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#BREAKING - Initial reports of a North Korean projectile launch according to the Japanese Coast Guard (
2:08 AM · Nov 28, 2019·Twitter Web Client
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North Korea has fired an unidentified projectile says South Korean military. No further details yet.
? Doge ? #RavensFlock 9-2 ?
Time in North Korea is currently 5:09 PM
? Doge ? #RavensFlock 9-2 ?
Launch appears to be a missile according to Japan Coast Guard (
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North Korean missile launch appears to have not landed in the Japan Exclusive Economic Zone (
Chinese security forces in joint anti-terror drill in Serbia
Serbian and Chinese security forces hold joint anti-terror drills in the Balkan country
By IVANA BZGANOVIC Associated Press
28 November 2019
Serbian and Chinese security forces held joint anti-terror drills in the Balkan country on Thursday in a sign of Beijing’s growing influence in the volatile region.
The drill, held at a China-owned steel mill near Belgrade, included special police troops from both countries and is part of a security agreement signed between the two countries earlier this year.
It was believed to be the first such drill to feature Chinese SWAT forces in a European country.
“We are learning from those who are bigger, stronger, who have different experiences,” Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said. “We want to make progress and I expect that soon we will exchange such experiences in China.”
The security agreement with China also includes joint police foot patrols in three Serbian towns, formally to help the increasing number of Chinese tourists visiting the country, and the installation of hundreds of Huawei-made facial recognition cameras throughout the Serbian capital.
The United States asserts that the Chinese telecommunication and technology giant poses a national security risk because of its ties to the Beijing government, a claim that Huawei has repeatedly denied.
Although it is formally seeking European Union membership, Serbia has increasingly been turning toward Russia and China. The two big powers support Serbia’s claim over its former province of Kosovo which declared independence in 2008.
China has invested billions of dollars into Serbia as part of its global Belt and Road project. Russia has been beefing up Serbia’s military with warplanes, tanks and other arms, raising concerns in the West and in the region, which was at war in the 1990s.
North Korea may deploy ‘super-large’ rocket launcher soon
North Korea says the latest test-firing of its “super-large” multiple rocket launcher was a final review of its combat application
By HYUNG-JIN KIM Associated Press
28 November 2019
North Korea said Friday the latest test-firing of its “super-large” multiple rocket launcher was a final review of the weapon’s combat application, a suggestion that the country is preparing to deploy the new weapons system soon.
South Korea’s military earlier said North Korea fired two projectiles, likely from the same “super-large” rocket launcher, on Thursday. It expressed “strong regret” over the launches and urged North Korea to stop escalating tensions.
On Friday, the North’s Korean Central News Agency confirmed the launches were made with the presence of leader Kim Jong Un and other top officials.
“The volley test-fire aimed to finally examine the combat application of the super-large multiple launch rocket system proved the military and technical superiority of the weapon system and its firm reliability,” KCNA said.
It said Kim expressed “great satisfaction” over the results of the test-firing.
Analyst Kim Dong-yub at Seoul's Institute for Far Eastern Studies said North Korea appears to be entering the stage of mass-producing and deploying the rocket launcher. He wrote on Facebook that the weapons system may already have been deployed.
Thursday’s firing was the fourth test-launch of the rocket launcher since August.
Some experts say the flight distance and trajectory of projectiles fired from the launcher show they are virtually missiles or missile-classed weapons. The projectiles fired Thursday flew about 380 kilometers (235 miles) at a maximum altitude of 97 kilometers (60 miles), according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday called the projectiles ballistic missiles.
North Korea has fired other new weapons in recent months in what some experts say is an attempt to wrest concessions from the United States in stalled nuclear diplomacy while upgrading its military capabilities.
A U.S.-led diplomacy aimed at persuading North Korea to scrap its nuclear program in return for political and economic benefits remains largely stalemated since the February collapse of a summit between Kim and President Donald Trump in Vietnam.
Most of the North Korean weapons tested since the Vietnam summit were short-range. Attention is now on whether North Korea resumes nuclear and long-range missile tests if Trump fails to meet a year-end deadline set by Kim for Washington to offer new proposals to salvage the negotiations.
Trump considers North Korea’s self-imposed moratorium on nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests a major foreign policy win.
