Pentagon tracking Chinese spy balloon over USWashington, Feb 3 (AFP) Feb 03, 2023The Pentagon said Thursday it was tracking a Chinese spy balloon flying high over the United States, reviving tensions between the two countries just days ahead of a rare visit to Beijing by the top US diplomat. "We assess that this balloon has limited additive value from an intelligence collection perspective," the official said. The defense official said that the balloon entered US airspace "a couple days ago," but that American intelligence had been tracking it well before that. However, this one has lingered in US airspace much longer, the senior defense official said. The defense official said the "the seriousness of the issue" with the balloon had been raised with Beijing officials.
Second coming of once-banned conspiracy theorists after Twitter amnestyBy Anuj CHOPRAWashington (AFP) Jan 9, 2023A conspiracy theorist urging Americans to burn voting machines, an anti-Muslim activist posting a photo with a gun, a retired general who called for a coup -- Elon Musk's Twitter has reinstated thousands of once-banned accounts. Brown has compiled an online list of more than 27,000 reinstated Twitter IDs since Musk's takeover in late October. Brown told AFP that the list was incomplete and the actual number of restored accounts could be higher. Some of those peddling the conspiratorial phrase were once-banned accounts that have been restored, CCDH told AFP. "Fixing Twitter requires more than just replacing Musk," Nora Benavidez, from the nonpartisan group Free Press, told AFP.2 months ago Space War News
Taiwan's 'suicide drone' made its debut at the Taipei Aerospace and Defense Technology Exhibition in 2017. It can be used in combination with other drones acting as decoys or loitering to successively target enemy units. These loitering weapons function as both an attacking and defensive deterrent. Taiwan also benefits from the art of reengineering foreign military technology with aid, in the same way that China replicates American drone technology. Taiwan's loitering UAVs can be used for tactical and strategic preemptive strikes against China's crucial ground-based early warning radar and air-defense systems.4 months ago Space War News
Kim sets out new goals for North's military, KCNA reportsby AFP Staff WritersSeoul (AFP) Dec 28, 2022Kim Jong Un announced new goals for North Korea's military in a report to party leaders, state media reported Wednesday, hinting that sanctions-busting weapons tests will continue next year. Kim "set forth new key goals for bolstering up the self-reliant defence capability to be pushed ahead with in 2023," the official Korean Central News Agency reported Wednesday, without giving any details. Kim made clear the "orientation of struggle against the enemy to be adhered to by our Party," KCNA added. North Korea has conducted a record-breaking number of weapons tests this year, including firing intercontinental ballistic missiles, which it is banned from testing by UN sanctions. While Kim focused on the domestic economy at the 2021 event, analysts are widely expecting a shift in tone to highlight the military front this year, in light of the nuclear-armed North's increasing belligerence.3 months ago Space War News
Russia amends law to boost forces fighting in Ukraineby AFP Staff WritersMoscow (AFP) Oct 27, 2022The Russian parliament on Thursday passed a law allowing ex-convicts to be mobilised into the army and other measures to prop up Moscow's troops in Ukraine. People who were released from prison but hold a criminal record for serious crimes can now be mobilised into the Russian armed forces. More than 200,000 people have joined the Russian armed forces since mobilisation was announced, the defence ministry said in early October. But after some public outrage over students, older or sick people being mistakenly ordered to report for duty, Putin ordered that mistakes be "corrected". Putin ordered the establishment of a special coordination council headed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin to cover the needs of the armed forces during mobilisation.5 months ago Space War News
'Never happened before': South Korean island baffled by missile alertUlleungdo, South Korea, Nov 3 (AFP) Nov 03, 2022When a North Korean missile triggered an air raid siren warning locals on South Korea's island of Ulleungdo to seek shelter, no one -- including the deputy mayor -- knew what to do. The missile eventually splashed down 167 kilometres from the island -- south of the boundary and close to South Korean waters, in what Seoul described as "effectively a territorial invasion". Seoul's military said it was the "first time since the peninsula was divided" at the end of Korean War hostilities in 1953 that a North Korean missile had landed so close to the South's waters. The missile triggered Ulleungdo's automated air raid alert system -- which has not been activated in living memory, residents told AFP. "We learned through the news on TV that North Korea had fired a missile towards our island," she said.4 months ago Space War News
Philippines boosts military in disputed sea after Chinese 'encroachment'by AFP Staff WritersManila (AFP) Dec 22, 2022The Philippines ordered its military to boost their presence in the South China Sea on Thursday, citing a "threat" to a garrison in the disputed waterway after nearby Chinese "activities". "Any encroachment in the West Philippine Sea or reclamation on the features therein is a threat to the security of Pagasa Island," the Philippine defence department said Thursday. Beijing claims almost all of the resource-rich South China Sea, through which trillions of dollars in trade passes annually. Sandy Cay lies seven kilometres (4.3 miles) west of Thitu, where the Philippines runs an airstrip along with military and coastguard detachments. The Philippines has repeatedly accused Chinese coastguard and maritime militias of harassing and attacking fishing boats and other vessels in the region.3 months ago Space War News
US, S.Korea planning response to any N.Korea 'nuclear use:' White HouseWashington, Jan 3 (AFP) Jan 03, 2023Washington and Seoul are planning an "effective coordinated" response if North Korea uses nuclear weapons, the White House warned on Tuesday. The NSC spoke out after confusion emerged in media reports about the allies' response to nuclear sabre rattling from Pyongyang. On Monday, Biden had said "no" when asked if joint nuclear exercises were a possibility, seemingly contradicting earlier comments from Yoon. The NSC spokesman clarified that joint exercises were not an option because South Korea does not have its own nuclear weapons. - 'Tabletop' planning -Some interpreted earlier Yoon comments in a newspaper interview as indicating more elaborate joint nuclear exercises.2 months ago Space War News