Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 13, 2019

Who Ordered The CIA To Assault North Korea's Embassy In Spain?

Did John Bolton, President Trump's national security advisor, order an assault on the North Korean embassy in Spain to get an advantage in the nuclear talks?

On February 22 the embassy of the DPRK in Madrid was raided by a gang of thugs:

A group of men entered North Korea's embassy in Madrid, bound and gagged staff, before driving off with stolen mobile phones and computers, Spanish media has reported.
...
Spanish police are investigating after El Confidencial reported a woman escaped the embassy last Friday screaming in Korean, prompting residents nearby to call police.

After she reportedly revealed staff were tied up and gagged, officers knocked on the door to investigate, but were met by a man who told them everything was fine.

Soon after, two cars left the compound at high speed, one of them carrying the man who had answered the door. Police did not enter the building, but staff walked out soon after the incident.
...
Kim Hyok Chol was ambassador to Spain until September 2017, when the Spanish government expelled him and another diplomat following Pyongyang's round of nuclear tests and missile launches over neighbouring Japan.

The name Kim Hyok Chol sounds familiar. He recently was in the news when he led the North Korean delegation in the nuclear talks:

Kim Hyok Chol, a career diplomat from an elite North Korean family, made his international debut just a few weeks ago as Pyongyang’s new point man for nuclear negotiations. In the run-up to the Feb. 27-28 summit, he has been in talks with U.S. counterpart Stephen Biegun to lay the groundwork for the meeting, taking diplomats by surprise.
...
[H]is appointment left a few people flipping through their files of cadres to find out more. Channel A News, a South Korean TV outlet, drew a circle around him in a video from a White House meeting between Trump and North Korean officials in January, asking who he was.

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People knew little about Kim Hyok Chol. The Bloomberg portrait of him appeared on February 22, the same day the embassy in Madrid was raided. The failed summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un in Hanoi was on February 27-28. Kim Hyok Chol was a core person in the 'denuclearization' talks but little was known of him.

The embassy raid was no normal thievery. There were eight people in the embassy when it was raided at 3:00 PM local time. They were bound, bags were put over their heads and some were interrogated. The thieves left with computer hardware and the cellphones of the personnel.

It now appears that the CIA was involved in the embassy raid. El Pais reports:

Investigators from the Spanish police and National Intelligence Center (CNI) have linked an attack on the North Korean embassy in Madrid on February 22 to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

At least two of the 10 assailants who broke into the embassy and interrogated diplomatic staff have been identified and have connections to the US secret service. The CIA has denied any involvement but government sources say their response was “unconvincing.”
...
Investigators from the General Information Office (CGI) and CNI ruled out the idea that the attack was the work of common criminals. The operation was perfectly planned as if it were carried out by a “military cell,” said sources close to the investigation. The assailants knew what they were looking for, taking only computers and mobile phones.
...
Sources believe that the goal of the attack on the North Korean embassy was to get information on Kim Hyok Chol, the former North Korean ambassador to Spain.

The Spanish language version of the El Pais report has additional details (machine translated):

After analyzing the recordings of the security cameras in the area, questioning the hostages and analyzing the diplomatic vehicles used in the flight, it has been possible to identify some of the assailants. Although the majority were Koreans, at least two of them have been recognized by the Spanish information services for their links with the American CIA.

The indications that point to the US espionage service, in probable cooperation with that of South Korea, are so strong that Spanish interlocutors have contacted the CIA to ask for explanations. The response was negative, but "unconvincing", according to Government sources.

The Spanish version also includes a side-box with further details of the raid:

One of the darkest aspects of the assault on the North Korean Embassy in Madrid is the interrogation to which the head of the command, who called himself The Entrepreneur, subjected the charge of business, leading the diplomatic delegation since the ambassador was expelled. The head of the commando separated the diplomat from the rest of the hostages and locked himself alone with him. It is not known what he intended, but the current head of the Pyongyang delegation in Madrid probably knows a lot about Kim Hyok Chol, head of the North Korean delegation in the nuclear negotiations before the US, with whom he coincided when the latter was ambassador in Madrid, between 2014 and 2017.

A U.S. raid of a foreign embassy in a third country is a diplomatic affront that will have consequences. The government in Madrid can not let this go by. Other important embassies in Spain - think China - will urge the Spanish government to take further steps to guarantee their security.

CIA personnel is not immune. In 2005 a court in Italy ordered the arrest of 18 CIA agents who abducted an Imam off the streets of Milan to torture him in Egypt and elsewhere.

The Spanish services seem to suspect that the sole point was to get information on Kim Hyok Chol. That may well be though I suspect that an attempt to find North Korea's diplomatic encryption codes was part of the task. It is not unusual that a country will try to gain such information.  What is very unusual is the brute force way in which this was done. Was this thought to intimidate North Korea?

Whatever. I can only think of one person in Washington DC who disregards diplomacy enough to task the CIA with a military style raid on a foreign embassy in a third country. His name is John Bolton.

 

Posted by b on March 13, 2019 at 08:30 AM | Permalink

Comments

Seems like John Bolton is in a hurry to bring down the USA empire. Whoever the gods would kill they first make mad is apt.

Posted by: Steve | Mar 13, 2019 8:37:28 AM | 1

Up next: Spanish electrical grind fails if police take action against CIA. Because socialism.

Posted by: timbers | Mar 13, 2019 8:50:25 AM | 2

"In 2005 a court in Italy ordered the arrest of 18 CIA agents who abducted an Imam off the streets of Milan to torture him in Egypt and elsewhere".

But none of those 18 have ever been brought to justice, or punished in any - other than that their choice of holiday destinations has become more limited.

Even if they should stray into a country that would deport them to Italy, Washington would probably bomb that nation's capital rather than allow justice to take its course.

Posted by: Tom Welsh | Mar 13, 2019 9:49:38 AM | 3

@Posted by: timbers | Mar 13, 2019 8:50:25 AM | 2

You may not be so misdirected.

As I see it, this is a gross provocation aimed to get a harsh response from the Spanish government in the verge of April 28th elections, which, anyway, do not paint well for the trifachito supported by the US at popular level.

As has been widely demonstrated by the case of Russia with respect to the obscure Skripal case, as well as the events taking place in Venezuela, the best way for the Spanish government to act is with restraint and prudence, investigating the case and collecting the relevant evidence so as to present the case to the Americans in a solid way so that they are not able to continue denying their thugish manners on Spanish soil, thus, not to do any harsh movement before the elections, which could lead to a following increasingly harsher response coming from the US, since they never recognize any blame and only take advantage to escalate, which could well be aimed at causing turmoil in Spain with the goal of getting the elections suspended by a major event, as the modus operandi in Ukraine continuously show.

Of course, a second gain of the assault would be trying to get the communications codes of the North Koreans, but, obviously, there is also an intent on presenting the Spanish government as a puppet, after its unwise recognizing of usurper Guaidó, and the Spanish state as a banana republic, as a transathlantic prolongation of the renewed Monroe Doctrine in LatinAmerica.

This affair must not get, of course, without response, and the response should equate at least the one given against the Russian Federation after they were unfairly blamed without relevant proofs by the UK government on the base of an event, which, anyway, not even took place on Spanish soil.
But as shown by the prudent Russians and to date by the Venezuelans too, steel nerves and calm are mandatory, Spain must take its time to assess the situation and think about measures to be taken, including which will be taken to assure the security of foreign delegations on Spanish soil.

