Sunday, November 12, 2017

Lebanon - Saudi Coup d'État ?


As confrontation grows between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the unexpected retreat of Lebanon's prime minister Hariri while being in Riadh for talks with the Saudi Crown Prince has triggered off rumours of a militant Saudi move to replace Hariri with his hard-line brother Bahaa who might abandon a coalition of national agreement with Hizbollah that is seen by the Saudis as a protegee of Iran, both, in Lebanon where it was acting as a political party in Hariri's ruling coalition and in Syria where the military branch of Hizbollah is fighting side by side with Iranian units.

Animosities between Saudi Arabia and Iran derive as well from Iranian support for Houthi rebels in Yemen who are still being fought by a Saudi-led alliance. Tensions accelerated only recently when a missile from Yemen targeted the Saudi capital of Riadh.

Rumors of the virtual kidnapping of Lebanon's prime minister Hariri, who resigned last Saturday while in Saudi Arabia, have rocked the Arab world; Lebanese officials worry that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS as the 32-year-old crown prince is known, wants to force Lebanon into his confrontation with Iran. Some Lebanese analysts complain that the Saudis treat the Hariri family, who have been bankrolled by Riyadh for decades, almost as a wholly owned subsidiary.

According to well-informed Lebanese sources, the tale began on Monday, Oct. 30, when Hariri traveled to Saudi Arabia for a personal meeting with MBS. With the crown prince was Thamer al-Sabhan, his key adviser on relations with other Arab states.

.....

Lebanese sources believe Hariri’s harder-line older brother Bahaa may be Riyadh’s candidate for prime minister. Other Hariri relatives were summoned to Riyadh last week but refused to go; it’s said that Bahaa was already there. The sources also say that Bahaa sent Safi Kalo, a close adviser, to meet secretly 10 days ago with Druze leader Walid Jumblatt to discuss future strategy for Lebanon, but Jumblatt is said to have left the meeting, refusing to discuss the subject.


The Washington Post article appeared on November 10, 2017, in an English and Arabic version.

لسعودية توقف بالقوة رئيس وزراء لبنان

Saudi [Arabia] Stopped Lebanon's Prime Minister by Force.





Lebanese PM Hariri (l) meeting with Saudi King Salman (r)


ـ"واشنطن بوست": هذه كواليس استقالة الحريري.. وبهاء أرسل مستشاره للقاء جنبلاط

Washington Post: That [] retreat of Hariri .........
and Bahaaa sending his coucillor to [] Jumblatt.


ونشرت الصحيفة الأميركية مقالاً للكاتب ديفيد اغناتيوس باللغة العربية ذكر فيه معلومات قال إنه حصل عليها من مصادر في لبنان

The American journal published an article written in Arabic by David Ignatius where he mentioned information which he said derived from Lebanese sources.


[Lebanon 24 لبنان quoting The Washington Post on November 12, 2017]


أخبار لبنان - رئيس لبنان يقول وضع الحريري "غامض وملتبس"ـ

Lebanon News - The Lebanese president says
the situation of Hariri is "incertain and confuse".


قال الرئيس اللبناني ميشال عون اليوم السبت إن كل ما صدر أو يمكن أن يصدر عن سعد الحريري “لا يعكس الحقيقة” بسبب غموض وضعه منذ أعلن الاستقالة من رئاسة وزراء البلاد الأسبوع الماضي

On Saturday [i.e. November 11], Lebanon's president Michel Aoun said, if all that was published or is possibly being published about Saed al-Hariri is "not reflecting reality", it might be because of confusion over his situation since he declared the retreat from the presidency of the nation's [council of] ministers last week.


[The Horizon News الأفق نيوز on November 12, 2017. News confirmed by Reuters.]

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Recent visitors to "blueprint news" coming from U.S. and Saudi universities:





Monday, November 06, 2017

Trump on N Korea - Strategic Patience Over


Trump says 'strategic patience' with North Korea over
as [Japan's leader] Abe introduces sanctions.


The time for "strategic patience" with North Korea is over, U.S. President Donald Trump said today after winning Japan's backing on his policy of considering all options to rein in the rogue state.

