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

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JUST IN - Beijing will "not hesitate to start a war" over #Taiwan, China's defense ministry tells the US counterparts.


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S-China summit meeting: Beijing “will not hesitate to start a war” if Taiwan declares its independence

Posted by Historical Church | Jun 10, 2022 | News | 0 |



US-China summit meeting: Beijing “will not hesitate to start a war” if Taiwan declares its independence




China “will not hesitate to start a war” if Taiwan declares its independence, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Defense assured Friday after a meeting between Chinese Minister Wei Fenghe and his American counterpart Lloyd Austin in Singapore.
It is a summit meeting which took place this Friday in Singapore between China and the USA. It is also the first time that the two powers have met around a table since the incursion of 30 Chinese military aircraft into the Taiwan air defense identification zone, the largest operation of its kind carried out by Paékin in 2022.

New: US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin meets Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. Austin reiterates US’ longstanding committment to One China-Policy, also cautioning against the “unilateral” change of status quo on #Taiwan pic.twitter.com/OBwPwbwh6Y

— Dhairya Maheshwari (@dhairyam14) June 10, 2022
It is therefore in a tense context that Wei Fenghe met this Friday, June 10, Lloyd Austin for the first time since the latter took office. A meeting held on the sidelines of the “Shangri-la Dialogue” security forum held in the city-state, CGTV reported. The pair had previously chatted by phone in April.
As per the release by Chinese Ministry of National Defence, Fenghe warned US against using “Taiwan to control China”.
The Chinese defense minister also opposed US’ arms sales to Taiwan, and said that the PLA will safeguard the “reunification”.#China#shangrila pic.twitter.com/OUKE6VUwc2
— Dhairya Maheshwari (@dhairyam14) June 10, 2022
During these exchanges, the Chinese Minister of Defense Wei Fenghe allegedly threatened that “If anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese military will not hesitate for a moment to start a war, no matter what the cost”. Comments reported by Wu Qian, the spokesperson for the Minister of Defense at the end of this meeting with the American Lloyd Austin.
 

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JUST IN - Beijing will "not hesitate to start a war" over #Taiwan, China's defense ministry tells the US counterparts.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
S-China summit meeting: Beijing “will not hesitate to start a war” if Taiwan declares its independence

Posted by Historical Church | Jun 10, 2022 | News | 0 |



US-China summit meeting: Beijing “will not hesitate to start a war” if Taiwan declares its independence




China “will not hesitate to start a war” if Taiwan declares its independence, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Defense assured Friday after a meeting between Chinese Minister Wei Fenghe and his American counterpart Lloyd Austin in Singapore.
It is a summit meeting which took place this Friday in Singapore between China and the USA. It is also the first time that the two powers have met around a table since the incursion of 30 Chinese military aircraft into the Taiwan air defense identification zone, the largest operation of its kind carried out by Paékin in 2022.


It is therefore in a tense context that Wei Fenghe met this Friday, June 10, Lloyd Austin for the first time since the latter took office. A meeting held on the sidelines of the “Shangri-la Dialogue” security forum held in the city-state, CGTV reported. The pair had previously chatted by phone in April.

During these exchanges, the Chinese Minister of Defense Wei Fenghe allegedly threatened that “If anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese military will not hesitate for a moment to start a war, no matter what the cost”. Comments reported by Wu Qian, the spokesperson for the Minister of Defense at the end of this meeting with the American Lloyd Austin.

And everyone else is now double checking their "special" toolkits....
 

jward

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(URGENT) N.K. leader stresses right to self-defense for national sovereignty, reaffirms principle of 'strong struggle,' KCNA reports

All News 06:19 June 11, 2022
 

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AFP News Agency
@AFP


#UPDATE US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on Saturday blasted China's "provocative, destabilising" military activity near Taiwan, a day after his Chinese counterpart warned him that Beijing will "not hesitate to start a war" if the island declares independence


#UPDATE "We categorically oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side," Lloyd Austin said "Our policy hasn't changed. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be true for (China)".

#UPDATE US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Saturday blasted China's "provocative, destabilising" military activity near #Taiwan, as well as Beijing's growing aggression across the wider Asia-Pacific region http://u.afp.com/wakY
 

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North Korea ramping up weapons development, preparing for nuclear test, US and South Korean officials warn

Posted 17h ago

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is doubling down on the nation’s arms build-up in response to what he describes as an aggravating security environment.

Key points:
  • US and South Korean officials warn another North Korean nuclear test could be imminent
  • North Korea has already fired 31 missiles since the beginning of this year
  • China and Russia have vetoed proposed sanctions against North Korea in favour of renewed dialogue

Following a major political conference in Pyongyang, US and South Korean officials warned North Korea was pressing ahead with preparations for another nuclear test.

North Korea has already set an annual record for ballistic launches in the first half of 2022, firing 31 missiles during 18 different launch events.

They included the country's first demonstrations of intercontinental ballistic missiles in nearly five years.

Mr Kim's comments at the conference were published by North Korea's state-run Korean Central News Agency.

While the report did not specify any goals regarding testing, including the detonation of a nuclear device, the North Korean leader defended his accelerating weapons development as an exercise in sovereign rights to self-defence, and outlined more "militant tasks" to be pursued in the future.

What's behind the new missile testing?
North Korea has mastered the art of manufacturing diplomatic crises by provoking Western nations, and the United States in particular, with weapons tests and threats, before eventually offering negotiations aimed at extracting concessions on international sanctions.

North Korea has a history of dialling up pressure on Seoul when it does not get what it wants from Washington.

As Russia goes dark, Vladimir Putin could be taking cues from Kim Jong Un on how to quash dissent
Vladimir Putin has been steadily winding back the clock on Russia's democracy. Independent media outlets have been shuttered, Western businesses have left and free speech has effectively been stamped out.
A woman is carried away by police after being detained during an anti-war protest
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Though the state news agency's report on the meeting did not include any comments specifically referring to South Korea, it said the participants clarified "principles and strategic and tactical orientations to be maintained in the struggle against the enemy and in the field of foreign affairs".

While the United States has said it would push for additional sanctions if North Korea conducted another nuclear test, the divisions between permanent members of the UN Security Council make the prospects for meaningful punitive measures unclear.

Russia and China this year vetoed US-sponsored resolutions that would have increased sanctions, insisting Washington should focus on reviving dialogue.

Escalating tensions with neighbours
North Korea’s other regional neighbours are also feeling the renewed tension, with Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi making unusually strong remarks that Japan is on the front lines as neighbours try to up-end international norms.
A large missile is seen taking off from the back of a truck

North Korea has already fired 31 missiles this year during 18 different launch events.(AP: Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service)

"Japan is surrounded by actors that possess, or are developing, nuclear weapons, and that openly ignore rules," Mr Kishi said in Singapore at the Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia's premier security meeting.

In May, China and Russia conducted a joint aerial patrol in waters close to Japan and Taiwan, their first since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"Joint military operations between these two strong military powers will undoubtedly increase concern among other countries," Mr Kishi said.
In his speech, Mr Kishi also criticised North Korea and its missile tests, saying the regime could not be allowed to threaten Japan, the region, and the international community.

