US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel announced yesterday that the Pentagon would expand the number of ground-based, anti-ballistic missile interceptors deployed in the Asia Pacific region by nearly 50 percent by 2017. An additional 14 interceptors would be based at Fort Greely in Alaska on top of 26 already in place. Another three are already stationed in California.
Hagel seized on North Korea’s nuclear test last month and its satellite launch in December as the pretext for the expansion of US anti-ballistic missile systems. “North Korea, in particular, has recently made advances in its capabilities and has engaged in a series of irresponsible and reckless provocations,” he said.
These comments are completely cynical. The Obama administration is exploiting North Korea’s limited nuclear and missile capability to justify the build-up of sophisticated anti-missile systems throughout the Asia Pacific region that are aimed primarily at countering China’s nuclear arsenal.
In response to additional UN Security Council sanctions earlier this month, the North Korean regime declared that it had the right to defend itself, including through “a pre-emptive nuclear attack against the headquarters of the aggressor.” The Obama administration, however, simply dismissed the threat. Neither Hagel nor any Pentagon official has suggested that Pyongyang actually has the ability to carry out such an attack on Washington.
March 17, 2013
Residents of a South Korean island closest to the tense sea border with North Korea have shrugged off a warning from Pyongyang urging them to flee ahead of “thunderous attacks”, an official said on Sunday.
The North’s official website, Uriminzokkiri, told residents of five islands south of the border to leave, warning of “devastating consequences” if recent cross-border tension escalates into a full-scale conflict.
“The wisest choice when the fire of thunder rains down on you is running afar,” it said in an editorial published late Friday.
Why has North Korea withdrawn from an armistice agreement that has kept overt hostilities on the Korean peninsula at bay since 1953? Does the withdrawal portend an imminent North Korean aggression?
Hardly. North Korea is in no position to launch an attack on its Korean neighbour, or on the United States, at least not one that it would survive. North Korean forces are dwarfed by the US and South Korean militaries in size, sophistication and fire-power. The withdrawal serves, instead, as a signal of North Korean resolve to defend itself against growing US and South Korean harassment, both military and economic
Bumbling and gaffe-prone, Major General Mao Xinyu has become the laughingstock for a country with increasingly mixed attitudes towards its most celebrated leader.
HONG KONG — Mao Zedong’s grandson just can’t catch a break.
The most-mocked man at China’s annual rubber-stamp congress—which is wrapping up this week in Beijing—was in some respects also its most privileged.
The only living grandson of the “Great Helmsman,” Major General Mao Xinyu, 43, once again served as the butt of jokes about his girth, his intellect, and his career, which even he has admitted owes something to his name.
On Weibo, China’s Twitter, thousands shared a photo of the beefy man in his ill-fitting military uniform with this caption:
“My mom told me since I was little that a military uniform looks good on everyone. When she saw this picture, she finally admitted defeat.”
Mao’s attendance as a delegate to the China Consultative People’s Congress, an advisory body, is a regular bounty for Chinese media. Several years ago, he got so confused trying to dodge reporters that he lost track of his car.
At this year’s congress, he made headlines by calling for more “democratic rights and powers of oversight” for ordinary Chinese people, and submitting a proposal to apply Mao Zedong’s strategic ideas to cyberwarfare.
“Please take my proposal seriously,” he said, according to state-run media. “I took much time in preparing it.”
March 16, 2013 – WASHINGTON – The United States will deploy 14 additional ground-based missile interceptors (GBIs) to combat the nuclear attack threats from North Korea and Iran, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said today during a press briefing. “The United States stands firm against aggression,” Hagel said. Hagel cited North Korea’s recent test of a “rogue, mobile intercontinental ballistic missile” as a reason to beef up the United States’ missile defense system. In addition to the GBIs, the United States will also add one more radar in Japan and is conducting environmental studies to determine the feasibility of another interceptor missile site. “The American people expect us to protect them,” Hagel said, adding that they also expect them to do it in a cost-effective manner. Hagel was asked if he was confident that the interceptor missiles could stop a nuclear weapon from striking the U.S. He said that before the 14 additional interceptors are deployed, the U.S. will do additional testing. However, he said, “the American people should be assured our interceptors are effective.” Hagel said they expect the interceptors to be deployed by 2017. Thirty of them are already deployed in California and Alaska. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is set to announce that the United States will beef up its missile defense system in response to nuclear attack threats from North Korea, Reuters, Fox and CNN are reporting quoting an unnamed “defense official.” As we’ve reported, this has been a week of “inflamed rhetoric from North Korea,” which has unilaterally scrapped the 1953 armistice that ended open warfare on the peninsula and threatened a preemptive nuclear strike on the U.S. “The bottom line is that we just don’t know where Pyongyang’s capabilities lie. These tests might represent lighter and smaller weapons. The North could be lying about that, but then again, maybe they aren’t. As we think about our homeland missile-defense posture, we do not have a ‘just-in-time’ policy,” Miller said, according to the AP. “Our policy is to stay ahead of the threat — and to continue to ensure that we are ahead of any potential future Iranian or North Korean ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) capability.”
DEBKAfile March 15, 2013, 9:35 PM (GMT+02:00)
The US will deploy 14 additional ground-based missile interceptors in Alaska and California following a North Korean threat of a preemptive missile strike against America. US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Friday: “These additional GBIs will provide a nearly 50% increase in our missile defense capability.” There are currently 26 interceptors based in Alaska, and four at California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base. The added missiles were part of a Bush administration plan that was scrapped by President Obama in 2009.
