Defence

Decoding the Korean Peninsula Missile Rhetoric

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Fiery rhetoric between North Korea and the U.S. adds risks to Korean peninsula tensions, but should not cause panic. Outside players should maximise the potential benefit of an established pattern of de-escalation in the fall. Christopher Green ICG They – and Pyongyang – should also back South Korea’s offers of dialogue. North Korea once again captured the world’s attention when it boldly warned that it is ready to fire missiles over Japan toward the U.S. territory of Guam. The unusually specific ... Read More »

North Korea, US playing dangerous game of chicken

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So far the war of words between Kim and Trump is just that – an exchange of fiery rhetoric. But the risk of ‘jaw-jaw’ turning into ‘war-war’ is deepening. Yoon Young-kwan Asia Times So far, the war between US President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un over the latter’s nuclear program has been fought only in words. But each turn of the rhetorical screw deepens the risk that, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, “jaw-jaw” could turn into “war… Last ... Read More »

Did Russia supply Ukrainian rocket engine to North Korea?

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Ukraine space agency says engine identical to their own, points finger at Russia Asia Unhedged Asia Times The mystery over how North Korea obtained powerful rocket engines for its last ICBM test deepened Wednesday after Ukraine’s state space agency said the rocket engine used is the same as the type of engine used by Ukraine-made space vehicles, according to UPI. UPI was picking up on a report from US government-funded Radio Free Asia which said Ukraine denied supplying the engines ... Read More »

Modi says India will fight foreign threats

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India can defend itself from anyone who seeks “to act against our country,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an Independence Day speech Aug. 15 amid a tense standoff with Beijing over a Himalayan plateau. NEW DELHI – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet “Security is our top priority,” Modi said in a speech before thousands at the landmark Red Fort in New Delhi as the country marked the 70th anniversary of the end of British colonial rule. “Be it the sea or ... Read More »

Warming Turkish-Russian ties, growing rift with West creates troubling scenario for NATO

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The U.S. and NATO alliance are getting mixed signals from Turkey at a time when Russia is increasingly warming to Ankara. Jeff Daniels CNBC Turkey’s relationship with the U.S. is considered the worst it’s been in more than a decade. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin both share a general suspicion and mistrust of the U.S., and the two leaders have discussed Moscow selling its S-400 air defense system to… Yet another concern is whether Turkey ... Read More »

Guam in Crosshairs of US and North Korean Wargames

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Many of the 163,000 residents of the tiny US territory of Guam are unnerved by North Korea’s threat to launch a mid-August attack that would create “an historic enveloping fire” around the… Lisa Remick Currency Solutions Others feel protected by the presence of 7,000 US soldiers on the island’s two US military bases, Anderson Air Force base and Naval Base Guam. Guam is the US’s strategic Pacific centre, with an arsenal including B-2 stealth bombers and nuclear-powered submarines capable of ... Read More »

N Korea considers missile strike on Guam amid ‘mini nuke’ reports

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orth Korea said on Aug. 9 that it is considering plans for a missile strike on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, just hours after President Donald Trump told the North that any threat to the United States would be met with “fire and fury.” GUAM/SEOUL – Reuters Hurriyet The tension comes at a time when the U.S. intelligence reportedly concludes that North Korea had made a breakthrough and could now build nuclear bombs small enough to fit on missiles. ... Read More »

North Korea is more rational than you think

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The assumption that the country is run by a lunatic is not only incorrect — it’s dangerous. Updated by Zeeshan Aleem Vox Would North Korea really fire a nuclear weapon at the US? As belligerent rhetoric between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un escalates to new heights, it’s a question that many Americans are asking themselves with increasing levels of fear and anxiety. Attacking the US with a nuke would seem completely reckless, since it would almost certainly ... Read More »

Turkey is trying to get an ATOMIC BOMB in secret weapons plan, warns expert

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TURKEY’S President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is attempting to get hold of an atomic bomb in a plot to build up the nation’s weapons, an expert has claimed. Rebecca Flood Express With tensions threatening to reach breaking point between the US and North Korea it has emerged Turkey could be trying to build up its weaponry as relations with the EU reach a new low.  In a worrying claim, an expert has warned Turkey is the next country looking to expand ... Read More »

[OPINION] Is Erdoğan’s Turkey after nuclear weapons?

