China’s Plot to Deploy Army Against North Korea Could Start WW3

New photos of a recent highway construction in China could be part of a contingency plan to invade North Korea or amass a huge army on their shared border. Experts fear this newly uncovered plot could stoke the fires of World War 3, inevitably involving the United States.
According to The Express UK, communist China has traditionally been North Korea’s closest ally, but Kim Jong-un’s continued nuclear and ballistic missile tests have tested Beijing’s patience on the rising tensions worldwide. These new revelations also come as North Korea was spotted transporting 30 Scud missiles from Hwangju, south of the capital Pyongyang, to Nampo, on the Korea Bay coast opposite China.
New photos have emerged and they reveal that the Communist superpower is building a six-lane highway in its desolately populated northeast on route to North Korea. With most Chinese peasants not able to afford the luxury of a car, the construction of the G1112 Ji’an – Shuangliao Expressway, has led experts to believe it will be used for quick deployment of tanks and troops to its North Korean border. The photos obtained by Daily Star Online show Chinese construction workers digging tunnels through the mountains and massive cranes constructing bridges over rivers.

This post was published at shtfplan on October 16th, 2017.

Israeli Fighter Jets Launch Air Strike On Syrian Air Defense Battery Near Damascus

After years of undermining the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al Assad, an effort that has seen Israel countenance ISIS training camps near its borders and launch recurring missile strikes on Syrian territory and its army bases while threatening to bomb Assad’s palace, the simmering conflict between the two nations broke out into the open once again overnight.
The Israeli Defense Forces confirmed that Israeli Air Force fighters conducted a missile strike against a Syrian base after a missile was fired at Israeli jets on a routine aerial reconnaissance mission in Lebanese airspace, Russia’s news agency Sputnik reports. No people were in injured, and the Israeli jets returned safely, but not before attacking an anti-aircraft battery east of the Syrian capital of Damascus. As usual, The IDF blamed the Syrian government for the incident, however, presenting no proof to support the claim. Damascus has yet to comment on the situation.
Earlier today, an anti-aircraft missile was launched from Syria towards IDF aircraft during a routine flight over Lebanon. No hits confirmed
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) October 16, 2017

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 16, 2017.

US Deploys Special Forces “Decapitation” Team To South Korea

Today, the South Korean and U. S. navies kicked off massive combined drills off the coast of the Korean peninsula amid heightened tensions, a training exercise which North Korea has warned may prompt another ballistic missile launch potentially to coincide with the launch of the Chinese 19th Party Congress on October 18. The two allies plan to continue the Maritime Counter Special Operations Exercise (MCSOFEX) through Friday in the East Sea and the Yellow Sea.
As reported over the weekend, the drill involves the U. S. 7th Fleet’s aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) and two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers – the USS Stethem (DDG-63) and the USS Mustin (DDG-89). The carrier strike group will train with South Korean warships and other defense assets, such as the Sejong the Great Aegis ship and P-3 Orion anti-submarine aircraft in the East Sea.
And while details of the drill were well-known in advance, what was reported for the first time overnight from Yonhap is that a unit of U. S. special forces tasked with carrying out “decapitation” operations is also aboard a nuclear-powered submarine in the group, according to a defense source. So far, little else is known about why said decapitation team is on location, or whether it will be put into use, although it presence may explain Trump’s “calm before the storm” comment that beffudled the media two weeks ago.
Among other assets mobilized for the joint drill are F-15K, FA-18 and A-10 fighter jets, as well as AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, Lynx and AW-159 Wild Cat naval choppers. The U. S. has also deployed a Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) plane to closely monitor the North’s ground and naval forces.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 16, 2017.

Tillerson: US Diplomacy With North Korea Will Continue Until “The First Bomb Drops”

Two weekends after Trump publicly snubbed and mocked Rex Tillerson’s attempts to achieve a diplomatic resolution with North Korea, when the president tweeted that “I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man… Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!” just one day after Tillerson revealed for the first time that the US has been in direct, if secret, contact with Pyongyang over its missile and nuclear tests, on Sunday morning the Secretary of State – who remains in hot water with Trump over the recent NBC report that he called the president a “fucking moron” – doubled down and said that Trump had instructed him to continue diplomatic efforts to calm rising tensions with North Korea, saying “those diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops.”
Tillerson says Trump wants diplomacy in North Korea: "Diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops" — CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) October 15, 2017

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 15, 2017.

