Wednesday, November 29, 2017

N Korea - Advanced ICBM Launched

Last update added on December 2.

This morning at about 3:00 local time, North Korea launched its most advanced Hwasong-15 ICBM which allegedly should be able to strike the "whole" of U.S. mainland. Its features are as follows:

- The Hwasong-15 is a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile and an upgrade of Hwasong-14.

- It was fired at 2:48 a.m. local time [2:18 Beijing Time] from a mobile launcher in Pyongsong, South Pyongan Province. [Reported times of launch differ according to different time bases.]

- The missile reached a height of 4,475 kilometers (2,800 miles), higher than ever before, and splashed down off the Japanese coast, within the country's Exclusive Economic Zone.

- The missile was fired on a lofted trajectory, where the missile flies very high to cover a relatively short horizontal distance. David Wright, an expert with the Union of Concerned scientists said that if it had been fired on a standard trajectory, the ICBM would have been capable of traveling 13,000 kilometers, or 8,100 miles.

- In comparison with earlier tested missiles, the Hwasong-15 can hold more fuel and payload, and its flight should be more stable due to a more sophisticated propulsion system using two instead of one engines in combination with additional steering engines.

- South Korea immediately responded with a "precision missile strike drill," matching the same flight distance. In a joint operation lasting 20 minutes after N Korea's ICBM launch, one "Dark Warrior - 2" type of ballistic missile, one "Sea Star - 2" ship-to-ground missile and one "SPICE - 2000" missile were fired by allied units.

[Editor's Note: What the Chinese article is calling "Dark Warrior 玄武" and which reminds a legendary tortoise general in Chinese lore, is identical with South Korea's "Hyunmoo - 2" short-range ballistic missile SRBM that makes part of the allied "kill chain" in missile defence.]

Mobile launchers for South Korea's Yunmoo-2c [环球时报]

[News quoted from CNN and XinHua 新华 as well as from other sources]

朝鲜若核攻击死伤会有多少? 请看这张地图

How many would die or get wounded in a N Korean nuclear attack ? - Look at the map !

After a N Korean 150 kt nuke attack on New York, more than
one million people would die or get wounded within 24 hours.

[Epoch Times 大纪元 on 1st December 2017]

朝鲜不怕经济制裁 反而可能狗急跳墙

N Korea not fearing sanctions; a cornered beast,
however, will possibly do something desperate.

[Voice of America - Chinese on December 2, 2017]


Saturday, November 25, 2017

China Cutting Ties with N Korea ?

Opinion: US-North Korea conflict a '50-50 prospect'

One of Australia's leading strategic analysts has warned there is a real prospect of 'serious conflict' between the United States and North Korea next year.

The head of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Peter Jennings, said he's pessimistic about the next six months.

'As we move to the mid part of 2018 the North is going to be that much closer to perfecting the one or two areas of technology it needs to perfect in order to have a reliable and credible nucelar weapon able to attack the United States,' he said.

Mr Jennings believes the United States may have to take action before this point, saying diplomatic efforts won't prevent North Korea from improving its technology. [Skynews, Australia, on November 28, 2017]

Such information fits with evaluations made by other sources, saying that military preparation for war would take about six months from now.

Important Updates added on November 26.

Is China cutting off traffic to North Korea for further sanctioning and isolating the regime of Kim Jong-un as U.S. president Trump demanded during his recent visit to Beijing, or is China rather decided to avoid getting directly involved in a major military conflict between North Korea and the alliance of America, Japan and South Korea ?

China is temporarily closing its main road connection with North Korea, an official said on Friday.

Foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the Sino-Korean Friendship Bridge, or China-North Korea Friendship Bridge, across the Yalu River at the Chinese city of Dandong will be closed while North Korea repairs the approach road on its side.

Geng said that “after the maintenance, the bridge will reopen for passage,” but gave no date for the reopening or other details.

The bridge closure comes after state-owned airline Air China suspended flights Tuesday between Beijing and North Korea due to a lack of demand, deepening the North's isolation amid mounting UN sanctions.

Beijing is North Korea's only significant ally but has grown increasingly frustrated over its nuclear and missile tests that have brought a threat of war and chaos to China's north eastern border.

In what was seen as a bid to improve relations, the head of the ruling Communist Party's International Department travelled to Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, last week.

