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The incoming top American military commander in Korea said Tuesday that the United States and South Korea should prepare for the possibility of a regime collapse in North Korea.
North Korea and Russia appear to have canceled their plan to hold talks between their leaders later this week, multiple sources here said Tuesday following a series of media reports of the possibility of a trip to Russia by the North's leader, Kim Jong-il.
North Korea expressed Tuesday its readiness to engage with the UN Conference on Disarmament on nuclear arm control talks, which have been in a deadlock for the last two years.
North Korea has rejected South Korea’s position to separate inter-Korean talks on denuclearization from the issue of the North’s two provocations.
The Minju Josun, the official daily of the North’s Cabinet, on Tuesday said that there is no change in Seoul’s intentions behind using the incidents of the Cheonan sinking and attack on Yeongpyeong Island to deteriorate inter-Korean relations, hinder dialogue between the North and the U.S., and stall the resumption of the six-party nuclear talks.
Russia is reportedly mulling constructing a gas pipeline that would go through China's northeastern provinces and North Korea, reaching South Korea.
North Korea has drastically cut public food handouts as it heads towards a new hunger crisis with people again eating grass to survive, one of the most experienced aid workers in the isolated nation said.
"The lowest I heard was 150 grammes per person per day, and I even heard that in Pyongyang the rations are cut to 200 grammes per person per day."
Diplomats say the rations have been halved over the past 18 months. One hundred grammes of rice produces about 250-350 calories a day, experts said.
Russia cut off electricity supplies to Belarus at midnight on Wednesday until Belarus fully repays its 1.2-billion ruble ($43 million) debt, Russia's electricity export monopoly Inter RAO said.
Putin or Medvedev?
Just like the US and EU almost unashamedly prefer Medvedev to Putin, the Chinese equally unashamedly seem to prefer Putin to Medvedev. We asked why. One answer was that ‘Medvedev is pro-Western, and Putin is pro-Russian’. Another Chinese regretted the times when Russia was on the frontlines of opposition to the US. As one Chinese intellectual explained: ‘It is difficult for China alone to be against the US. With other powers – we can do it. Before, when Putin was president, Russia was much more active in the UN Security Council. But after the reset US-Russia reset we have to be smarter on how to promote out views in the UN. We do not want to face US pressures on our own.’
Iran has shown Russia US drones it shot down over the Gulf, Revolutionary Guards aerospace commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hadjizadeh was quoted as saying Tuesday.
“Russian experts requested to see these drones and they looked at both the downed drones and the models made by the Guards through reverse engineering,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Hadjizadeh as saying.
China’s largest oil company has begun operations at Al-Ahdab oil field in Iraq, making the field the first major new area to start production in Iraq in 20 years, according to an official news report on Tuesday.
India will get lightweight anti-submarines torpedoes to arm the eight P-8I maritime patrol aircraft it is buying from the US, with the Obama administration notifying the potential sale to the US Congress on Tuesday.
akistan cannot afford to match the induction of modern weaponry by India, which possibly has a greater capacity to sustain a war, Pakistani defence minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar has said.
The SASC has also ordered “a detailed assessment of the desirability and feasibility of the future sale of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to India, and a potential US partnership with India to co-develop one or more military weapon systems, including but not limited to the anticipated program to replace the US Air Force T-38 trainer jet”.
The Philippines and the United States launched regular naval exercises on Tuesday close to the South China Sea, showcasing the US' high-profile military presence in the region at a sensitive time, experts said.
The 11-day exercises, called Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training, kicked off in the Sulu Sea, which is separated from the South China Sea by the Philippine island Palawan, AFP reported. Two state-of-the-art US missile destroyers, along with the host's World War II-era warships, will patrol the Philippine waters of the Sulu Sea, AFP said.
Taiwan's defence ministry on Tuesday confirmed reports that a new supersonic anti-ship missile had missed its target during a routine naval drill, in the latest in a series of setbacks.
The Russian military test launched its Bulava intercontinental missile Tuesday from the Yury Dolgoruky submarine in the White Sea, a major boost for the navy after a series of failures.
The test was the first such launch from the strategic nuclear submarine specifically designed to carry the Bulava missiles, said defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.
All previous such launches had been made from the Dmitry Donskoi submarine.
"The launch has been successful according to all the parameters," Konashenkov told AFP.
The United States on Tuesday urged Sri Lanka to move quickly to address allegations of war crimes, warning of rising pressure for international action if it does not.
The State Department stopped short of endorsing calls for an international investigation into the bloody finale of the island's civil war in 2009, saying that domestic authorities have primary responsibility to ensure accountability.
Nationalism and hunger for resources are stoking maritime disputes in Indo-Pacific Asia, with China showing "troubling signs of assertiveness at sea", an Australian think-tank warned Tuesday.
The Lowy Institute foreign policy group said there had been an "upsurge in confrontation at sea in Asia in recent years", with clashes increasing in both frequency and intensity and the stakes "certainly" getting higher.
"Nationalism and resource needs, meanwhile, are reinforcing the value of territorial claims in the East and South China seas, making maritime sovereignty disputes harder to manage," the paper said.
"Chinese forces continue to show troubling signs of assertiveness at sea, though there is debate about the origins or extent of such moves."
Expanding naval and air power meant Asia was becoming a "danger zone" for close-range encounters between competing powers, "typically in sensitive or contested" areas, Lowy warned in a new strategic study.
"While the chance that such incidents will lead to major military clashes should not be overstated, the drivers -- in particular China's frictions with the United States, Japan and India -- are likely to persist and intensify."
North Korea threatened Wednesday to launch "a retaliatory sacred war" against South Korea for slandering the North, as the two sides prepared to hold rare talks on their troubled joint tour project in the isolated country.
The North accused South Korea's frontline military units of setting up slogans allegedly casting barbs at the army and dignity of the North, saying they were "little short of a clear declaration of war."
The Kremlin says that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has no plans to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also dismissed the possibility of such a summit, saying he has no information on the matter.
Kyodo reporting from Vladivostok says #DPRK calls off Kim Jong Il summit there with Russian Pres. Medvedev due to health concerns.
North Korea began discharging water from a dam near the border earlier this week without notifying South Korea, officials here said Wednesday.
Officials here in this Gyeonggi Province town, north of Seoul, said the North earlier this week opened the Hwanggang Dam near the Imjin River, which flows out to South Korea's west coast, and has kept it open since.
"No damage has been reported around the Imjin River," an official said. "We're not concerned about (the water level of the river) yet."
It is the same dam that North Korea opened without prior notice in September 2009. The ensuing flash flood claimed six South Korean lives.
North Korea has shut down its universities for the next 10 months so students can work in factories to help rebuild the country's depleted economy, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The communist regime ordered all universities Monday to cancel all classes until next April 2012.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's son and heir Jong-un's "youth and inexperience increase the likelihood of miscalculation," the next commander of the U.S. Forces Korea has warned. "These factors make him less predictable in the near term."