[SBS, Australian news service on November 6, 2017]


报告:朝鲜核试验辐射可随风吹到日本

Report says: The radiation from a North Korean nuclear test
could be blown with the wind into the direction of Japan.


[Epoch Times 大纪元 on November 4, 2017]


Australia conducts naval drills to stop and search
North Korean weapons ships.


Defence Minister Marise Payne said the drills would enforce UN Security Council Resolution 2375, concerning "the interdiction of vessels carrying suspicious cargo".

Australian frigates HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Parramatta will undertake the training alongside South Korea's Sejong the Great destroyer ship and USS Chafee, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

The training mission came as the Pentagon outlayed the grim choices facing the US and its allies in stopping North Korea, saying that a full ground invasion of the country was "the only way" to be certain it could destroy all of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons.

[The Sidney Morning Herald on November 6, 2017]

[Editor's Note: The Pentagon's evaluation of reasonable military options was given as an answer to the request of some U.S. Congressmen and was confirmed by different western sources the day before.]

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

N Korea - Nuclear Site Collapsed


[ 朝鲜核试验场坑道崩塌 约200人死亡 ]




As many as 200 construction workers are feared dead after the collapse of a tunnel at a nuclear test site in North Korea, according to a Japanese media report.

The tunnel was being built at the Punggye-ri test site when it collapsed, according to a report on Japan's TV Asahi citing an unnamed source in North Korea.

It said that about 100 people were initially trapped in the tunnel and another 100 may have been killed by a second collapse as they tried to rescue the first group.

The broadcaster said the collapse took place around 10 September. The incident should be consistent with recently observed seismic shocks.

[Source: The Independent - The Sun - The Telegraph on October 31, 2017, about two hours ago]

Sea of Japan - Dangerous Encounter




Tupolev TU-95 bomber


俄战略轰炸机遭美日战机跟踪 事发时正前往日本海

Russian strategic bombers encountered U.S.-Japanese fighters
and were followed on their way to the Japanese Sea.


As the Russian Ministry of Defence declared on October 31, two Russian TU-95 MC had been tracked down on their flight near Japan by U.S. and Japanese fighters.

According to a Japanese Joint Staff press release two Russian TU-95 had been observed in the region on August 23, 2017, while surrounding Japan on a flight that took them from Russia's Far East following the South Korean coastline of the Japanese Sea to the entrance of the Yellow Sea and then back home following the Japanese coastline on its Pacific Ocean side.



Another Japanese report from August 24 confirmed the presence of six Chinese H-6 bombers in the same region that day.

[Source: SINA military news 新浪军事 on October 31, 2017]


Editor's Note:

Patrol flights of Chinese Hong H-6 bombers have been earlier observed at the southern border of Japan and near the U.S. airforce base of Guam. Their flight routes are marking the border of China's traditional region of influence in the South China Sea (南中国海) and which is now regularly questioned by the U.S. and their allies.

The following Japanese Joint Staff press release is dating back to July 20 this year when eight H-6 bombers, accompanied by two Y-8 reconnaissance planes, followed a typical route in that region:



Hong H-6 bomber


Friday, October 27, 2017

US Sanctions Crippling N Korea Abroad


Last Update added on October 29.



美国宣布对一些朝鲜人员和机构实施制裁

U.S. announced having imposed sanctions upon some North Korean persons and entities.


新华社华盛顿10月26日电(记者朱东阳)美国财政部26日宣布对朝鲜7名人员和3家机构实施制裁,这些人员和机构涉及朝鲜军事安全部门、驻外使领馆和海外企业。

A XinHua agency report from Washington on October 26, 2017:
On October 26, the U.S. Department of Finance announced that it had put into effect sanctions against 7 North Korean persons and 3 entities. These persons and entities are related with the North Korean military security department, embassies and consulates residing abroad and overseas enterprises.

.....
9月26日,美财政部宣布对参与支持朝鲜发展大规模杀伤性武器的朝鲜8家银行和26名公民实施制裁。


On September 26, the U.S. Department of Finance had already announced the application of sanctions against 8 North Korean banks and 26 North Korean citizens for having a hand in the support of North Korea developing weapons of mass destruction.