That the US is burning all its diplomatic potential and bridges and clearly wants to extend the fire to Spain, whose diplomatic tradition on collaboration with other nations got registeres in the memories of the most ancient times, except for the thunderous skid with Venezuela, gets clear.

As has been widely showed, the US always will turn against its own allies, may be it is time for not only Spain, but also for the EU, to rethink their clearly inconvenient alliances.

It was clear for me that the Venezuelan scenery was only a general rehearsal to renew the coupist policy of the US once there twisting of arm has been proved to be almost useless. Spain, supporting a clear coupist in Venezuela, who lacks the support on any significant part of the Venezuelan population and does not mind to call for a military intervention based on a clear sabotage which is affecting the majority of the Venezuelans, including his own supporters, opened the Pandora Box of a way of procceding which we all thought was already buried as the times go and humanity prosperes and develop, by legitimating in Venezuela what, at all lights one could want to see it, is not but a coup d´etat organized by foreign actors helped by traitors inside the country.

It is said that Ciudadanos, the favourite Spanish party of the great corporations in Spain ( i.e. Ibex 35 ),has problems inside its ranks with the procces of primaries, which only could benefit far-right option Vox ( next favourites for the Ibex 35 according to sources in the left..), since the other right party, PP, is clearly out of focus due the recent censure motion which got with PP president Rajoy affected by hundreds of case of corruption. To see whether this "activities" are not aimed to rise the far-right to power in Spain in a prospect of the Spanish people voting for the left in mass in lack of other dign alternatives in a country which to date is clearly mostly antifascist.

Beware, CNI.

Posted by: Sasha | Mar 13, 2019 9:52:10 AM | 4

Here is article that explains why North Korea has a long history of distrust with the United States:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/06/war-crimes-in-korea-guilty-as-charged.html

Decisions that were made during the Korean War have resulted in a long period of diplomatic isolation.

Posted by: Sally Snyder | Mar 13, 2019 9:58:50 AM | 5

Sources believe that the goal of the attack on the North Korean embassy was to get information on Kim Hyok Chol, the former North Korean ambassador to Spain.

I'm scratching my head wondering what info about Chol would be worth the risks.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 13, 2019 10:25:26 AM | 6

Since this assault on the North Korean delegation in Spain took place about 5 days before the Hanoi summit between US and North Korea, there you have why the summit failed, and why the North Koreans got up from the table and did not even took lunch with the Americans, who had prepared the agape in advance....

Posted by: Sasha | Mar 13, 2019 10:55:34 AM | 7

Whilst it seems obvious that the target for the attack was the encryption codes, surely the codes would be immediately changed. It is therefore probable that the objective was not future traffic regarding the negotiations but the huge pile of messages that the US already had covering the preparation and lead up to those discussions.

That would have been a huge treasure trove of actionable information for the US team.

Brilliant plan and operation but huge potential downstream consequences as, although we may not find out what it was all about, those in Intel services round the World definitely will.

Now, if it was a SK team with US support what will that do to SK/NK relations. A very dangerous move if it was so perhaps a US team including their own Koreans?

Posted by: JohninMK | Mar 13, 2019 11:27:21 AM | 8

At the same time, implying in this assault South Korean operatives, obviously sold to the US interests, comes to undermine the recent South Korean efforts on settlement of the Korean national problem through the recent steps on reconciliation of the two brither nations based of good faith.

Thus, it seems that the US has risekd this blunt scandalous move in European soil thinking of the several rewards coming out of it, me think, once their thuggsish ways got naked in the open for all the world to see time ago.

Posted by: Sasha | Mar 13, 2019 11:29:22 AM | 9

The manner in which the raid was carried out substantiates that the US government is a shining example of civility in an otherwise barbaric world. Suppose the Saudis has orchestrated this attack rather than the CIA. Instead of tying up and robbing the victims, they would have severed their heads after cutting off limbs (with bone saws). But the US mode of operation is much more concerned with a humanitarian approach. We came, we saw, we showed mercy.

Posted by: Musburger | Mar 13, 2019 11:38:16 AM | 10

thanks b.. fascinating... the timing prior to the meeting with nk and usa is obvious... i think you are correct on boltons key role..

+1 for the humour @10 musburger...

Posted by: james | Mar 13, 2019 11:58:40 AM | 11

John Bolton’ aka Yosemite Sam, idol is Teddy Roosevelt and his rough riders. For an idiot like he is, is normal to raid a foreign embassy in a third country. This Monroe doctoring dreamer, does not believe in sovereignty for any government, specially the poodle European kind, and specifically the defeated Spaniards. Monroe doctoring was to distance the Europeans colonists, specially the Spaniards’ hold on western Atlantic. This asshole never left the 19th century.

Posted by: kooshy | Mar 13, 2019 12:03:42 PM | 12

One is reminded of the apparent poisoning of Kim Jon Nam... half-brother of the current N. Korean Dear Leader for no apparent reason. By a pair of patsy's, who claimed they were involved in a video joke.

Golly, I wonder who organised that? N. Korea had zero reason to do so, nor did the RF about the apparent Skripal poisonings.

As always, ask who benefits?

Ant.

Posted by: Ant. | Mar 13, 2019 12:18:19 PM | 13

Here, we go againnnn...it's Bolton, it's the delivery guy...this guy, and that guy, but never is Trump the daddy of the grotesque Neocon brainchild!

First of all, the natural choice to have set this up would be Pompeo since he has connections with the CIA, having served with the devil's brigade, himself. But he's not the author. You think Trump, knowing KHC had been Ambassador there, wouldn't want an inside connection into Kimboy's head with all his deal creds to lose?

This asinine C- escapade has bullyboy Trump's signature all over it! There were 3 chefs in the kitchen cooking up this crass caper and Trump was the Master Chef, so stop leaving Trump out of it every time and take his confirmed underwriting to the bank!

Posted by: Circe | Mar 13, 2019 1:12:57 PM | 14

It seems Donald Trump and his entourage of oligarchs might be targets of foreign intelligence via honey traps. While democrats in congress fret about potential Russian Kompromat, chinese operatives might be calibrating to compromise the stable genius occupying the white house. Meanwhile, under gang of neo-confederates waging a trade war the current trade deficit with China just hit a new record... https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article227186429.html?fbclid=IwAR1FkjigXKFOf8gcPoKRqwqfqSLRuzPNDig5sg7XWtBQClavo73RQRsVWYs

Posted by: Augustin L | Mar 13, 2019 1:14:08 PM | 15

kidnapped? bags over heads? sounds like a classic "rendition". not that the soCIopAths need an excuse to act like shaved apes, but i agree that this reeks of bolton and his guido BFF pompeo. lest anyone forget, the koreans and others have mentioned bolton by name when listing grievances that hindered otherwise adult proceedings.

(a wapo article but based on quotes and social media posts by actual south koreans who are actually involved in these matters at least.)

i also have to wonder how assange has lasted so long without this kind of stupidity happening to him but maybe it's just a "five eyes" mutual respect thing as opposed to a "spanish? screw 'em" thing.

Posted by: the pair | Mar 13, 2019 1:16:12 PM | 16

@ Ant. #13

As always, ask who benefits?

That's a good question, and so far as I'm concerned there isn't enough information to even approximate sensible answer. I'm mighty suspicious of how Spain, a NATO member, can point towards the CIA, yet hasn't caught any of the evildoers.

