North Korean Special Operations Forces: Hovercraft Bases (Part I)

Military
, by and North Korea has one of the largest special operations forces (SOF) in the world with specially trained, elite soldiers numbering close to 200,000. Among these unique special operations forces today are two navy “sniper” brigades. North Korean hovercraft units—a key element in supporting navy sniper brigades' offensive operations—have evolved and become more threatening over time as a result of restructuring, modernization and construction of new bases closer to the Northern Limit Line.

Medals over Missiles: Decreased Risk of North Korean WMD Activity

Military
, by The two Koreas held their first talks this week in over two years. Reflective of the thaw in inter-Korean relations brought about by North Korea’s participation in the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, predictive signals by Predata/CSIS Beyond Parallel indicate a decreased likelihood of North Korean WMD activity within the next 14-day window. The predictive signal reached its lowest level since October 28, 2017. The 7-day and 14-day predictive signals also reached their lowest levels on January 9 since November 25, 2017.

Unification Transparency Index: Allied Views of China and Japan

Analysis, Economics, Environment, Foreign Affairs, Governance, Health, Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Infrastructure & Energy, Legal, Military, Nuclear Weapons, Refugees & Migration
, by South Korea and the United States generally share similar estimations of China’s and Japan’s blind spots in a unification scenario. Both believe that Beijing has the most prominent blind spot on domestic stabilization and refugees, and that Japan shares similar concerns, suggesting that all four powers could prioritize law and order in a unification scenario.

North Korea WMD Activity in December: Naughty or Nice?

Military
, by On November 22, predictive signals by Predata/CSIS Beyond Parallel indicate there is an elevated likelihood of a North Korean WMD activity in the next 14 to 30 day windows. The likelihood of WMD activity in the coming weeks is tempered by the fact that, historically, North Korea has not conducted many tests in the November and December timeframe.

Comparing South Korea and U.S. Perceptions of Korean Unification

Analysis, Economics, Environment, Foreign Affairs, Governance, Health, Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Infrastructure & Energy, Legal, Military, Nuclear Weapons, Refugees & Migration
, by Beyond Parallel’s first-ever survey of expert assessments on unification-related issues indicate South Korea and the United States share the common view that domestic stabilization and unification costs constitute the most critical unification blind spots with a high degree of concern but low levels of knowledge for both countries.

Unification Transparency Index: South Korea

Analysis, Economics, Environment, Foreign Affairs, Governance, Health, Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, Infrastructure & Energy, Legal, Military, Nuclear Weapons, Refugees & Migration
, by Domestic stabilization is the most critical issue with unification for South Korean officials and experts, registering the highest composite score (i.e., high level of concern and low level of knowledge). This means civil-military relations, law and order, and stability in the North represent the issues for which Koreans see great consequences for national interests, but for which they have little prior knowledge or understanding. Hence, it is the greatest potential “blind spot” of unification. Costs related to unification rank a close second for South Koreans, followed by refugees, nuclear weapons, and human rights.

More North Korean Rocket Tests Possibly on the Horizon

Military
, by Predata-Beyond Parallel signals indicate there is a significantly elevated chance of North Korea conducting a missile test in the next 30-days and an elevated likelihood of North Korea conducting a missile test in the next 14-days... [footer]   Elevated chance of a North Korean missile test in the next 14 days.…