[Source: Xin Hua 新华社, China's news agency on October 27, 2017, 04:46 Beijing Time]

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Editor's Note:

In a most recent blogspot of "blueprint-news" I mentioned a surprising revelation on China's current attitude towards North Korea and which was made by some Chinese professor from Beijing's People's University, Chong Sho-Hu, in an interview with BBC Radio 4 only some days ago. That interview was quoted by different sources. As it came to my attention that the scholar's name used was a Korean language adaption, I tried to find out his Chinese name adaption which I can tell now is Cheng Xiao-He. From there it was possible to find a relation with another interview professor Cheng Xiao-He already granted one month earlier to the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy.

Podcast from the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy introducing People's University associate professor Cheng Xiao-He, Beijing, in an interview on the subject:

Will China Change Its Approach to North Korea ?.

The podcast was published by the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center on September 27, 2017.

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美防长:要朝鲜半岛无核化不要战争

U.S. Defence Secretary: If there was no nuclear armament
on the Korean peninsula, there would be no reason for war.


U.S. Defence Secretary Mattis meeting with his South Korean counterpart
at the N Korean border at Panmunjon negotiation center today, October 27.


[Source: Singapore Morning Post 新加波早报 on October 27, 2017]




美防长:绝不接受拥有核武的朝鲜

U.S. Defence Secretary: We can by no means accept
that N Korea is in the possession of nuclear weapons.


[Source: Singapore Morning Post 新加波早报 on October 28, 2017]

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据《朝鲜日报》日文版10月29日报道,中国科学院地质研究所人员在9月曾当面警告来访的朝鲜地质部门官员称,朝鲜核试验基地丰溪里已经难以承受新的核试验,如果还在该地区规划新的核试验,一旦实施,或引发山体崩塌的严重后果,还因此形成巨大的核辐射危害。

According to a South Korean news report, specialists from the geological research institute of China's Academy of Science should have informed their North Korean colleagues about considerable radiation risks when using existing North Korean test sites for another nuclear test.

[Source:DW 多维新闻网 quoting the South Korean daily Chosun Ilbo on October 29, 2017]

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

N Korea - Last Warning from China


Important Update added !



金正恩为何不敢在十九大试射飞弹 学者给出答案

Why did Kim Jong-Un not dare to test-fire a missile during the
19th Great Congress [i.e. of China's Communist Party CCP] ?
A scholar provides us with the answer !


中国人民大学国际关系教授Chong Sho-Hu对英国媒体BBC表示,如果朝鲜继续导弹试射和核试验,那么这个政权将会死亡。“朝鲜现在正站在深渊边缘,轻轻一推就能使其跌落悬崖。如果朝鲜再试射飞弹,整个国家就会跌入悬崖。”

In an interview with the British medium BBC, Chong Sho-Hu, professor for international relations at the People's University of China, made clear one thing: If North Korea continued to test-fire guided missiles and nuclear tests, that regime will choose to meet with its doom.

"North Korea is just standing at the edge of an abyss. Lightly, one push forward can cause its fall down the cliff. If North Korea test-launches another missile, the whole country could fall into the precipice."

他还对BBC说,“中国没有永远的朋友也没有永远的敌人”,中国与前苏联、越南都曾经关系十分要好,但最后还是发生了战争,而现在大陆与朝鲜的关系还不如当年与苏联、越南的关系。朝鲜试射的行为是“找死”,会使大陆与朝鲜的友谊走到尽头。

He told the BBC as well that "China has neither eternal friends nor eternal enemies". China had undergone relations as close friends with the former Soviet Union and Vietnam, however, much later a war broke out [with each of them] as well. Today now, the mainland [of China]'s relations with North Korea are not like they were that year with the Soviet Union or Vietnam. North Korea's activity of test launches is "seeking death" and could cause the friendship between the mainland and North Korea come to an end.

他续指,北京当局、中国最高领导人都很生气,中国希望惩罚朝鲜。

He additionnally pointed out that, both, Beijing authorities and China's supreme leadership are getting angry. China is expecting to punish North Korea.


[Source: "Forbidden News" 中国禁闻网-禁书网禁书网, Chinese underground news survey on October 24, 2017, quoting an interview only recently broadcast by the BBC Radio 4 with an influential Chinese official, Professor Chong Sho-Hu and who is considered an expert in international relations at China's People's University.]