Bolton is a loose cannon with some loose screws, and you can take that to the bank. He probably has kinfolk in the CIA who are just as crazy. It could be some nutty South Korean faction. One of the fringe candidates is the UK, for that nation has - in recent times - been engaged in general and mindless hell-raising for no obvious reasons.

So to me this is "tin-foil-hat" issue, and my un-scientific uninformed wild-ass guess is the affair was staged by the North Koreans themselves. I've always felt the North Koreans aren't going to give up their nukes or rockets under any circumstances, and sabotaging the Hanoi talks using known CIA agents/double agents makes as much sense to me as anything else.

At least for now.

:)

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Mar 13, 2019 1:35:17 PM | 17

Considering that Chelsea Manning is locked up on contempt charges for refusing to testify before a secret grand jury, and that a particular political asylee at a foreign embassy in London has been a long term target of the US, the implications of this are immense, on many levels. Precedence is one of those levels.

Posted by: mourning dove | Mar 13, 2019 1:36:08 PM | 18

It does seem the raid was interrupted midpoint. One can only speculate on what might have occurred with respect to the hostage situation had that not occurred. Bravo to Spanish police for acting promptly and precipitating what would have been a hasty retreat. Such thuggery has to be a last resort on the part of a desperate entity. It is time to disband the CIA or at least render it toothless. What a criminal enterprise it has been, ever since its inception.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 13, 2019 1:55:19 PM | 19

To uncover information on Kim Hyok Chol or to cover it up? Could be either.

Posted by: Michael Droy | Mar 13, 2019 2:13:43 PM | 20

OT--FYI--OT

Extreme rarity: A Congressperson who understands his duty:

".@RoKhanna told @cenkuygur on The Young Turks that @SpeakerPelosi was, 'A little too dismissive of impeachment,' adding, 'we have a constitutional duty to see this through...'"

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 13, 2019 2:15:03 PM | 21

Bolton doesn't have authority to tell the CIA to do sh_t. If this was done it was done at the command of the C in C.

As for " U.S. raid of a foreign embassy in a third country is a diplomatic affront that will have consequences. The government in Madrid can not let this go by."

I think you will find this (if true) will get swept under the carpet quickly or Spain will be sanctioned or destroyed. That it the American approach to every thing these days.

Posted by: BraveNewWorld | Mar 13, 2019 2:23:16 PM | 22

@Sasha #4

There’s definitely an effort to push Spain to the right. In February, Spain’s ABC has published an article (La última batalla de la División Azul: cuando unos «andrajosos» españoles frenaron a 38 batallones de Stalin) glorifying the Spanish Blue Division, which fought alongside the Germans in the Soviet Union. There are lots of details in the article about the “bravery of Spanish warriors” and the “ruthlessness of Soviet snipers”, and yet there is zero mention of the fact that the Blue Division took part in the Siege of Leningrad, which resulted in the death of 632,000 Soviet civilians of hunger (as well as 17,000 Soviet civilians of artillery strikes and 468,000 Soviet soldiers fighting to relieve the siege).

Posted by: S | Mar 13, 2019 2:26:55 PM | 23

It's hard to beieve they would deliberately upset the Spanish. Aren't they on the good guy list...at least temporarily...for recognizing Guaido?

Posted by: dh | Mar 13, 2019 2:57:10 PM | 24

Ham handed is the USA. It pushes its rivals together because it doesn't do diplomacy. It does "My way, or the Highway!" otherwise known as "Full Spectrum Dominance". I mean, who wouldn't want to go along with that?

"When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." - Wesley Clark speaking about what he overheard from the Joint smoking chiefs after nine eleven; he is lesser known for his role as Bill Clinton's appointed mass murderer of Yugoslavia.

I tend to think of Assange and Manning as limited hangouts. That's what purpose they seem to have served. Like a pressure relief valve on a pressure cooker. BTW whatever happened to that other limited hangout from Booz Allen Hamilton? Rhetorical Question.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Mar 13, 2019 3:21:26 PM | 25

This should move votes in the Spanish election in the Socialist direction.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 13, 2019 3:25:45 PM | 26

ff @ 25

"I tend to think of Assange and Manning as limited hangouts. That's what purpose they seem to have served. Like a pressure relief valve on a pressure cooker. BTW whatever happened to that other limited hangout from Booz Allen Hamilton?

You've got to be kidding.

They are very very obviously making examples out of Assange and Manning to anyone who even thinks about pulling down the mask and exposing the monster beneath.

Posted by: arby | Mar 13, 2019 3:40:53 PM | 27

@Sasha #4 @S | Mar #23

We are a colony, unfortunately, it was the socialists that got us into NATO after campaining against it. Maybe they are trying to fend off the pressure, as the foreign minister lamely lamented concerning the Venezuela coup. A big mistake to side with the regime changers, just as the conservative PP did back during the failed coup against Chavez. Spain should side with all things latin american, without so many spanish speakers -and growing- we would be nothing, some Romania on the Mediterranean or Bulgaria. But we have to be patient, for sure, our best bet is to work for native european defense and siding with Mexico, Mexico is the power that will restore hispanic pride, they will recover all spanish named states and we should do everything in our power to side with them, it will take a while, but it is coming.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 13, 2019 3:43:11 PM | 28

if maduro had the police break into the us embassy to arrest random guy, the us would have invaded venezuela. but as usual, when the shoes on the other foot it's for freedom.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 13, 2019 3:52:59 PM | 29

@8 JohninMK

..... Whilst it seems obvious that the target for the attack was the encryption codes, surely the codes would be immediately changed.....

Technically: Stolen codes are very valuable. The victim can immediately change the codes (encryption keys) after the robbery, but that doesn't protect communication data that is sent in the past.
With the encryption keys, which might well be on some of the computer they stole during the attack, the US-agency can decipher all the data that was already sent (and intercepted, long time captured) between the North Korean embassy in Spain (and other countries?) and the government in North Korea. There is not much the victim can do about that.
Additional passwords, for protecting the keys in case of a robbery, are usually very simple to guess. (Periodically changing encryption keys and destroying the old ones, is good habit)

Posted by: iano | Mar 13, 2019 3:53:23 PM | 30

Could 'the other thing' that Trump referred to after the talks have been something gleaned from this raid?

Posted by: bjd | Mar 13, 2019 4:35:34 PM | 31

Also, we should wait and see if Kim Hyok Chol will be involved in further talks, even if we will see him again. He might have turned.
I find the egregiousness of the whole thing perplexing.

Posted by: bjd | Mar 13, 2019 4:45:49 PM | 32

Way too public, this was a message to someone. Given the tools available to remotely access why use strongman tactics unless you want people to know who did it or maybe those tools are not working as well as they once did (my theory.)
8 days ago at the RSA conference the NSA publicly released their reverse engineering tool GHIDRA. This software can be used disassemble code and make it in a readable format effectively open sourcing it and allowing one to look at how the code function. This has only been out for about a week, although WL exposed the existence of this program in vault 7, and people are just starting to play around with it but the real world implications are huge. At this point the GHIDRA software should be considered dangerous, and when turned on itself, it exposed that it creates a backdoor to the internets but this feature was not really hidden so many speculate that it was not ment to be an intentional trojan. With that being said I would not run the code on anything other then a high compartmentalized virtual box that is unattached to any form communication and run on disposable hardware. I expect in the coming months we will see alot of backdoors outed in everyday software and I can not imagine Microsoft is going to be to happy once win 10 runs through there. I can also see some interesting results popping up in say Deibold code on voting machines.
But, back to the topic at hand. It is not a big secret that the NSA and CIA had often been at odds with each other and the release of this software may be aimed at crippling the CIA tool set.

