An Australian man was taken into custody Saturday for allegedly acting as an economic agent for North Korea and attempting to sell missile parts, military intelligence and coal on the black market. The Australian Federal Police arrested Chan Han Choi, 59, in Sydney and charged him with brokering sales of weapons of mass destruction, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It is the first time a charge of this kind has been leveled against anyone in Australia. The sales would violate Australian and United Nations sanctions. "We believe this man participated in discussions about the sale of missile componentry from North Korea to other entities abroad as another attempt to try and raise revenue for the government in North Korea, again in breach of the sanctions," said Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan in a statement.
South Korea planned to introduce a new counter to North Korea's burgeoning nuclear weapons program: drones. South Korean news wire agency Yonhap reported Tuesday that the nation planned to roll out a new weaponized drone unit next year. "The Army plans to set up a special organization to lead the development of dronebots, establish a standard platform and expand the dronebot program by function," an Army official told Yonhap, asking not be named because they weren't authorized to discuss the matter. "To begin with, we will launch a dronebot combat unit next year and use it as a'game changer' in warfare." The drones primary function will be for surveillance -- North Korea has launched a number of ballistic missile tests this year and many of them came without warning.
The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system, which is designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles, is being deployed in Seongju in order to protect South Korea from Pyongyang's growing threats. "It was confirmed that (the craft) took photos of the THAAD site in Seongju," a South Korean defense official told reporters, adding that the distance between the border and the zone in North Gyeongsang Province is around 168 miles. A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched during a successful intercept test, in this undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency. "The THAAD defensive missile system is critical to protecting South Koreans from Kim Jong Un's arsenal," U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce said in a statement last week.
Just days after China announced plans to grow its defense budget, the country's largest missile maker has started developing military drones with stealth abilities that can evade anti-aircraft weapons, local media reported Thursday. The move comes as China continues to advance in its military modernization program amid growing threats from its neighbors and the West. Amid tensions with U.S. over the South China Sea, and the recent threats from North Korea after its missile launches, China, which is ranked third in the list of biggest military in the world has stepped up research into military drones. Tensions between China and the U.S. erupted after Beijing's island building and military advancement in the disputed South China Sea, through which over $5 trillion of maritime trade passes annually.
Some of the items on display included bombs, air defense systems and unmanned vehicles for both the air and ground that Sputnik News called robots. The new tank debuted at Army-Expo 2016 and pulls out all the stops when it comes to war, including a 30mm automatic gun, a 7.62mm machine gun and guided antitank missiles, Sputnik reported. While most of the weaponry featured at Army-Expo 2016 was on the larger scale, an updated version of the golden standard of handheld machine guns in Russia was also on display, as the Kalashnikov assault rifle got a makeover of sorts. The Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft missile system combines "short-to-medium rage surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system," Global Times reported.
China exported military drones worth hundreds of millions of dollars to over 10 countries, state-run media said Thursday. Shi did not name the countries that bought the drones, the numbers of drones sold or the exact deal value, but said that the academy's most valuable sale was worth "hundreds of millions of U.S. The academy is also planning to get an export license for the new CH-5, which made its first test flight last August, and can launch air-to-surface missiles and laser-guided bombs, Shi said. SIPRI said Chinese weapons were mainly bought by other Asian countries, and named Pakistan as the biggest buyer.