Category:International

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North Korea

Weapons program

Tremor detected near North Korea nuclear site, North Korea announces hydrogen bomb test, BBC, Jan. 5/6, 2016;

Lenta.ru

North Korea H-bomb claim is unverified, no independent confirmation at this point. Low yield explosion, 4-10 kT was an estimate.

From-underwater missile launch video (said to be a failure quoting Western sources)--Resup (talk) 16:06, 9 January 2016 (UTC)

N. Korea Claims Successful Test of Submarine-Fired Missile, NY Times, by Associated Press, 23 Apr 2016 --Resup (talk) 13:47, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

Aljazeera, has some photo (origin unclear)
What to look for in North Korea's fifth nuclear test, BBC, Sept. 9, 2016
North Korea's 'higher-level' nuclear test explosion sets the region on edge, LA Times, Sept. 9, 2016
North Korea announces successful nuclear warhead test — Korean Central News Agency, TASS (Eng.), Sept. 9, 2016

Female troops

Party/Kim Jong-un approved, Donald's Miss World worthy, all-female quality pop/classic band Moranbong failed honey-trapping attempts documented here:

Kim Jong Nam assassination in Malaysia

NK Special Tactical Forces

  • NK Special Tactical Forces were shown off at the parade, 15 Apr. 2017, with night vision and, apparently, Kalashnikovs with large capacity screw motion magazines (шнековый магазин). Report-RIA, 17 Apr. 2017, and training video (this one from Sep 4, 2016).

US strike group

9 Apr. 2017 Carl Vinson Strike Group Departs Singapore for Western Pacific

+ see your favorite MSM for more.

OPLAN 5027

OPLAN 5027 is said to be a set of US-South Korea operation plans in case of North Korea attack. (There is also OPLAN 5029, and who-knows-what).

Russian maneuvers

12 Apr. 2017. Maneuvers, with east-and-west fly-by in neutral waters around Japan, involving Tu 142 (maritime/anti-submarine version of the 'Bear' Tu 95 (launching missiles here) . It is also said that as part of training exercise Mig 31 'intercepted a cruise missile of a possible adversary in stratosphere', ant large anti-submarine ships "Admiral Panteleyev" and "Admiral Vinogradov" repelled a training air attack.

13 Apr. 2017 Deputy Defense Minister General of the Army of Russia, Dmitry Bulgakov has arrived in Khabarovsk Krai near North Korea to inspect troops (liveuamap)(eng.mil.ru)

14 Apr. 2017 Russia has reportedly moved military vehicles, including air defense systems (9K33 Osa?) into Vladivostok, a city not far from the border with North Korea (already-happened.com). This movement could be due to incoming Military Parade (9 May, Russia; 15 Apr, NK)

15 Apr. 2017. Photos from a military parade in North Korea shows ballistic missiles, anti-aircraft systems

Parade videos: (8:32 length) (2:23:51) (Putin dominating Obama cartoon somewhere midway...)
Military parade reveals North Korea’s new road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles- defence-blog.com

Further developments

25 Apr. 2017. USS Michigan arrived in the port city of Busan, South Korea as North Korea marked the 85th anniversary of the founding of its military with massive live-fire drill

26 Apr. 2017 'Secret briefing on Trump’s Korea plan', all 100 senators summoned to the White House The Times

(Also: big tax cut plans announced, markets rally, etc.)

28 Apr. "There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely," Trump told Reuters in an Oval Office interview ahead of his 100th day. "We'd love to solve things diplomatically but it's very difficult," , as quoted by Reuters.

July 28, 2017. ICBM launch: RT (2:24) , DPRK Nordic (10:54).

  • The US says it will not call for a UN Security Council meeting over North Korea's missile tests because it would produce "nothing of consequence" (not enough support by Russia and/or China?)
  • Russia expresses 'great concern' but against 'economic strangulation' at UNSC; supports joint with China plan via more negotiations. (May be related to itself being under sanctions.)