Few details have been released about his itinerary, including whether he met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The trip followed a visit to Beijing earlier this month by US President Donald Trump, who renewed calls for China to step up pressure on North Korea to end its missile and nuclear programmes.

[The Independent, UK, on November 25, 2017]


On November 24 China Customs reported that trade contacts between China and North Korea have gradually been reduced and dropped in size since October. That month, for the first time, neither iron ore nor lead or coal was imported by China. By that move China has implemented the United Nations' resolution on sanctioning North Korea.


In June China's [market organizations] for crude oil and natural gas stopped selling petrol and diesel oil to North Korea.

[DW 多维新闻网 on November 26, 2017]

[South China Morning Post on November 24, 2017]


Will or will not sanctions force North Korea
to abandon [its] nukes ? (Global Hotspot)

The above photo from April 15, 2017, is showing continued military drills
of joint U.S. and South Korean troops at the border to North Korea.

[People's Daily, Beijing, on November 25, 2017]


Song Tao, director of the international liaison department of China's Communist Party, visited North Korea as Xi Jin Ping's special envoy. He returned to China on November 20 [in the evening]. Neither the Chinese nor the North Korean side spread information on whether Song Tao had met with Kim Jong-un or not. However the U.S. immediately listed N Korea another time on the blacklist of terrorist states. What kind of signal such proceedings are likely to release ?

[NTD-TV 新唐人 on November 21, 2017]


North Korean Cyber Crime Mining Foreign Assets

Cyber-crime is now a billion-dollar industry for North Korea. Cracking down on this criminal enterprise presents a strategic opportunity to apply further pressure on the Kim Jong-un regime.

Hard currency generated from cyber-crime is undermining global efforts to impose economic pressure on Pyongyang. As sanctions are imposed against its formal economy, North Korea has increased the scale of its illegal businesses. The massive criminal operation may be equivalent in size to the annual budget of the North Korean nuclear weapons program.

To generate such tremendous returns, North Korean hackers steal bitcoin, hold data ransom, and rob foreign banks, including the brazen heist of a sovereign nation’s central bank that netted $81 million. Evidence suggests the spree of bank robberies continues across Australia’s region, with attacks against banks in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Taiwan. The UK government has now also attributed the global WannaCry ransomware attacks that in May crippled thousands of computers to North Korea.

North Korea's leadership views its cyber-capabilities as a unique advantage that it can deploy without fear of retribution. North Korea is one of the least ‘connected’ countries in the world, while its adversaries (countries such as Japan, South Korea, and the US) are internet dependent. And that dependence makes for vulnerability to cyber-attacks.

In the event of a conflict, North Korea likely believes it could remotely attack and degrade the financial systems, telecommunications infrastructure, energy utilities, and media networks of the US and its allies. Pyongyang has previously demonstrated this capability against South Korea, while WannaCry came perilously close to threatening human lives in hospitals around the globe.


China is, of course, key to any success with North Korea. To encourage China's leadership to take action, any legal case must present evidence of North Korean activity taking place on Chinese soil. The Chinese may find it difficult to support such criminality, especially when it threatens the stability of the global financial sector or undermines Chinese commitment to global law and order. China may be willing to bring charges of its own or deport those responsible for the attacks.

[The Interpreter, published by the Australian Lowy Institute on November 26, 2017]

朝鲜 Lazarus 团伙黑客工具分析

Analyzing the hacking tools of N Korea's "Lazarus" group mates.

Source link included to 电锋网, Chinese special interest website on November 16, 2017


Singapore visitor to "blueprint news" reminding an official missile alert
transmitted by Japan's NHK TV while some North Korean rocket was
just passing above Japan's northern region of Hokkaido.

Visitor from Washington DC interested in president Trump's diplomacy of name calling.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Lebanon - Saudi Coup d'État ?

As confrontation grows between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the unexpected retreat of Lebanon's prime minister Hariri while being in Riadh for talks with the Saudi Crown Prince has triggered off rumours of a militant Saudi move to replace Hariri with his hard-line brother Bahaa who might abandon a coalition of national agreement with Hizbollah that is seen by the Saudis as a protegee of Iran, both, in Lebanon where it was acting as a political party in Hariri's ruling coalition and in Syria where the military branch of Hizbollah is fighting side by side with Iranian units.

Animosities between Saudi Arabia and Iran derive as well from Iranian support for Houthi rebels in Yemen who are still being fought by a Saudi-led alliance. Tensions accelerated only recently when a missile from Yemen targeted the Saudi capital of Riadh.

