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Stresses on North Korea’s nuclear test mountain – becoming unstable?

After six tests, the mountain hosting North Korea’s nuclear blasts may be exhausted, SMH, Anna Fifield, 21 Oct 17 Tokyo: Have North Korea’s nuclear tests become so big that they’ve altered the geological structure of the land?

Some analysts now see signs that Mount Mantap, the 2200-metre-high peak under which North Korea detonates its nuclear bombs, is suffering from “tired mountain syndrome”.

The mountain visibly shifted during the last nuclear test, an enormous detonation that was recorded as a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in North Korea’s northeast. Since then, the area, which is not known for natural seismic activity, has had three more quakes.

“What we are seeing from North Korea looks like some kind of stress in the ground,” said Paul G Richards, a seismologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

“In that part of the world, there were stresses in the ground but the explosions have shaken them up.”

Chinese scientists have already warned that further nuclear tests could cause the mountain to collapse and release the radiation from the blast.

North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests since 2006, all of them in tunnels burrowed deep under Mount Mantap at a site known as the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Facility. Intelligence analysts and experts alike use satellite imagery to keep close track on movement at the three entrances to the tunnels for signals that a test might be coming.

After the latest nuclear test, on September 3, Kim Jong Un’s regime claimed that it had set off a hydrogen bomb and that it had been a “perfect success”.

After the latest nuclear test, on September 3, Kim Jong Un’s regime claimed that it had set off a hydrogen bomb and that it had been a “perfect success”.

Images captured by Airbus, a space technology company that makes earth observation satellites, showed the mountain literally moving during the test. An 85-acre area on the peak of Mount Mantap visibly subsided during the explosion, an indication of both the size of the blast and the weakness of the mountain.

Since that day, there have been three much smaller quakes at the site, in the 2 to 3 magnitude range, each of them setting fears that North Korea had conducted another nuclear test that had perhaps gone wrong. But they all turned out to be natural.

If the mountain collapses and the hole is exposed, it will let out many bad things.

Wang Naiyan, former chairman of the China Nuclear Society

That has analysts Frank V. Pabian and Jack Liu wondering if Mount Mantap is suffering from “tired mountain syndrome”, a diagnosis previously applied to the Soviet Union’s atomic test sites.

“The underground detonation of nuclear explosions considerably alters the properties of the rock mass,” Vitaly V. Adushkin and William Leith wrote in a report on the Soviet tests for the United States Geological Survey in 2001. This leads to fracturing and rocks breaking, and changes along tectonic faults.

Earthquakes also occurred at the US’ nuclear test site in Nevada after detonations there.

“The experience we had from the Nevada test site and decades of monitoring the Soviet Union’s major test sites in Kazakhstan showed that after a very large nuclear explosion, several other significant things can happen,” Richards said. This included cavities collapsing hours or even months later, he said.

Pabian and Liu said the North Korean test site also seemed to be suffering.

“Based on the severity of the initial blast, the post-test tremors, and the extent of observable surface disturbances, we have to assume that there must have been substantial damage to the existing tunnel network under Mount Mantap,” they wrote in a report for the specialist North Korea website 38 North.

But the degradation of the mountain does not necessarily mean that it would be abandoned as a test site – just as the United States did not abandon the Nevada test site after earthquakes there, they said. Instead, the US kept using the site until a nuclear test moratorium took effect in 1992.

For that reason, analysts will continue to keep a close eye on the Punggye-ri test site to see if North Korea starts excavating there again – a sign of possible preparations for another test.

The previous tests took place through the north portal to the underground tunnels, but even if those tunnels had collapsed, North Korea’s nuclear scientists might still use tunnel complexes linked to the south and west portals, Pabian and Liu said.

Chinese scientists have warned that another test under the mountain could lead to an environmental disaster. If the whole mountain caved in on itself, radiation could escape and drift across the region, said Wang Naiyan, the former chairman of the China Nuclear Society and senior researcher on China’s nuclear weapons programme.

