Information Warfare · Russia

Russia / Strategy Media Update – 8 May 2017


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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Russia and DPRK cannot compete with France for MSM traffic today.

Leading Russian item is the domestic GULAG report. Domestic meltdown continues, while Vlad tries to leverage V-E day for personal enhancement. Russia starts laying Black Sea seabed pipeline to Balkans to bypass Ukraine. China’s biggest social media chat system blocked in Russia for reasons identical to blocking of US services.

IO – good essays on propaganda, trolling and cyber.

In Ukraine, Donbass fires continues, while Eurovision devours MSM bandwidth. Notable BBC report on Dr Zakharova’s misfortunes in Crimea and the Ukrainian public reaction. Turchenov discusses Ukraine’s WW2 losses – 14 million civilians and military killed during the period.

Most notable Syria report deals with the mutual sabotage of Russian and Iranian propaganda deceptions over the Sarin attack.

Most notable DPRK reports indicate Russia may be trying to fill the vacuum left behind by China in the support of the DPRK – this is consistent with Putin’s promotion of the DPRK as a societal exemplar in Russian propaganda, starting at least a year ago. Another US citizen taken hostage by the DPRK, now making four. Interesting history essay on how Mao’s only son was KIA as a result of a USAF napalm strike during the Korean War – China indeed paid dearly for its involvement in that war.

In Europe, Macron is now President of France, while Merkel beats the SDP in a state election.

US domestic debate on Russia continues.


Russia / Russophone Reports


‘Putin’s GULAG more horrible than Stalin’s,’ researchers say | EUROMAIDAN PRESSEuromaidan Press |

Many people of good will around the world have been horrified by the case of Rizvan Ibragimov who has been subject to electro-shocks and other forms of torture for writing a history of Chechnya challenging the version approved by Ramzan Kadyrov, but they have dismissed such crimes as “Chechnya specific.” But two researchers who have examined the issue of mistreatment of prisoners in Russia, Aleksandr and Olga Belyavsky, say that is a mistake because torture is now widespread in the Russian penal system and that, in their view, “Putin’s GULAG is more horrible than Stalin’s.” The Russian penal facilities in Chelyabinsk oblast, they say, are “known among thousands of convicts as ‘the Gestapo.’” They will do almost anything to avoid being sent there, apparently including taking their own lives lest they fall victim to the tortures there that are so horrific that it is difficult to imagine exist in the 21st century, even in Russia. On the basis of reports compiled by prisoner rights groups, testimony from former prisoners, and their own investigation, jailers in Chelyabinsk have tortured prisoners, including sexually, refused them necessary medical treatment, and threatened those who complained with a repetition. (Complaints to Moscow, the two say, are simply returned to the jailers.) To cover their tracks, the two investigators continue, jail officials frequently falsify records to show that those they have beaten have in fact fallen down stairs and injured themselves. According to Mikhail Yermuraki, a former inmate who was paroled one day before the end of his 13-year term so that the authorities could re-arrest him, “beatings and tortures have acquired a mass character in all Russian penal institutions in Chelyabinsk.” Some tortures have even taken place in prison clinics and with the connivance of the medical personnel there.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: ‘Putin’s GULAG More Horrible than Stalin’s,’ Researchers Say

Paul Goble Staunton, May 7 – Many people of good will around the world have been horrified by the case of Rizvan Ibragimov who has been subject to electro-shocks and other forms of torture for writing a history of Chechnya challenging the version approved by Ramzan Kadyrov, but they have dismissed such crimes as “Chechnya specific” (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/302255/). But two researchers who have examined the issue of mistreatment of prisoners in Russia, Aleksandr and Olga Belyaev, say that is a mistake because torture is now widespread in the Russian penal system and that, in their view, “Putin’s GULAG is more horrible than Stalin’s” (akirama.com/2017/05/06/3565/). The Russian penal facilities in Chelyabinsk oblast, they say, are “known among thousands of convicts as ‘the gestapo.’” They will do almost anything to avoid being sent there, apparently including taking their own lives lest they fall victim to the tortures there that are so horrific that it is difficult to imagine exist in the 21st century, even in Russia. On the basis of reports compiled by prisoner rights groups, testimony from former prisoners, and their own investigation, jailors in Chelyabinsk have tortured prisoners, including sexually, refused them necessary medical treatment, and threatened those who complained with a repetition. (Complaints to Moscow, the two say, are simply returned to the jailers.) To cover their tracks, the two investigators continue, jail officials frequently falsify records to show that those they have beaten have in fact fallen down stairs and injured themselves. According to Mikhail Yermuraki, a former inmate who was paroled one day before the end of his 13-year term so that the authorities could re-arrest him, “beatings and tortures have acquired a mass character in all Russian penal institutions in Chelyabinsk.” Some tortures have even taken place in prison clinics and with the connivance of the medical personnel there.