India says ties with Japan are key to stability in the Indo-Pacific region as the two countries held inaugural security talks in New Delhi
By The Associated Press
30 November 2019
India said Saturday that ties with Japan are key to stability in the Indo-Pacific region as the two countries held their inaugural foreign and defense ministerial dialogue in New Delhi with an aim to further bolster their strategic partnership.
The security talks focused on cooperation in building a free and open Indo-Pacific in view of China’s growing footprint in the region. They took place following a decision by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, during a summit between the leaders last year.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar headed the Indian delegation, while the Japanese side was led by Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defense Minister Taro Kono.
Singh held talks with Kono on a range of issues. The Press Trust of India news agency reported that the two ministers discussed deepening ties in the development of weapons and military hardware.
India and Japan said in a joint statement that the “further strengthening of bilateral cooperation was in mutual interest of both countries and would also help in furthering the cause of the peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also held a meeting with Japan’s foreign and defense ministers.
Modi said that India’s relationship with Japan is “a key component of our vision for Indo-Pacific for peace, stability and prosperity of the region, as well as a cornerstone of India’s Act East Policy,” according to a statement from India’s Ministry of External Affairs.
Japan is only the second country after the U.S. with which India has used the so-called “two-plus-two” dialogue format, which brings the foreign and defense ministers together for talks.
China and Russia Are Partners -- and Now Have a $55 Billion Pipeline to Prove It
Sunday, December 01, 2019, 1:45 PM ET
By Georgi Kantchev | Photographs by Arthur Bondar for The Wall Street Journal
SVOBODNY, Russia -- An 1,800-mile pipeline is set to begin delivering Russian natural gas to China on Monday. The $55 billion channel is a feat of energy infrastructure -- and much more.
Russia's most significant energy project since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Power of Siberia pipeline is a physical bond strengthening a new era of cooperation between two world powers that have separately challenged the U.S.
Beijing and Moscow, after years of rivalry and mutual suspicion, are expanding an economic and strategic partnership influencing global politics, trade and energy markets. At the same time, Beijing is fighting a trade war with Washington, and Russia's relations with the West grow colder.
"China and Russia joining forces sends a message that there are alternatives to the U.S.-led global order," said Erica Downs, a Columbia University fellow and former CIA energy analyst.
Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping will lead the opening ceremony of the pipeline via video links. Mr. Xi has described the Russian leader as his "closest and most intimate friend" among his foreign colleagues.
Russia, which has the world's largest proven gas reserves, needs cash as its economy buckles under Western sanctions. China, with the world's second largest economy after the U.S., needs fuel and wants to wean itself off coal.
"China needs energy resources, and Russia has such resources," Mr. Putin said in October. "This is an absolutely natural partnership, and it will continue."
The collaboration took off after the U.S. and European Union moved to punish Moscow for taking control of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014. Facing painful sanctions, the Kremlin turned to countries that wouldn't shut it off.
Russia officially annexed Crimea in March 2014. The pipeline deal with China was settled that May, in a $400 billion gas-supply agreement signed by Messrs. Putin and Xi.
Cooperation has since extended to military ties. In September 2018, Chinese and Russian troops took part in joint maneuvers, the first time Moscow invited a country outside a tight circle of former Soviet allies to its largest annual exercises.
Russia-China trade reached a record level that year, exceeding $100 billion, according to Russian government data.
In June, China's Huawei Technologies Co. struck a deal with Russian mobile operator MTS to develop a 5G network in Russia, while on a export blacklist in the U.S.
Earlier in November, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission labeled Huawei and China's ZTE Corp. as a "national security threat." The move bans American companies from using federal subsidies to buy or maintain products from those firms. Huawei plans to fight the decision; its founder said this month that his company "can survive very well without the U.S."
As Moscow seeks to de-dollarize its economy, China's yuan has become a larger part of Russia's foreign-currency reserves, increasing to 14.2% in March from 5% the year before, according to the Russian central bank. The shift helps boost trade further as Russia looks to do more business with China in yuan.
The alliance isn't without its challenges. Cooperation could be dented by a competition for influence in regions such as Central Asia. Russia's Far East has recently seen protests against Chinese-funded ventures, such as a water bottling plant on Lake Baikal and timber logging in the Siberian forests. Locals have dubbed the influx of visitors and enterprises a "Chinese invasion."
