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South Korean DongA news reports Kim Jong-un observed in Wonsan, NK

Channel A News reported in an exclusive that Kim Jong Un has been observed walking around in the Wonsan area without assistance. They believe he's been there for at least four days between the 15 and 20 April.

Relying on two unidentified South Korean government and military related sources, The Channel A report indicated they got this information from an unidentified US administration source:

(Source- Channel A News 4.23, youtube upload)

Analysts speculated that he was there to avoid risk of covid 19 infection in Pyongyang. The image shown above appears to be from a file video. The related DongA newspaper exclusive report says that US analysts made this assessment based on electronic and imagery analysis.* DongA media owns Channel A news. According the Donga.com report, the US source said Kim Jong-un's health status was subject to further consideration by analysts.

*[단독] 美당국자 “김정은 원산서 걷는 모습 포착”
워싱턴=김정안 특파원 , 한상준 기자 , 황인찬 기자 , 도쿄=박형준 특파원입력 2020-04-24 03:00수정 2020-04-24 03:30

South Korea's Supreme Prosecutor embroiled in family corruption scandals

Is Yoon Seok-yeol obstructing prosecution of Na Kyung-won?

눈치 (noon chi) tact; sense; wits. An ability to understand and know someone's mind or situation even though they have said nothing. Naver Korean-English Dictionary.

(Source- Hankyoreh "Hardboil" broadcast 3.15 citing MBS Straight 2.9) Conservative leader Na Kyung-won (center) and husband, Judge Kim Jae-ho, (left). Did the latter play an improper role in delaying the prosecution of a fraud trial related to Chief Prosecutor Yoon Seok-yeol's family?

The influence peddling, abuse of process, nepotism and payola surrounding Na Kyung-won and her daughter related to the Paralympic Korea organization subsidized by the South Korean Ministry of Sports and Culture has been the subject of multiple complaints with prosecution offices filed by a civic interest group. Na Kyung-won, former Libery Korea Party* Assembly floor leader, chaired the Paralympic organization. Her daughter was selected as a director and representative by the Paralympic organization as alleged by Ahn Jin-geol, head of the People's Livelihood Research Institute. There are the related improprieties of Na's daughter being admitted to college through the influence peddling emanating through the Paralympics organizing commmittee. A Paralympics production design contract was directed to the college instructor who was responsible for Na's daughter being admitted to college. Beyond this, Na, the Assembly floor leader of the opposition Liberty Korea Party* (LKP), along with party leader Hwang Kyo-ahn, led a number of unlawful disorderly obstructions of National Assembly proceedings in April 2019, and also earlier this year, related to special legislation including prosecutorial reform measures. These and fast track electoral reform measures were opposed by the LKP. Batteries were committed by the LKP at one point or another on other members of the Assembly and the Speaker of the Assembly. These incidents were referred for investigation and prosecution. None of these complaints has resulted in a single prosecution. It seems that among other right wing politicians, Na Kyung-won is above the law. Why is this?

*The right wing opposition Liberty Party Korea is now known at the Mirae Tonghap Dang, United Future Party.

(Source- Hankyoreh "Hardboil" broadcast 3.15 ) Yoon Seok-yeol, appointed to the Supreme Prosecutor's Office in July 2019 by President Moon Jae-in.

A daily series of unprofessional leaks from the prosecution office after Yoon Seok-yeol's appointment as Supreme Prosecutor concerning the investigation of the family of the former Justice Minister Cho-guk, cause one to wonder whether Yoon is on the same page of music as the democratic party administration. While regarded as a "reformer" in the past leading to his appointments to high office by the democratic party administration, is this really the case? Yoon describes himself as "conservative." The purpose of his appointment was to advance prosecutorial reforms and "depoliticize" the prosecutor's offices nationwide.

