid route. Now you could be stupid/vile/rash/impulsive as an everyday person without being nuts. Or, as a dictator, you can be any one of the above and not be nuts, but you cannot be the sole dictator of a brutal government with any external and internal pressures and be all of brutal+rash+impulsive+stupid, and not be nuts as far as the outside world is concerned.

    There is just no way to predict what will happen next with KJU in charge. There are no bottom lines or back stops because he is too stupid and impulsive to see and enforce them or to find ways out for himself without totally screwing the pooche. If he was less brutal, wiser and more experienced advisers may be able to check or guide him, but now that he's killed his uncle in this manner he's far too scary and brutal for any such thing to happen. The result is a guy who is entirely inexperienced, impulsive, foolish, facing enormous and complex internal and external pressures, who is completely alone now that he's purged the people who could assist him in dealing with those pressures. Now it may be just a matter of time before either he cracks completely or his government cracks. In other words, the NK leadership is now nuts. Just totally nuts.
    Last edited by citanon; 29 Dec 13, at 23:55.

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