The imagery analysts at 38 North published an imagery analysis update entitled, “North Korea’s Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Primed and Ready.” The images are copyrighted and I’d prefer that you look at their website than to copy their photos here.
In a nutshell: 38 North reported that satellite imagery detected vehicles and people at the North Portal, in the main administrative area and around the command center. They judged that the water flow being pumped from the North Portal has decreased and the spoil pile remains unchanged.
The site remains active and physical preparations at the north tunnel appear to be completed. Digging in the tunnel has stopped and it seems to be less damp.
People are detected in the administrative and command center buildings when there is work to be done at the site, meaning a test. Kim Il-sung’s birthday on 15 April is the next major celebration for which a nuclear test would be appropriate.
Fat Un
Kim Jong Un and his advisers remain defiant. All indications are that they’ll test a nuclear weapon soon.
A single source report from Hong Kong states that China is preparing forces to move to the Korean border in northeastern China.
The Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Hong Kong, said Beijing has ordered troops in all five military regions to maintain preparedness because of the situation in North Korea, according to Oriental Daily News in Hong Kong.
According to the NGO, China’s armored and mechanized infantry brigades in the provinces of Shandong, Zhejiang and Yunnan received the order.
This information is not confirmed, but it is too important to omit. One reason is that it is the second such report in a week. A Taiwan news service reported that 150,000 Chinese soldiers were deployed on the North Korean border on the 9th. That report also is not confirmed and Taiwan’s news services are notorious for spreading disinformation.
Nevertheless, President Xi Jinping initiated a telephone conversation with US President Trump on 11 April. In the context of Chinese warnings to North Korea this week, North Korean test preparations and reinforced American attack assets in the waters off the Korean Peninsula, President Xi’s call bespeaks serious concern that events might escalate quickly. A movement alert for armored and mechanized units is an expensive precautionary measure, evidencing genuine concern.
Chinese military practice calls for drawing on units from outside the crisis zone for use in aggressive military operations. If the reports are accurate, the military orders appear to be precautions against a worst case evolution of the Korean situation. Genuine concern about the ripple effects of an imminent North Korean nuclear test and about how the US might react would prompt the Chinese to increase vigilance and combat readiness.
Civilian activities in the major Chinese cities in the northeast looks routine at this time. No disruptions to civilian normality are evident. Large troop movements would disrupt train schedules and local movement. They also would encumber the local economy. None of that is apparent.
While the nuclear test is likely, there are also likely to be missile launches from the North Korean mainland into the Sea of Japan from mobile launchers. This is customary for the 15 April national holiday celebration. Except that this time there’s a US Carrier Task Force (likely augmented by SSGN’s) in the area and missiles fired in their direction would be considered to be an attack. The Chinese understand this and they know that the US would respond with military force against selected targets in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea – the worker’s paradise).
I’d like to see us sail into Wonsan Harbor and reclaim the USS Pueblo, still docked there.


  1. I wonder what it's like to work in a worker's paradise: in this worker's paradise, do workers get to tell bosses what to do? Do they take breaks whenever they want to? Or not show up in paradise, if they choose other options that day?

    What kind of pay do you get in a worker's paradise? And is there pay based on merit? If so, and one guy gets more money for doing the same job as another guy based on meritorious service, how can this be? The lower paid worker in this worker's paradise would become disgruntled, and I thought that there were no disgruntled workers in a worker's paradise, by definition.

    So many questions, LL.

  2. I don't think that they work for pay. They work to be able to get a rice coupon. Or if there is no rice, to get some tree bark gruel. And trust me, it's better to work than to be sent to a re-education camp where you listen to Dear Leader's slurred mutterings 24/7 played over a loudspeaker while you work harder.

    Thus there are no disgruntled workers.

    Some people are mentally deranged, and have been known to be stood up against a wall and shot to pieces by an anti-aircraft machine-gun.

    In the Worker's Paradise, EVERYONE is happy, or being re-educated, or dead. They work because they love Dear Leader, not because of filthy capitalist lucre. And they make no demands for luxuries like electric light at night or heat in the near arctic Korean winters. Their love of Dear Leader (the light in the world) keeps them illuminated and warm.

    It's paradise.

