Russia’s New Satanic Nuke

Putin’s scientists readying ‘TEXAS KILLER’ nuke that could obliterate whole countries

The RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile known in Russia asSatan 2” will be the world’s heaviest and most powerful nuclear missile when it is complete.

Satan 2 missiles are capable of carrying nuclear warheads with payloads of up to 20,000 kilotons – more than one thousand times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

At maximum payload a direct hit on New York would kill 4.5million people, injure 3.6million, and send radioactive fallout stretching more than 600 miles.

SHOCK: The missile has the power to take out an area the size of Texas

The “Texas Killer” is Russia’s newest nuclear missile design, and when completed will be the heaviest weapon of its kind to ever be deployed.

It can reportedly carry 10 heavy nuclear warheads and is designed to break through U.S. missile defense systems.

Last year, the Defense Ministry’s Zvezda news agency claimed Sarmat was so powerful, that a single missile could evade Washington’s defenses and wipe out the entire state of Texas.

DANGER: This missile has the potential to level several cities in one go

But, the Russian scientists in charge of developing Satan 2 have suffered a setback which means that it won’t be ready until later this year according to the Moscow Times.

Fears over all-out nuclear war are now at fever pitch after Kim Jong-un revealed that North Korea is ready to launch its most powerful nuke ever.

Donald Trump has not allayed fears by preparing to set up a missile system on the border with the secretive state.

In January it was also revealed that the US was planning a surprise nuke attack on China and Russia.

Russia Broadens Its Nuclear Triad

Russia set to launch its most powerful nuclear sub this month

Press TV

Russia will shortly put afloat a second, nuclear-powered Yasen-class submarine — its strongest — in a northern port, a Russian defense source says.

The new vessel, dubbed Kazan, is a fourth-generation Russian submarine, and “is expected to be rolled out and put afloat on March 30,” a Russian defense source told the Moscow-based TASS news agency.

Russian media refer to the country’s fourth-generation submarines as the backbone of the Russian Navy’s strategic nuclear deterrent.

The nuclear-powered, multi-purpose Yasen-class submarines have been designed by the St. Petersburg Malakhit (Malachite) Marine Engineering Bureau. The first Project 885 submarine cruiser “Severodvinsk” was delivered to the Russian Navy in 2014.

In a separate development, US media reported that a Russian ship was seen sailing just 20 miles south of the US Navy submarine base at King’s Bay, Georgia, again.

The Viktor Leonov, an AGI (Auxiliary, General Intelligence) trawler, has a port call scheduled in Jamaica for mid-April, and the assumption among US officials is that it will make one more run up and down the US’s East Coast before heading to Jamaica.

The Russian trawler made a similar journey along the East Coast in February, sailing close to a US naval base in Virginia and Naval Submarine Base New London in Connecticut, which the Navy describes as the “Home of the Submarine Force.”

The US and Russia have been locked in a dispute over a range of issues, including most primarily the Ukrainian crisis.

Pakistan and India Approach Nuclear War (Revelation 8)

maxresdefaultIndia-Pakistan tensions and the threat of nuclear war

Shalini Chawla

For more than five decades, the strategic situation in the South Asian region continues to be dominated by the strained India-Pakistan relationship. While the intensity of the tensions between the two neighbours has varied, the current decade has witnessed escalation in tension levels, increasing mistrust and inability to communicate between the two nations.

Recently, General Joseph L Votel, Commander US Central Command, in his statement before the Senate Armed Services Committee, raised concerns about the tensions between the two countries.

He said: “India remains concerned about the lack of action against India-focused militants based in Pakistan and even responded militarily to terrorist attacks in India-held territory earlier this year. We assess that these types of attacks and the potential reactions, increase the likelihood for miscalculation by both countries.”

Commenting on India’s stance on Pakistan’s diplomatic isolation, General Joseph said: “India’s public policy to ‘diplomatically isolate’ Pakistan hinders any prospects for improved relations. This is especially troubling as a significant conventional conflict between Pakistan and India could escalate into a nuclear exchange, given that both are nuclear powers.”

General Joseph’s statement caught ample media attention which was not unexpected. No doubt, the situation in the region is risky with two nuclear states sharing a hostile relationship. The question here is: Is New Delhi expected to absorb continued terror attacks without any response?

 

The writer is a senior fellow at the Centre for Air Power Studies, New Delhi.

Strengthening the Russian Nuclear Horn

Russia’s Most Powerful Nuclear Attack Submarine Ever Is Almost Ready for Sea

Dave Majumdar
March 15, 2017

Russia is set to launch its second Yasen-class nuclear-powered attack submarine on March 30. Called Kazan, the new vessel is an upgraded Project 885M design that is in many ways much more capable than the lead ship of the class, K-560 Severodvinsk.

“Kazan is expected to be rolled out and put afloat on March 30,” a Russian defense source told the Moscow-based TASS news agency.

The Russian Navy will take delivery of Kazan in 2018. Once the vessel is operational, she will be the most formidable enemy submarine that the U.S. Navy has ever faced. “It’s probably the most capable nuclear powered submarine out there fielded by a potential adversary,” Center for Naval Analyses Russian military affairs specialist Michael Kofman told The National Interest.

Indeed, Kazan is expected to be substantially improved over her older sister, the Severodvinsk. The vessel incorporates new technological developments that have emerged since Severodvinsk started construction in 1993. Kazan also incorporates lessons learned from testing the older vessel.

“The 885M is really the first ship of the class,” Kofman said. “The 885M is intended as a substantial improvement, based on the lessons learned from the lengthy development, construction, and testing process for the original 885.”