August 5, 2017 UNSC unanimously adopted US-drafted resolution. Russia tried to add 'no regime change clause' but it did not work, so they left it with an audio/media warning

August 8, 2017 With the latest spat and weapons program development, heading into a difficult situation. Sanctions won't change behavior quickly. Support from Russia and China is at most lukewarm, and even that, not for granted (some Russian ex-mil, and nationalists, are openly critical, not surprisingly in present climate). Using hard power, not impossible, but is it affordable? --Not on my watch, thankfully --Resup (talk) 01:23, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

Liberal US media:

  • Only Morons Believe What The US Government Says About North Korea -Caitlin Johnstone, Medium, 8 August, 2017
  • Why North Korea Needs Nukes - And How To End That - b, Moon of Alabama, 14 April, 2017, and quoting Xinhua, 3 March, 2017
    A point missed is NK cat-and-mouse tactics of mischief followed by a fix, and steady progress of weapons development in the background. US diplomacy tried but was unable to fix the problem, and it's getting late in the day now. Greater and higher quality international cooperation could have solved it, but it did not happen in the past and momentum goes opposite way at this point. In particular Russia, with its dual Western-Eastern mindset, not just Eastern like Koreas and China, could have played a crucial role here, under right circumstances (+many NK weapons are derivative from Soviet, too);-- but it's far from automatic, and I do not see those circumstances currently in place, at all (modulo any behind the scenes miracles--but climate is not right here too). --Resup (talk) 21:10, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

Illiberal US media recommends the opposite.

KPA Will Take Practical Action: Commander of Strategic Force -www.kcna.kp/, published 10 Aug, stated on 9 Aug, 2017

  • The Hwasong-12 rockets to be launched by the KPA will cross the sky above Shimane, Hiroshima and Kochi Prefectures of Japan. They will fly 3,356.7 km for 1 065 seconds and hit the waters 30 to 40 km away from Guam.

"КНДР нам стала еще более ненавистной" (North Korea has become even more hateful to us), a report from the border of North Korea and China - Novaya Gazeta, August 17, 2017

Many companies involved in trade of seafood from North Korea are preparing to close. The last truck with frozen fish passed through the border in Chuanhe late in the evening on Tuesday, August 15.
In Chinese social networks, there were "proposals": in case of an armed conflict between the United States and North Korea, China should occupy the North of the DPRK to ensure the security of North Korean nuclear facilities and prevent radiation and chemical contamination of Chinese territory. In the opinion of the commentators, it was precisely for solving these problems that a new special parachute brigade of the Northern Command of the People's Liberation Army of China was formed in the vicinity of Changchun.

Any peaceful settlement?

It's a long shot obviously, especially at present levels of rhetoric (and weapons development too). But in a better setting, along the lines of NK giving up nuclear and missile program in return for (1) inviolable security guarantees (possibly involving friendly troops deployed, Chinese or maybe, less likely, Russian, just to make sure there is no attack on nuclear-free state) (2) lifting economic sanctions. Something lesser than this--well I don't mind if it works but do not see how. --Resup (talk) 13:16, 10 August 2017 (UTC)

Sing a song maybe?

Two Koreas, separately, sing the same song, "Blood type", of a Russian rock superstar Victor Tsoi of a Korean ancestry.

Missiles Claims

  • North Korea’s “not quite” ICBM can’t hit the lower 48 states -Theodore A. Postol, Markus Schiller, Robert Schmucker, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist, 11 August 2017
    Hope to take a look later having more time. In quick glance, it's not really known whether lighter version was launched, maybe, or maybe not, so maybe can hit, maybe not. Also, on easy side, they could keep the engine but put bigger tanks (for example), to counter heavier load. Conjecturaly not hitting is not really good enough, and it can be further developed. --Resup (talk) 19:18, 14 August 2017 (UTC)
  • The secret to North Korea’s ICBM success - Michael Elleman, IISS voices, 14 August 2017
    Appears a bit dicey, 2 chamber 'Ukrainian' RD-250 modified to 1 chamber NK version? Not really clear why something else could not be modified. I guess he is saying it closely matches 1/2 of RD-250 and modification is easier than something else --Resup (talk) 19:06, 14 August 2017 (UTC)
  • Prankers Vovan and Lexus interview Yuzhmash general director Sergey Voit (audio)(article) - Vesti, 16 August, 2017
    nothing really major but he mentions some contracts and technical assistance between Design Bureau "Yuzhnoye" and China and a bit with (North?) Korea. He is not privy to details of those contacts, but says that something could be happening via China. Documentation and few Tsiklon missiles are also in Russia. He does not have anything definite to say.

