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Originally posted by squandered
So hard to feel threatened by a terrorist group named MILF.
Originally posted by leunaM
we got 13Billion from Mr. Lee last week, lets see if we can get more from Uncle Sam next week
i guess we're gonna get the best #^ck in both worlds if we're gonna get #^cked, at least we're already #^cked
this is gonna be one fun orgy
Radio Free Asia (RFA) is reporting that Russia delivered nearly 17-thousand tons of grain to North Korea last month.
It added that 22-thousand more tons of wheat and wheat flour would arrive in North Korea in September.
The United States has "no good choices" on North Korea but must keep up economic and diplomatic pressure on the secretive regime, former special coordinator Wendy Sherman told lawmakers Wednesday.
"Solving this problem is very, very tough," Sherman told the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee as it weighed her nomination to be the number three at the US State Department. "There are no good choices."
A U.S. military reconnaissance aircraft made an emergency landing during annual South Korea-U.S. military exercises in March when North Korea jammed its GPS device, it emerged Thursday.
According to a report the Defense Ministry submitted to Democratic Party lawmaker Ahn Kyu-baek of the National Assembly's Defense Committee, the RC-7B took off from its base at 8:30 p.m. on March 4 but had to make an emergency landing about 45 minutes later due to disruption of its GPS functions by jamming signals transmitted from Haeju and Kaesong in North Korea at intervals of five to 10 minutes that afternoon.
A U.S. defense official denied on Saturday that a military reconnaissance plane was forced to make an emergency landing in March because of North Korean GPS jamming, as reported by a South Korean newspaper.
A US scientist who visited a secret North Korean nuclear site last year says Pyongyang may seek to launch a third atomic test to enable it to develop a small fissile warhead that can be carried by a missile.
Siegfried Hecker — who first revealed news of a previously clandestine North Korean uranium enrichment plant — also expanded on details of that facility on Friday. He said it was more advanced than Iran's enrichment operation, and could be re-engineered to turn out enough fissile material to make two nuclear weapons a year.
At a lecture on Friday, Hecker said Pyongyang remains committed to having a nuclear deterrent and may want to launch a test at least one more time to progress from developing a small and sophisticated missile warhead from the basic weapon it now has.
Japan's Kyodo News says that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's son and political heir Jong-un has been confirmed as number three in power in the North Korean regime.
Russia and North Korea will stage their first joint military exercises next year after agreeing to expand their ties during Kim Jong-Il's visit to Russia last month, a general said on Tuesday.
South Korean officials believe that the North Korean economy has collapsed and cannot be revived by the current communist government. Chinese assistance won’t work, and many Chinese officials, and business people, agree. When Kim Jong Il dies, his heir (the youngest son, Kim Jong Un) won’t be able to hold it together, and the North Korean government will fall apart. South Korean officials believe that South Korea will be in a better position to take control up north. But current Chinese policy opposes that, and when crunch time arrives, so will Chinese troops in North Korea.
The UN has issued more warnings about famine in North Korea. This report is based on UN staff observing severely malnourished North Korea survivors of recent floods. The Great Hunger in North Korea has reached the military.
One little mentioned reason for the current famine in North Korea is the sharp reduction in rice shipments from Myanmar (Burma). Lots of rice has been arriving from Burma over the last five years, but in the last year or so, those shipments have sharply declined. The reason is apparently because North Korea was paying for the rice by exporting weapons.
Japan is increasingly nervous about North Korea lashing out, and firing ballistic missiles at Japan.
An internal report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has expressed serious concern over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
In the recent report acquired by KBS, the U.N. nuclear agency said there have been media reports that the North is building a new uranium enrichment facility and light-water reactor, adding that such moves by the North pose a serious problem.
The prospects of the two Koreas becoming unified through absorption grew from last year while the chances of a negotiated unification declined, according to a survey of security experts released Tuesday.
The United States on Thursday expressed thinly veiled concern about closer military ties between North Korea and Russia, saying it should not "distract" from efforts to denuclearize the communist Asian nation.
Myanmar has set up a Human Rights Commission, according to a brief report in the government newspaper New Light of Myanmar.