Putin’s GULAG More Horrible than Stalin’s,’ Researchers Say – To Inform is to Influence

Sunday, May 7, 2017 Paul Goble Staunton, May 7 – Many people of good will around the world have been horrified by the case of Rizvan Ibragimov who has been subject to electro-shocks and other forms of torture for writing a history of Chechnya challenging the version approved by Ramzan Kadyrov, but they have dismissed…

Putin uses the Soviet defeat of Hitler to show why Russia needs him today – The Washington Post

Commercially patriotic Victory Day celebrations have become a way to legitimize the president’s hold on power.

Vladimir Putin’s girl soldiers march in Moscow’s Red Square as Russia’s President shows off country’s military muscle in rehearsals for annual Victory Day parade – Mirror Online

The 9 May holiday celebrates the Soviet Union’s defeat over Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

Condoleezza Rice: Vladimir Putin trying to re-establish “Russian greatness” – CBS News

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says that Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to re-establish &quot;Russian greatness&quot; with his assertiveness and aggressiveness abroad

Condoleezza Rice on Russia, Putin and Trump – CBS News

In addition to Moscow's interference in the U.S. election, the former Secretary of State talks about growing up in Jim Crow Alabama and the &quot;second founding of America&quot;

Condoleezza Rice interview: Full Transcript – CBS News

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice discussed Russia and the growing tensions between the U.S. and N. Korea with &quot;Face the Nation&quot; moderator John Dickerson

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Long-Haul Truckers Win a Victory in Kursk and May Bring Down Daghestani Leader

Paul Goble Staunton, May 8 – Long-haul truckers in Kursk suspended their strike over the weekend but only after officials there agreed not to raise fees or fines on them (kursk-izvestia.ru/news/26627/), yet another indication that the five-week old labor action has brought some real success and is not petering out as Moscow media continue to suggest. But the drivers may be about to win an even bigger victory: they may help force the Kremlin to replace Daghestan Republic head Ramazan Abdulatipov because his tone-deaf unwillingness to deal with the drivers has sent his rating to the bottom of all regional heads (riaderbent.ru/abdulatipov-opustilsya-na-dno-rejtinga-vliyaniya-glav-regionov-rf.html). In other developments, numerous truckers and their leaders took an active part in the demonstrations activists organized in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rostov and other cities on Saturday on the fifth anniversary of the massive Bolotnoye demonstrations of 2012 (fedpress.ru/news/77/society/1783813). And yesterday, long-haul drivers held a meeting in Ioshkar-Ola, the capital of Mari El, at which they adopted a resolution calling for the elimination of transport fees including the Plato system ones, a revision of rules governing how much cargo they can carry, and compensation for the special costs of using federal highways (idelreal.org/a/28473064.html). The drivers, who were operating under the direction of the Russian Carriers Union, sent their resolution to Putin, Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian ombudsman for entrepreneurial rights, the procurator general, the transportation minister, the speakers of both houses of parliament, the acting head of Mari El and the speaker of the State Assembly of the republic. The Mari El authorities had given the drivers permission to assemble, but republic justice ministry officials required that speakers where badges on which their names would be clearly visible. The truckers came up with a compromise which the officials accepted: they wrote their names on a plain piece of paper and handed it in. Local Mari civic activists, Andrey Svistunov and Yury Shalangin, also spoke at the meeting, with the former expressing regret that more non-truckers had not come to show solidarity. Both argued that they should because the government’s moves against the truckers parallel those against bus companies which have cost Ioshkar-Ola residents many routes.

Window on Eurasia — New Series: Europe Will Cease to Be Christian in 30 Years, Russia in 50, Moscow Patriarchate Official Says

Paul Goble Staunton, May 8 – Archpriest Dimitry Smirnov, head of the Patriarchal Commission on the Family, says that Europe will cease to be Christian in 30 years and Russia will do the same in 50, leading to a situation in which Muslims will control both and any remaining Christians will be forced “to live in a semi-underground manner.” The hierarch, who until recently headed the patriarchate’s office for work with the Russian military and security services and who has often attracted attention for hyperbolic remarks about the Islam and the West, made these predictions on Soyuz television at the end of last week (newsru.com/religy/05may2017/eu_islam.html). The signs of a Muslim take-over are already clear, the archpriest said. Christians are attacked and raped and can’t defend themselves because officials aren’t willing to crack down on the Muslim perpetrators. “This is in Europe” today, he said, “but we are next in turn” to experience the same thing. At present, he pointed out, Mohammed is already the most common name among newborns in the United Kingdom where the Muslims are having far more children per woman than is any other group. “Thirty years from now, all Europe will be simply Muslim” and Christians will live “underground.” In reporting Smirnov’s remarks, Newsru.com noted that the churchman is infamous for his extreme comments. Not long ago, for example, he said that “tens of thousands” of young Muslim men celebrate Islamic holidays, and then asked “Where have you seen so many Orthodoxy guys? Nowhere and never! Only old women!” He said young Muslims are prepared to die for their faith and to fight secular regimes because “they do not want to live in a place ruled by pederasts … They don’t want to sacrifice their principles, above all those about the family. And for this they are ready to die.” Tragically, Smirnov suggested, that isn’t true of those who call themselves Christians now.