China's much-larger economy, eight times bigger than Russia's, gives it greater leverage in trade relations, while some in Russia see it as the junior partner in the relationship.
New access to Russian natural gas also gives Beijing leverage in the trade war with the U.S. by making China less reliant on America's generally pricier liquefied natural gas. Shipments of American liquefied natural gas were growing rapidly until China introduced a 10% import tariff last year. After Beijing raised the tariff to 25% in May, natural gas deliveries from the U.S. halted.
"Had the trade war not been there, the U.S. would have been a very promising gas supply growth source for China," Hou Qijun, president of PetroChina, China's top oil and gas producer, said in August, according to the South China Morning Post. The company is increasing its investment in Russian gas projects, Mr. Hou said.
When asked about the China-Russia energy trade, a company spokesmansaid it would "rationally buy [gas] according to actual demand and procurement costs."
Russia's entry in the Chinese gas market will continue to be a major obstacle to U.S. liquefied natural gas producers even if Washington and Beijing agree on a trade deal and lower energy tariffs.
"Once you put in the pipeline, its literally a sunk cost," said Anna Mikulska, energy fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy. "That will close some doors to U.S. LNG."
The Power of Siberia project, built and operated in Russia by state-owned Gazprom, will connect Siberian gas fields with China's northern industrial hubs, snaking through inhospitable terrain -- swamps, mountains and permafrost, in temperatures as low as minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
At the Atamanskaya compressor station, where the gas will be pressurized before it enters China 90 miles away, engineer Pavel Vesnin walked among dozens of valves and spigots and pointed to a white marker on the ground indicating where the 4-foot-9-inch-diameter tube passed below.
"The pipeline is so large that I can walk inside it almost without bending my back," he said.
The energy cooperation with Russia is augmenting Beijing's clout in the Arctic, where the U.S., Canada and others compete for shipping lanes and resources.
China, which doesn't border the Arctic, now has a seat at the table.
Beijing has invested billions of dollars in Moscow's big gas projects in the Arctic to the north of the Power of Siberia pipeline. China's biggest ocean carrier, Cosco Shipping Holdings Co. entered a joint venture with its Russian state-owned counterpart, PAO Sovcomflot, to operate a fleet of ice-breaking gas tankers.
For years, the Russia-China energy partnership was one of unfulfilled potential, blunted by a history of suspicion and rivalry defined by differences in ideology and a competition for the leadership of the communist world. That included border clashes and a breaking of relations during the Cold War.
An oil pipeline, which had been under discussion since the 1970s, finally launched in 2009. Progress with the gas link also was slow, frequently hobbled by price disputes and lack of infrastructure.
Since the 2014 gas deal, Moscow has also increased its oil exports to China enough to challenge Saudi Arabia as the country's top crude supplier.
The Power of Siberia project will begin by exporting 5 billion cubic meters of natural gas this year and gradually ramp up to 38 billion cubic meters by 2025, the equivalent of Brazil's annual gas consumption.
China is expected to become the world's largest gas importer next year and account for more than 40% of global gas demand growth through 2024, according to the International Energy Agency. With Power of Siberia, Russia could fulfill nearly 10% of China's gas demand by 2024, according to IEA data.
The two governments are already discussing a sequel: a gas pipeline through Mongolia. The energy relationship is a sign of a broader geopolitical alignment, said Alexander Gabuev, senior fellow at the Carnegie Moscow Center think tank.
"Energy is win-win for Russia and China, both economically and strategically," he said.
#FLASH: North Korea has added additional concrete pads to shoot missiles from mobile launchers. Aim is to prevent the launch location from being detected in advance - Asahi
#FLASH: South Korea's National Intelligence Service has stated there is a possibility that NK might launch a medium to long-range missile by the year's end. In Nov, Japan has dispatched an Aegis destroyer to the East Sea - Asahi
12:44 PM · Dec 2, 2019·
N. Korea steps up tensions with new missile launch platforms：The Asahi Shimbun：The Asahi Shimbun
N. Korea steps up tensions with new missile launch platforms：The Asahi Shimbun
1:32 PM · Dec 2, 2019· https://t.co/BtZ2TTjkPp?amp=1
Japan spent $146 million on an island exclusively for missions with the US military
South China Morning Post
December 3 2019
· The planned development reflects Tokyo's revised security doctrine and determination to protect scattered islands off its most southerly prefecture.
