ALERT The Winds of War Blow in Korea and The Far East

Pinecone

Veteran Member

North Korea likely to attack US presidential election in November, analysts warn


Experts warn NoKo will likely attack presidential election
North Korea will likely attack the presidential election in November, experts warn. Kim Jong Un's regime has already threatened that possibility; Eric Shawn reports.

North Korea will likely attack the U.S. presidential election in November, experts warn, as Kim Jong Un's regime already has threatened that possibility.

"North Korea will be able to test how far and to what extent it can damage the U.S. election system," Sung-Yoon Lee, the Kim Koo-Korea Foundation professor in Korean Studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, predicted. "I fully expect North Korea to test its own capabilities to see what it can get away with by hacking into the U.S. election system."

"North Korea's cyber abilities are simply one of the best in the world," he noted. "It would be surprising if North Korea did not test its abilities during the election."

The North Korean Foreign Ministry recently warned the Trump administration that "the U.S. had better hold its tongue and mind its internal affairs first if it doesn't want to experience [a] horrible thing. It would be good not only for the U.S. interests but also for the easy holding of [the] upcoming presidential election."

"North Korea increases its psychological pressure, political pressure on its main adversary, the United States. So, the latest veiled, thinly veiled threat from the North Korean foreign ministry about meddling in the upcoming U.S. elections... is all part of the growing escalatory strategic playbook which will be punctuated by a more serious provocation, like an ICBM [intercontinental ballistic missile] or even nuclear test," Yoon said.

The D.C.-based bipartisan group Issue One produced a report called "Don't Mess With US," saying foreign interference "puts our election at risk."

The report called foreign interference "a national emergency" and accused Congress of failing to do enough to protect the elections. Issue One has set up a website, DontMessWithUs.org, to study foreign threats.
"North Korea most of the time is bluffing. But, in this case of, 'we are going to mess with your elections,' they can use crude instruments in cyber warfare," warned former Tennessee Rep. Zach Wamp, a Republican who's currently an Issue One Reformers Caucus co-chair. "We've got to take it seriously."

He continued: "They can do it, you know, from a closet in North Korea because of technology. So, it's almost like the box cutters used in 9/11. It's crude technology. We don't know what they're up to, but they could really mess this up again in this election cycle. So, we've got to be very aware of this threat."

Both the federal and state governments have been beefing up their protections against hacking of the election system. Still, Wamp and Issue One have been calling on Congress to allocate more funds to better protect the election in upcoming legislation.

"It needs to have more money for the states to carry out safe and secure elections," he said. "The CARES Act provided $400 million to the states, but across 50 states, that's not much money. They need at least a billion and a half more dollars, the states do, just from the federal government."

North Korea has hacked the U.S. in the past. The Department of Homeland Security has reported the rogue nation attacked American infrastructures such as banks and financial institutions -- and in 2014, cybercriminals backed by Kim Jong Un's regime were suspected of hacking into Sony Pictures in retaliation for the movie studio releasing the Seth Rogan anti-regime comedy "The Interview," which portrayed a fictional assassination of Kim.

But an attempt on America's election clearly would be far more serious.

"The thing to do is not to cave, not to allow North Korea to feel further emboldened, to interfere in the U.S. election system, or to blatantly violate U.N. Security Council resolutions," Sung-Yoon Lee advised.

"Becoming a major concern to the integrity of the U.S. election system is a rational consideration for North Korea. And it's unlikely that North Korea may pay any kind of real penalty in the wake of meddling in the U.S. election," he said. "Any response to a future North Korean cyberattack must be firm."

"I don't think they can influence the outcome of our election. They can just further separate us from each other and cast misinformation that divides us and causes us to lose confidence in the process," Wamp cautioned.

"We need resources, we need to all be focused on a safe, secure and open election. To me, that really is what separates the United States from the rest of the world, is the fact that we freely elect our leaders and then we peacefully transfer power, even in the middle of a crisis. We did it in the civil war and the great depression and we have got to do it again this year."
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Someone is going to push this too far and people are going to die, and we'll all be lucky to live through it..... maybe.....
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Chinese Warplanes Advance On Taiwan As Tensions Soar
by Tyler Durden
Zero Hedge
Monday, 06/22/2020 - 08:40

For the seventh time this month, Chinese warplanes approached Taiwan's air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Monday in what could be a deepening phase of geopolitical turmoil between Beijing and Taipei, reported Reuters.

The People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) flew at least one H-6 bomber and J-10 fighter jet into the ADIZ at the island's southwest territory.


Taiwan's air force responded by issuing verbal warnings to the PLAAF aircraft and dispatched aerial reconnaissance and fighter jets to intercept the Chinese jets.

Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said Taiwanese fighters "proactively drove off" the PLAAF aircraft. The incident marks the seventh time, last seen on June 9, 12, 16, 17, 18, and 19, that Chinese military aircraft have violated the country's ADIZ.

The H-6 is a nuclear-capable bomber, used by China in "island encirclement" war exercises around the Chinese claimed-island.

Beijing insists Taiwan is part of China, and the war drills around the island, if that is in the air or by sea, act as a routine reminder that China has plans for unification.



The sudden spike in Chinese warplane sightings comes weeks after Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen was sworn in for a second presidential term in late May.

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo
congratulated Tsai and said Taiwan is a "force for good in the world and a reliable partner."