The Indian Ministry of Defense recently revealed that the new version of its locally built tank, the Arjun Mk 2, would enter service in 2015, and cost $8 million. This would make it the most expensive tank in the world. The improvements over the current Mk 1 make the Mk 2 about as capable as the most current versions of the M-1, Leopard or Merkava. Most importantly, some 90 percent of the Mk 2 components will be made in India.
The Australian navy is selling off its remaining five Sea King helicopters and accessories, Minister for Defense Materiel Jason Clare said.
China said Wednesday it would avoid "invasion, expansion or war" -- but not at the expense of its claims on Taiwan -- as it seeks to dispel fears over its military build-up and territorial assertiveness.
"China will not attack another country unless we are attacked," he said.
But he highlighted Beijing's so-called "core interests" of territorial integrity and national reunification with Taiwan, the self-governed island that broke away from mainland China in 1949 after a civil war.
China and Vietnam have agreed to establish a hot-line, to insure that any future disputes do not turn violent. This is a good idea. China and Vietnam have been fighting for centuries. In the past the violence was mainly over a disagreement about Vietnam’s status. China considered Vietnam a rebellious province, while Vietnam considered itself independent.
A militant Muslim organisation believed to be based in Pakistan has backed recent fatal attacks in China and predicted more violence, a video released by a US-based terror monitoring group shows.
In the video, Damla, his face obscured, claims attacks in China's far-western region of Xinjiang over the summer were revenge against the Chinese government for "maiming the identity of the Muslims".
The United States should view China's growing role in the Pacific as grounds for cooperation rather than concern, a top Chinese official said Friday, amid anxiety over Beijing's new assertiveness.
"We are just part of the Pacific region, that's a geographical fact, nobody can change it -- China's also part of Asia, that's also quite true," Cui said.
He said Washington and Beijing shared a common interest in helping Pacific island nations cope with issues such as climate change and economic development, so they should work together.
China has become increasingly active in impoverished Pacific island nations in recent years, offering "soft loans" on easy credit terms and providing aid for projects such as hospitals and roads.
China has just refurbished an old Soviet aircraft carrier and is now expected to build a bigger one on its own that can house large surveillance planes. The Hong Kong-based Mingpao newspaper on Thursday cited the U.S. military website Strategy Page as saying China will build an aircraft carrier even larger than the Varyag that can carry a 21-ton early warning aircraft.
China seeks to match US military might, hacks US government computers "daily," and is "drunk with economic power," a key US lawmaker warned Monday as he warned against new cuts at the Pentagon.
"For the first time in their history, Beijing believes they can achieve military parity with the United States. They are building stealth fighters and submarines. Their navy has grown larger than our own. They are sending warships into the territorial waters of our allies," he said.
"They hack our government computers daily and intimidate our friends in the Pacific rim," said the chairman.
China has turned a nuclear missile brigade into two, boosting its capacity to strike targets as far afield as the U.S. mainland.
According to the institute, China has approximately 10-15 DF-31A missiles in its active inventory.
Russia's fears that a NATO anti-missile defense shield would target its intercontinental missile forces are "unfounded," a senior U.S. diplomat said this week.
Russia will deploy the new nuclear submarine Yury Dolgoruky with its Pacific Fleet this year, Russia's state-run ITAR-TASS news agency reported Thursday.
Russia on Monday defended its strategic bombers' recent mission near Japan and accused Tokyo of trying to stir up the long-standing territorial row between the two countries.
The United States will deploy elements of a missile defense shield in Poland by 2018, the U.S. and Poland said in a joint statement on Thursday.
"The United States and Poland are pleased to jointly announce that the Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement of 2008 and its Amending Protocol of 2010 on deployment of the land-based SM-3 system within Poland has entered into force, effective of September 15, 2011," the statement said.
Russia will sign a contract with France for the third and fourth Mistral-class amphibious assault ships before the end of this year, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Wednesday.
"I believe we should complete the negotiating process and have these contracts signed before the end of the year," he said.
The two new warships will be built in Russia, he added.
"Syria and some other countries are interested in long-range S-300 Favorit systems, medium-range Buk and short-range Tor," the source said. "Syrian experts want to make sure that these systems are indeed modern, powerful and effective weapons."
