Rest in Peace Esther Williams (August 8, 1921- June 6, 2013)
Behold, the beautiful naked woman…. a perfect form. A nude girl presented to you in the rich tapestry of black and white art noir. This grayscale image of a goddess is for us all to breathe in and fill our dark emptiness. An erotic image that through our mortal eyes, will sear into your very soul. A vision of absolute loveliness that floats like a soft morning mist above a dense crust of of pornography and what “they” couch a adult entertainment. A gallery of the greatest pics captured in a subtlety effective bw format and designed to capture your desires, release your sexual imagination, visually stimulate you, and truly let you know the power of photography as an art as well as content for your own self gratification. Enjoy the pics… and enjoy yourself.
From Dusk Till Dawn
Esther Williams 1956
Giovanni Battista Moroni,Portrait of a Young Woman (1560 - 1578) detail.
Poster design advertising ‘Incandescenza a Gas’ by Giovanni Mataloni, ca.1897.
North Korean Involvement in Foreign Wars
Since the end of the Korean War (aka “6.25 War” in Korea), North Korea has been involved in a number of military conflicts outside the Korean peninsula for a variety of reasons. North Korea has primarily provided material and small-scale military support to allies and nations with temporarily aligned interests during conflicts, particularly in Asia.
The Vietnam War
Probably the most widely-known and expected example of military support for an ally is the Vietnam War. A war which pitted two sides of one nation, a communist north and a democratic south, against one another, the Vietnam War was a strikingly close parallel to the Korean War. It provided ideological motivation for both North Korea and North Vietnam to cooperate and also provided North Vietnam with a chance to benefit from North Korean military experience.
North Korea’s participation in this war consisted of the provision of one squadron of fighter pilots, allegedly ones with dog fighting experience against American pilots, and two AAA regiments. The fighter pilots were attached to two North Vietnamese fighter squadrons (the 921st and 923rd) and flew MiG-17s and MiG-21s with North Vietnamese markings while wearing uniforms with no North Korean insignia. This provided a certain degree of ambiguity in the event they were shot down and captured, especially desirable considering that they faced not only by the South Vietnamese or the Americans, but also South Korean forces supporting South Vietnam, who may have been the only foreign forces even more ideologically motivated than the North Koreans and who gained a reputation for ruthlessness in that war.
North Korea’s motivation to participate in the Vietnam War was mostly ideological. Kim Il-Sung is even reported to have instructed his pilots to “fight in the war as if the Vietnamese sky were their own”. They wanted to support their allies in the nearly identical conflict against western capitalist forces, especially those of the United States. It also served as an opportunity to gain more military experience against such forces and win more favor from an ideological ally. The North Vietnamese, on their part, had specifically requested the support of North Korean pilots with experience at dog fighting against American pilots, the air war being mostly dominated by US forces.
The Vietnam War is the one example of involvement in a foreign war to which North Korea has officially admitted. Though it was not common knowledge prior to the release of official dossiers by both governments, it was also never really a secret either. Ever since the war, North Korean diplomats in Vietnam have regularly visited marked graves of North Korean soldiers north of Hanoi. Only the North Korean pilots used Vietnamese equipment and wore unmarked uniforms, which is not uncommon anywhere for personnel going over the lines whose identity could subject them to harsher treatment or discrimination.
The October War
The second major foreign war in which North Korea was directly involved was the October War (aka the Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War, or Fourth Arab-Israeli War) fought in 1973 between Israel and several Arab countries, primarily Egypt and Syria, but also the forces of other nations in the form of the Arab Expeditionary Force. Egyptian and Syrian forces attempted to invade Israel with a surprise attack and recapture territory lost in the Six-Day War of 1967 but ultimately failed.
North Korea sent 20-30 fighter pilots along with 19 other personnel, occasionally reported to be missile technicians, to Egypt to participate in the war in support of Egypt under the leadership of Oh Kuk-ryol, who later became the chief of North Korea’s air force. North Korean pilots are known to have flown Egyptian MiG-21 fighters in combat air patrols around the Egyptian capital of Cairo, thereby allowing the Egyptian pilots to focus on the front lines. Toward the end of the war, North Korean fighter pilots were directly engaged by Israeli F-4s. While Egypt maintains that no North Korean pilots were shot down, the Israelis claim to have downed one North Korean-piloted MiG. Conversely, the Egyptians credit the North Koreans with downing an unknown number of Israeli aircraft and successfully defending Egyptian air fields. There have also been reports of North Korean experts arriving in Egypt before the war began to help train Egyptian pilots in preparation for the surprise attack against Israel.
Following the war, North Korea helped Egypt build war monuments in the same style of those found in some other communist countries. The war provided North Korea an opportunity to increase military cooperation with Egypt, then aligned with the Soviet Union, and gain combat experience against Israeli forces, allies of the United States who by this time had begun fielding US military equipment. Additionally, in 1976, North Korea received its first operational SCUD-B missiles from Egypt. Even if this was not specifically negotiated before the war, North Korea’s support surely increased Egypt’s willingness to provide them with such weapons systems.
