Special North Korean Military Investigation Reveals Combat Reserve Supply Shortages

Officers could be punished for authorizing use of stockpiled food, fuel and medicine.

Special North Korean Military Investigation Reveals Combat Reserve Supply Shortages

A North Korean investigation into military combat reserve supplies has revealed shoddy maintenance and discrepancies between inventory records and actual supplies of food, fuel and medicine, sources in the military told RFA.

North Korea’s total military personnel of 1.47 million in 2018 ranked it third in the world that year, behind only China and India, and the country remains technically at war with South Korea and its ally the United States.

“In accordance with Central Military Commission order 0035 issued in early June, we are conducting an intensive inspection of the storage maintenance status of combat reserve supplies,” a member of the North Korean military in the northwestern province of North Pyongan told RFA’s Korean Service Wednesday. 

“The Ministry of People’s Armed Forces, the General Staff Department, the General Political Bureau, the General Rear Services Bureau and the Military Security Command of the Korean People’s Army have jointly organized inspection teams and have been inspecting the storage maintenance status of combat reserve supplies for all military units since June 10th,” said the source, who requested anonymity to speak freely.

According to the source, the ministry and the staff department inspect units of corps level or above twice per year and three times per year for divisions and brigades, and once per quarter for units of the regiment level or lower.

“The regular inspection in the first half of this year has revealed a lot of issues such as poor maintenance of wartime reserve supplies and insufficient quantity compared to written records. This is why the Party’s Central Military Commission has issued a special inspection order,” the source said.

“Because of the serious issues in the storage and maintenance of combat reserve supplies were reported to the Central Party, this special inspection was organized,” said the source.

“In addition to the punishment of those who are found at fault in the military-wide intensive inspection, the project to distribute combat reserve materials according to demand will also be under review," said the source.

“All units have been specifically asked whether they comply with the directive that requires them to create combat reserve supplies by contributing five percent of the daily supplies guaranteed by the state and of military supplies they themselves produce,” the source said.

The inspection is underway simultaneously in all branches of the military and all units, according to the source.

Another military member in North Hamgyong province in the country’s northeast told RFA Thursday that commanding officers of all ranks and staff members are worried because they could face immediate punishment for not properly maintaining reserve supplies or if the supplies they manage are damaged or otherwise not usable.

“The main focus of this inspection is on supplies like wartime fuel, food, combat suites and medicine. All units typically lack fuel, food and medicine so they often secretly dip into their reserves,” the second source said.

“This is why a lot of units have less supplies in reserve than what is listed in records. Since the start of the inspection, officers are quickly seeking help from social institutions or the wealthy class to fill their shortages.”

According to 2019 data from the CIA World Factbook, North Korea spent between 22 and 24 percent of its GDP, or roughly U.S. $3.7 billion to $4.2 billion each year between 2007 and 2017.

Reported by Myungchul Lee for RFA’s Korean Service. Translated by Jinha Shin. Written in English by Eugene Whong.

Source : Radio Free Asia More   

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China Policies Could Reduce Millions of Uyghur Births in Xinjiang: Researcher

Analysis of Chinese research shows policies are drive by intention to dilute the Uyghur population of Xinjiang.

China Policies Could Reduce Millions of Uyghur Births in Xinjiang: Researcher

China appears to be taking measures to sharply reduce ethnic minority population growth in the southern Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) under “population optimization” policies amid its crackdown on Uyghurs and other Muslims, according to a new report by a German researcher.

Adrian Zenz’s report indicates that Chinese birth control and population transfer policies could result in a large drop in births among Uyghurs of 2.6 million to 4.5 million by 2040, based on population projections by Chinese researchers. There are about 12 million Uyghurs in the XUAR.

Official Chinese data presented in the 28-page report titled “End the Dominance of the Uyghur Ethnic Group: An Analysis of Beijing’s Population Optimization Strategy in Southern Xinjiang,” indicate that birth rates in the southern XUAR have dropped by 48.7 percent between 2017 and 2019, writes Zenz, an independent researcher with the Washington-based non-profit Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

The report on China’s policy to reduce population growth in the Uyghur heartland comes at a time when Western nations and rights groups have called for a probe into Beijing’s policies in the XUAR — internment camps, forced labor, and coercive birth control — to determine whether they constitute genocide.

China angrily denies it is committing atrocities or genocide in the XUAR.

The peer-reviewed report includes research by Chinese officials and academics that show that policies in Xinjiang, such as mass sterilization of women, are driven by the view that the Uyghur population’s size, concentration, and rapid growth are a national security threat that must be addressed.

Based on official birth data, demographic projections, and ethnic ratios proposed by Chinese academics and officials, Zenz estimates that the policies could increase the Han population in the southern XUAR to about 25 percent from its current 8.4 percent.

Zenz has published previous reports on abortions in the XUAR, forced labor, and the internment of an estimated one million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in a network of camps.

His work has been cited as evidence that the Uyghurs are being destroyed as a people by those making the case of genocide under the United Nations legal framework.

Zenz and others note that the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide lists birth prevention targeting an ethnic group as an act that could qualify as genocide.

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China slams report

Chinese officials have slammed Zenz’s recent findings, as they have his other research on the mass detention of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities within China's Xinjiang re-education camps, transfers of Muslim laborers to other regions, and birth reductions in the XUAR.

In an op-ed published on June 10, the state-run TV outlet CGTN said Zenz was driven by “spiritual beliefs” to portray a slowdown in population growth in Xinjiang as evidence of deliberate policies to reduce the Uyghur population.

“No genocide is taking place in Xinjiang. Instead, a media-savvy mix of separatists and religious zealots are being used by frightened geopolitical rivals to distract China, isolate it diplomatically, and slow down its rise,” it said.

“And Adrian Zenz’s latest paper shows the desperation of the people manufacturing these lies laboring mightily yet futilely to sustain them,” said CGTN.

More than 30 witnesses and experts, including Zenz, provided testimony to a “Uyghur Tribunal” held in London on June 4-7 that aimed to gather evidence on whether the Chinese government’s alleged human rights abuses in the XUAR constitute genocide. The nine members of the panel, which has no state backing, will hold a second round of hearings in September and are expected to issue a non-binding verdict in December.

“Beijing’s strategy in Xinjiang is not one of population destruction, but population control,” Zenz said when discussing his findings at a June 10 hearing on the atrocities in the XUAR held by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “It’s a mass atrocity without mass slaughter, one with human rights violations of historic proportions, but leading to a loss of millions of lives potentially.”

China has held up to 1.8 million Uyghurs in a network of detention camps since 2017. Beijing has said that the camps are vocational training centers or re-education centers and smaller numbers of Kazakhs and Kyrgyz, fellow Turkic speaking people, have also been incarcerated in the camp system.

The democratic parliaments of Belgium, the Czech Republic, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Lithuania have passed motions determining that China’s policies in the XUAR constitute genocide.

The U.S. government in January designated abuses in the region as part of a campaign of genocide, and the German parliament is conducting an inquiry into the allegations.

Source : Radio Free Asia More   

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