If the Trump Administration chooses to intervene in North Korea, the White House may discover that Pyongyang is a more formidable adversary than many might expect.
Aside from the reclusive regimes nuclear weapons, Kim Jong-uns hermit kingdom boasts air defenses that are more advanced than many might realize. Moreover, Pyongyang has also taken steps to increase its resilience against any aerial onslaught that that United States might launch in the event of war. The so-called Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea has not forgotten the lessons of the Korean Warwhich technically has not yet ended.
Between 1950 and 1953, the U.S. Air Force and Navy flattened North Korea, so the NORKS have had 65 years to think about how to make sure that does not happen again and dig lots of bomb proof shelters and tunnels, retired Rear Adm. Mike McDevitt, a senior fellow at the Center for Naval Analyses, told The National Interest.
But aside from hardening its facilities, Pyongyang fields more advanced air defenses than one might assume. While the overwhelming majority of North Korean air defenses are older Soviet systems, Pyongyang does field some surprisingly capable indigenous weapons.
It is not clear how many KN-06 SAM batteries Pyongyang has built, but the North Korean weapon is a surprisingly capable system that is similar to early model versions of the Russian-built S-300. No one knows exactly how many such systems exist, Kashin said. The KN-06 has phased array radar and tracks via missile guidance system and maybe equivalent to the early S-300P versions but with greater range.
Kashinwho is a specialist on Asian matterssaid that South Koreans sources have written that the KN-06 has been successfully tested. The weapon is thought to have a range of up to 150 km. One of the reasons that the KN-06 is often ignoredeven though information is available about the North Korean weaponis that Western analysts often underestimate Pyongyangs industrial capabilities.
Generally, there is a great underestimation of North Korean industrial capabilities in the world, Kashin said. From what I know, they do produce some computerized machine tools and industrial robotics, fiber-optics, some semiconductors as well as a variety of trucks and cars, railroad rolling stock, consumer electronics etc. So they can do something comparable to Soviet designs of the 1970s to early 80sespecially when they cooperate with the Iranians.
North Korean low altitude air defenses are also fairly robusteven if the systems that Pyongyang fields are dated. At low altitudes, they have huge numbers of license produced and indigenous MANPADs [man-portable air defenses] and 23-57mm anti-aircraft artillerymany thousands of pieces, Kashin said.
North Korea also has a large but nearly completely obsolete air force. The only aircraft Pyongyang possesses that might marginally threaten American airpower are its small fleet of Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrums. They supposedly have up to 40 MiG-29s, but Im not sure how many of them are still airworthy but some surely are, Kashin said. Pilot training is limited and never exceeds 20 flight hours per year.
However, while North Korean technology is relatively primitivethe nations air defenses are coordinated. They do have an old Soviet computerized anti-aircraft command and control system. Most of the radars are old, but they did receive some newer Iranian phased array radars, Kashin said. This is what I know, the anti-aircraft units are extensively using underground shelters for covernot easy to destroy.
Thus, while generally primitive, North Korean defenses might be a tougher nut to crack than many might expect. Moreover, while their technology is old, North Koreas philosophy of self-reliance means it can produce most of its own military hardware. They produce a lot of stuff, although in many cases the technology would lag some 20 to 40 years behind, Kashin said. But they do produce it independently.
LSP-PM: Building the Future of Indonesia’s Capital Market through Professional Certification
Telegraf – The capital market is a vital and rapidly growing sector in Indonesia. To ensure its sustainability and success, it requires high-quality and trained human resources. Therefore, the Capital Market Professional Certification Institute (LSP-PM) plays a significant role in providing competency certification for professionals in the capital market.
On Thursday, May 11, 2023, LSP-PM held a graduation ceremony for certified professionals in the capital market. The event was attended by approximately 150 graduates from seven fields of competence in the capital market: securities analysts, technical analysts, risk management, investment banking, equity sales, and professional competency assessors.
The graduation ceremony was attended by various prominent figures, including Ir. Afriansyah Noor, M.Si, as Deputy Minister of Labor of the Republic of Indonesia (Wamenaker), Rizal Azhari, a representative from the Financial Services Authority (OJK Institut) Risa, Director of Finance at the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) Kunjung Nasehat, Chair of the National Professional Certification Board (BNSP) NS Aji Martono, Chairman of the Indonesian Capital Market Association (PROPAMI) as well as David Setyanto who gave a speech at the Professional Certification of the Capital Market graduation ceremony with the theme “Building the Future of Indonesia’s Capital Market”.