Middle East

Iran

On a separate page

Jordan

King Abdullah Of Jordan addresses UN general assembly, Sep 29, 2015

Russia/China

Hypersonic gliders, when fully designed and deployed, will render US missile defense, as currently envisioned, useless (though of course arms race can go forever). Missile defense stated purpose was countering 'rogue statues' like North Korea and Iran, however it is logical to assume (and what's important, that assumption was in fact made by leadership in Russia and China) that it's real purpose is to have an advantage over important major adversaries, Russia and China. It was (or appears to be) a major USA policy failure , as deployment of missile defense near borders was viewed as a military challenge by major US adversaries. Moreover, it was combined with appeasement of minor rogues, who as a result were given opportunity to develop their own programs to dangerous pre-nuclear/entry nuclear levels, and on top of that aligned themselves with Russia-China. We seem to be entering a dangerous uncontrolled arms race of very expensive and powerful weapons, where no party is economically strong enough to really afford such expense, or prevail. It may be time for a serious revision and introducing reasonable international and domestic policies, with reduced military adversary between USA and Russia, attention shifted to domestic progress and economic growth, and combined with strongly enforced non-proliferation, instead of the current state of madness. (RS, April 2016.)

Former Yugoslavia

"The ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) has discharged Slobodan Milosevic from 1992-95 Bosnian war crimes allegations."
The claim in this and similar publications is based on paragraph 3460 and footnotes, page 1303, of Radovan Karadžić ruling, International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, 24 March, 2016. It shows that Milosevic had objections to Bosnian Serb actions.
(NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999, under Clinton-Albright, came about as part of later warfare in Kosovo, not Bosnia events).
  • "Serb nationalist Vojislav Šešelj acquitted of war crimes at The Hague", The Guardian, 31 March 2016.
  • Joe Biden’s Visit to Serbia Is Protested by Hundreds of People Shouting ‘Vote for Trump!’ ijr.com. Protest was organised by Vojislav Šešelj.
Earlier Joe Biden controversy, referring to an interview given on Larry King Live, 1 Aug 1993, is investigated in this blog, May 21, 2009
Highlights in Huffington Post, May 25, 2011
"Biden’s Racist Slurs and Searing Insults Documented", de-construct.net, May 15th, 2009

Montenegro

Former USSR

Belarus

Nagornyi Karabakh

  • April 2, 2016. Clashes on all front line reported, sides accused each other, Russia called for calm TASS (Eng)
Maps, photos, videos (including self-propelled 'Akatsia' artillery on the streets of Stepanokert, Nagornyi Krabakh capital) on Cassad blog
Rusvesna copies Azerbaijan military report, which appears to be a serious escalation by Azerbaijan forces. Azerbaijan estimates Armenian soldiers killed at 100, Armenia estimates Azerbaijan losses at 50. A number of tanks destroyed on both sides. Casualty reports are unverified; Azerbaijan said 12 of its soldiers were killed and a helicopter shot down.
  • Armenian activist Arman Boshan says that Azerbaijan attack was repelled; links Turkey-Syria-Donbass events as well as US influence with the current escalation (in particular, relaying his uneasiness regarding recent meetings of Azerbaijan president Aliev in USA).
Details on Aliev visit to USA, Azerbaijan president transcript, March 31, 2016- Kerry calls for an 'ultimate resolution' of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
  • Donetsk war correspondent Andrey Filatov tells (around 34:00) that in the beginning of March he received repeated similar questions from Russian arts students who were offered by Western sponsors to go to Nagornyi Karabakh or Azerbaijan to film, record how people feel about life there (he relates this observation with broader attempts to set fire to Russian near abroad in the Caucuses and Middle Asia republics).
  • Another interview with 'a competent source in Yerevan' mostly blames internal political situation in Azerbaijan for the escalation.
  • PM of Turkey expressed support to Azerbaijan
  • Kerry urged restrain
  • There was a second attack by Azerbaijan at night. According to the source, the advance was stopped, andNagornyi Karabakh troops counter-attacked... The attack, in its main direction was repelled, with large losses in manpower and equipment. In some places, clashes continues. Situation remain tense. (Earlier, Azerbaijan announced cessation of fire, but that proved to be inaccurate).
It is said that Armenia sent tactical missiles and heavy artillery to Nagornyi Karabakh-report and photos.
Cassad update, maps (Azerbaijani version), photos

April 5, 2016 Cassad blog update. It does not seem to stop. Interesting items listed on political side. UNSC meeting? Iran-Azerbaijan-Turkey meeting? (a regular meeting in the news).

Azerbaijan, Iran FM will discuss Nagorno-Karabakh
Ceasefire from 11:00 AM on 5 April announced, said to be confirmed by both sides.

