The Sunday Guardian - - The Big Story - CON­TIN­UED FROM P1

Ac­cord­ing to those fa­mil­iar with the Supreme Leader’s style of func­tion­ing and his ap­proach to­wards is­sues, by 2013 the grand­son of the DPRK founder was in full charge of the state. Over the pre­ced­ing two years, Kim Jong Un had re­moved (some­times by ex­e­cu­tion) those he sus­pected of look­ing askance at his de­clared ef­forts at chart­ing a course dif­fer­ent from that of his fa­ther. Since that time, “our bril­liant and coura­geous Supreme Leader (their de­scrip­tion) has worked at mul­ti­ply­ing al­ter­na­tive sources of fi­nanc­ing and sup­ply for the mis­sile and nu­clear pro­grams”. Ac­cord­ing to an­a­lysts track­ing the clan­des­tine fi­nan­cial op­er­a­tions of the Pak­istan army, while part of the fund­ing for both has come from ded­i­cated In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy war­riors able to pen­e­trate fi­nan­cial sys­tems across the globe to pe­cu­niary ad­van­tage, a new source of money has opened up, thanks to el­e­ments linked to GHQ. The IT op­er­a­tions fo­cus on “zones less sen­si­tive to US radar, such as Africa and parts of Asia, rather than most of Europe, “al­though Ukraine is an ex­cep­tion”. How­ever, in­creas­ingly, fund­ing for the pro­gram has come from High Net Worth in­di­vid­u­als in the Mid­dle East, many of whom have been con­nected to DPRK cash sup­ply chains through in­di­vid­u­als linked to GHQ Rawalpindi. “Pa­tri­otic (Mid­dle East­ern) in­di­vid­u­als wish to re­venge them­selves on the US for its dom­i­na­tion of Arab coun­tries, and re­gard the devel­op­ment of our (the DPRK’s) nu­clear de­fen­sive pro­gram as be­ing a means of en­sur­ing such re­venge,” say Korean sources. The cal­cu­la­tion of those ac­tive in pro­vid­ing clan­des­tine fund­ing for Py­ongyang’s strate­gic strike force is that a fully de­vel­oped nu­clear of­fen­sive ca­pa­bil­ity (by the DPRK against the US) will at the least pull away at­ten­tion by Wash­ing­ton from the Mid­dle East to East Asia, thereby “giv­ing an op­por­tu­nity for lo­cal pa­tri­otic forces (within the GCC) to take con­trol of regimes from those con­trolled by the US war­mon­gers”. GHQ Rawalpindi, with its net­work of hawala op­er­a­tors, is an ef­fec­tive con­duit for the chan­nelling of sub­stan­tial amounts of cash to North Korea, pre­sum­ably af­ter its of­fi­cers and as­so­ci­ates keep a part of the pro­ceeds for them­selves and for fund­ing GHQ op­er­a­tions in Afghanistan and In­dia.

Es­pe­cially af­ter 2013, the Pak­istan army has re­duced its clan­des­tine op­er­a­tions with its US coun­ter­parts, even while it has sig­nif­i­cantly ramped up such link­ages with the Peo­ples Lib­er­a­tion Army, “which has a dif­fer­ent per­cep­tion re­gard­ing the DPRK than that held by the US se­cu­rity es­tab­lish­ment”. In­deed, it is clear that Rus­sia and China do not re­al­is­ti­cally need to fear an at­tack even by a fully nu­cle­arised North Korea, lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween both and Py­ongyang hav­ing re­mained sub­stan­tial since the 1950s. Both Rus­sia and China are vi­tal to the sur­vival of the ecosys­tem main­tain­ing the Py­ongyang regime, and it would be unimag­in­able for ei­ther to be a mil­i­tary tar­get of the DPRK. In con­trast, Ja­pan and the US would be the most likely tar­gets for of­fen­sive ac­tions by the DPRK. How­ever, the con­tacts spo­ken to re­peat that Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un would or­der an at­tack “only if it is clear that Ja­pan and the US are about to at­tack” (the DPRK). They say that Kim is no war­mon­ger, but a leader “de­voted to the peace­ful re-uni­fi­ca­tion of the Korean peo­ple and the global rise of the mighty Korean peo­ple”. The ex­pec­ta­tion is that the win­dow for such re-uni­fi­ca­tion would open, “once the US and Ja­pan de­sist from in­ter­fer­ing in a mat­ter in­volv­ing only the Korean race”, pre­sum­ably be­cause of worry that in re­tal­i­a­tion for such in­ter­ven­tion, North Korean nukes would land on US cities. Al­though ver­i­fi­ca­tion of such claims is dif­fi­cult, those con­tacted say that al­ready, “mis­siles that can reach Cal­i­for­nia and Alaska” have been per­fected, to­gether with “tested” war­heads, and that “this knowl­edge was made avail­able last month to Tokyo and Wash­ing­ton through in­ten­tional dis­sem­i­na­tion of tech­ni­cal de­tails”.

