Belarus warns ‘Stop supplying Ukraine with weapons or risk WWIII’

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Putin Ally Warns World War III Is Coming Unless West Stops Weapons Supply
  • Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, a key ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has warned that Western countries supplying weapons to Ukraine could lead to World War III.
  • Lukashenko said Belarus “calls on the countries of the world to unite and prevent the regional conflict in Europe from escalating into a full-scale world war!”
  • As the Belarusian leader warned against the international community selling weapons to Ukraine, he accepted nuclear-capable missiles from Russia, an indication of just how close the two countries remain.

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Soros speaks out in DAVOS ‘Ukraine invasion could be the start of WWIII’

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Soros Warns ‘Civilization May Not Survive’ Putin’s War
  • He sees Putin and Xi as ‘greatest threat to open society
  • Billionaire George Soros warned that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has rattled Europe and could be the start of another world war.
  • Xi Jinping is sticking to a Zero Covid policy that can’t possibly be sustained.
  • The persistent lockdowns in China will disrupt supply chains, which could keep inflation around the world elevated and create a global depression, he said. He added that Xi’s errors may have cost him a third term.

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Japan faces greatest danger since World War due to North Korea

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends Universal Health Coverage Forum 2017 in Tokyo, Japan December 14, 2017.

TOKYO (Reuters) – The security situation facing Japan is the most perilous since World War Two because of North Korea’s “unacceptable” provocations, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday and he vowed to bolster defenses to protect the Japanese people.

Tension in the region has been rising, particularly since North Korea conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test in September, and then in November, said it had successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach all of the U.S. mainland.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that the security environment surrounding Japan is at its severest since World War Two. I will protect the people’s lives and peaceful living in any situation,” Abe told a New Year news conference.

Abe said Japan would take new steps to strengthen its defense posture but he did not go to specifics.

The government approved a record military budget last month, with defense outlays due to rise for a sixth year, increasing by 1.3 percent to 5.19 trillion yen ($46 billion), with the biggest item 137 billion yen in reinforcing defenses against North Korean ballistic missiles.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said this week the United States was hearing reports that North Korea might be preparing to fire another missile, and she warned it not to.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that North Korea is trampling the strong desire of Japan and the rest of the international community for peaceful resolutions and continuing with its provocative behavior,” Abe said.

Abe has said he wants to amend Japan’s pacifist constitution with the aim of loosening constraints on the military, although the public is divided over changes to the charter imposed after Japan’s World War Two defeat.

War-renouncing Article 9 of the constitution, if read literally, bans the existence of standing armed forces, but has long been interpreted to allow a military for exclusively defensive purposes.

Abe said he wanted more debate on the issue.

“I would like this to be a year in which public debate over a constitutional revision will be deepened further,” he said.

Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party-led coalition retained its two-thirds “super majority” in parliament’s lower house in an Oct. 22 election, re-energizing his push to revise the constitution.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim, Robert Birsel)

North Korea ready for another nuclear test any time: South Korea

Kim Jon Un of North Korea

By Ju-min Park and Jack Kim

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea is ready to conduct an additional nuclear test at any time, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said on Monday, three days after the reclusive North’s fifth test drew widespread condemnation.

Pyongyang set off its most powerful nuclear blast to date on Friday, saying it had mastered the ability to mount a warhead on a ballistic missile and ratcheting up a threat that its rivals and the United Nations have been powerless to contain.

“Assessment by South Korean and U.S. intelligence is that the North is always ready for an additional nuclear test in the Punggye-ri area,” the site of the North’s five nuclear explosions, South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-gyun told a news briefing.

“North Korea has a tunnel where it can conduct an additional nuclear test,” Moon said.

South Korea is pushing for more sanctions against Pyongyang to close what it says were loopholes left in the last United Nations Security Council resolution adopted in March.

Both China and Russia backed sanctions imposed in March following the North’s January nuclear test, but their apparent ambivalence about fresh sanctions cast doubt on the Security Council’s ability to quickly form a consensus.

“We expect that China, as one of the Security Council member states, should take this issue seriously and play a very constructive role to come up with a very effective and strong sanctions resolution,” a South Korean foreign ministry official said.

NEW SANCTIONS?

The Security Council denounced the latest test on Friday and said it would begin work immediately on a resolution. The United States, Britain and France – three of the five veto-wielding permanent members – pushed for the 15-member body to impose new sanctions.

