Saturday, January 20, 2018

Turkey attacks Kurds in Syria


Today, Turkish forces have started shelling the Kurdish stronghold in Syria in the Afrin region. Latest reports confirm artillery shelling and air raids targeting Afrin. According to BBC, the Syrian regime of Bashir Assad is threatening to shoot down Turkish war planes.



قصف مدفعي تركي مستمر على عفرين

Permanent Turkish Artillery Shelling of Afrin

.....

خبر عاجل :القوات التركية تطلق على عمليتها العسكرية في عفرين اسم "غصن الزيتون"ـ

Breaking News: Turkish forces started their military
operation named "cutting the olive trees" in Afrin.

عملية عفرين ... المهمة و النطاق و الإشكالات السياسية

Operation Afrin ... Mission, Region, and Political Problems.


[Al-Jazeera الجزيرة on January 20, 2018]

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

China's Fears for 2018


At the beginning of each new year we are inclined to look back at the past year, and we try to predict what trends in political and economic development might become decisive for the year to come.

That's just what the Chinese are doing as well. However, Chinese people are said to be more superstitious than we are in the West. That might be the reason why some Chinese article, published today, is relating the possible dangers to a sound development of China's economy to the influence of nine ominous black swans. The dangers, however, might nevertheless be seen as real.


2018年九大黑天鹅:小心,魔鬼在你背后

In 2018 there will be Nine big Black Swans:
Be careful - The devil might be behind your back !



黑天鹅一号:朝鲜半岛剧变

The 1st black swan: Dramatic changes on the Korean peninsula.
[This chapter is referring to the acceleration of political tensions, as observed in 2017.]

黑天鹅二号:石油价格重上100美元

The 2nd black swan: A rise of mineral oil prices above 100 US$ [per barrel].

黑天鹅三号:欧洲复苏失败

The 3rd black swan: Europe's recovering from failure.

黑天鹅四号:美股长牛终结

The 4th black swan: The soaring of US shares might end.

黑天鹅五号:中国通胀再起

The 5th black swan: China undergoing [unstable] expansion.

黑天鹅六号:比特币崩盘

The 6th black swan: A collapse of Bitcoin market quotations.

黑天鹅七号:特朗普风险

The 7th black swan: The Trump Hazard.
[What the Chinese call the "Trump Hazard" can be related to the US president's credo of "America first". The Chinese article casually mentions the 2017 National Security Strategy (NSS), which prioritizes U.S. leadership in military, commercial, and scientific components of space, and which is no exception to the Trump administration’s continued desire to “make America great again in space.” As space evolves into a more globally competitive industry, the economic vitality of the U.S. space sector will support key national security goals to “promote American prosperity” and “advance American influence.” This finally shows how the 2017 NSS can be understood.]

黑天鹅八号:中国房地产崩盘

The 8th black swan: A collapse of real estate quotations.

黑天鹅九号:美联储加息超预期

The 9th black swan: Expectations regarding the US [Federal Reserve's] augmentation of interest.


[Kaixian tv 汉丰网, quoting the Shenzhen journal New Fortune 新财富 on January 3, 2018]

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Visitor from Rome, Italy, and who is interested in Chinese policy.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

N Korea on the Brink of Change


Last Update: December 14.

The brand-new article quoted below was published this morning by some usually well-informed however strictly anti-communist Chinese daily, the Epoch Times 大纪元 .



【熱點透視】金正恩翻臉 朝鮮變局走向何方

Hotspot Perspective: Kim Jong-un's sudden turn ...
What's the direction of North Korea's change ?


That article resumes the same position it introduced in an earlier publication some days ago:

In recent days, North Korea showed its rather new inclination to direct talks with its arch-enemy the U.S. administration of Donald Trump.

At the same time it becomes obvious that North Korea's position towards China has changed during the years of fruitless anti-nuclear talks and which finally led to China supporting new sanctions imposed on its former ally.

From there, China has step by step come into the focus of a possible North Korean revenge and which makes China to become just another target for North Korea's nuclear blackmail, even more as many of China's civilian high-value targets are within missile-reach of North Korea.

In the frame of a possible North Korean revenge, the Epoch Times author is considering three potential first level targets like Beijing, Shanghai and the Three-Gorges-Dam, such including the administrative and economic centrals of China.

Further second level targets like China's nuclear power centrals should be endangered as well. Even command operations of North Korean elite troops using biochemical weapons in China should not be excluded.

It is anyway regarded as an established fact that China's leadership is sensing dramatic changes being in progress in North Korea.

How else could it be that China is planning camps to canalize possible waves of North Korean refugees from economic disaster and/or the dangers of war.

Even Kim Jong-un seems to be underway in his own country for some reason. According to the Chinese source he should have travelled to the mountaineous region near Mount Paektu which he hadn't visited during winter time for many years and where nuclear installations are in reach.

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


The following Chinese language document only recently appeared on the web. It is directly referring to the construction of refugee camps for North Koreans in China's Jilin province.



防北韓難民湧入? 傳吉林正規劃設置難民營

To prevent N Korean refugees from surging in ? Jilin is planning to set up refugee camps.


[ON.CC , HongKong, published December 6, 2017]


HongKong based Chinese language media provided the above shown copy together with a hint at some site near the Chinese - North Korean border named "Duck Green River 鸭绿江" and which is referring to the Yalu River. This border region is known as a former battlefield in different wars since the end of the 19th century including the Korean War in the 1950ies.

A better quality copy of the quoted document and which is available from another web source, is showing the origin of that message as follows:

"China messenger service of Jilin province, BaiShan [city] branch" with Baishan 白山 meaning "White Mountain" and which refers to nearby Paektu Mountain in neighbouring North Korea.

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

Most Dangerous Global Security Issue


Update added on December 11.



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



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




朝核讹诈波及北京 学者:中国3种目标或被攻击

North Korea's nuclear blackmail is affecting Beijing.
Scholar: Three targets for probable attack in China.


The article is mentioning the possibility that nuclear blackmail from North Korea could not be restricted to the U.S., Japan and South Korea but as well extend to Chinese targets.

[NTD TV 新唐人 on December 11, 2017]




疑似中移动内部文件 指吉林将设5个难民营

Uncertainty about a problem of interior movement in China.
Indications that Jilin [province] is planning 5 refugee camps.


[Epoch Times 大纪元, an anti-communist Chinese daily on December 7, 2017]

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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





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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.