DEBKAfile: Although Obama admitted Thursday that Iran could achieve a nuclear weapon within a year, he last year dismantled the European segment of the US missile shield against Iran although it was part of the US defense system protecting Israel.
March 15, 2013
A military officer has anonymously tipped the Yonhap news agency that North Korea “test fired” two short range missiles into the East Sea Friday.
“The launch was seen as testing its capability for short-range missiles. It seemed to be conducted on a military-unit level, not at a national level,” the source told Yonhap.
This doesn’t just underscore tensions between North and South, but between hawkish generals and their young leader, Kim Jong-Un. “Not at the national level” but on a “military-unit” level seems to imply that the dictator did not order the test.
By Shepard Ambellas
March 15, 2013
NORTH KOREA — A nuclear test back in February prompted the UN to prepare sanctions on Pyongyang, which in turn escalated into threats last week of a preemptive nuclear strike on the United States.
Friday North Korea pushed further, firing test rockets into the Sea of Japan.
Reportedly, experts claim that North Korea simply does not have capabilities to reach the CONUS (Continental United States) with nuclear tipped ICBM’s at this time.
In response to the threat Washington piped up with an announcement, as the US government plans to add 14 missile interception stations in Alaska to beef up our nations defenses. This plan if approved by congress will cost at least $1 billion in US taxpayer dollars, a price tag most Americans won’t like.
This all came from a Friday announcement by Chuck Hagel the US Defense Secretary.
North Korea is likely to continue to provoke and test the mettle of the US and it’s allies based on their current track record.
Of the 2,956 delegates of China’s parliament present, 2,952 voted for Mr. Xi, one against
The Communist Party of China’s new leader Xi Jinping was on Thursday formally appointed as China’s President, bringing to a conclusion the party’s four month-long, carefully choreographed, once-in-ten year leadership transition.
Mr. Xi (59), who was chosen as the CPC’s General Secretary in November, was approved by the National People’s Congress, a largely rubber-stamp Parliament, in an elaborate selection process at the Great Hall of the People here on Thursday morning.
Of the NPC’s 2,963 delegates, 2,956 were present and cast their ballot, with 2,952 voting for Mr. Xi. One vote was recorded against him, and three representatives did not cast their vote.
As the results were announced, the CPC General Secretary bowed before the Congress and shook the hand of his predecessor Hu Jintao, who will now step down after a decade in office that saw an unprecedented rise in China’s economic and global influence, but also left behind a range of challenges for his successors from corruption in the party and environmental pollution to rising inequality.
Mr. Xi, in the months since taking over as the head of the party, has been quick to consolidate his control, starting with pushing forward ambitious administrative reforms, approved by the NPC on Thursday, to reduce the number of Cabinet-level ministries with an aim to increase efficiency in the government.
The new leader has also shown a markedly different leadership style from Mr. Hu. He has already carved out a more populist image – for instance, by launching a high-profile campaign against government waste and extravagance. He also appeared to pay greater attention to his public image, particularly by being mindful of China’s growing and increasingly influential Internet community.
March 14, 2013 00:30
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has overseen a live-fire artillery drill near the disputed sea border with South Korea, state media said Thursday as the South’s prime minister visited the flashpoint area.
The Yellow Sea border has witnessed bloody North-South clashes in the past and, with military tensions at their highest level for years, is seen as the prime location for another confrontation.
It was not immediately clear when Kim supervised the live-fire drill. He made an inspection tour of the same artillery units last week that was widely covered by state TV and the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
During the latest drill, “shells intensively hit the imaginary targets of the enemy while the roar of the artillery pieces rocked heaven and earth”, KCNA said.
“A modern war is an artillery war,” Kim was quoted as saying.
North Korea has threatened to unleash a second Korean War — backed by nuclear weapons — in response to UN sanctions imposed after its third atomic test in February and joint South Korea-US military manoeuvres.
In this age of manufactured terror, one of the most vital regions on the global chessboard is also an area that few in the West know anything about: Central Asia. This geostrategic and resource-rich area on the doorstep of China and Russia finds itself in the middle of an all out terror campaign. But, as key national intelligence whistleblowers are pointing out, these terrorists are working hand-in-glove with NATO. This is the GRTV Backgrounder on Global Research TV.
Ever since the staged false flag attacks of 9/11, the US government and its complicit corporate media have focused their attention on fighting the shadowy, all-pervasive, all-powerful, ill-defined and undefeatable “Al Qaeda” enemy that is supposedly menacing the US and its allies at home and abroad. The term “Al Qaeda” of course is merely a cipher for “excuse to invade.” In the case of Afghanistan, for instance, the US used the threat of Al Qaeda as the excuse for their 12 year long invasion and occupation of the country. In Libya and Syria, the US and its allies are supporting those same self-described Al Qaeda-affiliated fighters. The ruse has long since become obvious.
Russia Starts Preparing for Zapad-2013 War Games
MOSCOW: This week the Russian Defense Ministry will start preparing for large-scale joint strategic military exercises with Belarus, scheduled for fall of 2013, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Monday.
“Strategic command and staff drills, to be held by [Russian] military districts this week, mark the first step in preparation for the Zapad-2013 exercises with Belarus,” Shoigu said at a Defense Ministry meeting.
Russia and Belarus approved the schedule for Zapad-2013 drills in October last year.
The exercises will be held in September and will focus on practicing defense of the Russia-Belarus Union State in response to the deployment of a US missile shield in Europe.
The two-stage drills, which will also involve “rapid-reaction” units from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), will take place in Russia and Belarus.
Moscow and Minsk held similar large-scale military exercises in September 2009. They involved about 12,500 servicemen and up to 200 pieces of military hardware.
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