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25 janvier 2016 1 25 /01 /janvier /2016 12:35
Séoul, Washington et Tokyo établiront un nouveau canal pour partager leurs informations sur le Nord

 

SEOUL, 22 jan. (Yonhap)

 

La Corée du Sud projette d'établir un nouveau réseau militaire afin de partager avec les Etats-Unis et le Japon cette année des informations, dont des textes et images, concernant le programme nucléaire et les missiles balistiques de la Corée du Nord, a déclaré ce vendredi le ministère de la Défense.

L'armée projette d'installer une liaison de données, Link16, reliant son système de contrôle d’interface avec celui des Forces américaines en Corée du Sud (USFK), à Osan, au sud de Séoul, selon le plan sur les politiques 2016 du ministère soumis à la présidente Park Geun-hye plus tôt ce vendredi.

Le réseau d'échanges de données militaires tactiques permettra aux alliés de partager des renseignements sur les activités nucléaires et de missiles de la Corée du Nord en temps réel.

Avec ce lien, la Corée du Sud pourra accéder aux informations américaines collectées du satellite de reconnaissance DSP (Defense Support Program) sur la péninsule coréenne.

«Malgré le lien Etats-Unis-Japon, le partage d'informations n'aura pas lieu sans l’accord de chaque côté et, même s'il y a, il sera limité aux armes nucléaires et missiles de la Corée du Nord», a indiqué un officiel du ministère de la Défense.

Cette année, le ministère débutera également un projet pour introduire un total de cinq satellites militaires de reconnaissance d'ici au début des années 2020, a montré le rapport. Le plan fait partie d'un grand projet pour installer les systèmes de défense antimissile, Kill Chain et KAMD (Korea Air and Missile Defense), à l’horizon de 2023 contre les menaces nucléaires et de missiles balistiques.

Afin de mieux combattre les cybermenaces continues de la Corée du Nord, le ministère envisage aussi d'établir un centre de recherche public sur la cyberdéfense cette année, qui sera chargé de développer des cyberarmes contre les attaques nord-coréennes, selon le rapport.

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4 novembre 2015 3 04 /11 /novembre /2015 12:35
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter departs the 47th annual U.S. - Korea Security Consultative Meeting in Seoul, Republic of Korea Nov. 2, 2015

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter departs the 47th annual U.S. - Korea Security Consultative Meeting in Seoul, Republic of Korea Nov. 2, 2015

 

Nov 2, 2015 By Thomas WATKINS Spacewar.com (AFP)

 

Seoul - US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter and his South Korean counterpart vowed zero tolerance Monday for any North Korean provocations and agreed to strengthen combined defences against the myriad threats posed by Pyongyang.

Carter met Han Min-Koo in Seoul during an annual security meeting for the two allies to assess their military cooperation.

Carter told reporters they "spoke candidly" about nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, cyber- and conventional military threats from North Korea, which they described as a risk to peace and security well beyond the Korean peninsula.

"The minister and the secretary reaffirmed that any North Korean aggression or military provocation is not to be tolerated," according to a joint statement after their talks.

They specifically voiced "grave concern" over strong hints from North Korea that it is preparing a long-range rocket launch in violation of US resolutions.

In a widely expected move, the defence chiefs signed an agreement that defines conditions for a transfer of control over the South Korean military from the United States to Seoul in time of war.

South Korea had been scheduled to take wartime control, known as OPCON, by next year. But now the transfer is based on various conditions being met and not on a particular timeline.

North Korea's hostile rhetoric, rocket tests and unpredictable behaviour in recent years has prompted calls to postpone the transfer. The two nations agreed in principle last year to this "conditions-based" approach.

 

- Wartime command -

Carter said the main conditions Seoul must meet are the further development of its intelligence capabilities and its counter-artillery powers.

"If we look at global trends in terms of national security, many countries in the world conduct self-defence in the form of cooperation with regional and local partners," Han said when asked why South Korea -- despite its major economic and political clout -- still was not ready to take control of its own military.

The defence chiefs also agreed to strengthen their capacity to deal with cyber attacks.

South Korea, one of the world's most wired nations, has blamed North Korean hackers for a series of cyber-attacks on military institutions, banks, government agencies, TV broadcasters and media websites in recent years.

"We see the North Korean military challenge as continuing to evolve and becoming more complex and more challenging," a senior US defence official said after the meeting, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Kim Jung-Un's regime has demonstrated a willingness to act provocatively, to use violence, to use force in ways that threaten the stability of the region."

Echoing comments Carter made about the strength of the US-South Korea alliance, the official said ties were at a high point.

"Ten years ago, there were serious disagreements between the two sides on some fundamental issues about the nature of the regime in North Korea," he said.

"The major issues in the alliance now ... are fairly narrow issues about technology transfer and hypothetical contingency situations. We've come a long way."

Carter's visit to South Korea was his first international stop on an eight-day trip to the Asia-Pacific.

He will meet leaders from more than a dozen nations across East and South Asia. Officially, his mission is intended to help push the next phase of America's foreign policy "rebalance" to the region.

A key theme of the trip is likely to be China's construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea and its claims of sovereignty over almost the entire waterway.

The defence chiefs were asked about the issue during a news conference, with Han stressing that any conflict should be resolved "in the framework of international law".

Carter said Sunday the issue was leading many countries in the region "to want to intensify their security cooperation with the United States".

After the meeting in Seoul, Carter left for an Association of Southeast Asian Nations defence ministers' meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 11:35
S-3 Viking anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft - photo US Navy

S-3 Viking anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft - photo US Navy

 

September 24, 2015: Strategy Page

 

South Korea is seeking to buy about twenty retired American S-3 anti-submarine warfare (ASW) aircraft to augment South Korean ability to find and destroy North Korean submarines. The United States retired the last of its S-3s in 2009 but put dozens in storage, just in case. Before putting these aircraft in storage the navy took advantage of new, lightweight, search radars and targeting pods and in 2006 began equipping S-3 aircraft with Lantirn targeting pods. This was in an effort to extend the life of the S-3s, as reconnaissance aircraft. That did not prevent the retirement decision.

 

The S-3 was originally designed as an anti-submarine aircraft, and served in that capacity from its introduction in the mid-1970s, to the late 1990s. The end of the Cold War ended most of the submarine threat so after 1999 the S-3 has served as a patrol aircraft and aerial tanker. It was hoped that a reequipped S-3, with the long endurance (ten hours per sortie), day/night video capability of the Lantirn, and lightweight search radar, would make it a much more effective maritime patrol aircraft. The Lantirn pod costs two million dollars, and is hung off a hard point like a bomb or fuel tank. Despite this effort some 90 late model S-3s, about half the 188 manufactured, are in storage and can be brought back to service in a few months. South Korea would add some of its own electronics and begin using the S-3s for ASW work.

 

The 23 ton S-3 is a twin-jet ASW aircraft designed to operate from aircraft carriers. It carries a crew of four (two pilots and two equipment operators) and up to 2.2 tons of weapons (bombs, mines, depth charges, ant-submarine torpedoes). Cruise speed is 650 kilometers an hour and stall (slowest) speed is 180 kilometers an hour. Also carried are sixty sonobuoys plus extensive electronics (search radar, night vision camera and magnetic anomaly detector).

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 07:35
Special Operations: South Korea Threatens The North

 

September 29, 2015: Strategy Page

 

South Korea recently confirmed that it is organizing six special operations teams that are being trained to attack and destroy key targets inside North Korea. Apparently the North Koreans had figured this out and there were a growing number of rumors in South Korea as well. This revelation represents a major change in special operations in Korea because since the 1950s it was North Korea constantly sending commandos and spies into South Korea where not all of them were quickly caught or caught at all. At the same times it has always proved nearly impossible to get foreign agents into North Korea, which had been turned into the ultimate police state after World War II. Since the 1990s the lack of Russian aid (which kept North Korea afloat since the 1950s) caused the North Korean military to gradually (and almost imperceptibly) fall apart. This was accelerated by growing and corruption, even within the secret police and other security agencies. As a result South Korea considers North Korea vulnerable and is preparing to take advantage of that during the next military emergency. If nothing else it causes the North Koreans to spend a lot more on protecting their nuclear weapons.