The Project 885 vessels are a departure from previous Soviet and Russian submarine designs. Unlike older Soviet vessels, the Project 885 submarines are multimission boats similar in concept to American vessels like the Seawolf or Virginia-classes.

“[Severodvinsk] is Russia’s first truly multipurpose submarine,” Michael Kofman and Norman Polmar wrote in the U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings journal. “The Severodvinsk is capable of antisubmarine, antiship, and land-attack missions. Among the more interesting features are a large bow sonar dome for the Irtysh-Amfora sonar system and an amidships battery of eight vertical-launch cells that can carry 32 Kalibr (SS-N-27/30 Sizzler) or Oniks (SS-N-26 Strobile) cruise missiles. These antiship and land-attack weapons are particularly significant after Russian surface ships and submarines fired long-range mis­siles into Syria in 2016.”

Russia plans to build a total of seven Project 885M submarines—Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Arkhangelsk and Perm are currently under construction at the Sevmash shipyards on the White Sea port city of Severodvinsk.

Meanwhile, Russia is planning on developing a follow-on class of attack submarine that would hunt U.S. Navy ballistic missile submarines. According to the authors of that article, “Now in development is a new Russian ‘hunter-killer’ submarine. This SSN will have the primary role of countering Western SSBNs. The new SSN is probably a significant program, but very little is known about it other than construction is slated to begin in the near future.”

The Russians undoubted have the technical skills to develop an extremely formidable new class of attack submarines. The question is does the Kremlin have the financial wherewithal to fund another expensive new defense project.

Dave Majumdar is the defense editor for The National Interest. You can follow him on Twitter: @davemajumdar.

Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Iranian Nukes Via North Korea

Experts: ‘Iran Is Progressing Toward Nuclear Weapons Via North Korea’

March 2, 2017

Evidence indicates Iran has outsourced its nuclear program, clandestinely circumventing the nuclear deal.

BY BRENT NAGTEGAAL

JERUSALEM—“Iran is steadily making progress towards a nuclear weapon and is doing so via North Korea,” two nuclear experts wrote in a new paper published by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies on Tuesday. Dr. Rafael Ofek and Dr. Dany Shoham claim the collusion between the two rogue states creates a way for Iran to clandestinely circumvent the nuclear deal implemented with world powers on Jan. 16, 2016.

Iran is said to have helped North Korea by providing necessary funding, specific nuclear-related technologies and help with ballistic missile technologies.

Dr. Ofek and Dr. Shoham write:

From the 1990s onward, dozens—perhaps hundreds—of North Korean scientists and technicians apparently worked in Iran in nuclear and ballistic facilities. Ballistic missile field tests were held in Iran, for instance near Qom, where the North Korea missiles Hwasong-6 (originally the Soviet Scud-C, which is designated in Iran as Shehab-2) and Nodong-1 (designated in Iran as Shehab-3) were tested. Moreover, in the mid-2000s, the Shehab-3 was tentatively adjusted by Kamran Daneshjoo, a top Iranian scientist, to carry a nuclear warhead.

As further evidence of collusion, the authors say the Syrian nuclear reactor that was destroyed by an Israeli air strike in 2007 was constructed by North Korea (NK) and heavily financed by Iran.

The partnership ramped up in 2012, at the very same time the United States government began to look for ways to coax Iran into signing a nuclear compromise. In July 2012, the Obama administration wrote a secret message to Iranian leaders offering to open up a direct channel to resolve the nuclear agreement.

The paper states that, two months later:

A meaningful event took place … when Daneshjoo, then the Iranian minister of Science and Technology, signed an agreement with NK establishing formal cooperation. The agreement formally addressed such civil applications as “information technology, energy, environment, agriculture and food.” However, the memorandum of the agreement was ratified by Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei has since clarified that the agreement is an “outcome of the fact that Iran and NK have common enemies, because the arrogant powers do not accept independent states.” It is reasonable to infer that the agreement went far beyond its alleged civilian sphere.

In order for Iran to comply with the developing nuclear deal and yet continue its nuclear program, its leaders simply decided to outsource most of its work to North Korea while it negotiated the nuclear deal with the West that would result in desperately needed relief from economic sanctions.

Between 2013 and 2016, Iranian scientists were often covertly present at North Korea’s nuclear tests. Numerous North Korean delegations also visited Iran during this time; the last of which came one month before the nuclear deal was agreed to in June 2015.

According to the paper, some in the U.S. government at the time were aware of collusion between Iran and North Korea and did not do enough to stop it.

Finally, in April 2016, a remarkable clash arose between Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) during a U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. They locked horns over planes that fly between Iran and NK, which should land and be rigorously inspected in China so as to ensure the prevention of NK proliferation of nuclear and missile technology, let alone actual nuclear weapons, to Iran. Sherman charged that this had not been handled with sufficient care by the Obama administration.

Dr. Ofek and Dr. Shoham summarized their findings this way:

The chronology, contents and features of the overt interface between Iran and NK mark an ongoing evolutionary process in terms of weapons technologies at the highest strategic level. The two countries have followed fairly similar nuclear and ballistic courses, with considerable, largely intended, reciprocal technological complementarity. The numerous technological common denominators that underlie the [nuclear weapon] and ballistic missile programs of Iran and NK cannot be regarded as coincidental. Rather, they likely indicate—in conjunction with geopolitical and economic drives—a much broader degree of undisclosed interaction between Tehran and Pyongyang.

Iran’s connection to North Korea is something the Trumpet has watched for several years. In a recent update to his booklet The King of the South, editor in chief Gerald Flurry asks, “Why were Iranian officials present for North Korea’s illegal nuclear weapons tests? Are the Iranians outsourcing their nuclear program, or at least parts of their nuclear bombs? It certainly appears that way. The Iranians are watching these tests for a reason.”