Azerbaijan

Both (Azerbaijan and Armenia) were ceded by Iran to Russia after several Russo-Persian wars (1804–13 and 1826–28) and subsequent treaties, treaty of Gulistan and treaty of Turkmenchay. Soon after the latter treaty, Russian ambassador Griboedov, a famous writer, was killed in Tehran in an incident involving people taking refuge at the Russian Embassy, which was stormed as a result.

95 % Muslim, with 85% of those Shia, according to Wikipedia, although in Soviet times religious identity was vague at most. Remains quite close to Russia (member of CIS, although not of Customs Union, while Armenia is in both). But also pretty good relations with Turkey (and some, with Israel).

Weapons are mostly Soviet or Russian made, with substantial purchases after the collapse of the USSR.

In USSR times, Nagornyi Karabakh, a mountainous area, was an autonomous region/republic in Azerbaijan, populated by native Armenians. By late 1980's a strong movement for Karabakh to join Armenia emerged, leading to conflicts.

Some of the greats born in Azerbaijan include: chess champ Garry Kasparov; Muslim Magomaev, one of the top USSR classical-range singer who turned to popular music.

Armenia

Own version of Christianity, from 301 CE.

Quite close to Russia, but younger generation turn to be more pro-reform/pro Western.

See also: Electric Yerevan.

Uzbekistan

Kremlin says overnight reports on Uzbek leader's death were not confirmed, The Kremlin knows only that the Uzbek leader is ill , August 30, 2016

Aljazeera: Uzbek President Islam Karimov 'in intensive care'
Fergana newspaper claimed his death (Fergana region has seen inter-ethnic clashes and instability in the 90's after the USSR dissolution)
In office since 1990 (and the com. party first secretary prior to that). Uzbekistan profile - Leaders, BBC, 31 March 2015.
Instability and/or rise of islamists are feared. Official replacement was not named.

01.09.16 Fergana news publishes updated report saying that Karimov funeral will be held this Saturday, 3 September, in Samarkand.

02.09.16 Official announcement says that Karimov condition suddenly deteriorated and is now considered critical

"Uzbek President Karimov has died: diplomatic sources", Reuters
Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov 'critically ill' , BBC

02.09 Death confirmed by daughter. Also confirmed by the government; funeral on September 3-TASS.

TASS photo tribute, 02.09.2016

Samarkand, Shah-i-Zinda, 03.09.2016. Medvedev leads Russia's delegation.

08.09 Shavkat Mirziyoyev appointed acting president by the parliament, Interfax.

Analysis

Will Central Asia explode after death of Karimov?, Avraam Shmulevich, TSN.ua (in Russian). Recalls history (quite artificial national, language, ethnic borders), and talks about potential for instability, driven by rise of Islamism or selfish external players, if clans and elites will not quickly agree on transition of power.


Venezuela

White Helmets look-a-likes, found by Petri, Injured Venezuela protesters face another woe: finding medicine, Reuters , Apr 26, 2017

During mass protests, a student leader was shot dead, the killer escaped on a motorcycle Rusvesna, 5 May 2017.

6 Aug. 2017. A military base in Venezuela was attacked - RIA; A military mutiny in Venezuela - Cassad, with a video of a small group of soldiers of 41 brigade decaring that they know longer obey Maduro government

The West

  • Professor of Tübingen University in the field of earth sciences and anthropometric geography Rainer Rothfuss (Rainer Rothfuß), who held a senior position in the "Human Rights International Society» (IGFM), was removed from his post under pressure from German politicians for interview shown on YouTube channel of News-Front (a channel presenting Russian view on the Ukrainian conflict). German journalist Ken Jebsen investigated. Russian-extract, (German, full), published on April 3, 2016. Comments to the full German video version give more details and raise freedom of speech and human rights issues.
Interview to News Front part 1 part2 (German)
  • In Debaltsevo, Ukrainian-American classical pianist Valentina Lisitsa performed Stalingrad Sonata by Prokofiev.
Lisitsa nterview to KP.ru, by Kots and Steshin, Apr. 22, 2016
Ukrainian pianist Valentina Lisitsa returns to Toronto after TSO ban, lets her fingers do the talking, Apr. 11, 2016.
The Politics of Music Programming, Musical Toronto, by Michael Vincent, April 15, 2015

Israeli–Palestinian talks

06.09.2016 Putin envoy talks to Netanyahu about possible summit with Abbas in Moscow.

Subcategories

This category has the following 5 subcategories, out of 5 total.

A

  • APT(1 P, 2 F)

D

U

  • UN(5 F)

W

  • WW3(1 C, 6 P, 16 F)

Y