Syria, a major importer of Russian weapons, has bought MiG-29M fighter jets, Pantsir S1E and Buk-M2E air-defense systems from Russia, and hopes to receive MiG-29SMT fighters, Yak-130 combat trainers, Iskander tactical missile systems, and two Amur-1650 class diesel submarines.
Russia earlier announced it would honor a 2007 contract on the delivery of several Bastion anti-ship missile systems armed with Yakhont (SS-N-26) supersonic cruise missiles to Syria, despite efforts by Israel and the United States to stop the deal.
Russia's first Graney class nuclear-powered attack submarine set course on Monday for scheduled sea trials, the Sevmash shipyard said.
Graney class nuclear submarines are designed to launch a variety of long-range cruise missiles (up to 3,100 miles or 5,000 km), with conventional or nuclear warheads, and effectively engage submarines, surface warships and land-based targets.
Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation said on Wednesday it has signed a contract with the Defense Ministry on the construction of another three Krivak IV class frigates for the Russian Navy.
Russian and German defense ministers will meet on Thursday in Moscow to discuss issues of military cooperation as well as the controversial issue of the European missile shield, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
For its new 22DDH class helicopter carriers, Japan has decided to replace Phalanx anti-missile automatic cannon systems with the SeaRAM missile. This is part of a growing trend. What's interesting about this is that SeaRAM is basically the Phalanx system, with the 20mm automatic cannon replaced with a box of eleven RAM (RIM-116 "Rolling Air Frame") missiles.
#Japan "carefully watching" Russian plan to declare no fly zone close to Hokkaido & Russian-held disputed isles.
Taiwan is expected to mass produce a potent new missile system designed to nip a Chinese invasion in the bud by striking airfields and harbours on the mainland, a lawmaker said Tuesday.
The defence ministry has brought forward production of the "Wan Chien" missile to as early as 2014 from 2018 to equip locally-developed fighter jets with the new system, said lawmaker Lin Yu-fang, who is also military pundit.
Each missile carries more than 100 warheads capable of blowing dozens of small craters in airport runways, making them impossible to use.
The United States and other countries persuaded the United Nations to stop using the phrase "Taiwan is part of China", according to a document released by anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
China sounded an indirect warning to U.S. regarding arms sales to Taiwan on Wednesday, saying they would strain peaceful Sino-U.S. relationship
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu urged the United States to "fully grasp the harmfulness and sensitivity of selling weapons to Taiwan, and avoid harming the peaceful development of Sino-U.S. and cross-Strait relations, We resolutely oppose the United States selling weapons to Taiwan," she told all the reporters
China's state media said Thursday Beijing's response to potential US fighter jet sales to Taiwan must be its "most intense yet", just a day after the government sought to dispel fears over its military build-up.
In strongly-worded comment pieces, official media also said Washington should be "fully aware of the damages" of arms sales to Taiwan, the self-ruled island that Beijing considers part of its territory.
"If the United States sells Taiwan new F-16s, China's reaction must be the most intense yet," the nationalistic Global Times newspaper -- which has a circulation of 1.5 million -- said in its Chinese-language version.
US assistant secretary of commerce Suresh Kumar is scheduled to visit Taiwan next week, the highest-level American official to come to the island in over five years, its mission in Taipei said Friday.
Fewer Taiwanese people intend to work or live in China despite efforts promoting closer trade and tourism links, a survey showed Saturday.
Sixty-six percent of the 1,024 people interviewed by the United Daily News in late August said they would not go to the mainland to work, an increase of four percentage points from a similar poll last year.
An overwhelming 90 percent said they would not want to move to China while 66 percent said they would not let their children go to study on the mainland. Both figures were up on last year.
Fifty-six percent said they had a negative impression of the Chinese government, up two percentage points from last year, while 45 percent thought negatively about Chinese people, an improvement of two percentage points.
More than half of respondents hoped the two sides could maintain "the status quo" in terms of Taiwan's status, while 29 percent preferred immediate or gradual independence, with the rest leaning towards reunification with China.