 

Meanwhile North Korea, which has long maintained elite commando forces, tries to keep up appearances. In North Korea special operations troops are still carefully selected, then paid, housed and fed better and given access to better equipment. About twelve percent of the million North Korean military personnel are in these elite units. But the benefits have eroded so much that even the elite troops are now suffering food and fuel shortages as well as aging equipment.

 

Since North Korean conscripts still serve for at least six years, there’s enough time to train even draftees to special operations levels of capabilities. Service in these units are sought after because not only do they mean better treatment while in the military but better career opportunities after military service. Most of these North Korea special operations troops are similar to U.S. rangers, marines, paratroopers or special reconnaissance troops (U.S. Marine Force Recon and army LURPS).

 

There are also some 30,000 snipers, organized into ten Sniper Brigades. This is a rather unique use of snipers, and given shortages of ammunition in the north, it's uncertain how well these troops, no matter how well selected, are at sniping. If you want to maintain your shooting skills, you have to fire thousands of rounds a year. The same applies for all elite troops, although a lot of the training just consists of physical conditioning and combat drills. For snipers, this consists practicing staying hidden. This can be accomplished, if you can keep the troops well fed and housed. This is no longer the case with many of the Special Forces, and morale is suffering.

 

At the apex of North Korean Special Forces there are about five thousand commando and U.S. Special Forces type troops. These are meant to get into South Korea and go after key targets and people. Again, the North Koreans have trained for half a century to do this, but have not been able to actually put these troops to the test much. There have been thousands of small operations in the south over the last half century. In the 1960s there was a low level war going on, as the North Koreans sent dozens of small teams south each year. Over a hundred American troops were killed or wounded, and many more South Korean soldiers and police. Yet, the North Koreans had little success.

 

While the top special operations units are still well cared for, more and more reports come out of the north about many less skilled special operations troops complaining about less, or at least lower quality, food and other problems (like less access to electricity year round, and heat during the Winter.) More of these troops are deserting and heading for China, where they can be more easily interviewed. Some have made it all the way to South Korea, where the extent of their numbers and preparations has pushed South Korean commanders to increase their security preparations, and train more troops to deal with all these commandos in war time.

 

While the North Korean special operations troops are grumbling about not getting all the training resources (ammo and fuel) they need, they remain a highly motivated and generally loyal force. The government uses these troops to insure the loyalty of the rest of the military, and more and more elite troops are being used to assist the secret police in going after dissidents and corrupt officials. This is probably hurting the North Korean special operations forces more than anything else. The troops are getting a close look at the corruption and contradictions in North Korea. The troops generally live in closed bases and don't get out much. But now that they do, they see a North Korea that is unpleasant, and not as swell as their commanders told them it was. It turns out those letters they were getting from home were not exaggerating how bad things were. And the trend has been down for so long, it's hard to assure the troops that there's any way up.

 

South Korea has fewer (about 20,000) special operations troops but they are trained and equipped to a higher (Western) standard. Meanwhile South Korea has improved its air defenses along the DMZ. For over half a century North Korea has prepared to fly small single engine transports into South Korea by coming in so low the radar could not pick it up. South Korea can now detect such low flying aircraft and has weapons on the DMZ to quickly shoot down intruders. The pilots of these aircraft are not as skilled as they used to be, especially for low altitude night flying, because fuel shortages have sharply cut training time in the air.

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30 septembre 2015 3 30 /09 /septembre /2015 07:35
A drone found crashed in South Korea (Photo: Korean Ministry of Defense)

A drone found crashed in South Korea (Photo: Korean Ministry of Defense)

 

September 29, 2015: Strategy Page

 

The growing availability of small, inexpensive UAVs that can (and are) used by criminals and Islamic terrorists has led to the development of several Anti-UAV Defense Systems (AUDS). These systems consist of multiple sensors (visual, heat, radar) to detect the small UAVs and a focused radio signal jammer to cut the UAV off from its controller and prevent (in most cases) the UAV from completing its mission. The detection range of AUDS is usually 10 kilometers or more and jamming range varies from a few kilometers to about eight.

 

AUDS can be defeated. For example a user can send a small UAV off on a pre-programmed mission. This can be to take photos or deliver a small explosive. No one has tried, at least successfully, using armed micro-UAVs yet but North Korea has been caught using small recon UAVs flying under automatic control.

 

If these UAVs are still detected they have to be destroyed via ground or air-to-air fire. This the South Koreans and Israelis have had to do several times. The Israelis were dealing with Palestinian Islamic terrorist groups using small UAVs, often Iranian models. South Korea and Israel has responded by adding more sensor systems, especially new radars that can detect the smallest UAVs moving at any speed and altitude. An American firm has demonstrated a high-powered laser that can take down small UAVs several kilometers away.

 

North Korea had been interested in UAVs since the 1970s but had never bought or built a lot of them. In the late 1980s North Korea acquired some of China’s first generation UAVs (ASN-104s). These were 140 kg (304 pound) aircraft with a 30 kg (66 pound) payload and endurance of two hours. Very crude by today’s standards but it took real time video and higher resolution still photos. In the 1990s the North Koreans produced some ASN-104s, apparently by just copying the Chinese ones they had. In the 1990s North Korea got some Russian DR-3 jet powered UAVs. These were faster but less useful than the ASN-104s. Attempts to use the DR-3 as the basis for a cruise missile design failed. In the 1990s North Korea also got some Russian Pchela-1T UAVs. These were very similar to the ASN-104s and that means not very useful at all. The Chinese and Russians used these first generation UAVs mainly for correcting artillery fire and this is what North Korea was seen doing with them, particularly North Korean coastal artillery.

 

In 2014 South Korea was alarmed to discover three North Korean UAVs that had crashed in South Korea. It was soon discovered that North Korea was using modified versions of the commercial Chinese SKY-09P UAV. North Korea gave the SKY-09Ps a new paint job (to make it harder to spot), a muffler (to make it less detectable) and installed a different camera. The SKY-09P was used via its robotic mode, where the SKY-09P flew to pre-programmed GPS coordinates, taking digital photos over selected areas and returned with those photos stored on a memory card. The SKY-09Ps found in South Korea had GPS coordinates in their guidance system showing they originated and were to return to a location in North Korea. The memory cards showed pictures of South Korean government (mainly military) facilities.

 

Thus the most successful UAV the North Koreans ever used turned out to be a Chinese commercial model, the SKY-09P. This is a 12 kg (26 pound) delta wing aircraft with a wingspan of 1.92 meters (6.25 feet), propeller in the front and a payload of three kg (6.6 pounds). It is launched via a catapult and lands via a parachute. Endurance is 90 minutes and cruising speed is 90 kilometers an hour. When controlled from the ground it can go no farther than 40 kilometers from the controller. But when placed on automatic it can go about 60 kilometers into South Korea and return with photos. These things cost the North Koreans a few thousand dollars each. While South Korea says they detected two of the three crashed North Korea UAVs no other details were provided. The Chinese manufacturer denied selling anything to North Korea, but the North Koreans typically use a third party for purchases like this.  

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17 septembre 2015 4 17 /09 /septembre /2015 16:35
Japon: les lois de défense adoptées en commission après des échauffourées entre sénateurs

 

17 septembre 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Tokyo - Des sénateurs en sont venus aux mains jeudi au Parlement japonais avant l'adoption en commission de nouvelles lois de défense autorisant l'envoi de militaires à l'étranger pour aider un allié en difficulté, une première depuis la guerre.

 

La voie est désormais ouverte pour un vote en session plénière au Sénat, procédure qui entérinerait les textes et qui doit intervenir dans les heures ou jours à venir, malgré une opposition farouche.

 

Jeudi à deux reprises, devant le Premier ministre Shinzo Abe impassible, des membres de l'opposition et de la coalition au pouvoir ont encerclé le président d'une commission spéciale et se sont bousculés et empoignés vigoureusement.

