China · Information operations · Information Warfare · North Korea · Russia

DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Ad Hoc Update (36)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

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An unusually busy week for developments in Asia and WESTPAC, especially China with the publicity around their second Varyag class CVA, detention of Muslim minorities, Tibet, alleged hacking of Clinton server, meddling in the US and AUS, and other public disclosures unwanted in Beijing.


DPRK / PRC / WESTPAC Reports

Russia Blocking UN Report Finding North Korea Is Violating UN Sanctions

Russia is blocking publication of a United Nations report finding North Korea in violation of UN sanctions limiting its imports of fuel, including through some illegal transfers of oil at sea invol…

Trump’s North Korea push just got dangerous again after secretive deals with Kim Jong Un | Business Insider

President Donald Trump forged a summer of diplomatic progress with North Korea after walking back from the brink of nuclear war in 2017 – but a recent return to threats shows just how dangerous the situation still is.

Trump Bloomberg Interview: ‘Patience’ for Kim Jong Un Deal – Bloomberg

Donald Trump said he can be patient with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who has yet to take appreciable steps to give up his country’s nuclear weapons following a summit with the U.S. president in June.

Exclusive: Trump told Kim Jong Un in Singapore he’d declare end to Korean War – Vox

Trump promised the North Korean leader he’d sign a peace declaration to end the Korean War.

Trump promised Kim he’d sign declaration ending Korean War at summit: report | TheHill

President Trump promised North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he would sign a declaration ending the Korean War during their June summit in Singapore,

Trump’s North Korea Policy Is In Chaos | Opinion

Both sides must be prepared to make unpalatable concessions, or no deal will be reached.

The Plan to End the Korean War – Defense One

An adviser to South Korea’s president explains what it might mean to finally declare the conflict over—and why the proposal has now become a sticking …

Trump Says No Reason to Resume Military Exercises With South Korea – WSJ

President Trump cast new doubt Wednesday on the future of U.S.-South Korea military exercises, which were suspended earlier this year to smooth the way for now-stalled denuclearization talks with North Korea.

Mattis seeks to clarify remarks on suspended military exercises | TheHill

Defense Secretary

Trump is blaming China for North Korea impasse, but real fault may lie closer to home – The Washington Post

But the real problem may lie with the vague, verbal promises he exchanged at a summit with Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

Trump Claims China Makes North Korea Relationship More Difficult – YouTube

Bloomberg Politics Published on Aug 29, 2018 Aug.29 — President Trump is warning of “far bigger than ever” joint military exercises with South Korea and Japan if North Korea nuclear talks stall. He made this threat suggesting that China is getting in the way of progress. Bloomberg’s Greg Sullivan reports on “Bloomberg Daybreak: Asia.”

Pentagon May Restart Major War Games Amid Rising Tensions With North Korea – The New York Times

The statement by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was yet another sign that the diplomatic thaw between Washington and Pyongyang is coming to an end.

Mattis Warns U.S. Drills May Restart Without Progress on North Korea – The Daily Beast

Military exercises with South Korea had been halted at President Trump’s direction.

Mattis says no more halt to U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises – CBS News

Mattis had &quot;indefinitely suspended&quot; exercises as part of an overture by the U.S. to keep North Korea engaged on denuclearization negotiations

Trump’s bet on Kim Jong Un is looking increasingly shaky – CNNPolitics

President Donald Trump took a huge risk by holding a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and hailing it as a stunning history-changing success.

North Korea’s state newspaper accuses U.S. of plotting invasion

North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper accused the U.S. of planning an invasion while at the same time continuing negotiations “with a smile on its face.”

North Korea tells U.S. denuclearization talks may fall apart: CNN | Reuters

North Korean officials have warned in a letter to the United States that denuclearization talks were “again at stake and may fall apart”, CNN reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Bad blood between North Korea and Japan keeps Abe on the outs – CNN

North Korea has accused Japan of sabotaging peace efforts on the Korean peninsula “at any cost.”

