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Showing posts from May 16, 2017

Why Is North Korea the United States’ Problem?

The price of America’s reflexive defense of populous and prosperous allies is getting much higher.

By Doug Bandow
SEOUL, REPUBLIC OF KOREA—Just 30 or so miles from the Demilitarized Zone, which separates South and North Korea, sits Seoul, the political, industrial, and population heart of the Republic of Korea. It remains vulnerable to North Korean attack, but is as chaotic as usual. Lately it has been convulsed by a domestic political crisis, leading to the election of a new left-wing president, Moon Jae-in, and foreign-policy challenges, including China’s economic assault in retaliation for deployment of the THAAD missile defense system. Even more threatening, however, may be the Trump administration’s confrontational stance toward the North. So far most South Koreans assume President Donald Trump is bluffing with his threats of war. Even so, tensions between the South and U.S. are likely to rise, since President Moon advocates a much more conciliatory policy toward Pyongyang. Moreover…

#FROMTHEFRONT#SYRIA 16.05.2017 - 734 views 5 (4 votes) US TO PROVIDE ANTITANK WEAPONS TO KURDISH FORCES IN SYRIA – WSJ

A YPG fighter raises a YPG flag over a barrier in Tel al-Aghbish village, which they retook control of from IS. Source: Reuters The US is going to provide antitank weapons to Kurdish forces (YPG and YPJ) in Syria, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing US officials. The article insists that the move will allow Kurdish fighters to counter amoured vehicles used by ISIS terrorists for suicide bombings. Kurdish militias are a core of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that are now advancing against ISIS in the Raqqah countryside. At the same time, it’s clear that modern weapons supplies to Kurdish militias will increase their capabilities in case of of an open conflict with pro-Turkish militant groups in northern Syria or even with the Turkish military. Ankara describes YPG and YPJ as terrorist groups linked with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) operating in southern Turkey. Earlier this month, the Trump administration announced that it will provide direc…

CIA OPENS NEW CENTER TO COUNTER MILITARY THREATS COMING FROM NORTH KOREA

Picture: AP The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has established a Korea Mission Center, which it says will focus on dealing with advancements in North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. “Creating the Korea Mission Center allows us to more purposefully integrate and direct CIA efforts against the serious threats to the United States and its allies emanating from North Korea,” CIA Director Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Wednesday. The mission center would be run by “experienced officers from across the Agency.” “A veteran CIA operations officer has been selected as the new Assistant Director for Korea and presides over the Mission Center.  The new Mission Center will work closely with the Intelligence Community and the entire U.S. national security community,” the statement reads. The center was established amid tensions in the Korean Peninsula. Earlier this year, the Trump administration expanded their military and diplomatic activity over the Nortn Korean nuclea…

NORTH KOREA’S MISSILE PROGRAM PROGRESSING FASTER THAN EXPECTED

The North Korea missile program is progressing faster than expected, South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-koo said on Tuesday. He told the parliament that the Sunday missile test was successfull and pointed out that North Korea’s missile program was developing faster than the South had expected. “It is considered an IRBM (intermediate range ballistic missile) of enhanced caliber compared to Musudan missiles that have continually failed,” the minister said. Earlier, the UN Security Council warned it may hit North Korea with a new round of sanctions in response to its missile tests and blaimed blamed the country for stirring up regional tension. The council also urged Pyongyang to stop its nuclear and ballistic missile activity. “The members of the Security Council agreed that the Security Council would continue to closely monitor the situation and take further significant measures including sanctions, in line with the Council’s previously expressed determination,” the UN Security Cou…

UKRAINE BANS RUSSIAN SOCIAL NETWORKS AND WEB SRVICES

The Vkontakte home page Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a decree imposing sanctions on a number of Russian companies, including Vkontakte (VK.com) and Odnoklasniki (OK.ru), two the most visited social networks in the post-Soviet states. The decree also banned Russian IT company Yandex (offers search engine, maps and various apps for smartphones), anti-virus software makers Kaspersky Lab and DrWeb and some Russian media and TV channels. The current “blacklist” of Russian companies includes 1,228 individuals and 468 companies.