Al­though there are cred­i­ble re­ports of out­side as­sis­tance to the North Korean mis­sile and nu­clear pro­gram, this is de­nied by those spo­ken to. They say that it is “an in­sult to Korean brains” to say that the DPRK needs help from “other races” in or­der to move ahead with the devel­op­ment of in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­siles and ther­monu­clear war­heads, “which tech­nol­ogy is six decades old”. They claim that al­though the Rus­sian and Chi­nese gov­ern­ments are ”re­gret­tably sin­cere” about im­pos­ing UN sanc­tions, “or­di­nary Rus­sians and Chi­nese who are op­posed to US hege­mony ig­nore such rules and en­sure help to us”. Such in­for­mal chan­nels have cre­ated “mul­ti­ple small sup­ply lines”, the way that Ho Chi Minh cre­ated a cap­il­lary sys­tem for fer­ry­ing ma­teriel and fight­ers to South Viet­nam in the 1970s, de­spite the mer­ci­less bomb­ing of high­ways, rivers and much else by the US, act­ing un­der the di­rec­tion of No­bel Peace Prize awardee, Henry Kissinger. The con­tacted per­sons claim that the Mid­dle East is a lo­ca­tion that has in­flu­en­tial in­di­vid­u­als who are “very sym­pa­thetic to the mis­sion of the Supreme Leader” and ad­mit that “some of our friends in Pak­istan have been help­ful in con­nect­ing such (Mideast HNI) el­e­ments to us”. They, how­ever, deny any link be­tween such in­di­vid­u­als and the Pak­istan mil­i­tary, say­ing that the mil­i­tary in that coun­try “will not stray from what Wash­ing­ton and Bei­jing want them to do, which is as­sist in sanc­tions”. De­spite such de­nials, how­ever, there is clearly an­other A.Q. Khan net­work op­er­at­ing within Pak­istan, this time sup­ply­ing the North Kore­ans not so much tech­nol­ogy and com­po­nents, as ac­cess to Mid­dle East­ern cash, al­though it is likely that there ex­ists clan­des­tine to and fro flows of such items as well be­tween the DPRK and Pak­istan. One fact seems clear from the dis­cus­sion held with el­e­ments con­sid­ered privy to the think­ing of the DPRK lead­er­ship. This is that (1) any resid­ual trust in US as­sur­ances of safe con­duct fol­low­ing the elec­tion of Trump has now dwin­dled to zero, and that (2) Py­ongyang will there­fore press ahead with the nu­clear and mis­sile pro­gram with­out pause, ir­re­spec­tive of in­ter­na­tional diplo­macy. (3) That Mid­dle East­ern in­di­vid­u­als op­posed to the US and its al­lies are in­volved in en­sur­ing that suf­fi­cient cash get fun­nelled to­wards DPRK en­ti­ties (in­clud­ing those not reg­is­tered or re­garded as such), so as to en­sure a sup­ply of brain­power and ma­teriel that would im­prove DPRK de­liv­ery sys­tems and ther­monu­clear war­heads within the term in of­fice of Pres­i­dent Don­ald J. Trump. (4) That the Ge­orge W. Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion missed an op­por­tu­nity to take out through force the DPRK’s strate­gic ca­pa­bil­ity (as it did in the case of Iran), the way Is­rael has oc­ca­sion­ally acted in the case of its neigh­bours and may do so again. The suc­ces­sor Barack Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion re­mained fo­cused less on sig­nif­i­cant prac­ti­cal con­ces­sions other than the pro­vi­sion of ver­bal guar­an­tees of safe con­duct that were al­ready shown to have been worth­less in Iraq, Libya and Syria. In other words, “they of­fer just prom­ises but ex­pect in re­turn not just words but ac­tion from us”. The North Kore­ans be­lieve, for ex­am­ple, that NATO pres­sure on Bashar As­sad and his fol­low­ers to (in ef­fect) com­mit mass sui­cide rose sub­stan­tially af­ter his stock of chem­i­cal weapons was de­stroyed “with a part (ac­cord­ing to these sources) kept apart to use oc­ca­sion­ally so as to blame As­sad for their use by (NATO) prox­ies”. (5) Supreme Leader Kim be­lieves that only a ca­pac­ity for Mu­tual As­sured De­struc­tion be­tween the US and the DPRK will pro­tect the coun­try from a US-Ja­pan at­tack. As for South Korea, the cal- cu­la­tion is that “the Korean peo­ple would re­volt against the South Korean govern­ment, were the Seoul regime to join Ja­pan and the US in at­tack­ing the brave Korean na­tion”, al­though this may be an in­cor­rect as­sess­ment, given the will­ing­ness of the South Korean mil­i­tary to take on the North. (6) Kim Jong Un is fix­ated on the same ob­jec­tive sought by his grand­fa­ther, which was to unify the penin­sula un­der his lead­er­ship, and be­lieves that nu­clear ca­pa­bil­ity would help en­sure this with­out a war with the South. As time (and the Py­ongyang nu­clear pro­gram) moves ahead, the win­dow for suc­cess at an af­ford­able price in US, Ja­panese and South Korean lives in a mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion de­signed to de­stroy the North Korean nu­clear and mis­sile pro­gram seems to be clos­ing at speed. Supreme Leader Kim be­lieves the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s fiery rhetoric to be a bluff, and thus far, events are bear- ing out such a view. Fo­cus­ing ex­clu­sively on UN sanc­tions on the for­mal econ­omy of the DPRK, the US seems largely un­aware of the way in which a vast and se­cre­tive sanc­tions- proof cap­il­lary net­work has been set up by the Py­ongyang lead­er­ship to en­sure that the nu­clear and mis­sile plans meet the ob­jec­tive of re­duc­ing large parts of cities on both US coasts to ra­dioac­tive rub­ble. In other words, Kim Jong Un is dis­may­ingly close to reach­ing a stage that would en­sure im­mu­nity from at­tack from the US and Ja­pan. This would leave Py­ongyang free to ad­min­is­ter jabs and pin­pricks at both, the way a nu­cle­arised Pak­istan has been do­ing with In­dia since the 1980s, be­gin­ning with the fo­ment­ing of the Khal­is­tan in­sur­gency and the re­vival of the Kash­mir trou­bles.

Rus­sia and China would watch from the side­lines as Ja­pan and the US ex­pe­ri­ence the ef­fects of asym­met­ri­cal war­fare from a regime that makes it­self im­mune through pos­ses­sion of deadly re­tal­ia­tory force.

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