North Korea flexes muscles ahead of Winter Olympics with military parade

North Korea has staged a huge military parade less than 24 hours ahead of the opening of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. The extravaganza celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of North Korea.

Watch video01:45

North Korea holds military parade before Olympics

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watched on as tanks and thousands of troops staged a military parade on Thursday, marking seven decades since the formation of the country’s armed forces.

Dressed in a long black winter coat and fedora, Kim could be seen at the beginning of the event walking on a red carpet with his wife, Ri Sol Ju, and Kim Yong Nam, the country’s ceremonial head of state.

North Korea Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol Ju (picture-alliance/AP Photo/KRT)Kim and his wife Ri Sol Ju appeared together at the event, brought forward from April

The north is using the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea to stage a charm offensive, including sending performers, cheerleaders and Kim Jong Un’s sister to the games.

As well as an estimated 13,000 soldiers, the parade included artillery tanks and trucks and a band forming the Korean word for “victory.”

“We … have become capable of showcasing our stature as a world-class military power to the world,” said Kim, who took his place on a rostrum to watch the parade.

He added that, even during the games, the military should ensure that invaders could not impinge on the North’s sovereignty “even by 0.001 mm.”

Soldiers taking part in the event (picture-alliance/AP Photo/KRT)Thousands of soldiers took part in the event, with no foreign journalists invited as would normally be the case

The North’s last parade took place in April 2017, when state television showed the event live. This time, instead, it was aired hours later and foreign reporters were not invited to the event. The North usually invites hundreds of foreign journalists to show off the spectacle.

As well as including Kim Yong Nam, the North’s high-level delegation to the South for the Olympics will include Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong, who appears to be an increasingly powerful and influential figure.

Among the most noteworthy pieces of hardware that made an appearance at the parade were four giant Hwasong-15 long-range missiles, part of the ballistics program that has attracted further sanctions from the world community against the country.

Missiles in North Korea parade (picture-alliance/AP Photo/KRT)The parade included trucks, artillery, tanks and four giant Hwasong-15 ICBMs

rc/sms (dpa, AFP, AP)

COURTESY: DW

North Korea used Berlin embassy to acquire nuclear tech: German spy chief

The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has said North Korea used its Berlin embassy to acquire high-tech equipment. The agency believes the tech was used for Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear programs.

North Korea's embassy in Berlin (picture alliance/dpa/S.Schaubitzer)

North Korea procured equipment and technology for its ballistics missiles program using its embassy in Berlin, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has said.

BfV head Hans-Georg Maassen (picture-alliance/AP Photo/M. Sohn)‘We can’t guarantee that we will be able to detect and thwart all cases’: BfV head Hans-Georg Maassen

“We determined that procurement activities were taking place there, from our perspective with an eye on the missile program, as well as the nuclear program to some extent,” BfV head Hans-Georg Maassen told public broadcaster NDR in an interview.

Read moreWhich countries have diplomatic relations with North Korea?

NDR released portions of its interview with Maassen on Saturday, but the full program will be aired on Monday.

Although he did not say exactly what kind of technology and equipment was procured, Maassen said they were so-called dual-use goods that can be used for civilian as well as military purposes.

“When we detect something of this sort, we prevent it,” he said. “But we can’t guarantee that we will be able to detect and thwart all cases.”

Read moreUS calls on Germany to cut diplomatic ties with North Korea

Maassen also noted that the parts for Pyongyang’s programs “were acquired via other markets, or that shadow firms had acquired them in Germany.”

The BfV obtained information on North Korea’s procurements in 2016 and 2017, according to an investigation by NDR. These items were allegedly used for the country’s missile program.

In 2014, a North Korean diplomat reportedly tried to obtain a “multi-gas monitor” that is used in the development of chemical weapons.

Read moreUN chief calls for ‘peaceful denuclearization’ of Korean peninsula

Watch video02:00

Nations to increase pressure on North Korea

North Korea sanctions report

The allegations from Germany’s domestic intelligence agency follow on the heels of a United Nations report that said Pyongyang has been flouting sanctions.

The UN report found that Pyongyang had continued to export coal, iron, steel and other banned commodities — earning $200 million (€160 million) in revenue last year.

Read moreKim Jong Un — North Korea has completed nuclear program, US will never attack

Pyongyang sold a ballistic missile system to Myanmar and may be helping Syria with a chemical weapons program, according to the report.