ABC/Reuters/AP
 

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Japan, U.S., South Korea to resume drills to counter North Korean missiles



KYODO NEWS - 13 hours ago - 22:45 | World, Japan, All




Defense chiefs from Japan, the United States and South Korea agreed in Singapore on Saturday to resume joint drills to deal with North Korea's ballistic missiles following its repeated launches since the start of this year.
Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong Sup, in a statement issued after their talks, also highlighted the importance of "peace and stability" in the Taiwan Strait, across which China has been exerting military pressure.
(From L) Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong Sup are pictured ahead of their talks in Singapore on June 11, 2022. (Kyodo)
It was the first time for Taiwan -- the self-ruled democratic island viewed by Beijing as its own territory to be reunited by force, if necessary -- to be referred to in a joint statement following defense ministerial talks among the three nations, the Japanese Defense Ministry said.

To address North Korea's firing of missiles, the three nations pledged to carry out "trilateral missile warning and ballistic missile search and tracking exercises" for the first time since December 2017, as well as to take further joint actions to deal with Pyongyang's "repeated unlawful ballistic missile launches."
North Korea has conducted 16 rounds of ballistic missile tests since the beginning of this year, with the latest one last Sunday when it fired eight missiles from various parts of the country.
It is believed to be the largest number of ballistic missiles launched in a single day by the North, possibly showing that it has been developing the capability of carrying out "saturation attacks," in which multiple missiles are fired quickly to make it hard to intercept them.
"Dealing collectively with (North Korea's threats) is becoming more important than ever," Kishi told reporters after the talks.
Washington and its allies Tokyo and Seoul are also bracing for a new nuclear test by North Korea -- which would be the country's seventh and the first since September 2017 if conducted -- at its Punggye-ri test site in the northeast.
In addition to the North Korean threats, the change of government in Seoul has given fresh momentum for Japan-South Korea ties to improve.

Bilateral ties sank to their lowest level in decades under Moon Jae In, the predecessor of new South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, over a host of issues stemming from Japan's 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
In a veiled criticism of Beijing's growing assertiveness in the region, the statement said the officials aired "strong opposition to any unilateral actions that seek to alter the status quo and increase tensions" in the Indo-Pacific, and shared concerns on activities "inconsistent with the international rules-based order."
They "reaffirmed that all disputes should be resolved in a peaceful manner in accordance with the principles of international law," it added.
"At a time when the military balance over Taiwan is beginning to lose equilibrium, peace and stability of (the Taiwan Strait) is very important not only for the region but also for the international community, so we need to monitor it closely," Kishi said.

Held on the fringes of the annual Asia Security Summit, also known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, the meeting was the first trilateral gathering since Yoon became South Korea's president on May 10 and Lee was named his defense chief.
Defense chiefs of the three countries last held in-person talks in November 2019.

Saturday's statement also stressed the U.S. commitment to the defense of Japan and South Korea, including extended deterrence "backed by the full range of U.S. capabilities, including nuclear," a reference apparently taking account of China's military buildup and Russia's nuclear saber-rattling following its invasion of Ukraine.
Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi (R), U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (C) and Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles are pictured ahead of their talks in Singapore on June 11, 2022. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
Later in the day, Kishi and Austin held another trilateral meeting with their Australian counterpart Richard Marles, who became defense chief following the inauguration of Anthony Albanese as Australia's new prime minister late last month.
The three ministers rapped China by name for its "unlawful maritime claims and activities in the South China Sea" in a statement released after their talks, and they referred to the Taiwan issue as they called for "the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues."
In a bilateral meeting, Austin agreed with Lee to expand the scale of joint military exercises to maintain deterrence against North Korea, South Korea's Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Austin also made clear Washington's "ironclad" commitment to defend South Korea and reaffirmed with Lee that trilateral cooperation involving Japan "sends a strong deterrent signal to the region," according to the Pentagon.
Yoon and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed during their first summit talks in Seoul last month to "initiate discussions to expand the scope and scale of combined military exercises and training on and around" the Korean Peninsula, according to their joint statement released afterward.
The Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual event that brings together defense officials from dozens of countries, had been canceled for the last two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Related coverage:
U.S., China defense chiefs trade barbs over Taiwan situation
U.S. to focus on maintaining status quo over Taiwan: Pentagon chief
Asia security forum returns amid Russia, China, N. Korea challenges
 

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N. Korea launches surprise inspections of navy and air force units
The supreme command’s intention in ordering the inspections was to reemphasize the importance of military modernization, a source told Daily NK

By Jeong Tae Joo 2022.06.13 2:58pm

North Korea’s Ministry of Defense recently launched surprise inspections of navy and air force units to ascertain how well they are modernizing and maintaining their fighting equipment.

A Daily NK source in the North Korean military said Friday that in early June, North Korea’s supreme command issued an order to the Ministry of Defense to “multilaterally ascertain” the state of modernization of the navy and air force’s equipment in accordance with the military modernization policy presented during the Eighth Party Congress.

The “Weapons Bureau” under the Ministry of Defense responded by launching unannounced inspections of naval and air force units to confirm how well they are modernizing and maintaining their equipment.

The bureau is looking at how equipment departments of navy and air force headquarters have been carrying out the military modernization policy, which aims to improve the battlefield deployment of technology and equipment appropriate for “modern warfare.” The bureau is also carrying out surprise inspections of how the equipment departments and their subordinate units are maintaining their equipment.

The source said bureau personnel came to the “equipment department of the headquarters of the Army Air and Anti-Air Force” on June 6, and arbitrarily selected a flying unit to inspect the state of maintenance of “jamming munitions” carried by their planes.

“Jamming munitions” are guided decoys that have been put into service in accordance with the supreme command’s military modernization policy. They scramble the tracking and targeting functions of enemy missiles to protect warships and aircraft.

The bureau has stressed that the inspections are not to be taken lightly. According to the source, the bureau is explaining that it is carrying out week-long inspections of navy and air force units as part of an interim review to ascertain how well they have followed through with the supreme command’s pan-military modernization policy, the results of which will be used to make improvements.

The source noted that the supreme command’s intention in ordering the inspections was to reemphasize the importance of military modernization. In fact, the military leadership is calling on naval and air force units to “always remember” that modern warfare is electronic warfare, and that the military must prepare for this kind of warfare.

The bureau is also collecting the opinions of field commanders regarding maintenance problems combat units have experienced with upgraded, battlefield-deployed equipment suited for “modern warfare,” as well as technical flaws.

The source said the supreme command ordered the ministry’s Weapons Bureau, equipment departments of the navy and air force, and technical commanders of combat units to work together to “make the blaze of military modernization rage brighter,” and to submit detailed plans to “ceaselessly strengthen unit combat strength.”

Translated by David Black. Edited by Robert Lauler.
 

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Xi signs outlines that direct China’s military operations other than war

By
Liu Xuanzun
Published: Jun 13, 2022 10:40 PM Updated: Jun 13, 2022 10:32 PM


A Y-20 large transport aircraft attached to an aviation division under the PLA Western Theater Command flies at a predetermined altitude during a flight training mission on January 4, 2021. (eng.chianmil.com.cn/Photo by Liu Shu)

A Y-20 large transport aircraft attached to an aviation division under the PLA Western Theater Command flies at a predetermined altitude during a flight training mission on January 4, 2021. (eng.chianmil.com.cn/Photo by Liu Shu)

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, recently signed an order to promulgate a set of trial outlines on military operations other than war, which will take effect on Wednesday.