 

Le parlementaire d'opposition Tetsuro Fukuyama a ensuite prononcé un discours enflammé expliquant pourquoi son parti avait déposé une motion pour tenter d'empêcher l'adoption de cette réinterprétation de la Constitution pacifiste du Japon.

 

Le parti au pouvoir écoute-t-il les voix du public ? Vous pouvez faire tout ce que vous voulez parce que vous avez la majorité. Est-ce bien cela que vous pensez ?, a-t-il lancé au bord des larmes.

 

La tension est montée d'heure en heure et l'adoption des textes en commission a été reportée à plusieurs reprises, les parlementaires bloquant les portes et encombrant les couloirs en signe de protestation.

 

Selon les médias japonais, 13 personnes ont été arrêtées mercredi soir pour entrave à agent de police pendant une manifestation qui a rassemblé quelque 13.000 personnes devant le Parlement.

 

Ces dernières semaines, des milliers de Japonais ont défilé dans les rues presque quotidiennement, dans un pays où les manifestations sont rares.

 

Bien que la Constitution actuelle, qui empêche les soldats japonais de prendre part à des combats en dehors de l'auto-défense, ait été imposée par l'occupant américain, nombre de Japonais y sont attachés et estiment que tout changement remettrait en cause le caractère pacifiste de leur pays. Ils craignent que le Japon ne soit entraîné dans un conflit lointain aux côtés des Américains.

 

Mais selon le Premier ministre Abe, une évolution des lois est nécessaire pour faire face à des menaces grandissantes venant de Chine et de Corée du Nord.

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15 septembre 2015 2 15 /09 /septembre /2015 12:35
Le laboratoire de recherches nucléaires de Yongbyon - GeoEye Satellite Image

Le laboratoire de recherches nucléaires de Yongbyon - GeoEye Satellite Image

 

15.09.2015 Romandie.com (ats)

 

La Corée du Nord a annoncé mardi le redémarrage d'un réacteur considéré comme sa principale source de plutonium de qualité militaire. Elle a ainsi déclenché le deuxième signal d'alarme en 24 heures sur ses intentions en matière d'arme nucléaire et balistique.

Cette annonce du directeur de l'Institut de l'énergie atomique (IEA) de Corée du Nord est survenue juste après l'évocation par Pyongyang de la possible mise sur orbite le mois prochain de satellites au moyen de fusées, une éventualité qui constituerait selon Séoul "un acte grave de provocation".

Pour les spécialistes de la péninsule coréenne divisée, le moment choisi pour ces deux annonces est étroitement calculé par le Nord afin de s'imposer à l'ordre du jour d'un prochain sommet sino-américain.

Dans une interview à l'agence officielle KCNA, le directeur de l'IEA a indiqué que toutes les installations du complexe nucléaire de Yongbyon avaient "repris des opérations normales". Figure en particulier parmi ces installations son réacteur de cinq mégawatts, qui est, selon des experts, capable de produire environ six kilogrammes de plutonium par an, soit une quantité suffisante pour une bombe nucléaire.

 

"Constantes améliorations"

Le réacteur de Yongbyon avait été fermé en 2007 dans le cadre d'un accord échangeant désarmement contre aide, mais la Corée du Nord a commencé des travaux de rénovation après son dernier essai nucléaire en 2013.

Le directeur de l'IEA, dont le nom n'a pas été précisé par KCNA, a indiqué que les scientifiques et techniciens nord-coréens avaient "constamment amélioré" la qualité et la quantité des installations nord-coréennes visant à la dissuasion nucléaire.

"Si les Etats-Unis et les autres forces hostiles continuent à mettre en oeuvre leur politique hostile irresponsable, (la Corée du Nord) se tient prête à riposter à n'importe quel moment avec l'arme nucléaire", a-t-il dit.

 

Satellites en vue

Cette mise en garde survient au moment où Pyongyang laisse entendre qu'il envisage de lancer par fusée des satellites, à l'occasion du 70e anniversaire de la création du parti unique au pouvoir, le Parti des travailleurs de Corée, le 10 octobre.

"Le monde verra très clairement une série de satellites (...) s'envoler dans le ciel à des dates et dans des lieux déterminés par le comité central" du Parti des travailleurs, a dit lundi soir le directeur de l'agence spatiale nord-coréenne, dont le nom n'a pas été précisé par KCNA.

Le Nord assure que ses tirs de fusées visent à mettre sur orbite des satellites à usage non militaire, tandis que les Etats-Unis et leurs alliés les voient comme des tests de missiles balistiques déguisés.

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29 juin 2015 1 29 /06 /juin /2015 16:35
Ministre de la Défense : «La 2e bataille de Yeonpyeong a été une victoire navale»

Le ministre de la Défense Han Min-koo prononce un discours lors d`une cérémonie commémorant le 13e anniversaire de la 2e bataille navale de Yeonpyeong

 

SEOUL, 29 juin (Yonhap)

 

Le ministre de la Défense Han Min-koo a décrit ce lundi comme une «victoire navale» la deuxième bataille de Yeonpyeong qui s'est déroulée le 29 juin 2002 et qui a fait six morts et 18 blessés coté sud-coréen.

«La deuxième bataille navale de Yeonpyeong a été une victoire navale gagnée par nos soldats qui ont contré de tout leur corps une provocation nord-coréenne», a déclaré Han lors d'une cérémonie commémorant le 13e anniversaire de cet accrochage naval. Cette cérémonie a eu lieu à la 2e flotte de la marine nationale à Pyeongtaek.

C'est la première fois qu'un ministre de la Défense en exercice a prononcé un discours en hommage aux soldats morts dans ce combat naval et décrit celui-ci comme une «victoire navale». Cette reconnaissance devrait accélérer les efforts visant à reconnaître les six soldats tués dans cette bataille comme des victimes de guerre et non comme des morts à la tâche.

Il a également décrit cette bataille comme une «histoire pleine de fierté, qui a montré la détermination ferme» des forces militaires qui se sont battues pour défendre les eaux territoriales sud-coréennes face au Nord.

Han a en outre noté la récente montée des tensions provoquée par le Nord près de la Ligne de limite Nord (NLL) en mer Jaune. «Si la Corée du Nord procède de nouveau à une provocation téméraire, nos forces armées lanceront des représailles fermes contre non seulement l'origine de la provocation de l'ennemi mais aussi contre les forces de soutien et le commandement», a-t-il averti en soulignant que le Nord ne pourra atteindre aucun de ses objectifs avec des provocations et menaces.

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20 mai 2015 3 20 /05 /mai /2015 16:35
La Corée du Nord déclare miniaturiser des armes nucléaires

 

20/05/2015 Lepoint.fr (AFP)

 

La Commission nord-coréenne de défense nationale, plus haute instance militaire du pays, a indiqué avoir "diversifié [ses] capacités de frappes nucléaires".

 

La Corée du Nord a annoncé mercredi qu'elle avait réussi à miniaturiser des armes nucléaires. Un tel processus pourrait lui permettre d'équiper des missiles. "Cela fait longtemps que nous avons commencé à miniaturiser et à diversifier nos capacités en termes de frappes nucléaires", a déclaré la puissante Commission nord-coréenne de défense nationale (CDN) dans un communiqué rendu public par l'agence officielle KCNA.

 

"Nous sommes également parvenus au point où le degré de précision le plus élevé est garanti, pas seulement pour les missiles de courte et moyenne portée, mais également pour les missiles de longue portée", ajoute le communiqué. "Nous ne cachons pas cet état de fait." La CDN, la plus haute instance militaire du pays qui est présidée par le numéro un Kim Jong-un, a également critiqué les États-Unis pour avoir condamné ce qui a été présenté par Pyongyang comme un tir d'essai réussi d'un missile balistique depuis un sous-marin (MSBS), en violation des résolutions de l'ONU.

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21 mars 2015 6 21 /03 /mars /2015 13:35
source AsiaFirst

source AsiaFirst

 

21 mars 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Séoul - Les ministres des Affaires étrangères du Japon, de Chine et de Corée du Sud se sont engagés samedi à travailler à la tenue, le plus rapidement possible, d'un sommet entre leurs trois pays, lors de leur première rencontre à Séoul depuis trois ans.

