Sunday, December 10, 2017

Most Dangerous Global Security Issue




United Nations envoy Feltman told the North Koreans there can only be a diplomatic solution.


[Time quoting Associated Press AP on December 10, 2017]

Friday, December 08, 2017

Trump's Jerusalem Declaration Triggers Violence


Updates added on December 9 / 10.



U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, under siege of protesters on December 10.


Palestine - Days of Rage



After president Donald Trump's declaration to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and such recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, riots have broken out all over Palestine and Gaza, leaving a violence toll of two deaths and more than 750 wounded up to now. Protests emerged as well in Berlin, Istanbul, London, Kairo and Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Indonesia and which is the most populated Islamic nation.

While the Arab world is showing its embarresment and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas refuses to meet with U.S. vice-president Mike Pence on his coming visit to the Middle East, Hamas and Hezbollah leadership are calling for a new Intifada or violent uprise against Israel.

Furthermore, United Nations Security Council is holding an emergency meeting on the subject. At that meeting U.S. ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, is standing alone to defend the Jerusalem decision of her boss. [Summary of news from Al-Jazeera الجزيرة published on December 8, 2017]




14 out of 15 council members voted against the change of position made
by U.S. president Trump in his Jerusalem decision. [CTV News, Dec. 8]





شومان: فلسطين ليست ميراثا لأمريكا وممتلكات «ترامب» لا تشمل القدس

Shouman: Palestine is not the patrimony of America and
Jerusalem doesn't belong to the possessions of "Trump".


Editor's Note:
Dr. Abbas Shouman is deputy director of the famous and influential Islamic University Al-Azhar in Kairo and a partner of the movement United Against Violence in the Name of Religion (UVNR). - By the way, the above quoted Arabic word ممتلكات can be used with the meaning of "colonial possessions".

The quoted Arabic source added in another article that Egypt's government officially rejects the ‘illegal’ US embassy move to Jerusalem.

[El-Balad البلد, Egypt, on December 8, 2017]







وزراء الخارجية العرب يرفضون قرار ترامب حول القدس

Arab foreign ministers reject Trump resolution on Jerusalem.


[Al-Quds Al-Arabi القدس العربي, Palestinian Daily on December 9, 2017]


The head of the Arab League has called US President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital "dangerous and unacceptable" and a "flagrant attack on a political solution" to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.

The statement by Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, the regional bloc's secretary-general, came at the start of an emergency meeting of foreign ministers from 22 Arab states in Egypt's capital, Cairo, on Saturday.

Aboul-Gheit said Trump's decision was "against international law and raises questions over American efforts to support peace" between Palestine and Israel.

The shift in US policy "undermines Arab confidence" in the Trump administration and "amounts to the legalisation" of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, he added.


[Quotation from an Al-Jazeera الجزيرة article published on late December 9, 2017]

Last Exit from War Track


The following news were published only some hours ago on late December 7, 2017.



Reuters news agency report from December 6, updated on late December 7, 2017.



U.S. foreign secretary Tillerson and Russia's foreign minister Lavrov meeting each other
at the Vienna conference on Thursday, December 7, 2017. [The Guardian]



Senator Tammy Duckworth, a decorated veteran of the Iraq War, is scared — scared that the Trump administration may be getting the US into a devastating war with North Korea without much of the public noticing or seeming to care.

“Most Americans,” she says, “don’t realize how close we are to this war.”

Duckworth, who lost both of her legs after her helicopter was shot down by insurgents, has closely followed both aggressive rhetoric from the White House and the way the US military has been approaching the Korean Peninsula. She believes the events of the past six months indicate that President Trump might be willing to actually launch a preventive strike on North Korea, despite the real chance that it could trigger a nuclear exchange.


[VOX on late December 7, 2017]

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Korea - Meeting Point of Military Force


While U.S. and South Korean air force and navy units are amassing near the border to North Korea in the greatest show of military strength ever experienced since the Korean War in the 1950ies, China did something it's never done before to warn the U.S. about fighting North Korea when it started its own military drills in the Yellow Sea, close to the Korean Peninsula.

While Russia's navy just ended an amphibious landing operation in Kamchatka and Primorye province near to the country's border with North Korea after deploying hundreds of marines to that region, Russia's deputy foreign minister Igor Morgulov announced that communication channels with North Korea are being held open to "exert influence" on Russia's neighbour and traditional ally in Pyongyang.

Even though Russia isn't amused about Kim Jong-un ignoring UN sanctions in his intention to create an accepted nuclear power, it seems to be still providing the rogue country with oil derivates and which hasn't been declared illegal by the international community up to now.

That comes at the same time when a U.S. Republican senator in Washington DC made his thoughts public that it was now the right time to repatriate family members of U.S. military personnel from South Korea.