North Korea’s military vowed Wednesday to retaliate for anti-Pyongyang signs posted at front-line South Korean army units
The North’s Korean People’s Army issued its military warning via state media, promising “merciless military retaliatory measures” until South Korea apologizes and removes signs that it says “seriously hurt the dignity of the leadership” of North Korea.
The “hideous provocation” was “perpetrated only by hooligans who go wild like ‘puppies knowing no fear of a tiger,’” an unidentified spokesman for the KPA’s Supreme Command said.
Several South Korean media had reported that some front-line units, including the “Baekgol unit,” had adopted extreme catchphrases that were used during their training, such as "Let’s behead and dismember Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un.”
The South Korean delegation that traveled to the Mount Geumgang resort in the North on Wednesday has returned home without concrete answers regarding the disposal of South Korean assets at the mountain getaway.
Tone of rhetoric, moves by #DPRK this week worrying western & ROK intel analysts but no alarm bells yet ringing best I can tell from NYC.
Australia said Wednesday that it would undertake its biggest disposal of military equipment since World War II to fund a major upgrade, with combat aircraft, helicopters and ships all up for grabs.
Over the next 15 years the Australian Defence Force will replace or upgrade up to 85 percent of its equipment, said Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare.
This means the force will dispose of up to 24 ships, 70 combat aircraft, 110 other aircraft, 120 helicopters and 600 armoured vehicles in the next decade. The government wants to use the revenue generated to fund new purchases.
Northrop Grumman is pitching its MQ-4C Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) unmanned aircraft system to the Indian navy.
Earlier this year the company responded to an Indian request for information for a high-altitude, long-endurance UAS issued in October 2010, said an industry source.
China's Defence Ministry said on Wednesday that a recent visit by an Indian military delegation had been successful and would benefit relations after a freeze in ties last year over a visa row.
Vietnam's navy chief and deputy minister Vice Admiral Nguyen Van Hien Monday met his Indian counterpart Admiral Nirmal Verma here when the two sides discussed security challenges in the Indian Ocean region, apart from the scope for expanding defence cooperation between the two countries.
Nguyen, who arrived in India June 24, also discussed possibilities of India's help to build capacities of the Vietnamese naval force, which is small and growing, when compared with the Indian Navy.
In response to threats from China, over control of disputed islands in the South China Sea, Taiwan is sending two missile boats, and some tanks to reinforce their claim. Taiwan is particularly concerned about the Pratas Islands, which only China and Taiwan dispute control of. These are 340 kilometers southeast of Hong Kong, and 850 kilometers southwest of Taiwan. Only one of the three islands is above water, and it (Pratas Island) is 2.8 kilometers long and 850 meters wide. There were never any permanent inhabitants. But now Taiwan maintains a military garrison (about 200 personnel) and an air strip. There is also "service station" for fisherman and researchers working on the island or nearby. The two patrol boats are each armed with two anti-ship missiles (range of 40 kilometers).
The problem here is that China has a very different concept of "coastal waters" than does the rest of the world. International law (the 1994 Law of the Sea treaty) recognizes the waters 22 kilometers from land as under the jurisdiction of the nation controlling the nearest land. That means ships cannot enter these "territorial waters" without permission. Moreover, the waters 360 kilometers from land are considered the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), of the nation controlling the nearest land. The EEZ owner can control who fishes there, and extract natural resources (mostly oil and gas) from the ocean floor. But the EEZ owner cannot prohibit free passage, or the laying of pipelines and communications cables. China, however, claims that foreign military ships cannot enter its EEZ, and sometimes uses force (usually with Chinese owned fishing or cargo ships) to try and persuade them to leave. It is feared that eventually China will use one of its growing number of warships to challenge some foreign warship "invading" its EEZ. The 1994 treaty says nothing about blocking warships from your EEZ, but some nations believe it is allowed.
New evidence is emerging of the Thai Army intimidating ordinary Thai voters in pro-Red Shirt and opposition Pheu Thai Party supporting areas in the run up to this Sunday’s general election.
Last year, the U.S. Navy bought 59,000 microchips for use in everything from missiles to transponders and all of them turned out to be counterfeits from China.
Wired reports the chips weren't only low-quality fakes, they had been made with a "back-door" and could have been remotely shut down at any time.
South Korea refused to accept a warning message from North Korea over its alleged smear campaign against the North's leaders, an official said Thursday.
The international community should come together to pressure North Korea into giving up its nuclear weapons programs that pose a major threat to global safety and security, a ranking South Korean official said Thursday.
North Korea imported more than 50,000 tons of grains from its key ally China in May, an expert said Thursday, amid chronic food shortages in the North.
The North purchased 50,328 tons of corn, flour and rice in May, up 31.5 percent compared to the same period last year, said Kwon Tae-jin, a North Korea expert at the Korea Rural Economic Institute.
The North also imported 114,300 tons of fertilizer from China in the first five months, a rise of 39 percent compared to the same period last year, Kwon said, citing figures from Seoul's Korea International Trade Association.
Thai PhD student Pongphisoot Busbarat has a guest post at New Mandala entitled “Intelligence operations against the Red Shirts” regarding an article published in Senathipat in the first quarter of 2011 entitled “Lessons learned from Intelligence Operation: A Case of Intelligence Operation in an Urban Area (March-May 2010)” (Vol.60, No.1, pp.69-81) about the techniques employed by the military to persuade people to believe in the government’s position during the political unrest in Bangkok during March-May 2010. It is written by Colonel Boonrod Srisombat at the Army Training Command.
The military on Friday expanded its cyber warfare unit to improve its readiness against North Korean hacking threats, the defense ministry said.
The United States says it is still assessing whether to provide food aid to North Korea.
State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters on Thursday that there is no new information on whether a decision will be made to provide aid.
South Korea is still waiting for North Korea's response to its proposal to hold bilateral talks to gauge the North's sincerity on denuclearization, despite a recent series of fiery threats from the communist neighbor, Seoul's foreign minister said Thursday.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's half-brother Pyong-il, the North's perpetual ambassador to Poland, is rumored to have been under house arrest since he arrived in Pyongyang in May.
A source familiar with the North's internal affairs on Thursday said Kim Pyong-il is under house arrest because Kim Jong-il's son and heir Jong-un and his followers are maneuvering to hold him in check. "Anyone who is believed to pose an obstacle to Kim Jong-un's succession, even members of his own family, is subject to elimination," the source added.
A South Korean Internet newspaper says that North Korean authorities have been on alert since graffiti denouncing North Korean leader Kim Jong-il was found in Pyongyang.
South Korea is closely watching North Korea's military after it warned of "merciless" retaliation for anti-Pyongyang slogans displayed by Seoul's frontline troops, the defence ministry said Thursday.
The South's Hankyoreh newspaper Monday quoted some other slogans as reading "Let's stick swords and guns into the hearts of North Korean enemy army!" and "A club is the only medicine for a mad dog!"
North Korea has set a deadline for South Korean firms invested in Mount Geumgang resort to take action on their suspended assets.