The Unraveling of American/Russian Relations – Paul Craig Roberts

Dear Readers: I agree that the official Las Vegas story seems to be unraveling. A public mass shooting should be transparent, not opaque. I think we explored the story long enough to discover that without knowing the facts, we cannot arrive at an explanation with confidence.
It is time to move on to another unraveling – that of US/Russian relations. This unraveling is far more serious as it threatens life on earth. I have warned of the consequences of Washington threatening Russia’s security by breaking agreement after agreement, by placing missile bases on Russia’s borders, by orchestrating anti-Russian coups in former Soviet provinces, and by a continuing volley of false accusations against Russia. There is no act more reckless and irresponsible than to make one nuclear power fear nuclear attack from another.
Alert observers have become aware of the mounting danger. Canadian professor Michel Chossudovsky writes that Washington has taken nuclear war from a hypothetical scenario to a real danger that threatens the future of humanity. Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader who worked with President Ronald Reagan to end the Cold War and the threat of nuclear Armageddon, has appealed to President Trump and President Putin to hold a summit meeting and bring an end to the rising tensions. Gorbachev wrote in the Washington Post that ‘it is far from normal that the presidents of major nuclear powers meet merely on the margins of international gatherings.’ This is especially the case as ‘relations between the two nations are in a severe crisis.’

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on October 14, 2017.

Satellite Footage Shows North Korea Preparing Ballistic Missile Launch Ahead Of US Naval Drills

Echoing a report from earlier this week, when on Wednesday the Seoul-based Asia Business Daily reported that North Korea is preparing to fire multiple short-range rockets around the opening of the Chinese Communist Party’s twice-a-decade congress on Oct. 18 – arguably the year’s most important geopolitical event – on Saturday the South Korean press claimed that “North Korea is believed to be preparing to launch a ballistic missile ahead of an upcoming joint naval drill by the US and South Korea”, according to a government source.
The Donga Ilbo daily said satellite pictures show ballistic missiles mounted on “transporter erector vehicles” and being moved out of hangars near Pyongyang and in the North Phyongan Province. US and South Korean military officials suspect the North might be preparing to launch missiles capable of reaching US territory, the newspaper said.
A defence ministry spokesman declined to comment on the report, saying: “we don’t comment on any matters of military intelligence” but added that “we are keeping a close watch over the North.”
Quoted by AFP, Donga Ilbo said that US and South Korean military officials suspect the North might be preparing to launch missiles capable of reaching US territory, and that this could be the Hwasong-14 inter-continental ballistic missile, whose range could extend to Alaska, or Hwasong-12 intermediate-range missiles which Pyongyang threatened to fire towards the US Pacific territory of Guam in Augus . Another possibility is that the North might be preparing to test a new Hwasong-13 ICBM, it added, that has a longer maximum range than the other two missiles and could potentially reach the US West Coast.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 14, 2017.

Is It Time To Take North Korea’s Cyber Weaponry Seriously?

Analysts say cyber capabilities have become a key asset in North Korea’s war chest. Pyongyang’s increasingly bold attacks in the virtual space have come in tandem with the hermit nation’s rapidly progressing ballistic missile and nuclear programs and some say that it’s time this is taken very seriously.
The rogue regime has used cyber attacks for a wide range of purposes including hacking adversaries like South Korea and pilfering money. North Korea’s hackers have been accused of carrying out some of the most audacious cyber attacks of the past few years, from siphoning millions of dollars to stealing state secrets.
‘North Korea’s cyber weapons are as destructive as its conventional weapons,’ Lim Jong-in, a cybersecurity professor at Korea University, told CNN. ‘Tomahawk missiles can paralyze a major country’s power grid and financial system. So do North Korea’s cyber weapons.’ Lim continued, saying: ‘Cyber experts say North Korea should be ranked among the top 5 in the world. I believe North Korea can steal anything they want through cyber espionage. No country is safe from its cyber espionage.’

This post was published at shtfplan on October 11th, 2017.