Gerald Flurry called the nuclear deal with Iran the worst foreign-policy blunder in American history. This is particularly true if it turns out that Iran simply made its nuclear program a joint venture with North Korea. According to the paper, it’s also likely that much of the $150 billion transferred to Iran under the nuclear deal actually went to funding its continued nuclear arrangement with North Korea.

Babylon the Great Increases Her Nuclear Might

US Accelerates Upgrades for its Arsenal of Nuclear-Armed, Submarine-Launched Trident II D5s

The US Navy is accelerating upgrades to the nuclear warhead for its arsenal of Trident II D5 nuclear-armed submarine launched missiles — massively destructive weapons designed to keep international peace by ensuring and undersea-fired second-strike ability in the event of a catastrophic nuclear first strike on the US.

The Navy has been working on technical upgrades to the existing Trident II D5 in order to prevent obsolescence and ensure the missile system remains viable for the next several decades.

The Navy has modified an existing deal with Charles Stark Draper Laboratory has to continue work on the missile’s MK 6 guidance system, an agreement to continue specific work on the weapon’s electronic modules. The modification awards $59 million to the firm, a DoD statement said.

As part of the technical improvements to the missile, the Navy is upgrading what’s called the Mk-4 re-entry body, the part of the missile that houses a thermonuclear warhead. The life extension for the Mk-4 re-entry body includes efforts to replace components including the firing circuit, Navy officials explained.

Navy and industry engineers have been modernizing the guidance system by replacing two key components due to obsolescence – the inertial measurement unit and the electronics assembly, developers said.

The Navy is also working with the Air Force on refurbishing the Mk-5 re-entry body which will be ready by 2019, senior Navy officials said.

Navy officials said the Mk-5 re-entry body has more yield than a Mk-4 re-entry body, adding that more detail on the differences was not publically available.

The missile also has a larger structure called a release assembly which houses and releases the re-entry bodies, Navy officials said. There is an ongoing effort to engineer a new release assembly that will work with either the Mk-4 or Mk-5 re-entry body.

The Trident II D5, first fired in the 1990s, is an upgraded version of the 1970s-era Trident I nuclear weapon; the Trident II D5s were initially engineered to serve until 2027, however an ongoing series of upgrades are now working to extend its service life.

The Navy is modernizing its arsenal of Trident II D5 nuclear missiles in order to ensure their service life can extend for 25 more years aboard the Navy’s nuclear ballistic missile submarine fleet, service leaders said.

The 44-foot long submarine-launched missiles have been serving on Ohio-class submarines for 25 years,service leaders explained.

The missiles are also being planned as the baseline weapon for the Ohio Replacement Program ballistic missile submarine, a platform slated to serve well into the 2080s, so the Navy wants to extend the service life of the Trident II D5 missiles to ensure mission success in future decades.

Under the U.S.-Russia New START treaty signed in 2010, roughly 70-percent of the U.S.’ nuclear warheads will be deployed on submarines.

Within the last several years, the Navy has acquired an additional 108 Trident II D 5 missiles in order to strengthen the inventory for testing and further technological development.

Trident II D5 Test

Firing from the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida several months ago, a specially configured non-armed “test” version of the missile was fired from the Navy’s USS Maryland. This was the 161st successful Trident II launch since design completion in 1989, industry officials said.

The missile was converted into a test configuration using a test missile kit produced by Lockheed Martin that contains range safety devices, tracking systems and flight telemetry instrumentation, a Lockheed statement said.

The Trident II D5 missile is deployed aboard U.S. Navy Ohio-class submarines and Royal Navy Vanguard-class to deter nuclear aggression. The three-stage ballistic missile can travel a nominal range of 4,000 nautical miles and carry multiple independently targeted reentry bodies.

The U.S. and UK are collaboratively working on a common missile compartment for their next generation SSBNs, or ballistic missile submarines.

The 130,000-pound Trident II D5 missile can travel 20,000-feet per second, according to Navy figures. The missiles cost $30 million each.

The “Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists” futher describes the weapon — “The Trident D5s carry three types of warheads: the 100-kiloton W76/Mk-4, the 100-kiloton W76-1/Mk-4A, and the 455-kiloton W88/Mk-5 warhead, the highest-yield ballistic missile warhead in the U.S. arsenal.”

US Puts Pressure On North Korea

US & South Korea launch large-scale war games amid tensions with North Korea

US & South Korea launch large-scale war games amid tensions with North Korea
The US and South Korea have kicked off Foal Eagle, an annual joint military exercise that has been denounced by North Korea as a rehearsal for invasion. The exercise comes amid tensions in the region following North Korea’s recent missile test.

South Korea’s Defense Ministry and the US military based in the South confirmed the commencement of the joint drills on Wednesday.

The exercise is a field training exercise involving ground, air, and naval forces from both US and South Korea that will run through the end of next month. The two allies are likely to deploy their major strategic assets in the drills to deliver a warning against what they see as North Korean provocations. In March, both countries also plan to separately conduct Key Resolve practice, a computer-simulated command post exercise, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, citing the South Korean Defense Ministry.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-Koo had a phone conversation early on Wednesday, in which Mattis expressed Washington’s commitment to the defense of its ally.

“Secretary Mattis said that the United States remains steadfast in its commitment to the defense of [South Korea]. He further emphasized that any attack on the United States or its allies will be defeated, and any use of nuclear weapons will be met with a response that is effective and overwhelming,” Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said in a readout, as cited by Yonhap.