 

Cette réunion entre les chefs de la diplomatie de ces trois puissances asiatiques avait pour but de calmer les rivalités territoriales et disputes diplomatiques liées à l'occupation japonaise avant et pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale.

 

Dans un communiqué commun, les ministres disent s'être mis d'accord sur la tenue d'un sommet entre leurs dirigeants respectifs le plus rapidement possible.

 

Ils ont également exprimé leur ferme opposition au développement d'armes nucléaires sur la péninsule coréenne, dans une référence claire aux ambitions de Pyongyang.

 

La rencontre ministérielle de Séoul était la première depuis avril 2012. Le dernier sommet trilatéral s'était tenu un mois plus tard mais, depuis cette date, la Chine, comme le Japon et la Corée du Sud se sont dotés de nouveaux dirigeants.

 

La présidente sud-coréenne Park Geun-hye a déjà tenu deux sommets avec le président chinois Xi Jinping, mais évité le Premier ministre japonais Shinzo Abe.

 

M. Abe et le plus haut dirigeant chinois se sont rencontrés quant à eux en novembre dernier lors d'un bref sommet à Pékin, en marge du Forum de coopération économique Asie-Pacifique (Apec), mais la poignée de mains fut glaciale. Jeudi, cependant, les deux pays ont mené leurs premières négociations sur la sécurité en quatre ans.

 

Alors que les relations entre la Chine et la Corée du Sud sont au beau fixe, Pékin et Séoul entretiennent des rapports tendus avec Tokyo en raison de contentieux sur des îles disputées ou sur l'interprétation de l'occupation japonaise avant et pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale.

 

Séoul reproche notamment à Tokyo de ne pas s'excuser assez pour les exactions commises lors de l'occupation de la Péninsule par l'armée nippone entre 1910 et 1945, notamment à propos des femmes enrôlées dans les bordels pour les soldats japonais.

 

Perdure en outre entre les deux pays un différend sur les terres contrôlées par la Corée du Sud mais que le Japon estime siennes.

 

Dans leur communiqué commun, les ministres sud-coréen Yoon Byung-Se, chinois Wang Yi et japonais Fumio Kishida affirment la volonté des trois pays de renforcer leur coopération en regardant l'histoire honnêtement et en avançant vers l'avenir.

 

Le secrétaire général de l'ONU, Ban Ki-moon, a incité les trois pays à avoir un dialogue dynamique, tandis que Washington a décrit la dispute entre la Corée du Sud et le Japon, ses deux principaux alliés militaires en Asie, comme un handicap stratégique.

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19 mars 2015 4 19 /03 /mars /2015 17:35
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD)

 

March 19, 2015: Strategy Page

 

A South Korean investigation of a hacker attack on the computer network of the company that runs South Koreas’ nuclear power plant concluded that the attack came from North Korea. The hackers said they were protesting nuclear power and demanded South Korean nuclear plants be shut down. That was ignored and then the hackers released some stolen documents and demanded a ransom. That was apparently ignored as well. North Korea insists it had nothing to do with the attack but South Koreans have seen a growing number of such attacks that all point to North Korea as the source.

 

South Korea has openly called on China to stop using diplomatic threats and economic bribes in an effort to get South Korea to halt the installation of an anti-missile system. South Korea wants this American THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense system for protection from North Korean missile attack. The Chinese would not come right out and say it but they object mainly because THAAD would also make South Korea less vulnerable to intimidation by Chinese ballistic missiles. South Korea openly refused to comply with the Chinese threats and South Korean public opinion became even more enthusiastic about the high tech and very expensive (over $100 million per launcher and associated equipment) THAAD system. China sees South Korea more of an ally of the United States and a potential wartime foe than as an ally in attempts to keep North Korea from doing anything that would cause major economic and diplomatic problems (like starting a war).   

 

North Korea is also unhappy with a new UN study which documents North Korea kidnapping over 200,000 people since the early 1950s. Most of these were South Korean taken during the Korean War (1950-53) but hundreds were taken, from the 1960s on, from eleven other countries. About half these victims were Japanese and Japan has been putting economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea since the 1990s to try and get these people back as well as details of exactly who was taken. North Korea is willing to negotiate over this but these talks are stalled over how much North Korea wants in return for coming clean on these abductions. North Korea now wants Japanese help in getting the UN to back off on threats to charge North Korea with “crimes against humanity” because of the abductions. Negotiations continue, which is usually the best you can hope for when dealing with North Korea.

 

Although China has withheld some forms of aid to North Korea in an effort to halt the North Korean nuclear weapons program, economic aid has more than doubled, to nearly $7 billion a year. since 2009. That’s nearly 20 percent of North Korean GDP and is what is keeping the North Korean economy functioning. Despite that stranglehold on their survival, North Korea continues to resist Chinese “requests” that they get rid of their nuclear weapons program. China could arrange a coup against the ruling Kim dynasty but that risks plunging North Korea into chaos, rebellion or civil war (or all three), which would require a Chinese invasion and occupation to sort out. For the moment China prefers to be prudent and patient.

 

As serious a threat North Korea poses to the neighborhood, Americans are less concerned. Despite the declining ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) prospects a recent opinion poll in the United States showed that 84 percent of Americans believe ISIL is the most serious threat over the next decade. International terrorism also has 84 percent of Americans concerned. Iranian nukes frighten 77 percent followed by North Korea (64 percent) and Russia (49 percent, actually a tie with the Islamic effort to destroy Israel).

 

Despite continuing Chinese aid, North Korea knows that China could do more but isn’t because the Chinese are unhappy with North Koreas’ self-destructive economic policies and determination to build a large number of nuclear weapons. While South Korea, Japan and America see these nukes aimed at them China realizes that China is the traditional overlord of (and threat to) independent minded Koreans. So China sees these nukes as a threat to Chinese power in the region and that sort of insolence cannot be tolerated. While Westerners tend to ignore (or play down) this sort of thing it is taken for granted by Koreans and Chinese. With this in mind North Korea is forging stronger ties with Russia, which is also a historical foe of China that, at the moment, pretends to be a Chinese ally. Russia is in bad economic and diplomatic shape because of the falling price of oil and aggression against Western neighbors, but is still sending some economic aid to North Korea and pledging long-term friendship and cooperation.

 

Despite always giving China a hard time, North Korea encourages this “Chinese solution” by continuing to keep hard-liners from destroying the growing market economy. A growing number of people in the North Korean leadership understand (even if they don’t agree with) the superiority of a market economy over the communist command economy that has failed in every country it has been tried. For many North Koreans this failure shakes the faith in the system. But Chinese leaders point out that the communist bureaucrats in China have prospered along with the new entrepreneurial class. The key is in figuring out how to exploit the newly wealthy entrepreneurs without creating an angry opposition that can overthrow you. That’s what happened to most traditional monarchies in the 19th and 20th centuries and communism was supposed to be immune to that sort of thing but wasn’t. The last thing a thieving bureaucrat wants is democracy and many North Korean (and some Chinese) leaders fear that this is where it all leading.

 

In the short term all this new prosperity is causing the government problems closer to home, literally. Families of senior officials often contain wives or children who want more of the consumer goods and services they are seeing on illegal South Korean videos. In response many officials are not only taking bribes but seeking out opportunities to do so. Supreme leader Kim Jong Un knows, as do his Chinese counterparts, that this sort of thing eventually leads to a bloody (for the senior leadership) revolution. But stopping the corruption once it gets started is difficult and many historians of this sort of thing point that cleaning up this mess is, based on past experience, exceedingly difficult and rarely accomplished in dictatorships.

