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This Is What a World Without American Leadership Looks Like

This Is What a World Without American Leadership Looks Like
The escalating feud between U.S. allies Japan and South Korea is what happens when the president ignores his responsibilities.

AUG 23, 201911:19 AM

A little over a month ago, White House officials suddenly realized that tensions between South Korea and Japan—the two top U.S. allies in North Asia—were spiraling out of control. Like most Americans who don’t follow Asian politics, they seemed unaware, or unfazed, that these tensions had erupted periodically for the past 70 years—and that the eruptions have usually been quelled by American mediation.

The issues between the two countries have been the same all along. What’s different, this time around, is that President Donald Trump—unlike all previous presidents—has had, until very recently, no interest in stepping in.

“How many things do I have to get involved in?” he asked last month, in a tone of exasperation, when he first heard requests to help quell the tensions. The implication was that he didn’t much want to get involved in this one. And so the tensions spiraled.

Those issues between the two countries amount to a toxic brew of nationalist resentments dating back more than a century. They ought to be a cautionary tale in this era when our own country is repackaging old tribal disputes into seething partisan politics.


White House indifference to the South Korea - Japan dispute is part of the transactional/coercive technique of this administration. The white house loathes the progressive Moon Jae In democratic party government of South Korea. The US defense interests want to increase South Korean payments to the US for defense costs, increase ROK commitments to out of area Indo-Pacific operations; deploy intermediate range ballistic missiles and more THAAD launchers in South Korea; and have South Korea buy into an integrated Aegis air defense system in the region with US and Japanese forces. Unlikely to get much cooperation on these issues from the progressive Moon government, weakening and destabilizing the Moon administration in tacit alliance with the right wing "make Japan great again" Abe government is the chosen path.

South Korea: Japanese Imperialism- Then and Now

Rhee's successor, was the military dictator Park Chung Hee. Park had been a former Japanese Imperial Army officer and spy for the Japanese colonial administration of Manchukuo before the liberation. Shinzo Abe's grandfather Kishi Nobusuke, had been a major figure in the governance of Manchukuo, who directed slave labor operations for economic exploitation by Japanese interests. The details of Park's activities as a Japanese trained imperial officer during this period of collaboration are not clear. His history shows he switched national allegiances and political stripes more than once, to advance himself. His character reminds one of the deadly and treacherous collaborator, "goblin," depicted in the South Korean historical drama, Noktu Flower, concerning the earlier Tonghak period. The characters formed necessarily a product of their respective tumultuous and brutal times.

(Source- JTBC News 8.6) Prime Minister Abe: President Park Geun Hye's father, President Park Chung Hee, was a close friend of my grandfather. It would not be an exaggeration to say that President Park Chung Hee was the friendliest president to Japan. Title of program is war crimes stained South Korea- Japan Cooperation Committee influence on South Korean politics; Arising out of the Manchurian Army- Key war crimes enterprise board executive- pivotal role.

Lately, it is said that Abe's family legacy as the political heir of Kishi Nobusuke is not the root of the current Japanese Korean dispute. This contention couldn't be more wrong. The relationship is pivotal to Japanese corporations involved in the colonial and wartime exploitation of Korea and their later central influence over Japanese- South Korean relations. After Kishi finished his term as prime minister of post war Japan, he played a key role in the negotiations leading to the 1965 Agreement with the Park regime "normalizing" relations with South Korea. This was not an arms length agreement but rather Kishi as the defacto representative of Japanese industrial interests in Korea, the old imperial order, negotiating with Manchukuo's former military agent for Japanese interests in the conquered territories, namely Park Chung Hee. Abe coyly admitted at a meeting of the Japanese Korean Cooperation Committee in 2013, the same organization that Kisi headed 50 years earlier when it first convened in 1963, that Kisi and Park were "close friends."

The 1965 agreement drafted by the committee didn't settle all individual Korean claims against Japanese corporations. The legal basis for this view was expressed on July 30, on JTBC by Hosaka Fuji, professor at Sejong University. He describes the issue in terms of the the difference between claims based on contract and property principles for indemnity, which were settled by the agreement from those individual claims for injury compensation which were not. He asserted that the 1965 Agreement did not extinguish private personal injury claims based upon criminal behavior by Japanese during the colonial and wartime periods. Other Japanese and Korean experts have expressed this same view. The professor went on to describe the position of the Abe government as a fraud on the international community as the legal principles had previously been recognized by the Japanese government.

