• Russian MoD dismisses Syrian sarin munition identification

    The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has dismissed the implication that the Syrian air force used a Russian-made KhAB-250 sarin bomb in the sarin attack that killed and injured hundreds of people in Khan Shaykhun on 4 April. Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report on 1 May stating that munition

  • Pyongyang issues rare warning to Beijing over Chinese media criticism of North Korea's nuclear programme

    North Korea has issued a rare warning to China over criticism carried by Chinese state-owned media of Pyongyang's development and testing of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in violation of UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. A commentary published by the state-run Korean Central News

  • Election of 'revolutionary' candidate would call into question Iran's commitment to nuclear agreement and increases war risks

    Key Points The election is increasingly defined by Iran's revolutionaries as having existential significance for Iran's system of governance and policy direction, and uniting Iran's ascendant power centres against incumbent president Hassan Rouhani. Should the revolutionaries unite behind a single

  • North Korea vows to bolster nuclear deterrence 'to the maximum'

    A North Korean foreign ministry official has said that his country will bolster its nuclear deterrence capabilities "to the maximum" as tensions mount on the Korean Peninsula over Pyongyang's development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. "Now that the US is kicking up the

  • France releases Syrian sarin attack report

    France released a declassified intelligence assessment on 26 April that accused the Syrian military of using the nerve agent sarin against the town of Khan Shaykhun on 4 April, but did not explain how the attack was carried out. The report said France had independently obtained samples from Khan

  • US military begins moving THAAD components to South Korean deployment site

    The United States military began moving key components of a battery of its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to a deployment site in South Korea amid protests from residents and criticism from China. Local media reports showed images of a M1088-series Family of Medium Tactical

  • OPCW confirms sarin used in Syrian attack

    The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has confirmed that a sarin or a sarin-like nerve agent was used in the attack that killed and injured hundreds of people in the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun on 4 April, but Russia continues to defend its Syrian allies. The OPCW made

  • Failed North Korean missile launch indicative of rising interstate war risks on Korean peninsula

    EVENT On 15 April, the North Korean government held a military parade featuring a large number of missile weapons systems to celebrate the 105th anniversary of founder Kim Il-sung's birth. One of the main features of this year's parade was the unprecedented range of new missile types on display,

  • US mulls relisting North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism

    US secretary of state Rex Tillerson has said his country is considering relisting North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism in a bid to pressure Pyongyang to re-engage with Washington and ultimately give up its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programmes. Asked by reporters about the issue on

  • NRL seeks more capability for CT-Analyst

    The US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) is looking to add more features to its CT-Analyst real-time 3-D model that tracks how hazardous airborne plumes might disperse in an urban setting. Features could include adding more data about the character of a chemical, biological, or radiological release.

  • US DoD begins nuclear review with eye on Russia

    The Pentagon has begun its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) as a host of modernisation programmes are all set to soon begin, and questions about Russian missiles and doctrine loom. Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis on 17 April "directed the commencement of the

  • Imagery shows North Korean nuclear test facility is 'primed and ready', says 38 North

    Analysis of commercial satellite imagery suggests that North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test facility is "primed and ready" to carry out the country's sixth overall nuclear test, according to a report published by the 38 North website. Taken on 12 April the images show "continued

  • Trump looking for options to 'remove North Korean threat'

    US president Donald Trump has asked his officials to provide him with options to deal with the threat posed by nuclear-armed North Korea following a meeting between Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, held in Florida on 6-7 April. Speaking to Fox News, Trump's national security adviser,

  • Latest North Korean missile launch likely a failure, say reports

    North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile on 5 April likely ended in failure after travelling only a fraction of its range, several media outlets quoted US officials as saying that same day. The unnamed officials also said that the missile, which flew approximately 60 km before falling into the

  • US punishes Syria for apparent sarin attack

    Syria effectively confirmed that it has retained a nerve agent capability even though it has signed the Convention on Chemical Weapons (CW) when it carried out an attack that killed and injured hundreds of civilians on 4 April, but the United States has sent a clear signal that any further use will

  • South Korea successfully tests 800 km-range ballistic missile, says report

    South Korea has successfully test-launched a new 800 km-range ballistic missile that can reach anywhere in North Korea, Yonhap news agency quoted defence sources as saying on 6 April. "There was a test-firing recently of a Hyunmoo-type [also spelled Hyunmu or Hyon Mu] ballistic missile with a

  • Syrian government's chemical weapons use has enough Russian shielding and US acquiescence to make further use likely

    EVENT On 4 April 2017, Syrian opposition channels carried videos and images of civilians in Khan Sheikhun suffering symptoms consistent with poisoning by nerve agents. More than 50 people were reported killed. With the exception of an isolated incident in 2014, IHS Markit has not recorded any use

  • North Korea's 'reckless' actions 'got to be stopped', says Mattis

    North Korea is moving in a "very reckless manner" with regard to its nuclear and missile programmes, US secretary of defence Jim Mattis said on 31 March during a visit to the United Kingdom. "This is a threat of both rhetoric and growing capability, and we will be working with the

  • EUCOM worried by Russia's non-strategic nuclear weapons

    US European Command's (EUCOM's) biggest concern regarding Russia is its tactical nuclear weapons in Europe and its "troubling doctrine" of using those weapons to try de-escalating conflict. General Curtis Scaparrotti, head of the EUCOM, told Congress on 28 March what alarms him most is

  • Signs detected of possible North Korean preparations for nuclear test

    Analysis of commercial satellite imagery of North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test facility suggests that Pyongyang may be preparing to carry out the country's sixth overall nuclear test. Taken on 24 March the images indicate the presence of possibly four or five vehicles or trailers at the entrance

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