Two US senators introduced legislation on Monday demanding President Barack Obama sell Taiwan no fewer than 66 advanced F-16 fighter jets despite Beijing's fierce objections.
Taiwan's opposition presidential candidate on Tuesday assured the United States she would not whip up tensions with China if elected but pledged to boost defense spending to counterbalance a rising Beijing.
The crash of two Vietnam War-era jets in Taiwan that killed three sparked calls Wednesday for the US to sell the island new planes and save its pilots from "risking their lives" in old aircraft.
South Korea has reached a deal to buy precision-guided missiles from an Israeli company to protect islands near the tense sea border with North Korea, a report said Tuesday.
Yonhap news agency said about 50 Israeli missiles would be deployed on two islands in the Yellow Sea, probably late next year.
The missile developed by Israel's Rafael Advanced Defense System uses global positioning system (GPS) technology and is capable of hitting North Korean artillery hidden in mountain caves, Yonhap said.
The Spike NLOS, which costs $300,000 per unit, has a range of 25 kilometres (15 miles), it said.
South Korea and the United States are reportedly discussing flying the Global Hawk surveillance drone near the Demilitarized Zone to secure updated information on North Korean regions.
South Korea's military operates giant trucks which print and send thousands of leaflets and transmit broadcasts as part of psychological warfare against North Korea, said a report disclosed Wednesday.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Wednesday warned the United States would retaliate against insurgents based in Pakistan blamed for staging a dramatic attack in the Afghan capital.
Taiwan said Wednesday the United States had agreed to upgrade its existing F-16 fighter jets -- widely seen as the second-best option for the island as it faces China's growing military might.
But although the $5.85 billion deal falls short of a Taiwanese wish to acquire more advanced F-16s, the US move is likely to trigger anger in China, which claims the island as part of its territory.
China this week warned the United States against helping Taiwan upgrade its air force.
Taiwan will likely seek state-of-the-art F-35 fighter jets from the US, a top official was quoted as saying Monday, amid fears on the island that Washington may refuse to sell it F-16 jets.
One of the scariest tactics is the partial blockade. This would block access to Taiwan’s main ports for a short time, and then depart. This would cause shipping costs (especially insurance) to rise, and some customers would seek other suppliers. Thus Taiwan firms would lose sales, and the population would become demoralized.
Another attack is to use a few ballistic missiles to hit military targets on Taiwan, in response to some real or faked grievance. Again, Taiwan would be reluctant to respond, because China has so much more military power. The U.S. has promised to stop a Chinese invasion, but the help available for these harassment tactics is less certain.
China still has the option to try for an invasion. This would have to be a quick affair, to take advantage of the absence of U.S. naval and air forces (which would take a few days to arrive.) China recently revealed that it had added paramilitary police battalions from the PAP (People’s Armed Police) to proposed invasion forces. These police would deal with any civilian resistance on Taiwan.
China warned that a $5.85 billion deal announced Wednesday to upgrade Taiwan's fleet of F16 fighter jets would damage Sino-US relations, calling on America to stop arms sales to the island.
Chinese vice foreign minister Zhang Zhijun was instructed to summon US ambassador to China Gary Locke and lodge a strong protest, China's official Xinhua news agency said.
Shortly after an announcement in Taipei, the Pentagon said it had formally notified Congress of the deal that will include equipment, parts, training and logistical support.
The Pentagon announced the deal in three parts valued at $5.3 billion, $500 million and $50 million. The deal includes a retrofit of the island's F-16 A/B aircraft "which will greatly enhance the recipient's ability to defend its borders," a Pentagon statement said.
Zhang Zhijun said the new arms deal violated a Sino-US agreement on reducing arms sales to Taiwan, interfered in China's internal affairs, undermined China's national security and damaged China's peaceful reunification.
A commentary carried on Xinhua early Thursday said Beijing "seeks peaceful reunification of China and will never use forces against Taiwan as along as the island does not announce independence or seek to split from China."
The official said that the United States was not ruling out future sales of new F-16 C/D jets but said that the retrofit was the best option in the near term.
"It is our belief that we are going to be able to get greater capabilities more rapidly and a large number of airplanes into the field in a more decisive way," he said.