Mattis also welcomed the land-swap deal that South Korea signed with the Lotte Group on Tuesday of this week, which will see the South host America’s THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) defense missile system.

This land transfer will support the alliance’s decision to station Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, a defensive weapons system, in ROK [South Korea] as soon as feasible. This is a critical measure to defend the ROK people and alliance forces against North Korean missile threats,” Davis said.

The deal will see the Lotte Group trade its golf course for military-owned land near Seoul, South Korea’s capital. The golf course will become the future home of the advanced THAAD system, which is designed to intercept short, medium, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles during their terminal flight phase. Equipped with long-range radar, it is believed to be capable of intercepting North Korea’s intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

Both Seoul and Washington claim the system is a defensive measure to counter Pyongyang, while Moscow has urged those involved to consider the escalated tensions it will inevitably cause.

Beijing has also questioned the controversial deployment, with the Chinese Foreign Ministry once again reminded Seoul last month of its strategic “concerns,” stressing its “clear opposition” to THAAD’s deployment on South Korean soil.

Some South Koreans have criticized the deployment as well. A demonstration was staged to protest the land-swap on Tuesday, and people living closest to the golf course have even filed a lawsuit against the South Korean Defense Ministry.

South Korea aims bring the system online by the end of the year, with a military official saying last week that the deployment could be completed by August.

In the phone call with Mattis, Han Min-Koo said that this year’s joint drills will be similar in scale to those held in 2016, which the South’s Defense Ministry called the “largest-ever” at the time. He also said the exercises, which have been held annually since 1997, contribute to peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Both defense chiefs promised to monitor possible North Korean provocations and strengthen military cooperation in order to improve mutual combat-readiness.

On Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspected the headquarters of a major military unit and issued guidance on increasing combat readiness, Reuters cited North Korea’s official KCNA news agency as reporting.

Last month, Kim Jong-un announced that his country’s military is capable of test-launching an inter-continental ballistic missile, warning that it could reach the US mainland at any time, from any location.

However, US President Donald Trump has brushed off the threat, saying North Korea will never succeed in acquiring an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of that distance.

The joint drills come amid increased tensions with North Korea following its test firing of a new Pukguksong-2 ballistic missile in February, which the state hailed as a major military achievement, but drew angry reactions from its regional neighbors and the US.

Last year’s Foal Eagle exercise involved about 17,000 American troops and more than 300,000 South Korean service members. Although the two countries have held larger joint drills, these were the biggest war games conducted under the current format adopted in 2008 named Key Resolve/Foal Eagle. Last year drills prompted North Korea to order artillery drills simulating an attack on the residence of South Korea’s president, with Kim promising to turn Seoul “into rubble and ashes” if it challenges Pyongyang.

North Korea rescinded its signature to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 2003 and announced its intention to build a nuclear arsenal, which it deems necessary for defending itself from the US and its regional allies, South Korea and Japan. The UN Security Council has passed several resolutions condemning Pyongyang’s development of nuclear weapons and missiles and has imposed economic sanctions on North Korea to hinder its programs’ advancement.

Iran’s Nuclear Collusion With Korea

ANALYSIS: Is Iran’s collusion with North Korea a nuclear threat to the world?

By Tony Duheaume Friday, 24 February 2017

With North Korean leader Kim Jung Un having announced the detonation of the DPRK’s fifth nuclear device on September 9, 2016, which was said to have been a miniaturized nuke capable of being fitted to a missile, it came close to a time when Iran had openly admitted that it was accelerating its missile development program, making both Iran’s and Korea’s programs to run almost parallel.

But as well as the detonation of a nuke, it also became apparent that a missile launched by North Korea toward Japan on 14 February, 2017, had a solid fuel engine, which in turn, made it fully road mobile, and much quicker to prepare for launch. The missile was also launched from a tractor-erector-launcher unit, which means it could be transported along roads or across rough terrain, and with it being driven to an undisclosed site, it would make it much harder for an enemy to detect.

At the same time, Kim Jung-Un also announced that by the end of 2017, his military will have tested a cruise missile that can reach the United States, and thus, with Iran’s program picking up momentum at the same pace as North Korea’s, it almost seems as though the two countries are in collusion with each other.

Considering the two nation’s statements came so close together, with both accelerating military programs which can cause mass devastation, it leaves a lot of speculation as to whether this is simply coincidental, or it had been planned well in advance. With so much talk about Iran having secret nukes in North Korea, the proof has always been there as far as the two countries past cooperation is concerned over each of their nuclear programs, and experience has shown; what North Korea has today, Iran has tomorrow, or visa versa.

Back to the 80s

North Korea has assisted the Iranian regime militarily since its early days in power. In 1981, when the Iranian’s opened a terrorist training camp at Manzarieh in northern Tehran, among the earliest trainers to arrive on site was a group of North Korean military personnel, and it was thanks to the brain washing techniques taught by these specialist trainers, Iran has been able to transform gullible recruits at its camps into lethal human bombs, and it went on to develop suicide terrorism into the lethal form of unconventional warfare we see today.

During the Iran/Iraq war, a conflict, which lasted from September 1980 to August 1988, Iran had taken a severe beating from the bombardment of Iraqi missiles raining down on its cities, and with the country being the subject of severe sanctions, arms were almost impossible to procure, and so its main missile supplier had been North Korea.

As hostilities intensified, in a war that eventually saw a body count of one million, North Korea found it impossible to keep pace with the supply of missiles needed by Iran for the battlefront. It was at this point, the Iranian regime came to realise its weaknesses in the air war, and was determined to build up its own missile capability, which would eventually lead to the regime achieving self-reliance through an indigenous production line.

