Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Sitrep - 16 Sept, 2015

North Korean state media reports the regime has restarting its nuclear enrichment programme at multiple sites. Other indications suggest a the regime is planning a new satellite launch scheduled perhaps for early October, however US officials are sceptical considering no preparations have been recorded at launch sites.

However, a Chinese think-tank will soon hold a forum with members of the Six-Party talks (US, China, Japan, Russia, and both Koreas) in an effort to restart the failed talks with Pyongyang. North Korea’s nuclear capability both helps and hinders the regime, but the North’s crucial ally – China – is growing weary of its unstable neighbour and may be inspired after the successful Iran nuclear talks.

In the EU, an uncoordinated policy debate about thousands of new refugees and migrants from the Middle East and Central Asia is causing friction in the supranational bloc. Germany briefly introduced border controls earlier this week to stem the flow, leading other central and eastern European countries to enact similar emergency measures.

An EU-wide discussion in Brussels about the crisis over the weekend failed to decide on relocation efforts and immigration controls. However, emergency measures now run the risk of becoming de facto rules, undermining key EU free-movement policies. Germany is showing tentative leadership in this crisis but many EU countries inside the bloc face different demographic and ethnic issues.

The US government was also briefed this week by cyber intelligence agencies about the growing threat of data manipulation and destruction against all manner of corporations. Businesses across the US, and outside, are dealing with espionage, theft and worse from a variety of threat sources.

A leaked report by Edward Snowden also detailed the US government’s updated and bolstered cyber retaliation rules. In it, the US displays increasing comfortability in treating the cyber realm as a military domain. The US has conducted its own cyber destruction campaigns in the past.

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