Usually, the US has refrained from recognizing Taipei's government in the past. This certainly angered China - and probably why PLAAF aircraft have been flying around the island.

With cross-strait and Sino-US diplomatic relations quickly deteriorating - Beijing will likely continue its aggressive stance in the region.

 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Kazakhstan summons Chinese ambassador in protest over article
April 14, 2020 / 6:48 AM / 2 months ago

ALMATY (Reuters) - Kazakhstan’s foreign ministry summoned the Chinese ambassador on Tuesday to protest over an article saying the country was keen to become part of China, the ministry said.

In a statement the Kazakh ministry said the article titled “Why Kazakhstan is eager to return to China” and published on privately-owned Chinese website sohu.com “runs counter to the spirit of permanent comprehensive strategic partnership” officially declared between the two countries.

The ambassadorial summons is an unusual move since the neighbouring countries usually avoid criticising each other.

The article does not reflect the position of China’s government, and the two countries’ friendship shall not be shaken by any matter, said China’s foreign ministry in a statement sent to Reuters.

The article retells in brief the history of Kazakhstan, noting that leaders of many Kazakh tribes had pledged allegiance to the Chinese emperor.

It also states that Kazakhstan had historically been part of China’s territory and Kazakhs “do not have too many complaints” about being repeatedly invaded by China.

China is a major investor in oil- and metals-rich Kazakhstan and is one of the main markets for its exports, dominated by commodities. Kazakhstan also makes money from Chinese goods carried across its territory to Europe
.

But Sino-Kazakh ties have been strained by Beijing’s de-radicalisation campaign in its western Xinjiang province, where the United Nations estimates over a million Muslim Uighurs have been detained in camps.

China has denied the camps violate the rights of ethnic minorities and says they were designed to stamp out terrorism and provide vocational skills.

The Chinese policies have affected ethnic Kazakhs living in Xinjiang, but the Kazakh government has not criticised the campaign and has chosen instead to seek the release of those who had Kazakh citizenship or were seeking it.

Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Additional reporting by Judy Hua and Gabriel Crossley in Beijing; Editing by David Holmes
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Russian Military Seeking to Counter Growing Chinese Role in Central Asia
Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 17 Issue: 88
By: Paul Goble


June 18, 2020 05:42 PM Age: 6 days

In March 2019, Dmitry Zhelobov, a specialist on China at Russia’s Urals Federal University, warned that Beijing was shifting from relying on soft power in Central Asia to using hard power. If Russia did not take this threat seriously, he added, China might have its own military bases in that region within five years, seriously undermining the Russian position there (Regnum, March 28, 2019; see EDM, April 4, 2019). At that time, he appeared to be a voice crying in the wilderness. Indeed, for the previous two decades, Moscow had defined its challenge in Central Asia as preventing any expansion of Western (mainly United States) influence in the five countries of this region as well as blocking the spread of Islamist instability from Afghanistan and the greater Middle East into post-Soviet Eurasia; it has viewed China as an ally on both counts. Yet, more recently, that assumption of Chinese activities in Central Asia being compatible with Russian goals is coming under increasing strain.

In his commentary last year, Zhelobov suggested that Moscow’s view was based on the fact that China, up to that point, had viewed the Central Asian republics “above all as transit countries” rather than as ends in themselves and believed that using soft power, involving the promotion of trade and educational institutions, was sufficient to that end. But Beijing’s soft power and economic moves, while reducing the amount of criticism Central Asian governments have directed at the Chinese treatment of its Muslim populations, have not solved all of its problems in the region. Backlash has been growing among Central Asians to China’s heavy-handed approach not only in Xinjiang but in its relations with the Central Asian populations themselves. And because China is simultaneously seeking to develop trans-Eurasian transportation corridors that bypass the Russian Federation (see EDM, June 10, 2019, December 3, 2019, April 23, 2020) Beijing wants to ensure that Moscow will think twice before interfering with its activities in Central Asia (see EDM, September 10, 2019; Carnegie.ru, March 25, 2020; CAAN, December 17, 2018). As a result, China has begun to make certain hard power moves; and these are making some in Moscow nervous about the East Asian giant’s intentions.

Perhaps the most dramatic Chinese move in that direction came in April of this year, when China opened an airport in its Xinjiang-Uyghur Autonomous District, near the borders of Tajikistan and Afghanistan. This is the first such airport in the Badakhshan (Pamir Mountains) area and one that gives Beijing new access to the peoples and natural resources of this much contested region. Moreover, Beijing has said that it will build more than 25 such airfields in the next few years, adding that they will promote tourism. Yet, that claim seems especially specious given China’s involvement in building military facilities for Tajikistan and the fact that few Chinese are traveling to Tajikistan, let alone to that Central Asian republic’s troubled Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, near the Afghan border (CAAN, May 7, 2020; see EDM, July 27, 2012, July 25, 2019, April 30, 2020).

Such Chinese actions have now prompted some in the Russian military to reconsider their views of Beijing’s role not only in Tajikistan but across Central Asia. As such, they are seemingly taking Zhelobov’s warning more seriously, concluding that China, Russia’s supposed ally, is in fact acting to challenge Russia in ways Moscow cannot afford to ignore and must seek to counter.