The outlines will standardize, and provide the legal basis for Chinese troops to carry out, missions like disaster relief, humanitarian aid, escort, and peacekeeping, and safeguard China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests, experts said.

The outlines aim to prevent and neutralize risks and challenges, handle emergencies, protect people and property, and safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, and world peace and regional stability, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.

The outlines have important meanings for the Chinese armed forces to carry out their duties and missions in the new era, as they will make innovations in ways military forces are used and standardize the organization and implementation of the armed forces’ military operations other than war, Xinhua said.

Military operations other than war refer to operations that do not involve war, like disaster relief and humanitarian aid, as well as operations that limit the scale of the use of force like maritime escorts and peacekeeping, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Monday.

The Chinese armed forces have been engaged in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020. They also played a vital role in saving the people from natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, which often took place in China over the past years, the expert said, noting that the recipients of disaster relief and humanitarian aid from the Chinese armed forces have also expanded to other countries, including many that received medical equipment and vaccines against COVID-19, and Tonga that was heavily hit by a volcanic eruption and tsunami earlier this year.

The Chinese armed forces are also responsible for counter-terrorism, anti-pirate and peacekeeping missions, including regular escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia as well as UN peacekeeping missions, providing public security goods to the international community, the expert said.

By carrying out these operations overseas, in some cases, the Chinese troops can prevent spillover effects of regional instabilities from affecting China, secure vital transport routes for strategic materials like oil, or safeguard China’s overseas investments, projects and personnel, analysts said, noting that this is likely why Xinhua described the outlines as being capable of safeguarding China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests.

With six chapters and 59 chapters, the outlines summarize experiences accumulated from past missions and practices, draw results from both military and civilian research, and standardize the basic principles, organization and command, types of activities, activity support and political work, providing the legal basis for the troops to carry out military operations other than war, according to Xinhua.
 

Housecarl

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South Korea says North completed prep for new nuclear test

MATTHEW LEE
Mon, June 13, 2022, 12:56 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — South Korea’s top diplomat said Monday that North Korea has completed preparations for a new nuclear test and that only a political decision by the country’s top leadership can prevent it from going forward.

After talks with Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington, South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin said the North would pay a price if it goes ahead, as feared, with what would be its seventh nuclear test in the coming days.

“North Korea has completed preparations for another nuclear test and I think only a political decision has to be made,” Park said. Prior to Monday, U.S. and South Korean officials had said only that the North was nearing completion of such preparations.

“If North Korea ventures into another nuclear test, I think it will only strengthen our deterrence and also international sanctions," Park said. “North Korea should change its mind and make the right decision.”

Apart from sanctions, Park did not say what that price the North would pay or outline how the deterrence policy would change, but Blinken said the United States and treaty allies South Korea and Japan could adjust their military postures in response.

“We’re preparing for all contingencies this in very close coordination with others and we are prepared to make both short and longer-term adjustments to our military posture,” Blinken said. He added that in addition, “the pressure will be sustained, it will continue and, as appropriate, it will be increased.”

Both Park and Blinken men stressed the door to negotiations without any preconditions remains open for North Korea. But Blinken, repeating comments from numerous U.S. officials in recent days, lamented that North Korea continues to ignore overtures for dialogue.

On Sunday, North Korea test-fired what appeared to be artillery shells toward the sea, according to South Korea’s military, days after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for greater defense capability to cope with outside threats.

The North’s artillery tests draw less outside attention than its missile launches, of which it has conducted more so far this year than in any previous year. But its forward-deployed long-range artillery guns are a serious security threat to South Korea’s populous metropolitan region, which is only 40-50 kilometers (25-30 miles) from the border with North Korea.

The suspected artillery launches were the latest in a spate of weapons tests by North Korea this year in what foreign experts call an attempt to pressure its rivals Washington and Seoul to relax international sanctions against Pyongyang and make other concessions.

In March, North Korea test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the mainland U.S. in breach of a 2018 moratorium on big missile tests.

A possible new nuclear test by North Korea would be the seventh of its kind. Some experts say North Korea will likely use the test to build warheads to be mounted on tactical nuclear weapons aimed at hitting targets in South Korea.
 

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S. Korea, US, Japan to hold missile defense exercise in August: sources
By Yonhap

Published : Jun 14, 2022 - 10:11
Updated : Jun 14, 2022 - 10:11

South Korea, the United States and Japan plan to conduct a combined missile search and tracking exercise in waters off Hawaii in August to bolster their readiness to counter North Korea's evolving missile threats, informed sources said Tuesday.

The biennial Pacific Dragon exercise is scheduled to take place from Aug. 1-14 as the three countries are seeking to step up security cooperation amid tensions caused by the North's recent missile launches and speculation that it could conduct a nuclear test in the coming weeks.

South Korea's Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup and his US and Japanese counterparts, Lloyd Austin and Nobuo Kishi, agreed to hold such trilateral exercises on a consistent basis during their talks on the margins of a security forum in Singapore on Saturday.

The exercise is to proceed on the occasion of the US-led Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise scheduled to run from June 29 through Aug. 4. At RIMPAC, the three countries are set to deploy naval warships, personnel and other assets.

In this year's edition of the Pacific Dragon, Canada and Australia are also expected to participate, according to the sources.

In addition to the missile tracking exercise, Seoul, Washington and Tokyo are expected to stage their quarterly combined missile warning drills later this year as agreed upon during their weekend defense ministerial talks. (Yonhap)
 

jward

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Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy

China believes Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy is designed to trap Asia-Pacific region into a geopolitical game



Shazia Anwer Cheema June 14, 2022



the writer is a phd scholar of semiotics and philosophy of communication at charles university prague she can be reached at shaziaanwer yahoo com and tweets shaziaanwerch

The writer is a PhD scholar of Semiotics and Philosophy of Communication at Charles University Prague. She can be reached at shaziaanwer@yahoo.com and tweets @ShaziaAnwerCh
While no less than 42 countries of the world were attending the 19th IISS Shangri-La Dialogue 2022 held in Singapore on June 10-12, Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa was in China holding meetings with the Chinese military leadership. Pakistan refrained from the Singapore gathering this year even though it had been participating in the Dialogue in past.
There was, as expected, a heavy firework in the meeting. The speech of US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ignited the firework added to by Zhang Zhenzhong, the deputy chief of the Joint Staff Department in the Central Military Commission of China. I have been writing that since Joe Biden took the Oval Office, the apparent target is ‘One China Policy’ with the Taiwan issue thrown on the global stage once again. Encircling Chinese waters through Indo-Pacific Strategy, the US along, with its NATO allies, is aggressively playing in the region. Zhang was of the opinion that the US had already turned the Middle East and Europe into a mess, “does it want to mess up Asia-Pacific next?”
A deep analysis of the US working to curtail Chine reveals that QUAD, a strategic dialogue-based formation including the US, Japan, Australia and India; the Five Eyes (FVEY), an intelligence alliance comprising Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the US; multilateral UKUSA Agreement, a treaty for cooperation in signals intelligence to block the flow of information to and from China; AUKUS, a trilateral security pact between Australia, the UK and the US; and now Indo-Pacific Framework comprising the US, Japan, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei are too much to instigate China to respond. And this time China has strongly responded to these developments. China, which has a history of cool diplomacy, did not hide its reaction and stated that the US allies were trying to maintain the US hegemony, creating divisions and fanning confrontation in the region.
China believes that Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy is designed to trap the Asia-Pacific region into a geopolitical game and confrontation; and this situation is surely hampering ASEAN-centred regional cooperation architecture and seriously harms the overall and long-term interests of countries in the region.