Chief Prosecutor Yoon Seok-yeol's mother in law was implicated in multiple suspicious business transactions leading to criminal charges, in which only others were found guilty and imprisoned. The first case emerged in 2003. Ms. Choi and her business partner Mr. Cheong Dae Taek, sued each other after Choi failed to honor a contract obliging her to pay him approximately 2.5 billion won as his share of profits from their real estate investment. During the course of legal proceedings related to the first trial, Choi solicited false statements from a witness to bolster her defense. Large sums of money and an apartment in the name of her daughter Kim Gyeon-hee had been furnished to the perjuring witness. Mother in law Choi escaped punishment alleging her business partner, coerced Choi into entering in a fraudulent transaction. Cheong was sentenced to 2 years in prison as well as losing his money and reputation. Kim Gyeon-hee later married Yoon. Years later in August 2012, the perjuring witness who was terminally ill wrote an affidavit confessing his perjury induced by money paid by Choi, and her daughter's apartment provided in kind. Cheong brought another suit against Choi seeking her prosecution for fraud and perjury among other remedies. Cheong's lawsuit went nowhere and may be barred by the statute of limitations at this point. The litigation history is complex and is conflated with other lawsuits pending against Ms. Choi which will be barred by the statute of limitations at the end of this month.

Another fraudulent scenario evolved in a second case from 2013. In the later trial several forged bank certifications alleged Ms. Choi had millions in cash deposits (34.9 Billion won), far more than she did, in order to secure millions of dollars in loans for a large real estate purchase. The fraudulent bank certifications were fabricated by an employee of a corporation allegedly owned by Choi's second daughter, the wife of the current Supreme Prosecutor. In an additional wrinkle, Kim Gyeon-hee, prosecutor Yoon's wife, allegedly induced Choi's partner Ms. Ahn to turn over her interest in the land, now worth tens of millions of dollars, to a "family corporation." Na's husband, Kim Jae-ho, was the judge presiding over the retrial of the 2013 case which was delayed for a year and a half as a consequence of an order of transfer he entered. This may have brought the pending charges against Ms. Choi to naught as the seven year statute of limitations is about to lapse on March 30 in large part due to the delay. Na's "explanation" of the otherwise inexplicable delay, is that it was made on the defendants' motion, not her husband's instigation. It is alleged that it was an order to consolidate cases against Choi, which resulted in a transfer of the case out of his jurisdiction to that of another judge, so he is not responsible for the delay. Attorneys in various newscasts and other interested attorneys have rendered less charitable opinions to the effect that the lack of diligent prosecution of these fraudulent actions by Choi seem questionable.

Choi has alleged when questioned that she is an unsophisticated person having only a high school education, and not able to understand the legal documents she has signed. In the first case, she alleged she was coerced to sign a contract, and had no obligation to perform on the 2.5 billion won she owes her former partner Mr. Cheong, on the first transaction for which he was sentenced to prison for two years. In the later litigation, after daughter Kim formed a relationship with Yoon, it is alleged that Choi, used the family relationship with her politically powerful son-in-law as part of her confidence game to obtain credit in large business transactions. One of these included a prosecution case involving a hospital board and a "health care foundation" unlawfully established to wrest profits out of hospital reserve funds. Again she was determined to be not guilty, while others went to prison.

(Source- MBC "Straight" 3.09.20) Supreme Prosecutor Yoon Seok-cheol, with his wife, Kim Geon-hee.

At the time the forged bank certifications case against Choi was before Na's husband, Yoon was the director of the felony division at the Supreme Prosecutor's office. The allegation being made now by Ahn Jin-geol's public interest group is that Yoon could be exercising influence to protect Na Kyung-won as a quid pro quo for protection of his mother in law (and wife) in the previous business scandal. Ironically, these scandalous business affairs are not too different in nature from that seen in the Cho Guk family debacle doggedly pursued after Yoon was appointed Supreme Prosecutor as an anti-corruption reformer. The response of Yoon has been to deny these allegations of improper influence categorically. Na likewise denies allegations against her family as fake news without any explanation of the conclusions of independent investigations into irregularities surrounding the Paralympic organization she headed and her daughter's disputed academic achievements. The question really is why are none of the accusations and charges against Na being diligently pursued by prosecutors? According to Mr. Ahn's allegations, the dereliction of prosecutorial duties may be explained by corruption in the Supreme Prosecutor's office. Supreme Prosecutor Yoon's counter argument is that if these allegations are true, why don't the complainants sue me? Would these suits go any further than the eleven complaints already brought thus far by the public interest group against Representative Na? Is Supreme Prosecutor Yoon slow walking the prosecutions in order to allow the general elections April 15 determine his future course?

