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 Post subject: Someone Got Played
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:45 am 
Bishop

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North Korea making 'rapid' upgrades to nuclear reactor despite summit pledges

North Korea has continued to upgrade its only known nuclear reactor used to fuel its weapons program, satellite imagery has shown, despite ongoing negotiations with the US and a pledge to denuclearise.

Infrastructure improvements at the Yongbyon nuclear plant are “continuing at a rapid pace”, according to an analysis by monitoring group 38 North of commercial satellite images taken on 21 June.

The cooling system for the plutonium production reactor has been modified and at least two new non-industrial buildings have been built on the site, possibly for use by visiting officials. A new engineering office building has been completed and construction has continued on support facilities throughout the complex, according to a blog post written by Frank V Pabian, Joseph S Bermudez Jr and Jack Liu.

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, has committed to “complete denuclearisation” in meetings with Donald Trump and South Korean president Moon Jae-in, but the details of how and when that will happen have not yet been decided. Kim announced earlier this year the the North’s nuclear arsenal and weapons capable of striking the US were complete, and the North closed its only known nuclear test site in May.

“Infrastructure improvements continue at Yongbyon,” Jenny Town, managing editor of 38 North, wrote on Twitter. “Underscores reason why an actual deal is necessary, not just a statement of lofty goals.”

The status of various parts of the nuclear complex remains unclear, and experts cautioned linking ongoing improvements to negotiations with the US.

“Continued work at the Yongbyon facility should not be seen as having any relationship to North Korea’s pledge to denuclearise,” the experts warned. “The North’s nuclear cadre can be expected to proceed with business as usual until specific orders are issued from Pyongyang.”

Despite the lack of clarity on any nuclear deal, South Korea has pushed ahead with diplomatic efforts. The two sides met for military talks this week aimed at restoring communication lines, and railway officials agreed to explore connecting the two countries by rail.

Checks will begin next month on long-unused lines that once allowed travel across the entire peninsula. Talks began a decade ago, but were suspended amid rising tensions. South Korea already has a gleaming steel and glass station just south of its highly militarised border with the North, with tracks marked for service to the North’s capital, Pyongyang.

Kim singled out the South’s advanced railway infrastructure during his meeting with Moon in April, acknowledging in a rare admission of weakness that the North lagged far behind its neighbour. But progress on the nuclear issue and the lifting of sanctions would have to come before any joint rail projects.


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 Post subject: Re: Someone Got Played
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:46 am 
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North Korea is going to feel pretty silly when they realize they forgot to sign up for Twitter.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/sta ... wsrc%5Etfw

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 Post subject: Re: Someone Got Played
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:51 am 
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you guys, of course, understand that there is a significant difference between a power plant and a weapons plant when it come to nuclear stuff, right?
edit:
from the OP article:
“Continued work at the Yongbyon facility should not be seen as having any relationship to North Korea’s pledge to denuclearise,” the experts warned. “The North’s nuclear cadre can be expected to proceed with business as usual until specific orders are issued from Pyongyang.”

seems to completely contradict the title of this thread...jus sayin'.

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 Post subject: Re: Someone Got Played
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:08 pm 
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subgenius wrote:
you guys, of course, understand that there is a significant difference between a power plant and a weapons plant when it come to nuclear stuff, right?


The fissile material for all six of North Korea's nuclear weapons tests came from Yongbyon.

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 Post subject: Re: Someone Got Played
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 11:36 am 
Bishop

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Satellite images show North Korea upgrading nuclear facility

Washington (CNN)New satellite images show North Korea has made rapid improvements to the infrastructure at its Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center -- a facility used to produce weapons-grade fissile material, according to an analysis published by 38 North, a prominent North Korea monitoring group.

Captured on June 21, the photos reveal modifications to the site's plutonium production reactor and the construction of several support facilities -- long-planned upgrades that were already underway before North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump met in Singapore earlier this month.

When contacted by CNN about 38 North's analysis, the Unification Ministry said they "cannot confirm the report" and are "watching it closely."

The report states that "continued work at the Yongbyon facility should not be seen as having any relationship to North Korea's pledge to denuclearize," but the photos suggest that Pyongyang continues to proceed with business as usual when it comes to maintaining its nuclear sites following the summit.