Growing tension between the US and China is actually squeezing diplomatic space for Pakistan which needs cordial relations with both the US and EU for many reasons, foremost of all being the economy. It’s because over 80% of total Pakistan’s exports go to Europe and North America through the US and EU countries. IMF, World Bank and ADB are economic pliers that can cut oxygen pipes Pakistan’s needs at the economic ventilator. FATF is another long story. China, on the other hand, ensures the strategic and geopolitical survival of Pakistan which has unfriendly neighbours at its eastern as well as western borders. Options are limited, with no grey zone left for Pakistan diplomatically.
The only project that can grow economic opportunities for Pakistan is CPEC, which is cent per cent funded by China; and even for military hardware, Pakistan has to look at China. If, as believed by China, the US strategy is designed to destroy peace in Asia-Pacific and fan military confrontation by sending warplanes to showcase its military might in the South China Sea, and launching military drills with allies for creating tensions in the region, then how long can Pakistan stand indifferent to such developments?

Enhancing Indian role in Washington’s Asia-Pacific strategy alarms Pakistan, leaving virtually no place but to further consolidate the strategic partnership with China and enhancing military diplomacy and military-to-military cooperation with it. The recent daylong visit by Gen Bajwa makes him the only military leader to visit China on the invitation of President Xi. Gen Bajwa led Pakistan’s tri-service delegation at the apex meeting held on June 12 while the Chinese side was led by Vice Chairman Central Military Commission of China General Zhang Youxia. I believe China has to look after Pakistan economically given that one of its strategically important partners in the Indo-Pacific water, Sri Lanka, has collapsed economically and China cannot afford to see the same scenes in Pakistan. Options are limited also for China, not just for Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2022.
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South Korea's Foreign Min Claims North Korea Finalised Preparations For 7th Nuclear Test
In a recent development, South Korea’s Foreign Minister Park Jin claimed that North Korea has finalized preparations for a new nuclear test. Read further.
Written By Anurag Roushan
Last Updated: 14th June, 2022 13:29 IST

In a recent development, South Korea’s Foreign Minister Park Jin claimed that North Korea has finalized preparations for a new nuclear test and that only a political decision by the country's senior leadership can prevent it from taking place. After meeting US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken in Washington on Monday, Jin warned the North of severe consequences if it plans to go ahead with what would be its seventh nuclear test.

"North Korea has completed preparations for another nuclear test and I think only a political decision has to be made. If North Korea ventures into another nuclear test, I think it will only strengthen our deterrence and also international sanctions," Jin remarked, as per the Associated Press (AP).

The South Korean minister also stated that the North should reconsider its approach and make the best decision possible. Apart from sanctions, Park did not specify what the consequences would be for the North or how the deterrence policy would be transformed. However, according to Blinken, the US and treaty allies South Korea and Japan could modify their military positions in retaliation. "We are preparing for all contingencies in very close coordination with others and we are prepared to make both short and longer-term adjustments to our military posture,” Blinken said, adding that the pressure will be sustained, it will continue and, as appropriate, it will be increased.

South Korea, US call North for dialogue

Both Park and Blinken emphasised that the door to dialogue with North Korea remains open without any preconditions. A new nuclear test by North Korea would be the country's seventh. So far this year, North Korea has undertaken 16 rounds of missile launches, including seven rounds in January itself, the most in any single month. According to some experts, North Korea will most likely utilise the test to develop warheads for tactical nuclear weapons directed at targets in South Korea.

North Korea rapidly increasing its missile tests

It is pertinent to mention here that North Korea has been rapidly increasing its missile tests as part of its weapon development programme. From hypersonic to short-range, immediate, and long-range missiles, the country's Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un has mostly overseen the launch of such missiles launch. North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests so far, all of which have taken place at the Punggye-ri test site. The most recent test was conducted in September of 2017. During the military day parade on April 25, Kim Jong stated that Pyongyang will "continue to enhance and develop nuclear capabilities at a rapid pace."
 

Heliobas Disciple

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North Korea Possesses 20 Or Less Nuclear Warheads, Claims Sweden-based Think Tank
In a recent development, a leading international security think tank claimed that North Korea possesses not more than 20 nuclear warheads. Read further.
Written By Anurag Roushan
Last Updated: 14th June, 2022 14:04 IST

In a recent development, a leading international security think tank claimed that North Korea possesses not more than 20 nuclear warheads. The report comes amid mounting concerns that Pyongyang could launch a nuclear test anytime in the future. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) estimated the amount of actually assembled warheads North Korea possesses as of the year 2022. For the first time, the estimates for North Korea were included in the global nuclear-weapons inventory, Kyodo News reported.

Meanwhile, North Korea's neighbours - Japan and South Korea, as well as their ally, the United States, are bracing for a new nuclear test, which, if carried out, would be Pyongyang's 7th in total. The Sweden-based defence think tank also claimed that North Korea's stockpile of fissile material has risen significantly in 2021, enough to make 45 to 55 nuclear warheads. According to reports, it may also include a modest number of warheads for medium-range ballistic missiles.

Notably, North Korea has also increased tensions on the Korean Peninsula by launching multiple ballistic missiles since the beginning of the year.

Russia boasts of maximum nuclear warheads with 5,977: Report

As of January 2022, the total number of nuclear warheads across the globe was projected to be 12,705. Despite the fact that the number was down from 13,080 a year ago, the report predicted that the worldwide nuclear arsenal would increase over the next decade. According to SIPRI, the probability of nuclear weapons being used appears to be higher now than at any time since the Cold War, given Russia's nuclear sabre-rattling amid its invasion of Ukraine in late February. With as many as 5,977 nuclear warheads, Russia possesses the maximum nuclear arsenal in the world, followed by the United States with 5,428. As per reports, they are responsible for roughly 90% of the world's nuclear weapons.

North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests so far

It is pertinent to mention here that North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests so far, all of which have taken place at the Punggye-ri test site. The most recent test was conducted in September of 2017. The country has also been rapidly increasing its missile tests as part of its weapon development programme. From hypersonic to short-range, immediate, and long-range missiles, the country's Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un has mostly overseen the launch of such missiles launch.
 

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Putin, Xi agree to ramp up economic cooperation amid sanctions: Kremlin

AFP
June 15, 2022 9:41 am

Vladimir_Putin_met_with_Xi_Jinping_in_advance_of_2022_Beijing_Winter_Olympics_1-990x611.jpg
Source: Wikimedia Commons




Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed Wednesday to ramp up economic cooperation in the face of “unlawful” Western sanctions, the Kremlin said.
“It was agreed to expand cooperation in the energy, financial, industrial, transport and other areas, taking into account the situation in the global economy that has become more complicated due to the unlawful sanctions policy of the West,” the Kremlin said following phone talks between the leaders.
 

jward

passin' thru
4 lessons China should take from Ukraine: Pentagon policy chief
Colin Kahl, the undersecretary for defense for policy, said he hopes Russia's troubles in Ukraine are "soaking in" as China eyes Taiwan.

