Sunday, March 4, 2012

DTN News - NORTH KOREAN DEFENSE NEWS: Kim Jong-un - North Korea Puts DMZ Troops On Alert

Defense News: DTN News - NORTH KOREAN DEFENSE NEWS: Kim Jong-un - North Korea Puts DMZ Troops On Alert
*North Korea's Kim Visits DMZ, Orders High Alert - AP
*North Korea's Kim Orders High Alert During DMZ Visit ~ The China Post Taiwan
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources  AP , The Independent UK, TWN, AFP , DTN News & Reuters
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - March 4, 2012: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered troops along the heavily armed border with rival South Korea to be on high alert during a visit to the Demilitarized Zone, state media reported Sunday. 
Kim's visit to Panmunjom village, his first reported trip there since the December death of his father, Kim Jong Il, comes amid escalating militaristic rhetoric aimed at U.S. ally South Korea just days after Washington and Pyongyang agreed to a nuclear deal after years of deadlock.

Recent North Korean threats, including vows of a “sacred war” against Seoul over U.S.-South Korean military drills, appear to be aimed at a domestic audience, analysts say, and could be an effort to bolster Kim Jong Un's credentials as a military leader after showing off his diplomatic skills on the U.S. nuclear deal.

Still, the rhetoric keeps the region on edge and complicates diplomatic efforts to settle the standoff over North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Washington has said that better inter-Korean ties are crucial for diplomacy to succeed. North Korea has also acted on its threats in the past. Fifty South Koreans died in violence blamed on North Korea in 2010, leading to fears of a broader conflict.

On Sunday, tens of thousands of North Koreans rallied in Pyongyang, vowing to topple South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who ended a no-strings-attached aid policy to the North when he took power in 2008, instead linking assistance to nuclear disarmament.

In rhetoric typical of the North, military chief Ri Yong Ho warned in a speech at Pyongyang's main Kim Il Sung Square that the North Korean army would “sweep out” the South Korean traitors using their guns, according to footage from North Korea's state TV.
A crowd of soldiers and citizens later paraded through the plaza, pumping their fists and chanting, “Let's kill Lee Myung-bak by tearing him to pieces.”

The North's foreign ministry said on Sunday the North's people were “full of hatred resentment” at the South's leader amid Seoul's ongoing joint military exercises with the U.S., which it says are war games for an invasion.

The state-run KCNA said more than 1.7 million young North Korean men have volunteered to join the army since Friday in a bid for “all-people revenge on South Korean human scum.”

A spokesman of the South's unification ministry that handles cross-border affairs said Seoul had no official comment on the rally, adding that responding to criticism from Pyongyang does little to improve ties.

The threats are aimed internally as Kim Jong Un bolsters his power among the elite and military as the third generation of his family to lead the country, said Jeung Young-tae, an analyst with the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul.
“It's something that Kim Jong Un must do as the successor,” Jeung said Sunday. “The North did a similar thing when Kim Jong Il appeared as the new leader” in 1994 following the death of his father, North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, he said.

Pyongyang is also angry about a South Korean military unit near Seoul recently posting threatening slogans beneath portraits of Kim Jong Un and his father.

During his Panmunjom visit, Kim Jong Un told troops to “maintain the maximum alertness as they are standing in confrontation with the enemies at all times,” according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

State TV aired photos of Kim, dressed in a dark overcoat, shaking hands with a helmeted soldier and giving rifles and machine guns as souvenirs to troops.

Panmunjom is a cluster of huts inside the 154-mile (248-kilometer) -long DMZ, which is jointly overseen by the U.S.-led U.N. Command and North Korea in an arrangement established in 1953 to supervise the cease-fire that ended the three-year Korean War. About 28,500 American troops are still stationed in South Korea.

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*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources AP , The Independent UK, TWN, AFP , DTN News & Reuters
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*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

DTN News - PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN RUSSIA 2012: Putin Wins Russian Presidential Election-Exit Polls