Here’s the new target in Russia’s televised hunt for Islamic State terrorists – The Washington Post

The round of arrests in the St. Petersburg bombing investigation has targeted Central Asian migrants. 

The disruption of warheads and the failure of consciousness

The US will not get any potential for a “disarming strike” against the Russian Federation

Russia′s Gazprom starts building TurkStream gas pipeline under Black Sea | News | DW.COM | 07.05.2017

Russia’s Gazprom has begun construction on the TurkStream gas pipeline under the Black Sea to Turkey. Feeder lines are planned to also supply EU markets.

Russia struggles to unleash clean energy potential

Reliance on fossil fuels and politics keep investment away from renewables

The thief of nuclear secrets / Special services / Nezavisimaya gazeta

The fate of the Soviet spy-illegal immigrant, whose efforts Pretoria remained without a nuclear bomb


IW/IO/Cyber Reports


‘Why Isn’t Communism as Hated as Nazism?’ — The Patriot Post

Dennis Prager investigates the answers to this question for Prager University.

Grybauskaite: Freedom of speech is an indispensable weapon of information warfare

Freedom of speech strengthens the state, the Lithuanian president is sure. “The coming day of the century of the restoration of the state recalls that the restored Lithuanian press evoked national self-consciousness and stubbornly led Lithuania step by step by February 16,” the President of Lithuania said in his message. Dalia Grybauskaite also drew attention to the media’s obligations to civil society, to the hard work of journalists and responsibility in the service of professional duty and compliance with the requirements of honest and ethical journalism, en.delfi.lt reports . – Freedom of speech is an indispensable weapon of information warfare, in the fight against enemy propaganda, for suppression of narrow party, nomenclature or commercial interests. However, in the world media index, Lithuania this year fell by one position and now ranks 36th. One of the main reasons for this is the experts consider the risk that causes the interests of big business, – the president emphasized. According to her, an independent free word, affirming the principles of democracy and freedom, critical thought and openness, was and will be an undeniable value for Lithuania in strengthening the state. May 7 in Lithuania, traditionally celebrated the Day of the return of the press, language and books. After the uprising of 1863, the decision of tsarist Russia forbade the Lithuanian press in the Latin alphabet. This prohibition was in effect in 1864-1904. 09:03 08/05/2017

Proactive Threat Identification Neutralizes Remote Access Trojan Efficacy – To Inform is to Influence

Quote from Dan Williams, OSINT researcher: Recorded Future, a threat intelligence company together with Shodan, which is an internet search engine connecting services to internet devices, have created an online crawler which they call the Malware Hunter. The 15 page full report… https://go.recordedfuture.com/…/r…/threat-identification.pdf https://www.hackread.com/shodan-malware-hunter-program-to-expose-botnets/ Proactive Threat Identification Neutralizes Remote Access Trojan Efficacy By Levi Gundert…

Trolls, They’re Coming To Get You! – To Inform is to Influence

Hate trolls? Want a sweet revenge?  Here is one way…    You know, of course, there is going to be at least one troll who sues the sender and the baker for harassment, mostly because their safe space was violated. The trolls, however, are scared little punks, hidden in the darkness of anonymity. They’ll step…

Wikipedia Is Not As It Says, Trolls Rule – To Inform is to Influence

Trolls seem to reign supreme at Wikipedia, despite what they officially say.  The below article reveals how petty, unprofessional, and unaccountable Wikipedia actually is.   I’ve read quite a few Wikipedia pages where the information is just plain wrong, biased, and severely misleading. I’ve contemplated fixing what was wrong but decided not to when I…

Public-sector DDoS attacks on the decline but far more aggressive – Fifth Domain | Cyber

Fifth Domain is a news and information resource that brings civilian, defense, industry, private sector and critical infrastructure stakeholders together in one place for a holistic discussion on cybersecurity, both defense and offense. The cyberwar is here. Fifth Domain has it covered.

Trump’s latest draft cyber EO focuses on risk management, modernizing legacy IT – Fifth Domain | Cyber

Fifth Domain is a news and information resource that brings civilian, defense, industry, private sector and critical infrastructure stakeholders together in one place for a holistic discussion on cybersecurity, both defense and offense. The cyberwar is here. Fifth Domain has it covered.

Navy: Cyber resilience also means having a plan to operate without a network – Fifth Domain | Cyber

Fifth Domain is a news and information resource that brings civilian, defense, industry, private sector and critical infrastructure stakeholders together in one place for a holistic discussion on cybersecurity, both defense and offense. The cyberwar is here. Fifth Domain has it covered.