Posted by: hashrsyndicate | Mar 13, 2019 4:49:43 PM | 33

It seems curious to me that despite "military precision", a hostage escaped the building resulting in Spanish authorities being alerted and subsequently able to identify at least a couple of the operatives. I have to wonder if the hostage escaping was a mistake or if the US is telling the rest of the world - "we do this now". The latter scenario would fit with the "unconvincing" denial. I'm kinda thinking that there were multiple objectives with this raid.

Posted by: mourning dove | Mar 13, 2019 4:56:28 PM | 34

@hashrsyndicate How is it different from IDA Pro Disassembler, which has been available for a long time?

Posted by: S | Mar 13, 2019 5:02:11 PM | 35

This is going to be Good. Kim Hyok Chol reminds me of the poker-faced pragmatist, Cho, in the TV series The Mentalist, who also happens to be Korean. I expect Kim Hyok Chol to be at least as entertaining, in a "no shit" kind of way as Cho, if not more so. He's there to ask ignorant narcissist Bolton embarrassing questions ever-so-politely. Imo.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 13, 2019 5:37:57 PM | 36

Can Bolton or Pompous order this kind of action on their own?

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Mar 13, 2019 5:42:31 PM | 37

There are bug men
and there are bag men..

From ElPais english:

Investigators from the General Information Office (CGI) and CNI ruled out the idea that the attack was the work of common criminals. The operation was perfectly planned as if it were carried out by a “military cell,” said sources close to the investigation. The assailants knew what they were looking for, taking only computers and mobile phones.

From ElPais english

The CIA’s New Black Bag Is Digital

When the NSA can't break into your computer, these guys break into your house.
BY MATTHEW M. AID | JULY 17, 2013
David Burnett/Newsmakers
During a coffee break at an intelligence conference held in The Netherlands a few years back, a senior Scandinavian counterterrorism official regaled me with a story. One of his service’s surveillance teams was conducting routine monitoring of a senior militant leader when they suddenly noticed through their high-powered surveillance cameras two men breaking into the militant’s apartment. The target was at Friday evening prayers at the local mosque. But rather than ransack the apartment and steal the computer equipment and other valuables while he was away — as any right-minded burglar would normally have done — one of the men pulled out a disk and loaded some programs onto the resident’s laptop computer while the other man kept watch at the window. The whole operation took less than two minutes, then the two trespassers fled the way they came, leaving no trace that they had ever been there.

It did not take long for the official to determine that the two men were, in fact, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives conducting what is known in the U.S. intelligence community as either a "black bag job" or a "surreptitious entry" operation. Back in the Cold War, such a mission might have involved cracking safes, stealing code books, or photographing the settings on cipher machines. Today, this kind of break-in is known inside the CIA and National Security Agency as an "off-net operation," a clandestine human intelligence mission whose specific purpose is to surreptitiously gain access to the computer systems and email accounts of targets of high interest to America’s spies. As we’ve learned in recent weeks, the National Security Agency’s ability to electronically eavesdrop from afar is massive. But it is not infinite. There are times when the agency cannot gain access to the computers or gadgets they’d like to listen in on. And so they call in the CIA’s black bag crew for help.

The CIA’s clandestine service is now conducting these sorts of black bag operations on behalf of the NSA, but at a tempo not seen since the height of the Cold War. Moreover, these missions, as well as a series of parallel signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection operations conducted by the CIA’s Office of Technical Collection, have proven to be instrumental in facilitating and improving the NSA’s SIGINT collection efforts in the years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

There are bug men and there are bag men

Posted by: The bag men | Mar 13, 2019 5:57:21 PM | 38

Well at least we know that Mossad operatives were not involved in the raid on the North Korean embassy in Spain. Mossad spooks would have scanned the embassy staff's passports on their own phones and left the embassy staff's phones and computers behind.

Later on North Korea is implicated in a terror attack in France, Iran or some other country with a large Jewish community that has rejected huge cash offers from Israel to undertake aliyah.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 13, 2019 6:07:44 PM | 39

Up next: Spanish electrical grind fails if police take action against CIA. Because socialism.

Posted by: timbers | Mar 13, 2019 8:50:25 AM | 2

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106 Comments. by: Gerrit Coetzee

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All you need is some bag men on the ground with relevant scaled equipment for largd and small disruption and some bug men on an airplane or drone link and all connect to Florida cia situation operation room and the nsa trained tools/crews aiming at target locations to bring Venezuela grid down.

There could even be dancing and laughing Israelis too for sure.

Trump needs not be impeached anymore says Pelosi.
Do we not see the big picture yet?

Posted by: The bag men | Mar 13, 2019 6:21:44 PM | 40

b, I cannot see how or why KHC was such an 'unknown' (South Koreans even asking 'who he was'!)
Reading the Bloomberg article (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-22/north-korea-s-surprise-new-nuclear-envoy-key-to-trump-kim-talks), apparently /quite a lot/ was known about him.

Posted by: bj | Mar 13, 2019 6:45:03 PM | 41

What is the US' largest fear?
The evolving mutual loving relationship between NK and SK.
What if tomorrow we were to learn this was a SK operation, and that it revealed that NK was providing Iran?
How many birds would that one stone kill?

Posted by: bjd | Mar 13, 2019 6:54:51 PM | 42

Well, another interesting event was taking place in DPRK on March 8th, it took place the announcement of candidates for deputies to the XIV Legislature of the Supreme People's Assembly...for the coming elections to be celebrated on March 10th...

Kim Jong Un, President of the Workers' Party of Korea and the State Committee of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, participated in the elections on March 10 in the electoral district No. 40 of the College No. 10 for the elections of deputies to the XIV Legislature of the Supreme People's Assembly.

At 11 o'clock in the morning, the Supreme Leader of the Party, the State and the DPRK army arrived at the polling place at the Kim Chaek Technological University.

Kim Jong Un met with Hong So Hon and Ri Song Uk, rector and chairman of the Party Committee on the teaching staff, respectively.

The professors, employees and students of the university gave a warm welcome to the Maximum Leader, giving him the maximum glory and the most cordial greetings.

Responding with the raised hand to the greetings of the electors, the Maximum Leader went to the polling station where he received the ballot from the president of the constituency committee and voted in favor of Hong So Hon, candidate of deputy to the APS.


Taking into account the shenanigans of the US into the National Assembly in Venezuela, and considering that DPRK is also part of "Axis of Evil" nations, I wonder whether the CIA was trying to find its own "random guy" amongst DPRK´s candidates to subvert DPRK now....

US meddling in foreign elections?
That must be new....

Posted by: Sasha | Mar 13, 2019 7:03:15 PM | 43

Could the Yanks be rifling through the travel arrangements of hi-profile NK citizens in order to stage a public Kim Jong-nam redux to blame on NK's Dear Leader?
Never underestimate the depths of sliminess to which The Swamp will stoop.
The Indonesian patsy in the Kim Jong-nam case has been freed and has returned home. The Vietnamese patsy, with the same alibi, will probably be treated similarly.
Some "Koreans" escaped before they could be nabbed.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 13, 2019 7:11:27 PM | 44

Eureka Springs | Mar 13, 2019 5:42:31 PM | 37:

In a sane World, no.

