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Tsutomu Nishioka

【#1152】Beware of Yoon Government Unable to Disclose Facts about Radar Incident

Tsutomu Nishioka / 2024.06.12 (Wed)

June 10, 2024

On June 1, Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara and his South Korean counterpart Shin Won Sik at their meeting in Singapore agreed to invigorate defense exchanges and cooperation between the two countries, virtually shelving an incident in which a South Korean naval destroyer directed its fire-control radar at a Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force patrol aircraft in 2018.

The fire-control radar irradiation was a serious hostile act that could have led to an attack on the MSDF aircraft. It would be dangerous for Japan and South Korea to cooperate in defense without South Korea acknowledging this fact. Minister Kihara should have been well aware of this point.

Still, the reason why Kihara chose to make the agreement may be that he has concluded the current South Korean government under President Yoon Suk Yeol is unable to disclose the dangerous collusion between the former Moon Jae In regime and Pyongyang behind the incident and that cooperation with South Korean forces would be helpful for Japan to prepare for a Taiwan contingency and North Korean nuclear threats over the next three years when President Yoon will remain in office. I support the judgement.

Moon’s collusion with Pyongyang behind the radar incident

President Yoon and Defense Minister Shin should have known that there was the radar direction because they should have seen South Korean Navy documents that describe why the South Korean destroyer was dispatched to rescue four North Koreans on a wooden boat adrift near the Yamato Bank in the Sea of Japan.

I have repeatedly disclosed information about the incident that the four adrift North Koreans were not fishermen but related to the Supreme Guard Command, for guarding supreme leader Kim Jong Un, who fled for fear of purges; that the South Korean naval destroyer was dispatched as Pyongyang asked the Moon Jae In government to seize the four people and repatriate them to the North; and that the destroyer directed its fire-control radar at the approaching Japanese MSDF aircraft for fear that the secret mission would be disclosed.

Triggered by a U.S.-led plan to assassinate Kim Jong Un

Here’s what I recently heard from sources who have connection with inside North Korea:

- In 2017 when the United States and North Korea were escalating their military tensions over the North Korean nuclear and missile issues, high-ranking Supreme Guard Command officials bribed by the U.S. brought smartphones with built-in satellite location devices to Kim Jong Un’s villa as part of a plot to assassinate Kim. Senior officials of Korea Dongyang Trading Corp. under the umbrella of the command were bribed in Southeast Asia by the U.S. to bring the 200 smartphones.

- In 2018, the plot was discovered and investigated on a great scale, leading to a major purge in which the Supreme Guard Command commander, a political commissar, and senior officials of Korea Dongyang Trading Corp. were shot to death. In this process, a general and his subordinate in the command, and a former senior command official who had been transferred to the General Political Bureau of the Korean People’s Army stole a fishing boat from the fishing base of the command in Pukchong of South Hamgyong Province and forced a chief engineer of the boat to operate it for their defection to Japan.

- At that point, a secret hotline between the North Korean Workers’ Party Secretariat and the South Korean Presidential Office was used by Pyongyang to ask the Moon government to track down the wooden boat, to prevent the fugitives from defecting, and to repatriate them to North Korea. The Moon government called out the Navy. The destroyer directed its fire-control radar to the MSDF aircraft in a bid to prevent the scene from being seen by the Japanese aircraft.

Japan, while promoting defense cooperation with South Korea, should not let down its guard against the Yoon government that refuses to recognize facts about the fire-control radar direction incident.

Tsutomu Nishioka is a senior fellow and a Planning Committee member at the Japan Institute for National Fundamentals and a specially appointed professor at Reitaku University. He is specialized in South and North Koreas.