“We call it ‘taking the roof off’. If the mountain collapses and the hole is exposed, it will let out many bad things,” Wang told the South China Morning Post last month……http://www.smh.com.au/world/after-six-tests-the-mountain-hosting-north-koreas-nuclear-blasts-may-be-exhausted-20171021-gz5ixm.html

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October 23, 2017 Posted by | environment, North Korea, safety, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea, within months, able to launch nuclear weapon at the US

North Korea could launch nuclear weapon at the US within months, CIA director warns  THE CIA director has issued a scary warning on rogue state’s intentions as Russia urges not to back North Korea into a cornernews.com.au 21 Oct 17, Debra Killalea@DebKillalea NORTH Korea is just months away from perfecting its nuclear weapons capabilities and could strike the United States within months.

That is the grim warning given by CIA Director Mike Pompeo who said the secretive state was getting closer to achieving its nuclear ambitions.

Mr Pompeo told a national security forum in Washington that US needed to behave as if “we are on the cusp of them achieving their objective of being able to strike the United States”.

“When you’re now talking about months, our capacity to understand that at the detailed level is in some sense irrelevant,” he said.

“Whether it happens on Tuesday or a month from Tuesday, we are at a time where the president has concluded that we need a global effort to ensure that Kim Jong-un doesn’t have that capacity.”

However he said there’s a difference between having the ability to fire a single nuclear missile and the capability of producing large amounts of material and developing an arsenal of such weapons.

During the same conference, US President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser HR McMaster said the country was in a race to resolve the crisis.

“We are not out of time,” he told the forum, organised by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank.

“But we are running out of time,” he said.

‘BACKED INTO A CORNER

It comes as Russia called for support for a plan between Moscow and Beijing to end US and South Korean military drills in exchange for North Korea halting its missile testing.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said a dialogue would prevent a huge humanitarian, economic and ecological catastrophe in the region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has also repeated his calls for calm.

While condemning Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions, Putin said the stand-off should be settled through dialogue and without “cornering North Korea, threatening to use force or going down to outright boorishness and swearing.”

….. US WILL ‘MEET MOST MISERABLE DEATH’

Meanwhile North Korea launched new violent threats against the US and South Korea overnight, promising any nations that provoke or invade the country would “meet the most miserable death”.

Speaking via KCNA, the rogue nation said the joint US-South Korean naval drill in the waters off the Korean Peninsula risked nuclear war……. http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/leaders/north-korea-could-launch-nuclear-weapon-at-the-us-within-months-cia-director-warns/news-story/ee8f1873f2938aec5ee45ff126b43832

 

October 21, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Koreans support Kim Jong un’s bellicose policies

North Koreans undaunted by the prospect of nuclear war http://www.euronews.com/2017/10/19/north-koreans-undaunted-by-the-prospect-of-nuclear-war, By Robert Hackwill, 

President Donald Trump’s bellicose rhetoric on North Korea appears to have had the effect of stiffening people’s resolve, with some North Koreans even believing they could survive nuclear conflict.

In this newly nuclear nation there seems to be more bikes on the road than cars. For decades they’ve had a military-first policy; that’s what we’re going to see. We are very quickly learning that President Trump’s rhetoric is having a profound effect. Officials here, talking to us about President Trump, the Vice Foreign Minister warning that he believes this region is on the brink of war, and if that is the case, then we are standing here on the front line,” reports NBC’s Kier Simmons.

“This is the border, the demilitarised zone between the north and South Korea. President Trump is expected to visit South Korea next month. I asked a Lieutenant-Colonel who is based here ‘What do you think about President Trump?’ He said to me, very plainly, that he believes the president is mentally ill. I spoke to another North Korean official who’s the father of a young son, and I said to him, ‘Aren’t you frightened by the prospect of war?’ And you know what he said to me? He said that all his life he has felt as if his existence is threatened by the United States, and he said that he thinks that North Korea and the North Koreans could even survive a nuclear war.”

October 21, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, public opinion | Leave a comment

North Korea’s belligerant response to USA-South Korea military drills

North Korea warns US of ‘unimaginable’ nuclear strike http://thehill.com/policy/defense/356166-north-korea-warns-us-of-unimaginable-nuclear-strike, North Korea is warning that the United States will face an “unimaginable” nuclear strike for conducting ongoing joint naval drills with the South Korean military on the Korean peninsula.

“The U.S. is running amok by introducing under our nose the targets we have set as primary ones,” the state-controlled news agency KCNA warned Thursday, Newsweek reported. “The U.S. should expect that it would face unimaginable strike at an unimaginable time.”