By Aaron Mehta on June 14, 2022 at 2:06 PM

70th Anniversary Of The Founding Of The People’s Republic Of China – Military Parade BEIJING, CHINA – OCTOBER 01: Chinese military officers watch during a parade to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, at Tiananmen Square in 1949, on October 1, 2019 in Beijing, China. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Chinese military officers celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON: When discussing the world’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, US officials have been up front that they are aware China is watching, and they’re hopeful that the strong signal of support for Kyiv will dissuade Beijing from plans to invade Taiwan.

Today Colin Kahl, the undersecretary for defense for policy, underlined that idea, saying, “Potential adversaries and aggressors everywhere else in the world are looking at the global response in Ukraine.
“If I’m sitting in Beijing, I think the fundamental question to draw is, you know, if they were to commit an act of aggression sometime in the future, will the world react the way that it did when China snuffed out democracy in Hong Kong, or will the world react more like they did in the case of Ukraine,” Kahl said at an event hosted by the Center for a New American Security. “I think it’s imperative for the leadership in Beijing to understand that, where the world is now, the Ukraine scenario is a much more likely outcome than the Hong Kong scenario.

“So I hope that that’s soaking in, in Beijing and elsewhere,” he said.
During the event, moderator Richard Fontaine asked Kahl for his assessment of what lessons Beijing may be taking away from the last four months of conflict in Europe. While stressing that “we don’t have perfect visibility, obviously, into how PRC and PLA leadership are talking about this,” Kahl did offer up four items Chinese leaders may be keeping mind.

First, “I suspect they are surprised at the quality of US and Western intelligence, relative to their own intelligence capabilities,” Kahl said, noting that the indications are the Chinese did not believe Russia actually planned to invade Ukraine. “That was an intelligence failure for the PRC. And so I think they’ll have to work through what the implications of that are.”

Second, and relatedly, “I suspect they are surprised by the degree to which the United States and other Western democracies were effective in the information domain” by pushing out warnings about Russia’s intentions. PRC leadership is “very focused on kind of winning the propaganda contest and shaping the information environment, and I suspect they believe they’re much better at it than then Western democracies are.” The fact the US was able to declassify information, make it public on a global scale, and then have it be verified by facts on the ground runs counter to that internal narrative of information superiority, and “is something they likely took note of.”



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Third, Kahl said he expects China’s military to be studying intently lessons of how a superior military can be stymied in an offensive operation. “The Russians on paper looked like the second-best military in the world the day that they invaded Ukraine,” he said. “And yet, you know, the logistical difficulties, the difficulties with morale, the difficulties with training, the difficulties with planning, the difficulties with doctrine, and the tenacity and creativity of the Ukrainians to leverage advanced asymmetric capabilities” all worked to counter that.
“I think one lesson of that is you can spend hundreds of millions of dollars on military modernization,” he continued. “Turns out in real life, this stuff is really hard, and that the targets of aggression have a number of opportunities and strategies of denial that can be very effective.”

Finally, Kahl said China was “likely surprised” by how the advanced economies around the world, not just in Europe, responded with sanctions and export controls at a high level including “measures that create some damage to our own economies.” He highlighted how nations in the Indo-Pacific agreed to sanctions efforts because of Ukraine as sending a signal of democracy versus autocracy.

Elsewhere in his comments, Kahl said that the China and Russia threats “will merge” more closely in the future, as Russia, with few places to turn to in the world, continues to align with China. As to the outcome in Ukraine, Kahl said that “Our sense is [Putin] has not changed his overall objective” to capture all of Ukraine, but added that “I do not think the Russians have the capacity to achieve those grandiose” goals.
 

jward

passin' thru
Rod Lee
@roderick_s_lee


Time to do some debunking again. Xi Jinping’s signing off on the "Military Forces Nonwar Military Activities (NWMA) Outline- Trial" is generating some misleading claims, so here’s a thread of common myths about there, and what the closer reality is. A thread-

Myth 1: This is a "new tactic”. False. The PLA integrated some level of “NWMA” into their forces in 2001, when it was introduced into PLA unit training. Since then, they’ve published extensive documentation on the subject and incorporated it into operational thought.

Myth 2: NWMA constitutes “gray zone operations” False. NWMA can occur anywhere along the conflict spectrum, including during a local war. I’m going to reference our recent piece on China’s spectrum of conflict, which better explains this issue:
View: https://twitter.com/roderick_s_lee/status/1537081060797841409?s=20&t=Vwr2bWhLwqguV2rj7EnArw


Myth 3: This is inspired by Russia's “special military operations” False. NWMA is largely inspired by the U.S.'s MOOTW, more so than the Russians. In fact, PLA documentation implies that the Russians were late to the game, only adopting a mature concept after the PLA.

Myth 4: This provides a legal basis for PLA operations overseas. False. Gangyao outlines do not constitute law. Instead, they are analogous to U.S. doctrine. Plus, the PLA has been operating overseas for decades. Presumably, they haven’t been “winging it” for all those years.

Myth 5: These activities can help with the CCP’s “Taiwan question”. Kind of. Although NWMA does allow for “blockades” a la Cuban Missile Crisis. Beyond this limited blockade option, most of the “Taiwan pressure” stuff falls under “deterrence activities” rather than “NWMA”.

Xi signs outlines that direct China’s military operations other than war

By
Liu Xuanzun
Published: Jun 13, 2022 10:40 PM Updated: Jun 13, 2022 10:32 PM


A Y-20 large transport aircraft attached to an aviation division under the PLA Western Theater Command flies at a predetermined altitude during a flight training mission on January 4, 2021. (eng.chianmil.com.cn/Photo by Liu Shu)

A Y-20 large transport aircraft attached to an aviation division under the PLA Western Theater Command flies at a predetermined altitude during a flight training mission on January 4, 2021. (eng.chianmil.com.cn/Photo by Liu Shu)

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, recently signed an order to promulgate a set of trial outlines on military operations other than war, which will take effect on Wednesday.

The outlines will standardize, and provide the legal basis for Chinese troops to carry out, missions like disaster relief, humanitarian aid, escort, and peacekeeping, and safeguard China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests, experts said.

The outlines aim to prevent and neutralize risks and challenges, handle emergencies, protect people and property, and safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, and world peace and regional stability, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.

The outlines have important meanings for the Chinese armed forces to carry out their duties and missions in the new era, as they will make innovations in ways military forces are used and standardize the organization and implementation of the armed forces’ military operations other than war, Xinhua said.

Military operations other than war refer to operations that do not involve war, like disaster relief and humanitarian aid, as well as operations that limit the scale of the use of force like maritime escorts and peacekeeping, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Monday.

The Chinese armed forces have been engaged in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020. They also played a vital role in saving the people from natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, which often took place in China over the past years, the expert said, noting that the recipients of disaster relief and humanitarian aid from the Chinese armed forces have also expanded to other countries, including many that received medical equipment and vaccines against COVID-19, and Tonga that was heavily hit by a volcanic eruption and tsunami earlier this year.

The Chinese armed forces are also responsible for counter-terrorism, anti-pirate and peacekeeping missions, including regular escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia as well as UN peacekeeping missions, providing public security goods to the international community, the expert said.

By carrying out these operations overseas, in some cases, the Chinese troops can prevent spillover effects of regional instabilities from affecting China, secure vital transport routes for strategic materials like oil, or safeguard China’s overseas investments, projects and personnel, analysts said, noting that this is likely why Xinhua described the outlines as being capable of safeguarding China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests.