Posted by: Ian | Mar 13, 2019 7:15:27 PM | 45

DPRK Honorary Consul in Spain, Alejandro Cao de Benós, has denied to the redaction of El Confidencial that the Korean man who opened the doors of the embassy to the Spanish police could be wearing a pin of Kin Jong Un, because those pins, simply, do not exist.

https://twitter.com/DPRK_CAODEBENOS/status/1101103225976090624

Posted by: Sasha | Mar 13, 2019 7:27:52 PM | 46

@Posted by: S | Mar 13, 2019 2:26:55 PM | 23

ABC is a fringe paper, voice of the far-right in Spain, no wonder they published an article glorifying the "División Azul".

Then this constitutes fascism apology, which, at least in the EU, should be being punished by law, but, in Spain, there is quite laxity with these issues, like happens with the periodic demonstrations on fascists in "El Valle de Los Caídos" making the nazi salute adn shouting "Franco, Franco!", this laxity being justifiedon on basis of non breaking the consensus adopted in 1978, after Franco´s death, to "democratize" the country.

The thing is that the so called transition to democracy took place by leaving things as they were at those times, without any procces of depuration, neither in the adminsitration nor in the armed forces or security apparatus, where, no doubt, still there may be fascism supporters, which could well have acted as cooperators.
One wonders how in the Earth a US military command can attack a foreign embassy in a country belonging to the EU, where was the security in charge of that embassy...All this only comes in detriment of Spain, but obviously,to those collaborating in this with the US Spain gives them a damn, then these will be those always wrapping themselves with the flag, the old flag, of course, with the eagle in the middle...
Curiously, or not so, these days it was celebrated the anniversay of the Atocha ISIS attacks, with "new information" coming out, why now? It seems that there are people wanting to cause turmoil in Spain in the verge of Spanish and European elections, most probably those implicated in those events.

Of course, this acts as a warning, by the US so as to say they have people inside and so they are able of anything...

Posted by: Sasha | Mar 13, 2019 7:52:10 PM | 47

@S First off it is free and open source. Next it is on par with IDA and supposedly able to handle greater variety of processes and for only being out a week has already people are addressing bugs and improving the software on github. This is all ready a powerful tool set but I have a feeling it is about to get much stronger and I can see why it would be in the NSAs interest to make it public. It is also going to allow people just starting out a much better tool set to learn on then crippled demo software which is also beneficial to the NSA because it creates future talent to hire who have experience on their platform.
I will diverge a bit though with this "hypothetical" scenario which is unrelated but may help to elaborate my next point. So the story goes something like this, a few years back many people may have lost a lot of imaginary money maybe about 750k of it. At first the claim was none was left but about a1/3 of it was moving around creating a big haystack of transactions and inside that haystack was a needle. Now again hypothetically I had this needle and I am watching this imaginary money moving all over the place in an ever increasing number of transactions but at the time not of much use without a bit of help. Now some those "hypothetical" people were pretty butt hurt by the "hypothetical" theft of millions in value of imaginary money on a "hypothetical" exchange so they hired some "hypothetical" big name lawyers. So the "hypothetical" lawyers doing the a pretty standard thing and trying get a court order to freeze the assets of the "hypothetical" exchange but had been unaware of the proven 3rd currently moving around. Needless to say I picked up my imaginary phone and called the "hypothetical" law firm and left a message something along the lines of "you really need to talk to me right now" and awaited a response. Now with the stuff I had found/made up in my head the lawyers were able to advance the pretend court order and I was getting closer to my help. So after awhile I ended up with some imaginary back end code for the exchange and I am by no means a programmer but I understand enough to be able to read and understand what it is trying to do and I will finally get to what it has to do with start of the post. By looking through this code I noticed certain people would have been notified if a transaction was malformed and this lead down the path getting a key figure in the imaginary money community with the help of a subpoena acquired via the non existent lawyers fore mentioned figure had to disclose the ip records which when a 3rd party like myself may have been able to put that needle in the haystack to use. A lot of people have heard this tale but some parts never made it over form the original "hypothetical" story I only ever told a handful of high profile lawyers who would be very upset if they got disbarred from it. Rant Off, Here is the deal maybe the biggest boon of the NSA software is that when one looks over the code they will get an understanding for thought process behind it and the function of it which can give use possible insight into some of the other software made by them running around in the wild. One guy had already discovered the backdoor via java debug port 18001, which is off by default but I am sure there is more then a couple machines out on the internets with a open 18001 waiting for some commands, kinda like an npc. Once I am ready to take an attempted ass raping from lawyers I may tell the whole story it has been 5 years and they did not really accomplish much for their clients but they made some money.

Posted by: hashrsyndicate | Mar 13, 2019 8:26:33 PM | 48

Seems to me that if the motive is as described then this is a remarkably risky operation for so very little return.

Looks more like a deliberate provocation, in which case it might be unwise to simply assume that this was the CIA.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 13, 2019 10:24:22 PM | 49

Yeah, Right

I agree. Seems like there's something more to this.

Which is why hashrsyndicate's comments are intriguing. Hypothetically.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 13, 2019 10:46:40 PM | 50

'South Korean' operatives were either US CIA or KCIA, committed to skuttling the 'dangerous to the deep state' peace being fostered at the presidential level between north and south Korea.

Posted by: fairleft | Mar 13, 2019 11:32:13 PM | 51

I'm scratching my head wondering what info about Chol would be worth the risks.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 13, 2019 10:25:26 AM | 6

The risks were minor. It was a botch that a woman escaped, but so what? Police came, they got reassured by one of the assailants that everything is OK, and they entered the embassy only when the assailants safely escaped. I am not sure if this is a standard procedure in Spain, or just in Comunidad de Madrid. Still, it seems that authorities felt that they have to gripe, so they noticed some "CIA collaborators". Nevertheless, immediate risk is zip, nada.

As someone noted, "ruled based international order" is ignoring the laws but invoking ever changing "rules" as the occasion requires. I remember getting copious explanations that "proportionality" in war is a total misconception, when a state is attack asymmetrically (meaning, by some weaker party) then there is no sense to expect "proportionality". Then Georgia attacks Russia and then president Bush complains about lack of proportionality, even though Russia largely restricted destruction to genuine military facilities etc., compaired to Israel versus Gaza or Lebanon, Russia was extremely restrained. To some justification of prez. Bush, Georgia had particularly worthless military, trained with the newest NATO and Israeli doctrines...

I invoke this example mostly to illustrate that there is a myriad of them. In this particular case, some sages in Western media observed that "if the allegations are proven, this could be a serious incident". We all know that to stinking proofs are needed when this need is inconvenient.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 13, 2019 11:55:58 PM | 52

@52 "The risks were minor."

I beg to differ.

There was a risk that the victims could have resisted, and therefore one or more of them could have been killed.

There was a risk that if secrecy were compromised then the perps themselves could have been captured by well-prepared North Korean counter-intelligence.

There was a risk that the Spanish Authorities could have reacted quickly and decisively, in which case you end up with a hostage situation and an armed standoff.

"It was a botch that a woman escaped, but so what?"

OK, you concept of "risk assessment" is obviously very different to mine.

"Police came, they got reassured by one of the assailants that everything is OK, and they entered the embassy only when the assailants safely escaped."

Again, if that's the only risk that you can conceive of then I wouldn't let you pre-plan a trip to the pub.