An official of the North’s office for managing the special international tourism zone around the mountain resort said on Friday the firms have until July 13th to draw up a proposal on property settlement and visit the communist state.
Taiwan has unveiled an upgraded version of its Indigenous Defence Fighter, a modest military jet that went into service 19 years ago.
Despite the upgrade, Taiwan’s air force is continuing to fall behind its counterpart in rival China, which is developing a stealth fighter and aircraft carriers.
Taiwan is seeking relatively advanced F-16 fighters from the United States but has been turned down three times.
Pakistan told the United States to leave a remote desert air base reportedly used as a hub for covert CIA drone attacks, Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar was quoted by state media as saying Wednesday.
The United States is rejecting demands from Pakistani officials that American personnel abandon a military base used by the CIA to stage drone strikes against suspected militants, US officials told Reuters.
A senior Chinese military officer urged Vietnam to cool public ire and avoid escalating tension between the two communist neighbours, an official Chinese newspaper reported on Thursday, following weeks of friction over the South China Sea.
The comments, part warning and part bridge-building, came from Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of the People's Liberation Army General Staff, in a meeting with officers from Vietnam's National Defence University, the Liberation Army Daily reported.
Russia's top arms exporter Rosoboronexport has supplied the first batch of four Su-30MK2 fighters to Vietnam, head of the company's delegation at Paris Air Show 2011 said.
Prime Minister Manmhohan Singh Wednesday said China was ‘far ahead’ in its military strength but India was catching up with its limited resources.
‘The Chinese are far ahead of us. They are building a blue water navy also. Aircraft carriers – they are acquiring,’ Manmohan Singh in an interaction with a group of editors here.
South Korea hinted Friday that it will not allow company officials to visit North Korea this month over their seized assets at a stalled joint tour site in the North.
Horachaikul: The issue that will bring people back into the streets vs Yingluck and Pheu Thai is amnesty for her brother, if PT pushes it.
Red shirts : 257 MPs
Chart THai Pattana : 20 MPs
Chart Pattana Puea Paendin : 9 MPs
Democrats : 116 MPs
Some Red supporters still worried army will move to deny them power, but tonight they're celebrating.
Crowds outside Pheu Thai headquarters jubilant, chanting "Prime Minister Yingluck" and setting off fireworks.
Yingluck confirms that she has been in talks with the Chart Thai Pattana Party to form a coalition.
If Puer Thai comes up short of a majority, and are kept from power, a lot of Red Shirts will believe they've been cheated.
7:45 p.m. Abhisit gracefully concedes defeat and congratulations Yingluck on becoming Thailand’s first female PM. He thanks those who voted for the Democrats. BUT then notes Puea Thai didn’t get 50% on party vote so says his party will oppose amnesty. He says that Democrats will be in opposition.
If the US believes in the rule of law, it should not be hindering my advocacy of claims against the CIA for wrongful death and injury
I am a Pakistani lawyer who is suing the CIA for killing innocent civilians through drone strikes in my home country. This month, the US state department prevented me from travelling to the United States to participate in a conference hosted by the human rights programme at Columbia University law school in New York City.
I have been granted US visas before and no reason was given by the state department for refusal on this occasion: despite repeated enquiries, we were merely told there was a "problem" with my application. If seeking justice through the law – instead of violence – is the reason for banning my travel, then mine is another story of how government measures in the name of "national security" have gone too far.
The Maritime Self-Defense Force will hold an inauguration ceremony Tuesday in Djibouti for Japan's first overseas military base since World War II, a move that Ahmed Araita Ali, Djibouti's ambassador to Japan, describes as an opportunity for Tokyo to play a larger international role in peacekeeping and forge closer ties between the two nations.
A PAIR of binoculars in front of his face, scanning the rigid South Korean soldiers across the border, the North Korean officer engages in the daily ritual of the Demilitarised Zone. Despite the appearance of theatre, the tense scene is anything but, says renowned North Korea analyst, Andrei Lankov.
''We are in the most dangerous moment in Korean history of the past 25 years,'' he says.
In 15 months North Korea has carried out two ambitious military attacks on the South - one of which it denies - and analysts including Dr Lankov believe a third is imminent.
''The South Korean government has already committed itself to a strong reaction to a future North Korean provocation, so many times and so loud,'' Dr Lankov says. ''If they don't do it, they will lose the  election.''
A Blue House official made it clear that any ''deterrence'' would involve not just return fire but escalating strikes deep inside the North. It was the government's view that merely responding would be insufficient and that enough force would be used to compel North Korea not to strike again.
The United States is expected to announce soon it will help Taiwan to upgrade its current F-16 fighter planes rather than selling it more advanced aircraft, a senior Taipei legislator said Sunday.
The move to upgrade the F-16A/B combat aircraft rather than sell the island the more advanced F-16C/Ds it wants will generate less pressure from Beijing, which strongly opposes any arms sales to Taiwan, analysts say.
"The United States is anticipated to make the decision (on the F-16s) within the next two to three months. The Obama administration certainly won't want to see the arms deal become an issue during his election campaign for the second term," Lin said.
ALERT: Winning party in Thai election announces agreement to form five-party coalition government
First off, outgoing prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has resigned from his position as leader of the Democrat Party and seeks no re-election even if the party members want him to.
Then over noon, Yingluck has met with several representatives of other parties over lunch for coalition talks, just already to announce a five-party governing coalition after it, with Chat Thai Pattana (as of now, unofficially 19 seats), Chat Pattana Phua Pandin (7), Palang Chon (7) and Mahachon (1), together with Pheu Thai’s 265 forming a comfortable majority of 299 seats of the total 500 in the parliament.
Of course, all eyes are also looking at the military whether they will accept the outcome of the elections or if they will intervene, fearing a return of Thaksin. So far, they seem to stay put – outgoing defense minister General Prawit Wongsuwon told AFP he accepts the results and, after having talked with military leaders, will not get involved. Speaking of, the normally very outspoken commander-in-chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha has essentially given himself a gag order until a new government has been formed.
Thailand's military eased concerns of renewed turmoil Monday by accepting the sweeping electoral win of toppled ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra's party, while his sister vowed to reconcile the deeply divided nation as its first female prime minister.
A South Korean marine has turned his gun on his colleagues, killing four and injuring another, officials say.
South Korea ruled out sending any government food aid to North Korea Monday as the European Union (EU) announced a plan to give emergency aid to the impoverished communist country.
The Ominous Reticence once-vocal lawyers and activists are showing after release from detention suggests new methods are being used to instill fear
Fan Yafeng, a respected legal advocate, received a call inviting him to the local police station for a chat.
When he got there, a hood was thrown over his head. He was shoved into a car and taken to an undisclosed place. Fan was forced to sit motionless for more than 10 hours and was beaten if he moved.
He was tortured for nine days and threatened with 20 years in prison for allegedly engaging in illegal business practices and subversion.
Released almost two weeks later, the normally fearless legal expert was a broken man. He refused to go public with what had happened to him and asked friends not to contact him.