Spying made simple: Hackers using old tools against government computers – Fifth Domain | Cyber

Fifth Domain is a news and information resource that brings civilian, defense, industry, private sector and critical infrastructure stakeholders together in one place for a holistic discussion on cybersecurity, both defense and offense. The cyberwar is here. Fifth Domain has it covered.


Ukraine Reports


Ukrainians see ‘karma’ in dog bite for Russian official – To Inform is to Influence

This excerpt from Rosbalt.ru highlights some of the problems in Crimea under Russian rule.  According to the newspaper, on Thursday at the Promenade in Sevastopol, 6-year-old daughter Marii Zaharovoy bitten by a stray dog. Child promptly admitted to the city hospital number 5. However, according to the FORPOST, in medical institution did not have the necessary…

Ukrainians see ‘karma’ in dog bite for Russian official – BBC News

Little sympathy in Ukraine for a Russian official’s daughter bitten by a dog in Crimea.

Petro Poroshenko congratulated Emmanuel Macron on having been elected President of France — Official website of the President of Ukraine

Petro Poroshenko expressed special gratitude to Emmanuel Macron for his personal uncompromising support for Ukraine in terms of ongoing Russian aggression. “Your position in the course of the election campaign gives confidence that with your victory Ukraine has gained a reliable ally in the Normandy format and in its efforts to restore sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the message reads.

“We are counting on an ambitious cooperation with France,” – Poroshenko congratulated Macron on presidency

08.05.17 12:13 – We are counting on an ambitious cooperation with France, – Poroshenko congratulated Macron on presidency President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his victory in the presidential election in France. View news.

Some 14 mln Ukrainians died during World War II – Turchynov

More than 14 million Ukrainians were burnt in the crucible of World War II, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) Oleksandr Turchynov has said, the press service of the ministry reported. “Today, the whole world is celebrating the Day of Memory and Reconciliation, when we remember those people, the tens of millions of victims of World War II. We remember and honor all the heroes who gave their lives, protecting Ukraine from fascism and Stalinism,” a statement of the NSDC secretary, posted on the website of the ministry on Monday, says. Turchynov said that during the war more than 14 million Ukrainians were killed. “They died on the fronts, died of hunger and diseases, were removed from the motherland,” he wrote. He said that after decades of peace in Ukraine there is fighting again, this time because of Russian aggression. Crimea is occupied, the east is burning. Turchynov also said there are parallels between the events in Europe in the late thirties of the last century and the present day: the behavior and motivation of the aggressors at all times is the same. “It is impossible to pacify it, and the civilized world must decide whether to wait for the next step of the aggressor or stop it. We have answered this question long ago. This war has also become patriotic for us, because we defend our Motherland, our Ukraine,” Turchynov wrote. “I am sure we will pass our way with honor – the way to victory! God is on our side, Ukraine with us, a victory will be on our side!” he said.

Ukrainians mark Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation. VIDEO

08.05.17 11:02 – Ukrainians mark Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation. VIDEO On May 8, Ukraine honors the memory of Second World War victims. View video news.

Ukraine celebrates Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation (Video)

On May 8, Ukraine marks the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, which pays tribute to victims of the 1939-1945 World War II. Latest UNIAN news from 08 May.

Ukraine reports 65 enemy attacks in Donbas in last day | UNIAN

Russia's hybrid military forces attacked Ukrainian army positions in Donbas 65 times in the past 24 hours, according to the press service of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) Headquarters. News 08 May from UNIAN.

65 attacks recorded yesterday as enemy used heavy artillery, mortars, – ATO HQ

08.05.17 09:56 – 65 attacks recorded yesterday as enemy used heavy artillery, mortars, – ATO HQ Russian hybrid forces continue firing on Ukrainian positions in the Donbas. Over the past day, 65 attacks were registered. View news.

Russian occupation forces plan, conduct attacks against local population, provoke Ukrainian govt forces – JCCC

According to information provided by the Joint Control and Coordination Center (JCCC), Russian occupation forces on Sunday used banned weapons and shelled populated areas in Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) zone in eastern Ukraine.

Life On The Edge In Eastern Ukraine | HuffPost UK

“My cats eyes were so wide, he was also very afraid,” Diana tells us matter of factly. The 10-year-old is explaining what happened during a recent day of…

SBU detains group of arms dealers from ATO zone. PHOTOS

08.05.17 12:49 – SBU detains group of arms dealers from ATO zone. PHOTOS Security Service agents have apprehended a group of men involved in selling weapons and ammunition brought from the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) area in the Donbas. View photo news.

Occupiers raid Crimean Tatar neighborhood on anonymous letter charges, – Chubarov

08.05.17 14:13 – Occupiers raid Crimean Tatar neighborhood on anonymous letter charges, – Chubarov Russian invaders are searching Crimean Tatars’ houses in the village of Kapsykhor near Sudak town. View news.