KCNA also reportedly blamed the U.S. for “creating tension on the eve of war” by participating in civilian evacuation drills in South Korea over the weekend.

The remarks come amid escalating tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.

President Trump has recently stepped up his rhetoric against North Korea and leader Kim Jong Un, whom he’s dubbed “Little Rocket Man.”

During his first address to the United Nations General Assembly last month, Trump threatened to “totally destroy North Korea” if it continued to threaten the U.S. and its allies.

The high-stakes war of words comes after North Korea conducted a series of intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear tests to display its progress toward developing a nuclear missile capable of striking the U.S.

October 20, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Korea developing missiles to destroy North Korea nuclear facilities

 https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/10/19/South-Korea-developing-missiles-to-destroy-North-Korea-nuclear-facilities/3121508418413/, By Elizabeth Shim   South Korea is preparing for full-scale war with North Korea by developing missiles that could destroy North Korea nuclear and missile facilities in the event of a conflict.

Gen. Kim Yong-woo, chief of staff of the South Korean army, said a plan to reduce to ashes North Korea’s weapons facilities, has been created, local newspaper Segye Ilbo reported Thursday. Kim, who submitted his report for an annual parliamentary audit by the National Assembly’s defense committee, said the objective of the plan is to decimate Pyongyang’s weapons of mass destruction while minimizing casualties.

“We will develop the concept of operations that suppresses North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction in the early stages, while minimizing damage,” Kim said Thursday.

The concept of operations includes the development of three types of all-weather, ultra-precise, high-power missiles, the formation of a special maneuvering unit, a combat bot and drone system, and “game changers” or cutting-edge military systems.

The three types of missiles include a tactical surface-to-surface missile, the Hyunmoo-2, and the Hyunmoo-4 missiles, according to local news network YTN. The Hyunmoo-4, capable of carrying a 2-ton nuclear warhead and of targeting North Korea’s underground military facilities, will begin development once U.S.-South Korea missile guidelines are revised.

Included in the plan is an air-ground task force that includes airborne and mechanized troops, that would be deployed to make a push into enemy territory and to neutralize nuclear and missile facilities, Seoul said.

In a separate statement on Thursday, the South Korean navy said the Korea-based three-axis system that includes Kill Chain, Seoul’s pre-emptive strike system, is under review.

October 20, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA would consider direct talks with North Korea, eventually – Deputy Secretary of State John J Sullivan

US OFFICIAL SAYS NOT RULING OUT EVENTUAL DIRECT TALKS WITH NORTH KOREA, Eye Witness News, 18 Oct 17,

Tension has soared following a series of weapons tests by North Korea and a string of increasingly bellicose exchanges between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.  Reuters |  

TOKYO/UNITED NATIONS – The United States is not ruling out the eventual possibility of direct talks with North Korea, Deputy Secretary of State John J Sullivan said on Tuesday, hours after Pyongyang warned nuclear war might break out at any moment.

Talks between the adversaries have long been urged by China in particular, but Washington and its ally Japan have been reluctant to sit down at the table while Pyongyang continues to pursue a goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States.

“Eventually, we don’t rule out the possibility of course of direct talks,” Sullivan said in Tokyo after talks with his Japanese counterpart……..http://ewn.co.za/2017/10/17/us-official-says-not-ruling-out-eventual-direct-talks-with-north-korea

October 18, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Stalemate continues, as North Korea warns that ‘nuclear war may break out any moment’

North Korea says ‘nuclear war may break out any moment’ — but that’s the last thing it wants, Business Insider, ALEX LOCKIEOCT 18, 2017

“In terms of its precision strike technology, in terms of its ability to put metal on targets,” there is never really a contest between the US and South Korea versus North Korea, Plant told Business Insider.

 But a stalemate remains. North Korean artillery, before getting obliterated by US and South Korean air power, could kill off as many as 20,000 in South Korea’s capital of Seoul each day. This all but precludes a US preemptive strike…….