It was in 1985, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who at the time head of Iran’s Parliament, signed an agreement to launch a cooperative missile and nuclear development program with North Korea, agreeing to fund the production of North Korea’s 300-kilometre-range Scud-B missiles, and also give financial support for its research and development program pursuing missile and nuclear technology, as well as the sharing of test data and weapons designs, which has continued throughout the decades.

During the 1990s, Iran and North Korea came together in the development of Iran’s Shahab medium range missile, which was almost identical to the North Korean Nodong, and had many of its components imported from North Korea. As the years went on, the two countries were said to have collaborated on many other missile systems, and together had produced Iran’s Shahab-3 and Shahab-4, and the longer Shahab-5 and Shahab-6.

Technology transfer

Then as far as the transfer of technology is concerned, the North Korean Hwasong-10, also known by the names BM-25 and Musudan, a mobile intermediate-range missile that was first on display during a military parade on October 2010, was seen to feature a triconic cone that was almost identical to that of Iran’s indigenously produced Ghadar-1.

But one thing that is really perturbing is how the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, and the North Korean leader, Kim Jung Un, share the same intense hatred of the USA. On top of this, they have pursued an illicit nuclear program for decades, through which they have often shared technology to help each other out, with the endgame of producing nuclear weapons, as well as missiles capable of carrying them, and they now seem to be intent on developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to reach the shores of the United States.

Over the years, with the two countries having worked together in all fields of missile and nuclear technology, some reports suggest that in 2006, an Iranian team was present when North Korea successfully tested a bomb at a secret underground location, and that a group of Iranian scientists were invited to study the results of the blast, which could be useful preparation for Tehran’s possible testing of its own device at some point in the future.

With the aid of North Korea, Iran has acquired the largest and most diverse ballistic missile arsenal in the Middle East, which makes the prospect of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon even scarier, and with the two countries having shared so much technology in the fields of both nuclear weapons and missile development, it makes it all the more conceivable that North Korea could well be testing a bomb for Iran.

But to add to the fear, with the North Koreans having already tested five devices, the first in October 2006, which had produced a one kiloton explosion, the second in May 2009 which produced a four kiloton blast, the third in February 2013 which produced a yield of four kilotons, and a fourth device on 6 January 2016, which North Korea announced to be its first successful testing of a hydrogen bomb, although the weapon was not large enough to be a thermonuclear device, it could well have involved some nuclear fusion, but whichever the case, it had been enough to alarm the international community.

Then on September 9, 2016, North Korea announced its fifth detonation, it had an estimated yield of 10-kilotons, which it was claimed to be that of a nuclear warhead, and could be mounted on a ballistic missile.

The atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, had the yield of 15-kilitons, which meant that the North Koreans are fast on a path to meet this, and with its latest missile test on 12 Feb, 2017, having reached an altitude of 550 km (340 miles), and Kim Jung Un boasting that his military would have an ICBM by the end of 2017, and his further claim of being able to miniaturise a nuclear device, it has most definitely left Donald Trump with his first major headache as President of the United States.

Fissile material

It has been estimated that North Korea already has enough stocks of fissile material to construct at least twenty bombs, added to the fact that its boffins have the capacity to produce enough reserves of fissile material to produce in the region of six or seven WMDs a year, plus the fact that that the two regimes have been known to eagerly share each others technology, should either Kim Jung Un or his close trading partner Ali Khamenei end up being confronted by the U.S., they could in theory soon have an ICBM fitted with a nuclear device be ready to launch against it.

The Iran deal was no deterrent in stopping Iran from pursuing the test-firing of nuclear-capable missiles, as despite the regime denying its pursuit of nuclear weapons; it is still intent on developing missiles capable of carrying them.

Although the present missiles being tested are only presently able to strike short range, medium range, and intermediate-range targets, their long-term goal is to produce one with an intercontinental reach, which is close to fruition, and the Iran Deal has already given the regime billions of dollars to pursue this, as well as subsidise its impoverished partner to pursue its own nuclear agenda.

The Strength of the Russian Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7:7)

Nuclear arms have always been the source of superpower status for both Soviet and Russian leaders.

By Tom Nichols, for The National Interest

Americans don’t think very much about nuclear weapons, and they certainly don’t think very often about their own arsenal, at least until something goes wrong with it, like the recent scandals involving the U.S. ICBM force [4]. The Obama administration completed a nuclear posture review in 2010 [5], a document that supposedly lays out the purpose and future of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Like previous U.S. reviews conducted in 1994 and 2002, it sank without a trace. The fact of the matter is that nuclear weapons and their mission simply do not matter much to post–Cold War American leaders.

Nuclear weapons, however, certainly matter to the Russians. Nuclear arms have always been the source of superpower status for both Soviet and Russian leaders. This is especially true today: the Soviet collapse left the Russian Federation a country bereft of the usual indicators of a great power, including conventional military force or the ability to project it. Little wonder that Moscow still relies on its nuclear arsenal as one of the last vestiges of its right to be considered more than merely—in President Obama’s dismissive words [6]—a “regional power.” (Or in the caustic words of Senator John McCain [7]: “A gas station masquerading as a country.”)

This story was originally published by The National Interest

Today, nuclear weapons have retained not only their pride of place but an actual role in Russian military planning. Unlike the Americans, who see little use for nuclear weapons in the absence of the Soviet threat, the Russians—wisely or not—continue to think about nuclear arms as though they are useful in military conflicts, even the smallest. Some of this might only be the bluster of officers who have never overcome their Soviet training, but some of it is also clearly based on the Russian General Staff’s understanding of Russia’s military weakness against far superior adversaries, including the United States and NATO.