(Source-JTBC News 7.30) Hosaka Fuji, Sejong University professor: The South Korea- Japan Claims Settlement Agreement ended claims for indemnity. Claims for injury compensation still remain.

The Japanese contention today is that such claims aren't lawful under "international law" because of the 1965 Agreement. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs documents contemporaneous to the agreement show this not to be the case:

The text of the 1965 agreement says in Article 2, “The High Contracting Parties confirm that the issues concerning property, rights, and interests of the two High Contracting Parties and their peoples (including juridical persons) and the claims between the High Contracting Parties and between their peoples, including those stipulated in Article IV(a) of the Peace Agreement with Japan signed at the city of San Francisco on September 8, 1951, have been settled completely and finalized.” The Korean government received through the agreement $300 million in grants, $200 million in loans and $300 million in private loans. Regarding the interpretation of Article 2, the Japanese government maintained the attitude through the 1990s that the individual right to recourse still existed. Since then, Tokyo has been denying that stance. Recently, Japanese courts have also been dismissing claims for damages from victims, arguing that the agreement settled all claims.*

*Japanese document confirms individual right to recourse in spite of Korea-Japan Agreement of 1965, March 15, 2010

The Japanese Foreign Ministry prepared an internal document in 1965 saying, “Though a treaty was signed, an individual’s right to seek damages is a separate issue.”

...The document was titled “The legal meaning of the people’s rights and the waiver of the rights to seek damages under the peace treaty.”

“When an individual’s property rights (private rights) in a country is infringed upon by another country, the former country holds the right to seek damages from the latter country, but this right is legally separate from the individual’s own right to seek damages,” the document said.*

*Individual Claims Not Covered by 1965 Treaty: Documents
Posted March. 15, 2010 09:29,

(Source- JTBC News 8.6) Class A war criminal awarded by South Korean government. In 1970, Kisi was awarded the top national award in diplomacy by South Korean dictator Park Chung Hee, the Distinguished Order of Diplomatic Service. Park was a former graduate of Japanese military schools and a former military officer and agent of the Japanese Imperial Army in Manchukuo.

Most of the money in the "settlement" were loans at relatively high rates of interest. Most of what was characterized as "aid" and "approaching settlement for claims," was not delivered in funds but rather goods in kind and services in kind from the very corporations who had committed the slave labor crimes during the colonial and wartime period. The most significant portion of the settlement went to Pohang Steel. It was not settlement for injuries due to slave labor war crimes against Koreans. According to the JTBC report, arrangements for Korean projects built by Japanese corporations with loans were accompanied by bribes, kickbacks and other corruption. A JTBC expert commentator said that the primary contracts went to Japanese corporations and that prices for goods and services were over charged. This was the so called "black fog." The committee operated primarily as a private organization run through personal connections and there was little transparency, supervision or accounting for their expenditures.

(Source- JTBC News 8.5) "Aid," the disappearing 800 million dollars, tracking how it was used.

The tainted history of Park Chung Hee, is camouflaged by the myth about his status as father of the economic miracle of South Korea. Other administrations appeared to have obscured the record of collaboration and toadying to Japanese interests out of political expediency. The reactionary right wing parties that made Park's daughter president after South Korea came out into the daylight of legitimate representative government had to conceal the pro-Japanese collaboration that had brought her family power and political influence. When the Korean courts began adjudication of litigation against Japanese corporations responsible for slave labor war crimes, she obligingly, at the request of the Japanese government led by Abe, illegally interfered in the administration of justice by the constitutionally separate judicial branch. When she was removed from power for such practices and other corruption, the proper and lawful adjudication of the slave labor claims went forward. So the "unjustified" claims against Japan aren't the result of Moon Jae In, they are the result of the rule of law permitted to go forward.

As Abe comes forward with disingenuous arguments, claiming the 1965 Agreement forecloses such claims by individual South Koreans against war crime legacy Japanese corporations, the US pretends not to understand the deeply rooted nature of the problem. William Underwood has documented the long history of evasion, obstruction, collusion and denial by the offending Japanese corporations and the Japanese government in precluding these claims. The rift was caused by the dictators in South Korea the US wholeheartedly supported, their successor administrations, and the US supported LDP party in Japan, founded, in part, by war criminal and Nazi sympathizer, Kishi Nobusuke, with the support of the CIA. It is clear from the history of the agreement that private claims for compensation due to forced labor war crimes are not foreclosed by the agreement as a matter of fact.* The agreement did not settle those claims but forestalled the issue indefinitely as a practical matter by entering an agreement with a compliant pro-Japanese dictator in South Korea.

