North Korea Government

Family's pain 'has never gone away.' Japanese abducted by North Korea in spotlight as Trump visits Japan

Los Angeles Times

When tales of young couples being snatched off beaches by North Korean agents first began to circulate around Japan in the late 1970s, they were dismissed by most Japanese as conspiracy theory paranoia. But as years went by, evidence mounted that North Korea had in fact engaged in a systematic program of abductions to obtain instructors in Japanese language and culture for its spies. North Korea long denied such claims, but in 2002, when then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made his historic visit to Pyongyang, then-North Korean leader Kim Jong Il took Japan by surprise by admitting 13 Japanese had been abducted. Kim apologized, blaming rogue special forces "on a reckless quest for glory." Among the surprised was the family of Megumi Yokota, a schoolgirl snatched while walking home from a badminton lesson in Niigata, on the Sea of Japan coast, in November 1977.

How Trump can destroy Kim Jong Un's nukes without blowing up the world


This is the argument in a new book, Striking Power: How Cyber, Robots, and Space Weapons Change the Rules of War, by international law professors John Yoo (University of California, Berkeley) and Jeremy Rabkin (George Mason University). We're moving away from an era of mass production, mass media and mass markets, and into an era when products, media, markets and everything else are hyper-targeted and highly personalized. World War I was the first mass-market war, as reflected in its grim statistics: the Allies lost 5 million killed, 12.8 million wounded; the Central Powers lost 8.5 million killed, 21 million wounded. If the U.S. plays it smart, it will move out of the atomic age of war and into the AI age of war, and render Kim's nuclear ambitions meaningless.

Elon Musk thinks AI is a bigger threat than North Korea


But according to Elon Musk, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) poses a much greater threat to humanity than Kim Jong-un's belligerent regime in Pyongyang. The Tesla and SpaceX chief executive has long warned of the dangers of AI and issued his latest opinion after a bot from OpenAI defeated some of the world's best players in in a professional gaming competition. Musk has previously urged governors to legislate for safe uses of AI, stating that robots could replace humans in any kind of job and could be incentivized to harm humans. Musk shot back that Zuckerberg's understanding of the subject was "limited."

People are far more likely to be killed by artificial intelligence than nuclear war with North Korea, warns Elon Musk

The Independent

"Biggest impediment to recognizing AI danger are those so convinced of their own intelligence they can't imagine anyone doing what they can't." Mr Musk has spoken out about the potential dangers of AI on numerous occasions, and recently engaged in a war of words with Mark Zuckerberg, who has a very different outlook to him. After Mr Musk called AI "a fundamental existential risk for human civilisation", the Facebook founder branded his views as "negative" and "pretty irresponsible". "Because I think by the time we are reactive in AI regulation, it's too late."

You, Too, Can Analyze North Korea's Missile Capabilities--With Physics and Video


Every time North Korea launches a missile, experts pore over photographs and videos to learn more about the country's weapons capabilities. If you know the video scale and the frame rate, you can determine the position-time data for a moving object. North Korea identified the missile as the Hwasong-14, which is believed to have a length of 18 meters (although it could be 16). If you know the camera's angular field of view, you could estimate the missile's altitude.

As the world focuses on its nuclear ambitions, North Korea deploys another weapon: Drones

Los Angeles Times

The U.S. missile system, known as THAAD, is designed to stop the North from striking southern parts of South Korea with mid-range missiles. A U.N. panel of experts recently investigated North Korean drone flights and concluded that one likely was made in China. What's the point, the lawmaker asked, of spending roughly $35 billion annually on South Korean defense "when our radar can't detect small drones?" South Korea's military scrambles after unidentified object detected in airspace, renewing North Korean concerns South Korea's president to meet President Trump this week amid grave concerns over North Korea We went to North Korea.

South Korea opened fire at tense border zone. Turns out incursion was North Korean balloons

Los Angeles Times

The slow-moving, unidentified object flying over South Korea's border on Tuesday afternoon caused so much concern that soldiers issued loudspeaker warnings and ultimately fired more than 90 machine gun rounds in the air. What first seemed like a provocative North Korean military incursion -- perhaps a drone flight over the two countries' highly secured border -- turned out to be much more innocuous, the South Korean military said Wednesday. South Korean military officials, closely allied with American forces, said Wednesday that their troops hadn't overreacted to the potential provocation, which to them was reminiscent of a drone flight 18 months ago by the North that also prompted gunfire. The council Monday issued a strong statement of condemnation, saying more potential sanctions against the North Korean regime might be coming.

War With North Korea? US Sending Attack Drone To South Korea

International Business Times

In order to counter the growing nuclear threat from North Korea in the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. is expected to deploy an unmanned aircraft system to South Korea, Yonhap News Agency reported Monday, citing a Seoul military official. The attack drone will be deployed to strengthen strike capabilities against ground targets in the North, the official told the South Korean news agency. Also on Monday, South Korean air force said that it had begun a week-long drill named "Soaring Eagle" to practice the country's readiness against any possible threat from its northern neighbor. The reclusive country said that the launches were a part of exercises targeting U.S. military bases in Japan.

China Bans Web Searches For 'Fatty Kim The Third'

Huffington Post

Websites have officially blocked searches using the term "Fatty Kim The Third," a disparaging but popular term for the North Korean dictator, according to Reuters. For some reason, North Korean officials found the term offensive. However, "Kim Fat Fat Fat" still brings up results, according to the Associated Press. However, a rather dubious teacher's guide sent to North Korean schools last year claims that nicknames like "Fatty Kim The Third" or even "Kim Fat Fat Fat" ignore what an extraordinary person Kim is.

U.N. votes for Japan co-drafted resolution slamming North Korea for diverting dire food funds to arms programs

The Japan Times

The U.N.'s new rights expert on North Korea, Argentine Tomas Quintana, is In an unusual move, the General Assembly's human rights committee approved Tuesday's resolution sponsored by Japan and the European Union without a vote despite North Korea's vehement opposition. North Korean Counselor Ri Song Chol told the committee before the vote that his government totally rejects the resolution as "full of lies, fabrications," calling it "an illegal and unlawful document, a plot, which is not worth … consideration." The draft resolution expresses "very serious concern" at continuing reports of North Korean human rights violations including torture, rape, public executions, arbitrary executions, severe restrictions on freedom of religion, expression and peaceful assembly, and the absence of due process and the rule of law. Japan's Bessho said North Korea continues to divert its limited resources to develop weapons of mass destruction in spite of the "dire humanitarian situation" in the country, where a U.N. report said 18 million of the country's 24.9 million people need assistance.