 

A growing problem in the south is the illegal debt (to North Korean people smuggling gangs) refugees from the north bring with them. The gangs up north will, for a fee of $10,000 to $20,000, get people out if North Korea, through China to a country (like Thailand) that tolerates the local South Korea embassy taking these refugees in and sending them to South Korea. The North Korean gangsters know how much money South Korea gives these refugees to adjust and how much refugees can earn in the more affluent south and adjusts their fees accordingly. In effect these refugees become employees of the gangs for years until their debt is paid off. If payments stop, the gang can kidnap or kill kin still in North Korea or China. The smuggling gangs work with the notorious “snakehead” gangs of China which have been going the same thing for Chinese for decades. The pressure on North Korea refugees is often so great that some commit suicide or turn to crime. The fees the North Korean snakeheads demand have skyrocketed in the past year as the North Korean government increased security on the Chinese border. This required more bribes to get people across as well as greater risk of running into secret police who cannot be bribed and are looking for snakeheads to prosecute and execute.

 

Despite the higher snakehead fees North Korean still pay it and get to South Korea. That is made possible by the growing market economy and prevalence of bribes which enables many more North Koreans to raise the cash to pay the snakeheads immediately on arrival. The snakeheads are fine with this. In South Korea these more affluent refugees often include government officials and military officers. These people had access to more information back home and are a prime source of data on overall conditions in the north. One of the more disturbing revelations is the growing hunger problem in the north and how that is impacting the military. Apparently North Korea has shifted more military resources to the nuclear and ballistic missile programs and part of that shift involved cutting food supplies to the troops. The way this works officers and their families still eat well but the most junior troops (recruits and those only in a year or so) are given just enough to stay alive. Soldiers who demonstrate their loyalty are given more food and this works to control the growing unrest in the ranks. What it does not control is the growing incidence of theft (especially of food or anything that can be sold or exchanged for food) by the constantly hunger young soldiers.

 

Canada revealed that one of their citizens (a clergyman who was born in South Korea) has been arrested in North Korea. The victim went to North Korea in January to do some humanitarian work. North Korea takes a dim view of this sort of thing and frequently arrests foreigners for that, especially if there are clergy. North Korea has not admitted to the arrest yet. Canada repeated its warnings to Canadians to stay out of North Korea.

 

March 15, 2015: In an effort to revive its tourism business North Korea has dropped the quarantine rules it introduced for tourists in late 2014. Quarantine caused a sharp drop in tourist traffic and spending. Back in November quarantine was seen as another new money making idea. This involved holding some visitors in isolation for 21 days to make sure they did not have Ebola. Thus in November North Korea began forcing most foreign visitors to remain in quarantine for 21 days after arrival. This was a scam to extract more money from visitors as they had to stay in designated hotels for the quarantine period and pay for it. Most business and all official visitors were not subject to the quarantine. No cases of Ebola have occurred in China or Korea. However China was considered vulnerable because there are over a million Chinese living in Africa, with over 100,000 living in areas where the Ebola deaths (over 5,000 by late 2014) have been highest. China had made preparations to deal with an Ebola outbreak in China and had experience in dealing with infectious diseases like this. The quarantine turned out to be an expensive mistake. This is especially the case sine, with much effort, North Korea had been able to increase the number of foreign tourists arriving each year to over 6,000. North Korea then went about creating more facilities (like a recently built ski resort) to accommodate them. While some tourists have been imprisoned, or even killed, North Korea is generally safer than most non-Western tourist destinations because there is virtually no crime. If you stay away from politics (the cause of most tourist problems) you are quite safe. Of course North Korea is very expensive as the government overcharges for everything and visitors are escorted everywhere. But for the very adventurous and affluent, North Korea is the place to be. North Korea needs the foreign exchange and have noted that many nations have turned tourism into major industries (often accounting for ten percent or more of GDP and accounting for most foreign exchange. The Ebola quarantine turned out to be a major mistake as tourist arrivals fell by over 90 percent. It took North Korean leaders several months to muster the courage to admit (without saying anything) that they were wrong and drop the quarantine. It is not clear if any senior officials were executed (as has long been the custom up there) for this expensive error in judgement.

 

March 12, 2015: North Korea test fired seven surface-to-air missiles off its east coast. This follows the firing of two SCUD ballistic missiles on the 2nd. These firing were supposed to be a form of protest against recent joint training exercises by American and South Korean forces. These training exercises are held regularly by the most capable military forces and the U.S. and South Korea have long done this. That bothers North Korea a lot because since the 1990s North Korea has been too poor to keep up in the training department. These days its nearly one million troops spend most of their time growing food and working for civilian enterprises to earn money to pay for fuel and other supplies the government can no longer afford to provide. North Korea announced these recent missile “tests” as they usually do without mentioning that they have a growing number of missiles that are reaching their expiration date (when too many aging components become unreliable) and conducting all these missile and rocket firing “tests” off the coasts is largely a case of “use it or lose it” combined with “let’s try and scare our enemies.” But this sort of thing has been going on for so long that it no longer has much shock appeal, but it is good training for the troops who operate these missiles and good for morale when these launches seem to go well. What is never revealed is if the guidance systems of these missiles were still functional. The guidance systems are components most vulnerable to aging and it is believed that many of these elderly missiles are launched with the guidance systems disabled so that a guidance system failure would not turn the missile firing into an obvious failure (as the missile careened about under the control of a failing guidance system).

 

March 11, 2015: South Korea announced a new law that allows it to assign police to guard foreign diplomats and other dignitaries the police believe might be subject to attack. This comes in the wake of the March 5th attack on the American ambassador by a deranged Korean nationalist who blames the United States for the division of Korea. A growing minority of South Koreans blame America for the division of Korea and some of these anti-America activists get violent from time to time. There have previously been attacks like this on American and South Korean officials but never one that involved a knife and left the victim bleeding. This attacker will be prosecuted and his attack appalled most South Koreans. North Korea praised the attacker (who openly praised North Korea and had visited there several times) but police have not been able to find any connection between this attack and North Korea. Then again North Korea has always encouraged South Korean conspiracy theorists who blame America, especially since many of these anti-American activists are pro-North Korea.

 

March 9, 2015: North Korea apologized to Bangladesh after a North Korean diplomat was caught trying to smuggle in 27 kg (59.4 pounds with $1.5 million) into Bangladesh. The senior diplomat had diplomatic immunity and apparently hoped that would protect his luggage from inspection. In this case it didn’t. North Korean diplomats are notorious crooks and since the 1990s have been caught smuggling or distributing drugs and counterfeit currency. More recently they have used their diplomatic immunity to smuggle illegal items (it is illegal to bring more than two kg of gold into Bangladesh without declaring it and paying a fee). In most countries where North Korea ganger diplomats are most active local police pay special attention to the North Koreans in general. Other nations react by severely limiting the number of North Korea diplomats admitted and given diplomatic immunity. In severe cases the North Korean embassy gets shut down and all North Koreans expelled. This keeps North Korea on good behavior, or at least urging its diplomats to try harder to not get caught. But the gangster diplomats are still a major source of foreign currency and useful contacts with powerful foreign gangsters so they remain at work.

 

North Korea needs all the economic help it can get because along with falling oil prices the prices for coal and iron ore (major North Korean exports) are also falling. This is hurting North Korea big time, far more than economic sanctions. The situation is not as dire as with oil (where the price has declined by more than half since 2014.) Coal and oil prices have fallen about 15 percent and the volume of exports (because of lower demand) have gone down about ten percent. This situation is getting worse as the Chinese economy (the main customer for the ore and coal) continues to slow. While mining is only about 14 percent of the North Korean economy it is the major source of foreign currency, which is needed to pay for imports.

 

March 2, 2015: Israel claims that Syria has transferred some long range (700 kilometers) SCUD ballistic missiles to Hezbollah. These missiles carry a half ton high-explosive warhead. These SCUDs are actually North Korean variants on the original Russian SCUD that have a smaller warhead to enable longer range.

 

February 28, 2015: North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un made a big deal of ordering his military to prepare for war. This was done as a form of protest against large scale military training exercises, which North Korea can no longer afford. Protests, however, are cheap.

