Japan’s growing plutonium stockpile fuels fears

As said many times in the past, Japan can go nuclear within three months if it wishes. It’s already secretly working on them. The necessary materials are there and only assembly is required. All that’s needed is a catalyst.

Although it may be a farce, like the last 10-plus times it has committed to denuclearization, North Korea has slowed down the need. China at the moment is the flashpoint since it also controls North Korea, and is projecting its power throughout the Asia-Pacific and eventually into the Western Pacific.

 

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Japan has amassed enough plutonium to make 6,000 atomic bombs as part of a programme to fuel its nuclear plants, but concern is growing that the stockpile is vulnerable to terrorists and natural disasters.

Japan has long been the world’s only non-nuclear-armed country with a programme to reprocess spent nuclear fuel from its power plants into plutonium. Continue reading

North Korea asked Israel for $1 billion to stop giving missile technology to Iran

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North Korea offered to stop selling missile technology to Iran and other enemies of Israel in exchange for $1 billion in cash from the Jewish state, according to former senior North Korean diplomat who has now defected. The account of the offer can be read in Password from the Third Floor, a book published earlier this year by Thae Yong Ho. Thae, a member of a prominent North Korean family, defected with his wife and children in 2016, while he was serving as a senior member of the diplomatic staff of the North Korean embassy in London. News of Thae’s defection emerged on August 16, 2016, when a South Korean newspaper reported that he had disappeared from London after having escaped with his family “to a third country”. Thae later emerged in Seoul, from where he publicly denounced the North Korean regime. Continue reading

Taiwan Doubles Down On U.S. LNG

LNG vessel

LNG Vessel. Source: OilPrice

 

Taiwan, which has seen increased military exercises off its coast by Chinese forces this year, has just inked a major energy deal with a U.S. energy firm.

On Monday, Taiwan’s CPC Corp., a major LNG importer, announced a preliminary deal to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from U.S. based LNG producer Cheniere Energy for a period of 25 years. CPC signed a Heads of Agreement to purchase 2 million tonnes of LNG annually from the major gas exporter, which is gearing up to start exports from its second export plant at Corpus Christi, Texas. Continue reading

War Games in the Pacific

WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) – German soldiers will soon participate in maneuvers in the Pacific and will be on hand as observers on patrols in the South China Sea, according to announcements by the US Navy and the French Minister of Defense, Florence Parly. At a top-level conference in Singapore last weekend, Parly declared that Paris will dispatch warships to the South China Sea in the next few days and will also navigate through the territorial waters of Islands China claims as its territory. According to Parly, German military observers will embark on these ships. At the same time, German soldiers are preparing their participation in the US led RIMPAC 2018 maneuver, taking place mainly near Hawaii. RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise. During RIMPAC 2016 German soldiers trained in “liberating” an island, which, according to the scenario, was held by the “Draco” militia. “Draco” is the Latin term for “dragon” – a symbol for China.

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Lying in Wait

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PYONGYANG/BERLIN (Own report) – Taking advantage of North Korea’s strategic reorientation, Germany’s FDP-affiliated Friedrich Naumann Foundation is resuming its activities in that country. Recently, the North Korean leadership officially ended its policy of a balanced build up of its military and the economy, to prioritize the country’s economy, a move, experts note, President Kim Jong Un had been seeking to make for years. However, he initially prioritized the development of the nuclear deterrence capability, to safeguard against a possible US attack. He is now seeking to have UN sanctions lifted, to allow foreign companies into the country. Important steps have already been made. Possibly the Naumann Foundation – which had established contacts to Pyongyang already in 2002 and in 2004 organized a workshop on the country’s “economic modernization” – also played a role. Its activities should now intensify. German companies, according to reports, are “lying in wait”.

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Russia’s Navy Establishes Permanent Presence in Mediterranean Sea

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Russian President Vladimir Putin said a naval standing force, including warships with Kalibr long-range land attack cruise missiles, will be permanently deployed in the Mediterranean Sea. The statement was made at a meeting with top military officials and defense industry leaders that took place in Sochi on May 16. One of the missions is delivering strikes against terrorist targets in Syria. 102 expeditions of ships and submarines are planned in 2018. The force will go through intensive training.

The Russian Black Sea Fleet has become a much different force in comparison to what it was just three years ago. Since 2015, the year the operation in Syria was launched, it has received 15 new ships, including two frigates and six conventional submarines armed with Kalibr cruise missiles. With S-400 and S-300V4 air defense systems, Krasukha-4 electronic warfare systems and shore-based anti-ship Bastion batteries deployed on the Syrian coast, the ships in Eastern Mediterranean operate in a relatively safe environment. Kalibr missiles have already been fired from frigates and submarines at terrorist targets in Syria. Continue reading

N. Korea will never fully give up nuclear weapons: top defector

North Korea will never completely give up its nuclear weapons, a top defector said ahead of leader Kim Jong Un’s landmark summit with US President Donald Trump next month.

The current whirlwind of diplomacy and negotiations will not end with “a sincere and complete disarmament” but with “a reduced North Korean nuclear threat”, said Thae Yong-ho, who fled his post as the North’s deputy ambassador to Britain in August 2016.

