The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 21 September 2014

by TRG Alerts Admin on September 23, 2014

The Rendon Group Snapshot Report


Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at or +1-202-745-4900.

DMZ Guards | The Guardian

Continued conflict in the periphery of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games

North Korean athletes traveled to South Korea to participate in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, while external political and military conflict continued.

News Summary of events during the week of 15SEP – 21SEP:

16SEP14: North Korea urged South Korea to stop sending propaganda leaflets. (AFP)

16SEP14: American and South Korean defense and intelligence officials identified North Korean submarines fit for launching ballistic missiles following previous discoveries that North Korea’s ballistic missiles could be fitted with nuclear warheads. (AFP)

16SEP14: President Park said “South Korea’s door is open for talks.” (Reuters)

17SEP14: North Korea’s team welcomed to South Korean village preceding Asian Games. (AP)

18SEP14: North Korea rejects high-level American envoy visit request. (AP)

18SEP14: The South Korean Navy fired warning shots at a North Korean patrol boat for crossing over the maritime border. (VOA)

18SEP14: North Korea given warm welcome at Asian Games opening ceremony by South Korean’s and President Park. (AFP)

18SEP14: President Park formed advisory panel of German unification experts to draft schematics for Korean unification plan. (Yonhap)

20SEP14: North Korea threatens to attack South Korea if more leaflets are sent. (AFP)

20SEP14: North Korea claimed American prisoner Matthew Todd Miller wanted to become “the next Snowden”. (CNN)

21SEP14: Ten activists from Fighters for Free North Korea launched 10 big balloons carrying 200,000 anti-North Korea leaflets into the sky in Paju, north of Seoul. (Yonhap)

Sample of Twitter handles:

@Dest_Pyongyang – Managing Editor of Int’l Affairs at DailyNK, Co-editor of SinoNK, PhD Student

@chadocl– Founder of NK News

@DrMarkPBarry – 24-year North Korea watcher, Professor, Asian Affairs Analyst

@EricTalmadge – Associated Press Pyongyang Bureau Chief

@fcaidan – 45-year Korea watcher, sociologist, Hon. Fellow at Leeds U.

Sample of Third Party Validators

Aidan Foster-Carter, Honorary senior research fellow in sociology and modern Korea at Leeds University.

“There are far fewer people today who remember when Korea was one, so the idea doesn’t resonate strongly with young people.”

Tensions between North and South Korea at Incheon’s Asian Games 2014.18SEP14, The Guardian

Hong Seok-hyun, Chairman and CEO of the Joong-ang Media Network

“Pyongyang will remain a tough and sometimes tiresome partner. Yet we must not let irritation over minor issues distract us from long-term goals. South Korea’s retreat in recent years has left China dominant over the North’s economy. With Russia and even Japan forging fresh links with North Korea, Seoul can ill afford to be a laggard. The challenge for President Park Geun-hye is not only to deal South Korea back into the Northern game, but to take – and keep – the lead role.”

To Reunify Korea, Start From Kaesong. 21SEP14, The Huffington Post

Rob York, Reporter and editor at NK News

“This latest incident takes place on the first day of the Asian Games in Incheon, which North Korea is taking part in. Pyongyang’s participation, though, has been fraught with tension, as the North originally planned to send a cheering squad but ultimately pulled them, denouncing Southern conservatives’ “sinister political purpose.” Just before the athletes arrived from the North, local officials took down the national flags on display for all participating nations due to anti-Pyongyang protests.”

North Korean boat crosses maritime border. 19SEP14, NK News

Param-Preet Singh, Senior Counsel, Human Rights Watch International Justice Program

“The sign of engagement dispel what was once a common assumption that the North’s leadership was immune to foreign criticism on issues of human rights.  However sincere or insincere it may be, it’s a reflection it does care what the international community thinks and the international community does have leverage to push for change in North Korea.”

North Korea Agrees to Weigh Steps on Human Rights. 19SEP14, NYT.

Charles Armstrong, Professor of Korean Studies, Columbia University

“That’s their fundamental take on human rights, it’s very standard language about their country and the way their society works. Their definition of human rights is not the rights of individual humans, but of collective self-determination. It’s a nationalist view.”

North Korea Leads the World in Human Rights, Says Report by North Korea. 20SEP14, VICE News.

Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to tensions on the Korean Peninsula:

  1. S. Korea activists launch anti-North leaflets despite threat

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 21 September 2014

SEOUL, Sept 21, 2014 (AFP) – A group of South Korean activists on Sunday launched tens of thousands of leaflets across the border carrying messages criticizing North Korea’s ruling dynasty, defying threats from Pyongyang to attack them.  Some 10 members of Fighters for Free North Korea (FFNK), a Seoul-based group of North Korean defectors, released 10 giant, gas-filled balloons carrying some 200,000 leaflets across the heavily-fortified border to the North.

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  1. DPRK rebuts Seoul’s denial of gov’t-sponsored leaflet dispersion

Media: Xinhua (China)

Byline: N/A

Date: 20 September 2014

PYONGYANG, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) — The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Saturday criticized Seoul for denying government support for the dispersion of anti-DPRK leaflets via balloons across the border. 
Pyongyang accused South Korean authorities of evading their “responsibilities” and “behaving shamelessly,” the official KCNA news agency reported.

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  1. N. Korean patrol boat in brief border incursion

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 19 September 2014

SEOUL, Sept 19, 2014 (AFP) – A North Korean patrol boat briefly crossed the sensitive maritime border with South Korea on Friday, but returned after a naval vessel fired warning shots, Seoul’s defense ministry said. 
The patrol boat came 0.5 nautical miles (0.9 kilometers) inside the South side of the disputed Yellow Sea border shortly after midday (0300 GMT), a defense ministry spokesman said.

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  1. South Korea’s Park says door open for talks with North

Media: Reuters

Byline: Jean Yoon and Tony Munroe

Date: 17 September 2014

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean President Park Geun-hye, thwarted so far in ambitious plans to begin the process of reunifying the Korean peninsula, said the door is open for talks with the North during the upcoming U.N. General Assembly.  However, Park said in an interview that Pyongyang must show sincerity in seeking a constructive dialogue and “walk the talk” in taking up South Korea’s offers for engagement aimed at ending a deadlock after a decade of warming ties.

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  1. N.Korea urges South to stop leaflet launches

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 16 September 2014

SEOUL, Sept 16, 2014 (AFP) – North Korea has sent a rare message to the South Korean president’s office, demanding an end to anti-Pyongyang leaflet launches into the North, officials said Tuesday. 
The message, addressed to the presidential Blue House, was sent through a military hotline on Monday by the North’s powerful National Defense Commission (NDC), the South’s unification ministry said.

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