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Posts Tagged ‘chemical weapons’

U.S., South Korea Begin Drills; North Warns of War

August 17, 2011 Comments off

defensenews

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea and the United States launched a massive joint military exercise on Aug. 16, prompting the North to condemn the maneuvers as provocative and warn that war could erupt.

The two allies have described the 10-day Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise as defensive and routine, but the North habitually terms such joint drills a rehearsal for invasion and launches its own counter-exercises.

“The exercise started this morning,” a spokesman of the U.S.-South Korea Combined Forces Command (CFC) told AFP, referring to the annual computer-assisted simulation command-post exercise.

All of CFC’s major units are taking part, involving more than Read more…

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India’s Army Could Receive WMD-Resistant Gear

May 13, 2011 Comments off

globalsecuritynewswire

Russia announced that it would provide its military with these suits earlier this month.

India’s army could receive new gear designed to provide protection against chemical, biological or nuclear materials, the Press Trust of India reported on Wednesday (see GSN, April 26).

Kanpur’s Defense Material and Stores Research Development Establishment “has developed a new NBC or nuclear-biological-chemical suit that would be proved effective against any kind of dangerous weapons or chemicals and protect soldiers from any sort of attack,” agency head Arvind Kumar Saxena said.

“The organization [has] developed the chemical attack-resistant suit, but the suits necessary for the nuclear and biological war situation has not been prepared,” the official said. “The work on the biological suit is likely to be completed by 2013, whereas the preparation for the Read more…

U.S. Worried by Potential Chinese CW Tech Sales to Iran

April 22, 2011 Comments off

globalsecuritynewswire

A leaked diplomatic cable indicates that the U.S. State Department believed in 2009 that a Chinese firm was providing Iran with equipment that could be used in producing chemical weapons agents, Haaretz reported on Thursday (see GSN, Feb. 3).

“We have new information indicating that Zibo Chemet transferred technology for the production of glass-lined reactor equipment to Iranian customers, significantly enhancing Iran’s ability to produce indigenously chemical equipment suitable for a chemical warfare program,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated in a message to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

The Obama administration’s top diplomat requested that the embassy inform the Chinese government of the situation and press Beijing to put an end to the exports, according to the July 24, 2009, dispatch obtained by the transparency group WikiLeaks.

Zibo Chemet is suspected of providing sensitive technology to Iran, North Korea and Syria, and was sanctioned by Washington in 2007, according to the cable. Beijing subsequently took unspecified “limited punitive action” against the firm, it states.

Nonetheless, Zibo Chemet “recently transferred Australia Group-controlled technology to manufacture glass-lined chemical reactor vessels to the Iranian entity Shimi Azarjaam. This glass-lining plant is located in Shokoohieh Industrial Park, Qum,” Clinton stated.

Such reactor vessels are produced to withstand chemicals they hold, which can include precursors for nerve agents, according to Haaretz.

China is not a member of the Australia Group, a multinational organization that seeks to prevent exports of materials intended for use in biological or chemical weapons programs.

The United States and other nations have accused Tehran of developing chemical-warfare capabilities. Iran, whose troops and citizens were subjected to chemical weapons attacks during the nation’s 1980s war with Iraq, denies operating such a program (Yossi Melman, Haaretz, April 21).

Middle East Unrest Could Harm WMD-Free Zone Talks

March 9, 2011 Comments off

globalsecuritynewswire

Protesters chant slogans on Saturday during a demonstration outside an Egyptian state security building in the outskirts of Cairo. Recent political instability throughout the Middle East could complicate efforts to establish a regional weapons of mass destruction-free zone, current and former officials said (Wissam Nassar/Getty Images).

The unrest and revolutions sweeping through the Middle East have raised doubts over the potential for regional nations to hold previously planned talks focused on forming a weapons of mass destruction-free zone, Arms Control Today reported in its March issue (see GSN, March 1).

At the 2010 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty review conference in New York, member nations agreed to hold a 2012 meeting on “the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and all other weapons of mass destruction.”

“We are absolutely committed” to the WMD-free zone meeting, White House WMD point man Gary Samore said in an interview last month. “But there’s a lot of uncertainty because of the unrest in the Middle East.”

In the last two months, longstanding regimes in Tunisia and Egypt have fallen, and protests in Libya have escalated into full-scale fighting between militants and forces loyal to Col. Muammar Qadhafi. Protests have also erupted in Bahrain, Jordan, Oman and Read more…

Questions Remain on Libyan Mustard Agent Stockpile

March 4, 2011 Comments off

globalsecuritynewswire.org

(Mar. 3) – Antigovernment activists in Libya march today in a funeral procession for one of five people killed yesterday in fighting with dictator Muammar Qadhafi’s forces (Gianluigi Guercia/Getty Images).


The U.S. intelligence community is uncertain of the exact location of Libya’s remaining chemical warfare materials, though officials say besieged dictator Muammar Qadhafi has moved to bolster the security surrounding the primary cache of mustard blister agent, Reuters reported yesterday (see GSN, March 2).

(Mar. 3) – Antigovernment activists in Libya march today in a funeral procession for one of five people killed yesterday in fighting with dictator Muammar Qadhafi’s forces (Gianluigi Guercia/Getty Images).

Before fighting began last month, Libya had been making Read more…

Iranian warships’ passage through Suez put back two days

February 21, 2011 Comments off

Iran’s Fars news agency has identified the 1,500-tone Alvand as one of the warships heading to the Suez Canal

The passage of two Iranian naval ships through the Suez Canal has been put back to Wednesday, a canal official said on Sunday as Israel expressed its grave concern about the Mediterranean-bound vessels.

“The shipping agent handling the two Iranian warships has told the canal administration to push back their passage by two days,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

He did not elaborate on the reasons for the delay, but confirmed that the new day of passage through the waterway that links the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea would be Wednesday.

Reportedly bound for Syria on a journey that would Read more…

FBI: 100 Percent Chance of WMD Attack

February 17, 2011 Comments off

By Ronald Kessler
Newsmax

The probability that the U.S. will be hit with a weapons of mass destruction attack at some point is 100 percent, Dr. Vahid Majidi, the FBI’s assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, tells Newsmax. 

Such an attack could be launched by foreign terrorists, lone wolves who are terrorists, or even by criminal elements, Majidi says. It would most likely employ chemical, biological, or radiological weapons rather than a nuclear device.

As it is, Majidi says, American intelligence picks up hundreds of reports each year of foreign terrorists obtaining WMD. When American forces invaded Afghanistan, they found that al-Qaida was working on Read more…