What Saudis Hope To Get Out Of Russia Ties

Authored by M. K. Bhadrakumr viaThe Strategic Culture Foundation,
The mishap at the Moscow airport on Wednesday when the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz arrived on a historic visit, was a wake-up call that even the most carefully choregraphed enterprises may hold unpleasant surprises.
When Salman exited his plane and stepped out onto the special escalator he travels with, something went wrong. It malfunctioned halfway down, leaving the king standing awkwardly for about 20 seconds before he decided to walk the rest of the way. For ordinary mortals, this wouldn’t have been an uncommon occurrence but divinity ordains when a king is involved.
The Russian-Saudi entente is not going to be smooth. The climactic event last week drawing Saudi Arabia into President Vladimir Putin’s Middle East sphere of influence, must be assessed with a sense of proportions.
Salman had hardly departed from Russian soil when the Pentagon issued a statement announcing that the State Department had on Friday approved a possible US$15-billion sale of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) systems to Saudi Arabia.
The statement recalled that Saudi Arabia had requested to purchase from America 44 THAAD launchers, 360 missiles, 16 fire control stations and seven radars.
The US officials confirmed that the sale was part of the $110-billion package of defense equipment and services initially announced during US President Donald Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia in May. The Pentagon statement said, ‘This potential sale will substantially increase Saudi Arabia’s capability to defend itself against the growing ballistic missile threat in the region.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 11, 2017.

North Korea Preparing To Fire Multiple Short-Range Missiles Next Week: Report

North Korea is preparing to fire multiple short-range rockets around the opening of the Chinese Communist Party’s twice-a-decade congress on Oct. 18, the Seoul-based Asia Business Daily reports, citing an unidentified person. According to the newspaper, the U. S. and South Korean militaries have recently spotted about 30 Scud rockets being moved from Hwangju, south of the capital Pyongyang, to a missile maintenance facility in the western coastal city of Nampo.
***
More from the report, google translated:
According to the authorities, the ROK-US military intelligence agency captured the process of transferring 30 Scud missiles deployed in the Hwangju area of ??North Hwanghae province to a missile repair facility in Jamsun, West Sea, Nampo, through information assets. It is unusual for North Korea to massively move Scud missiles.
The Jangjin missile factory, which North Korea refers to as the Taesung Machinery Factory, is the most important missile production plant in North Korea, producing a variety of missiles such as scud and labor. Kim Jong-un inspects the Jamsil plant in March last year, when the North Korean Workers’ Party chairman passed a resolution imposing sanctions on the UN Security Council, emphasizing that “the working class should shine forth the immortal achievements of the followers with high productivity.” to be.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 11, 2017.

North Korea Hackers Steal War Plans, Kim Jong-Un Assassination Details

While tensions with North Korea have receded in recent weeks, and especially following the latest uneventful weekend, when markets were on edge that Kim could try another missile test launch to celebrate the country’s national holiday, this could reverse following news from the BBC that North Korea hackers have reportedly stolen a large cache of military documents from South Korea, including a plan to assassinate North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un.
According to South Korean lawmaker Rhee Cheol-hee – a member of South Korea’s ruling party who sits on its parliament’s defence committee – the compromised documents, which were stolen from the country’s defense ministry, include wartime contingency plans created by the US and South Korea, and also include reports to the allies’ senior commanders. Plans for the South’s special forces are also said to have been accessed, along with information on significant power plants and military facilities in the South.
Rhee also said some 235 gigabytes of military documents had been stolen from the Defence Integrated Data Centre, and that 80% of them have yet to be identified.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 10, 2017.

South Korea’s New “Blackout Bomb” Can Paralyze The North’s Power Grid

US and South Korean officials are nervously watching to see if North Korea follows through with its threats to carry out another nuclear test – or to fire a rumored long-range missile capable of accurately striking the west coast of the US into the Pacific – in celebration of the Oct. 10 anniversary of the Communist Party’s creation. Meanwhile, the Telegraph reports that South Korea has developed a new weapon to hobble the North’s infrastructure should an armed conflict erupt on the peninsula. Given that it’s almost daybreak in North Korea, such a test could happen as soon as Monday night, Eastern Time.
The weapon is a graphite bomb – otherwise known as a ‘blackout bomb’ – which South Korean officials say will be capable of shutting down North Korea’s entire power grid. Blackout bombs were first used by the US in Iraq in the 1990 Gulf War and work by releasing a cloud of extremely fine, chemically treated carbon filaments over electrical components. The filaments are so fine that they act like a cloud, but cause short circuits in electrical equipment.
As News.com.au points out, North Korea tends to celebrate the Oct. 10 holiday with military parades and aggressive rhetoric. But this year’s festivities could include new provocative weapons tests.
‘The Kim regime usually uses these sorts of occasions to demonstrate some show of strength – in this current climate a missile test is a likely result,’ says Dr Genevieve Hohnen, lecturer in politics and international relations at Edith Cowan University.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 9, 2017.