· The new base could be used to defend the Diaoyu Islands, known in Japan as the Senkakus, which are the focus of a territorial dispute with China.
The Japanese government has completed the 16 billion yen (US$146 million) purchase of an uninhabited island between Kyushu and Okinawa prefecture which it plans to develop into a training base for Japanese and US military aircraft.
Mageshima is part of the Osumi Islands and hosted an important airfield for the Japanese military when defending Okinawa in the closing stages of World War II.
Its planned development reflects Tokyo's revised security doctrine and determination to protect the scattered islands off its most southern prefecture.
"It's important to secure the site for field carrier landing practice from the viewpoint of security so we will continue to try to build a permanent facility at an early date," chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Monday.
The government reached an agreement with Tokyo-based developer Taston Airport in January to buy the 8.2 sq km island for 4.5 billion yen. That deal collapsed in May when a new president of the company took over and demanded more money. The government agreed to increase its offer after taking into account the money Taston had invested.
The Japanese government has been seeking a suitable location for a training facility since it agreed eight years ago to provide US forces based in Japan a new site for landing practices.
US aircraft are not currently allowed to carry out flight practices at bases on mainland Japan due to noise pollution constraints. Instead, aircraft from the US airbase at Iwakuni in central Japan must fly about 1,400 km south to Iwo To, better known as Iwo Jima. Mageshima is only 400 km from Iwakuni, making it an ideal site.
Iwakuni Mayor Yoshihiko Fukuda hailed the central government's announcement as a "big step forward".
"Building a permanent training facility is necessary to reduce worries among local people [in Iwakuni],"he said. "We'd like to ask the government to have the facility completed early."
As soon as the transaction is finalised, the Japanese government plans to build infrastructure for the Self-Defence Forces on the island, to be shared with US forces. Tokyo also plans to transfer some of the US troops stationed in Okinawa to the island to reduce the burden on local residents aggrieved by US military presence. Tokyo could consider relocating training for Osprey transport aircraft which have been involved in several incidents in Okinawa in recent years.
Tokyo plans to assume control of the island for its military with one eye on potential security challenges, said Garren Mulloy, a professor of international relations at Japan's Daito Bunka University.
"This now gives Japan an increased range of options," he said. "If the need should ever arrive for Japan to increase its capacity in the southwest, it now has the ability to do that.
"The Air Self-Defence Force urgently needs bases and runways because a lot of its facilities are already close to maximum capacity and have limited space to expand."
Mulloy also said a new base would allow the Japanese military to no longer share facilities with civilian airlines, as it does at Okinawa's Naha Airport.
There are hundreds of uninhabited islands off the coast of Japan, although the vast majority are small and lacking the infrastructure required to support human inhabitants. At least 40 are much larger, including the Diaoyu Islands, located west of Okinawa. They are controlled by Japan, where they are known as the Senkakus, but mainland China and Taiwan have also staked a territorial claim to them, resulting in a long-standing dispute over their ownership.
"Japan may not need to have additional capacity now but many things could change in the next five, 10 or 20 years," Mulloy said, with regard to the dispute over the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands.
"Japan is likely to move more and more units to its southwest as this will give it the capacity to smoothly transition to this new operational sphere.
"I do not anticipate any reaction from China as it is not as if they are doing this on one of the Senkaku islands, which would have been seen as provocative. But this does give the SDF an improved operational configuration."
Mageshima is also sufficiently remote for Japanese or US forces to carry out live fire drills with rockets, cannons or free-fall ordinance, Mulloy said, although the government has made no mention of such drills.
The government must still obtain the approval of the community of Nishinoomote, which has nominal jurisdiction over the island and owns the remaining 1 per cent of the territory. The local government has to date been "cautious" on the issue of the island being used for military training.