*[Fact check] S. Korean individuals have the right to claim compensation from Japan
Posted on : Aug.7,2019 16:57 KST Modified on : Aug.7,2019 16:57 KST

(Source- JTBC News 8.6) Kishi Nobusuke, South Korea- Japan Cooperation Committee President (1963): "No person here thinks of this as a war of invasion." This was the revisionist mythology of Meiji imperialists and advocates of the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere.

The US military posture in East Asia would be reduced to something similar to its pre-WWII status without Japan's support and military infrastructure. That is inconsistent with the so called "pivot to Asia" and the looming US disputes with China. Abe knows this and is taking an aggressive, if not outright belligerent stance, in attempt to return South Korea to a quisling status, as it was under the Korean right wing dictators and subsequent transitional administrations. For this reason the US pretends not to know why its allies can't get along, or the very serious flaws at the heart of the US alliance system in Asia, that were present at its birth, but actively concealed from public view. At this time in history, when democracy has seen the light of day of in South Korea, these flaws are not just historical grievances but relate to the very essence of what kind of leader Abe really is, and what kind of party the LDP is. The potential dangers of yielding to Abe-LDP initiatives, such as removing constitutional limits on Japanese military operations, and conducting a devastating trade war with South Korea, rival those of American complicity in Japanese imperialism at the dawn of the 20th Century.

The core organizers are fighting for secession

Not much chance of that happening. What do people expect the Beijing government to say? The core organizers are more inclined to violent acts such as destroying property, and injuring police. This is a continuation of prior demonstrations in 2014 and 2017.

The notion that is just about extradition legislation is western editing. There never was "democracy" in Hong Kong during 150 plus years of western colonial rule. I saw an estimate that about 16 percent of demonstrators sought secession or sovereignty. I've heard others say 20 percent. The larger group is more interested in democratic reforms, such as universal suffrage.

The monopoly capitalists who have always run Hong Kong, along with the foreign legations, and foreign business interests will just pack their bags and leave when the crackdown comes. They will have fomented it with their support for the movement, but when push comes to shove they will wash their hands of it. The inequities of wealth distribution, housing shortages and lack of economic opportunity in Hong Kong for ordinary citizens are the fundamental source of discontent. It is primarily a movement of dissatisfied young people.

DPRK Diplomat reportedly alive after South Korea said Kim Jong Un Killed Him- not the first time


Newsweek BY TOM O'CONNOR ON 7/16/19

...Kim Hyok Chol was appointed chief negotiator for Pyongyang's special envoy in the lead up to the second U.S.-North Korea summit February in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi. Months after the dialogue fell through with no agreement, South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo cited unnamed North Korean sources in May saying that Kim Hyok Chol had been executed and others top officials purged in March on the orders of supreme leader Kim Jong Un.

...Some of these reports were rooted in reality, such as Kim Jong Un's decision to have his uncle, veteran political elite Jang Song Thaek, executed in December 2013. Still, even this story of North Korea's inner political and even personal struggles was stretched by many outlets to include that he was allegedly eaten by a pack of wild dogs—a rumor traced back to Singapore's Strait Times, then the Hong Kong-based Wen Wei Po and finally, a satirical blog on Chinese social media.

In a previous case of a North Korean officially apparently falsely being reported dead, the tables were turned on CNN and Chosun Ilbo. Kim Kyong Hui, Jang's wife and the sister of Kim Jong Un's late father, Kim Jong Il, was also said by a North Korean defector to have been executed by her nephew, according to a May 2015 CNN report. This contradicted earlier claims by South Korea's intelligence agency arguing she was still alive...

Other inaccurate reports concerning "purged" North Koreans discussed at link:

It was Chosun Ilbo that reported Kim Hyuk Chol had been executed in North Korea not official South Korean sources.

South Korean media, also citing anonymous diplomatic sources, reported Thursday that Kim Myong Gil former DPRK Ambassador to Vietnam would take on the role previously held by Kim Hyok Chol.


Chosun Ilbo and JoongAng Ilbo are in the news today in South Korea for writing misleading headlines intended to aggravate Japanese readers of translated news articles concerning the ongoing South Korean- Japanese trade war.

Korea: The "Antiquated" Trip Wire Strategy of the CFC: End in Sight?