<b>법꾸라지- "Legal eel," 법률 과 미꾸라지, a new word formation reflecting the joinder of related persons, information and knowledge, conjoining legal power and skill in use against public order maneuvering like an eel to skillfully screen the persons involved and elude the punishment provided by law. </b> (original source in hangul, Naver Korean-Eng Dictionary)

An unrelated Ahn was Choi's partner in the 2013 land deal. Choi's first false bank certificate said she held 10 billion won in deposits. She actually signed four forged certificates totaling 34.9 billion won. Choi admitted the documents were false in court but claimed she was without knowledge of their significance. The evidence of forgery was so clear, the failure to prosecute her is inexplicable. In light of her experience eliciting millions in loans in business deals and millions more in profit, Choi's claim of ignorance seems unlikely. The "Straight" program investigative reporter alleged he found evidence of six similar transactions related to Choi. Ms. Ahn stated that Yoon's wife was part of the 2013 land deal, offered help to provide financing, and that they met multiple times. Kim Geon-hee denies the allegation saying they only met once, and they didn't discuss the real estate investment Ms. Ahn had entered with her mother Choi.

Actually the original article says suspected cases.

re: 북한군도 ‘발칵’…코로나19 의심 사망 200명 육박 By 정태주 기자 -2020.03.06 4:56 오후 NK News 3.6

Which is kind of odd. If they have a covert source inside the North Korean military, the person would be risking their life and that of their family and relatives to report this. So why beat around the bush? Is it an intentional leak? Kim sent a friendly letter to Pres. Moon, a few days back, expressing sympathy concerning the S.Korean covid 19 situation. Are they looking for medical aid?

One possible explanation would be that they had no access to covid 19 test kits. The Russians reported giving them 1500 test kits on February 26 maybe too late to affect this situation. The article suggested strategic rocket forces might be affected along with the other services. The longer ranged ballistic missile forces are in this "belt."

This is a good article in Science magazine that refers to difficulties the nation wide quarantine is having on importation of TB supplies. There is a wide spread TB problem according to the author, with "thousands" of cases. There is a reference to service personnel in the NKnews article above concerning a history of disease or impaired immune system.


The geographic distribution of the alleged deaths approaching 200 is in the frontier provinces along the North Korean border with China, where one might expect the problem to occur. This is consistent with their earlier article that i posted, except Pyongyang where 7 deaths were reported and South Hwanghae where Haeju is located, (close to S.Korea on the West Sea) isn't mentioned at all. There were reportedly 2 dead in Hwanghae in the earlier report. The earlier NKnews report seems to come from a different source and was referenced near the end in the current article which is the source for the OP. ( 중앙 비상방역지휘부 )


So this new NKnews report is at least consistent with the earlier report to some extent except for the failure to report on the southern areas I described. I think this is massaged to conceal the sources.

South Korea covid 19 update: Daegu Sincheonji cluster

(Source- Daegu MBC News, 03.08.20, youtube upload)

Here is another late report demonstrating evasion of public health measures by Sincheonji followers:

A cluster of 46 Shincheonji related covid 19 cases was discovered March 8, at the the Han Maeum Apartments in Daegu. Two thirds of cases were reported to be Sincheonji members. The members had been meeting in three separate places ten people at at a time, spreading the infection. Two of the Shincheonji persons were confirmed cases who violated health regulations by not following directions from health officials to quarantine themselves. 9 of the cluster cases had to be hospitalized. Others were moved to an intermediate care center for quarantine, observation and treatment. (Source is MBC News, 3/8/20) The Daegu authorities had given notice that any Sincheonji who haven't yet turned themselves in for examination by tomorrow will be prosecuted.