Ukraine. USPA to reconstruct two berths in Mariupol this year — BlackSeaGrain

This year Ukrainian seaports authorities (USPA) will start reconstruction of the hydraulic engineering part of berths #3 – #4 in Mariupol seaport, reports UkrAgroConsult. The modernization of both berths in the port of Mariupol provides a projected depth of 9.75 m. Reconstruction of hydraulic engineering part of berth № 3 is planned to have a berth length of 145 m, throughput capacity of 1.0 MMT. The delivery period is 19 months. According to reconstruction plan of hydro-technical part of berth № 4, its length will be 234.38 m, capacity – 1.3 MMT. It is expected that the project will be completed during 17 months after the start. Berthing infrastructure development and dredging in Azov region is as important as in the ports of Big Odessa. As a reminder, water area of ports in the Sea of Azov is constantly silted and requires maintaining passport depths. In total, in 2017 it is planned to conduct dredging in the region with a volume of 853 thousand cubic meters.

EU Council to take final decision on visa-free for Ukrainians during Eurovision in Kyiv

Eurovision is the most famous song contest in the world and regardless of which country representative will win the Eurovision 2017 starting in Kyiv this Sunday, this contest will be the triumph of European values, European unity and solidarity, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said.

National Guard launches intensive patrolling of Kyiv’s downtown. PHOTOS

07.05.17 17:50 – National Guard launches intensive patrolling of Kyiv’s downtown. PHOTOS National guards have started enhanced patrolling of the center of Ukraine’s capital hosting the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest. View photo news.

Gerashchenko: Russian journalists who illegally visited Crimea not to be admitted to Ukraine | KyivPost

Representatives of Russian media who illegally visited Crimea, temporarily occupied by Russia, and thus violated Ukrainian legislation, will not be admitted to the territory of the Ukrainian state, Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to the Ukrainian interior minister and Verkhovna Rada deputy (People’s Front), has said. “None of those Russian journalists who are accredited in Kyiv for Eurovision and who previously violated the state border of Ukraine, illegally visiting the Ukrainian Crimea, will not be admitted to the territory of our country,” he wrote on his Facebook page on May 7 night.

Russian journalists accredited to Eurovision who illegally visited Crimea not to be admitted to Ukraine

Representatives of Russian media who illegally visited Crimea, temporarily occupied by Russia, and thus violated Ukrainian legislation, will not be admitted to the territory of the Ukrainian state, Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to the Ukrainian interior minister and Verkhovna Rada deputy (People’s Front), has said.

Eurovision 2017 in Ukraine: Explore Central Kyiv’s Top Tourist Sights – YouTube

Khreshchatyk is a favorite spot for tourists visiting the Ukrainian capital. With the huge number of shops and attractions, Eurovision Song Contest host Kyiv…

Ukraine Finally Figures Out What Rest Of World Already Knew: Steven Seagal Is A Dangerous Man – Bleeding Cool Comic Book, Movie, TV News

Steven Seagal is Under Siege in the Ukraine today after being Marked For Death — or at least banned from entering the country. The Ukraine opted for the Ma


Russia / Iran / Syria / Iraq / OEF Reports


Syrian conflict: Putin’s Perfidy! – To Inform is to Influence

Laurie Mylroie In 2013, Dr. Fiona Hill, who was recently appointed as senior director for European and Russian Affairs in Donald Trump’s National Security Council, co-authored a book, entitled, Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin. Its central thesis was that Russian President Vladimir Putin retains the characteristics and habits of the institution in which his…

Russia Undermines Iran’s Case Blaming Al Jazeera For Syrian Chemical Attack. – To Inform is to Influence

FARS, one of the official news agencies in Iran, appears to be going all-in, making the case against Al Jazeera for staging the chemical attack in Syria. More Secrets Exposed about Fake Video of Chemical Incident in Syria’s Idlib FARS cites history, names, and weaves an intricate web of facts not normally seen in Iranian news of any…

Bill to declare Israel a Jewish state back on national agenda | Reuters

Israel’s cabinet breathed new life on Sunday into efforts to anchor in law the country’s status as a Jewish state,


DPRK / PRC Reports


As China-North Korea ties cool, Russia looks to benefit

As cracks deepen in the decades-old friendship between China and North Korea, Russian President Vladimir Putin stands ready to fill Beijing’s shoes.

As U.S. and China find common ground on North Korea, is Russia the wild card? | Reuters

When North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent Lunar New Year greetings this year, the first card went to Russian President Vladimir Putin, ahead of leaders from China and other allies of the isolated country, according to its official news agency.

WeChat: Russia blocks China’s biggest messaging app – May. 8, 2017

WeChat has been blocked for violating laws requiring companies that distribute information to notify Russian authorities of their activities.

