Tag: North Korea

North Korea says, its approach towards the US won’t change and will continue making nuclear weapons
Asia Pacific Focus

North Korea says, its approach towards the US won’t change and will continue making nuclear weapons

Nuclear Weapons: The supreme leader of North Korean Kim Jong Un threatened that his approach towards the United States won’t change and he would continue to expand his atomic power.

Kim Jong Un’s comments indicate that the U.S. – North Korea relations won’t change even after the inaugural ceremony of the US President-elect Joe Biden takes place, who has stated that he will adopt a more adverse approach toward Pyongyang.

The diplomatic and political relations between North Korea and the United States have been aggressive since the Korean War when the U.S. bombarded North Korea and President Harry Truman also thought about utilizing nuclear weapons. 

During a Workers’ Party meeting, Kim called the U.S. his nation’s greatest foe and rehashed his long-standing attestation that the U.S. should lift its antagonistic policy to set up better ties, the Korean Central News Agency reported.

Kim urged his nation to continue making atomic weapons. Moreover, he announced that North Korea ought to acquire new capacity, for example, strong fuel intercontinental ballistic rockets, hypersonic missiles, and tactile atomic weapons. 

North Korea has done six atomic tests in September 2017. However, more testing would be needed to create tactical atomic weapons. Tactical atomic weapons are more mobile and could be utilized in war rather than bigger vital atomic weapons that are intended to do mass destruction. 

A year ago, Kim stated that he no longer feels limited by his willful delay on atomic and long-range missile tests.

North Korea has frequently timed important nuclear tests, including weapons and atomic missiles, the U.S. presidential transitions to show its military abilities and perhaps gain hold in future discussions with Washington.

In October, North Korea utilized a military parade to reveal a gigantic new intercontinental ballistic projectile, which seems intended to overpower U.S. missile defense. Some speculate Pyongyang may test the missile or different weapons systems in the following months. However, this week, the top U.S. general in South Korea stated that there were no indications that North Korea was setting a significant incitement. 

A crucial weapons test would signify an early foreign policy challenge for Joe Biden, although Biden stated that his fundamental aim is to combat the Covid pandemic and improve the falling U.S. economy.

Japan’s shrinking birth rate worries its border security, time to open gates to women folk
Asia Pacific Focus

Japan’s shrinking birth rate worries its border security, time to open gates to women folk

Japan’s shrinking birth rate: It has been a topic of concern for the country for past some years, especially worrying the country’s defence forces as it has been missing its recruitment targets by a significant margin. For the past six years, the three wings of its Self-Defence Forces – ground, water and air units have been unable to reach their cadet recruitment targets. In the year 2018, the SDF as met only 70% of its annual defence recruitment target whereas in 2019, the Maritime SDF and Air SDF could reach only 90% 

of its target and missed on the 10%. With each passing the gap has been increasing and raising worries for Japan’s defence ministry about its deterrence capabilities.

With the drop in recruitment target, comes another challenge of managing its fiscal budget dedicated towards the national defence. Japan’s defense spending reached its highest at 5.313 trillion yen on an initial basis in fiscal 2020, and the country became the world’s ninth biggest defense spender, as per data put out by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Amidst the distressing prospects of the country’s defence force count, the Liberal Democratic Party’s national defense parliamentary group urged Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi to permit the addition of two Aegis destroyers to the Maritime Self-Defense Force, to strengthen its presence, especially in the South China Sea, where China has been gradually increasing its military influence. But the challenge is only doubling for Tokyo given North Korea’s increasing nuclear missile threats.  

Japan needs the Aegis destroyers, but what it needs more is the force to operate it and secure its border – land, air, and water. Japan’s combined ground, maritime and air forces amount to  220,000 members. Which is far less when compared to its rivals in the region – with 2.04 million Chinese troops, 1.28 million North Korean defence forces and about 625,000 armed personnel of South Korea. Though Japan’s receives military support from US, which positions its 1.3 million-strong military troops to guard the country’s fences. But this borrowed defence come at a greater price which Japan cannot easily sustain for long.

Despite the Ministry of Defense having about 50 regional cooperation headquarters across the country for its recruitment drives to let in high school students, every year it struggles with fewer applicants due to fewer high school students, which is due its shrinking birthrate. “It is important to secure the [targeted] number of recruits,” a Defense Ministry recruitment official said, “but we cannot substantially lower the criteria for admission. It is difficult to secure both quality and quantity.”

Now the country has been looking into recruiting more women in its defence services as an option to meet its targets. In March, for the first time ground SDF recruited a woman to its paratroop unit. In case of an emergency, these paratroopers would be parachuted near the front line. Meanwhile, earlier this year the Maritime SDF added five women to its submarine crew for the first time. SDF is also making significant budget changes to make more room for female cadets. In its budget proposal for fiscal 2021, the Defense Ministry has allocated 5 billion yen ($48 million) to alter the working environment make its more congenial for female SDF members

North Korea suspends all communications with South Korea
Asia Pacific Focus

North Korea suspends all communications with South Korea

North Korea, on 9 June, announced that it is severing hotline communication with South Korea. Subsequently, it will sever other ties with South Korea. The announcement was reported in the North Korean state news agency KCNA.

Earlier last week, North Korea had threatened to close the liaison office with South Korea and other collaborative projects. The action was taken after North Korea accused Seoul of sending leaflets and other objectionable materials to North Korea.

The KCNA report adds that top North Korean officials, including Kim Yo Jong, sister of supreme leader Kim Jong Un, are for actions against South Korea.

The action will mean North Korea will shut down communication with inter-Korean liaison offices and hotlines connecting the two countries. Hotlines connecting the two heads of nations will also be suspended.

According to a South Korean spokesperson, North Korea refrained from customary calls to liaison offices or in the two hotlines.

The two Koreas are engaged in routine calls every day, which are a way to manage essential means of communication.

The South Korean unification ministry, which is responsible for managing affairs with North Korea, said that it would continue to work towards agreed principle to maintain peace and prosperity in the Korean peninsula.
Yesterday, North Korean officials did not attend the morning call. However, they responded to the afternoon call.

The two sides had set up this arrangement in 2018 to diffuse tension. In the same year, leaders of both the Koreas had met thrice to initiate dialogue.

The channels of communication are critical to the peace process, which aims to persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons program. International sanctions remain imposed against the regime in North Korea for its weapons program.

As per reports, influential Kim Yo Jong also wants to walk out of the military agreement signed with Seoul.

Analysts believe that the actions might be related to economic hardships caused by the sanctions rather than North Korean dissidents’ defection.

Relations with South Korea had deteriorated since last year when talks between US President Donald Trump and Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un failed to get any breakthrough in nuclear disarmament talks.

After the Korean war in 1950-53, the two Koreas, technically, remain in the war. Both sides ended the war by signing an armistice treaty rather than a peace treaty.

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