(Source- Daegu MBC News, 03.08.20, youtube upload)

Daegu public health officials announced that their investigation of Shincheonji members as potential carriers of the Covid 19 virus was "95 percent complete." For the time being the rate of increase in the number of Daegu area corona virus cases seems to be slowing as shown by the graphic above. But for the Sincheonji cluster at the Maeum Apartment complex, the increase in cases today would have been significantly lower.

(Source- YTN News O3.08.20 youtube upload )

So out of 7,134 cases at the start of the day 3.8, cases near the Shincheonji clusters in Daegu and Gyeongbukdo, are 5,381 and 1,081 respectively. This is 90 percent of all cases in South Korea. The cases officially determined to be connected to the cult, directly or indirectly at this point by public health authorities is said to be 63 percent.

Political impact of the Daegu-Gyeongbuk covid 19 cluster (South Korea)

(Source- JTBC 2.24) The overwhelming majority of cases in South Korea are centered in the Daegu-Gyeongbuk area. Daegu, economically and socially is an integral part of Gyeongsanbukdo (province) although a separate administrative region. Of the 833 confirmed cases of covid 19 today, a total of 682 come from this area (484+198). 82 percent of all cases in South Korea. The cluster of cases here have been confirmed overwhelmingly, (75%) directly or indirectly, to be associated with the Sincheonchi activities at its Daegu Church or Daenam hospital.

The Sincheonchi organization has declared it is in cooperation with the government public health effort to contain the covid 19 epidemic. A representative of the organization deplored the hate and discrimination it said it was experiencing as a result of recent events. Yet, As of news reports a several hours ago, the Sincheonchi cult organization in Seoul was uncooperative in providing a complete list of their members in Seoul, Korea. The cult organization there was being encouraged in their resistance to lawful public health measures by the charlatan minister, Jeon Kwang-hoon, who leads the unrelated Korean Christian Conference and directed the unlawful "Taegukki" (Korean flag) demonstration in Gwanghwamun last weekend. After the imposition of a state of emergency by the national government in South Korea, warrants will be sought against the Sincheonchi organisation for the relevant information needed for epidemiological tracking. Assemblies of persons in Gwangwhamun and other large public plazas in Seoul are now declared illegal for public health reasons. A group of persons said to be representing Daegu was present at the Kanghwamun plaza demonstration this weekend. The mayor of Seoul, Park Won-soon, confronted the entire gathered assembly personally as to the unlawful nature of the gathering in light of the public health emergency. He was booed and hissed.

Source- 미디어몽구 Media Mongul (youtube) 2.22. Minister Jeon Kwang-hoon waving US flag at Gwanghwamun Plaza as he addresses unlawful demonstration.

In public statements on the radio, yesterday, the mayor warned that police would blockade the public venues on February 29 when another Taegukki assembly led by the demogogue minister and his far right acolytes is anticipated. A confrontation is to be expected in which physical force would become a likely outcome to remove and disperse unlawful demonstrators violating the new health ban. Nominally, the Sincheonchi and Jeon Kwang-hoon are antagonistic to each other. Jeon Kwang-hoon is goading the Sincheonchi not to cooperate with the government, as well as his own followers. The mayor stated he suspected Jeon was not in his right mind.

If one views the entire situation in context, with the upcoming April 15 elections; US pressure on South Korea to cough up additional billions for defense cost sharing; the continuing thousands of far right demonstrators and Jeon himself, in Gwanghwamoon waving their US flags a stones throw from the US embassy building; the encouragement of resistance to public health measures by the religious right appears to be a concerted effort to take advantage of the public health crisis in South Korea to unseat the democratically elected administration of Moon Jae-in.

DongA.com reported this morning that Minister Jeon was arrested on grounds of violating South Korean election campaign laws.

Seoul- Right wing demonstrators violate emergency health ban

(Source- YTN News 2.22) Thousands of right wing demonstrators in Seoul at Gwanghwamun plaza creating a potential threat to public health. The government administration worries it may result in another cluster of covid 19 cases similar to the New Heaven and Earth outbreak in Daegu and Gyeongbukdo.