Over the past year, the UN has repeatedly tightened sanctions on the reclusive state in response to leader Kim Jong Un’s continued ballistic missile and nuclear tests.

rs/cmk (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)

COURTESY: DW

Pentagon announces plan to expand nuclear arsenal in face of Russian threat

The Pentagon plans to develop two “low-yield” nuclear warheads to be launched from ballistic-missile submarines and warships, to send a message to Moscow — which the Trump administration accuses of amassing a stockpile of tactical nuclear weapons.

The new plan is outlined in Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s Nuclear Posture Review, released Friday afternoon.

“Expanding U.S. tailored response options will raise the nuclear threshold and help ensure that potential adversaries perceive no possible advantage in limited nuclear escalation, making nuclear weapons employment less likely,” the new review said.

The Pentagon says Russia’s buildup of similar “low-yield” nukes is the reason it must match the threat.

“The United States would only consider the use of nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances,” said Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan.  “Extreme circumstances could include significant non-nuclear strategic attacks,” he added without offering specifics.

Russian and Chinese officials were briefed by State Department officials Friday morning about the nuclear posture review.

It’s the first such review in seven years, but much has changed since 2010, when the U.S. unilaterally reduced portions of its nuclear arsenal.

“Over the past decade, while the United States led the world in these reductions every one of our potential nuclear adversaries has been pursuing the exact opposite strategy,” said Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette.  “These powers are increasing the numbers and types of nuclear weapons in their arsenal.”

After Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, it deployed nuclear-capable intermediate range missiles to Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave on the border with Poland, leaving NATO leaders feeling helpless.

“Russia’s nuclear saber-rattling is unjustified, destabilizing and dangerous,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in 2015.  Any deployment of nuclear forces to Crimea would “fundamentally change the balance of security in Europe,” he added.

Russia is bound by a decades-long arms treaty, known as the INF, from deploying ground-launched intermediate-range missiles.  The Pentagon has accused Russia of violating the treaty, noting that Russia is also developing nuclear depth charges, torpedoes and anti-aircraft missiles among its 2,000 tactical nukes.

“Russia is also developing at least two new intercontinental range systems, a hypersonic glide vehicle, and a new intercontinental, nuclear-armed, nuclear-powered, undersea autonomous torpedo,” according to the review.

The United States has possessed hundreds of tactical “low-yield” nuclear warheads for decades, but they can only be delivered from planes, including B61 gravity bombs, but are vulnerable because the jets must fly over the target to use them making them susceptible to anti-aircraft missiles and guns.

Currently, only the B-2 stealth bomber can penetrate sophisticated air defenses.

The Trump administration wants to build off the previous administration’s concern that the nuclear force needs to be modernized. It has mapped out plans for the U.S. to spend more than $1.2 trillion over the next 30 years.

In 1982, B-52 bombers were equipped with air-launched cruise missiles, but those weapons are now “more than 25 years past its design life,” according to the review. The newest B-52 is also more than 50 years old, one of the reasons the Pentagon wants a replacement bomber as well replacement for the aging air-launched cruise missile.

The Air Force has 46 nuclear capable B-52H and 20 nuclear-capable B-2A stealth bombers.

Its bomber fleet is not the only aging portion of America’s “nuclear triad.”

The 400 Minuteman-III intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) currently deployed across three Air Force bases in the Midwest were first deployed in 1970 with a planned 10-year service life.  They are now expected to last until 2030.

The Navy has 14 Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines capable of carrying 24 Trident D-5 intercontinental ballistic missiles, but are roughly 30 years old.

The new posture review calls for each of these submarines to carry a small number of “low-yield” nuclear  warheads, modified from more powerful ones currently inside the Trident missile.

The new missiles could be deployed in the next few years, officials say.

The Pentagon is worried Russia thinks it can use its smaller nukes against NATO in a limited war without a U.S. response.

“Effective U.S. deterrence of Russian nuclear attack … now requires ensuring that the Russian leadership does not miscalculate regarding the consequences of limited nuclear first use,” the review states.

The last nuclear posture review came out just months after President Obama set as a policy goal a world without nuclear weapons in a 2009 speech in Prague.

“Nuclear weapons are the most dangerous legacies of the Cold War,” Obama said in the Czech Republic capital. “The U.S. will take concrete steps … [to] begin the work of reducing our arsenals and stockpiles.”

Obama got rid of nuclear-tipped, sea-launched cruise missiles in 2011.

The Pentagon now wants to bring some of those weapons back.