"No change is actually a pretty significant story ... this is still an active site producing plutonium for North Korea," according to Jeffrey Lewis, a professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

The images stand in stark contrast to Trump's recent declaration that the North Korean regime no longer poses a nuclear threat, even though the meeting produced no verifiable proof that North Korea will discontinue its nuclear program.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that North Korea remains a nuclear threat, but defended Trump's previous comment.
"I'm confident what he intended there was we did reduce the threat," said Pompeo. "I don't think there's any doubt about that. We took the tension level down."

"I think his point was a fair one," he added. "For the moment, we have reduced risk."

But Trump has repeatedly mischaracterized the nature of his deal with Kim, insisting last week that the North Korean dictator had agreed to begin "total denuclearization" right away.

In reality, the document he signed with Kim at their June 12 summit in Singapore only reiterated North Korea's previous commitment to "work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," and the new images released Wednesday align with Defense Secretary James Mattis' assessment that Pyongyang remains in a holding pattern as negotiators discuss the next steps in talks.

"The summit pledge is important, but it was not a written agreement that laid out what the North Koreans have to do -- that doesn't exist right now, so I'm not surprised they are continuing to operate their facilities," said Joel Wit, a Senior Fellow at the Stimson Center and Director of 38 North.

Adam Mount, a senior fellow and director at the Federation of American Scientists, agreed that the images indicate that North Korea will continue to support the foundation of its nuclear program until the two sides are able to agree on specific terms.

"Because Kim Jong Un has so far avoided making a commitment to halt research and development activities, the changes are not a success or failure of the diplomatic process, but simply a signal that North Korea's nuclear infrastructure remains fully in use," Mount told CNN.

"That Yongbyon continues to receive scarce funds speaks to its continued value to the regime. There is little indication that North Korea has halted research, development, or production of nuclear systems even as talks continue," he added.

North Korea also maintains other nuclear facilities where they produce the bulk of their nuclear weapons materials and missiles. While these sites cannot be detected by monitoring groups, they are assumed to remain operational, according to Wit.

Trump has often pointed to the absence of North Korean missile and nuclear tests in recent months as a sign of progress toward denuclearization, but continued maintenance of facilities like Yongbyon show that talks with the US have not yet prompted Kim to take significant steps toward truly dismantling the foundation of his program.

"Both secret and Yongbyon facilities can continue operating and expand the fissile material stockpile," Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies nuclear proliferation, told CNN.

"We have no way to stop this or verify any pledges to freeze," he said, noting that Kim has intentionally only agreed to freeze full blown testing, not production.

North Korea can also continue to improve its warhead and ballistic designs without conducting tests, Narang added.

"North Korea has had a decade-long nuclear testing sequence where they have presumably learned a lot about designs," he told CNN. "They probably do not need full blown tests to go into serial production of warheads. And they can improve components and perfect designs with subcritical and hydrodynamic tests which we wouldn't be able to monitor or detect."

Ultimately, 38 North's analysis of these images provides a realistic look at the current state of North Korea's nuclear program amid talks with the US and the challenges facing negotiators tasked with achieving denuclearization -- a process for which Pompeo has refused to offer a timeline.

"We should remain skeptical that North Korea's nuclear calculus has changed dramatically. Every indication since the beginning of the year is that Pyongyang is seeking to exploit diplomacy to its advantage, including by continuing to improve its arsenal," Mount told CNN. "Halting a clearly-defined list of weapons activities should be the first step in negotiations."

"What is needed now is sustained and direct negotiations between the two sides on a framework for phased steps on denuclearization, as well as concrete steps toward a peace regime on the Korean peninsula," according to Kingston Reif, director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association.

"So far, such a framework has not been established. In other words, there is no 'deal,'" he said.


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 Post subject: Re: Someone Got Played
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:26 pm 
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Doctor Steuss wrote:
subgenius wrote:
you guys, of course, understand that there is a significant difference between a power plant and a weapons plant when it come to nuclear stuff, right?


The fissile material for all six of North Korea's nuclear weapons tests came from Yongbyon.

1. saying "fissile material" out loud is fun (and your point duly noted).
2. I repeat the quote from the OP's cited article - “Continued work at the Yongbyon facility should not be seen as having any relationship to North Korea’s pledge to denuclearise,” the experts warned. “The North’s nuclear cadre can be expected to proceed with business as usual until specific orders are issued from Pyongyang.”

