Thursday, July 22, 2010

DTN News: North Korea Condemns US Sanctions, Naval Drills

Defense News: DTN News: North Korea Condemns US Sanctions, Naval Drills
Source: DTN News / AFP
(NSI News Source Info) HANOI - July 23, 2010: North Korea on Thursday condemned imminent US-South Korea naval exercises as a threat to global peace as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Vietnam for Asia-Pacific security talks.
A spokesman for the North Korean delegation at the talks in Hanoi also dismissed fresh US sanctions against the isolated regime for its alleged sinking of a South Korean warship, saying they violated a UN statement.
"Such movements pose a great threat not only to the peace and security of the Korean peninsula but also to global peace and security," the spokesman, Ri Tong Il, told reporters.
"If the US is truly interested in the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, it must take the lead in creating an atmosphere (for dialogue) rather than... staging military exercises or imposing sanctions."
The nuclear-armed North has warned of war if it is punished over the sinking of the Cheonan in the Yellow Sea in March with the loss of 46 lives, an incident that has sharply raised tensions on the peninsula.
The United States says its naval exercises starting Sunday and involving an aircraft carrier, destroyers and thousands of troops are meant as a "deterrence" against North Korean "aggression".
In Washington State Department spokesman Philip Crowley rejected North Korea's accusations that the drills were a provocation and said Pyongyang was the real threat to regional peace.
Clinton said the sanctions were designed to pile pressure on the Pyongyang leadership and not aimed at the North Korean people, "who have suffered too long due to the misguided and malign priorities of their government".
State Department officials said Clinton would ask Beijing to do more to wring change from its ally North Korea during bilateral talks with China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Hanoi.
The two are expected to meet Friday on the sidelines of the 27-member ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the Asia-Pacific's biggest security dialogue.
Crowley has said Clinton would ask Yang to look at additional steps to pressure North Korea to stop what Clinton called its "destabilising, illicit and provocative policies".
South Korea, the United States and other nations -- citing the findings of a multinational investigation -- have accused the North of sending a submarine to torpedo the ship.
Pyongyang angrily denies the allegations and China has not blamed its communist ally.
Daniel Pinkston, Northeast Asia analyst for the International Crisis Group think-tank, said China's cooperation in implementing any new sanctions on the North would be "absolutely crucial".
Friction over the sinking of the corvette has tested already strained relations between Washington and Beijing, which froze military ties with the United States in January over arms sales to Taiwan.
The UN condemned the Cheonan incident as a threat to peace, expressed concern at the findings of the investigation but noted the North's denial and did not apportion blame -- a result hailed as a "victory" in Pyongyang.
China has also warned Washington and Seoul against the exercises.
A draft ARF declaration expresses "deep concern" over the Cheonan incident and supports the July 9 UN statement, without blaming the North or acknowledging the probe that found it responsible for the alleged attack.
It also calls for the resumption of six-party talks on North Korean disarmament -- an idea already floated by Pyongyang but rejected by Seoul and Washington unless the North demonstrates sincerity.
"North Korea must show genuine willingness and make progress in denuclearisation before the six-party talks can take place," South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-Hwan said.
The countries involved in the stalled talks -- China, Japan, the two Koreas, Russia and the United States -- will be represented at the ARF but officials expect little progress will be made on resuming the dialogue.
Clinton also voiced concerns over suspected exports of military equipment from North Korea to junta-ruled Myanmar.
Washington fears growing military ties between the states after a report that the Southeast Asian nation has begun a nuclear weapons programme with Pyongyang's help.

DTN News: Israeli, Greek Leaders Vow Closer Ties

Defense News: DTN News: Israeli, Greek Leaders Vow Closer Ties
Source: DTN News / AFP
(NSI News Source Info) JERUSALEM, Israel - July 23, 2010: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with visiting Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Thursday, announcing a tightening of ties between the two nations.
The visit comes at a time of crisis in the once-warm relationship between Israel and Greece's arch-rival, Turkey, since an Israeli commando raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship in which nine Turkish activists were killed on May 31.
"At the end of the meeting they agreed to a major upgrade of relations between Israel and Greece on a range of bilateral issues," said Netanyahu's office, adding that Papandreou had invited Netanyahu to visit Athens.
Papandreou, on a two-day visit to the region, was to meet Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas later on Thursday.
Netanyahu asked the Greek leader to urge Abbas to begin direct peace talks with Israel.
The Palestinians have refused to move from US-brokered indirect talks to face-to-face peace negotiations without a complete freeze on Israeli settlement expansion on occupied land.

