U.S. THAAD missile hits test target amid growing pressure from North Korea

The United States said it shot down a medium-range target ballistic missile in its latest test of the country’s THAAD missile defense program, which is designed to protect the country against potential threats from countries such as North Korea and Iran.

The test, conducted over the Pacific Ocean, comes amid heightened tensions with North Korea, which on Saturday said it had conducted its own successful test of a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that proved it has the capacity to strike American’s mainland.

The latest U.S. test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system was planned well before North Korea’s latest missile launch, but it comes at a time of rising tension with the country since Pyongyang launched its first-ever test of an ICBM on July 4.

Read More at Yahoo News.

US flies two supersonic bombers over the Korean Peninsula days after North’s ballistic missile test

A pair of US supersonic bombers have flown over the Korean Peninsula, less than 48-hours after North Korea’s successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Flanked by South Korean fighter jets The B-1 bombers carried out a low-pass over the Osan Air Base, near South Korea’s capital Seoul.

The military aircraft took off from the Andersen Air Force Base in Guam and flew to Japanese airspace where they were joined by Japanese F-2 fighter jets, the US Pacific Air Forces said in a statement. They then returned to base.

The US Missile Defense Agency also said a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, system located in Kodiak, Alaska, was successfully tested on Saturday night, Alaska time.

It said that a medium-range ballistic missile was air-launched over the Pacific, and that the THAAD system detected, tracked and intercepted the target, the Associated Press has reported.

US officials have refused to rule out a tough military response to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“North Korea remains the most urgent threat to regional stability,” General Terrence J O’Shaughnessy, Pacific Air Forces commander said. “Diplomacy remains the lead. However, we have a responsibility to our allies and our nation to showcase our unwavering commitment while planning for the worst-case scenario.”

Read More at the Independent UK.

 

Xi Calls for Strong Army, Tells China Troops ‘World Isn’t Safe’

President Xi Jinping said China needs to speed up the modernization of its military to fend off threats in increasingly dangerous times.

“The world isn’t safe at this moment” Xi, wearing a camouflauge military uniform, said on Sunday after riding in an open jeep at an army parade in Inner Mongolia. “A strong army is needed now more than ever.”

The speech came just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump lambasted China for failing to do more to stop North Korea’s nuclear program, saying “we will no longer allow this to continue.” North Korea, which relies on ally China for food and fuel, test-fired a second intercontinental ballistic missile late on Friday night.

Over the past two years, Xi has overseen the most sweeping changes to China’s military since the 1950s in an effort to create a fighting force that can win modern wars. The modernization drive, which has focused on expanding China’s air and naval reach, is challenging more than 70 years of U.S. military dominance in the Western Pacific.

The parade at Zhurihe Training Base on Sunday marked the 90th anniversary of the creation of the People’s Liberation Army. It featured the Chengdu J-20, China’s stealth jet fighter that some have compared to the F-22 Raptor. About 40 percent of the military equipment in the parade was publicly displayed for the first time, according to Phoenix TV, a pro-Beijing media outlet.

Read More at Bloomberg.

 

South Korea considers a nuclear arsenal to counter the North

No longer sure they can rely on the United States, an increasing number of South Korean lawmakers say their country should develop its own nuclear arsenal to deter an attack by Kim Jong Un, their belligerent neighbor to the north.

North Korea’s rapid missile advances, including successful tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in July and again on Friday, are reviving calls for South Korea to assert its “nuclear sovereignty.” South Koreans are wary of President Donald Trump’s isolationist rhetoric and his calls for Asian allies to shoulder more of the defense burdens borne by the U.S. military.

“Trump’s ‘America-first’ policy has triggered this kind of public sentiment,” said Moon Chung In, a top national security adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae In. Trump also has wavered on his commitment to defending South Korea, he said, including suggesting during the campaign that South Korea and Japan should develop their own nuclear arsenals.

While President Moon, a liberal who took office in May, does not support calls for South Korea to join the nuclear club, polls show that a majority of South Koreans surveyed favor the idea. Support bumps higher whenever North Korea conducts a nuclear or missile test and members of South Korea’s two major conservative parties are pressing Moon to at least explore the nuclear option of developing nuclear weapons.

Read More at the McCaltchy DC

Putin shows off Russia’s naval might with major parade

 

President Vladimir Putin on Sunday oversaw a pomp-filled display of Russia’s naval might as the Kremlin paraded its sea power from the Baltic Sea to the shores of Syria.

Some 50 warships and submarines were on show along the Neva River and in the Gulf of Finland off the country’s second city of Saint Petersburg after Putin ordered the navy to hold its first ever parade on such a grand scale.

“Today much is being done to develop and modernise the navy,” Putin told servicemen after surveying the military hardware from his presidential cutter.

“The navy is not only dealing with its traditional tasks but also responding with merit to new challenges, making a significant contribution to the fight against terrorism and piracy.”

The showcase event to mark Russia’s annual Navy Day is the latest to be beefed up by Putin, with the Kremlin strongman also bolstering the traditional WWII victory parade in Moscow as he looks to flex the country’s military muscles.

Russia has ramped up its military manoeuvres as ties with the West have slumped over Moscow’s meddling in Ukraine, unnerving NATO and its members in Eastern Europe.

Source: Yahoo News

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