"I am not sure if this is a standard procedure in Spain, or just in Comunidad de Madrid."

The diplomatic consequences of storming into a foreign embassy when there is someone barring the door would weigh pretty heavy on the first-responders.

The Spanish authorities acted with an almost complete lack of urgency or even awareness.
Sure, they did. Not so sure the CIA would assume that when doing their risk assessment.

This really was an extraordinarily risky operation because, once again, there was a definite risk that North Korean diplomats could have been killed, or some of your operatives could have ended up captured by the North Koreans and/or by the Spanish police.

Those were the *risks*, and therefore the operation remained *risky* even if - as it did - the operation all goes as planned.

But if I were planning it I would insist on a bigger pay-off than "Oh, boy, did we ever get some juicy gossip on Mr Nobody Knows."

That definitely does not justify the risks of killing a North Korean diplomat, or having your agents get captured "on the job".

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 14, 2019 12:43:44 AM | 53

How does an "advisor" have the authority to order anything?

Posted by: BigTim | Mar 14, 2019 12:55:50 AM | 54

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 14, 2019 12:43:44 AM | 53

Based on historical record and recent events, can USA get away with murder or not?

BTW, who bombed a Chinese embassy?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 14, 2019 1:26:13 AM | 55

This occurred some time ago. How come the Spanish government continues to support the yankee regime on Venezuela after this incident which again reveals the odium of the yankee secret state. London rhyming slang which designates the yanks as septics, short for septic tanks rhyming with yanks, is a good starting point for describing the regime as a septic pile of fascist shite.

Posted by: exiled off mainstreet | Mar 14, 2019 2:07:23 AM | 56

Yeah, Right 53 "or having your agents get captured "on the job".

Publicly, they were bandits. US would not have publicly owned them if they were caught. This covers all risks.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 14, 2019 2:32:34 AM | 57

For a long essay on the history of the relationship between North Korea and the United States--indeed, the entire Korean nation itself and the United States, this by S. Brian Willson is excellent: http://www.brianwillson.com/history-of-u-s-sabotage-of-korean-peace-and-reunification/ The United States is always painted as the aggrieved party in its relations with the DPRK, but there is ample history to suggest otherwise.

Posted by: David Hart | Mar 14, 2019 5:54:44 AM | 58

Given the history of the U.S. in Korea; it's a wonder they (North or South) want anything whatever to do with the U.S.
The massacre of South Koreans by the U.S. should not be forgot...

Posted by: V | Mar 14, 2019 6:17:38 AM | 59


Should have included this;
Korean War civilian massacres, Daejeon Massacre, Busan Massacre, Namyang Ju Massacre; Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Authorities in the country have discovered mass burial sites containing thousands of bodies, including scores of children.

Trawls of records including declassified files in Washington have uncovered evidence of the massacres of at least 100,000 people suspected of having sympathy with the North Koreans.

In some cases, American forces are alleged to have been present and in at least one case an American officer authorised a massacre of prisoners believed to have left-wing sympathies.

The Korean War, in which South Korean, American, British and other allied forces fought the North and their Chinese allies to a standstill, was particularly bloody.

Posted by: V | Mar 14, 2019 6:29:42 AM | 60

@Piotr Berman | Mar 14, 2019 1:26:13 AM | 55

I have heard absolute authority often assumed by "advisers "
generally arises as a derived consequence of Alderson ?

Posted by: snake | Mar 14, 2019 6:45:20 AM | 61

@55 "Based on historical record and recent events, can USA get away with murder or not?"

Based on historical record, has the CIA every stormed a foreign embassy?

"BTW, who bombed a Chinese embassy?"

Unless you are claiming that the CIA directed stormed into that Chinese embassy and strapped the bomb to the embassy staff then I fail to see the relevance.

Overrunning a foreign embassy based in the territory of a 3rd country is quite unprecedented.
If caught then
You can't claim it was an accident.
You can't claim it was a misunderstanding.
You can't claim you were merely attempting to help.

The only claim you can make was "Wot? Nah, it wasn't us".

It is an extraordinarily risky undertaking, and therefore requires an extraordinarily spectacular payoff to be worth that risk. Yet the reasons that b gives for this are quite... unspectacular.

So my opinion is that b is wrong or - if he is right - then it means that Washington has gone completely coo-coo-crazy.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 14, 2019 7:50:00 AM | 62

"How does an "advisor" have the authority to order anything?"

He can't. He might be able to "advise" that the CIA plan such a caper - sensible enough, I suppose - but he would have no authority to order that such a plan be carried out.

But Bolton has been a Washington insider all his life, so maybe he knows that plans have a habit of taking on a life of their own.

A quick word here, a quiet chat there, and the next thing you know the crazy caper is given the go-ahead. And while the Walrus is everywhere there is nothing on any paperwork that even hints he was ever involved.

Yeah, I could see that happening.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 14, 2019 7:56:08 AM | 63

Yeah, Right says:

Based on historical record, has the CIA every stormed a foreign embassy

well actually, yeah.

on May 7, 1999 a CIA organized bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade killed three Chinese reporters.

they said, of course, that it was accidental.

Posted by: john | Mar 14, 2019 9:03:56 AM | 64

Re: Yeah, Right

The appointments to the national security apparatus in Spain are of deep interest to English and presumably, Americans, as we know from the leaks of Integrity Initiative. If storming an embassy is such a HUGE thing, where was a pursuit and manhunt by the Spanish police? Seems that the local precinct went through motions but the suspects vanished without trace, invisible among multitudes of Koreans in Spain. ??? I wonder if the two allegedly identified suspects are placed on international arrest warrant, this would be surely a newsworthy tidbit, at least in Spain and England -- in USA, the story is largely ignored.

It seems that it was a unit of South Korean intelligence cooperating with CIA.

Concerning the bombing of Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, it was hit with five precision bombs, killing 3 and wounding most of the people on the premises. Apparently, the explosions were not simultaneous, giving the majority time to flee, if not unscathed. The precisely located building was allegedly marked as a "weapon warehouse". The explanation given by Americans was that they had an obsolete city map. This has some plausibility, six years later an American submarine cruising at full speed hit a sea mount, and again, the explanation was an obsolete chart (Russians had the area charted as having sea mounts, and thus not a good place to practice sailing without a sonar). However, between satellite photos and materials sold to tourists, getting up-to-date maps should not be that difficult. But some MSM beg to differ:

US Secretary of Defense, William Cohen, pleaded it was “One of our planes attacked the wrong target because the bombing instructions were based on an outdated map”.

However, the US National Imagery and Mapping Agency and NATO officers wrathfully defended themselves from being the scapegoat.

https://www.quora.com/Why-did-the-US-decide-to-bomb-the-Chinese-embassy-in-1999

Actually, USA had to pay some money, to the families and the cost of the building, and suffer damage to consular facilities in China from enraged mobs, but in the case of North Korea...

“A Nato flight control officer in Naples also confirmed to us that a map of 'non-targets': churches, hospitals and embassies, including the Chinese, did exist. On this 'don't hit' map, the Chinese embassy was correctly located at its current site, and not where it had been until 1996 - as claimed by the US and NATO.”

Soon the excuse changed from “wrong map” to “confused with scheduled target”, the building of Yugoslav Federal Directorate for Supply and Procurement.

