Malaysian police investigating the murder of Kim Jong-nam say attempts were made to break into the morgue where his body is being held and have demanded to question a senior North Korean diplomat.
The announcements by police chief Khalid Abu Bakar throw further suspicion on Pyongyang over the apparent assassination of the exiled half-brother of the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-un.
Khalid said another man wanted for questioning and identified as Kim Uk-il was linked to North Korea’s state airline, Air Koryo. Both he and the high-level embassy official, named as Hyon Kwang-song, 44, remained in Malaysia, Khalid said.
Two North Koreans suspects in the murder of Kim Jong-nam are believed to be “hiding” inside Pyongyang’s embassy in Malaysia, security sources have told the Telegraph.
Tensions between the two countries are high following the killing of the half-brother of Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s “Supreme Leader”, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport last Monday.
After a four-year hiatus, Iran recently resumed destructive cyber attacks against Saudi Arabia in what U.S. officials say is part of a long-term strategy by Tehran to take over the oil-rich kingdom and regional U.S. ally.
Late last month, the Saudi government warned in a notice to telecommunications companies that an Iranian-origin malicious software called Shamoon had resurfaced in cyber attacks against some 15 Saudi organizations, including government networks.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R., Calif.) urged President Donald Trump on Tuesday to pursue funding for the U.S. Coast Guard to purchase new ice-capable vessels to counter Russia’s military buildup in the Arctic.
Hunter, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, warned in a letter to Trump that Russia is set to debut the world’s largest nuclear-powered icebreaker, Arktika, while the United States struggles to maintain its two 1970s-era icebreakers.
Report: China nearly finished building South China Sea structures to house missiles
May 21, 2015: Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft. (U.S. Navy)
China is reportedly nearing completion of more than 20 buildings on its artificial islands in the South China Sea that are capable of housing long-range surface-to-air missiles.
The concrete structures have retractable roofs and at about 66 feet long and 33 feet tall. They are located on three islands: Subi, Mischief and Fiery Cross.
Fox News reported exclusively in December that the U.S. intelligence community was monitoring whether surface-to-air missiles would be shipped to the reefs to protect China’s three airstrips.
Military plane cost hits Airbus profits
Aircraft manufacturer Airbus reported a drop in 2016 profits, mainly because of a charge on the A400M military plane.
Its net income fell by 63% to 995m euros (£838m), although revenue went up 3% to 66.5bn euros (£56bn).
The results are the first since Airbus started simplifying the company by mixing its European business with the parent company, previously called EADS.
Chief executive Tom Enders said: “We’ve delivered on the commitments we gave a year ago.”
He added: “We achieved our guidance and objectives, with one exception, the A400M, where we had to take another significant charge totalling 2.2bn euros (£1.85bn) in 2016.
The A400M has suffered a number for setbacks over the years.
Earlier this month, one A400M broke down on the ground while carrying German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen.
Ildar Dadin: Russian activist jail term quashed
Russia’s Supreme Court has ordered the release of opposition activist Ildar Dadin, who was the first person to be convicted under new laws on protests.
The court said the criminal case against him should be dismissed and he had a “right to rehabilitation”, Russian media report.
Mr Dadin, jailed in December 2015, has been serving two-and-a-half years for a series of protests.
Last November he said he was tortured in prison in north-west Russia.
The authorities denied the claims, but transferred him to another prison.
Montenegro Coup Suspect ‘Was Russian Spy in Poland’
A Russian suspected by Montenegro of masterminding the recent alleged coup attempt was a military officer who was expelled from Poland amid an espionage scandal in 2014, a Polish diplomat told BIRN.
Natalia Zaba, Dusica Tomovic
|Edvard Shirokov, currently on the Interpol’s red notice, based on a warrant issued by Montenegrin authorities. Photo: Interpol.|
The Polish ambassador to Podgorica, Irena Tatarzynska, told BIRN that Russian military officer Eduard Shishmakov, one of the leading suspects in the alleged coup plot in Montenegro, was thrown out of Poland due to a spying accusation.
Tatarzynska said Shishmakov was a deputy military attache at Russia’s embassy in Warsaw, but was declared persona non grata in Poland in June 2014, along with three other Russian citizens, because it was believed that they were involved in spying.