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 Post subject: Re: Someone Got Played
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 1:18 pm 
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subgenius wrote:
1. saying "fissile material" out loud is fun (and your point duly noted).

Lol! The more I say it out load, the more it sounds dirty.

Quote:
2. I repeat the quote from the OP's cited article - “Continued work at the Yongbyon facility should not be seen as having any relationship to North Korea’s pledge to denuclearise,” the experts warned. “The North’s nuclear cadre can be expected to proceed with business as usual until specific orders are issued from Pyongyang.”

From what I recall, this was a pretty common refrain from both within and without the current administration after the meeting. Especially following the president's proclamation(s) to the contrary. And for what little it may be worth (from an anonymous dude on the internets), I agree.

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 Post subject: Re: Someone Got Played
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:10 am 
Bishop

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subgenius wrote:
2. I repeat the quote from the opening post's cited article - “Continued work at the Yongbyon facility should not be seen as having any relationship to North Korea’s pledge to denuclearise,” the experts warned. “The North’s nuclear cadre can be expected to proceed with business as usual until specific orders are issued from Pyongyang.”


But there are no possible dots to be connected here whatsoever, right? I mean if the President were Obama, this wouldn't get any traction at all from you or your propaganda networks.


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 Post subject: Re: Someone Got Played
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:37 pm 
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https://www.nbcnews.com/news/north-kore ... -u-n887926

Quote:
WASHINGTON — U.S. intelligence agencies believe that North Korea has increased its production of fuel for nuclear weapons at multiple secret sites in recent months — and that Kim Jong Un may try to hide those facilities as he seeks more concessions in nuclear talks with the Trump administration, U.S. officials told NBC News.

The intelligence assessment, which has not previously been reported, seems to counter the sentiments expressed by President Donald Trump, who tweeted after his historic June 12 summit with Kim that "there was no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea."

Analysts at the CIA and other intelligence agencies don't see it that way, according to more than a dozen American officials who are familiar with their assessments and spoke on the condition of anonymity. They see a regime positioning itself to extract every concession it can from the Trump administration — while clinging to nuclear weapons it believes are essential to survival.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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 Post subject: Re: Someone Got Played
PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:01 pm 
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Hawkeye wrote:

But there are no possible dots to be connected here whatsoever, right? I mean if the President were Obama, this wouldn't get any traction at all from you or your propaganda networks.

maybe true, but then again, Obama would've negotiated a deal where we send North Korea money in the middle of the night and had Hillary Clinton broker the dirty water by-product in a deal with Russia.

I think it is worth remembering that Democrats laughed at Bush when he said North Korea was a big problem and then Democrats laughed at Romney when he said the same about Russia.

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 Post subject: Re: Someone Got Played
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:30 am 
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subgenius wrote:
Hawkeye wrote:
I think it is worth remembering that Democrats laughed at Bush when he said North Korea was a big problem and then Democrats laughed at Romney when he said the same about Russia.


North Korea isn't a big problem. All we had to do to make them pretend to promise to someday think about possibly considering to do something at a later date was for us to stop readiness exercises today with the regional allies who could otherwise help check their ambitions. Now they can continue their nuclear shenanigans without having to worry about us bugging them.

Russia is easy to handle, too. We don't have to worry about Putin gaining strength and influence in the Middle East, or dealing with Crimea, if we just look the other way and do whatever Putin wants Trump to do.

See? No conflicts.


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 Post subject: Re: Someone Got Played
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:21 am 
Bishop

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subgenius wrote:
I think it is worth remembering that Democrats laughed at Bush when he said North Korea was a big problem and then Democrats laughed at Romney when he said the same about Russia.


Republicans were the reason N.Korea became a "problem" by threatening them so much they had no choice but to pursue a nuclear program and Bush only exacerbated that problem by equating them "evil" countries. Democrats weren't laughing in either case, they were just stunned that anyone would without provocation, attack volatile nuclear powers like that in a most irresponsible manner. The only funny thing about Russia is how Republicans, while following what their new puppet master does, now embrace Russia and Putin as if they're our #1 ally despite Romney's previous remarks about them being our #1 enemy. Now that's hypocrisy for you. With anyone else, your obsession would be considered paranoid hair-fire. But we both know you don't have any hair to burn.


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