(This first appeared in 2014 and is being reposted due to reader interest.)

Before considering the future of the Russian nuclear arsenal and its role in Russian defense policy, a quick review of the development of Russia’s nuclear forces might be helpful.

Once freed from Stalinist orthodoxy, Soviet thinkers, like their Western colleagues, wrestled throughout the Cold War with the implications of nuclear weapons. Early on, Soviet theorists decided that while nuclear warheads were a remarkable development, it was not only their appearance but the ability to deliver them rapidly over long distances—that is, the development of ICBMs—that overall constituted a “revolution in military affairs.” (This phrase was later adopted and almost completely misunderstood by American strategists in thinking about the role of technology in warfare, but the Soviets pioneered the term.)

The Soviets rejected—at least in public—any notion that the sheer destructiveness of nuclear weapons defeated traditional aims of strategy. They held firmly to the assertion that nuclear war, as awful as it would be, would nonetheless be a war with a political character like any other, with a winner and a loser. Later evidence revealed that this idea was prevalent mostly among the Soviet military; Soviet civilians were far less sanguine about nuclear war and far less willing than their generals and marshals to court it. (There are undeniable and unsettling parallels here with American civil-military relations on nuclear issues [8].)

During this time, the Soviets and the Americans constructed nuclear forces that mirrored each other in important ways. Both relied on a mixture of ICBMs, submarine-launched missiles, and bombers to ensure the survivability of their deterrent and to maintain the ability to deliver a massive retaliatory strike no matter how bad the first wave of nuclear exchanges. To this day, only Russia and the United States maintain this “triad” of delivery systems. There were differences, however, that reflected geography and tradition: the Soviet Union, a massive land empire spanning two continents, commanded plenty of real estate and therefore buried most of its deterrent in silos. The United States, a maritime superpower, put most of its megatonnage underwater on submarines. The Soviet long-range bomber force never progressed beyond propeller-driven aircraft that had only enough range for one-way suicide missions, while the Americans developed the workhorse B-52 bomber and its stealth follow-on, the B-2.

Because of the Cold War standoff in Europe, East and West also developed a large arsenal of battlefield nuclear weapons. By the late 1960s, the United States and the USSR had tens of thousands of strategic and tactical weapons. Even more worrisome, each side fielded highly destabilizing INF, or intermediate-range nuclear forces, in the 1970s and 1980s. These weapons could reach all European NATO capitals from Soviet territory, and conversely, could reach Moscow from NATO bases, in a matter of minutes, cutting decision times for national leaders from minutes to literally seconds. This entire class of weapons (that is, with flight ranges more than 500 km but less than 5500 km, was banned by Soviet-American agreement in the INF Treaty of 1987 [9].)

The jewel in the Soviet nuclear crown was the Strategic Rocket Forces, a separate branch of the armed forces dedicated solely to ICBMs. The United States, by contrast, divided the strategic mission between the Navy and the Air Force. (Although the Americans created a Strategic Command in 1992 [10], the day to day operation of U.S. long-range forces still resides with the USN and USAF.) The Russian Strategic Rocket Forces still enjoy this privileged position, both in prestige and resources. Like the other Russian branches, they even have their own patron saint: St. Barbara, the patroness of people who, for want of a better description, work with things that explode. (Tellingly, the officially atheist Soviets established the SRF on St. Barbara’s Day—December 17—in 1959.)

The Russian nuclear arsenal in 2014 is much like its American counterpart: a kind of Mini-Me of its Cold War incarnation. It is a far smaller inventory than the huge Soviet force of the 1980s, but it is more than capable of destroying the United States, Europe, and the Northern Hemisphere. The Russian Federation officially claims to have 1400 nuclear warheads associated with 473 deployed strategic launchers of various types, although other estimates place that number somewhere between 1500 and 1700 warheads. The Americans, for their part, have 1,585 warheads deployed on 778 launchers. Each side actually has thousands more weapons, some nondeployed, others awaiting dismantling. (For a full, down-to-the-warhead accounting of the Russian arsenal, there is no better source than scholar Pavel Podvig’s website [11], from which these numbers are taken.)

In every respect, the current Russian deterrent is structured like its Soviet predecessor. ICBMs, launched either from silos or mobile launchers, remain the most reliable weapons and the mainstay of the Russian nuclear force. The Russian submarine force, almost moribund since the Soviet collapse and crippled yet again by a disaster in 2000 aboard the Russian submarine Kursk [12], has recovered somewhat, and Russian nuclear-missile-carrying submarines are now engaging in more patrols closer to the United States [13] since 2009. Only the Russian bomber force remains mired in its Soviet-era decrepitude, in part because Russian jet design has been the poor stepchild of Russian military research and development efforts. Although Russia’s bomber pilots are flying more hours and trying to return to their Cold War games along North American and European airspace [3], Russian bombers remain little more than a small adjunct to the submarine and land-based threats.

At the strategic level, the difference between the U.S. and Russian arsenals is small, and both sides have committed to the cap of 1550 warheads mandated by the New START Treaty [14] of 2010. But strategic nuclear reductions are, in a sense, the easy task, especially because New START uses simplified counting rules—treating bombers, for example, as one launcher with one weapon—that suggest that neither side really cares very much about the great bugaboo of 1970s-era arms control, “strategic superiority [15].” (Arms-control expert Hans Kristensen summarized New START’s rules [16] more succinctly: “Totally nuts.”)

There are, however, several questions for Western policy makers to consider about Russia’s nuclear future.

Why are the Russians engaging in strategic modernization?