As North Korea is still unwilling to join an open dialogue with the U.S. and their partners to solve problems or, at least, show restraint in its nuclear ambitions, there seems to be no room left for any peaceful solution whatsoever.

Therefore, it is no longer a question of whether there will be war, but rather when it would start. One might even be inclined to demand the parties involved in the conflict to come to terms, this way or the other, such that information-mining journalists and bloggers could get some sleep before the really bad news arrived.




核武器常识及其防护

Elementary knowledge on the protection from nuclear weapons.



吉林党报谈核武器防护 朝鲜半岛局势不妙?

A "Jilin Party News" report is discussing how to protect from nuclear weapons.

The situation on the Korean peninsula is far from encouraging.


[DW 多维新闻 quoting the local Chinese daily Jilin [province] Party News 吉林党报 from December 6, 2017]



Inscription stone marking the border of China and North Korea in China's Jilin province.



Some weeks ago, I happened to read a western journalist's report about his trip to North Korea. He wrote that during his journey he once had asked a local North Korean how he considered to survive a nuclear war. That man had looked surprised at him and had allegedly answered: " I think we will win that war ". - Ulysses





..............................




Monday, December 04, 2017

Yemen - Assassination of Abdullah Saleh




قيادي حوثي: صالح قتل بعد توقيف سيارته على حاجز وجثته سلمت لحزبه

Houthi leadership: Saleh was killed after his car had to
stop at a barricade, his remains were saved by his party.


قال قيادي في جماعة الحوثي، إن الرئيس اليمني السابق، علي عبدالله صالح قتل، الاثنين، خلال محاولته الهروب من صنعاء إلى منزل له في ضواحي العاصمة.

The command of the Houthi community told that former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed on Monday [December 4, 2017] when he tried to escape from Sanaa to his residence in the suburbs of the capital.


[The Middle East الشرق الأوسط, quoted by CNN بالعربية on December 4, 2017]

Abdullah Saleh had been forced to resign as Yemen's president during the Arab Spring. In his final days as a president, he had found temporary shelter in Saudi Arabia. Later Saleh underwent different alliances including a long-standing one with the Houthi tribes and which resulted in civil unrest. When a Saudi-UAE alliance started airforce operations in favour of the new president Hadi and against the Houthies who seemingly enjoyed Iranian support, Saudi bombardment triggered off a bloody war that left the Yemeni people in a desolate state. Now that Abdullah Saleh, once again, changed sides by approaching Saudi positions he was assassinated by Houthi rebels.

[Al-Jazeera الحزيرة on December 4, 2017]

Hwasong-15 Blew Up in Mid-Air




'Blew up and fell apart'


Described by Pyongyang as its "most powerful" missile, the 29 November launch ended up in Japanese waters but flew higher than any other the North had previously tested.

Today South China Morning Post quoted Cathay Pacific’s general manager of operations Mark Hoey as saying on a staff online communication platform : “Today [date unspecified] the crew of CX893 reported, ‘Be advised, we witnessed the DPRK missile blow up and fall apart near our current location.’

“We advised ATC [air traffic control] and ops [operations] [were] normal.” Hoey added. “Looking at the actual plots, CX096 might have been the closest, at a few hundred miles laterally.”

Cathay Pacific cargo flight CX096 left the company's operational home base of Hong Kong for Anchorage in Alaska at about 11pm on November 28. It was over Japan when the missile was launched, according to flight trackers.

According to a BBC report published this morning, the launch was reportedly also witnessed by two South Korean aircraft en route to Seoul from the US.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

N Korea - Potential of War




Potential for war with North Korea increases 'every day'


That evaluation of U.S. president Trump's national security adviser comes only days after North Korea launched its most advanced ballistic missile and which should even reach U.S. east coast townships.

中文:美国总统特朗普的国家安全委员会顾问麦克马斯特H.R. McMaster表示,与朝鲜发生战争的可能性与日俱增。

[Fox News on late December 2, 2017. Report confirmed by CNN.]




数百架先进战机云集韩国 朝鲜放狠话

Hundreds of advanced fighter planes deployed to South Korea
... amid North Korea's wolfish howling.


The Chinese language article is mentioning latest deployment of more than 230 U.S. warplanes including F-22 "Raptor", F-35 stealth fighters and B1-B bombers to South Korean bases.

[DW 多维新闻 on late December 2, 2017]




Alleged CIA recruiting of Korean native speakers on Twitter (November 27, 2017).





Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said the United States is "running out of time" when it comes to North Korea and that pre-emptive war is "becoming more likely" as the country's weapons technology "matures."

中文:今天一个有名的美国参议员格莱厄姆(Lindsey Graham)说的是“驻在韩国的美军人的家眷必需离开朝鲜半岛”!


[Eyewitness News , South Africa, quoting CBS on late December 3, 2017]




Ex-NATO commander: N Korea likely getting help with nukes, rockets from China or Russia.