A related Chinese language tweet was already launched by the editor of "blueprint news" two days before on October 22, 2017. It was targeting, among others, those North Koreans abroad who are able to read Chinese text.

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


The FBI is now investigating into the Chinese business structures behind a North Korean weapons deal that was blocked in 2016 when a disguised North Korean ship, the "Jie Shun" sailing under the flag of Cambodia, was stopped in the Egyptian Suez Canal. Hidden under its declared payload of iron ore, Egyptian authorities found about 24.000 rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) and other weapons worth some $23 million. Because of Egypt reacting rather reluctantly to an urgent U.S. request to stop the "Jie Shun", the country became immediately suspected of having bought the military load from North Korea for its own armed forces and which is what Egypt's government furiously rejected.

The Chinese Epoch Times, an anti-communist publication, seems to have made its own investigations into HongKong shipping companies probably related to the transport of North Korean boycott merchandise. Here is something they found out:



Excerpt from an Epoch Times 大纪元 article published on October 24, 2017.

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


Today on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, U.S. Congress (the House) passed legislation
that seeks to cut off North Korea’s access to financial institutions around the world amid
its nuclear provocations.

“Foreign banks can either do business benefiting N Korea or business with the
United States. They cannot do both,” says the author of the passed bill 415-2.

Source: The Hill political news from Capitol Hill on October 24, 2017.


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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

N Korea - The Last Parade ?


Last Update included on October 11, 02:00 am CET

在十月八日朝鲜举行劳动党七届二中全会

October 8, N Korea summoned the 7th session of the 2nd plenary meeting of its Workers Party.

On that occasion, Kim Jong-Un's younger sister Kim Yo-Jong was promoted as a new member of the Workers Party Politburo, taking the place of an elderly aunt to the Kim family.

Today, October 10, public celebrations will be held as a reminder of the foundation of the N Korean Workers Party in 1945. At the same time, the 20th anniversary of Kim Jong-Un's late father, Kim Jong-Il, coming to power will be celebrated.

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要求多国切断与朝外交 美孤立朝鲜行动开始见效

Demanding all nations to cut off diplomacy with North Korea,
America's isolation of North Korea is beginning to bear fruit.


[Source: Zaobao 早报, Singapore Morning News on October 10, 2017]

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




Read more from the Financial Times article published this morning !
(Sorry, you have to subscribe to get the entire news).


Some quotations from the above article:

Lee Cheol-hee, a member of the ruling Democratic party, on Tuesday said hackers had broken into a defence data centre in September last year. He said stolen documents included Operational Plan 5015 — the most recent allied blueprint for war with North Korea.

The plans reportedly includes detailed procedures for a decapitation strike against the North Korean regime — a proposal that has infuriated Kim Jong Un, the country’s supreme leader.

Citing South Korean defence officials, Mr Lee said 235 gigabytes of data had been stolen, although 80 per cent of the documents had yet to be identified. Among the files identified were contingency plans for Seoul’s special forces as well as information on key military facilities and power plants, the lawmaker said.

Editor's Note:

During the day, same news were being published by different sources including BBC. However, I am now convinced that this is not entirely breaking news, as I can remember having read about N Korean military hacking of S Korean forces already months ago in a short notice published on the web.

Furthermore it should be added that, today, South Korean forces on a "ground battle day" made an exhibition of their state-of-the-art tanks and artillery and which helped much in soothing irritated South Korean civilians [Source: Al-Jazeera TV, international channel, in their evening news].

N Korea - Likeliness of War


访朝俄罗斯官员:朝鲜即将再射导弹。
A Russian official who visited North Korea:
N Korea is going to launch another missile.


在2日至6日访问了朝鲜的俄罗斯官员9日表示,朝鲜已经为10日能够发射导弹。

On October 9, a Russian official and who had been to North Korea from October 2-6 declared that North Korea will be able to launch a missile as soon as October 10 [... and which is the date of an important N Korean Workers Party anniversary].

Editor's Note: Anton Morozov, a member of the Russian lower house of parliament’s international affairs committee, and who had visited the DPRK accompanied by two other Russian lawmakers was originally quoted by Russia's news agency RIA for the above information [Source: Reuters].