Mageshima is located 12 kilometres (6.5 nmi) west of Tanegashima. The island is of volcanic origin, and has an area of approximately 8.2 square kilometres (3.2 sq mi) with a circumference of 16.5 kilometres (10.3 mi). The highest elevations on the island is Takenokoshi (Šx”V‰z), with a height of 71.7 metres (235 ft) above sea level in the center of the island. The terrain is mostly low and flat. The island doesn't have rivers and its geology is not suitable for agriculture.
This U.S China standoff could set in motion a dramatic chain effect:
- China scales back U.S bond purchases
- Others follow in risk-aversion
- Doubts will arise that U.S could rollover its debt
- Sale of USD-denominated assets - End of USD as reserve currency
- U.S debt default
þVerified account @Stratfor
4h4 hours ago
The #Chinese government has suspended regularly scheduled visits by U.S. naval vessels and aircraft to #HongKong in response to a new U.S. law supporting anti-government #protests in the city, @SCMPNews reported Dec. 2.
China bars U.S. military ships, aircraft from Hong Kong, sanctions U.S.-based NGOs
December 2, 2019 / 2:15 AM / Updated 5 minutes ago
BEIJING (Reuters) - China on Monday banned U.S. military ships and aircraft from visiting Hong Kong and slapped sanctions on several U.S. non-government organisations for allegedly encouraging anti-government protesters in the city to commit violent acts.
The measures were a response to U.S. legislation passed last week supporting the protests which have rocked the Asian financial hub for six months. It said it had suspended taking requests for U.S. military visits indefinitely, and warned of further action to come.
“We urge the U.S. to correct the mistakes and stop interfering in our internal affairs. China will take further steps if necessary to uphold Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity and China’s sovereignty,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a news briefing in Beijing.
China last week promised it would issue “firm counter measures” after U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which supports anti-government protesters in Hong Kong and threatens China with sanctions for human rights abuses.
There are fears that the dispute over Hong Kong could impact efforts by Beijing and Washington to reach a preliminary deal to de-escalate a prolonged trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
In more normal times, several U.S. naval ships visit Hong Kong annually, a rest-and-recreation tradition that dates back to the pre-1997 colonial era and one that Beijing allowed to continue after the handover from British to Chinese rule.
Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Dave Eastburn said port visits to Hong Kong and elsewhere around the world served as a useful programme to “provide liberty for our sailors and expand people-to-people ties with our hosts”.
“With regard to the ongoing protests, we condemn the unjustified use of force and urge all sides to refrain from violence and engage in constructive dialogue,” he said in a statement.
A U.S. defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said China’s move would not have an impact on U.S. military operations.
Visits have at times been refused amid broader tensions and two U.S. ships were denied access in August.
The USS Blue Ridge, the command ship of the Japan-based Seventh Fleet, stopped in Hong Kong in April – the last ship to visit before mass protests broke out in June.
Foreign NGOs are already heavily restricted in China, and have previously received sharp rebukes for reporting on rights issues in the country, including the mass detention of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.
The U.S.-headquartered NGOs targeted by Beijing include the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute, Human Rights Watch, and Freedom House.
“They shoulder some responsibility for the chaos in Hong Kong and they should be sanctioned and pay the price,” Hua said.
Reporting by Cate Cadell and Beijing Monitoring Desk. Additional reporting by Idrees Ali and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Stephen Coates
Japan's Secretary General Yoshihida Suga has confirmed an agreement between the authorities and Japan's Taston Airport to buy the uninhabited island of Maggi in the southwest for 16 billion yen (about $ 146 million).
Tokyo – Sputnik. The aim, he said, is to conduct drills for aircraft on deck carriers of the US Navy.
"We would like to start processing this permanent facility soon, which is crucial from a security standpoint," Suga said.
An agreement was reached to buy the island from Taston Airport, according to various sources, which was in January this year, but, the development of all the details were completed only recently.
Magi Island, an area of about eight square kilometers, is located in Kagoshima Prefecture, 400 kilometers from the US Naval Base Evakuni. It is supposed to build an airport and other military facilities on the island, which allows it to train pilots on board ships. Warships, from ground airports.
Trump hints U.S. may use military force against N.K. if necessary WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Donald Trump hinted Tuesday that the United States may use military force against North Korea if necessary, after Pyongyang warned that an end-of-year deadline for the two countries' denuclearization negotiations is drawing near.