The Western press has made much of Russia’s recent moves to modernize its long-range nuclear force, but in part this is because long-planned retirements and replacements in the Russian force structure get treated as “new.” The Russians, never ones to forego the political advantages of poor information, play along and present plans they made years ago as responses to current U.S. policies.

When the Russians announced that they were replacing the massive SS-18 ICBM, for example, there was a flurry of stories in 2011 and 2012 about how the Russians were building a “monster” 100-ton missile [17], and how it was a response to America and its missile-defense plans. Of course, the SS-18 was coming to the end of its service life anyway, and the Russians had announced plans to replace it a long time ago [18]—not least to keep all the people involved in making nuclear missiles gainfully employed. (Or, at least, gainfully employed in Russia.)

The point is that the Russians will modernize their strategic arsenal, and this shouldn’t cause undue worry in the West. The Russian rocket forces are a military jobs program, and Moscow’s plans to replace its strategic missiles long predate any current crisis. Although the Russians claim their warheads will evade any U.S. missile defense, we needn’t worry too much about that, since we have no national missile defenses, and the Russian “capability” to defeat our nonexistent defenses isn’t scheduled to be deployed until the mid-2020s, [19] if ever.

Why won’t they get rid of their tactical nuclear arms?

NATO has about 300 or so tactical nuclear weapons left in Europe, and we don’t know what to do with them, largely because all of their former Cold War targets were located in Warsaw Pact nations that are now actually inside NATO itself. Modernizing these aging battlefield weapons will be hugely expensive: the Obama administration has, after a great deal of agonizing, pushed for an upgrade, and has already run into trouble on Capitol Hill [20].

The Russians, however, still keep an inventory of some 2000 tactical nuclear weapons. Why?

One reason is that Russia, like NATO, doesn’t know what to do with them. Nuclear weapons cannot simply be left by the curb on “fissile-material removal day,” and these small weapons are likely safer under military control than they are in storehouses. The other reason, however, is that the Russian General Staff still thinks these weapons have some kind of utility. In 2011, the Russian Chief of the General Staff, Nikolai Makarov, said [21] that he could not “rule out that, in certain circumstances, local and regional armed conflicts could grow into a large-scale war, possibly even with nuclear weapons.”

It’s hard to imagine the difference between a “local” and a “regional” conflict, especially when nuclear weapons are involved. Although Makarov growled at NATO in his statement, it’s also likely he was looking to his unstable southern borders with Islamic countries. In either case, Makarov’s point is directly related to an admission he and other Russian officers have made before: that without nuclear weapons, Russia’s ability to sustain a major conventional conflict in any direction is severely limited. Who the Russian military chiefs think they’re going to fight is another matter, but like all militaries, their job is to make plans, not policy. Makarov stepped down in 2012 and was replaced by the much younger Valerii Gerasimov ( [22]age 58), but what’s more worrisome in all this is that there are least some officers in the General Staff who see nuclear and conventional power as fungible and interchangeable, with one usable in place of the other. So far, they have not had a chance to test that theory.

Does Russian military doctrine really think nuclear weapons are usable?

So far, the answer seems to be yes. Over five years ago, Russia put forward a draft national security concept, a kind of white paper on Russian security, and it included language about preventive nuclear strikes [23]. After raised eyebrows in NATO and elsewhere, a scrubbed version was rereleased, with the rest classified and held back. (In fairness, that’s how the Bush administration did its 2002 nuclear review, with the same poor public relations effect.)

For now, the Russians seems to have adopted the notion—again, as a function of their conventional weakness—that nuclear weapons can be used to “de-escalate” conflicts [24]. It’s doubtful that the Russians are really believe that nuclear strikes (especially on the United States or NATO) could be de-escalatory, but in the absence of any other ability to project force, old Soviet habits are hard to break. On May 7, for example, the Russian military floated the idea of stationing nuclear-capable short range missiles in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad [25] if NATO increased its conventional forces in the region, a threat as unsurprising as it is meaningless.

Are they cheating on the INF Treaty?

For over a year, the Russians have been taunting the West by breaking, in spirit if not in letter, the INF Treaty [26]. It’s a clever approach: they’re not actually building intermediate-range nuclear forces, they’re just taking long-range nukes and then testing them at intermediate range. In other words, they’re skirting the treaty, no doubt as a clear sign to Europe and NATO that they are not immune from nuclear attack in the brave, new post–Cold War world. Indeed, the Russians have openly mooted quitting the INF Treaty, even though the weapons they banned no longer exist and there are no Russian or American plans to make any.

The Obama administration’s usual approach to the Russians has been to lag behind more nimble Russian diplomacy [27], but in this case the administration’s low-key response is the right approach. What the Russians are doing is, in effect, goading NATO, and showing that they still have the old Soviet charisma that created NATO in the first place. It is not news that Russian nuclear forces can reach Europe; what’s different is that the Russians are trying to emphasize that capability by testing weapons as though the calendar is stuck on 1981.

Where’s the real danger?

In sum, the outlook for Russia’s nuclear forces is less important than the serious improvements Russia is seeking to make in its conventional forces, especially in Europe [28]. The Russians have relied on nuclear arms to compensate for conventional weakness, a practice even Moscow realizes is unsustainable and dangerous. The real threat to NATO will occur if Western military forces on the ground continue to be hollowed out [29] by budget cuts and a lack of purpose, while Russian forces continue to improve and to recover from the disarray of the Soviet collapse.