WeChat, China’s biggest social network, just got the China treatment in Russia — Quartz

For years, Chinese internet authorities have barred foreign tech companies from entering its market, or made it enormously difficult to operate, in the name of promoting “internet sovereignty.” Now it’s on the receiving end. On May 5, Russia’s internet regulator Roskomnadzor published a list of prohibited online services that included WeChat, the popular Chinese chat app. Some users in…

Russia blocks Chinese social media app WeChat

Russia has blocked access to Chinese social media app WeChat for failing to give its contact details to the Russian communications watchdog.

China must take strong steps against North Korea even if regime collapses says Condoleeza Rice

Former US secretary of state insists that despite strain in US-Russia relations, they must cooperate on North Korea.

North Korea says Trump administration’s policy is “nothing new” : North Korea : News : The Hankyoreh

In response, Pyongyang says it will “take measures to strengthen nuclear deterrence as fast as possible” North Korea said there’s “nothing new” about the new North Korean policy (called “maximum pressure and engagement”) adopted by the US government under President Donald Trump and criticized it as being “a policy of hostility toward North Korea under a different name.” “[The Trump administration] has declared the end of the age of ‘strategic patience,’ which was pursued by the Obama administration, but all it has done is choose plans for recklessly using the military and strengthening economic and diplomatic sanctions and pressure to an extreme degree and put those into a single package, on which it has slapped the label of ‘maximum pressure and engagement,’” said a column that ran on the sixth page of the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Korean Workers‘ Party (KWP), on May 6. The column, which was signed by an individual, was titled, “The US must squarely face the indomitable will of 10 million North Koreans.” The column also mentioned an article by Doug Bandow, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, titled “Strategic impatience won’t defeat North Korea,” which ran in the bimonthly American journal the National Interest, and said that “Bandow’s assessment is accurate.” “Aggressiveness and impatience might yield profits in real estate speculation, but they can incur unimaginably negative consequences in politics. That’s even more so in a confrontation with us,” the column said.

US urging Southeast Asian countries to reduce ties with North Korea : North Korea : News : The Hankyoreh

Part of policy of maximum pressure on North Korea, Washington seeking to cut off Pyongyang’s revenue streams The US Donald Trump administration is demanding reduced diplomatic ties with Pyongyang and the blocking of revenue streams to North Korea from Southeast Asian countries as part of its policy approach of “maximum pressure and engagement.” Speaking at a US-ASEAN foreign ministers’ meeting in Washington on May 4, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson requested that ASEAN take “appropriate actions to fully implement all of the [UN] Security Council resolutions” on North Korea, a State Department official reported on May 5. In a press conference after the meeting, State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Southeast Asia Patrick Murphy reported Tillerson as saying this after making it clear that the Trump administration’s aim is denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. “[T]he United States is asking countries, including our partners in ASEAN, to take efforts to deny the revenue streams that North Korea has enjoyed around the region, and . . . to minimize [diplomatic relations] so that North Korea does not gain benefit from its diplomatic channels for its nuclear and missile aspirations,” Murphy said. Stressing that the US is not “specifically encouraging any countries to formally cut diplomatic ties,” Murphy called for investigations into visa extensions for North Korean workers, money laundering and smuggling, and businesses serving as legal fronts.

North Korea: U.S. Citizens Arrest Is ‘Asymmetric Warfare’ | Time.com

U.S. citizen Kim Hak-song, a teacher at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST), was arrested on May 6 for “hostile acts.”

North Korea’s ‘Hostage Diplomacy’: Kim Uses Detained Americans as Leverage – NBC News

Kim Jong Un is using prisoners to protect himself rather than as a tool to bring the U.S. to the negotiating table, according to analysts.

Who Are the Americans In North Korea’s Prisons? | Time.com

Here’s what we know about the four U.S. citizens currently being held in North Korea’s mysterious prisons.

North Korea seizes Kim Hak-song, the second American citizen detained in recent weeks.

An American citizen was detained in North Korea over the weekend, raising to four the number of U.S. citizens now being held.

North Korea detains another U.S. citizen amid rising tensions, state media reports – LA Times

North Korea on Sunday said it detained another American citizen over unspecified hostile acts against the country.

North Korea detains U.S. citizen Kim Hak-song: KCNA | NK News – North Korea News

North Korean authorities detained a U.S. citizen by the name of Kim Hak-song on Saturday, according to reports by the state-run news agency KCNA on

Another American citizen is detained in North Korea, taking total to four – The Washington Post

The detentions come amid heightened tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.

North Korea detains second U.S. citizen in two weeks as experts fear arrests becoming part of new normal | The Japan Times

The arrest of a U.S. citizen by North Korea on Saturday — the second of an American national in two weeks — could be a prelude to more provocat

Tyrant Kim Jong-un warns it would be a ‘piece of cake’ to nuke Japan and leave it ‘blanketed in radioactive clouds’

North Korea reprimanded Japan for encouraging a Korean Peninsula crisis after flying training drills with the US and South Korea in a show of strength

Could Kim Jong-un unleash his anthrax-tipped artillery shells on next year’s Winter Olympics… just 50 MILES from North Korean border?

