Posts Tagged ‘North Korea’

FBI gets it wrong about N Korea and the Sony hack – deliberately?

December 19, 2014

I was listening to Sean Sullivan of F Secure on BBC radio today and I find his arguments that the FBI has got it wrong quite convincing. The FBI, it would seem, has less evidence of a N Korea connection than the US intelligence services ever had of WMD in Iraq! But they have now stated categorically that it was N Korea and the perpetrators would be hunted down. Unless of course Obama is looking to initiate his own war in his own name while he is still in office. In which case the FBI could have been tasked with getting the evidence to prove the desired conclusion. A simple act of extortion was followed by reference to the movie only after the Press brought it up. 

Industry experts have more credibility for me than the FBI in this case.

Kim hacking

 YahooNews:

Many computer-security experts doubt the validity of the claim that North Korea is behind the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack, citing a lack of strong evidence and the possibility of alternate scenarios.

“There’s no direct, hard evidence that implicates North Korea,” Sean Sullivan, a security researcher at Finnish security firm F-Secure, told Tom’s Guide. “There is evidence of extortion (the Nov. 21 email [to Sony executives which demanded money]) and the hackers only mentioned [the movie] The Interview after it was brought up in the press, which they then used to their advantage.”

“Is North Korea responsible for the Sony breach?” wrote Jeffrey Carr, founder and CEO of Seattle cybersecurity consulting firm Taia Global. “I can’t imagine a more unlikely.

Others also find the FBI evidence very flimsy. It seems that the N Korea narrative is essentially led by the media rather than by the evidence:

 Wired: ….. Despite all of this, media outlets won’t let the North Korea narrative go and don’t seem to want to consider other options. If there’s anything years of Law and Order reruns should tell us, it’s that focusing on a single suspect can lead to exclusionary bias where clues that contradict the favored theory get ignored.

Initial and hasty media reports about the attackers pointed to cyberwarriors from North Korea, bent on seeking revenge for the Sony movie The Interview. This was based on a complaint North Korea made to the United Nations last July about the Seth Rogen and James Franco flick, which was originally slated to be released in October before being changed to Christmas Day. 

But in their initial public statement, whoever hacked Sony made no mention of North Korea or the film. And in an email sent to Sony by the hackers, found in documents they leaked, there is also no mention of North Korea or the film. The email was sent to Sony executives on Nov. 21, a few days before the hack went public. Addressed to Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton, Chairwoman Amy Pascal and other executives, it appears to be an attempt at extortion, not an expression of political outrage or a threat of war.

“[M]onetary compensation we want,” the email read. “Pay the damage, or Sony Pictures will be bombarded as a whole. You know us very well. We never wait long. You’d better behave wisely.”

To make matters confusing, however, the email wasn’t signed by GOP or Guardians of Peace, who have taken credit for the hack, but by “God’sApstls,” a reference that also appeared in one of the malicious files used in the Sony hack.

I note that John McCain has declared that this is an Act of War by N Korea. A bi-partisan approach to attack N Korea could be forged. He is already calling for the US to conduct a cyber attack on N Korea (which has the lowest internet usage of any country). When the cyberwar fails, the logical next step would be to bomb Pyongyang and then mount a US-led, coalition invasion from Okinawa. George Clooney and Angelina Jolie could organise a petition from Hollywood supporting such action. All of Hollywood would surely support such decisive action. The coalition could consist of Japan and S Korea at least. Maybe Cuba could be persuaded to join. Sony could have cameras embedded in every military unit.  Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert could make sure that the liberal population of the US could – for once – support the national pastime of going to war. James Franco and Seth Rogen clearly need special positions; perhaps they could orchestrate the invasion.

I see that the UN General Assembly has already passed a motion for the North Koreans to be referred to the International Criminal Court. The next step would be for the US to call for a special sitting of the Security Council. They could make a PowerPoint show a la Colin Powell, to show the world the evidence they have manufactured, and to get a suitable war resolution passed.

The entire N Korea narrative is probably nothing more than a media inspired narrative.

 

Glorious, glorious North Korea!

April 13, 2013

North Korean heroes

But there seem to be some gender inequalities

Medals can be inherited …..

Indignation over N. Korea’s 3rd nuclear test rings hypocritical and hollow

February 12, 2013

(Reuters)North Korea conducted its third nuclear test on Tuesday in defiance of U.N. resolutions, angering the United States and Japan and likely to infuriate its only major ally, China, and increase penalties against Pyongyang.

But I find the indignation from all countries and the castigation of the North Koreans for a “provocative” and “dangerous” and “destabilising” action less than convincing. “This is in defiance of the UN Security Council resolutions” is the current refrain but it smacks of bully politics and is not rational. Of course the prevailing reality of international affairs is that “might is right”. Whether it is Iraq invading Kuwait or the US invading Iraq or France invading Mali or Russia invading Georgia or Chinese and Japanese  maneuverings around their disputed islands, the ultimate arbiter of international relations is still military strength and the readiness to use force. Force of argument comes a poor second and simple lying a la Bush/Blair is used to bolster military actions.

Israel and her friends are understandably disturbed about the possibility of Iran testing and deploying nuclear weapons. But their threats and exhortations for Iran to refrain from the nuclear path obviously is to maintain their military advantage. But it smacks of hypocrisy and carries little logical weight so long as they maintain their own stocks of nuclear weapons.