For more details you can see this report of the Guardian, UK: Nato bombed Chinese deliberately

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 14, 2019 9:05:28 AM | 65

...
So my opinion is that b is wrong or - if he is right - then it means that Washington has gone completely coo-coo-crazy.
Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 14, 2019 7:50:00 AM | 62

Batshit Crazy + Completely Insane would be closer to the truth - but still an understatement.
Look up a 2017 doco from VICE called A World In Disarray. It's an 80+ minute CFR tale of woe focusing on the looming threat to AmeriKKKan Pre-eminence on the World Stage.

It's full of self-righteous born-to-rule blather. And they really do believe all that crap.
North Korea's Nukes and ICBM's are a catastrophe for The Swamp. Put yourself in Yankee shoes...they've been oppressing, spying, lying and "disrupting every aspect of life" in NK (and lots of other places) for 70 years. Then they wake up one morning to hear Kim telling them to shove their effing Impunity where the sun doesn't shine.
They can't do what they'd like to do because it'll take until the 12th Of Never to persuade the Deplorables that several vaporised US Cities will be "worth the sacrifice" to obliterate North Korea. And then there's China's potential reaction...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 14, 2019 9:06:30 AM | 66

I think that an assumption that "Washington has gone completely coo-coo-crazy" has to be modified by verified information concerning what Washington can get away with. It is a bit like that: what do you do if you can do everything? Perhaps not literally everything but more than anyone else by a long shot.

Most of us were never in such a situation, but nevertheless we have historical observation. Number one, such an exalted status leads to

1. Paranoia about loosing the superior status.
2. The need to test it -- can we still get away with s...t?

Disarmament or even limitations on arm race are definitely increasing the paranoia. If nothing else, people of military-industrial-complex remember times when they were domestically supreme, now financial and medical lobbies command larger resources. MIC "survives" by being useful, the might of USA helps in negotiation of "liberalization of financial services" and "intellectual property" etc. Basically, everybody who has some billions likes to have this might behind them. But arms race requires enemies to race against, and there North Korea (and Iran) is uniquely valuable. Some weapon systems under developments are poorly justified by the Russian threat because by the time they will be developed Russia will be able to neutralize them. However, they are convincingly appropriate for "irrational and poor" adversaries, North Korea and Iran.

Scuttling disarmament of North Korea and Iran is worth a lot. This is were MIC (which includes CIA) has a huge stake.

The attack on the semi-abandoned embassy in Spain (downgraded diplomatic relations, no armed security, presumably NK cannot afford to keep it at every diplomatic post so they prioritize) happen several days before the summit of Kim and Trump. A plausible plot would be to enrage North Koreans to break the summit and of course deny that anything happen, puting the blame on them. North Korea has its own blame game, this may explain why they instructed the embassy personnel to refrain from making complains. This is actually pretty contrary to what I would expect myself, but given the lack of solid proofs, this behavior was astute.

Thus the summit happened as planned, Americans made idiotic demands as they planned, and China+Russia have more arguments to break the sanctions (or break to a larger extend that they do). I guess that the story will seep to South Korean media too.

Now, to get some petty stuff like encryption codes or info on diplomats, it is more reliable to bribe embassy workers, after all, it never hurts to try and sometimes it works. An embassy takeover is indeed coo-coo insane for that purpose. But throwing a monkey wrench into disarmament with good blame on NK is perhaps stupid, but not insane. If nothing else, the mechanisms of impunity were put on alert and tested.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 14, 2019 9:56:44 AM | 67

Possible reasons to attack Embassy that are more likely than getting info on Mr. Nobody:

>> Steal bitcoin (isn't NoKo rumored to have lots?)

>> Get list of European operatives/agents

>> Get encryption codes for coded messages

>> Bolton's wife slept with a North Korean

>> Kim Jong Il killed a US college student (retribution)

>> Because we can, motherf*ckers! (send a message)

>> Bug embassy (or remove long-lasting bugs?)

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 14, 2019 10:12:31 AM | 68

Probably just a CIA desperate attempt to gather significant intelligence over North Korea. Remember the "North Korea is nowhere near the bomb" fiasco?

That's why, contrary to many contemporary economists (even "left-wing" ones) I don't trust the CIA Factbook numbers over the USSR and other socialist countries. I prefer the original Soviet data.

Posted by: vk | Mar 14, 2019 10:20:41 AM | 69

OT---

Pranksters REVEAL Details of Phone Call With Venezuela's Self-Proclaimed Leader

https://sputniknews.com/latam/201903141073228787-russian-telephone-pranksters-juan-guaido/

Posted by: arby | Mar 14, 2019 10:34:35 AM | 70

And as a Canadian this OT is infuriating--

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/453784-trudeau-cuba-canada-relations/

Posted by: arby | Mar 14, 2019 10:53:16 AM | 72

clarifying my comment @68

I mention Bolton but only for humorous effect.

I agree other commenters that have noted that Trump would've ordered the raid, not Bolton. Trump apologists use Bolton as an excuse.

Trump and Bolton are both members of the Deep State team.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 14, 2019 11:07:15 AM | 73

On September 7 2018 The Iranian consulate in Basra, Iraq was torched by 'protesters.
That might well have been CIA inspired/financed/organised.
These things happen quite often. No doubt CANVAS, the organisation which runs Guiado
and is financed by the NED (CIA) is often involved in protests and attacks at embassies
deemed hostile to the Empire.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 14, 2019 11:45:37 AM | 74

arby@72
You are right. The Trudeau/Freeland government is utterly sickening,
but every time you point it out you run the risk of someone rushing forward
to say that there is nothing to be done because the Tories are worse.
The Liberals are going to have to call themselves "the Slightly Less evil" party.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 14, 2019 11:49:41 AM | 75

circe - i agree with you.. anything that bolton or pompeo do - it is on trumps watch.. ultimately trump is responsible for all this..

while it is fun to entertain the idea the cia is operating without support from higher up, i don't believe that is true..

ot - arby and bevin - i agree, however, i read this today and i think it is true too... we don't have a lot of choice at this point..
https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/opposition-scheer-1.5055428

Posted by: james | Mar 14, 2019 11:55:47 AM | 76

Everything that's been going on with the US for the past 6 years just "feels" like the US has been positioning itself for another major war, provoking all of these international crises (Syria, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Yemen, Venezuela, Sudan, Iran, Honduras, East China Sea, etc...), how long can the US engage in this insanity before it blows up in their face big time?

Posted by: Kadath | Mar 14, 2019 12:21:13 PM | 77

Now, to get some petty stuff like encryption codes or info on diplomats, it is more reliable to bribe embassy workers, after all, it never hurts to try and sometimes it works. An embassy takeover is indeed coo-coo insane for that purpose. But throwing a monkey wrench into disarmament with good blame on NK is perhaps stupid, but not insane. If nothing else, the mechanisms of impunity were put on alert and tested.
Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 14, 2019 9:56:44 AM | 67

I agree, the Deep State/MIC are in a bat-shit crazy panic over the possibility of NK and SK making friends with each other under the protective military, economic and political umbrella of Russia and China, and this NK Embassy fiasco was a desperate attempt to frighten off NK, preferably in a manner that reflects badly on NK; and create conflict and suspicions between NK and SK. It failed. Like virtually everything the Deep State does these days, it will have the opposite effect to that intended. It will increase SK suspicions of the US; help SK isolate and de-weaponise SK 5th Columnists; increase SK public support for NK and SK going it alone to reunion without the US; facilitate actions to reduce the power of the right-wing security establishment; etc ...