Writing in Vzglyad last week (June 9), security specialist Yevgeny Pogrebnyak argues that the actions of China in Central Asia have not only “attracted the attention of Russian commanders” but led Moscow to take steps intended to counter what they see as unwarranted and unwanted Chinese military expansion in the region (Vzglyad, June 9). Moscow is still justifying its own moves as part of the creation of a defense in depth against Islamist forces; but, the commentator suggests, they are increasingly being taken in response to what China is doing as well.

The Russian military’s expansion of its footprint at the Kant Air Base, in Kyrgyzstan, is a case in point, Pogrebnyak says. Judging by the equipment it has installed there, he argues, it has more to do with ensuring that country stays in Russia’s orbit—and does not pass into China’s—than in fighting Islamist terrorists. Indeed, a negative reaction of some Kyrgyzstanis regarding the activities occurring at the airbase recently compelled the Russian embassy in Bishkek to release a statement denying that Moscow’s moves represented an attack on the Kyrgyz Republic’s sovereignty (24.kg, June 2; Vzglyad, June 9).
The same pattern holds in Tajikistan, the security expert continues. Russia has also provided new equipment to this country that is more obviously designed to counter a geopolitical opponent, like China, than to fight incursions by Islamists, which, he suggests, Dushanbe is already capable of combatting on its own. That inevitably raises a question: “Why then is Russia seeking to strengthen its military presence in Central Asia?” According to the analyst, the answer lies in what China has been doing and how the Russian military presently views Beijing’s actions. China, of course, shares Russia’s concerns about the spread of Islamist violence in Central Asia; but even if that is the primary justification for its military expansion into the region, it is far from the only reason (Vzglyad, June 9).

Pogrebnyak approvingly cites the conclusions of Tajikistani security specialist Muslim Buriyev who says that, “until recently, there existed a balance between Russia and China in the region. Moscow was “responsible” for security, while Beijing spearheaded regional investment. Now, however, the Chinese have shown that Central Asia has ceased to be only a zone of economic interests for them, “and they are gradually building up their military cooperation there.” Besides an expansion in arms deals, China has been increasing joint military exercises with Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, talking about a Chinese base in the latter, and already building military posts along the Tajikistani-Afghan border (Vzglyad, June 9).

The balance between Russia and China in the region is shifting, Buriyev contends; and Moscow is responding. What the Tajikistani analyst does not say, but what may be the most important aspect of this, is that such Russian security concerns may make it far more difficult for President Vladimir Putin to develop his alliance with China. At the very least, there will be siloviki (security services personnel) in his capital ever more worried about what Beijing is doing (Vzglyad, June 9).

 

Oreally

Veteran Member
usually i give Putin a lot of credit for his geopolitical savvy but his flirtation with China has always mystified me. more realistic geopolitical players in moscow must be getting very wary of these developments.

siberia: russian population ~ 35 million
chinese nearby ~ 300,000,000
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
Trump's national security adviser lays out stinging critique of threat posed by China

Past U.S. policy failures helped regime thrive, Trump aide says
By Bill Gertz - The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 24, 2020

PHOENIX | Decades of coaxing China’s rulers into moderating the communist system backfired and instead have produced the “greatest failure of American foreign policy since the 1930s,” President Trump’s top security aide argued in a major policy address Wednesday.

White House National Security Adviser Robert C. O’Brien said the failure was the result of misunderstanding the nature of the Marxist-Leninist system that guides China’s rulers to this day.

The Trump administration has begun reversing past policies toward Beijing that it says ignored massive theft of data and technology and abuse of conciliatory American trade and other policies, he said
.

“The days of American passivity and naivete regarding the People’s Republic of China are over,” he told a group of business executives at the Arizona Commerce Authority, in a speech introduced by Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey.

The lengthy critique is the first in a series of speeches planned by senior U.S. officials laying out in greater detail what they say is the threat posed by China. Others will be given by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, Attorney General Bill Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Mr. O’Brien argued Wednesday that Mr. Trump’s tougher approach has led the way for the United States to finally realize the dangers posed by the China under complete control of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). “For decades, conventional wisdom in both U.S. political parties, the business community, academia, and media, held that it was only a matter of time before China would become more liberal, first economically and, then, politically,” Mr. O’Brien said.

Helping China by opening U.S. markets, investing capital in China, training engineers, scientists and even military officers was based on a hope that “China would become like us,” he said.

Under the old approach, China gained entry to the World Trade Organization that brought major concessions and trade benefits. At the same time, the U.S. leaders played down massive human rights abuses in China, including the 1989 Tiananmen massacre when Chinese troops suppressed unarmed pro-democracy protesters, killing hundreds.

“We turned a blind eye to China’s widespread technology theft that eviscerated entire sectors of the American economy,” Mr. O’Brien said.

Assisting China to grow richer and stronger was aimed at pressing the Communist Party to liberalize and fulfill the growing democratic aspirations of the Chinese people.

“This was a bold, quintessentially American idea, born of our innate optimism and of the experience of our triumph over Soviet Communism. It also turned out to be naive,” he said. “We could not have been more wrong — and this miscalculation is the greatest failure of American foreign policy since the 1930s.”

To counter Chinese communism, the Trump administration is promoting diversity of thought and pushing back against all efforts to control speech or promote self-censorship, while sheltering Americans’ personal data and continuing to “proclaim that all women and men deserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” Mr. O’Brien said.

Campaign issue

The hard-line speech comes as the question of how to confront a more assertive China is expected to be a major presidential campaign issue. Both President Trump and presumed Democratic presidential candidate Joseph R. Biden are expected to make U.S. policy toward China a major campaign theme.

