N. Korea fires short-range missile into Sea of Japan – report


Just days prior to that launch, Pyongyang carried out a ballistic missile test, firing two rockets into the sea.

Both Russia and China have criticized North Korea, saying they do not recognize its nuclear ambitions, and that leader Kim Jong-Un should listen to the UN Security Council’s demands to return to the negotiation table.

However, both Moscow and Beijing agree that rising tensions on the Korean peninsula should not give the US a pretext to deploy a missile shield in the region.

Earlier this month, the “robust” new US-imposed sanctions, blocking businesses from any dealings with North Korea, in an attempt to punish Pyongyang for its nuclear tests.

In a March 2 vote, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved one of the toughest sets of sanctions yet targeting North Korea.

The restrictions include the mandatory inspections of cargo leaving and entering the communist state by land, sea or air, and banned all sales or transfers of small arms and light weapons to Pyongyang. The UN punishment stipulates the expulsion of those diplomats from the North who engage in “illicit activities.” 


Iran defies US, conducts ballistic missile tests


Iranian state news announced on Tuesday that Iran’s military had conducted a series of ballistic missile tests.

The Islamic Republic is prohibited from developing new ballistic missile systems and the US in January declared a new set of sanctions targeting Iranian missile programs. Last year’s nuclear deal also restricts Iran’s ability to acquire ballistic missiles, as does United Nations Security Council Resolution 2231.

None of these restrictions, however, have stopped the Iranian regime from aggressively pursuing missile programs including purchases of Russian S-300 and S-400 heavy surface-to-air missiles and the development of new domestically-produced ballistic missiles.

Last month the Iranian Defense Ministry announced that the Emad (“Pillar”) intermediate range ballistic missile system was entering mass production.

The Emad missile, which was initially tested in October of last year, drew condemnation from the United States. Capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, the Emad missile has a range of 1,700 kilometers, giving the Iranian regime the ability to strike Israel.



Iran conducts fresh ballistic missile tests: Report


Iran said on Tuesday its armed forces had conducted new ballistic missile tests to demonstrate “deterrent power” and the country`s “all-out readiness to confront threats” against its territorial integrity.

The announcement was carried by the official IRNA news agency, describing a military drill in which “ballistic missiles were fired from silos” in different parts of the country.

Washington imposed new sanctions over Iran`s missile programme in January almost immediately after separate sanctions related to Iran`s nuclear programme had been lifted.



Iran ‘conducts new ballistic missile tests’


The Revolutionary Guards said in a statement that the tests demonstrated the country’s “deterrent power”.

US officials said that if the reports were confirmed, they would raise the matter at the UN Security Council.

In January, the US imposed sanctions targeting Iran’s missile programme in response to the last round of tests.

UN experts said those tests had violated a Security Council resolution.

Resolution 1929, which barred Iran from undertaking any work on ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, was terminated after a nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers was implemented two months ago. A new resolution, 2231, then came into force that “calls upon” Iran not to undertake such activity.


Iran conducts new missile tests defying US sanctions


Major General Ali Jafari, the Guards’ top commander, and Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, spoke about the tests on television, with the latter downplaying the effect of US efforts to disrupt its activities.

“Our main enemies, the Americans, who mutter about plans, have activated new missile sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran and are seeking to weaken the country’s missile capability,” Hajizadeh said.

“The Guards and other armed forces are defenders of the revolution and the country will not pay a toll to anyone… and will stand against their excessive demands.”


South China Sea: Julie Bishop says missile launchers shouldn’t deter flights

Commercial planes should continue flying over the South China Sea despite the risk of “miscalculation” from the apparent placement of surface-to-air missile launchers in the disputed region, Julie Bishop has said.

Australia’s foreign affairs minister, who raised the “deeply worrying” issue during her visit to Beijing last week, said her Chinese counterparts had neither confirmed nor denied reports of the recent deployment to Woody Island.

“They said that in any event they were entitled to establish self-defence facilities,” Bishop told the ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday.

“We are talking about an area where civilian aircraft pass through, where there’s a lot of navigation, because it’s a significant trade route, not only for Australia but for other countries … My point is that if there are surface-to-air missiles in an area where commercial aircraft fly, then there is a risk of miscalculation.”

Asked how the commercial airline industry should respond to the risk, Bishop said commercial ships and planes “should continue as normal … because Chinahas undertaken not to militarise”.

She reaffirmed Australia’s calls for all countries claiming territory in the South China Sea to cease land reclamation work.

“A number of claimants have reclaimed land and constructed things but the scope and scale and speed of China’s activities have dwarfed those of all others,” Bishop said.

The prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and his New Zealand counterpart, John Key, made a similar call in a joint statement after bilateral talks in Sydney on Friday. They said all claimants should take steps to ease tensions in the vital trade route.

Tensions rose last week after Beijing appeared to install batteries of eight missile launchers and a radar system on Woody Island, which is part of the Paracel Island chain and is claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Images of the equipment were taken by the private company ImageSat International and the development was subsequently confirmed by the Taiwanese defence ministry.


China Tests Anti-Satellite Missile

DN-3-test-contrails The DN-3 flight test was the eighth time China carried out an anti-satellite missile test. An earlier test occurred in July 2014, which China also asserted was a missile defense test.

State Department and Pentagon officials declined to comment on the anti-satellite test.

A Chinese Embassy spokesman said: “I don’t have detailed information about the missile test you mentioned.”

“China advocates for the peaceful use of outer space, and opposes space weaponization or arms race in space,” the spokesman said in an email.

A State official referred to a speech from February by Frank Rose, assistant secretary of State for arms control, verification and compliance, who commented on the 2014 test.

“Despite China’s claims that this was not an ASAT [anti-satellite] test; let me assure you the United States has high confidence in its assessment, that the event was indeed an ASAT test,” Rose said.

“The continued development and testing of destructive ASAT systems is both destabilizing and threatens the long-term security and sustainability of the outer space environment,” he added