However, China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said sanctions alone could not solve the North Korean nuclear issue. The crux of the issue lay with the United States, not China, she added.

On Saturday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said a “creative” response was needed.

Speaking to Lavrov on Monday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China “strongly urged North Korea and other relevant parties to remain calm and exercise restraint, and not take any new steps to intensify tensions”, China’s Foreign Ministry said.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Lavrov and Wang condemned North Korea’s latest nuclear test in a phone conversation on Monday. Russia and China are the remaining veto powers on the Security Council.

As tensions rose on the Korean peninsula in the week of last week’s test, South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye said that North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles posed an “imminent threat.

“As North Korea has publicly said nuclear warheads have been standardized and customized to mount on ballistic missiles, we should keep in mind that North Korea’s nuclear missiles are a realistic, imminent threat targeting us, not a simple threat for negotiations,” Park said in a meeting with major political party leaders.

Pyongyang’s assertions that it is able to miniaturize a nuclear warhead have never been independently verified.

BOMBER FLIGHT DELAYED

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, formerly the country’s chief nuclear negotiator, arrived in Beijing on Monday and was seen entering the country’s embassy, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported.

Ri left Pyongyang on Monday to attend a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement countries in Venezuela and later the U.N. General Assembly, the North’s official KCNA news agency said.

A U.S. special envoy for the isolated state, Sung Kim, will travel to Seoul on Monday. Kim met Japanese officials on Sunday and said the United States may launch unilateral sanctions against North Korea, echoing comments by U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday in the wake of the test.

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported that bad weather had delayed the flight of an advanced U.S. B-1B bomber to the Korean peninsula, a show of strength and solidarity with ally Seoul, scheduled for Monday.

The flight from the U.S. base in Guam would now take place on Tuesday, a U.S. Forces in Korea official told Reuters, declining to identify the type of aircraft involved.

A group of 31 South Korean conservative lawmakers said the country should have nuclear weapons, either by acquiring its own arms or asking the Americans to redeploy tactical nuclear weapons that were withdrawn from the South under a 1991 pact for the decentralization of the peninsula.

“We should discuss every plan including an independent nuclear armament program at the level of self-defense to safeguard peace,” Won Yoo-chul, a senior lawmaker for the ruling Saenuri Party, said in a statement.

South Korea’s defense ministry said there was no change in its policy barring nuclear weapons.

(Additional reporting by John Ruwitch in Shanghai and Michael Martina in Beijing; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Alex Richardson)

Russia raises specter of permanent or ‘world war’ if Syria talks fail

MUNICH (Reuters) – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev raised the specter of a permanent or a world war if powers failed to negotiate an end to the conflict in Syria and warned against any ground operations by U.S. and Arab forces.

Medvedev, speaking to Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper on the eve of a security conference in Munich, said the United States and Russia must exert pressure on all sides in the conflict to secure a ceasefire.

Asked about Saudi Arabia’s offer last week to supply ground troops if a U.S.-led operation were mounted against Islamic State, he said:

“This is bad as a ground offensive usually turns the war into a permanent one. Just look at what happened in Afghanistan and many other countries. I don’t need to remind you what happened in poor Libya.”

“The Americans and our Arab partners must think well: do they want a permanent war?” It would be impossible to win such a war quickly, he said according to a German translation of his words, “especially in the Arab world, where everybody is fighting against everybody”.

“All sides must be compelled to sit at the negotiating table instead of unleashing a new world war.”

Russia is carrying out bombing sorties around the key city of Aleppo, in support of advances by troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. U.S. and other Western air forces are also involved in air strikes in northern Syria.

THE “PRIZE” OF ALEPPO

Capturing Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city before the war but now divided between rebel- and government-held sectors, would represent a major military victory for Assad and a symbolic prize for Russia.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that Moscow had submitted proposals for implementing a ceasefire in Syria and was waiting for a reaction from international powers.

Lavrov was speaking ahead of a meeting in Munich with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss Syria.

Members of the United Nations Security Council pressed Russia on Wednesday to stop bombing Aleppo in support of the Syrian military offensive and allow humanitarian access ahead of a meeting of major powers in Germany on the conflict.

“You have no one power that can act alone,” Medvedev said. “You have Assad and his troops on one side and some grouping, which is fighting against the government on the other side. It is all very complicated. It could last years or even decades. What’s the point of this?”

(Reporting by John Irish, reporting by Joseph Nasr; editing by Ralph Boulton)