Defense News: DTN News - PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN RUSSIA 2012: Putin Wins Russian Presidential Election-Exit Polls
* Putin wins presidency - exit polls
* Opposition alleges fraud, plans protests
* Putin faces worst protests of his 12-year rule (Releads with exit polls)
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By Timothy Heritage and Guy Faulconbridge - Reuters
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - March 4, 2012: Vladimir Putin won a resounding victory in Russia's presidential election on Sunday, exit polls showed, securing a new six-year term in the Kremlin and a mandate to deal with opposition protests after a vote that opponents said was marred by fraud.
Two television exit polls, released after voting ended at 1700 GMT, forecast the former KGB spy would win 59.3 and 58.3 percent of the votes, enough to make a runoff against the second-placed candidate unnecessary.
His nearest rival, communist Gennady Zyuganov, fell short of 20 percent in both polls.
Putin's opponents said voting in many parts of the vast country was skewed to help him return to the presidency after four years as prime minister and vowed to step up the biggest protests since he rose to power 12 years ago.
But although they portray him as an authoritarian ruler who is out of touch, his victory had not been in any doubt.
The main challenge for Putin, credited by many Russians credit with rebuilding the country's image and overseeing an economic boom, was to win outright in the first round.
"I think the elections will be legitimate, fair, and Putin will win in the first round, unless the court rules otherwise," Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, was shown saying on Internet and cable television channel TV Dozhd before voting ended.
Putin was likely to portray the victory as strong backing against the opposition protesters, although he has promised not to crack down on them.
He is also expected to return to the Kremlin with tough fighting talk against the West, a trademark of his first presidency and election campaign.
Some voters expressed anger at being offered no real choice in a vote pitting Putin against four others - communist Zyuganov, nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, ex-parliamentary speaker Sergei Mironov and billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.
Others said Putin, 59, who has portrayed himself as a man of action and guardian of stability, was the tough national leader the world's biggest country and energy producer needed.
"I voted for Putin because he was a good president and our children were looked after and that's all. That's how I feel," said Maria Fedotova, a 92-year-old grandmother wrapped up in fur coat and hat, flanked by relatives.
Putin has remained Russia's dominant leader and its most popular politician since stepping aside in 2008 to make way for his ally, Dmitry Medvedev, because he was barred from a third straight term by the constitution.
But some voters are tired of his macho antics, such as horse riding bare chested, and a system that concentrates power in his hands. They fear he could win two more terms, ruling until 2024 - almost as long as Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.
Vote monitors from the opposition and bloggers posted allegations of election rigging across the country of 143 million. Golos, an independent monitoring group, said it had registered at least 2,283 reports of violations nationwide.
An Interior Ministry spokesman denied there had been any major violations. Election officials also dismissed reports of widespread fraud in a parliamentary election on Dec. 4 which triggered the opposition protests.
Thousands of opposition activists as well as an international observer mission were also monitoring the polls.
The opposition protests were sparked by the disputed Dec. 4 election, but anger was focused at Putin, who bungled the Sept. 24 announcement of his presidential bid by appearing simply to inform Russians that he would rule for another six years.
Alexei Navalny, a prominent opposition leader and anti-corruption blogger, said before the vote that Putin's election could not be legitimate and called for more protests, including tent camps in Moscow. (Writing by Timothy Heritage, Editing by Douglas Busvine)

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*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By Timothy Heritage and Guy Faulconbridge - Reuters
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

DTN News - CHINA DEFENSE NEWS: China Military Budget Tops $100 Billion

Defense News: DTN News - CHINA DEFENSE NEWS: China Military Budget Tops $100 Billion
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources BBC News
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - March 4, 2012: China's official defence spending will rise by 11.2% in 2012, pushing it above $100bn (£65bn) for the first time, the government has announced.
Beijing's defence budget has risen each year for two decades to become the world's second-biggest, behind the US.

It is developing an aircraft carrier, a stealth fighter jet, and missiles that can shoot down satellites.

The US promised to bolster its presence in the region last year, in a move seen as countering China's dominance.

Washington, which spends about $740bn on defence each year, already has bases housing thousands of American troops across the region.

The BBC's Martin Patience in Beijing says Chinese officials remain wary about growing American influence in the region, and believe Washington wants to encircle China.

'Peaceful development'

China's emerging military might has especially worried its near neighbours.

China has long-running territorial disputes with Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan, and has also positioned hundreds of missiles for a potential attack on Taiwan, which it views as part of its territory.


  • US: $739.3bn
  • China: $106bn
  • UK: $63.7bn
  • Russia: $52.7bn
  • India: $31.9bn
Sources: IISS; Chinese government
Announcing the new budget, Li Zhaoxing, an official with China's parliament, sought to calm concerns over the spending programme.
"China is committed to the path of peaceful development and follows a national defence policy that is defensive in nature," he said.
"China has 1.3 billion people, a large territory and long coastline, but our defence spending is relatively low compared with other major countries."
As a proportion of its GDP, China's official military budget is far lower than either the US or the UK.
But foreign experts have estimated that Beijing's actual military spending could be as much as double the official budget.

During 2011, China carried out its first test flight of a stealth fighter jet, and the first sea trial of its aircraft carrier.

Both pieces of equipment remain years away from active deployment.

Beijing is also building new submarines and ships, and developing a range of anti-ship ballistic missiles.

The armed forces, known as the People's Liberation Army, boasts more than two million personnel - the biggest military in the world.



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*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources BBC  News 
*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News 
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News 

