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Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg weighs in on North Korea's long-range ballistic missile launch and China's belligerence toward Taiwan on'Your World.' North Korean leader Kim Jong Un set new goals for the country's military at the Sixth Enlarged Plenary Meeting of the party's 8th Central Committee as tensions continue to escalate on the Korean Peninsula. Kim told party leaders that North Korea faces a "newly created challenging situation" on the Korean Peninsula and set the direction for the "anti-enemy struggle," the country's state media reported Wednesday, according to Reuters. "He specified the principles of foreign affairs and the direction of the struggle against the enemy that our party and government must thoroughly abide by in order to protect sovereign rights and defend national interests," the KCNA news agency said in the report. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang, North Korea. To accomplish those goals, KCNA said Kim called for a "strengthening self-defensive capabilities to be strongly pursued in 2023," though the report did not offer specific details on what the increased military build up would look like. The dictator's remarks come amid rising tensions between the isolated country and its neighbors South Korea and Japan, which have both pushed for a stronger military in response to an unprecedented amount of missile tests conducted by North Korea.
North Korean drones entered South Korean airspace on Monday for the first time since 2017 in the latest example of escalating tensions between the neighbouring countries. The South's military was caught off guard, drawing criticism on Tuesday from President Yoon Suk-yeol, who sought to assuage concerns by announcing his cabinet would fast-track plans for a special drone unit. South Korea's military fired warning shots and some 100 rounds from a helicopter equipped with a machine gun but failed to bring down any of the drones. The military said it chased one of the five drones over the greater Seoul area but did not fully aggressively engage with it out of concern for civilian safety. A defence ministry official confirmed a South Korean KA-1 fighter jet was involved in an accident while flying to counter North Korea's drones after departing its Wonju base in the country's north.
When the going gets tough for Kim Jong Un, his regime likes to turn its TV cameras on the military, with glossy productions showcasing the missiles and manpower that North Korea tells the masses are protecting the nation. Since taking power a decade ago, Kim has brought new looks to state television, including drone footage, computer graphics, music video-style cuts and made-for-TV moments. This has helped him rally support for the state as it battles chronic food shortages and an anemic economy made even weaker by international sanctions imposed as punishment for testing nuclear bombs and missiles, some potentially capable of striking the U.S. and its allies. In his most recent state TV spectacle, for a weapons test on March 24, Kim is seen in dark sunglasses and a black leather jacket apparently ordering his army -- in slow motion -- to fire an intercontinental ballistic missile. This was released eight days after a failed ballistic missile launch near Pyongyang's international airport.
This undated photo distributed on Friday, June 9, 2017, by the North Korean government, shows a test of a new type of cruise missile launch at an undisclosed location in North Korea - file photo. Maneuvering cruise missiles, fast-moving stealthy fighter jets, armed drones, long-range helicopter-fired air-to-ground weapons and hypersonic rounds traveling at five times the speed of sound are all modern methods of air-attack able to destroy Army ground war units -- potentially even rendering them inoperable or, even worse, making them vulnerable to complete destruction. The weapons, sensors and platforms now operated by potential adversaries have created an entirely new tactical environment now defining land combat, a scenario that has inspired the U.S. Army to fast-track new, advanced air and missile defense radar technologies sufficient to thwart this changing sphere of enemy attack possibilities. The service is now surging forward in response to an urgent need with a new 360-degree radar system called Lower Tier Air & Missile Defense Sensor (LTAMDS), slated for initial fielding by 2022. Unlike the more linear directional configuration of the existing Patriot air and missile defense system, the Raytheon-built LTAMDS is engineered with overlapping 120-degree arrays intended to seamlessly track approaching threats using a 360-degree protection envelope.
SAN FRANCISCO – The top diplomats of Japan, the United States and South Korea on Tuesday urged North Korea to refrain from military provocation and continue denuclearization talks, but ruled out any easing of crushing economic sanctions without progress in the stalled negotiations. Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi held discussions with his U.S. and South Korean counterparts, Mike Pompeo and Kang Kyung-wha, in East Palo Alto, just outside San Francisco, two weeks after a deadline set by Pyongyang for progress by the end of 2019 passed. "We agreed on the importance of North Korea making positive efforts in talks with the United States rather than going through with provocative moves," Motegi told reporters. The statement appeared to contradict remarks in a New Year speech by South Korean President Moon Jae-in a day earlier in Seoul, where he said that he could seek exemptions of U.N. sanctions to bring about improved inter-Korean relations that he believes would help restart the deadlocked nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington. Moon has previously made similar comments, despite outside worries that any lifting of sanctions could undermine U.S.-led efforts to eliminate North Korea's nuclear arsenal.
DINARD, FRANCE - Foreign ministers of Group of Seven nations on Saturday pushed North Korea to continue denuclearization negotiations with the United States while vowing to maintain pressure on Pyongyang to encourage it to give up its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. In a communique issued after a two-day meeting in Dinard, western France, the ministers also expressed serious concern about the situation in the East and South China seas -- a veiled criticism of China's militarization of outposts in disputed areas of the South China Sea and its attempts to undermine Japan's control of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. The Senkakus are administered by Japan, but claimed by China and Taiwa, which call them the Diaoyu and Tiaoyutai, respectively. During the meeting, some G7 members touched on China's expanding global ambitions through its signature Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure project, a Japanese official said. But the communique makes no reference to the initiative in an apparent effort to demonstrate unity among the group.
Now, financial markets are not likely to care too much about the developing "Korean Situation." The impact of geopolitics on markets is still limited because investors do not price in extreme "tail risks" yet. Humans are genetically programmed to be optimistic about life and investors are still "most of the time" human, not, let's say robots. Investors that react as pure humans to so-called tail risks could become less and less the case because of the venue of Artificial Intelligence (AI) into our lives, notwithstanding we should expect that only to happen at a relatively "still" slow progressing pace. I personally have no doubt that "Change Is Coming" because of "AI" where professionals and those who have the means to use it will come first.
In the long view of history, North Korea getting a nuclear-tipped intercontinental missile in 2017 is the rough equivalent of an army showing up for World War II riding horses and shooting muskets. Nukes are so last century. War is changing, driven by cyberweapons, artificial intelligence (AI) and robots. Weapons of mass destruction are dumb, soon to be whipped by smart weapons of pinpoint disruption--which nations can use without risking annihilation of the human race. If the U.S. is innovative and forward-thinking, it can develop technology that ensures no ill-behaving government could ever get a nuke off the ground.