The head of the U.S. Pacific Command has asked troops to be thoroughly prepared for possible North Korea provocations during an upcoming anniversary.
Adm. Harry Harris told U.S. military personnel at Yokota Air Base in Japan on Friday that they should be "ready to fight [North Korea] tonight," Japanese television network Asahi TV reported.
Harris made the remark during an inaugural ceremony for Lt. Gen. Jerry P. Martinez, who is now in command of U.S. Forces Japan.
Harris, who recently met with Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada regarding enhanced cooperation, described North Korea's provocative actions, including missile and nuclear tests, as the most urgent threat, according to Asahi TV.
The U.S. Pacific Command chief also said that while there is room for debate regarding North Korea's progress in nuclear warhead miniaturization, it is important to work with the countries concerned to combat the threats.
"[We] must consider every possible step to defend the U.S. homeland and defend our allies," Harris said. "That's why I continue to emphasize trilateral cooperation between Japan, South Korea and the United States. And that's why all nations must continue to rally the international community to loudly condemn North Korea's aberrational behavior and be prepared to counter this challenge."
In Seoul, military authorities told local news network MBC that they are on emergency standby in preparation for more provocations from Pyongyang.
South Korean officials said North Korea could engage in any number of provocations ranging from a test-firing of a midrange ballistic missile to the launch of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, or SLBM.
“Plutonium disposition” is a fancy sort of phrase, the kind of term of art that, when I drop it at a cocktail party, sends people off to refill their drinks.
But plutonium is the stuff of which bombs are made.
So believe you me, when the Russians decide that maybe they should just hang on to that material for a while longer, it’s not so boring.
Putin’s ‘Iskander-M’ Ballistic Missile Is a Message to Obama
The KGB officer in the Kremlin seeks one last, grand strategic humiliation for our president before he leaves officeTo be fair to the Kremlin, why on earth would the Obama administration think it had a dog in the Syrian fight anymore? Over three years ago, the White House outsourced American policy there to Moscow, as was obvious to everybody except Obama and his coterie of self-styled foreign policy geniuses. We gave Putin what he wanted in Syria—preserving his Assad client regime while demonstrating Russian resolve and power—and for that we have nobody to blame but ourselves.
This has become deeply embarrassing as the Syrian nightmare has descended into war crimes and even genocide on a truly horrifying scale. For an administration that prided itself on its alleged humanitarianism, this is an appalling ending which the world will not soon forget.
This constitutes a direct challenge to Washington by Moscow—and by Vladimir Putin to Barack Obama, personally. The KGB officer in the Kremlin is seeking to get in one last, grand strategic humiliation for our president before he leaves office. And why not? Such reckless antics have worked well for the Russians so far, given Obama’s preference to avert eyes and hope for the best whenever Moscow misbehaves.
Russia has beaten the United States to a key strategy in Syria with its new ability to create a no-fly zone, delivered by a new S-300 surface-to-air missile system, according to military analysts.
Among the benefits of the “increased manpower” likely are specialists to run the S-300 system, which will grant the country better “ability to control air space in Syrian where Moscow’s forces support the government of President Bashar al-Assad, and could be aimed at deterring tougher U.S. action.”
“The S-300 basically gives Russia the ability to declare a no-fly zone over Syria,” Justin Bronk, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute in London, told Reuters.
The missile system, Bronk said, “makes any U.S. attempt [to set up a no-fly zone] impossible. Russia can just say: ‘We’re going to continue to fly and anything that tries to threaten our aircraft will be seen as hostile and destroyed.”
But the report said 10 Russian navy ships were documented going through the Bosphorus toward Syria since late September. That’s up from five in a 13-day pre-truce period early in September.
Russia has recently warned that its S-300 and S-400 air defense systems are up and running in Syria following leaked reports on the US' intentions to bomb Syrian airbases. As Russia’s Defense Ministry cautions the US-led coalition against carrying out airstrikes on the Syrian army, military experts reveal the defense capabilities of the systems.
"The S-300 appeared [in Syria] after experts close to the American establishment started leaking information…that the US could hit Syrian airfields with cruise missiles," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in an interview with Russia's Dozhd TV channel on Friday.
Earlier on Thursday, Russia's Defense Ministry also commented on the revelations, saying it could be a preface to real action.
"Russian air defense system crews are unlikely to have time to determine in a ‘straight line’ the exact flight paths of missiles and then who the warheads belong to. And all the illusions of amateurs about the existence of ‘invisible’ jets will face a disappointing reality," Konashenkov added.