According to the Russian military news network reported on July 1, the recent emphasis on leaders of China and the comprehensive development of Ukrainian strategic partnership to strengthen bilateral military and technical cooperation significantly, the Chinese side in the procurement of new weapons and equipment the Ugandan side, while also actively play to their strengths, Output Technology to Ukraine to help its development was stagnant, "Peregrine Falcon" tactical missile system.
During President Hu's visit to Ukraine and China signed a value of about $ 3.5 billion contract, China will invest heavily in Ukraine, which helped build a series of infrastructure projects, including the 2012 European Football Cup venue construction, city to Kiev Borispol railway construction. Sources also said that Ukraine signed a series of long-term military-technical cooperation agreement, China will be the Ukrainian radar systems, missiles and amphibious landing ships and other advanced weaponry. China has tried to get similar weapons from Russia, but Russia changed its position in the negotiation stage, worried that China will get a lot of development of domestic technology-related radar systems and missiles, and may even be used in hypothetical conflict between China and Russia.
Russian media that the military-technical cooperation in Ukraine, there are also considerable problems. China will not buy large quantities of finished weapons in Ukraine, its main purpose is to get technology from the Ukraine, which is a real threat, so that Uzbekistan dilemma.
A Chinese crackdown on North Korean defectors there has in fact shortened the time it takes refugees to make it to South Korea. The Unification Ministry on Monday said 52 percent of the 1,428 North Koreans who came to South Korea in the first half of this year took a year or less to complete the journey, significantly more than the 30 percent in 2009 and 39 percent in 2010.
"Two or three years ago, North Koreans generally spent five to eight years in China before they made the move to a third country," a ministry official said. "But since China cracked down last year, they've been afraid of arrest and repatriation, so they tend to minimize their stay in China and come to the South sooner."
An increasing number of North Korean military officers and soldiers are caught watching South Korean films or soap operas in barracks, sources say.
A Beijing-based source who visits the North often said Monday, "Several Army officers and soldiers have been caught watching South Korean movies or TV dramas since last year, and the military has been providing extensive indoctrination for all officers and soldiers with a view to preventing the cultural infiltration of imperialism."
The North Korean military's discipline and morale are eroding under international sanctions, with one officer caught selling bootleg porn DVDs in the North Korea-China border region.
The poor state of military discipline is due mainly to economic difficulties since the botched currency reform in late 2009. The food shortage is worsening in barracks, as it has become difficult to collect food from the public.
North Korea’s Korean Central Television says some 100-thousand Pyongyang citizens gathered at the North’s capital on Monday to criticize the South Korean government.
Monday’s gathering was unprecedented in that the event mentioned the South Korean president’s name.
Responding to the growing threat of a humanitarian crisis in North Korea, the European Union announced on Monday that it will provide about $14.5 million in emergency aid to feed more than some 650,000 North Koreans.
The European aid will be distributed through the World Food Program, which has been used by the United States and other countries and donors. Ms. Georgieva said it would be strictly monitored, from the point of delivery at ports to when it reached recipients.
“If at any stage we discover that the aid is being diverted from its intended recipients, then the commission will not hesitate to end its humanitarian intervention,” she said.
The outgoing commander of the U.S. Forces Korea has said the North Korean Army is only good at managing operations involving small units of personnel and not much else, VOA reported Friday.
"But when you consider the size of their military and their location, they don' have to be that good," Gen. Walter Sharp added. "Their main goal is -- if they were to attack -- is just to attack south and kill as many [they] can."
An F-15 jet that took off from an ASDF base in Okinawa on a training drill has gone missing over the East China Sea.
Taiwan has received its first Configuration-3 radars for its Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems. This upgrade enables Patriot to fire Pac-3 anti-missile missiles.
Two years ago, despite vague Chinese promises that it might remove some of the thousand ballistic missiles aimed at it, Taiwan signed a $154 million contract with a U.S. firm to upgrade the island nation's Patriot missile systems. These hardware and software changes will make the Taiwanese Patriot batteries equal in performance to those used by the U.S. Army. That is, the Taiwanese Patriot systems will be able to fire the PAC-3 anti-missile missile, and also station the Patriot launchers many kilometers from the system radars. Taiwan has also ordered hundreds of PAC-3 missiles.
Taiwan said Monday it had upgraded the status of its offices in Hong Kong and Macau, in a mark of improved ties with mainland China.
The change takes place after eight months of discussions, and was described as a "milestone" by council chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan.
"The improvement of ties across the Taiwan Strait has not only allowed Taiwan greater room in the international community but also further ties with Hong Kong and Macau," she said.
The Philippines said Monday it would ask the United States for long-range patrol aircraft and other modern military hardware to help defend its claims to disputed waters in the South China Sea.
Defence Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said he hoped to receive the first pieces of equipment within the year, although it was not yet certain how the cash-strapped government could afford to buy the new weapons.
MacKay, no foil by any stretch of the imagination, understands what the Russians are up to, and announced a massive military exercise in the Arctic this summer - one of the largest in recent history - without actually mentioning the Russians of course.
In other words as operation Kandahar comes to a close in the coming weeks, operation Arctic, or as it's really called, Operation Nanook, will commence and last for a month involving most branches of the military, including CF-18 fighters and about 1,000 troops.
For his part, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said his country is "open to dialogue" with its Arctic neighbours, and yet announced plans for a permanent $33 billion port in its north.
Two Russian army brigades will be deployed to that nation's far north to protect its Arctic interests, as well as its claims to the natural resources believed to exist underneath the Arctic Ocean, according to the Wall Street Journal.The story says that as many as 4,000 troops will be sent either to Murmansk, Archangelsk, or another location, in response to a buildup of troops by other European Arctic nations like Finland, Norway and Sweden.
The biggest threat – as perceived by the present administration – to Malaysia’s internal security is a demand for free and fair elections. The current administration has responded with brute force against the organisers and supporters of the walk for free and fair election. This event, organised by the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections 2.0 (popularly known by its Malay acronym - BERSIH 2.0) is scheduled for 9th July, 2011 at 12.00 p.m. (Malaysian time)
What exactly is BERSIH 2.0 and why does the government fear it?
On 10 November 2007, The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections, (BERSIH – which means clean), comprising opposition political parties and some 60 civil society organisations, held peaceful mass demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur in support of free and fair elections. Estimates of the numbers taking part vary from 50,000-100,000 – a large turnout considering that police had declared the demonstration illegal and made every effort to prevent it taking place.
The success of this demonstration, held just a year after the official launch of BERSIH, has been widely credited with contributing to the subsequent opposition success in 2008 elections. For the first time ever the opposition prevented the government obtaining a two thirds majority in parliament (important both psychologically and to ensure the constitution cannot be changed at will), and won power in its own right in five states.
akistan is staying the course of using terrorist groups to protect its interests, a former militant commander has divulged, contradicting Islamabad's avowals to the contrary and hopeful testimonials from Washington and New Delhi about Pakistan changing its policy and behavior.
