South Korea, U.S. sound alarm over possible impending visit by Putin to North Korea

Putin-with-Kim-Jong-Un

Important Takeaways:

  • A possible impending visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to North Korea could deepen military ties between the two countries in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, officials of South Korea and the United States warned on Friday.
  • On Wednesday, a senior official at Seoul’s presidential office said Putin was expected to visit North Korea “in the coming days”.
  • North Korea and Russia have denied arms deals but vowed to deepen cooperation across the board, including in military relations.
  • The U.S. intelligence community assesses, however, that these relationships – including that between Moscow and Pyongyang – will remain “far short” of formal alliances because parochial interests and wariness of each other will most likely limit their cooperation, Haines said.

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Experts say North Korea is at a new stage launching multiple ballistic missiles at once in attempt to overwhelm the enemy

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Important Takeaways:

  • North Korea fired at least 10 apparent short-range ballistic missiles toward the waters off its eastern coast on Thursday, Seoul said, days after its attempt to put another spy satellite launch into orbit ended in a ball of fire.
  • South Korean officials said the short-range weapons had been fired from the Sunan area of Pyongyang, traveling around 350 kilometers (215 miles) before splashing down into the Sea of Japan.
  • Speaking at a news conference later Thursday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said more “provocations” by Pyongyang were likely in store.
  • “We believe that North Korea may continue to launch various types of missiles and other provocations in the future,” Hayashi said. “The government will continue to work closely with the United States and South Korea to collect and analyze necessary information and do its utmost to monitor the situation.”
  • While the North has in the past launched multiple missiles in a single volley — apparently training for conducting so-called saturation strikes that overwhelm enemy defenses — the sheer number Thursday was unusual.
  • Decker Eveleth, an analyst with the CNA research group, said these types of saturation drills could become a new normal for the North.
  • “We will likely see more big salvo launches out of DPRK going forward”

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Nuclear Counterattack Drill as North Korea blames US and South Korea for ‘Extreme War Fever’

Kim-Jong-Un-simulated-counterattack

Important Takeaways:

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un led a tactical drill on Monday to simulate a nuclear counterattack, the country’s state media said on Tuesday, a day after neighboring militaries reported the launch of multiple ballistic missiles off the Korean Peninsula’s eastern waters.
  • The official Korean Central News Agency said Kim’s regime tested for the first time a nuclear force command and control mechanism known as “Haekbangashoe”—literally “nuclear trigger”—a combined management system it described as Pyongyang’s “greatest nuclear crisis alarm.”
  • KCNA blamed sky-high tensions on the peninsula on the “extreme war fever” of the United States and its ally South Korea, which are in the middle of their own combined air drill.
  • Images published by KCNA showed four missile launches for what it said were 600-millimeter “super-large multiple rocket units,” which the agency said would “play an important role” in any potential future nuclear counterstrike ordered through the Haekbangashoe system.
  • The projectiles accurately hit a ground target at a range of 352 kilometers, roughly 218 miles, the report said.

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Annie Jacobsen’s account of what nuclear war could look like based on facts sourced from exclusive interviews with presidential advisers

North-Korea-ICBM-Monster

Important Takeaways:

