Harm in the Hermit Kingdom

UN Rights Commission: grave violations of human rights in North Korea
North Korean soldiers / AP

North Korea’s communist government is guilty of “grave violations” of fundamental human rights against its people, according to the head of a United Nations special human rights commission.

Review: ‘Dancing with the Devil’ By Michael Rubin

Strengthening America’s enemies by endlessly talking to them
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif  / AP

In Dancing with the Devil, Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute details the failures of diplomacy with rogue regimes that have weakened global peace prospects and strengthened America’s enemies.

What is a rogue regime? These are governments that do not follow the norms of global diplomacy, seek nuclear proliferation, sponsor terrorism, and pose a threat to America and her allies. Rubin’s book is a historical study of U.S. diplomatic engagement of Iran, North Korea, Libya, the Taliban, Pakistan, Iraq, and terrorist groups such as the PLO, Hamas, and Hezbollah. Engagement failed in each case.

Purge in Pyongyang

Kim’s aunt absent from new leadership lineup
Kim Kyong Hui

The wife of North Korea’s executed No. 2 leader failed to appear with other leaders at an anniversary meeting on Tuesday in Pyongyang—a sign U.S. officials say indicates the once-powerful aunt of current leader Kim Jong Un was ousted as part of the political purge underway in the reclusive communist state.

Winter Games

China holds war games near Korean border
Type 07 122mm cannon in PLA exercises near N. Korea in April / Source: Chinese Internet

China’s military is holding large-scale military maneuvers near the North Korean border amid new signs of political instability in Pyongyang.

U.S. military intelligence assets in Asia—including satellites, aircraft and ships—are monitoring the war games by the 39th Army Group that are part of the Shenyang military region.