With six chapters and 59 chapters, the outlines summarize experiences accumulated from past missions and practices, draw results from both military and civilian research, and standardize the basic principles, organization and command, types of activities, activity support and political work, providing the legal basis for the troops to carry out military operations other than war, according to Xinhua.
 

Zagdid

Veteran Member

7 Russian Navy ships spotted in Pacific off Chiba Prefecture

9 hours ago

Japan's Defense Ministry says seven Russian Navy vessels were spotted in the Pacific Ocean off Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo.

Ministry officials say Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels confirmed on Thursday that the Russian ships, including destroyers and frigates, were sailing southwest in the Pacific about 180 kilometers southeast of Cape Inubo.

The officials say the ships had been traveling south about 280 kilometers southeast of Cape Erimo in the northern prefecture of Hokkaido on the previous day. They also say five of them were spotted off Hokkaido last Thursday. The ships' activities were believed to have been part of a massive naval exercise by Russia.

Japan's Defense Ministry also confirmed that two Chinese Navy ships, including an intelligence-gathering vessel, were navigating east through the Tsugaru Strait to the Pacific Ocean on Thursday. The waters are between Japan's main island of Honshu and Hokkaido.

Ministry officials say the two Chinese ships had been confirmed to have passed through the Tsushima Strait off the western prefecture of Nagasaki to reach the Sea of Japan this month.

The ministry is gathering information and monitoring the navigation of Russian and Chinese military vessels.
 

northern watch

Has No Life - Lives on TB
China launches high-tech aircraft carrier in naval milestone
China has launched its third aircraft carrier, the first such ship to be designed and built entirely within the country
By David Rising and Ken Moritsugu Associated Press
June 17, 2022, 1:41 AM

WireAP_45597cb930de488f9aa09038fa1d3b0d_16x9_992.jpg


BEIJING -- Beijing launched a new-generation aircraft carrier Friday, the first such ship to be both designed and built in China, in a milestone as it seeks to extend the range and power of its navy.

The Type 003 carrier christened Fujian left its drydock at a shipyard outside Shanghai in the morning and tied up at a nearby pier, state media reports said.

State broadcaster CCTV showed assembled navy personnel standing beneath the massive ship as water jets sprayed over its deck, multi-colored streamers flew and colorful smoke was released.

Equipped with the latest weaponry and aircraft-launch technology, the Type 003 ship’s capabilities are thought to rival those of Western carriers, as Beijing seeks to turn its navy, already the world’s largest, into a multi-carrier force.

Satellite imagery captured by Planet Labs PBC on Thursday and analyzed by The Associated Press showed the carrier in what appeared to be a fully flooded drydock at the Jiangnan Shipyard, near Shanghai, ready for launch. It was draped with red bunting, presumably in preparation for the launch ceremony.

“This is an important milestone for China’s military-industrial complex,” said Ridzwan Rahmat, a Singapore-based analyst with the defense intelligence company Janes.

“This shows that Chinese engineers are now able to indigenously manufacture the full suite of surface combatants associated with modern naval warfare, including corvettes, frigates, destroyers, amphibious assault ships, and now an aircraft carrier,” he said. “This ability to construct a very complex warship from the ground up will inevitably result in various spin-offs and benefits for the Chinese shipbuilding industry.”

China’s first carrier was a repurposed Soviet ship, and its second was built in China but based upon a Soviet design. Both were built to employ a so-called “ski-jump” launch method for aircraft, with a ramp at the end of the short runway to help planes take off.

The Type 003 employs a catapult launch, which experts had said appears to be an electromagnetic-type system like one originally developed by the U.S. Navy. China's official Xinhua News Agency confirmed the Fujian employed the electromagnetic system in a report on Friday's launch.

Such a system puts less stress on the aircraft than older steam-type catapult launch systems, and the use of a catapult means that the ship will be able to launch a broader variety of aircraft, which is necessary for China to be able to project naval power at a greater range, Rahmat said.

“These catapults allow aircraft deployed to carry a more extensive load of weapons in addition to external fuel tanks,” Rahmat said.

“Once it is fully operational, the PLAN’s third carrier would also be able to deploy a more complete suite of aircraft associated with carrier strike group operations including carrier onboard delivery transport and airborne early warning and control airframes, such as the KJ-600.”

China’s People's Liberation Army Navy, or PLAN, has been modernizing for more than a decade to become more of a “blue water” force — one capable of operating globally rather than being restricted to remaining closer to the Chinese mainland.

At the same time, the U.S. has been increasing its focus on the region, including the South China Sea. The vast maritime region has been tense because six governments claim all or part of the strategically vital waterway, through which an estimated $5 trillion in global trade travels each year and which holds rich but fast-declining fishing stocks and significant undersea oil and gas deposits.

China has been far and away the most aggressive in asserting its claim to virtually the entire waterway, its island features and resources.

The U.S. Navy has sailed warships past artificial islands China built in the sea that are equipped with airstrips and other military facilities. China insists its territory extends to those islands, while the U.S. Navy says it conducts the missions there to ensure the free flow of international trade.

In its report to the U.S. Congress last year on China’s military capabilities, the Department of Defense said the carrier development program was critical to the Chinese navy’s continued development into a global force, “gradually extending its operational reach beyond East Asia into a sustained ability to operate at increasingly longer ranges.”

China’s “aircraft carriers and planned follow-on carriers, once operational, will extend air defense coverage beyond the range of coastal and shipboard missile systems and will enable task group operations at increasingly longer ranges,” the Defense Department said.

In recent years, China has expanded its presence into the Indian Ocean, the Western Pacific and beyond, setting up its first overseas base over the last decade in the African Horn nation of Djibouti, where the U.S., Japan and others also maintain a military presence. It also recently signed a security agreement with the Solomon Islands that many fear could give it an outpost in the South Pacific, and is working with Cambodia on expanding a port facility there that could give it a presence in the Gulf of Thailand.

Xinhua reported the Fujian, which carries the hull number 18, had a fully loaded displacement of 80,000 tons. In a March report prepared by the U.S. Congressional Research Service, however, analysts said that satellite images suggest the Type 003′s displacement was about 100,000 tons, similar to those of U.S. Navy carriers.

The PLAN currently has some 355 ships, including submarines, and the U.S. estimates the force will grow to 420 ships by 2025 and 460 ships by 2030. Despite having the world’s largest navy numerically, however, the PLAN for now still has nowhere near the capabilities of the U.S. Navy and remains far behind in carriers.

The U.S. Navy is the world’s leader in aircraft carriers, with 11 nuclear-powered vessels. It also has nine amphibious assault ships that can carry helicopters and vertical-takeoff fighter jets.

American allies like Britain and France also have their own carriers, and Japan has four “helicopter destroyers,” which are technically not aircraft carriers, but carry aircraft. Two are being converted to support short take-off and vertical-landing fighters.

China's new carrier was named after the Fujian province on the country's southeastern coast, following a tradition after naming its first two carriers after the provinces of Liaoning and Shandong.

Its shipyard-launch ceremony was presided over by Xu Qiliang, member of the ruling Communist Party’s Politburo and vice chairman of the Central Military Commission led by president and party leader Xi Jinping.

After Xu cut the ribbon for the launch, a bottle of champagne was broken across the Fujian's bow, Xinhua reported. The doors of the drydock then opened and the ship moved out into the water and moored at its pier.