(Source- Channel A News Top Ten, 6.4) Title- Agreement overturned, the CFC will move to Pyeongtaek. "The last bastion of the trip wire broken?" Chart shows relative postions of the US Army's 210th Fire Brigade in Tongduchan and the blue and red emblem of the Combined Forces Command represents the Camp Humphreys, Pyeongtaek location. Banners say, "US Forces Korea trip wire moves south," and, "the security of US automatic entry (is a) Maginot line.

It appears from the discussion on Channel A News Top Ten today concerning the movement of the Combined Forces Command to Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, announced by Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan, and South Korean Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong DU, that the 210th Artillery Brigade will ultimately be removed from Dongduchan South Korea at some point in the future. Movement of this remaining element of the 2nd Infantry Division from it's forward position north of the Han River and proximate to the demilitarized zone, would eliminate in view of some critics the benefit of the so called "trip wire" strategy which automatically triggers US military involvement in the defense of South Korea should a North Korean invasion or other attack occur across the DMZ. Other elements of the division had already been moved southward to Camp Humphreys along with US Forces Korea, and the United Nations Command.

The so-called iron trip wire strategy was long a visible source of stability and security to South Korean citizens knowing it's powerful US ally would automatically be directly involved in the defense of South Korea in the event of a North Korean attack. On the other hand the US military presence sometimes was a source of friction with the local community. According to a July 16, 2017 report of the English language Hankyoreh:

The division was originally slated to be relocated in its entirely to Pyeongtaek by 2016 in accordance with the Pyeongtaek relocation plan. But a decision was made at a South Korea-US Security Consultative Meeting in Washington on Oct. 23, 2014, to leave the 210th Artillery Brigade there through 2020 while the South Korean military beefed up its firepower warfare capabilities.

At that point, three of six military installations in the Dongduchan area operated by the US Army had already been returned to the city.


(Source- Channel A News Top Ten, 6.4) Official ROK Ministry of Defense spokesperson, "The trip wire concept is is quite dated, we consider this to be an outdated idea."

An official statement from the ROK Ministry of Defense, today, disputed that the strength or readiness of the US- South Korean alliance would be adversely affected in any way by the change in the geographical dispositions of US forces, and said the concept of the trip wire engagement of US forces was out of date and not in keeping with modern warfare concepts. The issues have reemerged with the news that a South Korean general not from the ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff would be established in Camp Humphreys as the US- ROK Combined Forces Commander in time of war in the future when preparations are completed and operational capabilities are considered to have been demonstrated. The ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff, would remain in Seoul in their MND headquarters near the old Yongsan garrison location.



US-DPRK: Mine's Bigger than Yours

(Source- Channel A News Top Ten, 5.9)

North Korea has fired two more guided missiles from a launch site inland near Sino Ri, North Pyongyan Province. The flight paths carried the missiles eastward toward the Sea of Japan/East Sea. The first launch at 4:30 pm Seoul time was estimated as a 420 to 430 km flight. The second launch at 4:50 pm was estimated at 270 km. The prior guided missile flight from the Hodo peninsula on April 4, was 240 km.

The US announced on April 9 that it had seized a North Korean coal freighter Wise Honest on or about April 2. The US also fired another Minuteman III ICBM in a second exercise on April 9, the missile was targeted at the Kwajalein range in the Marshal Islands. This was the second Minuteman III test launch in just over a week. It is believed that the US Minuteman ICBM launch on the 9th was almost contemporaneous with the two North Korean Sino Ri launches. Reportedly the Vandenburg launch took place ten minutes after the first North Korean launch. The claim that this second Minuteman launch was a routine exercise launch seems disingenuous. The USS Rhode Island test fired a Trident SLBM off the Florida east coast April 9, a few hours later. Some headlines appear to be trying to relate this Navy launch to the North Korean situation to get the most mileage out of it.

(Source- KBS 24 youtube podcast April 26) Panmunjeom Declaration, one year special edition discussion. Pak Ji Won, Democratic Peace Party representive; Jeong Se Hyun, former Unification Minister; Moon Jang In, President's special adviser for unification policy, foreign relations, and national security.

Stephen Biegun is in Seoul purportedly to discuss negotiating approaches to North Korea. South Korea intends to carry out humanitarian food aid to North Korea. The White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the US would not oppose it. I have the distinct impression from listening to an open discussion among the three "wise men" of South Korea concerning unification policies, April 26, calling for more courage from the Moon Administration in a difficult situation, that the humanitarian aid would go ahead whether the US consented or not. The wise men also called for South Korea to draw up a road map for denuclearization with each step delineated on a schedule with tangible actions for North Korea and tangible reciprocal measures by the US including easing of sanctions incrementally as progress is made along the way. Why the US hasn't done this yet reflects on the character of its "negotiating" effort.