 

February 25, 2015: The UN released a report showing that North Korea continues to operate state-owned merchant ships for use in smuggling operations. The UN reported discovering several cases where North Korean ships earlier caught smuggling were now back in business with new names. This is just the latest round in the international effort to shut down the North Korean smuggling fleet. This fleet grew considerably in the 1990s and the U.S. soon began paying attention. Thus by  2006 the U.S. ordered that American citizens were no longer allowed to own, lease, operate or insure any vessel flagged by North Korea. This made it more difficult for North Korea to maintain its fleet of smuggling ships. At the time it was believed that about ten of the 80 ships registered in North Korea were American.

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13 mars 2015 5 13 /03 /mars /2015 08:35
La Corée du Nord tire sept missiles dans la mer

 

13 mars 2015 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

Séoul - La Corée du Nord a tiré jeudi sept missiles dans la mer, au large de ses côtes orientales, sur fond de tensions ravivées sur la péninsule coréenne, a annoncé vendredi le ministère sud-coréen de la Défense.

 

Le dirigeant nord-coréen, Kim Jong-Un, aurait lui-même supervisé l'opération jeudi soir à partir d'un site de lancement situé près de la ville de Sondok.

 

Ces tirs surviennent pendant les manoeuvres militaires annuelles menées par la Corée du Sud avec son allié américain et qui chaque année provoque des réactions indignées de la Corée du Nord qui les considèrent comme une répétition générale à l'invasion de son territoire.

 

Ces tirs de missiles constituent une nouvelle démonstration de force du Nord eu égard aux manoeuvres, a indiqué à l'AFP le porte-parole du ministère sud-coréen de la Défense.

 

La Corée du Sud et les Etats-Unis ont conclu vendredi une partie de leurs manoeuvres conjointes. L'exercice Key Resolve, commencé le 2 mars, a mobilisé environ 10.000 soldats sud-coréens et 8.600 américains, mais il s'agit avant tout d'une simulation par ordinateur.

 

Le général Curtis Scaparrotti, chef du Commandement des forces conjointes américano-sud-coréennes, a affirmé vendredi que ces exercices étaient cruciaux pour assurer la défense de la Corée du Sud.

 

L'autre phase des manoeuvres, baptisées Foal Eagle et commencées en même temps, est prévue pour durer huit semaines. Elle doit mobiliser des dizaines de milliers de soldats de part et d'autre.

 

La Corée du Nord avait déjà manifesté sa vive désapprobation en procédant au tir de deux missiles à courte portée au large de ses côtes orientales début mars.

 

Séoul et Washington affirment qu'il s'agit d'exercices purement défensifs, mais Pyongyang les voit comme le prélude à une invasion.

 

La Corée du Nord et la Corée du Sud se sont constituées en Etats indépendants en 1948 et la guerre de Corée (1950-1953) a consacré cette division.

 

Les deux Corées sont techniquement toujours en guerre, n'ayant pas signé de traité de paix après l'armistice de 1953.

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9 mars 2015 1 09 /03 /mars /2015 17:35
China overtakes North Korea as Japan's top security concern

Japanese people are more concerned about China's military strength and assertiveness in Asia than any other security issue, according to a public opinion poll released by the government at the weekend.

 

9 Mar 2015 businesstimes.com.sg

 

[TOKYO] Japanese people are more concerned about China's military strength and assertiveness in Asia than any other security issue, according to a public opinion poll released by the government at the weekend.

 

More than 60 per cent of respondents to the survey conducted in January said China concerned them, compared with 46 per cent in a similar poll three years earlier. The number worried about North Korea fell to about 53 per cent from around 65 per cent.

 

Asia's two largest economies are at loggerheads over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, with ships and planes from both countries frequently criss-crossing near the disputed area. North Korea is developing atomic and ballistic missile technology, though it hasn't held a nuclear test since 2013.

 

"There is a lack of transparency in China's military and security policy, including about the budget," Defence Minister Gen Nakatani told reporters on Friday. "We want to continue to seek disclosure from China."

 

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26 février 2015 4 26 /02 /février /2015 17:35
Foal Eagle and Key Resolve 2015 - photo US DoD

Foal Eagle and Key Resolve 2015 - photo US DoD

 

26-02-2015 Par Frédéric Ojardias - RFI

 

La Corée du Sud et les Etats-Unis ont annoncé l’organisation lundi 2 mars de nouveaux exercices militaires conjoints massifs : plus de 200 000 soldats participeront à ces jeux de guerre organisés sur terre, sur mer et dans les airs. Sans surprise, la Corée du Nord est furieuse, et a déjà répliqué avec ses propres exercices. Des tensions qui font retomber les minces espoirs de reprise du dialogue soulevés en début d’année.

 

Suite de l’article

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9 février 2015 1 09 /02 /février /2015 20:35
La Corée du Nord teste cinq missiles à courte portée

 

9 février 2015 par Nicolas Laffont - 45eNord.ca

 

La Corée du Nord a testé cinq missiles à courte portée dans la mer, dimanche et sont les deuxièmes essais de l’année en Corée du Nord après ceux de missiles antinavires qui ont eu lieu vendredi sous la direction du dirigeant Kim Jong-un.

 

«Ce genre de manœuvre de la part de la Corée du Nord arrive deux semaines plus tôt que l’année dernière», a souligné Jeon Ha-kyu, le porte-parole du Comité des chefs d’état-major interarmées. «(L’armée sud-coréenne) restera vigilante face aux éventuels nouveaux lancements et renforcera sa surveillance avec les Etats-Unis.»

 

Des moyens ont été déployés pour tenter d’avoir plus d’informations sur les missiles et l’intention réel du régime de Pyongyang. Un autre officier militaire estime de son côté qu’il s’agit du «nouveau type de missile tactique que le Nord a testé l’année dernière».

 

L’officiel a indiqué que les missiles, tirés depuis une ville côtière de la Corée du Nord, avaient parcouru environ 200 kilomètres avant de plonger dans les eaux de la côte est du pays.

 

La Corée du Nord teste régulièrement des missiles, des roquettes et de l’artillerie, mais ces derniers essais surviennent au moment où les deux Corées n’arrivent pas à s’entendre sur les termes d’une possible rencontre entre leurs deux leaders. Les deux pays ont lancé l’idée d’un tel sommet le mois dernier, et il s’agirait d’une troisième rencontre du genre depuis la division des deux Corées, il y a 70 ans.

 

Le mois dernier, la Corée du Nord avait déclaré aux États-Unis qu’elle était prête à imposer un moratoire temporaire sur ses essais nucléaires, à condition que Washington annule ses exercices militaires communs avec la Corée du Sud. Les États-Unis avaient cependant rejeté cette proposition, qu’ils avaient perçue comme une «menace implicite».

 

L’an dernier, la Corée du Nord a effectué un nombre inhabituellement élevé d’essais de missiles et d’autres armes, subissant les critiques de la Corée du Sud.

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26 janvier 2015 1 26 /01 /janvier /2015 12:35
ROKS Lee Eokgi (SS 071) transiting on the surface photo US Navy

ROKS Lee Eokgi (SS 071) transiting on the surface photo US Navy

 

2015-01-11 By Yi Whan-woo -- koreatimes.co.kr

 

The Navy will inaugurate its first submarine command early next month in Jinhae, South Gyeongsang Province, the Ministry of National Defense said Sunday.

 

The command's fleet will be composed of under 2,000-ton submarines to begin with, but will be expanded to vessels displacing 3,000 tons.

 

"Feb. 2 is the date for the launch," ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said, refusing to give other details.

 

The inauguration of the command comes at a time when North Korea maintains a significant numerical superiority with its fleet of 70 subs, about 20 of them being of the 1,800-ton Romeo class. Recent reports have said the North is putting finish touches on an upgraded version of the Soviet-designed Romeo that it has converted into being vertical missile launch capable.

 

The Navy currently operates nine 1,200-ton submarines and four 1,800-ton ones under its Ninth Submarine Flotilla in the port city of Jinhae.

 

The fleet, led by a rear-admiral (lower half), is one of the Navy units. They include three commands that are led by rear-admirals (upper half).