Read more at https://www.businessinsider.com/north-korea-nuclear-war-any-moment-us-threats-likelihood-2017-10#Bhct6Zj5xUZaFF7o.99

October 18, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

China forced to close top skiing area, due to earthquake concerns about North Korea’s nuclear tests

North Korean Nuclear Tests Close Chinese Ski Area, Outside, 17 Oct 17, 

Border resort shuttered amid earthquake and volcano concerns after a series of underground detonations China announced an indefinite closure of the country’s only cat-access ski resort due to earthquakes that were caused by a series of underground nuclear tests conducted by North Korea.

Changbaishan Ski Resort is part of China’s Changbaishan National Nature Reserve, a nearly 800-square-mile preserve along North Korea’s northern border that sits within 70 miles of the nation’s nuclear test site at Punggye-ri. The underground nuclear detonations in late September registered a seismic magnitude of 6.3, and eight seconds later produced a burst of seismic energy measuring 4.1, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The events triggered a landslide on a mountain within Changbaishan, prompting China to close a large section of the reserve—the only section with ski access.

“For the safety and convenience of travelers, we have temporarily closed the zone of Changbai Mountain. Officials are thoroughly investigating the safety of the tourist area,” reads a message from Chinese authorities, adding that the area will remain closed until “the potential risks disappear.”………

But the mountain range along the border of North Korea and China is sacred to more than just powder hounds. According to North Korean legend, its highest peak, Paektu Mountain, is the birthplace of the country’s former dictator Kim Jong-il. According to geological history, the range is also the skeleton of a violent volcanic eruption, an event that turned an ancient peak into the ring of mountains that appear today.

Aside from earthquakes and the subsequent landslides and avalanches, researchers worry that continued nuclear tests could recreate that explosive scenario, reactivating magma chambers and kicking off what would be a catastrophic modern-day volcanic eruption. A Newsweekarticle said that for a nuclear detonation to cause serious damage to a volcano, a preceding underground blast would need to measure at least 100 kilotons. The explosion in September was estimated to be around two and a half times that size. https://www.outsideonline.com/2251541/north-korea-nuclear-tests-are-affecting-skiing-china

October 18, 2017 Posted by | China, North Korea, safety | Leave a comment

THE UNITED Arab Emirates (UAE) to sever ties with North Korea

UAE severs North Korea ties over nuclear & missile threats – thousands of workers at risk  THE UNITED Arab Emirates (UAE) has announced plans to cut ties with North Korea amid international outrage at Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programmes. By WILL KIRBY, orth Korea’s ambassador in the country has been told to leave and the UAE will terminate its own envoy’s services in Pyongyang, according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

The statement also said the UAE will stop issuing new visas or company licenses to North Korean citizens.

Several thousand North Korean workers live in the country, with many working on construction sites.

They earn a significantly better wage than they would for the same job in their own country, but are forced to make so-called “loyalty payments” to Kim Jong-un’s regime…….

The measures taken by the UAE come after President Trump urged United Nations members to ramp up pressure on the hermit state to give up its nuclear weapons.

The UAE foreign ministry statement reads: “The measures… come within the context of its obligation as a responsible member of the international community to strengthen the international will and to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons and missile programs.”

The announcement follows similar moves by the UAE’s Gulf Arab neighbours Qatar and Kuwait, which last month downgraded their ties with Pyongyang and stopped issuing new visas to North Korean citizens……. http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/865707/north-korea-news-latest-uae-visa-attack-nuclear-missile-strike-war-united-arab-emirates

October 14, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, United Arab Emirates | Leave a comment

Earthquake hits area near to North Korea’s nuclear test site

North Korea earthquake hits near nuclear test site THE AUSTRALIAN, 13 Oct 17 A series of tremors and landslides near North Korea’s nuclear test base probably mean the country’s sixth and largest blast has destabilised the region, and the Punggye-ri nuclear site may not be used for much longer to test nuclear weapons, experts say.

A small quake was detected early today near the North’s nuclear test site, South Korea’s weather agency said, but unlike quakes associated with nuclear tests, it did not appear to be man-made.

The tremor was the latest in a string of at least three shocks to be observed since Pyongyang’s September 3 nuclear test, which caused a 6.3 magnitude earthquake.

Today’s quake was a magnitude 2.7 with a depth of 3km in North Hamgyong Province in North Korea, the Korea Meteorological Administration said. The United States Geological Survey measured the quake at 2.9 magnitude at a depth of 5km.