(Source- YTN News 2.22) The mayor of Seoul, Park Won-soon with microphone.

The mayor of Seoul, Park Won-soon, personally confronted far right wing Christian fundamentalists and Taegukki members in Gwanghwamun Plaza today for violating the new health restrictions on assembly there. The mayor requested that the crowd of demonstrators exercise self restraint and leave the plaza. The Taegukki members carried their organization's flags and the christian fundamentalists opposing Moon Jae-in carried Taegukki's and US flags. They jeered and booed the democratic party mayor.

(Source- YTN News 2.22) Minister Jeon Kwang-hoon on the flat screen.

Minister Jeon Kwang-hoon, the leader and organizer of the Taegukki demonstrations, said even if he caught the covid 19 virus, he'd still be a patriot. The mayor had apparently determined not to physically force evacuation of the demonstration although police were deployed in substantial numbers. Police posted notices of the illegality of the assembly, and participants were advised by loudspeaker of the fines for violation of the law. The mayor appealed to the crowd to cooperate with authorities in an attempt to control the outbreak of the virus.

In related news, Son Hak-kyu, representative of the center-right bareun mirae party, called for consideration of postponement of April 15 general elections due to the epidemic. At the same time far right groups ignore the new public health ban on assemblies of persons in public plazas in Seoul. At present the Blue House is not considering postponement of the general election. According to the YTN broadcast, such a postponement, by law, is the prerogative of the president in the event of natural disaster which precludes the elections as scheduled. Regardless of circumstances, such a development would be subject to political blow back. Inevitably to be used as evidence of the far right claim that President Moon is a dictator and the tool of the communist north. Other parties might view a postponement of the election as advantageous or not depending on their situations. The analysts on the YTN program felt that the administration still had time to see how the course of the contagion proceeded before being forced whether to consider such a measure.

South Korea: Island State

(Source- VOA News, 2.18)

The night time photo of the peninsula is used to emphasize the backward nature of North Korea's economy and the superiority of the free countries. Secretary Pompeo used this graphic in his recent Munich Security Conference presentation. Yet, at the same time the photo demonstrates how complete the separation of North and South Korea is. South Korea is, because of that separation, reduced to an island state cut off from it's historical land connections to the continent of Asia. This is in keeping with the US and Japanese "island strategy" to contain China's expanding influence and military power. I don't think it could be more vividly demonstrated.

Secretary of Defense Esper's presentation at the Munich Security Conference, on March 15, emphasized the Chinese threat:

"I continue to stress to my friends in Europe -- and just this past week again at the NATO Defense Ministerial in Brussels -- that America's concerns about Beijing's commercial and military expansion should be their concerns as well," Esper said.*

*World must 'wake up to the challenges presented by China,' says Defense Secretary
By Vivian Salama, CNN, Updated 6:59 AM ET, Sat February 15, 2020

The current South Korean administration is really not all that interested in US anti-China policies.

(Source- VOA News, 2.18) Thae bows to Hwang Kyo-ahn, former prime minister for Park Geun-hye's Saenuri Party, and titular leader of the right wing Liberty Korea Party. Both of the opposition candidates are currently running for National Assembly seats.

In the same program, Thae Yong-ho's right wing Liberty Korea Party election campaign announcement received tacit US promotion and endorsement in the guise of another North Korean cyber hacking news item. Thae will apparently be seeking a district seat in the April 15 general election in South Korea. He is a former North Korean embassy official who defected in 2016. VOA reported that Thae's hand phone, among others, had been hacked by North Korea. Clearly portions of this particular broadcast included thinly veiled interference in South Korean domestic politics by the VOA.

The new W76-2 low-yield Trident submarine warhead and North Korea?

William Arkin, one of the authors of the FAS article on the new “tactical” warhead on a strategic nuclear missile (which doesn’t make any sense) appeared on the Democracy Now program. He made it clear the new nuclear weapon is more likely to be targeted at North Korea or Iran.* Firing such a weapon at Russia makes no sense at all. Arkin explores the convoluted logic of theories related to such a limited nuclear attack on Russian targets in the article.