Hyunmoo 3 picture side by side

(Source Channel A Top Ten News 5.7)

North Korea tactical guided missile left. South Korean Hyunmoo tactical guided missile right. Both solid fueled.

"This is just kind of what this class of short-range missiles looks like," Lewis says.

Town says, "It actually makes it more difficult for the U.S. and South Korea to postpone military exercises." The problem here is that they had already resumed exercises in late April before this launch in North Korea. Several experts have linked the two events.

In any case, what happened in Hanoi was a rejection of negotiations and a return to regime change politics by the US despite Trump and Pompeo's statements to the contrary. This was signaled implicitly by the breakin to the Madrid embassy by the group "Free Joseon" (just before Hanoi); the adoption of an all or nothing approach to negotiations with no reciprocity at Hanoi; the rejection of the South Korean joint economic overtures to North Korea at Hanoi; the abandonment of the Singapore joint statement; the public complaints about human rights abuses in North Korea by US representatives to UN committees; and the human rights content of daily VOA broadcasts in Korean, including public statements from top republicans in Congress and the Senate on a daily basis concerning human rights, weapons of mass destruction and other items not outlined at Singapore. The import of these events is unmistakable. Even the conservative expert in South Korea, Thae Yong Ho (the former DPRK diplomat) has commented that a return to human rights issues is the code for regime change in North Korea and signals an end to negotiation.

(Source- Channel A News Top Ten 4,23) "US Forces Korea, last week conducted a THAAD deployment to Pyeongtaek...Photo made public on SNS."

In the last few weeks, the US has test fired a double ABM intercept on a single test target in the Pacific, conducted an exercise Minuteman III ICBM launch in the Pacific, deployed THAAD missiles to Camp Humphreys in a mobility exercise, and conducted a renamed version of the Max Thunder joint Air Force exercise with South Korea.

Kim in Vladivostok, Who's the Boss?

(Source- Channel A News 4.26) Choe Son Hui (left circle) arrives in the same limo with Kim Jong Un at the Vladivostok venue for the summit. Her nominal boss, Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, (right circle) apparently rode in the front, while Choe sat in the rear with Kim Jong Un. The streamer says Choi Son Hui reforms Kim Jong Un's dictator image, paraphrasing Thae Yong Ho, expert guest. Thae is a former diplomat who defected from the DPRK embassy in London to South Korea. He had a one on one interview with the host of the Channel A News Top Ten program on April 26 to evaluate developments connected with the Kim-Putin summit.

(Source- Channel A News 4.26) (title- the real reason for Kim Yong Chol's absence?) Why did Chairman Kim bring along Choi Son Hui, First Vice Foreign Minister? To dispel his image as dictator? Choe sits to the right of Sergei Lavrov. Ri Yong Ho, DPRK Foreign Minister sits to Putin's left.

The most interesting contribution of Thae Yong Ho's analysis was his commentary on the elevation of Choe Son Hui to the inner circle of elite power holders in North Korea. Thae cited by way of historical precedent, three women as significant aides to Kim Il Sung during the early days of communist rule in North Korea. Most significant of these was Shin Jin Soon, a graduate of the elite Kyongseong International University, who was said to speak seven languages, and played a major role in North Korean international relations, particularly with Russia, as early as 1945. Her relationship with Kim Il Sung went back to the struggle against the Japanese Empire. Russia was referred to as brother in the struggle against Imperial Japan in Kim Jong Un's Vladivostok speech, as a historical bond that tied the two countries together.

(Source- Channel A News 4.26) Kim Il Sung, Shin Jin Soon, advocated in those days as Soviet foreign relations voice ( literally "wind pipe." )

The elevation of Choe Son Hui to the elite power level in North Korea is a product of her outstanding academic achievement at elite academic institutions, the failure of the Hanoi summit to which Kim Yong Chol's decline is attributed, and the model provided by Kim Il Sung's promotion of elite women to facilitate foreign policy goals. Shin Jin Soon, historically was described as the "wind pipe" to Russia. Kim Jong Un was said to be going to Vladivostok for an "oxygen supply." Ostensibly, the presence of an influential and worldly woman with the Kim delegation, presents a softer image of the dictatorship, in a world where many countries are devoid of women in positions of power.