North Korea’s state newspaper claims the US is secretly plotting to ‘unleash a war’ while continuing to negotiate ‘with a smile on its face’ – SFGate

North Korea newspaper blasts ‘double-dealing’ U.S. after Pompeo’s trip canceled | Reuters

North Korea’s state-controlled newspaper on Sunday accused the United States of “double-dealing” and “hatching a criminal plot” against Pyongyang, after Washington abruptly canceled a visit by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

North Korea talks draw fresh scrutiny after canceled meeting | TheHill

President Trump’s decision Friday to abruptly put a hold on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s planned trip to North Korea is stoking concerns among foreign policy experts that Trump is pulling back on diplomacy in the push for denuclearization

Pompeo no-go: Too early to pull the plug with North Korea | TheHill

If the Trump administration is waiting for a resolution of US-China trade disputes before resuming talks with North Korea, it could be a long time — and a missed opportunity.

Trump is right. His trade war with China is causing a huge problem with North Korea (opinion) – CNN

Trump’s acknowledgment that Beijing is not helping the US with North Korea is just the beginning of the diplomatic fallout we may see from his trade war, writes YJ Fischer.

Donald Trump Sorrowfully Cancels Another North Korea Meeting – Defense One

For the first time since his summit with Kim Jong Un, the president acknowledged that nuclear talks aren’t going well.

Trump says Mike Pompeo won’t go to North Korea – CNNPolitics

Citing insufficient progress on the issue of denuclearization, President Donald Trump nixed plans for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to make what would have been his fourth visit to North Korea Friday, canceling next week’s trip just one day after it was announced by Pompeo.

Conceding North Korea has not begun to denuclearize, Trump orders Pompeo to cancel his trip to Pyongyang

Acknowledging that North Korea has not begun to denuclearize, President Trump told Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to cancel a planned trip to Pyongyang this weekend, raising fears of a breakdown in talks.

China: Trump is ‘irresponsible’ for cancelling North Korea visit

China on Saturday called President Trump “irresponsible” after he canceled the secretary of state’s planned visit to North Korea and said Beijing is no longer working to disarm the hermit kingdom because of his trade war.

Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2018 – To Inform is to Influence

The most interesting part in this report, for me, is the following excerpt.  The PLA likely established the SSF in 2015 to centralize the military’s space, cyber, and EW missions. Although details remain limited, the PLA’s 90th anniversary parade in July 2017 featured an SSF electronic reconnaissance formation, which reportedly provides highly mobile, integrated, flexible,…

How the Defense Department views China’s cyberthreat

The Defense Department believes that China will use cyber as a way to deter future attacks, according to a new report.

China’s military has big aspirations – The US needs to be prepared if war breaks out | Fox News

Every year the Pentagon releases a report detailing how China’s military capabilities are growing deadlier and more technologically sophisticated.

Is the U.S. in a new Cold War with China? How much worse could things get?

As the U.S.-China trade war worsens, some warn of a dangerous new “cold war” that could last for decades and shape the next century.

Recent developments surrounding the South China Sea | Fox News

A look at recent developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons in waters crucial for global commerce and rich in fish and potential oil and gas reserves: ___ EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a weekly look at the latest developments in the South China Sea, the location of several territorial conflicts that have raised tensions in the region.

China’s Navy Is Studying the Battle of Guadalcanal. Here’s Why It Matters. | The National Interest

In lieu of real wartime experience, the PLAN is drawing from history.

China’s Military Is a Killer for 1 Big Reason | The National Interest

Theft: Chinese industrial espionage will only intensify as times goes on as Beijing struggles to catch up to the United States in military technology.

China may already have an army of drones to keep rivals in check – To Inform is to Influence

For slightly different details on Chinese UAV/UCAV, see Chinese Military Aviation, UAV/UCAV II.  Some of the UAVs mentioned in this article are here, some are not.  </end editorial> Written By: Zee Media Bureau Updated: Aug 26, 2018, 09:23 AM IST A number of drones have reportedly been in service of the Chinese military – some with…

China’s Navy Could Soon Have an Aircraft Carrier Battle Group | The National Interest

Once they work out all of the bugs, that is.