The unnamed militant said Pakistani generals have not given up the policy of nurturing terrorists. "That system was still functioning," he told the New York Times referring to the Pakistan military's training and protection of terrorists in an interview published on Monday.
Brahmos to be deployed in Ladakh
India has suggested that countries refusing to match nuclear reactor sales with technology transfers could be frozen out of one of the world's largest reactor markets.
Indonesia is expected to shake hands with Turkey soon on the production of two submarines, a Turkish Ministry of Defense official has told.
The Type 209 diesel-electric attack submarines are also used by Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and can reach a speed of 11 knots (20 kilometers/hour) at the surface and up to 22.5 knots when submerged. They are armed with eight bow 533 millimeter torpedo tubes and 14 torpedoes. They can carry 38 staff onboard.
Last month, Russia had a successful test of its Bulava R-30 3M30 (SS-NX-30) SLBM (Sea Launched Ballistic Missile). Moreover, for the first time, a Bulava was launched from one of Borei class submarines it was designed for. This was the third successful launch in a row. This is a big deal, because seven of the 15 tests have been failures. Until this latest test, the Bulava was in danger of being cancelled. No more.
Russia and NATO still have time to resolve the controversy over the future European missile defense network, Russia's envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said on Wednesday.
"Our current dialogue on missile defense is very difficult, but we must finally either agree or disagree [on the issue] by the end of this year," Rogozin said in an interview with Rossiya 24 television.
The diplomat said the May 2012 NATO summit in Chicago was "crucial" because it is expected to determine the architecture of the future European "missile shield."
"If we don't see ourselves there [as part of the European missile architecture], we will have to slowly prepare our response," Rogozin said.
Russia should not seek new weapons to counter nonexistent threats from the West, and would be better off spending the money on social and economic development, NATO's secretary general said on Tuesday.
"Unfortunately, I have seen public pronouncements that Russia might consider spending billions of rubles on a new offensive system to target the West," Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said, dismissing Russian threats of new weapons to challenge NATO's European missile defense plans.
Germany, France and Poland joined forces Tuesday to form a joint European combat group that will be ready to deploy in crisis zones from 2013.
The three European Union military powers signed an agreement in Brussels to put together a unit of 1,700 soldiers that will take part in the rotation of the EU's rapid reaction force, known as battlegroups.
After years of trying to keep it a secret, China has confirmed that one of their aircraft engineers, Yang Wei, is actually one of those extraordinary designers who produces one successful design after another. Born in 1963, he graduated from college at age 19 and finished graduate school three years later. He soon went to work at the Chengdu Aircraft Design Institute, and a decade later was appointed director. So far, he has designed a working fly-by-wire system, as well as the JF-17, J-10B and J-20. He did not design the original J-10, but did design the most successful version, the J-10B, and provided important upgrades for other J-10 models. The new J-20 (a stealth design that is still in development) is less of a surprise now that it's known the Chinese have a genuine ace designer working on it.
China has established an "Online Blue Army" to provide a realistic enemy for those seeking ways to protect China's Internet infrastructure. In Chinese training exercises, the "Red" side is the good guys, while the "Blues" are the enemy. It's just the opposite in the West.
The U.S. and the Philippines began scheduled naval exercises. But China had also carried out such exercises in contested waters off the west coast of the Philippines. The U.S. has not agreed to back the Philippines in any showdown over disputed islands in the South China Sea, and the Philippines doesn't have the naval or air power to oppose the growing military strength of China. Some Filipino officials suggested that the air force seek to buy six second hand jet fighters, as the air force has none at present.
Philippine officials have banned a senior Chinese diplomat from meetings for alleged rude behavior, in the latest fallout from a feud over the potentially oil-rich Spratly Islands, officials said.
Department of Foreign Affairs officials said Tuesday that Chinese Embassy First Secretary Li Yongsheng, who heads its political section, raised his voice at a Filipino officer last month while discussing Philippine allegations of Chinese intrusions in Manila-claimed areas in the Spratlys.
About 100 anti-China protesters marched peacefully in Vietnam Sunday despite a security clampdown and a vow by both countries to rein in public opinion over tensions in the South China Sea.
Protests -- which are not common in authoritarian Vietnam -- have taken place in the capital Hanoi for five weekends in a row over the maritime dispute.
The defense ministry said on Thursday it has requested an increased budget for next year to ensure better combat readiness for the armed forces.
In a news release, the ministry said it has called for an annual budget of 33.5 trillion won (US$29.1 billion) for 2012, a 6.6-percent increase from the 31.4 trillion won set for 2011.
La Corée du Sud prévoit de développer des navires sans pilote à des fins de recherche et de surveillance. Le gouvernement a ainsi décidé d'attribuer plus de 15 millions d'euros sur cinq ans pour mener à terme ce projet. Le Ministère des transports et des affaires maritimes a indiqué que le KORDI (Korea Ocean Research & Development Institute) serait en charge de ce projet.
The U.S. government remains cautious about giving food to North Korea because it does not want to waste taxpayers' money on aid that ends up on the tables of the "wrong people," a State Department official said Wednesday.
The cyber attacks that paralyzed a handful of major South Korean websites earlier this year were almost certainly carried out by North Korea or parties allied with the country, computer security company McAfee said Tuesday in a report.
In investigating the incident, the report draws clear parallels with a similar attack that knocked South Korean and U.S. websites offline in 2009 and comes to an unsettling conclusion: the attacks were likely designed to test South Korea's cyber defense and response, and could be the prelude of a much larger attack in the future.
A delegation from Russia's Gazprom OAO visiting North Korea has held talks with officials from the Ministry of Oil Industry there, North Korea's central news agency reported late on Tuesday.
China's foreign ministry says a high-ranking official will pay a four-day visit to North Korea next week. A spokesman for the ministry, Hong Lei, told reporters Tuesday that Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang will lead a Chinese delegation to North Korea for a visit starting July 10.
Enhancing their defence ties, Navies of India and Turkey will engage each other in two-day wargames off the coast of Mumbai starting Sunday.
Ashok Leyland (ALL), Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Bharat Forge, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) are among those who have bid for a $10-billion (R44,000 core) defence ministry contract to supply combat vehicles for the Indian Army.
The Army would require 2,610 FICVs to replace the existing, Soviet-vintage ‘Sarath’ BMP-II combat vehicles built by OFB. Sarath has been in service for around 31 years, and will be phased out from 2017.
Security forces in Vietnam have quashed an anti-China rally in the capital by taking protesters into custody. Police also detained journalists covering the event for foreign news agencies.
We have already had former PM Samak removed from his position as PM because of his cooking show, but the complaint against Yingluck is quite different. In this instance Yingluck is being accused of cooking fried noodles in Nakhon Ratchasima on May 31 and letting others eat the food which could amount to vote buying.
China’s top general publicly admonished the United States on Monday for a wide array of issues, ranging from spending too much on its military during an economic downturn to the timing of joint exercises with other nations in the South China Sea.