  • Nuclear war so devastating survivors will envy the dead: As newly declassified documents reveal what Armageddon would look like – how a lightning attack from North Korea would leave a US President six minutes to decide the fate of the world
  • Ballistic missile launches are not uncommon. As a general rule, nuclear-armed nations inform one another of ballistic missile tests, usually via diplomatic back channels, because no one wants to start a nuclear war by accident.
  • Even Russia continues to notify the U.S. of its test launches. The exception is North Korea. None of the more than 100 missiles it has test-launched since January 2022 — including nuclear-capable weapons — was announced beforehand.
    • 1-5 seconds after launch
      • Measurements reveal the missile is not heading into space, as it would be for a satellite launch, or towards the Sea of Japan, as is commonplace in a test. Is this a provocative test or a nuclear attack?
      • A vast, world-wide network of U.S. intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets begins churning out information.
      • In Colorado, combat pilots run towards fighter jets waiting on the Tarmac, ready to take to the air.
    • 15 seconds after launch
      • The ICBM has travelled far enough for satellite sensors to determine its trajectory more precisely. The outlook is catastrophic: the Monster is travelling towards the continental U.S.
    • Two minutes after launch
      • Beneath the Pentagon, inside the nuclear command bunker, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff take charge.
      • Once ground radars provide secondary confirmation that an attacking missile is on its way to the East Coast, a perilous nuclear warfighting strategy comes to the fore: Launch on Warning.
      • This means that once its early-warning systems have warned of an impending attack, the U.S. will not wait to physically absorb a nuclear blow before launching its counterattack.
    • Three minutes after launch
      • The president now faces an inexorably small decision-making window of time. What must happen next has been rehearsed by everyone in attendance on satellite comms, except, most likely, the president himself. Like almost all U.S. Presidents since John F. Kennedy, he is entirely underinformed about how to wage nuclear war when it happens.
      • As Ronald Reagan lamented in his memoirs: ‘Six minutes to decide how to respond to a blip on a radar scope and decide whether to release Armageddon! How could anyone apply reason to a time like that?’
      • ‘Into the emergency bunker now,’ the special agent in charge shouts at the president. Two members of the Counter Assault Team (CAT) grab him by his armpits. He does not yet fully comprehend all that is going on, or how fast a counterattack must unfold.
    • Nine minutes after launch
      • At Clear Space Force Station in Alaska, the Long Range Discrimination Radar gets its first sight of the attacking missile as it comes over the horizon. A member of the Air Force picks up the red phone in front of her. ‘This is Clear,’ she reports. ‘Site report is valid. Number of objects is one.’
      • Now begins the attempt at interception, a feat ‘akin to shooting a bullet with a bullet’. But nine out of 20 hit-to-kill interceptor tests have failed. This means there is only a 55 per cent chance that the Monster will be shot down before it reaches its target.
      • Sure enough, the interception fails. So do three more consecutive attempts. The die is cast.
    • 16 minutes after launch
      • Satellite sensors have detected the exhaust on a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) which has breached the surface of the Pacific Ocean, 350 miles off the coast of California.
      • The dreaded SLBM can strike and hit a target inside the U.S. even faster than an ICBM.
    • 21 minutes after launch
      • The incoming submarine-launched missile races towards Diablo Canyon Power Plant, a 750-acre facility 85 ft above the Pacific. Diablo is the only nuclear power plant in California that remains active. When a nuclear weapon explodes in the air, the radiation released into the atmosphere will dissipate over time.
      • Attacking a nuclear reactor with a nuclear-armed missile is entirely different. It all but guarantees a core reactor meltdown, resulting in a nuclear catastrophe that will last for thousands of years.
      • The missile launched from the submarine explodes in Diablo Canyon. The nuclear power plant is consumed in a flash of nuclear light. There is a massive fireball. A facility-destroying blast. A nuclear mushroom cloud and a nuclear core meltdown.
      • Known to insiders as The Devil’s Scenario, the worst of the worst-case scenarios has come to pass.
    • 23 minutes after launch
      • As Marine One takes off, the president is told that a nuclear bomb has hit California. He removes the code card from his wallet and prepares to authorize a counterstrike against North Korea — one involving 82 nuclear warheads. This retaliatory strike will all but guarantee the deaths of millions of people — maybe even tens of millions of people — on the Korean peninsula alone.
    • 32 minutes after launch
      • The secretary of defense remains focused on getting the Russian President on the line. American ICBMs, launched from a missile field in Wyoming, must travel directly over Russia in order to reach North Korea.
      • A motherload of American ICBMs travelling through Russian airspace will almost certainly be interpreted as an incoming attack. Russia needs to be warned.
    • 33 minutes after launch
      • Hurtling towards the Pentagon, the North Korean ICBM enters Terminal Phase — its last 100 seconds before it detonates.
      • In the first fraction of a millisecond after detonation, a flash of light superheats the air to 180 million degrees Fahrenheit, creating a massive fireball that incinerates everything nearby in a holocaust of fire and death.
      • Ten seconds pass. The fireball rises three miles up into the air. Those who have survived the initial blast several miles from ground zero get trapped on melting roads and burn alive.
    • 42 minutes after launch
      • No one has heard from the U.S. president because when the nuclear bomb hit the Pentagon, Marine One experienced a system failure from the electromagnetic pulse and began to crash. The CAT operator tandem-jumped the president out of the open door of the aircraft in an attempt to save his life.
    • 43 minutes after launch
      • The Russian president is furious. The U.S. president has not reached out to him yet.
      • Faced with what he believes are hundreds of nuclear warheads bearing down on Russian soil — launched by the opportunistic Americans in a pre-emptive sneak attack — the Russian president chooses to launch a nuclear counterattack at the United States. One thousand ICBMs are now headed for America.
    • 72 minutes after launch
      • Across the U.S., Europe, and the Korean peninsula, hundreds of millions of people are dead and dying, while hundreds of military aircraft fly aimlessly in the air until they run out of fuel. The last of the nuclear-armed submarines move stealthily out at sea, patrolling in circles until the crews run out of food.
      • In the event of a nuclear war, he said: ‘The survivors will envy the dead.’