John Hemmings from think tank The Henry Jackson Society gives his run-down of some of the worst case ‘nightmare scenarios’ facing host town Pyeongchang

Are Cyber Crooks Funding North Korea’s Nukes?

How does Kim Jong Un come up with the billions to pay for his nuclear tests? Increasingly successful online bank heists provide at least some of the cash, experts say.

There’s a method to Kim Jong Un’s madness – Business Insider

“What are his ambitions?”

Dennis Rodman says Kim Jong-un is just like anybody else | Daily Mail Online

Five-time NBA champion Dennis Rodman recently revealed that he thinks the leader of North Korea is ‘just like anybody else’, who loves the themes to 1976 movie Rocky and 1980s TV series Dallas.

Dennis Rodman Opens Up About Kim Jong-Un’s Personality

Controversial former basketball star Dennis Rodman has opened up about his bizarre BFF Kim Jong-Un saying he’s just an ordinary guy.

CIA Plot To Off Kim Jong Un Is Just One Of Half A Dozen Wild North Korean Accusations

North Korea has been hurling wild, unconfirmed accusations at the U.S. and its allies for years.

Missile Launch Pads Noticed In North Korean Islands in Yellow Sea

North Korea could be building artificial islands in the Yellow Sea to launch missiles and for other military applications. Satellite Images suggest that Pyongyang has been installing military facilities on at least five artificial islands. North has converted a deserted land into strategic outposts built near the city of Sohae, a missile development and testing site about 200 kilometers North West of the capital, Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday. The islands feature missile launch pads or underground silos and observation areas, which could be used by Kim Jong-un, who likes to keep a close eye on the construction and operation of military facilities. The islands appear to be different sizes and shapes, with wide roads suitable for missile-bearing trucks leading to pale rectangular areas. Probably heat-resistant cement, suitable for launching the intercontinental ballistic missile technology is developed at Sohae. In Google Earth images from 2012, several of the islands look like no more than patches of sand, rock and scrubland. North Korea’s missile launch stations are typically located in the mountains, so the positioning of these islands in the sea that is also bordered by China is unusual. The location could be appropriate for anti-aircraft or anti-ship area denial weapons, however. If the aim is to deploy surface-to-air missiles, more infrastructure will be needed including radar and command posts. It is also possible the facilities are for oil exploration, since the Yellow Sea is “full of oil”, North Korea expert Dr Leonid Petrov told news.com.au. The sea has estimated reserves of billions of tonnes but a lack of collaboration between the two countries has held back the exploitation of it. In the recent past, there were also clashes between the two countries on the Yellow Sea, when North Korea would arrest Chinese fishermen and others until their companies paid a ransom. “It could be strategic or for oil exploration,” said Dr Petrov.

What makes Kim Jong Un tick?

A scholar who has profiled the likes of Saddam Hussein and Vladimir Putin says there is a method to understanding the madness.

Meet Kim Jong Un | Reuters.com

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a performance held for participants of the ruling party’s party meeting in this undated picture provided on December 29, 2016. KCNA/via Reuters

In this New Cuban Missile Crisis, Are We Already in Checkmate? – Larry Kelley

An interview with Peter Pry, Part 1. .05/08/2017 8:20:15AM EST.

In this New Cuban Missile Crisis, Are We Already in Checkmate? – Larry Kelley

This is the second part of an interview with Peter Pry who is one of the countrys leading experts on nuclear weapons and the threat of EMP (electro magnetic pulse) weapons..05/08/2017 8:00:30AM EST.

Why THAAD is controversial in South Korea, China and Russia – CBS News

Advanced THAAD system now ready to stop North Korean missiles, but not everyone is happy about it

In interview, Moon Jae-in says he agrees with Trump on North Korea : North Korea : News : The Hankyoreh

Leading presidential candidate apparently seeking to show that South Korea-US alliance won’t suffer if Moon is elected. During an interview published in the Washington Post on May 2, Minjoo Party of Korea presidential candidate Moon Jae-in said, “I believe President Trump is more reasonable than he is generally perceived.” “I agree with President Trump’s method of applying sanctions and pressure to North Korea to bring them out to negotiate,” Moon said during the interview, which took place on Apr. 27. “President Trump uses strong rhetoric toward North Korea but, during the election campaign, he also said he could talk over a burger with Kim Jong Un. I am for that kind of pragmatic approach to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue.” “I think I am on the same page as President Trump. President Trump judged the Obama administration’s policy of strategic patience as a failure with regard to North Korea, so he has stressed the need for a change in North Korean policy,” Moon said. His remarks appear to be designed to emphasize to South Korean conservatives and to the US government that there will not be a rupture in the US-ROK alliance even if he becomes president. When the Washington Post reporter expressed surprise that Moon was agreeing with Trump, Moon said, “Trump talks about strenuous pressure, sanctions and even the possibility of a pre-emptive strike, but I believe his ultimate goal is to bring North Korea back to negotiations for the nuclear program. In that respect, I share the same opinion as President Trump.”