“Every U.S. administration over the past six decades has called for a flexible and limited U.S. nuclear response options,” said the review.  “Potential adversaries do not stand still. On the contrary, they seek to identify and exploit weaknesses in U.S. capabilities and strategy.”  The U.S. nuclear arsenal cannot remain “fixed.”

Mattis spoke to reporters Friday morning, hours before the release of the Nuclear Posture Review.

“What we’re trying to do is ensure that our diplomats and our negotiators are in a position to be listened to when we say we want to go forward on nonproliferation and arms control. At the same time, you do so by having an effective, safe deterrent,” said Mattis.

While not mentioning cyberattack directly, the Pentagon makes clear in this document that the U.S. reserves the right to use nuclear weapons to respond to any attack on infrastructure or population centers, even if that attack uses a conventional weapon.

It also addresses the nuclear threat from China, Iran and North Korea, in addition to Russia.

Any nuclear attack by Kim Jong Un would “result in the end of that regime,” the report says.

Greg Weaver, deputy director of strategic capabilities on the Pentagon’s Joint Staff said “there’s evidence the Russians think that their coercive nuclear use strategy has some prospect of success. We want to make sure that we disabuse them of that idea.”

The two new “low-yield” nuclear weapons are designed to do just that, Weaver said.

A sea-launched nuclear cruise missile could be fired from a warship or a submarine, but is still seven to 10 years from being fielded, said Dr. Robert Soofer, deputy assistant secretary of defense for nuclear policy, in a briefing with reporters ahead of the review’s release.

If Russia returns to compliance with its arms control obligation and reduces its tactical nukes, the U.S. “may reconsider the pursuit” of the sea-launched cruise missile, according to the report.

The Pentagon is hoping history will repeat itself. After the U.S. deployed intermediate-range missiles to Europe, the Soviet Union signed the 1987 INF treaty with the United States.  President Reagan’s secretary of state, George P. Shultz, said if not for the deployment of the American missiles, “there would be no incentive for the Soviets to negotiate seriously for nuclear weapons reductions.”

Asked how the Russians were likely to respond to the Pentagon calling for “low-yield” nukes, Soofer replied, “I am sure they won’t respond well.”

Lucas Tomlinson is the Pentagon and State Department producer for Fox News Channel. You can follow him on Twitter: @LucasFoxNews

Jennifer Griffin currently serves as a national security correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) and is based out of the Washington D.C. bureau. She joined the network in October 1999 as a Jerusalem-based correspondent. You can follow her on Twitter at @JenGriffinFNC.

Courtesy: Fox News

North Korea earned $200 million from banned exports: UN

A confidential memo has revealed Pyongyang flouted UN sanctions on exports of a wide range of goods. Germany has alleged that North Korea is using its Berlin embassy to buy equipment for its weapons program.

North Korean and Workers' Party flags flutter as a soldier walks by (picture-alliance/dpa/AP Photo/W. Maye-E)

North Korea earned nearly $200 million (€160 million) in 2017 by exporting a wide range of banned goods in violation of international sanctions, according to details of a confidential United Nations report seen Friday.

Pyongyang was able to sell coal, steel, iron and petroleum products between January and September to multiple countries, monitors said, despite UN sanctions barring their export.

North Korea has been developing nuclear weapons and sophisticated long-range missiles. Multiple sanctions dating back to 2006 have tried to choke off funding for the nuclear and missile programs.

Read more: UN chief calls for ‘peaceful denuclearization’ of Korean Peninsula

Watch video02:00

20 nations to increase pressure on N. Korea

‘Deceptive practices’

The 213-page report — seen by multiple news agencies — said North Korea used false paperwork to hide the origin of the coal it shipped to other countries, including Russia, China, South Korea, Malaysia and Vietnam.

UN monitors also said North Korea had flouted UN financial sanctions through “deceptive practices” and engaged in “widespread conventional arms deals and cyber operations to steal military secrets.”

The report said there was not enough “political will” and coordination to ensure sanctions were fully working.

Read more: Korean War allies consider further sanctions against North Korea

Sales to Syria, Myanmar

Pyongyang also appeared to have cooperated with Syria and Myanmar in ballistic missile development, according to monitors.

An investigation into 40 unreported North Korean shipments to the Syrian entity in charge of the country’s chemical weapons program showed “further evidence of arms embargo and other violations, including through the transfer of items with utility in ballistic missile and chemical weapons programs.”

The Syrian government allegedly used chemical weapons against civilians in 2013 and agreed to destroy its stockpile later that year.