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Considering the fact Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been emulating the Iranian model for some time, from investing in proxy groups for leverage and regime change to exporting the ruling party’s Islamist ideology overseas, one should not be surprised to find out that a clandestine program to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) including a nuclear device for deterrence is actually in the works. Abdullah Bozkurt Turkish Minute If it is any indication, the deliberate campaign to push ... Read More »

Can Boris Johnson deliver on his colossal naval expectations?

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Boris Johnson’s ebullient pronouncements last week on a future Royal Navy freedom of navigation ‘operation’ in the Indo-Pacific region have attracted attention, but also criticism. Euan Graham Interpreter At the press conference following the “2+2” meeting of Australian/UK defence and foreign ministers (AUKMIN), on 27 July, Mr Johnson initially said this: ‘One of the first things we will do with the two new colossal aircraft carriers that we have just built is send them on a freedom of navigation operation ... Read More »

US, NATO wait to see if Russia-Turkey defense deal goes through

Russia's Russian S-400 Triumph air defence missile system rides through Red Square in Moscow during the Victory Day military parade night training on May 3, 2017. 
Russia celebrates the 72nd anniversary of the 1945 victory over Nazi Germany on May 9 / AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV        (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Turkey’s plans to procure an advanced long-range air and missile defense system (LORAMIDS) has been dragging on for 10 years, but now it could be leading to a profound crisis of confidence between Turkey and the US-Western security blocs. Author:  Metin Gurcan  Translator: Timur Göksel The latest indicator was a July 23 statement by Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford at an Aspen, Colorado, security forum: “[Turkey has] not bought the S-400 air defense system from Russia. ... Read More »

Why is Turkey buying the Russian S-400 missile defence system?

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Why is Turkey buying the Russian S-400 missile defence system? TRT World and agencies Ali Topchi Turkey, which boasts the second-largest army in NATO, announced last week, on Tuesday, it had inked a deal to buy an S-400 (NATO version SA-21 Growler) missile defence system for $2-3 billion from Russia. The deal led NATO members to question Turkey’s move and what it means for their alliance with NATO. The parties did not share the details of the S-400 agreement due to its… Why is Turkey… Read More »

North Korea’s new ICBMs change little about threat to the US

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Pyongyang’s development of a missile capable of reaching most of the continental US is not a game-changer that everyday citizens should worry about. ROBERT E. MCCOY Asia Times North Korea’s launch of an ICBM (inter-continental ballistic missile) in early July, followed by another even longer-range missile 24 days later, has generated a lot of buzz. While the detailed analyses of those launches have yet to be published, we do know that both missiles are clearly of a class whose range is at least 3,400 ... Read More »

Chinese spy ships: The devil in the detail

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Recent posts in The Interpreter (by Iain Henry, Euan Graham and James Goldrick) have commented on the presence of a Chinese intelligence-gathering ship off the Queensland Coast during Exercise Talisman Sabre. Sam Bateman The Interpreter All these posts are broadly correct – the incident suggested Chinese hypocrisy with its objections to foreign military activities in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), specifically its objections to American surveillance and intelligence-collection in its EEZ. However, we need to be careful in making assessments ... Read More »

Japan joins US in imposing new sanctions on North Korea

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Foreign minister says assets of five groups, including two from China, to be frozen, as well as nine individuals. Source: Reuters news agency Al Jazeera Japan will impose additional sanctions on North Korea for its weapons programmes, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday, just hours after the US Senate also voted for new sanctions on the secretive state. US media reported this week that the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Pentagon spy agency, had assessed that North Korea would ... Read More »