(Source- Channel A News 4.26) Kim Jong Un: An intelligent woman is good. Thae Yong Ho: "It looks like Kim will be using Choe Son Hui often for nuclear negotiations."

It might be worthwhile to consider the important role played by Choe in comparison to the other women around Kim as his personal support group. Kim is in an isolated position and younger and less experienced than most of the international figures he meets, for example, Xi Jinping, and Vladimir Putin. Thae notes the same has held true inside Kim's own ruling party, where older generation officials have dominated and the much younger heir to power has been engaged in a protracted effort to remove or replace them. Thae characterized the current North Korean leadership circles in term of an older generation typically in their sixties, that is, around thirty years older than Kim. Choe is a little younger than this at age 54, it is believed, and serves as an experienced bridge domestically and internationally as an adviser. The other women in Kim's life: wife, Ri Sol Ju; sister, Kim Yo Jong; and confidante, Hyon Song Wol, are like Kim himself substantially younger. Kim Yo Jang seems to be a highly visible pragmatic assistant when it comes to logistics, protocol, and propaganda. She was noticeably absent in Vladivostok. Choe, more so than the younger women, now has not only the role of a maternal mentor for a relatively young Kim, but the experience to provide the intellectual support and advice in a most challenging if not desperate international situation.

He should turn himself in then

(Source- Channel A News Top Ten 4.17) Three identities of Adrian Hong, used in Europe by the Free Joseon leader, as portrayed by Channel A graphic.

It doesn't actually seem all that mysterious or confusing to those familiar with cold war era spy plots depicted in novels or movies. If one considers the moniker "Oswaldo Trump," the implicit message there seems to be to keep on the right cold war path. Ironically, Victor Cha's latest opinion, in The National Interest Magazine, on relations with North Korea exemplifies the greatest fear inside the national security establishment, that somehow after the debacle arranged by Bolton and Pompeo at Hanoi, a nuclear agreement might still emerge and result in downsizing of US military presence in the far east. The other symbolic aspect of the term "Oswaldo" is the notion of the sacrificial lamb, or scapegoat in these skull and dagger capers. One of the Channel A analysts belabored the obvious when he said the stolen digital data from the embassy was already in US possession and described the return thereof, by the FBI, as a symbolic gesture in terms of compliance with international law. Further, the same is true of Ahn's arrest. That the US authorities will continue to search for the other members of the group is the intention his arrest is meant to convey to the international community.

Free Joseon: Cut off the tail- protect the vital organs


Free Joseon - limited hangout?

(Source- Channel A News Top Ten 3.29) According to, Kim Jong Bong, a former ROK National Intelligence Service employee, Adrian Hong Chang had previously contacted Kim Jong Nam, Kim Hong Un's half brother, and asked him to lead a government in exile repeatedly which he refused to do.

(Source- YTN News 3.29) Kim Han Sol receiving US protection...going forward will this be a variable in negotiations? Story of Kim Han Sol's journey. State Department has nothing to say. Who assisted in Kim Han Sol's American journey? During the YTN interview, national security analyst Kim Jong Bong, said a Japanese language report stated that Kim Jong Nam met with two CIA people directly before he was killed at the Kuala Lumpur airport in 2017. (Kim Jong Nam was Kim Han Sol's father and Kim Jong Un's half brother.) In his opinion the Japanese report was credible. The YTN news graphic in the background shows the relationship he observes among three entities during the rescue of Kim Han Sol after his father's death: Choellima Civil Defense, extract; CIA, transfer; FBI protect.

Kim Jong Bong, a former National Intelligence Service, North Korea desk analyst, stated he felt there was involvement by the CIA in the Kim Han Sol defection and protection operation by the so called Choellima Civil Defense group, but doesn't believe they provided the command or direct support for the Madrid Embassy break in. He concedes that other observers perceive the possibility of US direct support but feels that this kind of action by the US is unlikely because it would hurt US interests and be futile in that respect.

The timing of the attack was intended to discourage the negotiations with the DPRK in Hanoi. The "Free Joseon" group also provides a useful pipeline for operations to weaken the DPRK political position in prospective negotiations and otherwise. Namely, an "independent group" carried out the embassy attack and then provided the FBI with intelligence information they took by force. Most Korean analysts seem to agree that the group that carried out the embassy attack has had extensive training in such special operations from military or intelligence training sources. The YTN guest, who also appears regularly on Channel A News Top Ten as an expert commentator, thinks the US relationship with Adrian Hong Chang probably emerged during his experience assisting and providing refuge to North Korean defectors.
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