*US Deploys New Low-Yield Nuclear Submarine Warhead
Posted on Jan.29, 2020 in Nuclear Weapons, Russia, United States by Hans M. Kristensen
By William M. Arkin* and Hans M. Kristensen

It's quite likely that a target of the new "tactical" nuclear warhead on the submarine launched ballistic missile is North Korea. The weapon appears to be specifically designed to destroy a deeply hardened target in a tactical environment. The US conventional military tactic of “decapitation” of North Korean leadership has been discussed openly in South Korean media in recent years. It never seemed practical, a special operations tactic to resolve a strategic problem.*

*Shin In-Kyun describes North Korean attack scenarios, May 1, 2019

Some expert observers of North Korea regardless of their political persuasion regarded the "bloody nose," or any conventional military attack on North Korea as completely "off the table." Potentially, the new Trident low yield nuclear weapon is being deployed for the same decapitation mission. Yet, it looks as if the new Trident warhead would elicit the very response from North Korea that it's use is allegedly designed to preclude, a barrage of ballistic missiles on friendly targets. The unreasonable response one could anticipate from the North Korea leadership, in reaction to a limited "tactical" nuclear attack by the US wouldn’t conform, to the logic or illogic if you prefer, of US nuclear game theory. Coincidentally, authoritative sources emphasized that the US carrier strike force recently deployed to the Indo-Pacific had an ABM mission as there are multiple aegis equipped surface warships associated with the carrier.*

*Korean focus on Carrier Strike Group deployment? Jan. 23, 2020

Additionally, General John E. Hyten, Vice Chairman, JCS, made a widely circulated public statement about that time that he had 100 percent confidence in the strike force’s ability to deal with North Korean missile threats. The presentation of a potential first strike by a low yield nuclear weapon combined with a highly effective ABM capability suggests in the case of North Korea, a scenario, where a first strike, such as a decapitation strike, could be undertaken with confidence, if not impunity. This is not the case, because the irregular trajectories and terminal guidance of several of the North Korean short range ballistic missiles fired last year presented detection and tracking problems for the US, South Korea and Japan. This was the observation of media military and intelligence analysts in South Korea, which exacerbated concerns about the temporary South Korean withdrawal from GSOMIA, an intelligence sharing agreement among the three countries directed exactly at just such a threat. For those who may consider discussion of this scenario off base, keep in mind recent events involving the assassination of General Soleimani, which was a type of decapitation mission, and then the apparent absence of any effective defense against the subsequent Iranian ballistic missile barrage. These nominally unrelated events reflect national security thinking in Washington, D.C. and are intended to convey a message to North Korea.

In any case, if one were to consider the response from North Korea due to a “decapitation” attack with a small yield weapon like the W-76-2, let’s assume it succeeds with the precision and accuracy the new weapons are believed to have. Then in the aftermath of such an attack there remains a nuclear armed North Korea with unknown military commanders in unknown bunkers deciding what the response, if any, should be. Perhaps following US game theory they would decline to escalate the nuclear conflict. Or perhaps they wouldn’t. On the other hand, if the location of the bunker, or Kim Jong Un, was not precisely ascertained, and consequently the chairman or his successor survived, even for only for a brief time, a question arises about what would happen at that point. If one considers the desperation of the moment, the uncertainty, the confusion, and the likelihood of total destruction at the hands of the US military's vastly superior nuclear forces, what is the likely reaction of the North Korean leader? This thought arises, “Even though futilely suicidal, would he not respond in kind with nuclear armed ballistic missiles capable of reaching US bases in the region, where US and allied forces and command and control elements were plainly vulnerable?” Is this not in fact, exactly what would occur, given the ideological basis of North Korean communist doctrine and its self conscious role as the sacrificial victim of great power imperialism? Does the current deployment of US anti-ballistic missile forces in the region really give 100 percent assurance that this wouldn't be an effective response?

Conclusion, a “decapitation” attack with a “smaller” tactical nuclear warhead by the US would likely eventuate in a series of nuclear weapons detonating in the region.

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