Iran Vows “Decisive, Crushing” Response If Trump Designates Its Elite Guards As Terrorists

On Sunday, in its most explicit warning to Donald Trump not to revise the terms of the Nuclear Deal – something the US president is expected to do over the coming days – Iran warned the United States that U. S. regional military bases “would be at risk” if further sanctions were passed. “The Americans should know that the Trump government’s stupid behavior with the nuclear deal will be used by the Islamic Republic as an opportunity to move ahead with its missile, regional and conventional defense program,” Iran Revolutionary Guards’ commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said, quoted by Reuters. He then threatened US presence in the region, warning that ‘if America’s new law for sanctions is passed, this country will have to move their regional bases outside the 2,000 km range of Iran’s missiles.”
Then, one day later, Iran vowed on Monday to give a “firm and crushing” response should Washington decide to also include the elite wing of its army, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), on its list of terrorist organizations, according to the country’s foreign ministry.
“We are hopeful that the United States does not make this strategic mistake,’ Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi stated during a news conference according to Reuters. ‘If they do, Iran’s reaction would be firm, decisive and crushing and the United States should bear all its consequences.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 9, 2017.

Iran and North Korea Demonstrate the Trouble With International Agreements

For over two decades, the American response to North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons has been to seek a diplomatic solution that would give the North Koreans an incentive to abandon their quest. The North Koreans agreed to suspend production of nuclear material, took the money and other incentives, and then proceeded to develop nuclear weapons anyway. This policy of diplomacy, concessions, and betrayal lasted through the administrations of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, and has now been handed to the Donald Trump administration.
The story with Iran is somewhat similar. Iran, the US, the EU, China, and Russia negotiated a deal in which the Iranians agreed not to develop a nuclear weapon in exchange for the lifting of sanctions. It is unclear whether the Iranians have truly discontinued their nuclear program, but they assuredly have continued to develop missiles that could deliver nuclear weapons to targets.
The US claims that the development of these missiles constitutes a problem worthy of new sanctions; Iran counters that the missiles are not intended to carry nuclear weapons. Either way, Trump is on the verge of declaring that the Iranians are not complying with the agreement and imposing new sanctions and other measures.
A Contract’s Real Value
This is hardly unique to international relations. How often has each of us negotiated an agreement only to find that the other side interprets its meaning differently than we do? Sometimes there is genuine confusion; sometimes there is a deliberate attempt to gain an advantage. In international relations, sometimes the market conditions have changed, or sometimes the relative strength of the signatories has changed.
Whatever the reason, there are those who regard a signed contract as the beginning of the negotiating process and not the end. The outcome frequently rests less on the facts and more on how important the issue is to each side and how deep their pockets are. In business and in diplomacy, a contract’s value rests in the ability to enforce it.

This post was published at Mauldin Economics on OCTOBER 9, 2017.

9/10/17: Nature of our reaction to tail events: ‘odds’ framing

Here is an interesting article from Quartz on the Pentagon efforts to fund satellite surveillance of North Korea’s missiles capabilities via Silicon Valley tech companies: However, the most interesting (from my perspective) bit of the article relates neither to North Korea nor to Pentagon, and not even to the Silicon Valley role in the U. S. efforts to stop nuclear proliferation. Instead, it relates to this passage from the article:

The key here is an example of the link between the our human (behavioral) propensity to take action and the dynamic nature of the tail risks or, put more precisely, deeper uncertainty (as I put in my paper on the de-democratization trend the deeper uncertainty as contrasted by the Knightian uncertainty).
Deeper uncertainty involves a dynamic view of the uncertain environment in which potential tail events evolve before becoming a quantifiable and forecastable risks. This environment is different from the classical Knightian uncertainty in so far as evolution of these events is not predictable and can be set against perceptions or expectations that these events can be prevented, while at the same time providing no historical or empirical basis for assessment of actual underlying probabilities of such events.

This post was published at True Economics on Monday, October 9, 2017.