 

According to Navy sources, the submarine command will acquire five additional 1,800-ton submarines by 2018, increasing the military's total number of submarines from the current 13 to 18.

 

"A conventional submarine can remain underwater without recharging for longer if its weight is heavier," a Navy source said. "A 1,200-ton submarine can operate for three consecutive days while a 1,800-ton one can travel for about 15 days."

 

A rear-admiral (upper half) will also lead the newly-established unit, according to the source.

 

The defense military's announcement was made in accordance with the Defense Reform Plan (DRP) initiated in 2005.

 

The DRP seeks to enhance the Armed Forces' war capabilities, while enhancing its security alliance with the U.S. military by 2020 to deter North Korea's provocations.

 

The announcement also came amid growing the importance of strengthening Seoul's anti-submarine capabilities in the wake of North Korea's deadly torpedo attack on the Navy frigate Cheonan in March 2010 that killed 46 South Korean sailors. A multinational investigation concluded the North was the perpetrator, although it has denied it.

 

Under the submarine command, the Navy plans to put six 3,000-ton ballistic missile submarines into operation starting 2020.

 

The total number of the submarines, however, will be kept at 18 because six 1,200-ton ones will be scrapped by then, according to the Navy source.

 

A military expert turned down speculation that the submarine command could add fuel to ongoing controversy over a military arms race in Northeast Asia.

 

"Our neighboring countries, including the U.S., China and Japan, are familiar with DRP and they have not been against it," said Shin In-kyun, the president of the Korea Defense Network. "Moreover, the number of our submarines by 2020 will be still less than those owned by our neighbors."

 

He cited that North Korea and China operate some 70 submarines each, while Japan has 22.

 

Among Pyongyang's submarines, 20 of them displace 1,800 tons; 40 others, 325 tons; and the rest, 130 tons, according to Shin.

 

The Stalinist state is said to be building a 2,500-ton sub, which will be capable of carrying nuclear ballistic missiles, he said.

 

"By setting up a submarine command, we'll be able to lay the groundwork for military deterrence underwater," Shin said.

 

In December last year, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un stressed "maneuvering skills of submarines" to enhance the combat capability of Pyongyang's naval forces.

 

In August 2014, U.S. intelligence agencies speculated that the nuclear-armed regime has developed submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). They pointed out that Pyongyang secretly acquired several SS-N-6s, a type of SLBM, from Russia some time ago.

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21 décembre 2014 7 21 /12 /décembre /2014 20:35
Obama prépare sa riposte contre la Corée du Nord

 

21 décembre 2014 François Clemenceau - Le Journal du Dimanche

 

Le président américain promet de riposter contre la Corée du Nord après le piratage géant de Sony et l’annulation du film L’Interview qui tue!. Barack Obama réfléchit à placer Pyongyang sur la liste des Etats soutenant le terrorisme.

 

C'est l'histoire d'une comédie un peu déjantée comme Hollywood en a le secret qui vire au plus terrifiant des scénarios. Pour avoir osé se moquer du dernier régime totalitaire de la planète, en imaginant une fin sanguinolente avec la tête du président Kim Jong-un qui explose, le studio producteur, Sony Pictures, a été mis à genoux en un temps record par l'arme de la cyberguerre. Ce n'est pas la première fois qu'un régime tyrannique est dénigré au cinéma. Le Dictateur de Charlie Chaplin ne ridiculisait-il pas le chancelier Hitler dès 1940? En promettant aux circuits de distribution de L'Interview qui tue! de vivre un événement comparable au 11-Septembre s'ils projetaient le film, les hackers et leurs commanditaires se sont bien livrés à du terrorisme. Pas seulement sur Sony, mais aussi sur les spectateurs potentiels de cette comédie.

 

Très nuisible Corée du Nord

En cautionnant ce hacking géant contre Sony, les autorités de Corée du Nord ne font qu'illustrer leur hallucinante capacité de nuisance. Vladimir Poutine vient d'inviter Kim Jong-un à se rendre à Moscou pour le 70e anniversaire de la victoire sur l'Allemagne nazie. Il offre là au dictateur nord-coréen la première occasion en quatre ans de sortir de son isolement international. 

Cet événement considérable pose deux questions majeures. D'abord, celle de la résistance à une entreprise de terreur. Sony a refusé de sortir le film par peur des représailles sur le grand public, ce qui est légitime. Mais en finissant par admettre que l'œuvre serait diffusée par d'autres moyens, le PDG de Sony a compris la nécessité de ne pas céder au chantage. Ensuite, celle de la riposte d'État. Barack Obama a promis des ­représailles à la Corée du Nord, cet État qui dispose d'une armée de hackers mais dont la population est la moins connectée du monde.

Dans une interview accordée à l'émission State of the Union sur CNN et diffusée dimanche, Barack Obama a dit envisager de remettre la Corée du Nord sur la liste américaine des Etats soutenant le terrorisme. Pyongyang avait été retiré de cette liste en 2008, dans laquelle figurent encore l'Iran, le Soudan, la Syrie et Cuba. "Nos critères pour dire qu'un Etat soutient le terrorisme sont très claires. Nous n'émettons pas ces jugements uniquement sur la base des événements du jour", a expliqué le président des Etats-Unis. La Corée du Nord a été retirée de la liste américaine des Etats soutenant le terrorisme en 2008.

"Nous sommes dans une nouvelle ère de la dissuasion", commente un diplomate face à la réalité de la cyberguerre quotidienne. Sauf qu'il s'agit désormais de ne plus seulement défendre ses intérêts stratégiques mais la liberté tout court.

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20 décembre 2014 6 20 /12 /décembre /2014 17:35
North Korea - cyberdefense source Reddit

North Korea - cyberdefense source Reddit

 

20/12/2014 Par Guerric Poncet / Le Web en lignes - Le Point.fr

 

Le président Obama promet de "répondre" à Pyongyang, qu'il accuse d'avoir perpétré le gigantesque piratage qui met Sony Pictures en péril. Le Point.fr décrypte l'affaire.

 

Le FBI a annoncé vendredi avoir la preuve que la Corée du Nord est responsable du piratage de Sony Pictures, qui n'en finit plus de faire couler de l'encre. Il s'agit vraisemblablement de la plus importante attaque informatique jamais subie par une entreprise à cette échelle. C'est même une "grave affaire de sécurité nationale" pour la Maison-Blanche, qui peine à faire face à ce que les médias commencent à appeler une cyberguerre. Le Point.fr résume pour vous l'affaire.

 

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15 octobre 2014 3 15 /10 /octobre /2014 18:35
Corées: premier contact militaire de haut niveau depuis 2007

 

15.10.2014 Romandie.com (ats)

 

De hauts responsables militaires sud et nord-coréens se sont rencontrés mercredi pour la première fois en sept ans. Cette réunion survient après plusieurs accrochages frontaliers, a annoncé l'agence de presse sud-coréenne Yonhap.

Les discussions entre généraux se sont tenues dans le village frontalier de Panmunjom, où fut signé l'armistice de 1953. Sollicité par l'AFP, le ministère sud-coréen de la Défense a refusé de confirmer l'information. Selon Yonhap, la dernière entrevue entre officiers de ce rang remonte à décembre 2007.

 

Tirs de mitrailleuse lourde

Vendredi passé, les deux Corées ont échangé des tirs de mitrailleuse lourde sur leur frontière. Ceux-ci ont été déclenchés par les tentatives des forces nord-coréennes d'abattre les ballons lâchés par les activistes du Sud qui transportaient des tracts hostiles au pouvoir de Pyongyang.

Des projectiles sont tombés en territoire sud-coréen, et les forces sud-coréennes ont alors répondu par des tirs de mitrailleuse lourde. Aucune victime n'a été signalée au sud, et il ne semble pas non plus y avoir eu de victimes au nord.

 

Techniquement en guerre

Le 7 octobre, des patrouilleurs du Nord et du Sud avaient échangé des coups de semonce près de leurs frontières maritimes disputées par Pyongyang. Les deux États n'ont pas signé d'armistice à la fin de la guerre de Corée en 1953 et sont toujours techniquement en guerre.