Mr. O’Brien outlined several major changes in U.S. policy toward China carried out under Mr. Trump, including sanctioning companies like telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies and imposing restrictions on the company to prevent U.S. semiconductors from assisting Chinese electronic spying.

The State Department has designated nine Chinese state-controlled media outlets as propaganda outlets in a bid to limit influence operations. Sanctions also were imposed on 21 Chinese government agencies and 16 companies for what U.S. officials say was their role in repression of Uighurs and other minorities in China.

The Trump administration has also pulled out of the United Nations Human Rights Council to protest Chinese efforts to co-opt the council, and terminated U.S. support to the U.N. World Health Organization, also citing its failure to confront Beijing.

To limit the Chinese military from benefiting from the U.S. education, visas are being refused for Chinese military students who are suspected of seeking to steal U.S. technology. The administration also pushed to halt the investment of federal employee retirement funds in Chinese companies, including military contractors and manufactures of surveillance equipment.

The president “is also examining the opaque accounting practices of Chinese companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges,” Mr. O’Brien said.

The Pentagon will submit to Congress this week a list of companies and operations in the United States with links to China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), in a bid to inform Americans about Chinese military firms.

“These steps are just the start as America corrects 40 years of a one-sided, unfair relationship with China that has severely affected our nation’s economic and, recently, political well-being. There is more to come soon,” Mr. O’Brien said.

On Chinese communism, the national security adviser said past policy failures were a direct result of misunderstanding the nature of the Communist Party and its ideology, which he described as a combination of Marxism-Leninism and coopted Chinese nationalism.

“Instead of listening to what CCP leaders said and reading what they wrote in their key documents, we closed our ears and our eyes,” Mr. O’Brien said. “We believed what we wanted to believe — that the party members were communist in name only.”

Mr. O’Brien charged that President Xi Jinping, the CCP general secretary and head of the Central Military Commission, “sees himself as Josef Stalin’s successor.”

Mr. O’Brien said the CCP is the among the last communist parties to embrace the Soviet dictator, with the partial exception of North Korean regime. Stalin remains a revered figure in China and his statue is in the PLA’s museum in Beijing.

“As interpreted and practiced by Lenin, Stalin, and Mao, communism is a totalitarian ideology,” Mr. O’Brien said.
Outdated communist ideas originated in Europe 150 years ago and were rejected in Russia 30 years ago as “the most costly failed political experiment in history,” Mr. O’Brien said.

“But in China, these ideas remain as fundamental to the Chinese Communist Party as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are to Americans,” he said.

‘Ideological security’

The party in China is using propaganda to dominate political thought through aggressive policies, including what is called “ideological security,” the White House adviser added.

In April 2013, the CCP issued a new policy on ideological purity that called for “absolutely no opportunity or outlets for incorrect thinking or viewpoints to spread.” Mandatory study sessions are widespread and using modern technology require Chinese to study “Xi Jinping thought” on smartphone apps.

“It means complete state control of all media,” Mr. O’Brien said.

“Outside sources of information are banned—from foreign newspapers to Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp.”

Censorship within China is ubiquitous and citizen bloggers, reporters, lawyers, activists and religious believers are imprisoned for expressing views that go against the CCP.

Between January and April, nearly 500 people were charged with crimes for speaking out on the “Wuhan/COVID virus, its effects and the party’s cover-up of the disease,” the security adviser said.

On religious institutions, the party reinterprets texts such as the Bible to support communist ideology. Over 1 million Muslim Uighurs and other minorities currently are imprisoned in “reeducation” camps where they are forced to undergo political indoctrination and force labor.

“This process annihilates family, religion, culture, language, and heritage,” Mr. O’Brien said.

Americans need to be concerned since Mr. Xi is seeking ideological control beyond China’s borders, Mr. O’Brien contended, in a push to “remake the world according to the CCP.”

The outreach is well advanced and Chinese leaders have invested billions of dollars over the past decade in overseas propaganda designed to “eliminate ‘unfriendly’ Chinese media outlets worldwide.

Mr. O’Brien said the effort is close to succeeding, as nearly every Chines- language news outlet in the United States is either owned or works closely with the government in Beijing, and English-language media outlets are being targeted.

“More than a dozen American cities hear subtle pro-Beijing propaganda on their FM radio stations,” he claimed.

In one case in Maryland, “Chinese propaganda persuaded so many Americans that a U.S. solider brought the coronavirus to Wuhan — a complete fabrication by the CCP — that this soldier and her family needed a personal security detail to protect them from death threats,” he said.

The widely-used Chinese social media platform TikTok, which boasts 40 million American users, routinely removes accounts of members who criticize the Communist Party leadership.

Twitter announced last week that more than 23,000 CCP-linked accounts were removed for spreading propaganda on Hong Kong democracy protests and COVID-19. Earlier, more than 150,000 CCP-related accounts were removed for reportedly spreading anti-American disinformation and for creating the illusion of popular American support for Beijing’s policies.

“These are just the accounts Twitter caught. How many are still out there undetected?” Mr. O’Brien asked.

Hack attacks

China is preparing further controls in the United States through massive data theft, Mr. O’Brien said, including cyberattacks to gather personal and other data on tens of millions of Americans. Companies such as health insurer Anthem, credit company Equifax, and hotel chain Marriott have all suffered major data hacks from China.