South Korea’s Presidential Election: A Look at the Pivotal Issues – The New York Times

Among the major issues in the vote on Tuesday are relations with North Korea and the United States, as well as the power of family-controlled conglomerates.

Corruption and North Korea ignite S Korea poll – BBC News

South Koreans will elect a new leader after months of corruption protests that felled the president.

Egg Fried Rice and an Air Strike Altered China’s History | War Is Boring

A U.S. bombing run wiped out Mao Zedong’s dynasty when his son was cooking breakfast.

A U.S. Bombing Run in North Korea Wiped Out Mao Zedong’s Dynasty | The National Interest Blog

Mao Anying remains honored in North Korea to this day. However, though some Chinese commemorate his sacrifice in battle, many are likely grateful he represents the path not followed.


Foreign Policy Reports


A sweet victory for Angela Merkel in the dairy lands of northern Germany – LA Times

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s reelection hopes in September’s federal election were unexpectedly bolstered on Sunday when her party came from behind to win a northern state election.

Merkel Party Wins State Vote as Re-Election Momentum Gains – Bloomberg

Angela Merkel’s party convincingly defeated the Social Democratic incumbent in a state vote in northern Germany, in a disastrous result for her SPD challenger that provides further evidence the chancellor is regaining momentum ahead of the federal election in September.

Hacking arrest, fake news in tense French presidential race – Fifth Domain | Cyber

Fifth Domain is a news and information resource that brings civilian, defense, industry, private sector and critical infrastructure stakeholders together in one place for a holistic discussion on cybersecurity, both defense and offense. The cyberwar is here. Fifth Domain has it covered.

Emmanuel Macron Vanquishes Marine Le Pen to Become President of France

An Obama-friendly centrist has just crushed a pro-Trump right-winger to become the next French president. But … who is this outsider with all the inside connections?

Emmanuel Macron Declared French President In Early Vote Counts : The Two-Way : NPR

Marine Le Pen already called to congratulate Macron and conceded defeat to a gathering of her supporters in Paris shortly after polls closed.

France rejects Le Pen and her right-wing populist tide, and turns to Macron – The Washington Post

Macron, a centrist, vowed to draw voters away from the extremes following a decisive victory.

Luck, Skill and France’s Dark History: Why Macron Won – The New York Times

Emmanuel Macron’s victory brought joy from Europe’s political establishment, as he managed to stem the populist tide that has roiled the West.

Macron beats Le Pen to win French presidency, toughest tasks to come – France 24

Independent centrist Emmanuel Macron has become France’s youngest-ever president after earning a decisive win the country’s run-off vote on Sunday.

Whistling Past the Geopolitical Graveyard by Nouriel Roubini – Project Syndicate

Even with geopolitical conflicts proliferating around the world, global financial markets have reached new heights. But while there are many explanations for why investors might be underpricing today’s risks, there is no good reason for them to ignore the possibility of another “black swan” event on the horizon.


US Domestic Policy Reports


US Lawmakers Include Several Measures Targeting Russia in Spending Bill

US lawmakers authorize new $100 million effort to counter ‘Russian influence and aggression’ and to support civil society organizations in Europe and Eurasia

Hill inquiries on Russia run into hurdles – CNNPolitics.com

Congressional investigators are running into new challenges with their Russia probes, facing a mountain of records to sift through, uncertainty about the leads they are chasing and partisan disagreement over whether there was any collusion between the Kremlin and Trump advisers.

Trump blasts ‘fake media’ for not probing Dems ties to Russia | Chicago Sun-Times

‘When will the Fake Media ask about the Dems dealings with Russia?’ Trump tweeted.

Trump-Russia probes could seep into 2018 midterms – POLITICO

The slow pace of investigations might be a boon to Democrats eager to keep the issue in the headlines.

Hearing May Shed Light on What White House Knew About Flynn – The New York Times

Sally Q. Yates, the former acting attorney general, will give her account of an early crisis in President Trump’s White House.

Air Force space plane lands after secret mission – CBS News

Air Force X-37B space plane glided to an autonomous landing at the Kennedy Space Center Sunday, closing out a 718-day flight

Air Force’s X-37B Space Plane Lands in Florida After Record-Breaking Secret Mission

The record-breaking, hush-hush mission of the U.S. Air Force's robotic X-37B space plane is finally over.

Urban combat: The Army’s next frontier

The Army will have to reorient itself to be able to fight in dense, urban and complex environments, its chief of staff said.

 

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