Pla boss Chen said if US genuinely wanted peace, stability in south China sea, it should've changed sked of recent exercises
When Medvedev can't even convince party insiders to stick up for him, does he have a shot at keeping his job?
Taiwan has testfired for the first time a locally developed submarine-launched missile designed to counter the threat of China's fast-expanding navy, a report Thursday.
"Although Taiwan has only two combat-ready submarines, once they are armed with such missiles, they will be able to serve as a deterrent to the Chinese naval fleets," the source said.
Taiwan rolled out the first of its upgraded IDF (F-CK) jet fighters. The improvements include better electronics, largely from the United States and the ability to carry four, instead of two, radar guided air-to-air missiles. The upgrades also include the ability to use smart bombs. It will cost about $8.3 million for each IDF upgrade. The 12 ton IDF is sort of a mini-F-16 that can benefit greatly from upgrades like this.
The newer models of the F-16 are considered a match for the Su-30, and Taiwan is trying to get more of them.
The locally made IDF is, and this is no secret, a second rate F-16 replacement.
The U.S. nuclear-powered submarine USS Texas made a port call in South Korea on Saturday as part of a regular deployment to the Pacific area, the U.S. military in the South said.
The South Korean military is funding the establishment a Cyber War department at a major university.
South Korea and the United States will hold a third round of talks next week, aimed at rewriting a bilateral nuclear cooperation pact that prohibits Seoul from reprocessing spent fuel from nuclear power plants, officials at the foreign ministry said Friday.
Ambassador Park Ro-byug, South Korea's chief delegate, will leave for Washington for the July 14-15 talks with Robert Einhorn, the U.S. State Department's special adviser for nonproliferation and arms control, ministry officials said.
South Korea's foreign ministry said Friday that it will continue diplomatic efforts to present a united front with four other nations involved in the stalled nuclear talks with North Korea, in a bid to convince the North to show its sincerity toward denuclearization through concrete actions.
Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin will visit China this week for a ministerial meeting on regional security and defense cooperation, the defense ministry here said Tuesday.
The Air Forces of South Korea and the U.S. have agreed to hold regular aerial drills to refuel fighters over the skies of the nation.
The first exercise will be held in August at the latest with the participation of the U.S. KC-135 Stratotanker, which will be sent from Okinawa, Japan.
The new commander of U.S. forces in Korea is scheduled to begin work later this week after winning U.S. Senate confirmation, officials here said Monday.
The U.S. Congressional Research Service says that Obama administration officials are divided on whether to authorize new humanitarian assistance for North Korea.
Japan’s national broadcaster NHK says a Korean-Japanese man in Japanese police custody has confessed to working as a spy for North Korea in South Korea.
Japanese media say Tokyo has permitted the entry of North Korean officials into Japan for the first time since October 2006.
The Unification Ministry says North Korea has accepted South Korea’s proposal to hold discussions on the property rights of South Korean companies that have assets at the North's Mount Geumgang resort.
The architect of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program claims North Korea paid bribes to senior Pakistani military officials in return for nuclear secrets in the 1990s, the Washington Post said Wednesday.
The Post said documents released by nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan purportedly show him helping to transfer more than $3 million to senior officers, who he says then approved the leak of nuclear know-how to Pyongyang.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and Chinese President Hu Jintao vowed to further strengthen ties between their countries Sunday in an exchange of letters marking the signing of a treaty between the two communist nations 50 years ago.
North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui-chun plans to attend a regional security forum later this month in Indonesia, a diplomatic source here said Tuesday.
Signs of shortages and unrest are everywhere in the north. Anti-government graffiti has even been showing up in the capital, and is remaining visible longer in other parts of the country (where local officials are under orders to eliminate such public displays of disloyalty as soon as possible.) There is also an increase in illegal traders, even as there is less food to be found in the officially sanctioned markets. The Spring potato harvest was much less than usual. Even the army is short of food, and officers are increasingly coming to markets and demanding "voluntary contributions."
A drought (that reduced hydroelectric power) and fuel shortages (no cash for oil imports) have sharply reduced electricity supplies. That has reduced economic activity still further, with factories unable to operate, and farms producing less because irrigation pumps or farm machinery cannot operate. There's also been a growing fertilizer shortage.
North Korea has become so unstable that China is openly admonishing North Korea leaders to behave. Privately, Chinese officials warn the United States and South Korea that the northern leadership is increasingly unpredictable and resistant to Chinese threats. Russian officials report similar experiences.
Rumors that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is suffering from dementia are spreading quickly across the isolated country. Reports say the leader is increasingly incoherent during his so-called on-the-spot guidance trips.
Kim then ordered the national theatre, which was built only two years ago, to be renovated because it is "too old and small."
Another indication that his grip is slipping was the establishment and subsequent disbandment of the Unhasu (Galaxy) Orchestra. Set up by Kim in October 2009 in celebration of the 64th anniversary of North Korea's Workers Party and to further the image of his son and heir Jong-un, the troupe turned up all events attended by the two Kims.
Rodong Sinmun: "Due to the U.S. imperialists the military tension is escalating & the danger of war is growing on the Korean Peninsula with each passing day."
Rodong Sinmun (DPRK) commentary: Recent saber-rattling by US, ROK designed to examine military operation for preemptive attack on #DPRK.
At least 20,000 Malaysians defied government warnings by marching for electoral reforms Saturday, as police fired tear gas and detained more than 1,600 in the country’s biggest political rally in four years.
Malaysian police say they will shut major roads and suspend public transportation into Kuala Lumpur to block a rally by opposition-backed activists.
Karachi authorities are cleaning up as the army patrols the streets, bringing an end to last week's violence in which more than 100 people died.
Security forces took control of the troubled western neighborhoods of Orangi Town, Qasba Colony and Kati Pahari on Friday after they were ordered to shoot armed militants who had taken up positions at street corners and in buildings, local media reported.
Witnesses said during one gunfight nine people, including women and children, were injured, The Daily News reported. Other witnesses said soldiers had tipped off militants before attacking them, allowing the rebels to escape, The Daily New report said.
A US drone strike targeting a compound in Pakistan's northwestern tribal belt on the Afghan border on Monday killed at least 10 militants, local security officials said.
The Pakistani military on Monday insisted it was capable of fighting Islamic militants without US assistance, hitting back after Washington said it would suspend $800 million worth of security aid.
The US is suspending around $800m (£497m) in military assistance to Pakistan, a move that will further worsen the relationship between the two countries.
At least 30 militants were killed in less than 12 hours in a hail of missile strikes by suspected U.S. drone aircraft in Pakistan's northwest region on the Afghan border, a local intelligence official said Tuesday.
Bangladesh has bought 44 MBT-2000 tanks, plus three recovery vehicles, from China, for about $5 million each. This is a major upgrade, as Bangladesh currently has a force of some 500 heavy tanks, about 60 percent of them the Chinese Type 59 (a copy of the Russian T-54), with the rest being Type 69 (copies of the Russian T-55). Both are 1950s technology, with some upgrades. The MBT 2000 is an export version of the Chinese Type 98/99, although they also look similar to the Type 90/Al Khalid (a Type 90 variant developed by China and Pakistan for Pakistani service).
Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario has met with his Chinese counterpart amid tensions over disputed islands in the South China Sea.
Xinhua said the two were expected to discuss trade, investment, defense cooperation and regional affairs.
The government says it is not currently considering to provide flood relief aid to North Korea.
ROK, USFK announce annual Ulchi joint military drill for Aug. 16-26. UN Command says DPRK KPA notified through their Panmunjom mission.
If the North collapses, South Korea’s job is going to be bigger than anybody thought, reports Asia Sentinel
If the hopes of South Korean hawks were to come true and that the government of the North were to collapse, the South could be inheriting a nightmare of unimaginable dimensions, according to a report titled Strangers at Home, which was issued on July 14 by the International Crisis Group.
But if the north does collapse, it is likely to make the reunification problems between East and Western Germany look like a picnic. “What would be likely if that time arrives, however, is a massive outflow of refugees because of the brutal living conditions in the North. South Korea’s struggle to integrate quite small numbers shows what an immense challenge this would be for the region and international actors.”
South Korean and U.S. marines are staging a joint drill on Baeknyeong Island for the first time, a military officer said Wednesday. "As part of the U.S. Marine Corps' Korean Incremental Training Program, a joint mobility exercise has been conducted on the marines' drill field on Baeknyeong Island since July 2," the officer added.
The drill ends Thursday.
The Navy is expanding its air base on the East Sea island of Ulleung, building a heliport and a hangar to deploy one more Lynx helicopter and UH-60 Black Hawk chopper.
Three U.S. Navy ships were welcomed for joint exercises with former foe Vietnam. The training comes after weeks of tension between Vietnam and neighboring China over disputed areas of the South China Sea.
Three years ago, the U.S. Navy began to realize that the readiness of warships was deteriorating to an alarming degree. Some eight percent of them were failing inspections. Since then, it's gotten worse. Now, 24 percent are failing inspections. Currently, about 20 percent of navy ships have failed readiness inspections or are unfit for combat. About 40 percent of ships at sea have one major system broken. About half of combat aircraft and helicopters at sea are not fully functional.
"(The) expectation at least from my perspective, that unless the leadership in the North is deterred, they will continue to do that," Mullen said, referring to the sinking of a South Korean navy ship and the bombing of an island last year.
U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen on Thursday said he saw no indication that North Korea was willing to give up its longstanding nuclear-weapon aspirations, Reuters reported (see GSN, July 13).
Japan’s Kyodo News says two U.S. lawmakers expressed opposition to the United States providing food aid to North Korea.
North Korea has proposed that the two Koreas hold additional consultations regarding South Korean assets at Mount Geumgang resort in North Korea before July 29.
Voice of America says that Sweden and China will each donate one-point-six million dollars and one million dollars to the U.N. World Food Program’s North Korea food aid project.
North Korea would like to co-host the 2018 Winter Olympics to be held in the South Korean alpine town of PyeongChang, a senior North Korean sports official said Wednesday.
North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il showed to a visiting Chinese delegation that his youngest son is firmly on the succession path, analysts said Wednesday.
The low-level civil war that has been going on for the last six years is over. The Royalists (yellow shirts) have acknowledged that the majority of Thais do not support them and are abiding by the results of the July 3rd election. The royalists (also called the urban elite) gained power via a coup in 2006, and held onto it using tainted elections. For years, the Royalists tried to capture and prosecute the Populist (red shirt) leader, former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The royalists and urban elites believed that the capture, trial and imprisonment of Shinawatra might break the will of the populists, or convince Shinawatra to switch sides. Last year, the courts moved to seize half of Shinawatra's fortune ($1.4 billion) as a fine for being corrupt. This was an unpopular move, since nearly all Thai politicians are corrupt, and people wondered who was going to get the $1.4 billion. The red shirts threatened violence over the seizure, although Shinawatra, from exile in Dubai, urged calm and only non-violent demonstrations. Many Royalists believed that Shinawatra was financing the populist violence with this money. The royalists have contempt for the poor and less educated red shirts, and this is returned with resentment and growing anger towards the wealthier and better educated urban population that opposes majority rule. This anger has not been extinguished by the government use of force against those demonstrating for fair elections and a restoration of democracy. Such class warfare is nothing new. There were similar outbreaks in the 1970s and 1990s. But the current one is more widespread and having more of a negative impact on the economy.
China's rapidly developing satellite program has emerged as a new threat to U.S. military influence in Asia, according to new research from a Washington-based think tank. As China steps up the use of its satellites for military use, the possibility of a power shift in the region is increasingly likely, with the U.S. forced to take a step backwards.
The top Chinese military officer on Thursday launched a tirade against the U.S. in a meeting with South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin. "Being a superpower, the U.S. says this or that to other countries, but it never listens when other countries express themselves in a similar way," Korean officials quoted Chen as saying. He added "some actions and expressions" by the U.S. indicate that it is trying to dominate other countries.
President Barack Obama held a White House meeting Saturday with the Dalai Lama, a fellow Nobel Peace laureate, hours after China called on the U.S. to rescind an invitation that could sour relations with Beijing.
Earlier this year, photos began to appear of a new model Type 99 Chinese tank. This was the Type 99G, which replaces their current M-1 killer, the Type 99A2. This is not the long promised "next generation" tank (smaller and lighter than the 60 ton Type 99). The new tank design is to have a crew of two and rely on missiles as its main weapon. The new tank will have many more sensors and an active defense (small missiles taking out incoming anti-tank missiles). The sensors will enable the two man crew to see what is all around them, and be connected electronically with other tanks, and units, in the area. This enables a "Battle Management System" to provide the tank with good awareness of what's going on around it, and makes it possible to find and destroy targets quickly.
Instead, the Type 99G has better armor and electronics. There is a new turret which allows for easily replacing composite armor panels (especially to install better armor). There is a new fire control system and a new engine. But it's still a Type 99 vehicle.
Chinese warships were recently seen, for the first time, operating UAVs at sea (over a thousand kilometers south of Okinawa). Japanese P-3 maritime reconnaissance aircraft spotted a fixed wing UAV taking off, using rockets, from a destroyer , and landing in the water, being recovered via a net. This UAV appeared to be a navalized version of the most numerous model used by the Chinese army; the ASN-206. This is a 222 kg (488 pound) aircraft, with a 50 kg (110 pound) payload. It has a max endurance of eight hours, but more common is an endurance of four hours. Max range from the control equipment is 150 kilometers and cruising speed is about 180 kilometers an hour. This UAV uses a catapult to launch itself from the helicopter deck of a destroyer or frigate. The UAV lands via parachute, so the aircraft get banged up a lot.