[Source: DW 多维新闻网 on October 9, 2017]


俄外长:不容许朝鲜半岛紧张局势升级
Russia's foreign minister: An escalation of the tense
situation on the Korean peninsula cannot be tolerated.


[Source: XinHua 新华网, PR China's News Agency on October 9, 2017]


Russia orders U.S. to abandon N Korea fight as major conflict looms.
俄罗斯的外交部长拉夫罗夫警告美国不要冒险使朝鲜危机升级。


Russia has issued a severe warning to Donald Trump as its foreign minister Lavrov said in a phone call with U.S. foreign secretary Tillerson the escalation over North Korea is "unacceptable".

Russia's foreign ministry, said: "Lavrov underlined the inadmissibility of any escalation of tension on the Korean peninsula, to which the USA's military preparations lead, and called for contradictions to be resolved by diplomatic means only."

Mr. Lavrov also told Mr. Tillerson Moscow is demanding the U.S. returns Russian diplomatic property seized in 2016 over suspected Russian interference in the U.S. general election.

The phone call came just hours after Donald Trump's most senior general told the U.S. Army to "stand ready" for war with North Korea.

General James 'Mad dog' Mattis warned it is impossible to tell what the future holds for the crisis, but urged U.S. troops to be prepared for a confrontation with Kim Jong-Un.

[Source: Quotations from Express, UK, on October 9, 2017. That source published as well a series of pictures showing Russian border guards amassing on the North Korean border and patrolling the top of Zaozyonara Hill, a meeting point between Russia, North Korea and China.]


Australians fear North Korea standoff will lead to war.
(The Guardian Essential poll)


Australians are concerned that the current standoff between the United States and North Korea will lead to all-out military confrontation, with 55% fearing that outcome, according to the latest Guardian Essential poll and which included 1,846 voters:

16% war very likely
39% war somewhat likely
24% war somewhat unlikely
12% war very unlikely

Women were more pessimistic about the brinkmanship leading to war than men – 61% compared with 49%. People over 55 were less likely than younger people to believe war likely.

[Source: Quotations from The Guardian, UK, on October 9, 2017]




Monday, October 09, 2017

Geldwäsche an Nordkoreas Botschaften


Geldwäsche an den Botschaften Nordkoreas
Money Laundering at N Korean Embassies


在国际社会对朝鲜制裁越来越严格之后,朝鲜通过驻外使馆拼命敛财,赚外汇方式堪称“百态”。

Nachdem die Völkergemeinschaft zunehmend strengere Sanktionen über Nord Korea verhängt hat, verschafft sich das Land verzweifelt Geldmittel [d.h. auf illegalem Wege] mit Hilfe seiner ausländischen Botschaften. Die Art Profit nach einem Devisenumtausch- Modell zu machen, kann dabei [d.h. nach chinesischem Sprachgebrauch] als die "Methode der hundert Konditionen" bezeichnet werden.

After the foreign community imposed increasingly stringent sanctions on North Korea, the country is desperately raising funds [i.e. by illegal means] with the help of its foreign embassies. Making profit by a foreign exchange pattern can be called "the one hundred conditions".

美国《纽约时报》7日报道称,朝鲜将其在全球40多个国家的大使馆用于各种赚取外汇的生意。将外交公馆用于赚钱,在国际法上是非法的。

Nach einem Bericht der New York Times vom 7. [Oktober] praktiziert Nord Korea jede Art von einträglichen Geschäften mit dem Devisenumtausch an seinen Botschaften in weltweit mehr als 40 Ländern. Die Nutzung von ausländischen Residenzen mit dem Ziel Profite zu machen ist dabei nach internationalem Recht unzulässig.

在朝鲜驻波兰华沙的大使馆里,有40多家朝鲜企业和团体落户于此并开展活动,从制药公司到广告公司、赛艇俱乐部,各种名目不一而足。

In der Botschaft Nordkoreas im polnischen Warschau gibt es mehr als 40 nordkoreanische Unternehmen und Niederlassungen von Organisationen, die hier ihre Aktivitäten entfalten, angefangen von Firmen zur Herstellung von Heilmitteln bis hin zu Werbeagenturen.


[Quelle: Auszüge aus einem Artikel der DW 多维新闻 vom 9. Oktober 2017]