DTN News: Five Yemeni Soldiers Killed In Qaeda-Style Ambush

Defense News: DTN News: Five Yemeni Soldiers Killed In Qaeda-Style Ambush
Source: DTN News / AFP
(NSI News Source Info) SANAA, Yemen - July 23, 2010: Suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen on Thursday ambushed a Yemeni army patrol under cover of darkness in the mountainous east of the country, killing five soldiers and wounding one, a security official told AFP.
The attack on an army vehicle took place in Ataq, capital of Shabwa province, a stronghold of radical cleric and key leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Anwar al-Awlaqi.
The cleric was added last Friday to a US list of terrorism supporters.
"Five soldiers were killed and the sixth was injured in ... Shabwa in an armed attack by suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Yemen's ruling party's official website,, quoted Shabwa security chief General Ahmed al-Maqdashi as saying Al-Qaeda was to blame.
"Al-Qaeda elements in cooperation and coordination with subversive elements attacked an army patrol in the city of Ataq ... which resulted in the martyrdom of five and the injury of a sixth soldier," Maqdashi said.
Members of the separatist Southern Movement had supported the assailants who used "light and medium machine-guns," he said.
They escaped after the ambush "despite the massive presence of security forces in Ataq and checkpoints set up around the city," according to the security official.
The killings follow simultaneous attacks on July 14 by some 20 suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen on the intelligence and security service headquarters in the south Yemen town of Zinjibar in which three policemen were killed and 11 wounded.
Al-Qaeda has also claimed responsibility for a deadly June attack on the country's intelligence headquarters in the southern port city of Aden in which 11 people -- seven military personnel, three women and a seven-year-old boy -- were killed.
Shabwa along with the Abyan region in former South Yemen have become regrouping bases for Islamist militants, with a top US counter-terrorism official warning the country could be turned into base by Al-Qaeda for training and plotting attacks.
Among the heavily-armed tribes based in Shabwa is that of Awlaqi.
The radical cleric rose to prominence last year after it emerged he had communicated by email with Major Nidal Hasan, a US army psychiatrist accused of opening fire on colleagues at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13.
The imam has also been linked to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian student accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound flight with explosives in his underwear on December 25.
Yemen, the ancestral homeland of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and the impoverished nation has witnessed repeated attacks claimed by the jihadists on foreign missions, tourist sites and oil facilities.
Yemen's government has intensified its operations against AQAP since the attempted Christmas Day bombing of the US-bound airliner, after details emerged that the attacker was apparently trained and supplied by the group.
As well as the resurgence of Al-Qaeda, Yemen is in the grip of an economic crisis, a secessionist movement in the south, and the aftermath of a long-running Zaidi Shiite rebellion in the north.
A tribal official told AFP on Thursday that fighting overnight between the Shiite rebels and army-backed tribes in Yemen's north killed 20 people on both sides, raising the death toll in five days of fighting to over 69.
The Huthi rebels and the government have repeatedly exchanged accusations of violating a February ceasefire which ended a six-month round of bloody conflict between the two sides.

DTN News: Israeli Soldiers Kill Palestinian Inside Settlement

Defense News: DTN News: Israeli Soldiers Kill Palestinian Inside Settlement
Source: DTN News / AFP
(NSI News Source Info) JERUSALEM, Israel - July 23, 2010: Israeli soldiers on Thursday shot dead a Palestinian man who infiltrated a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, an army spokeswoman said.
Two Palestinians, one of them "suspected of being armed," penetrated into the Barkan settlement close to the West Bank city of Nablus, the spokeswoman said.
It was earlier reported that one of the Palestinians was armed.
She added that soldiers stationed at the settlement shot at the infiltrators after the customary warnings, killing one, while the other fled during the dawn incident.
Soldiers were stationed at the settlement after a string of burglaries in the past few months, the spokeswoman said, while a police source said the suspect was believed to be a thief.
A joint investigation was opened with the Palestinians, the army said.
Palestinian police identified the victim as Bilal Abou Libneh, 25, from the town of Qalqilya, and said he was not a member of any armed group.
In an official statement, Ghassan Khatib, spokesman of the Palestinian government, said that the victim "was only suspected" of having a weapon on him.
He denounced what he said was the Israeli army's "current practice of shoot now and ask questions later."
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DTN News: India And Russia Continue Fifth Generation Fighter Talks

