Connect with us


US promises to deploy ‘strategic’ military assets near Korean peninsula



  • As Kabul air strike causes civilian casualties

The US has promised to deploy more “strategic” military assets near the Korean peninsula as tensions rise with North Korea, a senior South Korean security adviser has said. Chung Eui-yong, the head of the National Security Office in Seoul, said the deployment of US hardware could start as early as this year.

“The US has pledged to expand the rotational deployment of its strategic assets near the Korean peninsula,” Chung told the South Korean party leaders, according to the Yonhap news agency. He made the claim after being pressed over whether there was “any crack” in the alliance with the US.

“[The deployment] will begin as early as late this year, and this will help us expand our defence capabilities,” Chung continued.

Chung was not specific about what kind of military hardware the US might be sending. In the South Korean defence debate, US “strategic assets” can refer to anything from visits by aircraft carriers, nuclear-powered submarines, heavy bombs, and even stealth fighters and missile defence systems. The Pentagon had not responded to a request for clarification by Wednesday night.

Talk of a military buildup around the Korean peninsula comes in the wake of a sharp escalation in the war of words between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un last week, culminating in a claim on Monday by the North Korean foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, that Trump had “declared war” with a tweet the day before saying that the regime’s leaders “won’t be around much longer”.

Ri said his country would be justified in shooting down US bombers, even if they were in international airspace. In a show of force on Saturday, US B-1B bombers and fighter escorts flew off the North Korean coast north of the demilitarised zone separating the North and South halves of the peninsula, for the first time this century.

In recent days, North Korea is reported to have beefed up the defences on its east coast by moving planes, fuel and other military supplies.

South Korea is seeking renewed assurance of US defence guarantees as North Korea moves towards the development of a nuclear warhead small enough to put on a missile capable of reaching the US mainland. In the event of a conflict, that would put US cities at risk if Washington intervened on the side of South Korea – raising doubts in Seoul over whether the US administration would ultimately take that risk.

Some politicians in South Korea have called for the redeployment of US tactical nuclear weapons on the peninsula, but until now such calls have been rebuffed by the US.

Adam Mount, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, said: “There are some in South Korea that continue to think of nuclear weapons as being the most important signals of alliance assurance, and because the US is not going to deploy nuclear forces, they have created this euphemism of ‘strategic assets’, which usually means big conventional platforms.”

Kingston Reif, the director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association, said: “Additional displays of ‘strategic assets’ in the region, while reassuring to allies and something agreed to last year, are unlikely to convince North Korea to alter its existing course and in the current flammable environment could be misinterpreted and unintentionally escalate the current tensions, especially in conjunction with Trump’s bellicose rhetoric and threats.”

In the meantime, a US air strike against militants in the Afghan capital Kabul caused civilian casualties after a missile malfunctioned, officials said.

The strike was in support of Afghan troops fighting insurgents who attacked Kabul airport with rockets shortly after US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis arrived on a visit.

It is not clear how many civilians were killed or injured.

The US recently confirmed it would send 3,000 extra troops to Afghanistan.

“Tragically, one of the missiles malfunctioned, causing several casualties,” the Nato mission in Afghanistan, known as Resolute Support, said in a statement.

“Resolute Support deeply regrets the harm to non-combatants. An investigation into the attack and the malfunctioning ammunition has begun.”

The rocket attack on the airport was claimed by both the Taliban, which said they had targeted Gen Mattis’s plane, and their rival, the Islamic State group.

Gen Mattis held talks with Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani about plans to strengthen Afghanistan’s military.

Support from US-led Nato troops would give Afghan forces a “compelling battlefield advantage over anything the Taliban stands to mass against” it, Gen Mattis said.

He said the US would not allow “a merciless enemy to kill its way to power”.

US combat operations against the Taliban officially ended in 2014, but more than 8,000 US special forces remain in the country supporting Afghan troops.