  3. Sorry, I commented on my doubts before I read your previous post. That pretty much answered my questions.

  4. Difficult times. How do you plan rational deterrents, or responses, to an insular deranged group lead by a lunatic?

  5. Sure sounds like paradise. Although a just a smidge of filthy capitalist lucre might help in fueling the heater should Dear Leader's BTU's fall a bit short in warding off the actic Korean winter chill.

  6. A detonated thermonuclear weapon produces heat equal to the interior of the sun – about 100,000,000° Celsius. It would ward off winter chill, if only briefly.

    The capital city Pyongyang has a network of tunnels under it – many very deep. It may take detonating a warhead or two deep underground to collapse them all.

  7. Pyongyang is not a tourist destination. The progressive kid who went there a year or so ago and disrespected Kim Jong Un's image is still locked down doing his twenty-year sentence as best he can. One day at a time. Dear Leader is revered as God by the people.

  8. There is a "food chain" and the people at the top call the shots. If they weren't around, the structure would tumble. If the people inside North Korea ever had the opportunity to travel south and see what capitalism brought the people, they'd revolt instantly. The various dictators Kim have been able to stifle all information from the outside world. That ignorance kept the nation on a continual war footing where want and privation are sacrifices to keep North Korea great. Such is the world built by communist tyrants.

    The only rational deterrent is to shine the light on the cockroaches who run the place and stomp on a few of them. Or more than a few. The dictatorship is a thorn in the side of the entire planet. They could just live in their little hell hole and not build missiles and nuclear weapons, but that's not how the mindset works. Being a dictator is a precarious business. It's like being the captain of a slave ship hoping they all stay locked in the hold, constantly fearful of a hundred unshod feet running on the deck above you while you sleep. You need to check the locks on the slaves ALL of the time. If one of them gets mouthy, a grizzly public execution in front of his peers is called for. The Kims are big on execution, as witnessed a month or so ago when Kim Jong Un had his brother executed by a hit squad in Malaysia.

  9. And that's exactly what the socialists have in store for us if they ever get complete control of the country.

  10. They need slaves to support the needs of the Party apparatchik structure. The only way that Communism can work is through elimination of the middle class. And the route to that end is 'income redistribution'. North Korea is their wet dream – if they're in charge.

  11. My comment disappeared, so my apologies if you get it twice.
    I, too, would love to see the U.S.S. Pueblo back in American waters. As hubby said " Just reclaiming what's ours. "
    God bless America, and God bless us all.

  12. I'd like to see the people who attacked the Pueblo removed from the gene pool as well, but I'm like that.

  13. I'd love to see fat boy dictator Kim Jong Un get the poison face rub that he ordered for his brother. Unfortunately the Malaysian attackers got the wrong Un.

  14. Haha. That assumes that they are still alive. And given the Beloved Leaders' sense of reality, the people who did it could be dead.

    However, if we do move to get it back, the odds are at least a few people will die. Then we could happily think that they got theirs.

  15. I am about to the point where I think Trump should pitch the following to China: It is your mess, you go in and clean it up, break anyone and anything that resists or puts up a defense. we will stand back and defend the rest of the Pacific basin from any stray missiles. Once you finish hand it over to the South Koreans. They will be glad to take it off you hands. The Japanese will be glad to pay for some of the rehabilitation out of relief of getting rid of the nuclear threat. Would any nation other than perhaps Iran object?

  16. I suspect that's precisely what we said. Maybe something like this, "If you can get rid of your creature in Pyongyang, and reunite Korea under a stable democratic government, at least starting off with South Korean (ROK) leadership, we'll pull the 28,500 troops that we have in Korea, off your doorstep."

    It's not unlike tearing down the wall in Berlin. The South Koreans want this very much and the Norks people would love it if they understood what that meant — that they'd eat, have electricity, etc.

  17. I don't think that China is ready to accept a united Korea ruled by the south directly on their border. Just don't believe they will.

    I think the best (only, really) hope is that China removes fatboy and selects a new "Maximum Leader" from the current N. Korean leadership. They say to the new N. K. honcho – "you can be the new big cheese, run the place, steal everything you want, all as usual. Just don't make us come back down there."

    They then say to the US – "There. Fixed it for you."


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