Les deux Corées ont néanmoins décidé début octobre de travailler à la reprise d'un dialogue de haut niveau entre les deux pays, lequel est suspendu depuis sept mois.

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13 octobre 2014 1 13 /10 /octobre /2014 07:35
South Korea Seeks Offensive Cyber Capabilities


13 October 2014 By Zachary Keck – Pacific Sentinel
 

With North Korean cyber attacks on the rise, South Korea is acquiring preemptive cyber strike capabilities.

 

South Korea is developing offensive cyber capabilities to counter the growing number of cyber attacks it faces from North Korea, the ROK Defense Ministry announced earlier this week.

To date, South Korea has relied on passive and defensive cyber operations to counter cyber attacks from North Korea. However, as Tae-jun Kang notes over at the Koreas blog, North Korea has been stepping up its cyber operations against the South in recent years. Cyber attacks originating in the North were up over 35 percent in the first nine months of this year, and South Korea’s Defense Ministry estimates that North Korea has nearly doubled the size of its cyber command over the last two years.

The Korea Herald reports that during a parliamentary audit on Wednesday, a Defense Ministry official told lawmakers that the North’s growing cyber capabilities have forced it to abandon its previously defensive cyber doctrine.

“We will change what has so far been a passive-defensive policy into a proactive one. Taking advantage of the enemy’s vulnerabilities, we will take preemptive action to fend off cyberinfiltrations,” the unnamed Defense Ministry official was quoted as telling lawmakers. 

 

Read the full story at The Diplomat

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13 octobre 2014 1 13 /10 /octobre /2014 07:35
North Korea Doubles Size of Cyber Force


13 October 2014 By Tae-jun Kang – Pacific Sentinel
 

North Korea has nearly doubled the size of its Strategic Cyber Command over the last two years.

 

North Korea has expanded its cyber terror force to about 6,000 cyber agents, South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense said earlier this month.

According to South Korea’s Defense Ministry, in 2012 Kim Jong-Un issued an order establishing North Korea’s Strategic Cyber Command. In the order, Kim emphasized the need to nurture a cadre talented agents for cyber warfare.

The ministry added that North Korea has nearly doubled the number of agents working at Strategic Cyber Command to 5,900 in two years.

The increase in personnel is already paying off for the North. The Defense Ministry said that South Korea suffered 1,560 cyber attacks from the North between January and September of this year. This was a roughly 36 percent increase in the number of cyber attacks South Korea suffered from the North during the same period  last year. 

 

Read the full story at The Diplomat

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16 septembre 2014 2 16 /09 /septembre /2014 11:35
Project 633 diesel submarine. KCNA Photo

Project 633 diesel submarine. KCNA Photo

 

September 16th, 2014 defencetalk.com (AFP)

 

North Korea appears to be developing a new weapons system capable of launching submarine-based ballistic missiles, the South’s defence ministry said Monday.

 

“Based on recent US and South Korean intelligence, we have detected signs of North Korea developing a vertical missile launch tube for submarines,” a ministry official told AFP.

 

Ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok told a regular press briefing Monday that the North’s 3,000-ton Golf-class submarine could be modified to fire medium-range ballistic missiles.

 

“However, there is no confirmed information yet that a North Korean submarine capable of launching ballistic missiles is in operation,” Kim stressed.

 

North Korea’s small submarine fleet is comprised of largely obsolete Soviet-era and modified Chinese vessels.

 

The US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said in June that North Korea appeared to have acquired a sea-based copy of a Russian cruise missile.

 

Arms control expert Jeffrey Lewis of the US think-tank said the missile would mark “a new and potentially destabilizing addition” to North Korea’s military arsenal.

 

He identified the weapon as a copy of the Russian-produced KH-35 — a sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missile developed during the 1980s and 90s.

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2 septembre 2014 2 02 /09 /septembre /2014 16:35
Japan's defence budget jumps 2.4% to bolster ISR capabilities

 

08/29/2014 Defence IQ Press

 

Signalling further tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, Japan’s Ministry of Defence has requested a 2.4% increase in its annual budget. The 2015 budget will total ¥4.9 trillion ($47.25 billion).

 

In a budget request document, Japan’s MoD stated that the regional security environment has become more tense recently, citing China’s increasing activities in Japan’s vicinity as well as North Korea’s missile launches.

 

Its main priority is to increase its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities following threats against its sovereign territory from China and North Korea. “China’s lack of transparency in its broad and rapid military modernisation as well as rapid expansion and intensification of maritime activities,” as it’s put in the budget request document.

 

Japan is seeking to acquire4 P-1 fixed-wing patrol aircraft at a cost of ¥ 77.3 billion ($12.6 billion) to improve detection/discrimination capabilities, information processing capability, and attack capability compared to its existing P-3C fixed-wing patrol aircraft.

 

The MoD said it was considering introducing HALE-UAVs that would contribute to strengthening its wide-area persistent ISR capability.

 

Japan is also upping its F-35A count from four to six at a cost of ¥131.5 billion ($21.4 billion).

 

Other capability areas Japan is looking to bolster include responding to attacks on remote islets; responding to ballistic missile and guerrilla/special force attacks; responding to cyber attacks; large-scale natural disaster response; strengthening joint operations; and strengthening intelligence capabilities.

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2 septembre 2014 2 02 /09 /septembre /2014 11:35
Budget de défense japonais : Chine et Corée du Nord en ligne de mire

 

1er septembre par Edouard Pflimlin, chercheur associé à l’IRIS

 

Le ministère de la Défense japonais a demandé une hausse de 2,5 % de son budget pour l’année fiscale 2015 pour un montant total de 4900 milliards de yens (47,25 milliards de dollars ou 35,8 milliards d’euros), soit un retour du budget à son niveau des années 1990, quand il était à son apogée, et la consolidation de l’inversion d’une décennie de déclin dans les années 2000, souligne vendredi 29 août le site Defense News (1).Si l’on prend en compte, en plus des chiffres du ministère de la Défense, les coûts associés au redéploiement d’une partie des forces américaines de l’île d’Okinawa vers des îles américaines comme Guam, le montant global des dépenses militaires atteint même 5050 milliards de yens (53 milliards de dollars, soit une hausse de 3,5 % du budget militaire sur un an).

 

Suite de l’article

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14 août 2014 4 14 /08 /août /2014 11:35
US prepared to increase pressure on N. Korea: Kerry

 

Aug 12, 2014 Spacewar.com (AFP)

 

Sydney - US Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday he was prepared to improve relations with North Korea, but warned of further pressure and isolation if it chose the path of confrontation.

 

Kerry, in Sydney for joint security talks with his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop, said both sides had discussed hopes for a peaceful move towards a denuclearised Korean peninsula.

 

"The United States, I want to make this clear, is absolutely prepared to improve relations with North Korea if North Korea will honour its international obligations. It's that simple," he said.

 

"But make no mistake, we are also prepared to increase pressure, including through strong sanctions and further isolation, if North Korea chooses the path of confrontation."

 

Last month, a top-ranking North Korean military official threatened a nuclear strike on the White House and Pentagon after accusing Washington of raising military tensions on the peninsula.

 

"If the US imperialists threaten our sovereignty and survival... our troops will fire our nuclear-armed rockets at the White House and the Pentagon -- the sources of all evil," Hwang Pyong-So, director of the military's General Political Bureau, said in a speech.

 

Hwang, who holds the rank of vice marshal in the Korean People's Army, said a recent series of South Korea-US military drills, one of which included the deployment of a nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier, had ramped up tensions.

 

The UN Security Council last month condemned North Korea for recently launching a series of short-range ballistic missiles.

 

The North often test-fires missiles and rockets into the sea as a show of force or to express anger at perceived provocations, but the frequency of recent tests has been unusual.

 

UN resolutions bar North Korea from conducting any launches using ballistic missile technology. The North has defended the launches as a legitimate exercise in self-defence and a response to US war manoeuvres.

 

Already under crippling sanctions since 2006, Pyongyang was hit by fresh UN punitive measures in March 2013 over its third nuclear test.

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