China’s first homegrown aircraft carrier and a new destroyer set sail, and experts say it may be a powerful battle group in the making | Business Insider

China’s first homegrown aircraft carrier and the first of the country’s new missile destroyers set sail for sea trials recently, sparking speculation that a new carrier battle group may be in the making.

China’s Newest Aircraft Carrier, ‘Type 001A,’ Reportedly Begins Sea Trials : NPR

The vessel, China’s second aircraft carrier and the first to be domestically produced, is expected to spend up to a year in sea trials before being handed over to the Chinese navy for commissioning.

China’ Second Aircraft Carrier Type 002 Starts Second Round of Sea Trials

China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier embarked on its second sea trial on Monday from its shipyard in Dalian, Liaoning province. Videos and images published by Chinese ship spotters showed that the giant ship, which has yet to be officially named but is widely believed to bear the name ‘Shandong’, left the port of Dalian Shipbuilding Industry, its builder, assisted by several tugboats.

China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier gets brand new command centre | South China Morning Post

Photos show warship undergoing revamp with scaffolding around ‘island’

Taiwan should train for an attack on China’s aircraft carrier | Taiwan News

China is conducting ‘gunboat diplomacy:’ Blair.The next time China sends its aircraft carrier the Liaoning near Taiwan, the island’s military should practice for an attack, retired United States Navy Admiral Dennis Blair was reported as saying Tuesday.

Chinese Communist Party Funds Washington Think Tanks – To Inform is to Influence

China’s Communist Party is intensifying covert influence operations in the United States that include funding Washington think tanks and coercing Chinese Americans, according to a congressional commission report. The influence operations are conducted by the United Front Work Department, a Central Committee organ that employs tens of thousands of operatives who seek to use both…

China’s Overseas United Front Work: Background and Implications for the United States – To Inform is to Influence

Summary: China uses “United Front” work to co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The CCP’s United Front Work Department (UFWD)—the agency responsible for coordinating these kinds of influence operations—mostly focuses on the management of potential opposition groups inside China, but it also…

Employed by China – CNN.com

It’s often assumed that the Chinese in Africa ‘bring their own’ and don’t hire locals. In Ethiopia, that’s not the case — but will it lift the country out of poverty?

China Rises, America Falters, and Geoeconomics Rears Its Head

Editor’s Note: A version of this article was originally published by The Interpreter, which is published by the Lowy Institute, an independent,

Trump may impose $200 billion tariffs on Chinese imports as early as next week: report | TheHill

President Trump may move to impose tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods right after the public comment period closes on Sept.

The FBI is publicly disputing a report that China hacked Hillary Clinton’s private email server after Trump tweeted about it | Business Insider

The FBI is publicly denying a report that claimed China hacked Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

Chinese company reportedly hacked Clinton’s server, got copy of every email in real-time | Fox News

A Chinese state-owned company reportedly hacked former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email server, then inserted code that forwarded them a copy of virtually every email she sent or received after that — a revelation President Trump is demanding be investigated.

Beijing rejects Trump’s claims that China is behind fentanyl crisis – CNN

China’s top drug control body has hit back at recent claims by US President Donald Trump that Chinese suppliers are fueling America’s opioid crisis.

China spends big in Tibet to avert a crisis when the Dalai Lama dies

China is investing in Tibet as Beijing aims to cement its control ahead of the succession struggle that likely will follow the Dalai Lama’s death.

China’s Hidden Totalitarianism | The National Interest

Under Xi Jinping, China is seeking to control not just the bodies, but also the minds of its inhabitants.

China rejects US lawmakers’ sanctions call over Muslim camps | Fox News

A group of U.S. lawmakers are calling on their government to impose sanctions including asset freezes and visa bans on Chinese officials and companies tied to alleged massive human rights abuses in the predominantly Muslim northwestern region of Xinjiang (SHIN’-jhang).