Rumors of the virtual kidnapping of Lebanon's prime minister Hariri, who resigned last Saturday while in Saudi Arabia, have rocked the Arab world; Lebanese officials worry that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS as the 32-year-old crown prince is known, wants to force Lebanon into his confrontation with Iran. Some Lebanese analysts complain that the Saudis treat the Hariri family, who have been bankrolled by Riyadh for decades, almost as a wholly owned subsidiary.

According to well-informed Lebanese sources, the tale began on Monday, Oct. 30, when Hariri traveled to Saudi Arabia for a personal meeting with MBS. With the crown prince was Thamer al-Sabhan, his key adviser on relations with other Arab states.


Lebanese sources believe Hariri’s harder-line older brother Bahaa may be Riyadh’s candidate for prime minister. Other Hariri relatives were summoned to Riyadh last week but refused to go; it’s said that Bahaa was already there. The sources also say that Bahaa sent Safi Kalo, a close adviser, to meet secretly 10 days ago with Druze leader Walid Jumblatt to discuss future strategy for Lebanon, but Jumblatt is said to have left the meeting, refusing to discuss the subject.

The Washington Post article appeared on November 10, 2017, in an English and Arabic version.

لسعودية توقف بالقوة رئيس وزراء لبنان

Saudi [Arabia] Stopped Lebanon's Prime Minister by Force.

Lebanese PM Hariri (l) meeting with Saudi King Salman (r)

ـ"واشنطن بوست": هذه كواليس استقالة الحريري.. وبهاء أرسل مستشاره للقاء جنبلاط

Washington Post: That [] retreat of Hariri .........
and Bahaaa sending his coucillor to [] Jumblatt.

ونشرت الصحيفة الأميركية مقالاً للكاتب ديفيد اغناتيوس باللغة العربية ذكر فيه معلومات قال إنه حصل عليها من مصادر في لبنان

The American journal published an article written in Arabic by David Ignatius where he mentioned information which he said derived from Lebanese sources.

[Lebanon 24 لبنان quoting The Washington Post on November 12, 2017]

أخبار لبنان - رئيس لبنان يقول وضع الحريري "غامض وملتبس"ـ

Lebanon News - The Lebanese president says
the situation of Hariri is "incertain and confuse".

قال الرئيس اللبناني ميشال عون اليوم السبت إن كل ما صدر أو يمكن أن يصدر عن سعد الحريري “لا يعكس الحقيقة” بسبب غموض وضعه منذ أعلن الاستقالة من رئاسة وزراء البلاد الأسبوع الماضي

On Saturday [i.e. November 11], Lebanon's president Michel Aoun said, if all that was published or is possibly being published about Saed al-Hariri is "not reflecting reality", it might be because of confusion over his situation since he declared the retreat from the presidency of the nation's [council of] ministers last week.

[The Horizon News الأفق نيوز on November 12, 2017. News confirmed by Reuters.]


Recent visitors to "blueprint news" coming from U.S. and Saudi universities:

Monday, November 06, 2017

Trump on N Korea - Strategic Patience Over

Trump says 'strategic patience' with North Korea over
as [Japan's leader] Abe introduces sanctions.

The time for "strategic patience" with North Korea is over, U.S. President Donald Trump said today after winning Japan's backing on his policy of considering all options to rein in the rogue state.

[SBS, Australian news service on November 6, 2017]


Report says: The radiation from a North Korean nuclear test
could be blown with the wind into the direction of Japan.

[Epoch Times 大纪元 on November 4, 2017]

Australia conducts naval drills to stop and search
North Korean weapons ships.

Defence Minister Marise Payne said the drills would enforce UN Security Council Resolution 2375, concerning "the interdiction of vessels carrying suspicious cargo".

Australian frigates HMAS Melbourne and HMAS Parramatta will undertake the training alongside South Korea's Sejong the Great destroyer ship and USS Chafee, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

The training mission came as the Pentagon outlayed the grim choices facing the US and its allies in stopping North Korea, saying that a full ground invasion of the country was "the only way" to be certain it could destroy all of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons.

[The Sidney Morning Herald on November 6, 2017]

[Editor's Note: The Pentagon's evaluation of reasonable military options was given as an answer to the request of some U.S. Congressmen and was confirmed by different western sources the day before.]