“How will the Chinese Communist Party use this data? In the same way it uses data within China’s borders: to target, flatter, cajole, influence, coerce, and even blackmail individuals to say and do things that serve the party’s interests,” Mr. O’Brien said, adding that the activities are “micro-targeting beyond an advertiser’s wildest dreams.”

The CCP is also using trade as a political tool to “coerce compliance with its dictates,” Mr. O’Brien said.

Australia invoked Beijing’s wrath after calling for an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus outbreak that first emerged in China. Beijing responded by threatening to halt purchases of Australian agricultural products and to prevent Chinese students and tourists from going to the country.

As part of its global strategy, China has stepped up its campaign for more influence in key international organizations. CCP-linked officials now are in charge of four of 15 U.N. specialized agencies, more than the United States, Britain, France and Russia combined.

Beijing is accused of using its influence to shield itself from scrutiny in international forums. Critics say WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus refrained from criticizing Beijing’s response to the coronavirus outbreak for fear of angering Chinese leaders.

Mr. O’Brien said the new direction in U.S. China policy makes a clear distinction between the ruling Communist Party and the Chinese people.

“We want good relations with China but not on the terms currently on offer from Beijing,” he said. “As Americans, I am certain that we will rise to successfully meet the challenge presented by the Chinese Communist Party, just as we have responded to all the great crises over our history.”

 

jward

passin' thru
World News
June 25, 2020 / 2:44 AM / Updated an hour ago
Japan defence minister says strike capability an option to counter missile threat




FILE PHOTO: Japan's Defence Minister Taro Kono attends a news conference at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan September 11, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Minister of Defence Taro Kono said on Thursday that acquiring weapons that would let Japan strike enemy missile bases was an option Japan will consider as a way to bolster its ballistic missile defences.

In a surprise decision Kono this month suspended deployment of Aegis Ashore radar stations, reigniting a discussion of how Japan should defend itself against North Korean ballistic missiles.

posted for fair use
 

jward

passin' thru
Divided Koreas mark 70 years since war began, but no treaty in sight

Josh Smith
4 Min Read

1593078254678.png

SEOUL (Reuters) - Seventy years after the Korean War began, prospects for a peace treaty to officially end the conflict appear as distant as ever, as the two Koreas held low-key commemorations on Thursday amid heightened tension on the peninsula.

Actors reenacting the Korean War salute during a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the war, near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Cheorwon, South Korea, June 25, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
The 1950-1953 Korean War ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty, leaving U.S.-led U.N. forces technically still at war with North Korea.
South Korean leaders in 1953 opposed the idea of a truce that left the peninsula divided and were not signatories to the armistice.
South Korean veterans of the war were due gather to commemorate the anniversary, including at one event where U.S. President Donald Trump and other international leaders were expected to deliver video messages.
North Korea’s ruling party newspaper ran a front-page commentary calling for people to follow in the footsteps of those who fought to defend the nation.
“Several decades have passed, but the danger of war has never left this soil,” the newspaper said, blaming “hostile forces” for seeking to crush North Korea.

Two years ago, a flurry of diplomacy and summits between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the presidents of the United States, South Korea, and China raised hopes that even if the North’s nuclear arsenal was undiminished, the parties might agree to officially end the technical state of war.
Those hopes have been dashed, however, with North Korea accusing the United States and South Korea of clinging to hostile policies, and Washington pressing Pyongyang to abandon its growing arsenal of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

A series of follow-up meetings and working-level talks failed to close the gap between the two old enemies, and North Korea has taken an increasingly confrontational tone, resuming short-range missile launches, blowing up an inter-Korean liaison office and severing communication hotlines with South Korea.
On Wednesday, North Korea said it had decided to suspend plans for unspecified military action against South Korea, but warned it to “think and behave wisely”.

Historians have estimated the war may have caused as many as 1 million military deaths and killed several million civilians. Thousands of families were divided with little contact as the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) cut the peninsula in two.
“The unresolved state of the Korean War has had devastating consequences for Koreans, from the separation of thousands of families to the extreme militarization of the Korean Peninsula,” said Christine Ahn, international coordinator for WomenCrossDMZ, a group that advocates for peace in Korea.

Despite misgivings from many in the United States, South Korean officials are pushing more forcefully for an end to the armistice arrangement, saying that it appreciates the role of the United Nations Command, South Korea’s alliance with the United States should evolve with the times.
“It is time for Korea to take centre stage in maintaining its own peace and security, by ending the current state of armistice and establishing a permanent peace regime on the Korean peninsula,” South Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Cho Sei-young said on Wednesday.
Reporting by Josh Smith. Additional reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Robert Birsel
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

posted for fair use
 

Zagdid

Veteran Member

US military aircraft sighted near Taiwan’s airspace for 8th day counting
By Huang Tzu-ti, Taiwan News, Staff Writer 2020/06/28 19:51

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon airplane was spotted flying over the Bashi Channel on Sunday (June 28), marking eight days in a row when U.S. military aircraft sightings were reported near Taiwan's airspace.

The aircraft was seen taking the route south of Taiwan over the waterway separating the island country and the Philippines, according to Twitter user South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI). The account is operated by China's Peking University Institute of Ocean Research.

The P-8A Poseidon is the U.S. Navy reconnaissance aircraft carrying out maritime patrol missions and capable of engaging in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare. A P-3C Orion surveillance aircraft was also purportedly spotted during the period, though the accuracy of the spotting was unconfirmed according to SCSPI.