China’s development of the Type 003 carrier is part of a broader modernization of China’s military. As with its space program, China has proceeded extremely cautiously in the development of aircraft carriers, seeking to apply only technologies that have been tested and perfected.

At the moment, China is not believed to have the aircraft developed to fully realize the potential of the new carrier, Rahmat said.

It is not known how close China is in the development of its KJ-600 AWACS aircraft, which it began testing in 2020, to have it ready for carrier operations, and there is “little evidence” it has begun work on carrier onboard delivery transport aircraft, he said.

Now that it is launched, the carrier will have to be fitted out, which could take two to six months. Then there will be harbor acceptance trials and sea trials, which will likely take another six months before engineers begin launching test loads using the catapult system.

“The first aircraft will only be launched from this carrier perhaps in late-2023 to 2024, and full operational capability will likely be declared closer to 2025,” he said.

———

Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report. Rising reported from Bangkok.

China launches high-tech aircraft carrier in naval milestone - ABC News (go.com)
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Hummm.....

Posted for fair use.....

N. Korea is expected to conduct consecutive nuclear tests
Posted June. 17, 2022 07:47,

Updated June. 17, 2022 07:47

62abb2e51953d2738245.jpg


North Korea might be arranging another nuclear test, as suggested by a series of photographs capturing the rebuilding of tunnels at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site. North Korea earlier completed the restoration of Tunnel No. 3 for the seventh nuclear test, and it is now prepping for the construction of Tunnel No. 4 for potential future testing. As Tunnel No. 4 is presumed to be a hydrogen bomb test site, North Korea could be planning consecutive nuclear tests in the near future.

Beyond Parallel under the Center For Strategic and International Studies disclosed a report on Wednesday, which carried satellite imagery near Tunnel No. 3 at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Facility. The photographs taken by a private satellite imaging company captured a retaining wall and construction landscaping near Tunnel No. 4. The report analyzed that new construction activity observed at Tunnel No. 4 “strongly suggests an effort to reenable [the facility] for potential future testing.”

Experts suggest that the ongoing works at Tunnel No. 4 are carried out at the behest of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, aiming at hydrogen bomb testing to miniaturize nuclear warheads, in an effort to bolster up their strength to fight against the enemy. At the eighth central committee of the ruling Workers’ Party held in January 2021, Kim instructed its scientists to miniaturize and lighten nuclear weapons to make them tactical and to produce large-sized nuclear warheads.

The Punggye-ri test facility consists of four tunnels, and Tunnel No. 4 is estimated to be as deep as 800 meters, deeper than Tunnel No. 3 which North Korea has completed restoration. Experts have analyzed that Tunnel No. 3 is intended for testing strategic nuclear weapons, which are relatively less powerful, while Tunnel No. 4 is intended for hydrogen bomb testing with an exceedingly large amount of explosive energy.

Accordingly, it is likely that North Korea first conducts small-sized strategic nuclear weapons tests targeting South Korea at Tunnel No. 3, where the restoration works have practically been complete, and then conducts “high-yield” nuclear weapons testing, like hydrogen bombs, targeting the United States at Tunnel No. 4 in a series of consecutive nuclear tests to complete developing a MIRVed ICBM, which contains several warheads capable of aiming to hit a different target at the same time.

In 2018, North Korea blew up three tunnels by declaring that it would close down the nuclear test facility, except for Tunnel No. 1 that had been shut down after the first nuclear test in 2006. However, the South Korean and U.S. intelligence consider that more than 95 percent of Tunnel No. 3 and Tunnel No. 4, which have not been used for nuclear testing thus far, are remain intact. The intelligence authority believe that the tunnels can be reactivated to be used for nuclear testing if restoration works are done, as the tunnels’ innermost detonation cavities remain unexploded.

“North Korea is seemingly “ready for the oft-speculated seventh nuclear test,” Beyond Parallel said. “North Korea is currently prepared to conduct a nuclear test at any time in case Kim Jong Un decides to do so.”


weappon@donga.com
 

Housecarl

On TB every waking moment
Posted for fair use.....

Does North Korea have 12 ICBMs with nuclear warheads?

By Kevin Chung - June 20, 2022

Experts warn of hasted conclusion on Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities
Recently, a local online media outlet reported that North Korea had at least 12 continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) with nuclear warheads, causing confusion.

The outlet claimed that it had acquired documents of the National Intelligence Service clandestinely reported to the Intelligence Committee of the National Assembly.

The documents reportedly noted that Pyongyang had at least four Hwasong-14 missiles, four Hwasong-15 missiles, and four Hwasong-16 missiles that could carry nuclear warheads.

However, experts warn of hasted conclusions on North Korea’s nuclear capabilities.

“Informed institutes estimate that North Korea has nuclear warheads amounting to some 20 or 30. Hence, the estimate of NIS at 12 appears to be reasonable,” Prof. Kim Jong-dae at Yonsei University said.

“But Hwasong-14, 15, 17 missiles are not deployed, yet. I think that North Korea still lacks the technologies to make ICBMs re-enter Earth’s atmosphere. Hence, I don’t accept the reported conclusions of the NIS.”

The Hwasong-14 is a mobile ICBM, while the Hwasong-15 is the first North Korean ballistic missile, which can theoretically reach all of the U.S. mainland. The Hwasong-17 is a two-stage ICBM.

Observers admitted the North’s capability of making missiles fly higher and longer, but they cast suspicious eyes on its re-entry technology.

“To master the re-entry technologies, North Korea should set up ground test facilities. But the country does not have them,” Kim said.

A Sejong Institute researcher agreed.

“North Korea strives to show off its military power after the new president took office in South Korea. What it really wants is to gain the recognition as a nuclear power,” said the researcher who asked not to be named.

“But there are suspicions on whether the North really built lighter and slimmer nuclear warheads and the country’s ICBM would really work.”

Indeed, North Korea made military provocations after the inauguration of the Yoon Suk-yeol administration early last month by firing long-range missiles.

Just after U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to Seoul late last month, the country test-launched a suspected ICBM and two shorter-range missiles into the sea.

This month, the communist country test-launched a record eight ballistic missiles on a single day.

Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies, noted that the United States and its allies had come up with suspicions about North Korean ICBMs.

“To be a successful ICBM with nuclear warheads, it has to meet three requirements of flying some 15,000 kilometers, having the re-entry technology, and exploding at the right height,” Yang said.

“The North showed off the first requirement in a video clip, but not the second and third ones. Hence, there are doubts about them.”

Yang guessed that North Korea would also have the second and third capabilities, although the technological level might be somewhat low from the perspective of the United States.


https://www.facebook.com/sharer.php...rth-korea-have-12-icbms-with-nuclear-warheads
 

jward

passin' thru
China to strike US bases in Indo-Pacific, aircraft carriers in war over Taiwan

Every Pentagon war game has shown the PLA beating America with its biggest arsenal of longest-range missiles


Aninda Dey June 19, 2022 19:59:18 IST



The sabre-rattling and muscle-flexing between the People’s Republic of China and the United States over Taiwan reached boiling point in the last few weeks.
After US President Joe Biden said in Japan on 23 May that America would militarily intervene if China tries to annex the island country by force, a furious Beijing shot back within hours warning America to be “cautious in words and deeds” and asking it to “earnestly follow the ‘One China principle”.

