I Thought Groundhog Day was Last Week

So North Korea continues its streak as the only country that has tested a nuclear weapon in the past fifteen years.

The official English statement that was released by KCNA is interesting for two reasons. The first is that Pyongyang elegantly stated that the weapon that it tested yesterday was a smaller version (“miniaturized” per the Korean language version) of the weapons that were tested in 2006 and 2009. This of course is a thinly veiled statement directed towards those worried about the DPRK building a bomb that could fit snugly on top of a Taepodong rocket. Pyongyang’s answer is “si, su puede.”

The other interesting part of the statement is North Korea’s claim that its nuclear deterrent has become “diversified.” The most orthodox interpretation of this is that North Korea now possesses a bomb different from those that it tested earlier: namely, one of the Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) variety. This would be alarming in many respects: it means that the DPRK has, despite the myriad of sanctions lodged against it, acquired this technology. It means that the DPRK, with this technology, can continue to produce HEU type weapons en masse: since if there’s anything that’s remotely abundant in North Korea, it’s uranium. It also means that there has been some sort of cooperation between the DPRK and someone, whether it be China, or Pakistan, or Iran. Read the rest of this entry »

New study says the Cheonan was sunk by mine, not NK torpedo

[The following article by Oh Cheol-woo, science correspondent, appeared in the South Korean independent newspaper The Hankyoreh on 27 August 2012. The paper on which the facts in this article are based can be downloaded as a PDF file by following this link: Underwater Explosion (UWE) Analysis of the ROKS Cheonan Incident. –CanKor]

The wreckage of the Cheonan warship now sits in Pyongtaek Second Naval Command Base. A new academic study says the ship may have been sunk by a mine instead of a North Korean torpedo. In this photo, Hankyoreh reporters speak with the base’s PR staff on August 16. (by Lee Jeong-ah, staff reporter)

Scientific analysis shows signs of a powerful underwater explosion

An article has been published in an international academic journal arguing that the explosion that sank the South Korean Cheonan warship in March 2010 may not have been from a North Korean torpedo, but from a mine discarded by the South Korean navy. Read the rest of this entry »

Ottawa Round Table Part 3 – Canada-DPRK Bilateral Relations by Hartmuth Kroll

Canada-North Korea Bilateral Relations

Ottawa Round Table on Humanitarian Aid in the Current North Korean Context, 5 March 2012


  • Crossed flag pin by Promex GmbH

    Without belabouring the point, the Asia Pacific region matters to Canada, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea) has long been a destabilizing element in the region.

  • In February 2001, with the support and encouragement of its regional allies. Canada established diplomatic relations with the DPRK.
  • This initiative reflected the view that, over the long term, engagement offered the best prospects for integrating North Korea into the international community of nations.
  • Long-term goals for engagement included full denuclearization, improved governance and political reform, improved human rights and enhanced regional security. Nonetheless, there were few illusions as to what could be achieved immediately. Read the rest of this entry »

Comment on Chosun Ilbo article by Karin Lee

[Karin J. Lee, Executive Director of the National Committee on North Korea (NCNK) is an experienced NGO aid provider in the DPRK. -Chris Nelson]

Chris, The poll quoted in the Chosun Ilbo article that you sent out last night doesn’t take into account the following considerations:

1) when did the person leave the DPRK? Food monitoring regimes have changed over time. If somebody left earlier, when the monitoring was less exhaustive, their experiences may have been different from somebody who left more recently. In particular the 2008/2009 program had greatly improved monitoring. Read the rest of this entry »

Cheonan investigation: Clarification on Canadian role

Numerous reports and rumours about the non-existent role of Canada in the “The Joint Civilian-Military Investigation Group” (JIG) have been circulating in the media. DPRK Ambassador Sin Son Ho told a Press Conference in New York that “Canada officially announced that it would send its experts to south Korea on 16 May 2010, four days before the release of the ’investigation result’ by south Korea and nothing is known about when they arrived in south Korea and whether they really participated in the joint investigation.” Similar comments can be found in John McGlynn’s paper in The Asia-Pacific Journal, and CanKor reader “Jay” asked detailed questions about Canada’s role as a comment in the CanKor Blog. Read the rest of this entry »

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