Trump alluded to the use of force to reporters in London, where he is attending a meeting of North Atlantic Treaty Organization leaders, according to news reports.
However, Trump also said he continues to have a good personal relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and hopes he will abide by his commitment to dismantle his country's nuclear weapons program.
"Now we have the most powerful military we have ever had and we are by far the most powerful country in the world, and hopefully we do not have to use it," the U.S. president was quoted as saying in the meeting with journalists.
"But if we do, we will use it. If we have to, we will do it," he said.Hours earlier, the North's Vice Foreign Minister Ri Thae-song issued a statement urging the U.S. to do its part to salvage the negotiations that have stalled since a second summit between Trump and Kim in February ended without a deal.
"The DPRK has done its utmost with maximum perseverance not to backtrack from the important steps it has taken on its own initiative," Ri said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"What is left to be done now is the U.S. option and it is entirely up to the U.S. what Christmas gift it will select to get," he said, in an apparent warning that unless the U.S. comes up with a new offer before the end of the year, Pyongyang could restart nuclear weapons and long-range missile tests.
At a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump appeared to refer to North Korea's recent weapons tests, including the launch of two short-range projectiles from a super-large multiple rocket launcher last week.
"Likes sending rockets up, doesn't he? That's why I call him rocket man," Trump said, referring to Kim, according to news reports. "We have a very good relationship and we'll see what happens. It may work or not."
Yonhap News Agency
(LEAD) Trump hints U.S. may use military force against N.K. if necessary
(LEAD) Trump hints U.S. may use military force against N.K. if necessary | Yonhap News Agency
(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with more Trump remarks, details)By Lee Haye-ah WASHINGTON, De...
50m50 minutes ago More
#FLASH: Recently the armed forces of the U.S. have shown unusual military moves targeting the DPRK, and we are analyzing the effects those military actions can have on the security of the DPRK and are getting ourselves ready to cope with them - KCNA
Anger in China as US House passes Uighur crackdown billChina reacted angrily after the US House of Representatives passed a bill requiring the Trump administration to toughen its response to Xinjiang, where the more than one million Muslims, mostly ethnic Uighurs, are being held in "re-education" camps.
In a statement released shortly after the Uighur Act of 2019 was passed, China's foreign ministry on Wednesday condemned the move saying the bill "wantonly smears China's efforts to eliminate and combat extremism".
The United States's lower house voted to back the bill 407 to one in a vote on Tuesday.
It has still to be approved by the Senate before it can be sent to President Donald Trump. The White House has yet to say whether Trump would sign or veto it.
"We urge the US to immediately correct its mistake, to stop the above bill on Xinjiang from becoming law, to stop using Xinjiang as a way to interfere in China's domestic affairs," said the statement, attributed to the ministry's spokeswoman, Hua Chunying.
China - Uighurs
The Uighur Act of 2019 is a stronger version of a bill that angered Beijing when it passed the Senate in September and calls on Trump to impose sanctions for the first time on a member of China's powerful politburo, even as he attempts to reach a deal with Beijing to end a damaging trade war.
The bill requires the US president to condemn abuses against Muslims and call for the closure of the camps in the country's far western region.
"This is seen as a continuing series of attacks really aimed not so much at freeing anybody or at human rights but at putting pressure on China on these trade negotiations going forward," Beijing-based political analyst and government adviser Einar Tangen told Al Jazeera.
"If you look beneath that, at the Democrat view and the fact that this was bi-partisan, it seems the only thing the people in politics in Washington can agree on is that China is, somehow, an evil empire."
The bill also calls for sanctions against the senior Chinese officials it says are responsible and specifically names Xinjiang Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo.
As a politburo member, Chen is in the upper echelons of China's leadership.
China has consistently denied any mistreatment of Uighurs and says the camps are providing vocational training. It has warned of retaliation "in proportion" if Chen is targeted.
Max Oidtmann, a China analyst at Georgetown University in Doha, said the US law will only reinforce Chinese public opinion that foreign powers are meddling in the country's internal affairs.
"Chinese officials are very infuriated by this policy. It's deeply embarrassing," Oidtmann told Al Jazeera.