“For us [in Poland] it was a really unpleasant case, a deputy military attache was declared persona non grata. But for the Polish state, this case is over,” Tatarzynska said.
BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:45 A.M.) – Minutes ago, an Israeli warplane conducted an airstrike over the western countryside of Damascus, targeting the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) positions in the Qalamoun Mountains near the Lebanese border.
A Syrian Army source told Al-Masdar this morning that the Israeli warplane had crossed into Syria after flying over Lebanon’s ‘Arsal Barrens, where both Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS) are headquartered in the eastern Beqa’a Governorate.
The Syrian Army source added that the specific location of the attack was in the Al-Quteifah area of the Qalamoun Mountains.
With US support, Saudi Arabia ready to send special forces to Syria
In an exclusive interview with Sueddeutsche Zeitung German newspaper on Tuesday, Al-Jubeir said: “The Kingdom and other Gulf countries said it was ready to allocate forces to fight on the US side.”
He noted that discussions with the US forces are underway to “find out what the plan is and what you need to implement it.” He explained that the plan would be announced “soon”.
The foreign minister affirmed that the liberated territories from Daesh, must be handed over to the Syrian opposition. “The basic idea is to free the region from the IG [Daesh] and not to allow their controlled Hezbollah, Iran or the Syrian regime,” he said.
Turkey Defense Talks With Russia on S400 Missiles Have Progressed, Minister Says
ANKARA (Reuters) – Talks between Turkey and Russia for Ankara to procure S400 missiles for a domestic air defense system have “progressed significantly”, Turkey’s Defence Minister Fikri Isik, said on Wednesday.
Isik also said that Turkey’s preference was to originally buy a NATO system but that wasn’t possible. He was speaking in an interview with broadcaster NTV.
(Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Humeyra Pamuk)
Turkey came very close to crossing Greece’s red lines in the Aegean last week, when a Turkish coast guard vessel fired shots in Greek territorial waters east of the islet of Farmakonisi, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias told Skai Television’s “Istories” program Tuesday night. In a wide-ranging interview with Kathimerini’s executive editor, Alexis Papachelas, Kotzias spoke also about Greece’s determination to protect its sovereign interests, the Cyprus issue, the case of the eight Turkish servicemen whom the Supreme Court refused to extradite to Turkey, and NATO’s operations in the Aegean.
India may forego offset package for S-400
The offset clause mandates foreign companies to invest at least 30 per cent of the contract value in the Indian aerospace and defence sectors.
Viktor Kladov, director of international cooperation at Rostec holding, told the paper that the purchase of the S-400 is a strategic project and delivery should not be delayed by offset packages.
According to Kladov, the offset package may delay delivery by up to two years. A deal with no offset package is the best choice, he added.
Germany to expand Bundeswehr to almost 200,000 troops
Germany’s Defense Ministry has announced it will increase the number of professional soldiers by around 10 percent. It comes amid increasing pressure for Germany to reach its NATO-mandated defense spending target.
“The Bundeswehr is under demand like never before,” Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (a Christian Democrat) said on Tuesday, as she announced plans to increase the number of Germany’s professional soldiers from 178,000 to 198,000 by the year 2024. “In light of these increasing responsibilities, the Bundeswehr must be allowed to grow accordingly.”
As part of its enlargement plans, the Bundeswehr will also expand its non-combat civilian employees to over 61,000 in response to the growing threat of cyber and hacking attacks.
Alexandria visits Sasebo during Indo-Asia-Pacific deployment
SASEBO, Japan (NNS) — Los Angeles-class attack submarine USS Alexandria (SSN 757) arrived at Fleet Activities Sasebo for a visit as part of its Indo-Asia-Pacific deployment, Feb. 19.
The visit strengthens the already positive alliance between the U.S. and Japan through the crews’ interaction with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force. It also demonstrates the U.S. Navy’s commitment to regional stability and maritime security in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations.
The comments come soon after Lotte said this month that Chinese authorities had halted work at a multi-billion-dollar real estate project following a fire inspection, amid South Korea’s worries that Beijing is retaliating for its plans to host the system.
China has repeatedly expressed opposition to South Korea’s planned deployment later this year of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system, which Seoul and Washington say is needed to defend against North Korea.
China worries the system’s powerful radar can penetrate its territory.