A dozen U.S. warplanes have been sighted in the region over the past weeks, including maneuvers of P-8A, RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft, and a C-17A transport plane on Thursday (June 25) in the South China Sea. Experts believe the missions could be associated with the actions of the PLA's nuclear-powered submarines in proximity to the Philippine Sea, wrote South China Morning Post.

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) declined to comment on Sunday's aerial activity other than to say that the airspace and seas were being monitored and that there was no cause for concern, wrote CNA.
 

Zagdid

Veteran Member

PLA bombers approach Taiwan island from the east
By Liu Xuanzun Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/28 23:24:55

Two bombers of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) reportedly approached the island of Taiwan from the east after crossing the Miyako Strait on Sunday, after PLA aircraft conducted at least eight sorties to Taiwan's southwestern "airspace" in June alone.

The two H-6K bombers on Sunday flew through the Miyako Strait from the East China Sea, entered the Pacific Ocean, approached Taiwan Island from the east, then returned to base via the same route, according to a press release by Japan's Defense Ministry Joint Staff on the same day.

Taiwan media said Sunday that there have been no similar missions by the PLA recently, and the Taiwan military was still confirming if the PLA bombers indeed returned from the same route they came, or returned after crossing the Bashi Channel.

By flying through airspace to the east of Taiwan, the PLA showed it can not only strike targets in western Taiwan, but also on the eastern side of the island. From there, PLA warplanes can also conduct anti-access and area denial missions and keep foreign interventions away, a Chinese mainland military expert told the Global Times on Sunday under condition of anonymity.

Prior to the Sunday operation by the H-6Ks, the PLA has sent military aircraft to Taiwan's southwestern "airspace" at least eight times this month. A variety of military aircraft including the J-10, J-11, and Su-30 fighter jets, and Y-8 special mission aircraft were involved, according to information released by Taiwan's defense authority.

Many of these missions were believed to be countermeasures against US military aircraft approaches to or even crossing of Taiwan Island.

Chinese mainland military expert and TV commentator Song Zhongping told the Global Times that the PLA operations from both the east and southwest of Taiwan indicate that the PLA is training to suppress the potential US and Japanese reinforcements coming from Guam and the Ryukyu Islands through the Miyako Strait east of Taiwan and through the Bashi, Balintang, and Babuyan channels southwest of Taiwan.

The PLA could use these operations to effectively lockdown the area from foreign forces while ensuring that Taiwan's forces cannot escape, Song noted.

When asked about Taiwan's close interactions with the US in the past month, Senior Colonel Wu Qian, a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson, said at a regular press conference on Wednesday that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, and Taiwan affairs are purely China's internal affairs that brook no external interference.

The PLA has been on high alert, and has the firm resolve, full confidence and sufficient capabilities to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity and maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits, Wu said.
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
World News
June 25, 2020 / 2:44 AM / Updated an hour ago
Japan defence minister says strike capability an option to counter missile threat




FILE PHOTO: Japan's Defence Minister Taro Kono attends a news conference at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan September 11, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Minister of Defence Taro Kono said on Thursday that acquiring weapons that would let Japan strike enemy missile bases was an option Japan will consider as a way to bolster its ballistic missile defences.

In a surprise decision Kono this month suspended deployment of Aegis Ashore radar stations, reigniting a discussion of how Japan should defend itself against North Korean ballistic missiles.

posted for fair use
Heck, back in the mid-90s, the Japanese put an over 1000 kg payload 1300 km downrage in testing their HYFLEX, uncrewed lifting body space plane, launched using a J-1 solid fueled launcher.
 

Zagdid

Veteran Member

Taiwan stages drill simulating response to an invasion by China
07/02/2020 06:03 PM By Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh

Taichung, July 2 (CNA) A large-scale anti-landing drill simulating Taiwan's response to a Chinese invasion was staged in central Taichung City on Thursday, in a live-fire rehearsal ahead of the annual Han Kuang military exercises.

The drill featuring the nation's armed forces using major weapon systems to respond to a simulation of a Chinese invasion by sea was staged at Jianan (甲南) Beach at the mouth of Dajia River in central Taiwan.

During the exercise, Taiwan's military deployed U.S. F-16 fighter jets as well as Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDFs), Knox-class frigates and the Thunderbolt-2000 artillery multiple launch rocket systems to deter the invading force.

AH-1W Cobra, AH-64E Apache and OH-58D helicopters also took part, while M60A3 tanks, CM-34 Clouded Leopard eight-wheeled armored vehicles and a number of self-propelled Howitzer artillery were deployed, according to the defense ministry.

Thursday's exercises were staged as a rehearsal for the official drill which will take place at the same location on July 16, as part of the five-day live fire Han Kuang exercises, Taiwan's most important annual war games.

The series of exercises involving all military branches, are held in two stages each year. The first stage comprises computerized war games, while the second is a five-day live-fire exercise held in different parts of the country.

The second stage of the 36th edition of the Han Kuang drill is scheduled to be held from July 13 to 17.

A military source told CNA that the highlight of this year's Han Kuang exercises will be the debut of the newly-formed combined arms battalions.

Compared with a traditional battalion made up of only one arm and profession of the military, the combined arms battalion has different arms and professions at its disposal, which enables the unit to conduct its own joint military operations and thus react more quickly in modern warfare, the source said.
 