US lawmakers are pushing hard for sanctions against China for its widespread surveillance of its Muslim minority group | Business Insider

A group of bipartisan US senators are pushing hard for sanctions against China over its widespread surveillance of its citizens in the western region of Xinjiang.

UN ‘alarmed’ by reports of China’s mass detention of Uighurs – BBC News

The UN says credible reports suggest that up to a million Muslim Uighurs are held in the camps.

🇨🇳 Is China detaining Uighur Muslims in secret camps? | Inside story – YouTube

Al Jazeera English Published on Aug 30, 2018 China’s been accused of detaining more than a million Uighur Muslims in what UN human rights experts says resembles “a massive internment camp, shrouded in secrecy, a sort of no-rights zone.”

How to Make Japan’s Military Great Again | The National Interest

Can the Self-Defense Forces’ (SDF) force level and structure sufficiently cope with the increased defense capability?

Japan to Spend Billions on U.S. Missile-Defense System – WSJ

Japan is set to pay $2.1 billion for a new U.S. missile-defense system, one of its largest military acquisitions, as pressure from President Trump accelerates Tokyo’s spending on American military hardware.

Japan’s military seeks record spending to reinforce North Korea missile defenses | Reuters

Japan’s military wants record spending next year to help pay for major upgrades to defenses designed to shoot down North Korean ballistic missiles that Tokyo sees as a continued threat despite Pyongyang’s promise to abandon nuclear weapons.

Japan defence ministry requests record budget over North Korea threat | World news | The Guardian

Request for £37bn budget also follows growing Chinese air and naval activity in the region

Japan confirms development of hypersonic weapon systems – Defence Blog

Japan’s Ministry of Defense in its latest annual white paper has confirmed the development of the newest hypersonic weapon systems for to “steadily build up its defense capability.” “The security environment surrounding Japan has become increasingly severe, with various challenges and destabilizing factors becoming more tangible and acute,” states the White Paper, which was released by the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in Tokyo on 28 August. Apparently, in order to meet modern challenges, the Ministry of Defense of Japan decided to launch a project to develop a new type of weapon that will be based on hypersonic technology. According to a statement issued in its Defense of Japan 2018 White Paper, Japan will steadily build up its defense capability through programs that include the following in fiscal year 2018, which is the final fiscal year for the current National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG) and the current Medium Term Defense Program (MTDP).

Can Vietnam Avoid Getting Hurt in the Crossfire When the Tariffs Are Flying? – The New York Times

In the escalating U.S.-China trade war, Asian trading partners are trying to avoid becoming collateral damage.

Duterte says buying US F-16 jets ‘utterly useless’ – ABC News

Get breaking national and world news, broadcast video coverage, and exclusive interviews. Find the top news online at ABC news.

Duterte Says Buying US F-16 Jets ‘Utterly Useless’ – Bloomberg

Manila, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine president is opposing an offer by the U.S. defense chief and other top American officials to buy F-16 fighter jets, saying such an acquisition would be “utterly useless” because his country needs lighter combat aircraft to fight insurgents.

Australia’s China reset: The rest of the world is watching how we counter Beijing’s campaign of influence | The Monthly

It’s no secret that Professor Francis Fukuyama got it wrong in his classic “End of History” treatise, published in the dying days of the Cold War. More interesting is why he got it wrong. His conclusion that the Western model of democratic liberalism had triumphed – once and for all – came after watching Chinese students experience life at American universities.

Morrison’s ministry giveth and taketh away as the Liberal healing begins | Katharine Murphy | Opinion | The Guardian

While some rebels are cast out, others such as Tudge, Taylor and Dutton are welcomed back – but with poison pills

Australia right to question Manning visa | The Interpreter

Manning is not a whistleblower. She is someone convicted of espionage who was given a long prison sentence.

James Ricketson, Australian filmmaker, found guilty of espionage in Cambodia – CNN

Australian filmmaker James Ricketson has been sentenced to six years in a Cambodian prison, after being found guilty of spying for an unnamed country.

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