In his opening remarks, Deputy Minister of Labor of the Republic of Indonesia (Wamenaker) Afriansyah Noor emphasized the importance of improving skills through education and training that have specific specifications to meet future industry needs. LSP-PM as a professional certification institution in the capital market has produced hundreds of graduates who have the necessary skills and intellect to assist national investments, especially in the capital market.
According to Haryajid, the CEO of LSP-PM, the institution has provided competency certification to more than 14,000 professionals in the capital market and finance sectors. These professionals work in various industries within the capital market, such as state-owned enterprises, publicly listed companies, universities, and other financial institutions. The capital market professional certification organized by LSP-PM is a national-level certification, and its competency standards are registered in the Ministry of Labor of the Republic of Indonesia, and have obtained a license from the National Professional Certification Board (BNSP).
LSP-PM’s certification program for the capital market sector is essential as it provides a standardization of competency levels in various fields of expertise, thus enabling employers to assess potential candidates and verify their level of proficiency before employing them. Furthermore, it provides recognition to those who have achieved certification in their respective fields, allowing them to be more competitive in the job market.
The certification program is designed to be rigorous, requiring applicants to demonstrate their proficiency in their field of expertise. Through a series of tests, they are evaluated based on their knowledge, skills, and abilities, ensuring they have the necessary competencies to work in the capital market. The certification also requires participants to complete continuing education programs to maintain their competency levels.
As the capital market continues to grow, LSP-PM’s role in providing certified professionals will become increasingly vital. The institution’s certification program will contribute to improving the quality of human resources in the capital market and help build a brighter future for Indonesia’s capital market. Through its rigorous certification program, LSP-PM ensures that certified professionals are equipped with the skills and knowledge to navigate the complex and rapidly evolving world of the capital market.
Did the West ‘Bring War’ to Ukraine? One Expert Makes the Case
The seven-month war in Ukraine, and the role of NATO, especially the Atlanticist powers, are fueled by an official western narrative that depicts the conflict as one between the plucky little Ukrainian David and the brutish Goliath that is Russia. The invasion is as unwarranted as it is vicious and provides justification for a current tally of $57 billion in lethal and non-lethal aid from the United States alone, with the United Kingdom at its side.
The western print and broadcast media feed the narrative with daily reports of heroic Ukrainian resistance and Russian setbacks, of invading forces targeting civilians and using a captured nuclear facility as an instrument of war. In this environment, the issue of how all this came about, the root causes of deadly conflict between two historically close neighbors, is in a state of deep freeze; but when the time comes for historical assessment Benjamin Abelow’s How the West Brought War to Ukraine will serve as an invaluable primer.
Abelow is both a researcher on international security and a medical professional, and his approach here is a clinical one.Â While roundly condemning the invasion, he cites by way of context a litany of western insults to Russia over the past thirty years.Â For those who have followed the trajectory of the war, these are familiar, but missing from the mainstream narrative: NATO expansion by 1000 miles to Russia’s borders, despite assurances to the contrary to the late Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, and culminating in the statement at the 2008 NATO conference in Bucharest that Ukraine and Georgia were on track for membership; unilateral US renunciation of the anti-ballistic missile and intermediate nuclear forces treaty, followed by placement of ‘defensive’ systems [capable of conversion to offensive mode] in eastern European NATO states; provocatively aggressive joint NATO military exercises on land and in the Black Sea.
Abelow cites a blue-ribbon group of diplomats, scholars, policy experts and senior military figuresâincluding former US Ambassador to the USSR Jack Matlock, the distinguished US diplomat Chas Freeman, University of Chicago political scientist John Mearsheimer, the British scholar Richard Sakwa and former US army colonel and Trump Pentagon adviser Douglas Macgregor, all deeply critical of the West’s role in the Ukraine conflict. Perhaps the best single illustration of expert condemnation came from George Kennan, the very architect of containment of the Soviet Union on NATO expansion: “a tragic mistake…..The beginning of a new cold war.’Â at very least, NATO actions since the cold war’s end have given the lie to continuing and expanding the alliance as ‘a great zone of peace.”