“This event occurred in the area of the previous North Korean nuclear tests. The event has earthquake-like characteristics, however, we cannot conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event,” the US agency said.

But the Korea Meteorological Administration in the South said on its website that “analysis shows it was a natural quake”. “It is believed to have caused no damage,” it added.

The series of quakes has prompted experts and observers to suspect the last test – which the North claimed to be of a hydrogen bomb – may have damaged the mountainous location in the northwest tip of the country, where all of North Korea’s six nuclear tests were conducted.

“The explosion from the September 3 test had such power that the existing tunnels within the underground testing site might have caved in,” said Kim So- gu, head researcher at the Korea Seismological Institute.

“I think the Punggye-ri region is now pretty saturated. If it goes ahead with another test in this area, it could risk radioactive pollution.”

According to 38 North, a Washington-based project that monitors North Korea, numerous landslides throughout the nuclear test site have been detected via satellite images after the sixth test. These disturbances are more numerous and widespread than seen after any of the North’s previous tests, 38 North said.

The explosion from the sixth test was large enough for residents of the Chinese border city of Yanji, 200km north of North Korea’s nuclear test site, to feel the ground shake beneath their feet.

“The reason why Punggye-ri has become North Korea’s nuclear testing field is because this area was considered stable and rarely saw tremors in the past,” said Hong Tae-kyung, a professor of earth system science at Yonsei University in Seoul.

“The recent small quakes suggest that the test might have triggered crust deformation.” South Korea’s spy agency said recently the North was readying possibly two more tunnels following its latest test, according to ruling Democratic Party members who had been briefed on the issue…..http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/north-korea-earthquake-hits-near-nuclear-test-site/news-story/be93e835ed073f95743d480f98c772db

October 14, 2017 Posted by | incidents, North Korea | Leave a comment

Earthquake detected near North Korea’s nuclear site – raising fears of a new nuclear test

Fears of new nuclear test in North Korea after earthquake is detected near test site, Mirror UK, 12 Oct 17 All of North Korea’s previous six nuclear tests registered as earthquakes and the country’s latest tremor has struck on Friday the 13th A small earthquake has been detected in North Korea where previous nuclear tests have been carried out.

The United States Geological Survey said a 2.9 magnitude quake with a depth of 5km was recorded 23km north-east of Sungjibaegam.

 The area is has been used previously by the country to carry out nuclear drills which have resulted in subsequent tremors.

A statement on the US Geological Survey website reads: “This event occurred in the area of the previous North Korean Nuclear tests.

“The event has earthquake like characteristics, however, we cannot conclusively confirm at this time the nature (natural or human-made) of the event.”

All of North Korea’s previous six nuclear tests registered as earthquakes of magnitude 4.3 or above.

The last test the country carried out on September 3 registered as a 6.3 magnitude quake.

The US Geological Survey said that quake struck 55 km north northwest of Kimchaek. There was no reports of damage or casualties…….. http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/fears-new-nuclear-test-north-11333338

October 13, 2017 Posted by | incidents, North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Satellite photos show North Korean shipyard test site. A new nuclear missile launch might be imminent

North Korea nuclear missile launch IMMINENT? Satellite photos expose shipyard test site http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/865463/North-Korea-news-nuclear-missile-launch-World-War-3-submarine-ballistic-satellite
NORTH Korea could conduct its latest nuclear missile test within days as satellite images revealed ongoing activity at a shipyard test site., By VICKIIE OLIPHANT , Oct 12, 2017

 The commercial photographs of the infamous Sinpo South Shipyard suggest Kim Jong-un’smilitary are working on developing a submarine-launched ballistic missile.

Aerial snaps seem to show work on an experimental ballistic missile submarine is complete.

And the images, taken on September 21, also reveal a new shipbuilding program is underway with improvements being made to test stands.

Military experts have said North Korea led by Kim Jong-un, is looking to upgrade is sea-based nuclear fleet and its submarine’s launch system Pukguksong-1.

And the release of the images comes amid a period of heightened tensions between North Korea and the United States with both sides issuing threats and counter-threats.

Just this week, American bomber planes flew over the Korean peninsula and a “nuke sniffer” aircraft was deployed yesterday.