The intensifying criticism of China's policies in Xinjiang follows news reports on leaked government documents detailing how the detention camps operate and other measures taken against perceived critics.
"I think one of the more remarkable things about the recent revelations is that China's leadership said they were going to pursue these policies without regard for global public opinion. And I think they really underestimated the strength of global opinion and the ability of people around the world to scrutinize this," said Oidtmann.
On Tuesday, the editor-in-chief of China's Global Times newspaper, Hu Xijin, said China might ban all US diplomatic passport holders from entering Xinjiang, and that Beijing was also considering visa restrictions on US officials and legislators with "odious performance" on the Xinjiang issue.
The bill on Xinjiang follows similar legislation related to Hong Kong, which Trump signed into law last week in the face of vocal opposition from China.
In response, China on Monday banned US military ships and aircraft from visiting Hong Kong and announced as yet unspecified sanctions against several US non-government organisations.
#China could take stronger countermeasures after #US Congress passed the #Uyghur act targeting #Xinjiang and it can be even stronger than what China had taken after the US passed the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act: expert http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1172187.shtml …
Analysts say China's reaction to any Uighur bill could be stronger, although some doubted it would go so far as imposing visa bans on the likes of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a strong critic of China's Xinjiang policies who has been repeatedly denounced by Beijing.
Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi called China's treatment of the Uighurs "an outrage to the collective conscience of the world."
"America is watching," she said.
Republican Congressman Chris Smith called China's actions in "modern-day concentration camps" in Xinjiang "audaciously repressive", involving "mass internment of millions on a scale not seen since the Holocaust."
"We cannot be silent. We must demand an end to these barbaric practices," Smith said, adding that "Chinese officials must be held accountable for crimes against humanity."
"We must say 'never again' to the cultural genocide and the atrocities suffered by Uighurs and others in China."
Chris Johnson, a China expert at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies, said passage of the bill could lead to a further blurring of lines between the trade issue and the broader deteriorating China-US relationship, which China in the past has tended to keep separate.
All-out war could erupt between US and North Korea ‘at any moment’ – N. Korean media Tensions between Washington and Pyongyang continue to grow as North Korean state media warn that a simmering conflict between the two nations could turn into a full-blown war at any given moment.
Even an accident could now lead to an all-out armed conflict, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) warned, adding that if Washington resorts to military force Pyongyang would promptly respond in kind.
The stark warning comes a day after US President Donald Trump threatened to use the military might of “the most powerful country in the world” against Pyongyang if he has to. At the same time, he also boasted averting no less than a “World War III” as he took credit for defusing tensions with North Korea.
Negotiations between the two nations have meanwhile reached a sort of a deadlock. Washington and Pyongyang expressed their commitment to the idea of the Korean Peninsula’s denuclearization in exchange for lifting sanctions from Pyongyang back in June during the first direct talks between Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Yet, making concrete steps in that direction has proved much more difficult.
The second Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam this February collapsed because of disagreements over the timing of sanctions relief. The latest round of working-level talks in October failed to result in any meaningful progress. Pyongyang then said that it is up to Washington to decide what kind of gift it would get for Christmas. https://www.rt.com/usa/475030-us-north-korea-tensions/
South Korea Begins Missile Interceptor Project PUBLISHED: DECEMBER 4, 2019 | BY MASAO DAHLGREN
On December 4, South Korea began full-scale development of L-SAM, an indigenous surface-to-air missile. According to South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration, the project is valued at $813 million and is scheduled for completion by 2024. Studied since 2014, L-SAM would comprise the long-range arm of Seoul’s indigenous Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) architecture, intercepting ballistic missiles in their terminal phase. L-SAM is planned to enter full-rate production by 2028.https://missilethreat.csis.org/south-korea-begins-missile-interceptor-project/
N.Korea warns Trump it will use 'corresponding' force if attacked
North Korea on Wednesday warned that if the United States used military force against Pyongyang it would take "prompt corresponding actions at any level", in response to comments by US President Donald Trump.
Denuclearisation negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington have been deadlocked since a summit in Hanoi broke up in February, and the renewed threats come as a deadline set by Pyongyang for fresh concessions approaches.