Richard Aboulafia, an aviation expert and vice president of the Teal Group Corp., said that Taiwan's F-16 A/Bs were already unusually modern and included many of the technical features of C/Ds.
But he said that the upgrade decision meant that Taiwan would not increase its fleet at a time that China is boosting its military spending.
"This is a numbers problem," he said.
The package, which will take place over 12 years, also includes training for Taiwanese pilots at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.
North Korea has stepped up a crackdown on soldiers in a northeastern city who are stealing from locals because they cannot survive on their food rations, a report said Wednesday.
South Korean patrol boats and corvettes are able to detect a mere 30 percent of submarines at a time when North Korea is increasing the frequency of submarine infiltration drills.
According to data the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Defense Intelligence Agency submitted to Democratic Party lawmaker Shin Hak-yong of the National Assembly's Defense Committee, North Korean submarine infiltration drills in the West Sea increased to 28 between January and August 2010, from a mere two in the same period in 2008 and only five in 2009.
In the same period this year, North Korea raised the number of infiltration drills to 50.
Infiltration exercises using semi-submersible craft also rose from 14 in the first eight months last year to 22 this year. The number of submarine exercises in the East Sea soared from 25 in the January-August period last year to 39 this year.
Wikileaks documents revealed that Chinese officials believe that even China will not be able to prevent the collapse of the North Korean government, especially after current North Korean ruler Kim Jong Il dies (which may happen soon.) China believes the North Korea government may hang on for 2-3 years after Kim is gone. China still expects South Korea to not take over the north and reunite Korea. China is planning to send in troops, establish order, and install a more efficient, and pro-Chinese, dictatorship.
According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), North Korea added about 300 tanks and 1,200 artillery guns over the past decade.
The North Korean regime is extorting money from ordinary people as hopes fade of achieving the propaganda goal of becoming a "powerful and prosperous nation" by 2012, a source claimed Thursday.
"The regime used to urge people to donate money in every crucial situation, including construction of power stations, but it's now resorting to plain extortion by simply hectoring people to cough up," the source added.
But apparently the effect of the measures is merely to increase resentment. "People are saying, Stop sponging off us. We don't want a powerful and prosperous nation,'" the source said.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's son Jong-un has unleashed a reign of terror and kickstarted his own personality cult to make up for his lack of experience and competence over the past year. The tubby 20-something was anointed as his father's successor at a party congress last year.
"Kim Jong-un is implementing a reign of terror using military and public security agencies," a source said on Wednesday. "The elite is becoming agitated as he has gone all out to purge senior officials who pose a hurdle to his succession."
Senior officials such as minister of public security Ju Sang-song, vice premier Ri Tae-nam, and deputy director of the State Security Department Ryu Kyong were fired or executed on corruption charges.
Kim junior also ordered a merciless crackdown on "anti-socialist" trends, including South Korean pop music and TV series, and got deeply involved in organizational and personnel matters at the State Security Department and the Ministry of Public Security, the source added.
As a result, public executions tripled to about 60 last year compared to 2009, and the regime has been carrying out a massive hunt for potential defectors. A special mobile force armed with riot gear has been established to quell any popular uprisings.
North and South Korean envoys are to meet in Beijing, signaling a possible resumption of the stalled six-party talks on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.
A South Korean official told Yonhap News Agency that Wi would be "open and flexible" with Ri but he would stick with South Korea's precondition for resumption of the talks -- the North must allow verification that it has halted its nuclear program.
For his part, Ri likely would reiterate the North's stance that denuclearization is accompanied by aid for its ailing economy.
The nuclear envoys of South and North Korea met for three hours in Beijing on Wednesday but failed to agree on terms of re-starting stalled six-party talks on the North's nuclear programs, both sides said.
Wi Sung-lac of South Korea and Ri Yong-ho of North Korea parted ways without agreement on whether they would meet again, but they said their discussions were "useful."
North Korea wants to hold a second round of dialogue with the United States, possibly next month, as part of renewed efforts to restart talks on disabling the North's nuclear weapons program, a South Korean official said on Thursday.
Japan's top weapons maker has confirmed it was the victim of a cyber attack reportedly targeting data on missiles, submarines and nuclear power plants.