Although no military provocation materialised, the North’s state-run newspaper accused the White House of pushing them towards a nuclear war and vowed not to stand by in the face of “criminal actions of warmongers”.

Joseph Bermudez, a specialist in North Korean defence and intelligence affairs, posted the satellite photographs on the 38 North web journal of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

He said: “The netting suspended over the SINPO-class submarine (SSBA) observed last month is no longer present, indicating that whatever work was being conducted on the vessel has been completed.

“The nature of such work is, however, unknown.

“Both the submarine and submersible missile test stand barge remain berthed at the same positions in the secure boast basin as noted in our August 7 report, suggesting, without offering real proof, that they have not left port.”

Although he said “the current imagery does not indicate an imminent test”, the photos come as North Koreans celebrate the anniversary of the ruling Workers Party – a day previously picked out by the regime to test new missiles.

Experts fear Kim could now be preparing a launch for next week, saying October 18 – the start of China’s Party Congress – would be another ideal opportunity.

Pyongyang is adamant on continuing Kim’s nuclear programme despite a string of increasingly volatile threats from Donald Trump.

Kim Jong-un has caused international outrage following months of missile tests – including a Hwasong 14 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the USA.

Now Donald Trump has sent the USS Tuscon, one of the nation’s nuclear submarines, to the Korean peninsula in an apparent show of force against the young tyrant.

Officials have revealed the nuclear vessel made port on Saturday, arriving at Chinhae, South Korea. A statement from US Pacific Command said: “With a crew of approximately 150, Tucson can conduct a multitude of missions and maintain proficiencies of the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet.

“Tucson’s crew operates with a high state of readiness and is always prepared to tackle any mission that comes their way.”

October 13, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea ‘has ballistic missile with a range of 3000km’ 

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/10/10/north-korea-has-ballistic-missile-range-3000km-russia    : Russia North Korea’s leadership has told Russian lawmakers that it possesses a ballistic missile with a range of 3,000 kilometres that will be able to reach US territory after modernisation, the Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday. Interfax cited Anton Morozov, a lawmaker and member of the lower house of parliament’s international affairs committee, who visited Pyongyang from October 2 to 6.

North Korea aims to increase the range of its ballistic missiles to 9,000 kilometres, Morozov was quoted as saying.

“There was no talk about the deadline (for solving this task),” he said.

October 11, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea Nuclear Test leaves Chinese city shaken

October 9, 2017 Posted by | China, North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Kim Yo Jong, younger sister of Kim Joug-un, promoted to high government position in North Korea

Kim Jong-un promotes younger sister amid war of words with Donald Trump, KIM Jong-un has just given his sister a promotion. But behind the scenes, she has been pulling the strings for years.AAP and Reuters, News Corp Australia NetworkOCTOBER 9, 2017

NORTH Korean leader Kim Jong-un has promoted his younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, to a higher position in the one-party state, state media reports.

Kim Yo Jong, along with three other functionaries, was appointed as an “alternate member” of the politburo at a meeting of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea on Saturday in Pyongyang, according to state media.

The Central Committee is one of the leadership committees of the party, consisting of the politburo, the highest executive organ, as well as the secretariat.

Kim Yo Jong, according to South Korean media, is 30 years old. Since inheriting power from his father in 2011, Kim Jong-un has placed his younger sister in various positions to strengthen the position of the family within the country’s leadership.

There has been speculation since 2014, when Kim Yo Jong rose to a deputy department head of the Central Committee, that she could be further elevated in the leadership hierarchy and greater assist her brother in government affairs.

It is believed that Kim Yo Jong manages her brother’s public appearances.

Her promotion indicates she has become a replacement for Kim’s aunt, Kim Kyong Hee, who had been a key decision maker when former leader Kim Jong Il was alive….

The appointment of his sister comes as Kim says his nuclear weapons are a “powerful deterrent” which guarantee North Korea’s sovereignty, hours after US president Donald Trump said “only one thing will work” in dealing with the isolated country.

Mr Trump did not make clear as to what he was referring, but his comments seemed to be a further suggestion that military action was on his mind…….http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/leaders/kim-jongun-praises-north-koreas-nuclear-program-after-trump-tweet/news-story/03ef240f97886189d48c511472943667

October 9, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics | Leave a comment