DPRK a “persistent threat”

The U.S. says North Korea remains a “persistent threat” to global security due to its development of nuclear weapons which could be used at “any stage of conflict.” The assessment is part of a Defense Department update of its Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, which also rates the potential threats posed by China, Russia, Iran and terrorist organizations. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. military chief threatened

General Mark Milley, the outgoing chair of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, has taken “appropriate measures” to protect himself and his family after former president Donald suggested Milley would have been executed for treason “in times gone by” for having talks with Chinese officials. An Arizona Republican member of the House of Representatives echoed Trump’s hyperbole, calling Milley a “traitor.” [node:read-more:link]

New Pentagon policy chief

Derek Chollet, the U.S. State Department Counselor and former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, has been tapped by President Joe Biden to become Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, succeeding Colin Kahl who had held the position since April 2021. When Kahl will take over is unknown due to a Republican Senator’s blockade of all senior U.S. military nominations. [node:read-more:link]

F-35 program milestone

The U.S. Department of Defense said today that its F-35 Joint Program Office recently completed a long-delayed series of crucial tests which could pave the way for Lockheed Martin to move to full production next year. [node:read-more:link]

Pro-Russia NATO member?

Slovakia, a NATO member since 2004, is about to elect its fifth prime minister in four years and the apparent front-runner is Robert Fico, a Russian sympathizer who says “Ukrainian Nazis and fascists” provoked Vladimir Putin into invading Ukraine. Landlocked Slovakia has a 97-kilometre eastern border with Ukraine, which it has supported up to now. [node:read-more:link]

Czech F-35s confirmed

The U.S. has approved the sale of 24 Lockheed Martin F-35s to the Czech Republic. The procurement itself is valued at some US$5 billion while an additional $1.5 billion will be spent on airbus upgrades and other related projects. [node:read-more:link]

Political gaffe sparks apology

Prime Minister Trudeau apologized September 27 after a Nazi-allied war veteran was formally recognized by then House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota during last week’s visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Embarrassed at home and abroad, the PM also said the government had reached out diplomatically to Ukraine. [node:read-more:link]

Domestic subs for Taiwan

Taiwan has high hopes for a planned fleet of at least eight submarines, the first of which is being readied for seat trials in October. “If we can build up this combat capacity, I don’t think we will lose a war,” says Admiral Huang Shu-kuang, the program coordinator and national security advisor to President Tsai Ing-wen. [node:read-more:link]

Who is Yaroslav Hunka?

A 98-year-old Ontario resident is at the heart of a domestic and international political outcry about his Second World War involvement in Nazi Germany’s battle with Russia. The core of the debate is whether Yaroslav Hunka was a patriot or a war criminal who could be extradited. [node:read-more:link]

Pyongyang expels U.S. runaway

Months of “intense diplomacy” have resulted in North Korea’s repatriation of a U.S. Army Private who crossed from South Korea in July. Travis King, handed over in China, is being returned home for what a U.S. official says will be “a re-integration process that will address any medical and emotional concerns.” [node:read-more:link]

House Speaker resigns

Antony Rota, the Ontario Liberal MP who has served as Speaker of the House of Commons since 2019, announced today that he is resigning. All parties had sought his resignation after he had lauded a constituent during Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy’s visit to Parliament last week. Yaroslav Hunka, 98, had served in a Nazi division during the Second World War and while Rota apologized, that wasn’t enough. [node:read-more:link]

Poland seeking extradition

Polish Education Minister Przemysław Czarnek said today that he has “taken steps” to having a 98-year-old Ukrainian-Canadian extradited for trial. Yaroslav Hunka, a member of a Nazi division during the Second World War, came into the spotlight last week when he was recognized as a “hero” by House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota, his Ontario MP. [node:read-more:link]

Keeping up with F-35 demand

Lieutenant-General Richard Moore, deputy chief of staff for plans and programs in the U.S. Air Force, suggests Lockheed Martin’s success in marketing the F-35 could be problematic because “they’ve already got orders that exceed what they’re producing.” [node:read-more:link]

Russians feeling war’s impact

The Open Mind Insititute, a research group which tackles disinformation and propaganda, says the results of a recent poll highlight the fact that economically-pinched Russians foresee an even gloomier future due to fallout from the Ukraine invasion. However, the polling data also indicate that some elements of the population are resolutely supportive of their government. [node:read-more:link]


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