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Posts Tagged ‘Un Sanctions’

After Successful Missile Launch, North Korea Threatens New Nuclear Test

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 26, 2013

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the West Sea Satellite Launch Site in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province, in this picture released by the KCNA news agency on Dec. 15, 2012

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the West Sea Satellite Launch Site in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province, in this picture released by the KCNA news agency on Dec. 15, 2012

When North Korea put a satellite into orbit last month, it declared that the launch was an exercise of its “right to use space for peaceful purposes” and denounced criticism by the U.S. and others that it was carrying out a ballistic-missile test meant to threaten its neighbors. On Tuesday the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to condemn the launch, which it said was banned under previous resolutions, and moved to strengthen existing sanctions. Today North Korea responded angrily to the Security Council’s move, declaring that it may soon carry out another nuclear test — the isolated totalitarian state’s third — a move its National Defense Commission said was aimed at the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russia Supports Assad, Syria, Last Friend In Middle East

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 30, 2012

MOSCOW — Russia’s defiance of international efforts to end Syrian President Bashar Assad’s crackdown on protests is rooted in a calculation that it can keep a Mideast presence by propping up its last remaining ally in the region – and has nothing to lose if it fails.

The Kremlin has put itself in conflict with the West as it shields Assad’s regime from United Nations sanctions and continues to provide it with weapons even as others impose arms embargoes.

But Moscow’s relations with Washington are already strained amid controversy over U.S. missile defense plans and other disputes. And Prime Minister Vladimir Putin seems eager to defy the U.S. as he campaigns to reclaim the presidency in March elections.

“It would make no sense for Russia to drop its support for Assad,” said Ruslan Pukhov, head of the independent Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies. “He is Russia’s last remaining ally in the Middle East, allowing it to preserve some influence in the region.”

Moscow may also hope that Assad can hang on to power with its help and repay Moscow with more weapons contracts and other lucrative deals.

And observers note that even as it has nothing to lose from backing Assad, it has nothing to gain from switching course and supporting the opposition.

“Russia has crossed the Rubicon,” said Igor Korotchenko, head of the Center for Analysis of Global Weapons Trade.

He said Russia will always be marked as the patron of the Assad regime regardless of the conflict’s outcome, so there’s little incentive to build bridges with the protesters. The U.N. estimates that more than 5,400 people have been killed since the uprising began in March. Read the rest of this entry »

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