Who Leads? Avoiding the Balkanization of Cyberspace

3 July 2014

Cyber security, courtesy of UK Ministry of Defence/flickr
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With the control of electronic information becoming part of the geopolitical high ground, is the ‘Balkanization’ of cyberspace possible? Chris Bronk thinks so. Its primary stakeholders, after all, have failed to provide the broader, beyond-infrastructure leadership that’s needed on this issue.

By Christopher Bronk for ISN

Although unfolding crises in Iraq and Ukraine might persuade us otherwise, the world remains a reasonably safe and secure place for many, if not most of its inhabitants. A century ago, Europe was about to embark on a horrific conflict, one difficult to imagine for the globalization advocates of the time. Things were just too interconnected and interdependent, they thought, to make war fathomable. Nonetheless, war happened. This historical example must be borne in mind in contemporary discussions about the security of cyberspace. Continue reading

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North Korea fires ballistic missiles into Sea of Japan

25 March 2014

North Korea is believed to have launched two No Dong ballistic missiles on 26 March. The No Dong was seen on a transport-erector-launcher (TEL) vehicle with five axles at a military parade in Pyongyang in late 2010. Source: PA

North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan on 26 March: the latest in a series of test launches.

The South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that two missiles were launched from the Sukchon region at 02.35 and 02.42 local time respectively. It added that the launches were in violation of “UN Security Council Resolutions [UNSCR] 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013) and 2094 (2013), which prohibit North Korea from all activities related to ballistic missile programmes.” Continue reading

Experts warn of ‘Chernobyl’ risk at Yongbyon nuclear plant

Sebastien Falletti, Seoul – IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

26 January 2014

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Satellite imagery taken in May 2013 of the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Centre in North Korea. (IHS/DigitalGlobe)

North Korea’s decision to restart its 5 megawatt electric (MWe) reactor at the Yongbyon nuclear scientific research complex threatens Northeast Asia with a disaster potentially worse than Chernobyl, according to nuclear experts.

“This reactor comes from another world. The Yongbyon site has a concentration of so many nuclear facilities that if there was a fire in one building it could lead to a disaster worse than the Ukrainian one,” said Seo Kyun Reul, a professor at the nucleonic department of Seoul National University.

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Satellite images suggest North Korea restarted small nuclear reactor, U.S. institute says

English: Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research ...

English: Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, North Korea – Fuel fabrication facility. Siegfried Hecker examining machining lathes removed from machine shop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Chico Harlan,

SEOUL — Recent satellite imagery suggests that North Korea has restarted a small nuclear reactor, allowing the secretive nation to potentially bolster its stockpile of plutonium for weapons, a U.S. research institute said Thursday.

The North had said five months ago that it would restart key operations at its Yongbyon nuclear facilitywithout delay.” The report from the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies indicates that it is quietly going ahead with that pledge — and facing few apparent problems in firing up a reactor mothballed for six years.

Commercial satellite images from Aug. 31 show two plumes of white steam rising from a turbine building adjacent to the reactor. That steam is an essential byproduct of the reactor’s operation, and its venting suggests the “electrical generating system is about to come online,” the report said.

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China and the Realities of Power in Asia

Satellite picture displaying the Korean penins...
Image via Wikipedia

January 23, 2011

By David K. Schneider, Guest Contributor

U.S.-China relations over the past two years have been a tale of two diplomacies. Secretary of State Clinton and Deputy Secretary Steinberg have been promoting a new American leadership designed to create “a new global architecture” that will “help integrate emerging powers into an international community with clear obligations and expectations.” American diplomacy, according to this vision, will help China and the other emerging nations to overcome the mistrust and suspicion that blocks international cooperation and burden sharing. The rise of a new global middle class and a shared sense of common threat and common interest will open new opportunities to make China and other emerging powers global and regional “anchors of stability” that cooperate, under American leadership, to uphold international law and universal rights. Continue reading

APPG Event: Bonnie Jenkins, US Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programmes

Number of terrorist incidents for 2009 (Januar...
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By Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, 4th February 2010

1:00-2:00pm, 4th February 2010,

Committee Room 8, House of Commons

To attend, please RSVP to:

george.grant@transatlanticsecurity.org

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Transatlantic & International Security is pleased to invite you to a discussion with Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins, US Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programmes.

Nuclear proliferation is one of the most pressing challenges confronting the international community at present. Armed with a nuclear bomb, rogue regimes such as North Korea and Iran can wield strategic and military influence wholly disproportionate to their size and diplomatic and military clout, altering the balance of power in a manner inconceivable when outcomes were decided by the wealth of nations and the size of their armies. Likewise terrorist organisations, if given possession of a nuclear weapon, have the potential to wreak destruction on a devastating scale. Moreover, where such non-state actors are concerned, the prospect of nuclear retaliation – hitherto the principle deterrent – becomes almost meaningless.  Other more conventional threats to security also weigh on the mind of policy makers in this regard.  The unregulated flow of small arms and light weapons are arming insurgencies around the world, sustaining civil conflict and perpetuating regional instability.  Failed states provide opportunities to terrorists, and in this sense now affect our security more directly than ever before.  In addition, new threats, such as cyber or space related methods of potential attack have emerged and will need to factor into strategies for threat reduction. Continue reading

Strategic Insights 46 – North Korea: Sliding towards the abyss

Strategic Insights 46 – North Korea: Sliding towards the abyss

Thursday, 5 March 2009

North Korea, marginalised as an issue in recent years by a host of other problems, looks likely to return to the forefront of international concern in 2009. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has already noted that North Korea might be sliding—much earlier than expected—into a leadership crisis. Continue reading