The US and Russia maintain their overwhelming stockpiles of weapons while China maintains (and even increases) its own. Pakistan and India will not give up their weapons and there is domestic pressure for India to be at least as “strong” as China and for Pakistan to be at least as “strong” as India. Israel, of course,  will not even admit to having a stockpile and will never permit its crushing military superiority in the Middle East to be undermined. For the UK and France it is now just a matter of lost pride and national ego to maintain their remaining nuclear weapons capability.

Since 16th July 1945 over 2,000 nuclear tests have been carried out all over the world by 10 countries.

  • The United States conducted 1,032 tests between 1945 and 1992.
  • The Soviet Union carried out 715 tests between 1949 and 1990.
  • The United Kingdom carried out 45 tests between 1952 and 1991.
  • France carried out 210 tests between 1960 and 1996.
  • China carried out 45 tests between 1964 and 1996.
  • Israel and South Africa carried out a nuclear test in the South Atlantic in 1979
  • India conducted two tests in 1998 (India had also conducted one so-called peaceful nuclear explosion in 1974.)
  • Pakistan conducted two tests in 1998.
  • The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea announced that it had conducted a nuclear test in 2006 and again in 2009 and now one in 2013.

One estimate of nuclear weapons worldwide (as of December 2012) is here.

World Nuclear Stockpile Infographic

World Nuclear Stockpile Infographic: http://www.ploughshares.org

Moreover

Under NATO nuclear weapons sharing, the United States has provided nuclear weapons for Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey to deploy and store. This involves pilots and other staff of the “non-nuclear” NATO states practicing, handling, and delivering the U.S. nuclear bombs, and adapting non-U.S. warplanes to deliver U.S. nuclear bombs.

Personally I believe that the N. Korean nuclear program is due to 2 things:

  1. a paranoia about what the South will do, and
  2. an attempt to develop a better bargaining position before opening up

But I have difficulty to see their 3rd nuclear test as any great threat to world peace (compared say to the possibility of Israel bombing Iran or the Arab Spring going wrong or an expanding African adventure for France and other European countries longing for a return to colonial times).

Kim Jong-Who and the reunification of Korea

December 19, 2011

North Korea’s Dear Leader Kim Jong-il passed away yesterday at the age of 69.

He will be succeeded (probably) by Kim Jong-Un but exactly who he is is a matter of some speculation.

My crystal ball tells me that the reunification of Korea will be a reality within 5 years. The scenario I see is that after much noise and threats the North will ask for help – mainly for food. S Korean industrialists will get heavily involved in these “compassionate” projects and will develop the North Korean market in the interests of their own conglomerates. And then the changes will escalate and will be irreversible.

Nearly all countries and even China publicly support the reunification of the Koreas. But this will be a much more traumatic process than the German reunification – which was not cheap and is not complete even after 20 years. With a population of about 50 million in the South and about 25 million in the North it will inevitably seem like an “acquisition” of the North by the South. While the 25 million is a mouth-watering additional (and captive) market for the industrial conglomerates of the South, the social pressures of what should be seen to be a “merger” appearing to be an acquisition would place an unprecedented and formidable challenge for the politicians of the South. The politicians themselves have a reputation for being in the pockets of the various chaebols and whether they will have the vision and skill to manage the social upheaval remains to be seen.

Though the process may well start within the next 5 years, it will likely take much longer to complete than the German experience.

Kim Jong-Un

And Kim Jong Un may actually be Kim Jong 2 or maybe 3….?

October 5, 2010

German Expert Casts Doubt on Identity of Kim Jong Un

Kim the student in Switzerland

So-called “Kimologists” based in Seoul, Tokyo and Beijing are busy analyzing the impenetrable machinations of North Korea’s power structure. There is broad agreement that Kim Jong Il, referred to in North Korea as the “Dear Leader,” who succeeded his father Kim Il Sung (known as “Great Leader”) in 1994, suffered a stroke in 2008 and was forced to take time off governing for months.

At least one Japanese expert believes that Kim Jong Il died a long time ago and that doppelgangers are being used.

Was the fat-cheeked young man shown alongside North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il in an official photo really his son and chosen successor, Kim Jong Un?

The last few days have highlighted once again how little the world knows about the regime in Pyongyang. North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, 68, summoned an extremely rare meeting of his Workers Party and presented his son Kim Jong Un, who is aged 26 or perhaps 27, as his successor.

Kim, the heir apparent

A German expert on face research claims he is not identical with the pupil shown in a widely published photo taken during his school days in Switzerland.

A Hamburg-based expert on facial research who was asked by SPIEGEL to compare several photos supposedly portraying Kim in his youth with the latest official one has come to an astonishing conclusion. There is a “high probablility that they are not one and the same person,” he said.

Many Kimologists say it doesn’t really matter who the young man is because he will be firmly embedded in a power apparatus made up of older relatives.

Read the Der Spiegel article: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,721076,00.html

He is supposed to have attended the International School of Berne incognito but even that is disputed, and Kim the heir -apparent may well not be Kim the schoolboy and maybe just the Kim who never was ……….


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