Britain Draws Up A Plan For War With North Korea

While the United States remains distracted and divided, Great Britain draws up plans for an upcoming war with North Korea. Tossing major issues aside, Americans have all but forgotten that the world stands on the precipice of World War 3.
While the left is focusing on implementing more gun control and the right is worried about what athletes do during the national anthem, Britain is drawing up plans for a massive war with the rogue nation of North Korea. Britain is preparing for war in the event that the communist regime conducts another successful missile test and the United States responds with a strike.
North Korea is being closely watched right now, especially since the recent ratcheting up of tensions. Amid fears it could launch another long-range missile test on Tuesday to mark the anniversary of the founding of its ruling party, some countries refuse to take the threat lightly. And bellicose rhetoric from Donald Trump has heightened tensions in the region in recent months, prompting British officials to draw up military plans for a response to a break out of hostilities it was reported.

This post was published at shtfplan on October 9th, 2017.

A Mysterious Virus Has Infiltrated America’s Drone Program

There’s something deeply wrong at Creech Air Force Base, the notorious home of America’s drone program, where pilots remotely order US Reaper and Predator drones to unleash destructive missile strikes on unsuspecting villagers in Yemen, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other war zones.
Less than a week after the Department of Homeland Security advised all federal agencies using anti-virus software created by Kaspersky Labs to remove the programs from their systems immediately, Ars Technica reports that two weeks ago the Defense Information Systems Agency detected mysterious spyware embedded in the drone ‘cockpits’ – the control stations that pilots use to control the deadly machines.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 9, 2017.

Iran Threatens America: If New Sanctions Pass, US Military “Would Be At Risk”

In the coming days, president Trump is expected to announce that he will decertify the Iran Nuclear Deal, a step that potentially could cause the historic Obama-era accord to unravel. Under the 2015 deal, Iran agreed to limit its disputed nuclear program in return for the easing of economic sanctions. Realizing the dire threat that such a move presents for its economy – not to mention Iranian oil exports – Iran has escalated the rhetoric, and overnight it warned the United States that U. S. regional military bases “would be at risk” if further sanctions were passed or if the US designated its Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) as a terrorist group.
On Friday the Financial Times reported that Donald Trump is expected to designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group, as part of a new hardline strategy against the Islamic republic.
Mr Trump is expected to announce new measures against Iran, including the prospect of additional targeted sanctions, the designation of the Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organisation and the adoption of a tougher stance on Iranian proxies in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, according to a person briefed on the matter.
‘It’s an integrated Iran strategy focused on neutralising and rolling back Iran’s malign activities regionally and globally,’ the person said.
Iran was not happy: “The Americans should know that the Trump government’s stupid behavior with the nuclear deal will be used by the Islamic Republic as an opportunity to move ahead with its missile, regional and conventional defense program,” Guards’ commander Mohammad Ali Jafari said, quoted by Reuters. He then explicitly threatened US presence in the region, warning that ‘if America’s new law for sanctions is passed, this country will have to move their regional bases outside the 2,000 km range of Iran’s missiles.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 8, 2017.

President Trump Declares ‘Only One Thing Will Work’ Against North Korea As They Prepare To Test Missile Capable Of Hitting U.S. West Coast

A Tweet from President Donald Trump on Saturday has led many to believe that the White House is planning to attack North Korea as the rogue nation prepares to test a nuclear missile that could hit the west coast of the United States.
‘Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid,’ Trump rightfully declared.
The president then took a major step towards war (whether you agree or disagree is irrelevant here) by declaring his belief that ‘only one thing will work,’ a statement perceived by many as implying that his administration believes a military strike on North Korea is the only real solution to the ongoing nuclear situation.
Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2017

This post was published at shtfplan on October 7th, 2017.

New ‘New Labour’ and their ‘Secret’ Foreign Policy Agenda ~ John Pilger

John Pilger
Delegates to the recent Labour Party conference in the English seaside town of Brighton seemed not to notice a video playing in the main entrance. The world’s third biggest arms manufacturer, BAE Systems, supplier to Saudi Arabia, was promoting its guns, bombs, missiles, naval ships and fighter aircraft.
It seemed a perfidious symbol of a party in which millions of Britons now invest their political hopes. Once the preserve of Tony Blair, it is now led by Jeremy Corbyn, whose career has been very different and is rare in British establishment politics.
Addressing the Labour conference, the campaigner Naomi Klein described the rise of Corbyn as ‘part of a global phenomenon. We saw it in Bernie Sanders’ historic campaign in the US primaries, powered by millennials who know that safe centrist politics offers them no kind of safe future.’
In fact, at the end of the US primary elections last year, Sanders led his followers into the arms of Hillary Clinton, a liberal warmonger from a long tradition in the Democratic Party.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on OCTOBER 7, 2017.