The Iran-Iraq War
The Iran-Iraq War was an eight-year long war for regional dominance between Iran and Iraq fought mostly on static lines, with heavy reliance on trench warfare, chemical weapons, and exchanges of artillery fire, much like the First World War. North Korea supported Iran, which had recently become a adversary of the United States, against the US-backed Iraqi forces. North Korean involvement in this war did not include any combat operations but rather consisted of a high volume of arms dealing, although North Korea did reportedly provide some training to Iranian forces and send advisers. In addition to the incentive of aiding a US adversary in a war against a US-backed power, the North Koreans used this opportunity to money and oil from arms transactions. North Korea also served as an intermediary to transship weapons from China and Soviet Union (who preferred deniability in this case) and sometimes added the new Soviet or Chinese equipment to their own inventory and sent older North Korean equipment to Iran, thereby allowing North Korea to replace aging equipment easily.
North Korea particularly sent a large amount of artillery (at least 400 pieces) and tanks to Iran. A particularly significant example is the 170-mm self-propelled gun, aka Koksan gun, produced exclusively by North Korea. Iran needed longer range artillery pieces in order to fire upon Iraqi artillery and rear areas without putting their own pieces in range of Iraqi counter-battery fire. The 170s proved so effective that 170s firing from the Al-Faw Peninsula reportedly even hit Kuwait, which may have been intentional since the Kuwaitis supported Iraq in that war. Iraqi forces captured several Koksan guns during the war, some of which remain on display at Iraqi museums while others were stored in military depots or simply abandoned in the desert. These were discovered and photographed by US Marines in the Gulf War, the first Americans to lays eyes directly on the Koksan gun. The Iran-Iraq War is the only known example the Koksan gun ever being used in combat.
North Korea also provided Iran with anti-aircraft systems, anti-tank guided missiles, anti-ship missiles, machine guns, rifles, and mortars. In addition to arms provisions, North Korea allegedly trained Iranian soldiers on the operation of mobile SAMs and sent military advisers to Iran. North Korean support for Iran strengthened their military cooperation and weapons trading relationship, which has continued for decades.
Conflicts in Africa
In addition to the aforementioned three wars, there is suspicion of North Korean involvement in several other conflicts in Africa. One example is the 1977 Libyan-Egyptian War. There have been allegations that North Korean soldiers operated tanks fighting alongside the Libyan forces during this war, though this is unconfirmed. Considering that this war was against Egypt, then somewhat of an ally to North Korea who they assisted in 1973 and received missiles from in 1976, it seems unlikely they would support Libya in a war against them in 1977.
During the Angolan Civil War, a power struggle between former anti-colonial forces for dominance of Angola from 1975-2002, North Korea allegedly participated along with other foreign powers. North Korea reportedly sent 3,000 military advisers to support the FAPLA (Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola), the military arm of the MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola), which was fighting against UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola),. The North Korean advisers allegedly ended up fighting alongside the FAPLA in some combat operations. The motivation for this was that the Angolan Civil War was used a proxy-battleground for the Cold War. The US, China, Israel, and other nations supported UNITA while the Soviet Union, North Korea, Libya, Cuba, etc. In addition to allowing helping inflict damage upon US-backed forces, it gave North Korea more experience fighting a western-backed military.
North Korea supported the insurgency (aka The Rhodesian Bush War) in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) against South African-backed white rule in the 60s and 70s. In 1980, North Korean President Kim Il-Sung signed an agreement with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to have the North Korean military train and equip what would become Zimbabwe’s elite Fifth Brigade. North Korea sent 106 personnel in 1981 to train the brigade until September 1982. The Zimbabwean Fifth Brigade was trained specifically to crush domestic insurgencies within Zimbabwe, specifically in Matabeleland from 1982-1985, where they allegedly killed over 20,000 civilians.
North Korea is also alleged to have provided some degree of support to SWAPO (South West Africa People’s Organization) in what is now Namibia in their insurgency against the South African government in the 60s and 70s, which controlled Namibia at the time, and to have supported the ANC (African National Congress) who long fought against white rule of South Africa until the end of the Apartheid era. Altogether, North Korea supported at least three separate movements engaged in military insurgency against white-dominated South Africa within their sphere influence. In addition to the opportunity to inflict damage upon a white military and gain experience, it is likely they felt an ideological fulfillment in supporting indigenous rebellion against white dominance.
Suspected Involvement in Iraq War
Though no hard evidence has surfaced so far, there have been some suspicions that North Korea equipped or even trained some insurgents fighting against US forces in Iraq between 2003 and 2011. North Korea has had a working military and economic relationship with Iran and Syria for years, both of whom are known to have trained and equipped insurgents in the war. North Korea could have easily supplied equipment to insurgents through Iran or Syria with a degree of deniability since most equipment in Iraq at the time was of the same former Soviet designs used by North Korea anyway. The Iraq War provided the best opportunity to inflict damage upon US forces for any of its adversaries, and North Korea surely would at least be tempted to do so.