Sixteen years after the US-led invasion, the Afghan government still only controls about 60% of the country.

Guardian with additional report from BBC

Latest News

Governors’ Forum Welcomes LG Autonomy – Gov. AbdulRahman



Governors’ Forum Welcomes LG Autonomy – Gov. AbdulRahman

AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman, Governor of Kwara and Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), said the forum welcomed the Supreme Court ruling granting autonomy to local government areas. They have no options, anyway.

AbdulRahman remarked while addressing State House correspondents after a meeting with President Bola Tinubu on Friday.

He was accompanied by Gov. Hope Uzodimma, Chairman, All Progressives Party (APC) Governors Forum and Dr Bala Mohammed, Chairman, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum.

“Compliance is a given and our Attorney General has applied for the enrollment order, which we’ll study carefully.

“But by and large governors are happy with the devolution of power regarding local government autonomy. It relieves the burden on governors.

“Our people really don’t know how much states expense in bailing out local governments, and that’s the issue there,” he said.

He said in his state Kwara, the government had never tampered with local government funds.

“What the local governments have to do is to manage themselves, especially with the incoming minimum wage, to manage their affairs and make sure salaries are paid, traditional rulers get their five per cent and those are the main issues,” he said.

On states where local government elections are yet to be conducted, he said the forum would meet next Wednesday to look at the issue wholly and then come up with a resolution.

He also said the discussion on minimum wage was ongoing, and that the tripartite committee had met and submitted its report.

“Yes, a movement of figures is the prerogative of the president which he will also transmit to the National Assembly for robust debate before it’s adopted,” said AbdulRahman. 

Continue Reading

Latest News

Kanwan Katsina Lauds Efforts of Successive Katsina Governors, on Ketare



Kanwan Katsina Lauds Efforts of Successive Katsina Governors, on Ketare

… Credits Shehu Yar’ Adua for Government Day Secondary School; Gov. Shema for construction of Gora-Ketare-Kankara and, Ketare-Mashigi-Malumfashi Roads

The Kanwan Katsina District Head of Ketare, Alhaji Usman Bello Kankara has commended successive governments of Katsina State for executing various developmental projects in Ketare District.

Alhaji Usman Bello gave the commendation when he received the leadership of Ketare District Youth Mobilization KDYM in his palace who paid him Sallah’s homage and congratulated him for the successful Sallah Durbar in Katsina.

The Monarch explained that all the modest achievements recorded in his 24 years as District Head of Ketare were made possible with the assistance of the successive Governors of Katsina State.

The Kanwan Katsina explained that the Late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua when he was the Governor of Katsina State in 1999  and was his Teacher at Katsina College of Art and Science and Technology in 1975 was responsible for the construction of the Government Day Secondary School, Ketare; while Governor Ibrahim Shehu Shema who was the Kanwan Katsina School mate at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, constructed Gora-Ketare-Kankara Road and Ketare-Mashigi-Malumfashi Road.

Similarly, Governor Aminu Bello Masari constructed Dayi-Gangule-Gundawa-Wawal Kaza Roads and a comprehensive Primary Healthcare Center in Ketare, in the same vein, the current Katsina State Governor Malam Dikko Umaru Radda in a bid to enhance the security of lives and properties which are his topmost priority establish the Katsina Community Watch Corp where Ketare Youth were engaged in combating bandits and kidnappers.

Alhaji Usman Bello Kankara mni also expressed gratitude to the management of the Community and Social Development  Project CSDP under the leadership of Dikko Mohammed for collaborating with communities of Ketare District to construct all the Community Day Secondary schools.

Therefore, The Kanwan Katsina assured the youth organization that he will not relent in partnering with the Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to bring in the much-needed development in Ketare District.