The government said it was not aware of any leak of sensitive information.
The U.S. and Japanese governments have repeatedly promised to move forward with plans to relocate a controversial U.S. Marine Corps helicopter station from a populated urban area of Okinawa to a more remote location on the island.
The Russian Defense Ministry is planning to refit three mothballed nuclear-powered Kirov-class missile cruisers in a major boost for the Russian Navy's combat strength, Izvestia newspaper said on Wednesday.
Russia is concerned over U.S. plans on the deployment of its missile shield elements in Romania and Turkey, but "is not dramatizing" the situation, a Russian deputy foreign minister said on Wednesday.
"We are first of all concerned how the formation of the missile shield is being boosted and the fact that our position is ignored does not add any certainty at all that the future system would not be aimed against us," the diplomat added.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has welcomed an agreement on missile defense deployment that has come into force between the United States and Poland.
The United States will deploy elements of a missile defense shield in Poland by 2018.
The United States and Romania have signed the U.S.-Romanian Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement – an important step in defending Europe and the United States from the growing threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles.
The ballistic missile defense system should be deployed to Romania in the 2015 time-frame.
Russia annouced that the first test batch of its Ka-52K navalized helicopter will be built next year. Mass production will begin in three years. The ``K`` model will serve on the Mistral class amphibious ships Russia is buying from France.
The Ka-52K enables the Mistral amphibious carriers to defend themselves, to some extent. Against large warships with anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles, the Ka-52K would just slow down the destruction of the Russian Mistrals. But the Russians don’t expect to send their Mistrals against major naval opposition, but smaller nuisances in their own back yard.
Russia on Wednesday successfully put a military satellite into orbit after a three-week delay caused by the failure of one its workhorse Proton-M rockets, the Roskosmos space agency said.
Russia and Kazakhstan are planning to set up a joint air-defense system in the very near future, a senior Russian military official said on Thursday.
"We already have such bilateral regional air-defense systems with Belarus and Armenia and in future we are planning to build a similar air-defense system with Kazakhstan," Col. Gen. Valery Gerasimov, deputy chief of the General Staff of Russia's Armed Forces, said.
Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin on Monday supported stationing troops on the country's easternmost islets of Dokdo.
South Korea and the U.S. have agreed to complete a joint military operational plan to prepare against potential North Korean provocations by the end of this year, the defense ministry here said Monday.
In a report submitted to the National Assembly for the annual parliamentary audit, the ministry said Seoul and Washington will look to bolster their joint defense against the North. Previously, only South Korean forces responded to North Korean provocations, and the joint plan is expected to help the South obtain U.S. assistance if needed.
Lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties alike on Monday grilled the defense ministry on the military's preparedness against North Korea's jamming of satellite signals.
Major military facilities in South Korea, including the defense ministry, are defenseless against potential North Korean electronic attacks, reports showed Tuesday.
According to the Agency for Defense Development (ADD) and the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA), no technology exists in South Korea that can fend off electromagnetic pulse (EMP) bombs from North Korea.
South Korea is developing a ballistic missile with a range of 100 km to take out North Korean artillery positions. The project was launched by presidential order following the North's shelling of Yeonpyeong Island last November.
South Korea has ordered five more American Phalanx systems to protect their ships from anti-ship missiles. Each Phalanx system will cost $14 million. South Korea is equipping its new class of FFX frigates with U.S. weapons both Phalanx and RAM missiles. European firms were offering comparable gun systems at competitives prices. But the U.S. systems were selected because they had more of a track record, having been used for years by U.S. warships, and those of many others as well.