Looking for info on "unknown" former NK Ambassador - simply laughable! Utterly irrelevant. If NK was as dangerous a threat as the US pretend (which of course they are not), they might have launched a nuclear missile against the US in revenge. The US has no need to know about NK detailed position on negotiations because they don't care, since they have no honest intentions. The US has no intention whatsoever of allowing a Korean reunification (but on the other hand everything they do to prevent it will ultimately help it to happen!). They have no intention of having any negotiations that have a prospect of success.

Posted by: BM | Mar 14, 2019 2:16:20 PM | 78

Another broken thread.

14 links on this thread. Only four posters were intelligent enough to read and understand b's directions on how to post a link.

Or perhaps those four were the only ones considerate enough of other readers of this blog.

Appreciation gore out to karlof 21, s 23, the bag men 38, and john 64 for following b's directions.

Link to BM 78 (Note, not the URL)

Posted by: Sum Dum Posta | Mar 14, 2019 4:35:53 PM | 79

@79 sum dum... it is the longer urls that mess the page up... @70 is a case in point.. often times you can post a link, so long as it is not a long url.. but if it is a long one, it typically messes the page up.. intelligence can be expressed a few different ways..

Posted by: james | Mar 14, 2019 4:42:13 PM | 80

Yes, but if you do it the right way you NEVER have a problem, or too worry how long the URL is or how it is structured internally.

Posted by: Sum Dum Posta | Mar 14, 2019 4:55:04 PM | 81

@64 "well actually, yeah."

Which, actually, quickly turned into a "well, no, in fact".

"on May 7, 1999 a CIA organized bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade killed three Chinese reporters."

That's not storming an embassy. That's bombing an embassy.

The difference being that (as I've already explained) you can claim that your bombs landed on the embassy by mistake.
That you weren't actually aiming for that embassy.
That you didn't even know it *was* an embassy.

You can't claim that w.r.t. goons storming into an embassy.

"they said, of course, that it was accidental."

Which you can do when you drop bombs on a building.
You can't do that when you send goons INTO a building.

Several US embassies/consulates have been ransacked, but I know of no prior instance of the USA returning the compliment.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 14, 2019 5:16:58 PM | 82

I would add Pompeo with Bolton

Posted by: Jean | Mar 14, 2019 6:02:54 PM | 83

@79 sum dum... it is the longer urls that mess the page up... @70 is a case in point..
...
Posted by: james | Mar 14, 2019 4:42:13 PM | 80

Rubbish. The margins were disrupted by the link in Comment #15...

(Posted by: Augustin L | Mar 13, 2019 1:14:08 PM | 15)

I copied Augustin L's link into an unmolested thread and PREVIEWed it.
It created an identical disruption, in PREVIEW mode, to the one in this thread.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 14, 2019 8:43:34 PM | 85

As bad as things look there are some cracks in the facade and talks are ongoing between the parties. 20 sanctions waivers have been granted...
U.N. grants 5 sanctions exemptions for humanitarian projects in N. Korea

South Korea is working hard for more exemptions...

South Korea has been pushing for sanctions exemptions as part of efforts to resume inter-Korean economic projects -- mainly a joint industrial complex in Kaesong and a tour program to the scenic Mount Kumgang, both in the North.

Such economic incentives could spur North Korea's denuclearization, it says...

S. Korea, U.S. resolve sanctions waiver issue for video reunion of separated families: source

Posted by: dltravers | Mar 14, 2019 8:52:42 PM | 86

Not to belabour the point, but I should point out that this is not the first thread Augustin L has broken with an irrelevant link.

Oddly, he rarely posts here except to break important threads.

Prediction: If b deleted all links that do not follow the form for allowed HTML tags and place the URL where descriptive text should be, 99% of all posters would learn how to post correct links within 24 hours. The other 1% only post trash anyway.

Posted by: Sum Dum Posta | Mar 14, 2019 10:28:54 PM | 87

@Hoarsewhisperer: You're wrong. The page is broken by @arby's comment #70. And the reason for that is that long URLs only get wrapped to the next line after "?" and "-" symbols. If you have a long string of characters without these symbols, it will stretch the page.

@arby: Please stop ruining pages. This is the third time that you're ruining a page. The proper procedure for inserting long links is the following:
1. Type <a href="
2. Type or insert your long link
3. Type ">
4. Type a not-too-long text description of your long link
5. Type </a>
6. Before you post, click the "Preview" button to verify that you have typed all these special symbols correctly and the post looks the way you want it to look
7. Only then do you hit the "Post" button

Posted by: S | Mar 15, 2019 3:35:06 AM | 88

S is correct. The comment breaking the layout is "Posted by: arby | Mar 14, 2019 10:34:35 AM | 70"
I used uBlock Origin to disable the element containing the link and the page returned to normal layout.

Posted by: Joost | Mar 15, 2019 4:05:45 AM | 89

Some people suspect that North Korea military who opposed to the talk tried to set up a betrayal evidence to expel Kim and ruin the talk with the US. What do you reckon?

Posted by: Jerome | Mar 15, 2019 4:42:08 AM | 90

@Hoarsewhisperer: You're wrong. The page is broken by @arby's comment #70
...
@arby: Please stop ruining pages.
...
Posted by: S | Mar 15, 2019 3:35:06 AM | 87

I know you're not an idiot and I also know that not all browsers produce the same result on a thread with disrupted margins, because in about half the cases when people complain about messed up page margins they look fine to me.
Anyhow, please explain how I could be wrong about having PREVIEWed Augustin L's link from #15 in the comment box on an un-disrupted thread - and discovering that it split in such a way that the long, disruptive line in PREVIEW is identical to the long disruptive line in this thread?
(It begins with /article2271.... and ends with ...sVWYs)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 15, 2019 9:12:33 AM | 91

#90 adding...
I PREVIEW every comment I post with a link in it to check that the link works.
I hardly ever use b's HREF formula because I can PREVIEW. And see the result.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 15, 2019 9:29:45 AM | 92

#91 adding...
The margins were messed up when I posted my #36. I didn't bother PREVIEWING #Arby's #70 because it didn't worsen the problem caused by Augustin L's comment
(as interpreted by my browser)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 15, 2019 9:50:03 AM | 93

Um, sorry folks.
I Does everyone here do what S at post 88 says?

Everything looks normal on my monitor but I see that long URL was only half highlighted.

I just right click, copy and paste and it seems to work.

Posted by: arby | Mar 15, 2019 6:30:52 PM | 94

Some people here expressed the opinion that encryption codes are very valuable.
Note that for future communication, the codes can be easily switched.
And for past communication which has been recorded, knowing the codes are of no value due to perfect forward secrecy practice.

But true, for encrypted data stolen from media in the embassy, decryption keys beaten out of the diplomats are of value.

Guess that besides sabotaging talks between USA and North Korea, the 2nd objective was gaining information, and here mainly economic data: who is trading with whom and with what.

Posted by: theosch | Mar 15, 2019 6:41:03 PM | 95

Well, I apologize for the broken threads. (not sure what they are though)
I can see that only part of one of my URL's was highlighted but I just clicked on augustin's # 15 link and it worked fine.
Now I just clicked on my link at #70 the evil one and it came up fine. So i will endeavour to do what S says but on my stumbly slow computer everything loads and looks normal to me.

Posted by: arby | Mar 16, 2019 8:02:38 AM | 96

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