Earlier in his address, the interim Chairman of the Association Malam Bishir Umar Girbobo said they were at the palace of the Kanwan Katsina District Head of Ketare Alhaji Usman Bello Kankara to pay Sallah homage and to appreciate all the developmental projects and policies initiated by or facilitated by him such in the areas of education, computers training for the Youths ICT, Health, Agriculture,  Road Construction, issuance of National ID Card and INEC Voters’ Cards, among others.

Continue Reading

Latest News

HOAX: NNPP Writes Senate, Debunks Letter To Akpabio Alleging ‘Siege’ By FG On Kano



HOAX: NNPP Writes Senate, Debunks Letter To Akpabio Alleging 'Siege' By FG On Kano

…Calls writer an impersonator who should be arrested!

The New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) says the letter to the Senate, accusing the Federal Government of laying siege on Kano State did not emanate from the party.

This is contained in a statement by the NNPP National Chairman, Dr Agbo Major on Thursday in Abuja.

The party was reacting to a letter written to the Senate, through its President, Godswill Akpabio by Dr Ajuji Ahmed on June 24. 

The letter was titled: Need for NNPP Federal Lawmakers to Make Urgent and Concerted Efforts to End Immediately the Siege on Kano State by Agents of the Federal Government.”

According to Major Agbo, the letter written by Dr Ajuji Ahmed was without the mandate and authorization of the leadership of  NNPP.

“Dr Boniface Aniebonam is the founder of  NNPP, holder of the registration certificate of the party,  chairman,  board of trustees and a life member of the board while  Dr Agbo Major is the national chairman and Comrade Oginni Olaposi Sunday is the National Secretary etc. 

He described Ahmed as an impersonator who should be arrested by the senate. 

“The NNPP stand remains that the Kano Emirate leadership crisis is an internal matter of Kano state indigenes under culture and tradition.

HOAX: NNPP Writes Senate, Debunks Letter To Akpabio Alleging 'Siege' By FG On Kano

“Political party involvement under the circumstances is wrong. The principle of our party remains focused on the peace of the society, development and well-being of the greater numbers of Nigerians.

“That the matter is currently before competent courts of law and jurisdiction and any interference by the National Assembly shall further complicate the situation.

“The avoidable tension generated as a result of the actions of the state government in Kano necessitates the need for vigilance and enhanced security in the state to avoid breakdown of law and order. 

“It is trite for Gov. Abba Kabir Yusuf, Sen  Rabiu Kwankwaso and Elder Buba Galadima to understand that every court order must be obeyed before the complaint. The rules of engagement to vacate orders of the court are very clear and unambiguous”

He said it was, therefore,  necessary for the National Assembly to align with the position that would guarantee the protection of the lives and property of citizens in  Kano state.

” ⁠The NNPP as a registered political party in Nigeria is not interested in engaging in any controversy with the Federal Government and its agencies,  particularly security institutions.

“We should be responsible partners and law-abiding citizens for the peace and development of Nigeria. The letter and any form of representation by the said Ahmed should be disregarded forthwith 

“In an ideal situation,  it shall be the responsibility of the NNPP lawmakers to raise the matter on the floor of the national assembly.

“As we said, the matter is in court and they should go to court, after all, the Kano state governor is in power today via the court.

NNPP  have no role to play because Gov ABBA Yusuf is the governor of Kano state and not the party.”

Major Agbo noted that Elders of Kano state and elites, come together and resolve the internal Chieftaincy crises, then approach the court for consent judgment or be patient with the court for final judgment.

“This is better, civilised and brotherly than the avoidable propaganda and blackmail of the Federal Government and its security institutions carrying on with their statutory duties to maintain peace and order of the society.

“We, therefore,  wish to state that Gov ABBA Yusuf should concentrate on providing quality leadership in Kano and distance himself from all the avoidable tensions in the state. 

“We also appeal to the senate to disregard the illegal and inappropriate letter of the expelled members of the NNPP led by Ahmed.

Continue Reading
ADEBAYO SARUMI: Doyen of Maritime Industry Marks 80th Anniversary, Saturday 

Editor’s Pick