North Koreans Defecting To South
Vol: 2 Issue: 24 Saturday, November 24, 2001
The number of North Korean defectors who have arrived so far to South Korea number 505, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency. Earlier in the week, the Unification Ministry put the number of defectors who had arrived as of November 10 at 493. NIS and other related agencies tally the number of North Korean defectors arriving in the country, but the final numbers are determined by the Unification Ministry. The ministry had predicted that the number of North Korean defectors would surpass 550 by year-end.
North Korean War Games Scheduled
North Korean military forces have begun large-scale winter training exercises that the US will undoubtedly pay close attention to. U.S. officials said North Korean military forces have stepped up readiness since the start of operations in Afghanistan. The movements detected last week included preliminary movements to staging areas by infantry and armor units.
CIA Met With bin Laden In July
According to one of French International Radio’s chief editors, a well-known CIA agent had met with Osama bin Laden in Dubai sometime in July 2001, according to the Iranian newspaper Keyhan published on November 3rd. The editor, Richard Labroyete, said the name of the CIA agent is Larry Mitchell. After the CIA denied the report, Labroyete retorted: “The broadcast of that news actually came after long weeks of investigation and journalistic enquiries and research and went on air after we made sure of our resources and the authenticity of the report.” However, it must be noted that the French report relied heavily on information released by Iran — no friend of the United States or the CIA.
China To Practice Attacking US Carriers
U.S. officials said China s military is set to conduct military exercises later this month that will simulate attacks on U.S. aircraft carriers a key target of the People s Liberation forces since the 1996 standoff over Taiwan. The exercises are to be dubbed Liberation 2 after some of China s largest war games in years conducted earlier this year. The exercise reportedly will be held in two stages. The first stage will include large-scale amphibious landing exercises and simulate attacks on naval and air support forces.The second phase will then involved war games that include attacks on aircraft carriers and the launch of ballistic missiles.
Patriot Act Turns Bankers Into Policemen
The USA Patriot Act was signed into law by President Bush late last month. It will require banks to monitor their customers and report “suspicious transactions” to the Treasury Department. Buried in the more than 300 pages of the new law is a provision that “any person engaged in a trade or business” has to file a government report if a customer spends $10,000 or more in cash. The threshold is cumulative and applies to multiple purchases if they’re somehow related — three $4,000 pieces of furniture, for example, might trigger a filing. President Bush said the new rules were designed to “put an end to financial counterfeiting, smuggling, and money laundering.” It will also put an end to financial privacy.
US Deploys Third FAE Bomb In Afghanistan
The United States has used, for only the third time since the Gulf War, a Fuel Air Explosive device. Called the ‘poor man’s nuke’ an FAE is a 15,000 lb. bomb filled with small wafer-like swabs soaked in gasoline. When the bomb detonates, it incinerates an area equal to 600 yards in all directions. Additionally, an FAE sucks all the oxygen from the area, suffocating anyone not incinerated in the blast. The most recently deployed FAE was detonated in an area south of Kandahar. It was deployed, according to US officials, to serve two purposes; the first was to kill as many troops as possible — the second was to demoralize those troops that survive. Most of the Taliban’s remaining forces are massed in Kandahar. An estimated 15,000 Taliban fighters, including several thousand Arabs, Pakistanis and Chechens linked to al Qaeda.
US Shuts Down Internet To Somalia
The United States has forced internet service providers in Somalia to shut down, alleging they were used to funnel funds to al-Qaeda. Along with denying all internet access to Somalis, the closures have severely restricted international telephone lines and shut down vitally needed money transfer facilities.
Putin Rejects NATO Offer
Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected an offer of associate membership in NATO made by Secretary-General Lord Robertson yesterday. The NATO offer would have made Russia a member of NATO in all but fact, including a measure of veto power over NATO decisions. According to Putin, “Russia is not seeking to enter NATO via a “back door”, adding it had no interest in entering NATO through the front door, either. Putin also said NATO’s expansion eastward makes the Kremlin uncomfortable despite warming ties.