Negociations with MILF (Moro Islamic Freedom Front) are stalled over the inability of the MILF leadership to control its own followers. Meanwhile, the Muslim population they claim to represent has largely lost enthusiasm for the separatist struggle. The fact is that the Muslims are a small minority (8%) of the Filipino population and that is why few Muslims want to keep fighting for a separate Muslim state on part of Mindanao island (the southernmost large island). The problem is, Moslems are only about a third of the 22 million people on Mindanao and the smaller southern islands. The rest are Christians, who do not want to share the island with an independent Moslem state. Moreover, most of the Moslem population is intermixed with Christians, and the radical Moslems want these Christians expelled. But the radical Moslems are not strong enough to force the majority Christians out. Many Moslem majority areas have become largely Christian in the past decade. The Christian majority has been encroaching, on the sparsely populated areas of the Moslem south, for over a century. But this movement has accelerated as the economy has improved in the last decade. Many Moslems see their culture threatened, but armed resistance has not done much to help. The Moslems are very outnumbered, and have been losing battles for decades. Radical Islam has not been able to halt this process, and fewer and fewer young Moslems are willing to die for that cause. But many young Moslems are willing to become bandits and outlaws, and that is what most of the hostiles down south are turning into.
Any peace plan has to deal with southern politics, which is all about clan politics. Even MILF is held together because of support from some key clans. The government peace plan proposes to disarm the clan militias. That will change the balance of power in the south, as some the MILF militias will remain armed, and ready to take advantage of pro-government militias that once kept them in check, but are to be disarmed. Overall, however, the southern provinces would be better off with warlords and their clan based militias gone. These forces often engage in criminal behavior to sustain themselves, and clan leaders use their gunmen to coerce voters and maintain political power. But for the moment, no one can claim enough support in the south to represent the Moslem minority in the peace negotiations.
MILF must put its own house in order before it can claim to represent anything. To that end, MILF has ordered the rogue BILF ( Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Front) to surrender by the 26th, or else. BILF said it would keep fighting. While MILF has about 12,000 armed men, BILF only has, at most, a thousand. There are several other rogue factions that, if they allied themselves with BILF, would double the number. But rogue factions are not inclined to join forces with anyone, so MILF can pick them off one at a time. While a bloody process, that is what the government is demanding before peace talks can resume.
India and Vietnam Friday agreed to add greater content to their bilateral relations in defence and security, even as both sides are considering a request for Indian assistance in training Vietnamese naval crew to operate Russian-made Kilo-class submarines.
Brushing aside China's warning on Thursday asking countries "outside the region" to stay away from the South China Sea, foreign minister SM Krishna told his Vietnam counterpart Pham Binh Minh that India's ONGC Videsh will go ahead with oil and gas exploration in the disputed region or the two offshore blocks which Vietnam claims as its own.
Government sources said that the Vietnam authorities "fully endorsed" Krishna when he made the point that, despite Beijing's opposition, India will go ahead with oil and gas exploration in the region.
New Delhi isn’t resting on its laurels. The Indian Defence Ministry said its military is joining Mongolia in two weeks of joint defence exercises from this week. This year’s exercises are taking place in Mongolia, following a series of bilateral military activities last year in India.
An emerging defense agreement would let the U.S. expand its military presence in Australia as the Obama administration and its allies maneuver to counter an increasingly assertive China.
It would include positioning U.S. equipment in Australia, increasing access to bases and conducting more joint exercises and training.
Saudi Arabia has been beefing up its military links with Pakistan to counter Iran's expansionist plans and this reportedly includes acquiring atomic arms from the only Muslim nuclear power or its pledge of nuclear cover.
A new intercontinental Russian missile whose development has been kept as a state secret failed in its first test-firing and crashed back into the launch zone, reports said Wednesday.
Reports published on Russian news agencies about the failed test firing from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia appeared to be the first indication that the ground-based missile even existed.
Russia news agencies said that the new missile was a development of Topol-M and Yars strategic missiles which have a range of over 10,000 kilometres. But the new missile has special features to defeat air defence systems.
Analysts said that the new missile was most likely a modified version of the Yars (RS-24) which the gazeta.ru online newspaper said had the name "Avangard".
A rise in Russia's military operations in the Baltic Sea region is cause for concern among Baltic states Finland, Sweden and Poland, Estonia's military chief said.
"Russia has significantly increased its military presence in the western region (Baltic) and has created a new west strategic command that is -- to believe its own military head -- much more powerful than was the Leningrad military district," General Ants Laaneots, head of Estonia's defence forces, said in an interview on Estonia's public ETV website Friday.
"This is causing worries in Finland, Sweden, Baltic State and Poland," Laaneots said.