Defense News: DTN News: India And Russia Continue Fifth Generation Fighter Talks
Source: DTN News - this article / report compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources
(NSI News Source Info) FARNBOROUGH, England - July 22, 2010: India and Russia are still discussing the terms of an agreement for their proposed Fifth Generation Fighter Programme, with Sukhoi Aircraft chief executive Mikhail Pogosyan expecting a contract to be signed by the end of 2010.A deal on the aircraft, which will be based on Russia's PAK-FA, was expected at the end of 2009. But it was held up as they hammered out issues relating to technology transfer and the cost of the programme.India and Russia will launch the joint fifth generation fighters by year end and have agreed to collaborate to develop heavy lift cargo helicopters and futuristic infantry combat vehicles.
The path for more hi-tech defence collaboration between Moscow and New Delhi was paved with the signing of the joint defence protocol by Defence Minister AK Antony and his Russian counterpart Anatoly Serdyukov.
The protocol extends military interaction between the two countries till 2020 and this is expected to make the path clear for inking more major defence joint ventures during the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in early December.
The protocol was signed here at the end of 9th session of India-Russia Intergovernmental Commission on military-technical cooperation (IRIGC-MTC) after assurances
from Moscow that all pending issues like the delivery of aircraft carrier Gorshkov and nuclear submarine Nerpa would be resolved at the earliest.
The protocol provides for completion of formalities by the year end to launch the joint designing, development and production of fifth generation fighter aircraft project.
Besides the development of a state-of-the-art multi-role transport aircraft (MTA) through a joint venture along the lines of highly successful BrahMos JV, India and Russia have also agreed to jointly develop a heavy lift cargo helicopter and futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV).
A joint statement released after the meeting said that India and Russia will collaborate in up-gradation of IAF's main strike fighter Su-30MKI, the older Mig-27 and T-72M1 battle tanks.
It said that the two sides had also worked out the production in India of Main Battle Tanks (MBT) T-90S with full technology transfer.
In his closing statement at the 9th session of IRIGC-MTC - the apex body for coordination of defence cooperation, Antony announced that both sides have agreed to extend their military interaction programme till 2020 and the concrete projects would be identified shortly for signing during Singh's Moscow visit in December.
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact: and may be forwarded or republished on your website with attribution to

DTN News: Eurocopter And Kawasaki Heavy Industries Sign New Cooperation Agreement

Defense News: DTN News: Eurocopter And Kawasaki Heavy Industries Sign New Cooperation Agreement
Source: DTN News / Eurocopter
(NSI News Source Info) FARNBOROUGH, England - July 22, 2010:At the Farnborough Air Show today (July 20), Shigeru Murayama, President of Kawasaki Heavy Industries Aerospace Company (KHI) and Lutz Bertling, President and CEO of Eurocopter, signed a new cooperation agreement for the EC145, a new evolution from the BK117 helicopter family. After more than 30 years of successful cooperation in the BK117/EC145 programme, today’s (July 20) signature will extend the partnership of the two companies by another 15 years, until 2025.Lutz Bertling, CEO of Eurocopter, stated, “The cooperation between KHI and Eurocopter in Germany works very smoothly despite the long distance, time zone difference and cultural differences. The extension of our contract by another 15 years underlines the success story of our joint product”.
The German-Japanese cooperation started in 1977 with the mutual development of the BK117 helicopter, which had its maiden flight in June 1979. Several upgrades of the BK117 were carried out over the years until, in 1999, the latest development, the EC145 (designated BK117 C-2 in Japan) took off for its maiden flight.
Until today (July 20), more than 800 helicopters of BK117/EC145 helicopters have been delivered worldwide by the two partner companies who share development and manufacturing, with three final assembly lines: one in Donauwörth in Germany, one in Gifu, Japan and one in Columbus, Mississipi, U.S.A.
The programme’s biggest success to date came in 2006 when the EC145 was selected by the U.S. Army as its new Light Utility Helicopter (LUH). The contract is envisaged to comprise more than 350 LUHs in total. More than 100 helicopters, which are designated UH-72A in their U.S. Army configuration, have been delivered to the customer on time and on cost from American Eurocopter’s production line in Columbus, Mississippi.
Both KHI and Eurocopter are confident of further market success of the BK117/EC145 family and future derivatives.
About Eurocopter
Established in 1992, the Franco-German-Spanish Eurocopter Group is a Division of EADS, a world leader in aerospace, defense and related services. The Eurocopter Group employs approx. 15,600 people. In 2009, Eurocopter confirmed its position as the world’s No. 1 helicopter manufacturer in the civil and parapublic market, with a turnover of 4.6 billion Euros, orders for 344 new helicopters, and a 52 percent market share in the civil and parapublic sectors. Overall, the Group’s products account for 30 percent of the total world helicopter fleet. Its strong worldwide presence is ensured by its 18 subsidiaries on five continents, along with a dense network of distributors, certified agents and maintenance centers. More than 10,500 Eurocopter helicopters are currently in service with over 2,800 customers in more than 140 countries. Eurocopter offers the largest civil and military helicopter range in the world.