China has started construction of its first domestically made aircraft carrier, according to diplomatic and U.S. government sources. The sources said the new carrier will likely be midsize, similar to the Varyag, and carry Jian-15 jet fighters, which China has just developed. The fighters will likely take off from a ski jump-style flight deck as is done on the Varyag.
A large chunk (over a fifth) of the $20 billion the U.S. has given to Pakistan since September 11, 2001 has been stolen. Now the U.S. is holding back nearly a billion dollars in aid. The $800 million being withheld is largely for "reimbursements" for what the Pakistani military has spent to fight terror groups. Audits have revealed that this is where much of the theft takes place. So holding back this money will do the least harm to the Pakistani military effort (such as it is) and the most damage to the corrupt officers who steal American aid.
Pakistan could pull back troops fighting militants near the Afghan border if the United States cuts off aid, the defence minister said on Tuesday in an interview with Pakistani media.
India has approved a $2.4-billion proposal from French defence groups to upgrade its fleet of 51 ageing Mirage fighter jets, a military source said on Thursday.
China on Thursday condemned a series of bombings in India's commercial capital Mumbai in which 17 people were killed and pledged to work with its southern neighbour to combat terrorism.
Hailed as the centerpiece of a new partnership between the world’s two most populous democracies, the U.S.-India nuclear deal has drifted dangerously since it was signed in 2008, analysts and former negotiators from both countries say.
The risk now is that other countries, particularly Russia and France, might benefit from all the hard work that the United States put into the deal.
The landmark agreement was supposed to allow the sale of nuclear reactors and fuel to India, even though the country has nuclear weapons but has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Its advocates said it would bring tens of billions in business to the United States and create thousands of jobs, while also cementing a new partnership between the two nations to counter China’s rise.
The deal itself, symbolic of a new partnership between the two countries, is not in any political danger. But American companies have not yet sold any reactors or equipment to India. American nuclear fuel firms, which face no legal or policy hurdles, have also not begun selling to India.
Intelligence inputs indicate terrorists are planning to target the Bhakra Nangal Dam in Himachal Pradesh.
Intelligence Bureau sources on Saturday said an advisory has been sent to the Himachal government to tighten the security at the dam.
Taiwan said Tuesday it would conduct computerised wargames next week to test its capabilities against the "overwhelming superiority" of China's forces and their first aircraft carrier.
Taiwan said Friday that the United States was actively considering its military needs amid silence from Washington on the island's requests to buy F-16 fighter jets to balance off China.
Dushanbe reiterated on Monday that Russia should pay rent for its military base in Tajikistan, a request that has been rejected by Moscow.
"Russia is our important strategic partner," Tajik Foreign Minister Hamrokhon Zarifi told journalists in the Tajik capital, but "our land cannot be free; it has its price, and no one can use it without paying."
The subject of the so-called sectoral missile defense has been taken off the agenda of Russian-NATO negotiations, a source in the Russian delegation said on Friday.
NATO has never given any encouragement to the Russian proposal, whereby a particular country or group of countries would be responsible for a specific missile defense sector - for instance, Russia shooting down a missile in its airspace targeting an alliance member.
"The idea of zonal missile defense? It's no longer under consideration. That's it," the official said.
The Philippines yesterday welcomed what it saw as a gesture of support from the US amid an escalating row with Beijing over disputed territory in the South China Sea.
Manila has in recent months accused China of taking increasingly aggressive action in staking its claims to the disputed waters, prompting the US Congress on Friday to pass a resolution calling for a peaceful settlement to the conflict.
“The resolution supports the Philippine position of peaceful, multilateral and rules-based settlement of the... disputes in accordance with international law, and condemns the use of force and overt threats,” Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said. “We welcome the support of US congressmen to the Philippine position,” del Rosario said in a statement.
ROK has seemingly backed off its demand that first N. Korea apologizes for 2010 provocations.
Yonhap: DPRK official says 2 Koreas agree to resume 6-party nuke talks asap.
Chosun Ilbo: DPRK calls for launching talks among the 2 Koreas, U.S. & China, excluding Japan & Russia from future nuke talks.
Aide tells reporters #ROK Pres. Lee wants "principled dialogue" with #DPRK to break deadlock. #Korea
Japan gov't strongly denies Sankei Shimbun report Prime Min. Kan contemplating #DPRK visit to boost his popularity.
Yonhap: #ROK officials again urge Japanese lawmakers to call off provocative visit to Ulleung is.
Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung told reporters Monday that two South Korean relief groups will deliver 300 tons of flour to a nursery, a children's hospital and a kindergarten in the North later this week.
With North Korea and the United States set to restart high-level talks later this week, officials and experts here expect no immediate breakthrough or breakdown of the process.
A senior official of the presidential office says issues regarding North Korea’s sinking of the “Cheonan” naval ship and its shelling of Yeonpyeong Island remain to be key matters in terms of inter-Korean relations.
North Korea last year tested a rocket to carry long-range missiles in an apparent attempt to show off its weapons capability to the US, a report said Sunday.
It conducted the rocket engine test at the new Tongchang-ri missile base on the west coast in October, Yonhap news agency said, citing a senior Seoul official.
"We believed that the test, carried out at an hour when the US military satellite could detect it, was aimed at showcasing its missile threats," Yonhap quoted the official as saying.
Regardless of the upcoming meeting with the United States, North Korea is likely to launch additional provocations, the top U.S. military officer said Monday.
Reports from South Korea indicate a large-scale military exercise by North Korea appears to be imminent.
South Korean government sources say, based on information from intelligence teams, North Korea appears poised for a rare, large-scale military drill.
The North prefers to carry out military exercises this time of year, but maneuvers simultaneously involving the army ground force, the navy and air force are unusual.
South Korean media, quoting government sources here, say a significant number of North Korean troops, MiG-21 fighter jets and about 20 naval vessels have assembled, since last week, at two bases in the Yellow Sea.
Sources speaking to VOA say the North Korean maneuvers could begin as soon as Wednesday, with a simulated coastal landing of troops.
In recent days, North Korea has been warning of military retaliation if South Korea and the United States go ahead next month with an annual exercise. North Korean media are terming the joint maneuver an open military threat and preparation for a nuclear attack on the country.
Research on the unification of South and North Korea shows that if North Korea adopts a reformed, open-door system, unification spending could go down to one-tenth of the currently estimated amount.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il inspected the Navy Command in Pyongyang accompanied by his son and heir Jong-un, the North's Central Broadcasting Station reported Monday. There is an ominous history to Kim's visits to Nay installations.
This time, Kim was quoted as saying, "Officers and sailors of this command that has produced 103 heroes should carry on this proud tradition and perform feats by winning every battle in a future war to defend the fatherland."
On Nov. 27, 2009, right after the North Korean Navy's defeat in another skirmish near Daecheong Island on Nov. 10, Kim gave a similar address to the West Sea Fleet Command in Nampo. Four months later, on March 26 last year, the North torpedoed and sank the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan.
Originally posted by concernedcitizen519
reply to post by Vitchilo
Or maybe another nuke test?