Unofficial sources have announced that Iran, Russia, and China are currently holding talks on a proposal to establish a joint missile defense shield as a counterweight to a NATO defense shield, according to a recent report.
Russia's foreign minister on Tuesday renewed demands for "solid legal guarantees" that a proposed US missile defense shield in Europe is not aimed at Russia.
The Russian nuclear submarine fleet will be reduced to about 30 boats in a few years.
The Russians are currently mostly concerned with replacing SSBNs (ballistic missile carrying nuclear subs) and boats that carry anti-ship missiles (for handling aircraft carriers.) The admirals admit, at least among themselves, that this is all they are likely to get.
Russia carried out on Thursday a successful test of a new sea-based intercontinental ballistic missile, the Defense Ministry said.
The Liner missile was launched from the Tula (Delta IV class) strategic submarine in the Barents Sea targeting the Kura test grounds on the Kamchatka peninsula.
It has a longer range and enhanced missile defense penetration capability.
The Netherlands will contribute to the NATO missile shield to protect Europe against missile attacks from countries such as Iran, the NRC Handelsblad newspaper said.
Russia is upset by NATO's unwillingness to discuss the situation in Kosovo at NATO-Russia Council sessions, Russia's NATO envoy said on Wednesday.
The Russian parliament's upper house ratified agreements on Wednesday concluded last year with Abkhazia and South Ossetia, under which Moscow will set up military bases in the breakaway republics.
The treaties allow Russia to operate military bases Abkhazia and South Ossetia for an initial term of 49 years, with possible extensions for an additional 15 years, Federation Council Defense Committee Chairman Viktor Ozerov said.
No progress has been made in Russia - U.S. talks on the projected deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in Europe, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Tuesday.
"No breakthrough decisions have been made. Our U.S. partners continue implementing their plans to create the European segment of the U.S. missile defense system," Antonov said.
A second regiment equipped with Yars mobile ballistic missile systems will be put on combat duty in central Russia by the end of 2011, Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) commander Lt. Gen. Sergei Karakayev said on Monday.
The Yars missile system is armed with the RS-24 intercontinental ballistic missile that has considerably better combat and operational capabilities than the Topol-M (SS-27 Stalin). Russia fully deployed the first Yars regiment consisting of three battalions in August 2011.
The RS-24 is a new-generation intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple warheads, while Topol-M is a single-warhead missile.
A top US envoy said Wednesday that Washington could penalise China's four biggest state banks if they were found doing business with an Iranian insurance firm in violation of US nuclear sanctions.
David Cohen, US Treasury under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, was in China to discuss measures to prevent Iran from obtaining financing for its nuclear weapons programme and means to spread its hardware.
His China trip followed a stop in Hong Kong, where he met with representatives of the four banks -- Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Agricultural Bank of China.
China recently launched a military communications satellite, the 5.7 ton Chinasat 1A.
This is the tenth satellite launch for China this year, and nine of them were successful. China is steadily building up its network of military communications and reconnaissance satellites.
Russia is not conceding defeat in its effort to halt Chinese theft of Russian military technology. This can be seen in China having more difficulty than it will admit in its battle to free itself from dependence on Russia for high-performance jet engines for its top-line jet fighters. This surfaced recently when China protested restrictions Russia was insisting on for the use of AL-31FN engines China ordered two months ago. Russia wants guarantees that the AL-31FNs will only be used to power Chinese warplanes, and that none of them will be disassembled to assist Chinese engineers in perfecting the illegal Chinese clone of the AL-31FN, the WS-10A. China is resisting these restrictions, which simply makes the Russians more insistent.
China admitted that it had recently tested a new anti-missile missile technology. American sensors spotted this test, where two Chinese missiles were fired towards each other, and disappeared as the warheads met. China claimed that this test involved new mid-course correction technology. China did not say what kind of missile was used to intercept the incoming ballistic missile. Last year, China successfully used a modified HQ-9 anti-aircraft missile to intercept a short range ballistic missile. Last year's test used technology stolen from the Russians, the more recent test indicates tech stolen from the United States.
China has told the United States it will go its own way with its growing aid and investment in the South Pacific and does not support combined efforts, a senior US official said Tuesday.