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North Korea advances to Hypersonic Missile System testing a solid fuel system

North-Korea-Hypersonic-Missile

Important Takeaways:

  • North Korea’s Latest Hypersonic Missile System Is One Sinister-Looking Weapon
  • North Korea just tested a solid-fuel intermediate-range ballistic missile with a wedge-shaped hypersonic boost-glide vehicle on top.
  • The test launch was conducted from a site outside of North Korea’s capital Pyongyang that has been used in the past. The country’s leader Kim Jong Un was, as is customary, in attendance, as were other senior officials.
  • The official North Korean statement says that the missile “reached its first peak at the height of 101.1 kilometers [just over 62.8 miles] and the second [at] 72.3 kilometers [close to 45 miles] while making [a] 1,000-km-long flight [just over 621 miles] as scheduled to accurately hit the waters of the East Sea of Korea [also known as the Sea of Japan].”
  • For their part, South Korean authorities said yesterday that they had assessed the total distance covered by the missile to be around 372 miles (600 kilometers). They also said it was an intermediate-range ballistic missile, a category of ballistic missiles with maximum ranges between approximately 1,864 and 3,418 miles (3,000 and 5,500 kilometers), but added that “the North Koreans were likely experimenting with new warhead technologies,” according to the AP.
  • Though The War Zone cannot independently verify North Korea’s claims, the description of the Hwasongpho-16B test having two peak altitudes is in line with how weapons like this are designed to function.
  • Whether there is any relationship to the DF-17 specifically, China could be one source of relevant technology and experience that could have aided in the development of the Hwasongpho-16B. North Korea and China have long been allies and Beijing has been accused in the past of helping Pyongyang evade international sanctions.
  • Last year, South Korea accused Russia of providing assistance to North Korea to support its spy satellite launch program. Relations between the Kremlin and Pyongyang have grown significantly tighter since Russia launched its all-out invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Russia has since acquired large amounts of munitions, including short-range ballistic missiles, from North Korea to sustain its war effort and has cemented those deals in part through exchanges in kind. The U.S. government has said this includes support for North Korea’s domestic ballistic missile programs

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North Korea trades with Russia ‘Food for Weapons’

Russia-North-Korea-Flags

Important Takeaways:

  • North Korea has sent 6,700 containers of munitions to Russia, South Korea says
  • North Korea has shipped about 6,700 containers carrying millions of munitions to Russia since July to support its war against Ukraine, in a sign of ongoing arms transfers, South Korean media reported on Tuesday, citing the defense minister.
  • At a briefing on Monday for local media, Minister Shin Won-sik said the containers might carry more than 3 million 152 mm artillery shells, or 500,000 122 mm rounds.
  • “It could possibly be a mix of the two, and you can say that at least several million shells have been sent,” Shin said, according to the Yonhap news agency.
  • Hundreds of North Korean munitions factories are running at around 30% of their capacity due to a lack of raw materials and electricity, but those producing artillery shells for Russia were operating “at full swing,” he added, without elaborating on the source of the information.
  • The U.S. State Department, in a fact sheet, opens new tab released on Friday, said that North Korea has delivered more than 10,000 containers of munitions or related materials to Russia since September.
  • In exchange, North Korea has received some 9,000 containers mostly containing food supplies, which Shin said has helped stabilize prices there.

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North Korea says they have tested an underwater Tsunami drone

north-korea-claims-it-tested-underwater-nuclear-attack-drone

Important Takeaways:

  • North Korea Says Tests Underwater Nuclear Drone, Criticizes US-Led Joint Drills
  • North Korea has conducted a test of its underwater nuclear weapons system in a protest against this week’s joint military drills by South Korea, the United States and Japan, state media KCNA said on Friday.
  • The test of the “Haeil-5-23” system, a name North Korea has given to its nuclear-capable underwater attack drones, was carried out by the defense ministry’s think tank in the waters off its east coast, the report said, without specifying a date.
  • The ministry’s unnamed spokesman accused the United States, South Korea and Japan of “getting frantic” with military exercises, warning of “catastrophic consequences.”
  • Later on Friday, South Korea’s defense ministry issued a warning against the North’s recent series of weapons tests, calling for an immediate halt.
  • “Our military is thoroughly prepared for North Korea’s provocations under a solid joint defense posture with the United States,” it said in a statement, vowing “overwhelming” responses if North Korea stages a direct provocation.
  • Dubbed “Haeil”, which means tsunami, the new drone system was first reportedly tested in March 2023, and state media said it was intended to make sneak attacks in enemy waters and destroy naval strike groups and major operational ports by creating a large radioactive wave through an underwater explosion.