Oreally

Veteran Member

Taiwan stages drill simulating response to an invasion by China
07/02/2020 06:03 PM By Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh

Taichung, July 2 (CNA) A large-scale anti-landing drill simulating Taiwan's response to a Chinese invasion was staged in central Taichung City on Thursday, in a live-fire rehearsal ahead of the annual Han Kuang military exercises.

The drill featuring the nation's armed forces using major weapon systems to respond to a simulation of a Chinese invasion by sea was staged at Jianan (甲南) Beach at the mouth of Dajia River in central Taiwan.

During the exercise, Taiwan's military deployed U.S. F-16 fighter jets as well as Indigenous Defense Fighters (IDFs), Knox-class frigates and the Thunderbolt-2000 artillery multiple launch rocket systems to deter the invading force.

AH-1W Cobra, AH-64E Apache and OH-58D helicopters also took part, while M60A3 tanks, CM-34 Clouded Leopard eight-wheeled armored vehicles and a number of self-propelled Howitzer artillery were deployed, according to the defense ministry.

Thursday's exercises were staged as a rehearsal for the official drill which will take place at the same location on July 16, as part of the five-day live fire Han Kuang exercises, Taiwan's most important annual war games.

The series of exercises involving all military branches, are held in two stages each year. The first stage comprises computerized war games, while the second is a five-day live-fire exercise held in different parts of the country.

The second stage of the 36th edition of the Han Kuang drill is scheduled to be held from July 13 to 17.

A military source told CNA that the highlight of this year's Han Kuang exercises will be the debut of the newly-formed combined arms battalions.

Compared with a traditional battalion made up of only one arm and profession of the military, the combined arms battalion has different arms and professions at its disposal, which enables the unit to conduct its own joint military operations and thus react more quickly in modern warfare, the source said.
does taiwan have any real chance of repelling an invasion?
 

jward

passin' thru
Didn't the US just tell Tiawan not to expect our help? Hopefully, I am dreaming that, but I fear we posted such an article recently in Housecarl's W.o.W. thread.

Here's an older article that may be relavant still to the question... obviously China no longer worries about the good opinion of the globe, and Taiwan has distinguished itself with it's response to the CV19, but some of the issues probably remain as portrayed.

A Chinese invasion of Taiwan would be a bloody, logistical nightmare
CNN Digital Expansion 2017. Ben Westcott
By Ben Westcott, CNN

Updated 1:11 AM ET, Mon June 24, 2019













Taiwan (CNN)Roaring out of the sky, an F-16V fighter jet lands smoothly to rearm and refuel on an unremarkable freeway in rural Taiwan, surrounded by rice paddies.
In different circumstances, this could be alarming sight. Taiwan's fighter pilots are trained to land on freeways between sorties in case all of the island's airports have been occupied or destroyed by an invasion.
Luckily, this was a training exercise.
There's only really one enemy that Taiwan's armed forces are preparing to resist -- China's People's Liberation Army (PLA). And as China's reputation as an economic and military superpower has grown in recent years, so too has that threat of invasion, according to security experts.
Taiwan has been self-governed since separating from China at the end of a brutal civil war in 1949, but Beijing has never given up hope of reuniting with what it considers a renegade province.
At a regional security conference in June, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said: "If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all costs for national unity." In some shops in mainland China, you can buy postcards and T-shirts emblazoned with patriotic emblems promoting the retaking of Taiwan.
But for seven decades, China has resisted attacking Taiwan partly for political reasons, including the prospect of a US intervention and the potential heavy human toll. But the practical realities of a full-blown invasion are also daunting for the PLA, according to experts.

Ferrying hundreds of thousands of troops across the narrow Taiwan Strait to a handful of reliable landing beaches, in the face of fierce resistance, is a harrowing prospect. Troops would then have a long slog over Taiwan's western mudflats and mountains to reach the capital, Taipei.
Not only that, but China would face an opponent who has been preparing for war for almost 70 years.
At mass anti-invasion drills in May, Taiwan military spokesman Maj. Gen. Chen Chung-Chi said the island knew it had to always be "combat-ready."
"Of course, we don't want war, but only by gaining our own strength can we defend ourselves," he said. "If China wants to take any action against us, it has to consider paying a painful price."

An historic Chinese Cultural Revolution poster, showing a Chinese soldier and the island of Taiwan. "We must liberate Taiwan," the caption says.

Difficult and bloody
It could be easy to assume that any invasion of Taiwan by Beijing would be brief and devastating for Taipei: a David and Goliath fight between a tiny island and the mainland's military might, population and wealth.
With nearly 1.4 billion people, the People's Republic of China has the largest population in the world. Taiwan has fewer than 24 million people -- a similar number to Australia. China has the fifth largest territory in the world, while Taiwan is the size of Denmark or the US state of Maryland. And Beijing runs an economy that is second only to the United States, while Taiwan's doesn't rank in the world's top 20.
But perhaps most pertinently, China has been building and modernizing its military at an unprecedented rate, while Taiwan relies on moderate US arms sales.

In sheer size, the PLA simply dwarfs Taiwan's military.
China has an estimated 1 million troops, almost 6,000 tanks, 1,500 fighter jets and 33 navy destroyers, according to the latest US Defense Department report. Taiwan's ground force troops barely number 150,000 and are backed by 800 tanks and about 350 fighter aircraft, the report found, while its navy fields only four destroyer-class ships.
Under Chinese President Xi Jinping, the PLA has rapidly modernized, buoyed by rises in military spending and crackdowns on corruption in the army's leadership.