Trump on Tuesday indicated that military action was still possible when he was asked about North Korea on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Britain on Tuesday.
"He definitely likes sending rockets up, doesn't he? That's why I call him 'Rocket Man'," Trump said of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
"We have the most powerful military we've ever had, and we're by far the most powerful country in the world. And, hopefully, we don't have to use it, but if we do, we'll use it. If we have to, we'll do it," Trump added.
Responding on Wednesday Pak Jong Chon, chief of the General Staff of the Korean People's Army said he was "greatly disappointed" by Trump's comments, the official KCNA news agency said.
He added that "the use of armed forces is not the privilege of the US only".
"If the US uses any armed forces against the DPRK, we will also take prompt corresponding actions at any level," he added, using the initials of North Korea's official name.
North Korea has demanded the US offer it fresh concessions by the end of the year -- ahead of Kim's New Year speech on January 1, a key political set-piece in the isolated country.
Pyongyang has also issued a series of increasingly assertive comments in recent weeks.
Earlier this week, KCNA quoted Vice Foreign Minister Ri Thae Song as saying: "What gift the US receives for Christmas depends entirely on the US' decision."https://www.france24.com/en/20191204-n-korea-warns-trump-it-will-use-corresponding-force-if-attacked
8m8 minutes ago More
What I am seeing is that North Korea is going to do some kind of provocation in the very near future and letting the U.S. know that if we react to this provocation with military force that NK will respond in kind.
North Korea's army chief disappointed by Trump comments, warns against force: KCNA SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea’s army chief said he was disappointed by U.S. President Donald Trump’s suggestion of using military force against Pyongyang, and warned that any strike would meet a quick response, state media reported on Wednesday.
Pak Jong Chon, chief of the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army, said North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un was also “displeased” by Donald Trump’s comments at a NATO summit in Britain, according to KCNA.
Trump said on Tuesday he still had confidence in the North Korean leader but noted that Kim “likes sending rockets up, doesn’t he?”. Trump added that Washington could use force. “If we have to, we’ll do it.”
#FLASH: The United States has never taken military options off the table when dealing with North Korea and has shown restraint not to respond to every North Korean provocation, a Pentagon official said Wednesday -
8:17 PM · Dec 4, 2019·
N.K. official newspaper urges 'self reliance' after Kim's visit to Mount Paekdu
10:40 December 05, 2019
By Koh Byung-joon
SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper highlighted the importance of "self reliance" and "fight" against outside powers on Thursday in an apparent bid to strengthen national unity as denuclearization talks with Washington remain deadlocked.
The Rodong Sinmun made the call, a day after state media reported leader Kim Jong-un's visit to Mount Paekdu, considered the birthplace of his late father and the sacred highest peak on the Korean Peninsula, amid speculation that the trip may suggest a major policy change could be forthcoming.
The paper carried a series of columns written in the names of high-ranking officials on Thursday, urging intensified efforts for self reliance and a fight against outside forces' scheme to isolate and oppress the North.
"As long as we have the revolutionary spirit of Mount Paekdu, and revolutionary spirit of self reliance, we can survive on our own and open the door for development and prosperity of our own style," Vice Premier Kim Tok-hun said in a column.
Pak Kwang-ho, a vice chairman of the central committee of the Workers' Party, also urged people to become "patriots" armed with revolutionary traditions left behind by late founder and the current leader's grandfather, Kim Il-sung.
On Wednesday, Pyongyang's state media reported that leader Kim rode a horse to Mount Paekdu and "revolutionary battle sites" where his late grandfather staged anti-Japanese and independence struggles, calling for a fight against "imperialists" and "class enemies."
His trip to the mountain was the second of its kind since October when he visited there, slamming the U.S. for maintaining sanctions against Pyongyang and calling for self-reliance against such hostile acts.
This week's trip there raised speculation that he could consider a major policy change as his visits to the mountain have preceded big political or diplomatic decisions.
Pyongyang has demanded Washington come up with acceptable proposals in their denuclearization negotiations before the end of this year. Kim said that he could take a "new way" if Washington fails to do so.
Nuclear talks have been stalled since the summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump in February broke down as they remained far apart over how to match Pyongyang's denuclearization steps with Washington's sanctions relief and other concessions.