[The Hill reporting from Capitol Hill in Washington on December 3, 2017]




[Newsweek on November 30, 2017]



La Russie «ne sera pas surprise» si une guerre éclate en Corée du Nord.
Russia "wouldn't be surprised" if a war started in North Korea.


Un conflit militaire sur la péninsule coréenne figure parmi les scénarios envisagés par la Russie, qui calcule les risques afin de ne pas être prise au dépourvu si cette éventualité venait à se produire, a affirmé Nikolaï Patrouchev, secrétaire du Conseil de sécurité russe, dans une interview à Sputnik.

A military conflict on the Korean peninsula counts among the scenarios considered by Russia that is estimating the risques for not being taken by surprise if such possibility became reality. This is what Nicolai Patrouchev, secretary of Russia's Security Council, said in an interview granted to Sputnik.


[Sputnik - France on 1st December 2017]

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

N Korea - Advanced ICBM Launched


Last update added on December 2.

This morning at about 3:00 local time, North Korea launched its most advanced Hwasong-15 ICBM which allegedly should be able to strike the "whole" of U.S. mainland. Its features are as follows:

- The Hwasong-15 is a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile and an upgrade of Hwasong-14.

- It was fired at 2:48 a.m. local time [2:18 Beijing Time] from a mobile launcher in Pyongsong, South Pyongan Province. [Reported times of launch differ according to different time bases.]

- The missile reached a height of 4,475 kilometers (2,800 miles), higher than ever before, and splashed down off the Japanese coast, within the country's Exclusive Economic Zone.

- The missile was fired on a lofted trajectory, where the missile flies very high to cover a relatively short horizontal distance. David Wright, an expert with the Union of Concerned scientists said that if it had been fired on a standard trajectory, the ICBM would have been capable of traveling 13,000 kilometers, or 8,100 miles.

- In comparison with earlier tested missiles, the Hwasong-15 can hold more fuel and payload, and its flight should be more stable due to a more sophisticated propulsion system using two instead of one engines in combination with additional steering engines.



- South Korea immediately responded with a "precision missile strike drill," matching the same flight distance. In a joint operation lasting 20 minutes after N Korea's ICBM launch, one "Dark Warrior - 2" type of ballistic missile, one "Sea Star - 2" ship-to-ground missile and one "SPICE - 2000" missile were fired by allied units.

[Editor's Note: What the Chinese article is calling "Dark Warrior 玄武" and which reminds a legendary tortoise general in Chinese lore, is identical with South Korea's "Hyunmoo - 2" short-range ballistic missile SRBM that makes part of the allied "kill chain" in missile defence.]



Mobile launchers for South Korea's Yunmoo-2c [环球时报]




[News quoted from CNN and XinHua 新华 as well as from other sources]




朝鲜若核攻击死伤会有多少? 请看这张地图

How many would die or get wounded in a N Korean nuclear attack ? - Look at the map !

After a N Korean 150 kt nuke attack on New York, more than
one million people would die or get wounded within 24 hours.


[Epoch Times 大纪元 on 1st December 2017]


朝鲜不怕经济制裁 反而可能狗急跳墙

N Korea not fearing sanctions; a cornered beast,
however, will possibly do something desperate.


[Voice of America - Chinese on December 2, 2017]

..............................




Saturday, November 25, 2017

China Cutting Ties with N Korea ?


Opinion: US-North Korea conflict a '50-50 prospect'


One of Australia's leading strategic analysts has warned there is a real prospect of 'serious conflict' between the United States and North Korea next year.

The head of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Peter Jennings, said he's pessimistic about the next six months.

'As we move to the mid part of 2018 the North is going to be that much closer to perfecting the one or two areas of technology it needs to perfect in order to have a reliable and credible nucelar weapon able to attack the United States,' he said.

Mr Jennings believes the United States may have to take action before this point, saying diplomatic efforts won't prevent North Korea from improving its technology. [Skynews, Australia, on November 28, 2017]

Such information fits with evaluations made by other sources, saying that military preparation for war would take about six months from now.


Important Updates added on November 26.

Is China cutting off traffic to North Korea for further sanctioning and isolating the regime of Kim Jong-un as U.S. president Trump demanded during his recent visit to Beijing, or is China rather decided to avoid getting directly involved in a major military conflict between North Korea and the alliance of America, Japan and South Korea ?



China is temporarily closing its main road connection with North Korea, an official said on Friday.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge, or China-North Korea Friendship Bridge, across the Yalu River at the Chinese city of Dandong will be closed while North Korea repairs the approach road on its side.

Geng said that “after the maintenance, the bridge will reopen for passage,” but gave no date for the reopening or other details.