During the current crisis in Ukraine, many in the West and in Ukraine itself lamented the 1994 Budapest Memorandum [30], in which Russia, the United States, and Britain agreed to respect Ukrainian borders and sovereignty in exchange for Ukraine releasing any claims on the last remnants of the Soviet nuclear arsenal on its territory. If Ukraine had kept its weapons, the reasoning goes, Russia would never have dared to threaten Crimea and eastern Ukraine. But this is the wrong lesson [31]: what seems to have given Moscow pause is the willingness of Ukraine, outnumbered and outgunned, to fight back [32]. What may be serving to cool further Russian ambitions, in other words, is Russian conventional weakness. Had Ukraine kept its nuclear weapons, a Russian invasion might have taken place a decade ago on the pretext of “securing” those systems, but if Ukraine avoids a Russian invasion now, it will not be because of anyone’s nuclear arms, but because Russia is aware that it might face a serious conventional fight even against an admittedly weaker country.

If Moscow redresses those conventional shortcomings without an answer from the West, nuclear issues will seem, in comparison, like a quaint problem from the past.

This story was originally published by The National Interest

Tom Nichols [33] is Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval War College and an adjunct at the Harvard Extension School. His most recent book is No Use: Nuclear Weapons and U.S. National Security [34] (University of Pennsylvania, 2014) The views expressed are his own. You can follow him on Twitter: @TheWarRoom_Tom [35].

The Islamic Korea Connection

Image result for pakistan korea nuclear
Posted : 2017-02-22 17:55
Updated : 2017-02-22 17:55
By Jack Burton

North Korea’s launch of the Pukguksong-2 ballistic missile is another example of the steady advancement that Pyongyang has made in developing its nuclear and missile arsenal. But it also raises the question of how Pyongyang has been able to master such technology.

Pyongyang’s propaganda proclaimed the test of the intermediate range missile as an example of “a new strategic weapon of our own style,” implying that North Korean technicians had developed the missile from scratch. But most analysts believe that North Korea has always received help from other countries in developing its nuclear and missile program since the 1980s.

The four main enablers of the North’s quest for weapons of mass destruction have been Russia, China, Iran and Pakistan.

Western analysts are now debating who might have helped in developing Pukguksong-2. The missile does represent significant technical progress for North Korea. It is a solid fuel missile, similar to the submarine-launched one, the Pukguksong-1, that Pyongyang tested last year. Solid-fueled missiles allow for greater mobility and quicker launches than liquid-fueled missiles that make them easier to hide, but their technology is also more difficult to master.

What has surprised analysts is the rapid pace that North Korea has shown in developing a solid-fueled missile after years spent testing liquid-fueled ones. That has increased suspicions that North Korea has received outside help.

Some analysts believe that both Pukguksong missiles bear a resemblance to China’s submarine-launched JL-1 submarine-launched missile and land-based DF-21 version. North Korea has already used related Chinese-made mobile missile systems, including transporter-erector-launcher(TEL) vehicles, although apparently the TEL used in the Pukguksong-2 launch was of its own design.

But instead of acquiring the Pukguksong technology directly from China, North Korea could have also gotten it from Pakistan, which has developed its own arsenal of mobile, solid-fuel medium-range missiles with the help of China.

Pakistan, of course, has been implicated before in the North’s nuclear program. Pyongyang is believed to have obtained centrifuge technology in the 1990s from the smuggling network of A.Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, to construct a large uranium enrichment facility for its nuclear program.

The fingerprints of foreign assistance have been evident throughout North Korea’s missile development over the last 40 years. In the 1970s, China offered to transfer technology to Pyongyang to produce liquid-fueled tactical missiles and trained North Korean scientists in the design and production of missile airframes and engines.

A decade later, North Korea was collaborating with Egypt in reverse engineering the Soviet Scud-B missile, whose technology dated from the 1950s. Iran was also said to have become involved in this process as well. This led to the North Korea’s deployment of the mobile, short-ranged Hwasong-5 missile.

Scud technology, including some possibly obtained from China, led to the development of the larger and longer-range mobile Nodong missile by 1990s. North Korea then sold the missiles to Iran, Pakistan and Syria as part of an exchange of technologies and test data.

There are suggestions that North Korea acquired obsolete missile production lines from Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union. This would have enabled it to begin developing multi-stage rockets, such as Taepodong missile, that represent a serious technical challenge to overcome.

When North Korea launched the Unha-2 rocket in 2009 in an unsuccessful attempt to place a satellite in orbit, analysts noticed that the third stage appear to match that of the last stage of Iran’s Safir satellite launcher, which has been successfully tested by Tehran several months earlier.Analysts also believed that the second stage of the Unha-2 may have been based on a 1960s-era Soviet submarine-launched ballistic missile, increasing speculation that Pyongyang had acquired outdated production lines from Russia.

Given the history of the North Korean missile program and its apparent heavy reliance on foreign technology, it is clear that the most obvious way to stop Pyongyang’s missile development would be to curb outside assistance instead of relying on economic sanctions alone.

In theory, international mechanisms, such as 35-nation Missile Technology Control Regime, are already in place to prevent the proliferation of missile technology. But among North Korea’s four main missile “enablers,” only Russia is a member of this organization.

It would appear then that the U.S. and the rest of the international community should apply increased pressure on China, Iran and Pakistan to stop supplying missile technology to North Korea instead of just focusing on punishing Pyongyang.

But the success of such effort will be difficult. Much of the equipment involved in missile production isconsidered “dual use” for civilian purposes as well and thus hard to regulate in terms of trade. This will continue to give North Korea many opportunities to acquire the needed technology and production hardware from complacent governments or rogue scientists and engineers.

John Burton, a former Korea correspondent for the Financial Times, is now a Washington,. D.C.-based journalist and consultant. He can be reached at johnburtonft@yahoo.com.