The author then posits a “shoe on the other foot scenario”: How would we have reacted if the Soviet-led Warsaw pact had prevailed in the Cold War and had not only proceeded to embrace European NATO members but to establish a military presence in Canada and Mexico? This raises a related issue: the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 enshrined the Americas as an inviolable sphere of influence for the US, one that we have regularly invoked in military-political interventions in central and south America. Yet we have denied the right to such a strategic interest in its neighborhood to Russia; our justified self-interest is Russia’s menacing meddling.
Two chapters follow on the general theme of policy missteps [“Russophobia policymakers double down on past mistakes”]Â this ‘who’s to blame” theme is basically an elaboration of what has gone beforeâthe myopic failure by the US and its NATO allies to understand the depth of Russian animus over expansion, especially with respect to Ukraine and Georgia. The most revealing testimony to this effect comes from Fiona Hill, a national intelligence officer in 2008, later on senior director for Europe and Russia on President Trump’s national security council, who acknowledges “terrible mistakes.”Â Here we may also add the warnings of the US ambassador to Russia at that time, William Burns, who spoke unambiguously of admission of Ukraine and Georgia as ‘the reddest of red lines [for Putin]……nyet means nyet.”
A major strength of Abelow’s argument is his treatment not only of the ongoing conflict but of the possible knock-on catastrophic consequences.Â Most obviously, the current limitedÂ proxy war with Russia in Ukraine may explode into a regional conflict or beyond.Â Episodes such as the sinking of the Russian warship Moskva in the Black Sea with the loss of forty sailors, and the reported targeted killings of twelve Russian generals, on top of the copious flow of lethal and nonlethal aid from the us and its allies to the Ukrainian sideâthe us tally alone is $57 billion and countingâare plausible accelerants.
Abelow notes the contradiction in two stated objectives of us support for Ukraine: first, that of enabling Ukraine to mount a robust defenseâa humanitarian intervention; second, and emphasized in repeated bulletins from the Biden administration, the intent to “cripple” Russia not only in the current conflict but in any future [unspecified] military adventurism.Â This, far from offering protection to Ukraine, guarantees that the war will drag on, with ever greater levels of death and destruction.Â It has also led to both Russia and the us on hair-trigger launch policy, raising the specter of two equally catastrophic “next steps”: a grievously wounded Russia lashing out â as Abelow notes, Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov has threatened as much â or, accidental or inadvertent nuclear action by, for instance, computer error (false alarms have occurred before, in much less fraught times).
This compelling counter-narrative should surely stimulate further articulation of themes Abelow merely touches on.Â To list just a few:Â first, one tragic lesson of the war is that, for the present at least, Ukraine in nato is a chimera; Ukrainian President Zelenskiy recognized as much shortly after the invasion with his rueful reflection that “NATO let us down by not letting us in.”Â Who knows what madness may yet reverse this, but the fact is that had one nato member leaderâperhaps Macronâsimply quashed the idea of Ukrainian membership the conflict might have been averted.Â Second, Russia cannot help but associate American involvement in the war with the threat of regime change; consider events this century in Kiev, Tbilisi, Bishkekânot to mention Baghdad, Tripoli, and a clear intent in Damascusâalong with statements from members of the us congress and the executive branch, and it is hardly fanciful to think of Moscow as the ultimate trophy, raising further the prospect of a preemptive response by Russia. Third, within Ukraine itself, why did Zelenskiy, like Poroschenko before him, do a volte face from an election pledge to pursue positive relations with Russia? Threats from domestic ultranationalist forces have been floated, and were there outside voices of discouragement?
Finally, there is a growing pile of evidence of censorship in the western media of any attempt to question the official narrative.Â Why?Â If it is as demonstrably accurate as claimed, why fear skeptical questioning?Â The most recent instance of this is CBS news’s stifling of an investigative report into diversions of arms from western sources finding their way, not to the front lines in Ukraine, but to black markets in Europe and the Middle East.Â As an ironic footnote to this, and for whatever reason, Abelow has learned that Amazon has uncharacteristically refused to allow him sponsored product advertisements on their platformâan important marketing tool given the immense volume of books.
Like the war itself, these questions will persist.Â For now, the last word fittingly belongs to Benjamin Abelow: “False narratives lead to bad outcomes.”
This article was produced by Globetrotter in partnership with the American Committee for U.S.-Russia Accord.
David C. Speedie, a board member of ACURA, was the former chair on International Peace and Security at Carnegie Corporation.