The report said Pyongyang also shipped ballistic missiles, air-to-surface missiles and rocket launchers to Myanmar.

German intel chief: Pyongyang using Berlin embassy for procurement

Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of Berlin’s intelligence agency, claimed on Saturday that the North Korean regime had used its Berlin embassy to receive equipment intended for its ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

“We have seen that procurement activities took place from there, from our point of view with a view to the missile program and in part also the nuclear program,” Maassen told German broadcaster NDR, as part of a documentary due to air next week.

“If we see such things, we prevent them,” he added, but admitted that it wasn’t always possible to distinguish between goods intended for civilian or military purposes.

Read more: UN slaps new sanctions on North Korea in 15-0 vote

Watch video03:25

Korea: The history of a divided nation

dm, amp/ng (AP, AFP, Reuters)

COURTESY: DW

‘Systemic failure of world order’: Kissinger & elder statesmen take on modern challenges

‘Systemic failure of world order’: Kissinger & elder statesmen take on modern challenges
In testimony before the Senate, national security strategists from the Nixon, Reagan and Bush administrations identified nuclear annihilation, climate change and emerging technologies as major challenges facing the US.

Former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George Shultz were joined at the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. They all referred to the rising threat of nuclear annihilation through the erosion of international cohesion rather than consolidation.

North Korea

“My immediate concern is if North Korea still possess a miliarity nuclear capability the impact on the proliferation of nuclear weapons might be fundamental, because if North Korea could maintain its capability in the face of opposition by China and the US and disapproval by the rest of the world, other countries will think this is the way for achieving international prominence and gain an upper hand in international disputes,” Kissinger told the committee.

He said the Iranian agreement paradoxically legitimized the emergence of Iran as a nuclear power and the North Korean situation was even more acute “because they are closer to developing weapons than Iran.”

“Not only the survival of open society but the survival of our entire civilization is at stake” –
Soros https://on.rt.com/8xrx 

Soros warns Trump may destroy ‘our entire civilization’ over North Korea — RT US News

Billionaire George Soros says President Donald Trump is “a danger to the world,” but that the administration “will disappear in 2020 or even sooner.”

rt.com

“We need to make a distinction between measures that relieve the immediate situation but make the ultimate situation even more severe,” Kissinger proffered as a solution, “all the more so because the problem of Iran is just down the road.”

Skirting over how President Ronald Reagan escalated tensions with the USSR with his missile defense system program, Shultz said Reagan thought nuclear weapons were immoral.

“In those days, people seemed to have an appreciation of what would be the result if a nuclear weapon were ever used,” Shultz told senators. “I fear people have lost that sense of dread. And now we see everything going in the other direction with nuclear proliferation. The more countries with nuclear weapons, the more likely one is going to go off somewhere.”

Regime change war policy is the reason why North Korea sees nuclear weapons as their only deterrent from U.S.-led regime change. They’ve seen what we did in Iraq and in Libya. We must end these policies and engage in direct talks to peacefully de-escalate the nuclear crisis.

Shultz’s major concern was over unregulated fission material and how easy, once acquired, it was to make a weapon that “can blow up the world.”

Reagan’s former secretary of state stressed the importance of having a different relationship with Russia, since “after all, Russia and US have the most nuclear weapons to start something.”

To deal with proliferation, he said,“we need to put a stop sign in front of Russia and make them come to their senses, and then start working with them.”

For Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, however, the threat of nuclear annihilation was not existential.

“To be an existential threat to annihilate the United States, it occurs to me you have to have the capability and the desire. China has the capability, but does not have the desire – she has too much skin in the game. Russia has the capability but does not have the desire, she prefers to use other methods to undermine the US and Eastern Europe, and Ukraine,” Armitage told the committee. “North Korea and Iran, they don’t yet have the capability and their desire is unknown. ISIS [Islamic State] and terrorists group have the intention but they don’t have the capability. So we have to keep our eye on the ball, and the ball is to keep our peer competitors from becoming our adversaries.”

Middle East

For Kissinger, current events in the Middle East represent a disintegration of the international system that has existed since the end of the Second World War.

“Every country is either a combatant or a theater of conflict,” Kissinger told the committee. He said the defeat of IS would lead to the question of ‘what happens next,’ and the concern about who will occupy the territories it once held.

“The Iranian and Russian forces will become dominant and we will see a belt emerging that goes from Tehran to Beirut,” said Kissinger, arguing that this “undermines the structure of the region and creates long-term challenges.”