The White House immediately denied any change in its ‘Once China’ policy — i.e. that the Republic of China, or Taiwan, is part of China — in another denial of Biden’s oft-repeated gaffes on military intervention on Taiwan’s behalf, including the one made during a CNN town hall in October 2021.
The very next day, while Biden was attending a Quad summit in Tokyo, four Chinese and two Russian strategic bombers, Xian H-6s and Tu-95s, and an Il-20 electronic intelligence aircraft conducted a joint patrol over the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan for several hours in a show of strength.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has often said that Beijing could use military force for an “unavoidable” reunification with Taiwan, whose “independence is a reversal of history and a dead-end road”.
File image of Chinese president Xi Jinping. AP
Chinese defence minister Wei Fenghe reiterated Xi’s stand during a meeting with his US counterpart Lloyd Austin at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on 10 June. Warning the US defence secretary that China would “not hesitate to start a war”, he said, “Taiwan is China’s Taiwan... If anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese Army will definitely not hesitate to start a war no matter the cost.” In an aggressive speech delivered to the summit on 12 June, Wei repeated China’s determination to “fight to the very end” to stop Taiwanese independence.

PLA has transformed by learning from US wars
Though the possibility of a Chinese attack on Taiwan and an American counterattack is remote for now, notwithstanding Biden’s gaffes or statements on Taiwan, the US will think several times before engaging with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Though the Taiwan Relations Act, 1959, states that the US shall “maintain the capacity” to resist any “resort to force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardise the security or social or economic system of the people of Taiwan”, military intervention by America against China would be agonisingly long and catastrophic for the region.
“Neither Beijing nor Washington is likely to have the upper hand after the first week of the conflict, suggesting that it would eventually become a protracted conflict,” according to Washington DC-based think tank Centre for a New American Security (CNAS), which partnered with US lawmakers, former Pentagon officials and China experts in organising a 2027 hypothetical war game in April.

Raising the possibility of Beijing using nukes, the CNAS warned: “The war game demonstrated how quickly the conflict may escalate with China and the United States crossing red lines.”
By the time the Russia-Ukraine War gets over, Beijing would have gained sufficient knowledge from the military mistakes of Moscow, its logistical nightmare and lack of coordination in the initial phase of the war, how to prevent them and plan a fool-proof attack on Taiwan — like it did after the two Iraq wars.
Why Russia has been unable to defeat Ukraine despite gaining enough combat experience in Georgia, Chechnya, Syria and Crimea will be a valuable lesson for China. In fact, according to reports, Chinese military experts are discussing the reasons for the initial Russian setbacks and offering suggestions.

China will learn from Russia’s miscalculation in the urban warfare in Ukraine before launching a ground attack considering that Taiwan’s 24 million population is concentrated in dense urban areas like the capital Taipei. Besides, the vast difference between the size of Taiwan (36,197 sq km) and Ukraine (603,548 sq km) will be another factor in China’s favour with its forces not facing the same difficulties in controlling areas as faced by Russia.

“I’m sure the PLA is learning from what they’re seeing [in Ukraine],” Thomas Shugart, a former US Navy submarine captain and now an analyst at the Centre for a New American Security, told CNN. “You can read open-source translations of their strategic documents. They learned very carefully from what we did in Desert Storm and Kosovo.”
One of the earliest war games planned by American nonprofit global policy think tank RAND Corporation in the early 2000s to find out the winner in a US-China confrontation over Taiwan 10 years later revealed that Beijing would use what the Pentagon refers to as A2/AD (anti-access, area denial) to prevent an Iraq-like American military build-up.
RAND came to this conclusion after studying classified US intelligence on Beijing’s military plans and weapons programmes that also showed how Beijing had minutely studied the two Iraq wars and transformed the PLA.

Before Operation Desert Storm, the PLA’s military strategy mainly focussed on countering the enemy with its massive ground forces. The US coordination between its army, air force and navy and allies, the ‘shock and awe’ techniques that pulverised the Iraqi military, the precision bombing, the electronic warfare, and a modern command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) system jolted China.
In 1993, then-president Jiang Zemin coined the phrase “local wars under modern conditions” — a development of Deng Xiaoping’s term ‘local war’ — and directed the PLA to rehaul itself on the lines of the US techniques used in the Gulf War. His successor Hu Jintao went further and asked the Red Army to “win local wars under informationised conditions”.
In the next two decades, “informationised warfare” became the guiding force of the PLA’s metamorphosis into a modern, tech-savvy military with an extensive focus on cyber, space and electromagnetic warfare — especially under Xi. In 2015, Xi announced the reduction of the 2.3 million-strong PLA by 300,000 troops to establish the PLA Strategic Support Force, the cyber, space and electronic warfare service branch.

David Ochmanek, a senior RAND analyst and former deputy assistant secretary of defence for force development, remarked that the US was defeated by China in every Taiwan war game because “in that scenario, time is a precious commodity and it plays to China’s strength in terms of proximity and capabilities”.
In case of any conflict with the US, the PLA will rely on its space and airborne surveillance and reconnaissance, gigantic arsenal of precision-guided longest-range missiles, submarines, militarised man-made islands in the South China Sea (SCS), PLA Air Force (PLAAF) and PLA Navy — which is the largest in the world with 360 combat ships as against 300 of the US — to attack the American bases in Western Pacific (Guam) and the Indian Ocean (Diego Garcia), ports and aircraft carriers in the region.

Another “eye-opening” Pentagon war game based on 2030 showed in 2020 that the US would not be able to defend Taiwan from a Chinese invasion and suffer “capital losses” with the PLA targeting Guam. US defence sources told The Times that every US base in the Indo-Pacific is at risk of a Chinese attack.
Taiwan is the “most volatile issue” between the two superpowers, Bonnie Glaser, director of the China power project at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), told The Times and warned that the problem could trigger a nuclear war.
In 2018 and 2020, two other war games showed the same results with China targeting Guam. The 2018 war game revealed that the US military will lose fast if it doesn’t change course considering the Chinese advancement in military technology and missiles.
“After the 2018 war game, I distinctly remember one of our gurus of war gaming standing in front of the Air Force secretary and chief of staff and telling them that we should never play this war game scenario [of a Chinese attack on Taiwan] again because we know what is going to happen,” Lieutenant General S Clinton Hinote, deputy chief of staff for strategy, integration and requirements, United States Air Force (USAF), told Yahoo News in an exclusive interview in March 2021.

In the September 2020 war game, less than a year after the Covid-19 outbreak, China used biological weapons to attack US bases and warships in the Indo-Pacific and invaded Taiwan under cover of a military exercise like the Russian build-up ahead of the Ukraine invasion. The simulation ended with Chinese missiles hitting US bases and warships in the region and an aerial blitzkrieg and amphibious onslaught on Taiwan.
Besides, considering that the Quad is not a NATO-like military alliance in the region, China will not face a united front of European nations like Russia is facing in Ukraine. Except for the US, the other members of the Quad, especially India, will not be willing to assist Taiwan.
On 11 June, Vice-Admiral Biswajit Dasgupta, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command, made it clear at the Shangri-La Dialogue that the Quad is “not a military alliance” for India.
Besides, it will be difficult to supply arms and ammunition to Taiwan because of its geographical proximity to China as Beijing could easily target the consignments. According to USAF General Mike Holmes, “With Ukraine, you have borders that you can move things across. Taiwan’s a long way off.”
 
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