American Journalist Killed Near Kiev
The Videographer Brent Renaud, a well-known war journalist and a former New York Times correspondent, was shot dead on Sunday in Ukraine, near the capital Kiev, the regional police chief has reported. The newspaper has clarified that it hadnât sent him on assignment.
The circumstances surrounding Renaudâs death are unclear, but Irpen, the scene of the incident, has seen heavy fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces in recent days.
The journalist âpaid with his life for trying to highlight the aggressor’s ingenuity, cruelty and ruthlessness,â Andrey Nebytov wrote on Facebook, referring to the Russian military. In another post shortly afterwards, the police chief shared an image of a bloodied corpse with a bullet wound near the ear, presumably that of Renaud.
In addition to the 51-year-old reporter’s killing, two more correspondents were injured, Nebytov further claimed, adding that they wereÂ ârescued from the sceneâÂ and taken to a hospital in Kiev.
At the time of writing, the White House had not confirmed reports of Renaudâs death, and said it was consulting with the Ukrainians, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan explained.
Renaud was a well-known war correspondent and had reported from conflict zones in the Middle East and Latin America. While he was identified in several reports as a New York Times correspondent, the newspaper on SundayÂ putÂ out a statement saying thatÂ âhe was not on assignment for any desk at the Times in Ukraine,âÂ and that heÂ âwas wearing a Times press badge that had been issued for an assignment many years ago.âÂ Renaud had last worked for the New York Times in 2015.
Situated on the outskirts of Kiev, Irpen has been the scene of intense fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces for several days, and it is unclear how or even if Renaud got caught in the middle. Likewise, Nebytov is the only official to have blamed Russia for the shooting.
An unverified video shared by Italian journalist Annalisa Camilli purportedly shows one of Renaudâs companions, who identifies himself asÂ âJuan,âÂ lying on a hospital bed. âJuanâÂ tells Camilli that the journalists were taken past a checkpoint by someone who offered them a ride, when their car was fired upon.
The Guardian named him as Juan Arredondo, a Colombian-American photographer. He can be seen in the video wearing a badge of the American Spanish-language network Telemundo, but the network has not yet commented on the incident.
According to the man, the driver turned around, but Renaud was shot in the neck and left behind as the man was taken to hospital, possibly in an ambulance. The man did not say who did the shooting, or whether their ride past the checkpoint was in a civilian or military vehicle.
It is unclear whether anyone else was injured, as Nebytov originally stated thatÂ âtwo more correspondentsâÂ had been hit, yet the man named only himself and Renaud as traveling in the vehicle.
Ein 51-jĂ€hriger US-Journalist ist heute in Irpin, einem Vorort von Kyiv, getĂ¶tet worden. Sein Kollege, mit dem er unterwegs war, konnte verletzt gerettet werden. Das Video, das wir unter der BrĂŒcke aufgenommen haben, zeigt die Evakuierung des verletzten Kollegen. pic.twitter.com/TemuQaUL50
— Paul Ronzheimer (@ronzheimer) March 13, 2022
Several international journalists were nearby at the time of the shooting, and Bild journalist Paul Ronzheimer shared footage apparently showing the man being evacuated on a stretcher by several men in Ukrainian military and emergency services uniforms.
MSNBC Deletes Tweet After âInaccurateâ Hitler Comparison
MSNBCâs top-rated news program, The Rachel Maddow Show, had to delete a tweet and issue a correction after the Auschwitz Memorial pointed out that it contained a false claim about the Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.
The tweet in question, which was deleted late on Friday, included a quote from McFaul, a Stanford University professor in international studies and US ambassador to Moscow between 2012 and 2014, who had earlier appeared on the program.
While criticizing Moscowâs recent military attack on Ukraine, McFaul drew comparisons between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Adolf Hitler, with Hitler apparently coming off more favorably.
âOne difference between Putin and Hitler is that Hitler didnât kill ethnic Germans, German-speaking people. Putin slaughters the very people he said he has come to liberate,â McFaul said.
There were no quote marks to accompany the statement posted on the âMaddow Blogâ Twitter account, but the tweet included a video clip of McFaul making the comment.
The tweet remained on The Rachel Maddow Showâs page for hours and drew harsh reactions from many in the replies.
Eventually, the Auschwitz Memorial in Poland stepped in to set the record straight.
âOn a factual note: Hitler did kill ethnic Germans & German-speaking people: those who opposed the Nazi regime, those who resisted, those who did not fit into the âWeltanschauungâ (world-view). He ordered the murder of people with different disabilities & finally the murder of German Jewry,â the institution wrote.