“In the end, North Korea will remain ‘a nuclear power packaged as a non-nuclear state’,” Thae told the South’s Newsis news agency. Continue reading

US cannot stop China’s innovation advancements

It would appear that the US is seriously worried about China’s technological advancements. Fearing the loss of the last comparative advantage over the Asian superpower has caused a genuine concern over national defense and competitiveness among America’s ruling elite.

The US using every possible means to curb Asia’s technological rise, including the banning of sales of essential chips to ZTE for seven years, invoking Section 301 of the Trade Act to investigate China’s “unfair trade practices” and barring investment in the information-technology sector. The Donald Trump administration’s target might be the Asian power’s “Made in China 2025”, a strategy meant to make China self-sufficient in an array of technologies.

The 301 investigation was meant to slow down China’s technological advancements by imposing stiff tariffs on a host of Chinese imports and barring the sales of US technology to Chinese firms. In addition, the anti-China faction of the US Congress and the Trump administration have barred Chinese investment in technology sectors. Continue reading

China using students as spies

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The 350,000 Chinese students in the U.S. “are here legitimately and doing great research and helping the global economy,” said Bill Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, but others are used as tools to facilitate nefarious activity. (Associated Press/File)

 

A senior U.S. counterintelligence official recently said publicly what many officials and experts have been warning privately for years: China is using its large student population in the United States to spy.

Bill Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, a DNI agency, said recently that China poses a broad-ranging foreign intelligence threat that includes the use of academics, students, cyberespionage and human agents to steal secrets from the government and private sectors.

“I look at the China threat from a counterintelligence perspective as a whole-of-government threat by China against us,” Mr. Evanina told a conference last week at The Aspen Institute.

“We allow 350,000 or so Chinese students here every year,” he said. “That’s a lot. We have a very liberal visa policy for them. Ninety-nine point nine percent of those students are here legitimately and doing great research and helping the global economy. But it is a tool that is used by the Chinese government to facilitate nefarious activity here in the U.S.” Continue reading

Here’s Why Kim Jong-un Suspended Nuke Testing

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The South China Morning Post, citing two separate groups of Chinese scientists, reports that Mount Mantap—into which the Hermit Kingdom had been burrowing to set off test detonations—has collapsed, putting the entire region “at unprecedented risk of radioactive exposure.”

The report states:

“One group of researchers found that the most recent blast tore open a hole in the mountain, which then collapsed upon itself. A second group concluded that the breakdown created a ‘chimney’ that could allow radioactive fallout from the blast zone below to rise into the air.” Continue reading

The US Fading into Irrelevance – A Good Thing for the World

 

Chaos reigns in the United States, spreading to its closest allies. The war amongst Western elites is in full swing, manifesting itself from commercial wars to failed diplomacy, empty threats of war, corruption, and announced military withdrawals and attacks.

To sum up the last few weeks of international events, it is worth comparing the direction taken by the multipolar troika of Russia, China and Iran, and the one taken by the fading unipolar order led by the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Continue reading

Why the blind spot for China by the American intelligentsia?

Communist North Korea’s first dictator Kim Il-Sung, left, with Communist China’s first dictator Mao Zedong in 1961.

 

China remains the darling of western, particularly American, intellectuals and academicians even though under President Xi Jinping it’s reverting to the dictatorial habits of the era of Mao Zedung.

The system is not only incredibly corrupt but also authoritarian. We hear constantly about suppression of free speech, of the arrests of those speaking out against the regime or against particular policies, while serious dissent and political opposition is simply not possible.

The same intellectuals who once berated the U.S. for not moving closer to China, for remaining suspicious of Chinese motives and intentions, for objecting to the role of the Communist Party in a system masked in secrecy, have little to say about the real nature of the regime of Xi Jinping.

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Ayatollah Khamenei is lone nuclear holdout after Kim’s invitation to Trump

 

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un invitation to meet US President Donald Trump to talk about denuclearization has left Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei high and dry. He is now the only world ruler still holding out against discussing his country’s nuclear program. Instead, the ayatollah using it as muscle for trying to impose Iran’s will on the United States in the Middle East. “Rocket man” in Pyongyang may have factored into his provocative policies the inevitability of having to face Trump at some point to discuss terms for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, while preserving his regime. His escalations were countered by the pressure of biting world sanctions, in the imposition of which even China was active. Now, Khamenei can no longer escape the realization that he will have to face the US and renegotiate the changes Trump is demanding for filling in the loopholes in the nuclear deal which Tehran signed with six world powers in 2015. Continue reading

Trump agrees to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, South Korea says

President Trump responds to a question from a reporter after signing a presidential proclamation on steel and aluminum tariffs Thursday. (Photo: MICHAEL REYNOLDS, EPA-EFE)

 

WASHINGTON — President Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May for high-level talks over the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, a South Korean official said outside the White House Thursday.

The extraordinary and unexpected opening came through shuttle diplomacy by a South Korean delegation arriving in Washington Thursday. Trump heralded the development as a “major announcement” after speaking with the South Korean president. Continue reading

Trump says South Korea will make major announcement on North Korea

Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump told reporters Thursday that South Korea will make a “major announcement” concerning North Korea at 7 p.m. ET.

It was not immediately clear what the South Korean announcement would entail, but it came after a South Korean delegation came to the White House to brief officials on its most recent talks with North Korea — the most significant talks between the two countries in more than a decade.

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