"China's leaders hope that possessing these military capabilities will deter pro-independence moves by Taiwan or, should deterrence fail, will permit a range of tailored military options against Taiwan and potential third-party military intervention," according to a 2019 US Defense Intelligence Agency report on China's military.
Yet while China hawks in the media might beat the drum of invasion, an internal China military study, seen by CNN, revealed that the PLA considers an invasion of Taiwan to be extremely difficult.
"Taiwan has a professional military, with a strong core of American-trained experts," said Ian Easton, author of "The Chinese Invasion Threat" and research fellow at the Project 2049 Institute, as well as "highly defensible" terrain.
In his book he described an invasion by China as "the most difficult and bloody mission facing the Chinese military."

US-made CM-11 tanks are fired in front of two 8-inch self-propelled artillery guns during military drills in southern Taiwan on May 30.

The plan to take Taiwan
China's Taiwan invasion plan, known internally as the "Joint Island Attack Campaign," would begin with a mass, coordinated bombing of Taiwan's vital infrastructure -- ports and airfields -- to cripple the island's military ahead of an amphibious invasion, according to both Easton and Sidharth Kaushal, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies.
At the same time, the Chinese air force would fly over the Taiwan Strait and try to dominate the island's air space. Once the PLA was satisfied it had suitably disabled Taiwan's air and naval forces, Kaushal said soldiers would begin to invade on the west coast of the island.
The island's rocky, mountainous east coast is considered too inhospitable and far from mainland China.
The amphibious invasion needed to put troops on Taiwan, however, could be the biggest hurdle facing the PLA.
In its 2019 report to Congress, the US Department of Defense said China -- which has one of the largest navies in Asia -- had at its command 37 amphibious transport docks and 22 smaller landing ships, as well as any civilian vessels Beijing could enlist.
That might be enough to occupy smaller islands, such as those in the South China Sea, but an amphibious assault on Taiwan would likely require a bigger arsenal -- and there is "no indication China is significantly expanding its landing ship force," the report said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping reviews a naval parade Thursday in the South China Sea in April 2018.
That makes it vital for Beijing to neutralize Taiwan's navy and air force in the early stages of an attack, Kaushal said.
"The Taiwanese air force would have to sink around 40% of the amphibious landing forces of the PLA in order to render this sort of mission infeasible," he said.
Essentially, that's only about 10 to 15 ships, he added.
If they did make it across the strait, the PLA would still need to find a decent landing spot for its ships.
China's military would be looking for a landing site both close to the mainland, and a strategic city, such as Taipei, with nearby port and airport facilities.
That leaves just 14 potential beaches, Easton said -- and it's not only the PLA that knows it. Taiwanese engineers have spent decades digging tunnels and bunkers in potential landing zones along the coast.

Furthermore, the backbone of Taiwan's defense is a fleet of vessels capable of launching anti-ship cruise missiles, on top of an array of ground-based missiles, and substantial mines and artillery on the coastline.
"Taiwan's entire national defense strategy, including its war plans, are specifically targeted at defeating a PLA invasion," Easton said.
Chinese troops could be dropped in from the air, but a lack of paratroopers in the PLA makes it unlikely.
If the PLA held a position on Taiwan, and could reinforce with troops from the mainland to face off about 150,000 Taiwan troops, as well as more than 2.5 million reservists, it would have to push through the island's western mud flats and mountains, with only narrow roads to assist them, towards Taipei.
Finally, the mobilization of amphibious landing vessels, ballistic missile launchers, fighters and bombers, as well as hundreds of thousands of troops, would give Taiwan plenty of advance warning of any attack, Kaushal said.
"It's extremely unlikely that the invasion could come as a bolt from the blue," Kaushal added.

Four US-made Apache attack helicopters launch missiles during the 35th "Han Kuang" military drill in southern Taiwan on May 30.

'The bad guy in the neighborhood'
There is, of course, one final deterrent to any PLA invasion of Taiwan.
It isn't clear whether or not such an attack by China would spark an intervention by the United States on Taipei's behalf.
Washington has been a longtime ally of the island, selling weapons to the Taiwan government and providing implicit military protection from Beijing.

Facing an aggressive Beijing, Taiwan's president issues a warning to the world
Easton said that, at present, the US would likely intervene in Taiwan's favor, both to protect investment by US companies on the island and reassure American allies in the region, who are also facing down a resurgent PLA in the East and South China seas.
Collin Koh Swee Lean, research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies' Maritime Security Program in Singapore, said there would also be "immense political consequences" from taking over Taiwan, in the event of a successful China invasion.
"It will likely mean that China will be seen as the bad guy in the neighborhood, who uses force," he said. "It will alienate some regional partners and the good will which China has been trying to build over the years will evaporate. And it will set China on a collision course with the US."

But Taipei isn't taking anything for granted.
On the sidelines of the massive Han Guang drills, Taiwan's Maj. Gen. Chen pointed out the hundreds of spectators who had come out to watch and support the island's military.
"These exercises let people know the national army of the Republic of China is ready," he said.
Taiwan is taking no chances.
CNN's Serenitie Wang contributed to this article.
 
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