That comment prompted the show to delete the initial tweet and issue a correction. It acknowledged sharing âan inaccurate statementâ and expressed regret over the blunder.
McFaul himself tweeted that he âdeeply regretsâ his comment and acknowledged that âGerman Jews were a vibrant part of the German population.â
He promised to ânever make comparisons to Hitler againâ and insisted he would focus only on Putin âthe present evilâ from now on.
Bob Dylan Book on âModern Songâ to Come Out in November
Bob Dylan has a new book coming out this fall, a collection of more than 60 essays about songs and songwriters he admires, from Stephen Foster to Elvis Costello.
The new book, âThe Philosophy of Modern Song,â is his first release of new material since the acclaimed memoir âChronicles, Volume Oneâ was published in 2004. âThe Philosophy of Modern Songâ is scheduled for Nov. 8.
âHe analyzes what he calls the trap of easy rhymes, breaks down how the addition of a single syllable can diminish a song, and even explains how bluegrass relates to heavy metal,â according to an announcement issued Tuesday by Simon & Schuster. âAnd while they (the essays) are ostensibly about music, they are really meditations and reflections on the human condition. Running throughout the book are nearly 150 carefully curated photos as well as a series of dream-like riffs that, taken together, resemble an epic poem.â
The 80-year-old singer-songwriter won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2016 and has continued to tour and record, his most recent album, âRough and Rowdy Ways,â was released in 2020.
Western Media Pull Out of Russia
Several Western news organizations halt operations after Moscow criminalized the spread of âfake newsâ
The BBC, CNN, ABC News, CBS News, and Bloomberg have suspended operations in Russia after President Vladimir Putin enacted a law that makes the deliberate spread of disinformation punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
After the anti-fake news law was approved on Friday, CNN said it would âstop broadcasting in Russia while we continue to evaluate the situation and our next steps moving forward.â
Bloomberg â the news agency founded and owned by US billionaire Michael Bloomberg â similarly said it would âtemporarily suspend the work of its journalists inside Russiaâ and accused Moscow of criminalizing âindependent reporting.â The New York-based outlet claimed that the crackdown on disinformation would make it âimpossible to continue any semblance of normal journalism inside the country.â
Like Bloomberg, the UK state-funded BBC argued that the law âappears to criminalize the process of independent journalism,â and announced that its Russian-language coverage would continue only from outside Russia.
Spokespersons for ABC and CBS News announced that the networks would not broadcast from Russia while they âassess the situation,â with ABC News calling the legislation a âcensorship law.â
The Washington Post responded to the introduction of the new law by removing authorsâ names and other data from their Russia-originated publications.
âSome internal news: In response to Putinâs threats against reporters in Russia, The Washington Post will remove bylines and datelines from stories produced by our journalists in Russia. Goal is to ensure staffâs safety,â Paul Farhi, one of its writers, said on Twitter, adding that he had ânever seen anything like thisâ during his career.
An hour later, Farhi amended his last statement, recalling that, during the First Gulf War, Post reporter Caryle Murphy had got trapped in Kuwait and had therefore covered the Iraq invasion while in hiding.
âHer stories were published w/o bylines, for obvious reasons. Caryle won a Pulitzer for her work,â Farhi said.
Those charged under the new media law could be imprisoned for up to 15 years if they are found guilty of knowingly and deliberately spreading false information about Russiaâs conflict with Ukraine in a way that significantly damages national security. Anyone found guilty of defaming the Russian army could also receive a fine of up to $13,500 or three years in prison, while those who call for anti-Russian sanctions could receive fines of up to $5,000.
Vyacheslav Volodin, the chairman of the State Duma, argued that the law was necessary âto protect our soldiersâ and âprotect the truth.â
âAmerican social networks, controlled by Washington, launched an information war against Russia,â Volodin declared, adding, âIt is necessary to make a decision to combat the spread of fake information.â
Moscow maintains its military offensive in Ukraine is a âspecial operationâ aimed at the âdemilitarizationâ and âdenazificationâ of the country in the name of protecting the people of the two Donbass republics Russia recently recognized. Kiev said the attack was unprovoked, insisting it had not been seeking to retake Donetsk and Lugansk by force. The two republics split from Kiev back in 2014 in the aftermath of the Maidan coup, which ousted Ukraineâs government, with intermittent fighting continuing in the years since.
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