North Korea conducts its fifth nuclear test: report and comments

As it was presumed, North Korea conducted a new nuclear test, its fifth one, at its famous site based at Punggye-ri on the 9th September. This test caused an earthquake of 5.3 magnitude, which is identical to January activity. Meanwhile in Pyongyang, it’s the national day, an important holiday in North Korea.

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Kim Jong Un Guides Test of New-type AA Guided Weapon System

Kim Jong Un, first secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, first chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK and supreme commander of the Korean People’s Army, guided the test of a new-type anti-air guided weapon system to estimate its performance.

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North Korea leader inspects rocket launch site with key party officials

According to South Korea media, “the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (and his sister Kim Yo-jong) inspected a rocket launching site in the country’s northwestern region accompanied by key party officials in charge of nuclear and missile development, Pyongyang’s state-run television showed Thursday. Kim Jong-un had observed facilities at the Dongchang-ri launch site where North Korea on Sunday launched a long-range rocket carrying what it called a satellite, according to documentary footage aired by the North’s Korean Central Television”.

Pak To-chun (1), Kim Jong-un (2), Kim Yo-jong (3) at the launching of the missile (image modified, source: KCNA)
Pak To-chun (1), Kim Jong-un (2), Kim Yo-jong (3) at the launching of the missile (image modified, source: KCNA)

His inspection is seen as having been made before the North lifted off its rocket, a move which Seoul and Washington view as a cover for a banned test of intercontinental ballistic missile technology. The footage showed North Korea’s Air Force One flying Kim to the area and a scene of the leader having a discussion with his party officials on the plane, spawning speculation that the North’s leader may have used the Ilyushin IL-62 plane to visit the launch site. Kim’s entourage included Ri Man-gon, who is presumed to have replaced Kim Chun-sop as the director handling munitions in the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea. The leader was also accompanied by Pak To-chun, former secretary of the munitions industry department, and Hong Yong-chil, deputy director of the machine-building industry department. Hong is suspected of having led the North’s fourth nuclear test on Jan. 6.

Recommendations/conclusions:

  • In order to sanction North Korean “bad” elites, I propose to halt some business with North Korea
  • Sanction entities which are cooperating with sanctioned North Korean entities
  • We can deduce that the hardliners are taking over in North Korea (nomination of Kim Yong-chol, death of Kim Yang-gon)

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Historical Joint Meeting of the CC WPK and its KPA Committee

An enlarged joint meeting of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and the Korean People’s Army (KPA) Committee of the WPK took place in Pyongyang on 2016 February 2-3.

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Kim Jong Un Has Photo Session with Contributors to H-bomb Test

According to the North Korean News Agency “Marshal Kim Jong Un invited nuclear scientists, technicians, soldier-builders, workers and officials who contributed to succeeding in the first H-bomb test of Juche Korea to the building of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) and had a photo session with them.

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