The bridge closure comes after state-owned airline Air China suspended flights Tuesday between Beijing and North Korea due to a lack of demand, deepening the North's isolation amid mounting UN sanctions.

Beijing is North Korea's only significant ally but has grown increasingly frustrated over its nuclear and missile tests that have brought a threat of war and chaos to China's north eastern border.

In what was seen as a bid to improve relations, the head of the ruling Communist Party's International Department travelled to Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, last week.

Few details have been released about his itinerary, including whether he met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The trip followed a visit to Beijing earlier this month by US President Donald Trump, who renewed calls for China to step up pressure on North Korea to end its missile and nuclear programmes.


[The Independent, UK, on November 25, 2017]


中国海关11月24日消息,中国和朝鲜之间的贸易往来逐渐减少,10月出现大幅下降。当月中国首次没有从朝鲜进口铁矿石、铅及煤炭。此举是中国执行联合国对朝鲜的制裁决议。

On November 24 China Customs reported that trade contacts between China and North Korea have gradually been reduced and dropped in size since October. That month, for the first time, neither iron ore nor lead or coal was imported by China. By that move China has implemented the United Nations' resolution on sanctioning North Korea.

中国石油天然气集团已经从6月停止向朝鲜出售汽油和柴油。

In June China's [market organizations] for crude oil and natural gas stopped selling petrol and diesel oil to North Korea.


[DW 多维新闻网 on November 26, 2017]




[South China Morning Post on November 24, 2017]




制裁能否迫使朝鲜弃核?(环球热点)

Will or will not sanctions force North Korea
to abandon [its] nukes ? (Global Hotspot)


The above photo from April 15, 2017, is showing continued military drills
of joint U.S. and South Korean troops at the border to North Korea.


[People's Daily, Beijing, on November 25, 2017]


以习近平特使身分访问朝鲜的中共中联部部长宋涛,20号返回中国,不过截至20号傍晚,中朝双方都没有通报宋涛是否与金正恩会面的消息,而美国也随即将朝鲜重新列入支持恐怖主义的国家名单。这些现象释放了什么信号呢?

Song Tao, director of the international liaison department of China's Communist Party, visited North Korea as Xi Jin Ping's special envoy. He returned to China on November 20 [in the evening]. Neither the Chinese nor the North Korean side spread information on whether Song Tao had met with Kim Jong-un or not. However the U.S. immediately listed N Korea another time on the blacklist of terrorist states. What kind of signal such proceedings are likely to release ?


[NTD-TV 新唐人 on November 21, 2017]

..............................


North Korean Cyber Crime Mining Foreign Assets





Cyber-crime is now a billion-dollar industry for North Korea. Cracking down on this criminal enterprise presents a strategic opportunity to apply further pressure on the Kim Jong-un regime.

Hard currency generated from cyber-crime is undermining global efforts to impose economic pressure on Pyongyang. As sanctions are imposed against its formal economy, North Korea has increased the scale of its illegal businesses. The massive criminal operation may be equivalent in size to the annual budget of the North Korean nuclear weapons program.

To generate such tremendous returns, North Korean hackers steal bitcoin, hold data ransom, and rob foreign banks, including the brazen heist of a sovereign nation’s central bank that netted $81 million. Evidence suggests the spree of bank robberies continues across Australia’s region, with attacks against banks in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan. The UK government has now also attributed the global WannaCry ransomware attacks that in May crippled thousands of computers to North Korea.

North Korea's leadership views its cyber-capabilities as a unique advantage that it can deploy without fear of retribution. North Korea is one of the least ‘connected’ countries in the world, while its adversaries (countries such as Japan, South Korea, and the US) are internet dependent. And that dependence makes for vulnerability to cyber-attacks.

In the event of a conflict, North Korea likely believes it could remotely attack and degrade the financial systems, telecommunications infrastructure, energy utilities, and media networks of the US and its allies. Pyongyang has previously demonstrated this capability against South Korea, while WannaCry came perilously close to threatening human lives in hospitals around the globe.

.....

China is, of course, key to any success with North Korea. To encourage China's leadership to take action, any legal case must present evidence of North Korean activity taking place on Chinese soil. The Chinese may find it difficult to support such criminality, especially when it threatens the stability of the global financial sector or undermines Chinese commitment to global law and order. China may be willing to bring charges of its own or deport those responsible for the attacks.


[The Interpreter, published by the Australian Lowy Institute on November 26, 2017]


朝鲜 Lazarus 团伙黑客工具分析

Analyzing the hacking tools of N Korea's "Lazarus" group mates.


Source link included to 电锋网, Chinese special interest website on November 16, 2017


..............................




Singapore visitor to "blueprint news" reminding an official missile alert
transmitted by Japan's NHK TV while some North Korean rocket was
just passing above Japan's northern region of Hokkaido.



Visitor from Washington DC interested in president Trump's diplomacy of name calling.