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UK and European leaders call for War Preparations: Russian invasion of European states by 2025

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Important Takeaways:

  • U.K. Govt Warns: Be Ready for War with China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea in Five Years
  • Speaking at Lancaster House on Monday, British Minister of Defense Grant Shapps said the West is facing a “much more troubled world” and could no longer consider itself post-war, with considerable new investment in military spending needed. He said:
  • …now is the time for all allies and democratic nations across the world to… make sure their defense spending is growing too. Because as discussed, the era of the peace dividend is over. In five years time we could be looking at multiple theatres including Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.
  • …we find ourselves at the dawn of this new era. [The] Berlin Wall a distant memory but we have come full circle, moving from a post-war to a pre-war world. An age of idealism has been replaced by a period of hard-headed realism.
  • Illustrating actions taken by Britain to prepare itself for this multifaceted conflict the British government apparently believes is coming, Shapps cited the UK’s support to Ukraine, the country leading the largest NATO deployment since the end of the Cold War this year, the signing of a new UK-Japan-Italy fighter coalition, and the creation of the Australia-UK-U.S. submarine coalition. He said the government was moving to putting 2.5 per cent of GDP into defense spending as soon as it could afford to.
  • Estonia, one of Ukraine’s most enthusiastic allies and a state which has a land border with Russia said through their Prime Minister on Monday that their intelligence states NATO has “three to five years” to prepare for a Russian attack on NATO itself.
  • Sweden warned its citizens last week to be prepared for war.
  • Germany is reportedly of the same mind, with the best-selling newspaper in Europe Bild splashing this week on leaked war plans anticipating Russian invasions of European states by the summer of 2025.

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Iran and the so called ‘Axis of Resistance’ don’t seem to give a hoot what Washington thinks and Russia, China, and North Korea are taking note

Global-Threats-Sinking-Biden

Important Takeaways:

  • Joe Biden ‘is struggling to keep his head above water’ as US is challenged by Iran and Russia – ‘and China and North Korea are taking notes’, experts say as they warn inaction now ‘will cost American lives later’
  • Joe Biden ‘is struggling to keep his head above water’ as the US ‘ignores’ threats from Iran and continues to be challenged by Russia – while North Korea and China are ‘taking notes’, experts have warned.
  • Iran’s Revolutionary Guards confirmed yesterday that their forces launched ballistic missiles close to the US consulate in Erbil, northern Iraq – a move condemned as ‘reckless’ by the US State Department.
  • Former military intelligence officer Colonel (Ret) Jonathan Sweet and foreign policy expert Mark Toth labelled the US response ‘as perfunctory as it was lacking’, saying it is just the latest example of the Biden administration’s inaction in the region.
  • Iran’s so-called ‘Axis of Resistance’ – including Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Yemen’s Houthi rebels – has been increasing its attacks on Israel and commercial shipping routes, prompting the US and UK to launch devastating strikes by air and sea.
  • But the experts told MailOnline: ‘For all the US military might put on display throughout the Middle East, Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden right now, Iran and their proxies have not been deterred.’
  • Meanwhile, as the war in Ukraine approaches its third year, Vladimir Putin’s rhetoric has become more aggressive, threatening Ukraine’s statehood and warning that Russia would ‘never’ abandon the gains it has made.

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North Korea tested missile tipped with hypersonic weapon that could evade air defenses of US bases

North-Korea-New-Missile

Important Takeaways:

  • North Korea claimed Monday to have tested a hypersonic glide missile that is highly maneuverable and use a new type of fuel.
  • Hypersonic missiles are defined as those capable of traveling around five times the speed of sound while making maneuvers, meaning their course is difficult to predict. Russia, China, and the US are believed to have been developing the weapons.
  • North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un has repeatedly menaced the US and its allies in the region, saying earlier in January that he’d “thoroughly annihilate” South Korea and the US if provoked.

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