DTN News - ISRAELI DEFENSE NEWS: Setting The Record Straight By Obama And Israel

Defense News: DTN News - ISRAELI DEFENSE NEWS: Setting The Record Straight By Obama And Israel
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By Dr. Guy Ziv - Assistant Professor of International Relations, School of International Service, American University - Huffington Post
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - March 4, 2012: When President Obama addresses the annual conference of the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) next week, he will be given an important opportunity to set the record straight on his administration's handling of U.S.-Israel relations. The president's outreach to the Arab and Muslim world, as well as his policy and personal differences with Prime Minister Netanyahu, have led to charges that he is either insufficiently "pro-Israel" or downright "anti-Israel." While these critics are a minority within the American Jewish community -- Obama won 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008 and will likely receive similar backing in November -- they and their Christian fundamentalist allies will be present in large numbers at the AIPAC gathering, which tends to disproportionately attract hawks on Israel.
Charges against Obama's pro-Israel credentials are ill-informed but have become all the more pronounced in this election year. GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney alleged that the president "threw Israel under the bus" when he announced last May that the foundation for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement would be a return to the pre-1967 borders, with adjustments based on demographic changes. Yet Obama's statement was consistent with more than a decade of U.S. policy dating to the Clinton Parameters of December 2000. It also echoed a widely-held view in Israel that was articulated by Netanyahu's predecessor, Ehud Olmert.
Chomping at the bit to take a swipe at Obama, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum made a similar throwing-Israel-under-the-bus accusation, suggesting that Obama would accept a nuclear Iran in return for a continued flow of oil. Newt Gingrich has likewise entered the fray in an ironic way, accusing the administration of being "out of touch with reality" for its approach to Middle East peace, while, at the same time, repeating the old canard that the Palestinians are an "invented" people.
Obama will surely not be able to silence his critics with a speech, but he can certainly defang them by exposing their false claims and pointing to his administration's very strong record on Israel.
Contrary to the accusations leveled by Obama's critics, bilateral defense cooperation is both broader and deeper today than at any time in history. This is especially the case with respect to missile defense, where the two countries have cooperated in the creation of a three-tiered air defense system. With Iran in mind, the Obama administration signed an agreement with the Israelis in July 2010 to develop a high-altitude Arrow-3 interceptor, a long-range system designed to hit incoming missiles outside the Earth's atmosphere. A month later, the administration signed an agreement with the Israelis to jointly develop David's Sling, an air defense system designed to counter missile and rockets with ranges of 25-185 miles. In addition to the more than $200 million the administration has allocated for these state-of-the-art systems, the Obama administration has provided Israel with $205 million for the Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system, which is designed to counter short-range rocket and artillery shells from the Gaza Strip and Lebanon and has already saved Israeli lives from rocket attacks emanating from Gaza.
Unprecedented bilateral defense cooperation has also been pursued in other realms. Determined to ensure that Israel retains its status as having the most advanced fighter aircraft in the Middle East, Obama has agreed to sell Israel the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which President Bush had refused to do. Although mechanical problems have held up their production and will therefore delay their delivery date, the Israeli defense establishment regards the purchase of these advanced combat aircraft to be of critical importance to Israel's security.
The Obama administration has also moved to strengthen force interoperability between Washington and Jerusalem. Indeed, the U.S. armed forces and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will conduct the largest joint exercises in the history of U.S.-Israel relations later this year. The "Austere Challenge 12" drills will test new ballistic missile and rocket defense capabilities and improve the capacity of the U.S. and Israeli militaries to operate together.
To be sure, the Obama administration has raised serious concerns about the wisdom of the Netanyahu government's purported inclination to preemptively strike Iran's nuclear facilities this spring. But these concerns are shared, also, by the last two Mossad chiefs, Meir Dagan and Ephraim Halevy, former IDF intelligence head Shlomo Gazit, and a bevy of other Israeli and American security experts. Notwithstanding the president's skepticism of an Israeli military strike against Iran, the administration has been working in "lockstep" with Israel to prevent Iran from going nuclear. Nor has the president ruled out a military operation against Iran; rather, he continues to stress that all options remain on the table and that Iran must not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon.
The Obama administration also has imposed the toughest sanctions on Iran to date and, significantly, won support for tough sanctions from some formerly reticent European allies. In February, Obama signed the executive order approving sanctions on Iran's Central Bank, adding to the growing list of sanctions on Iran. Shortly thereafter, the Treasury Department added Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security to its list of global terrorists, thereby freezing their assets in the United States, barring Americans from conducting business with it, and banning ministry employees from travel to the United States. According to Dennis Ross, who has served five administrations -- he recently stepped down as a senior Middle East adviser to President Obama -- the sanctions are working.
Obama also has been a champion of Israel in international diplomatic forums. From condemning Palestinian incitement against Israel to vetoing anti-Israel resolutions in the UN, Obama has consistently worked to combat efforts at delegitimizing Israel. Most significantly, last fall he opposed the Palestinian request for UN admission as a state, arguing that a Palestinian state can only emerge from negotiations with Israel. According to Robert Satloff of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Obama delivered "one of the most impassioned statements in support of Israel ever made by an American president at the [United Nations] General Assembly."
In terms of tangible contributions to Israel's security, Israel has a solid friend in President Obama. Long-term security for Israel, however, will not come from military equipment and diplomatic support alone. Obama has yet to deliver what Israel needs most: a peace deal with the Palestinians. Although the Israeli and Palestinian leaders are largely to blame for the stalemate in the peace process, U.S. engagement on this issue -- including pressuring both sides to compromise -- on a sustained basis and at the highest level is critical if a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to be realized. This is not what the AIPAC crowd wants to hear, but it is what any true friend of Israel in the White House needs to do.

*Link for This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources By Dr. Guy Ziv - Assistant Professor of International Relations, School of International Service, American University - Huffington Post
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*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News