US, Russia & China

In Kissinger’s view, the dominant element of world politics will be the great power relationships between the US, China and Russia. He said the major questions going forward will be the strategic relationship between these countries vis-a-vis the prospect of peace, and if their values are compatible enough to encourage an agreed-upon legitimacy.

“The balance of power must be maintained,” Kissinger said. “This is the key issue in our relationship.”

Kissinger said the US needs a cooperative Russia for peace in the world, because of its reach. Russia has a large military and covers 11 time zones with no natural borders.

“I would now look for a way to establish meaningful dialogue with Russia,” he said. The major sticking point would be Ukraine, which Kissinger says would be “unwise” to include in NATO, but “it’s also impossible to let it exist as a satellite of Russia.”

“Ukraine is sort of a borderland of this conception,” said Kissinger, noting that an ideal solution would be to have it politically and economically part of the West, but neutral towards Russia like Finland was during the Cold War.

“The question is if one can think of a military arrangement there that would not be confrontational,” he said.

Shultz said that advances in small, smart cheap weapons using nanotechnology and drones “will redefine the battlefield” and could be readily employed by NATO allies.

New tech, old threats

Shultz pointed out that technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), 3D printing, and drones are causing massive changes in the economic and political spheres, and will inevitably change warfare.

“What is happening because of these forces is de-globalization. It is already happening. This is not something for the future,” said Shultz. “It is becoming more possible to produce the things you want close to where you are, so the advantages of low labor costs are disappearing.”

Such changes he argued would reduce shipping costs, have an impact on energy, and a major impact on low-cost labor.

“It is a revolution in the economy, and has all sorts of security implications,” Shultz said.

“Robotics, 3D printing and AI are driving manufacturing and causing a big shift from labor to automation. Robot sales are estimated to reach 400,000 in 2018. Collaborative robots (Colbot) assisting human workers will dramatically increase human productivity.”

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Courtesy: RT

 

‘Systemic failure of world order’: Kissinger & elder statesmen take on modern challenges

‘Systemic failure of world order’: Kissinger & elder statesmen take on modern challenges
In testimony before the Senate, national security strategists from the Nixon, Reagan and Bush administrations identified nuclear annihilation, climate change and emerging technologies as major challenges facing the US.

Former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George Shultz were joined at the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. They all referred to the rising threat of nuclear annihilation through the erosion of international cohesion rather than consolidation.

North Korea

“My immediate concern is if North Korea still possess a miliarity nuclear capability the impact on the proliferation of nuclear weapons might be fundamental, because if North Korea could maintain its capability in the face of opposition by China and the US and disapproval by the rest of the world, other countries will think this is the way for achieving international prominence and gain an upper hand in international disputes,” Kissinger told the committee.

He said the Iranian agreement paradoxically legitimized the emergence of Iran as a nuclear power and the North Korean situation was even more acute “because they are closer to developing weapons than Iran.”

“Not only the survival of open society but the survival of our entire civilization is at stake” –
Soros https://on.rt.com/8xrx 

Soros warns Trump may destroy ‘our entire civilization’ over North Korea — RT US News

Billionaire George Soros says President Donald Trump is “a danger to the world,” but that the administration “will disappear in 2020 or even sooner.”

rt.com

“We need to make a distinction between measures that relieve the immediate situation but make the ultimate situation even more severe,” Kissinger proffered as a solution, “all the more so because the problem of Iran is just down the road.”

Skirting over how President Ronald Reagan escalated tensions with the USSR with his missile defense system program, Shultz said Reagan thought nuclear weapons were immoral.

“In those days, people seemed to have an appreciation of what would be the result if a nuclear weapon were ever used,” Shultz told senators. “I fear people have lost that sense of dread. And now we see everything going in the other direction with nuclear proliferation. The more countries with nuclear weapons, the more likely one is going to go off somewhere.”

Regime change war policy is the reason why North Korea sees nuclear weapons as their only deterrent from U.S.-led regime change. They’ve seen what we did in Iraq and in Libya. We must end these policies and engage in direct talks to peacefully de-escalate the nuclear crisis.

Shultz’s major concern was over unregulated fission material and how easy, once acquired, it was to make a weapon that “can blow up the world.”

Reagan’s former secretary of state stressed the importance of having a different relationship with Russia, since “after all, Russia and US have the most nuclear weapons to start something.”

To deal with proliferation, he said,“we need to put a stop sign in front of Russia and make them come to their senses, and then start working with them.”

For Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, however, the threat of nuclear annihilation was not existential.

“To be an existential threat to annihilate the United States, it occurs to me you have to have the capability and the desire. China has the capability, but does not have the desire – she has too much skin in the game. Russia has the capability but does not have the desire, she prefers to use other methods to undermine the US and Eastern Europe, and Ukraine,” Armitage told the committee. “North Korea and Iran, they don’t yet have the capability and their desire is unknown. ISIS [Islamic State] and terrorists group have the intention but they don’t have the capability. So we have to keep our eye on the ball, and the ball is to keep our peer competitors from becoming our adversaries.”

Middle East

For Kissinger, current events in the Middle East represent a disintegration of the international system that has existed since the end of the Second World War.

“Every country is either a combatant or a theater of conflict,” Kissinger told the committee. He said the defeat of IS would lead to the question of ‘what happens next,’ and the concern about who will occupy the territories it once held.

“The Iranian and Russian forces will become dominant and we will see a belt emerging that goes from Tehran to Beirut,” said Kissinger, arguing that this “undermines the structure of the region and creates long-term challenges.”

US, Russia & China

In Kissinger’s view, the dominant element of world politics will be the great power relationships between the US, China and Russia. He said the major questions going forward will be the strategic relationship between these countries vis-a-vis the prospect of peace, and if their values are compatible enough to encourage an agreed-upon legitimacy.

“The balance of power must be maintained,” Kissinger said. “This is the key issue in our relationship.”

Kissinger said the US needs a cooperative Russia for peace in the world, because of its reach. Russia has a large military and covers 11 time zones with no natural borders.

“I would now look for a way to establish meaningful dialogue with Russia,” he said. The major sticking point would be Ukraine, which Kissinger says would be “unwise” to include in NATO, but “it’s also impossible to let it exist as a satellite of Russia.”

“Ukraine is sort of a borderland of this conception,” said Kissinger, noting that an ideal solution would be to have it politically and economically part of the West, but neutral towards Russia like Finland was during the Cold War.

“The question is if one can think of a military arrangement there that would not be confrontational,” he said.

Shultz said that advances in small, smart cheap weapons using nanotechnology and drones “will redefine the battlefield” and could be readily employed by NATO allies.

New tech, old threats

Shultz pointed out that technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), 3D printing, and drones are causing massive changes in the economic and political spheres, and will inevitably change warfare.

“What is happening because of these forces is de-globalization. It is already happening. This is not something for the future,” said Shultz. “It is becoming more possible to produce the things you want close to where you are, so the advantages of low labor costs are disappearing.”

Such changes he argued would reduce shipping costs, have an impact on energy, and a major impact on low-cost labor.

“It is a revolution in the economy, and has all sorts of security implications,” Shultz said.

“Robotics, 3D printing and AI are driving manufacturing and causing a big shift from labor to automation. Robot sales are estimated to reach 400,000 in 2018. Collaborative robots (Colbot) assisting human workers will dramatically increase human productivity.”

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Courtesy: RT

U.S. Takes Aim at North Korea’s Shipping and Oil With New Sanctions

Kim Jong-Un speaks in Pyongyang in this picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Sept. 22, 2017.
Kim Jong-Un speaks in Pyongyang in this picture released from North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Sept. 22, 2017.
STR—AFP/Getty Images

By ELI MEIXLER

11:17 PM EST

The U.S. unveiled a new raft of sanctions against North Korea Wednesday, targeting financial and other support for the country’s development of weapons of mass destruction.

Sixteen individuals, nine companies and six ships were designated as the administration of President Donald Trump piles pressure on Kim Jong Un to abandon his weapons program.

The sanctions primarily target Chinese and North Korean trade companies, shipping firms and vessels, as well as the Ministry of Crude Oil Industry.

Last month, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution targeting North Korea’s oil imports, shipping companies and foreign labor as efforts increase to disrupt the country’s energy supply.

Among the new designations are 10 individuals associated with the Korea Ryonbong General Corp., which Treasury said specializes in acquisitions for the defense industries and probable procurements supporting chemical weapons development.

The individuals included company representatives in Russia, Georgia and China.

The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assetts Control (OFAC) said the new designations were a response to weapons development and violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement the U.S. would also target actors “that continue to provide a lifeline to North Korea,” calling on China and Russia to expel illicit actors.

The Trump administration has vowed to put “maximum pressure” on the Kim regime, which has in recent years accelerated progress toward developing nuclear-tipped intercontinental missiles capable of reaching the U.S.

Courtesy:TIME

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