NDAA Critical To Deter Aggression Against American Interests

As Chinese And Russian Aggression Becomes More Apparent Every Day, It Is Imperative To Pass The Annual Defense Authorization Bill To Boost American Defense And Deterrence Capabilities And Strengthen U.S. Alliances


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “The Senate has indeed turned to what will be the 60th annual National Defense Authorization Act. And if you look at world news, it would appear we’ve done so not a moment too soon. After months of threats, President Xi and the Chinese Communist Party finally delivered the punch in the mouth to the city of Hong Kong that they’re calling a ‘national-security law.’ As I and others have warned for months, it tramples all over the freedoms and autonomy that have set Hong Kong apart…. This same week, we received new confirmation that China’s ethnic cleansing campaign against the Uyghur people in Xinjiang includes forced abortions, forced birth control, and state-enforced sterilizations on a systematic scale. All this in addition to the international provocations that China has only stepped up during this pandemic which they helped worsen – against Taiwan, against India, against the Philippines, and so on. And China is not our only adversary occupying the spotlight. Recent days have intensified questions about Russia’s negative role in the Middle East. I have long warned that Russia and other adversaries will exploit any American passivity or retreat from this important region. Whether in Syria or Afghanistan, the question is whether we will stand our ground and exert our influence, or allow Iran, Russia, and terrorists to push us out. Sadly, as the Senate turns to the NDAA, the need to continue making swift progress on our National Defense Strategy is staring us plain in the face. Fortunately, Chairman Inhofe, Ranking Member Reed, and our colleagues on the Armed Services Committee have put forward a bill that rises to the challenge.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 7/01/2020)

SEN. JIM INHOFE (R-OK), Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman: “Last week, I talked a little bit about how we are falling behind China and Russia and how those two countries are now our biggest threats. I think we all know how that happened. It happened in the last 5 years of the Obama administration…. Fortunately, we have a strategy to counter them. It is called the National Defense Strategy…. What we did this year was speed up the implementation. We set America on a course to make sure that we are setting ourselves up for success no matter what threat comes our way. We do that by using this document, the NDS, the National Defense Strategy Commission report. What this says is that we need to create a credible military deterrent that tells Russia and China and anyone else who would do us harm: You just can't win. We are going to win. We will beat you--no matter who you are out there. That is what this NDAA does. It says that we need to invest in the equipment, tools, weapons, resources, and training our troops need to succeed in their mission. We also make sure that they are in the right places and at the right time. That is what the NDAA, which we are considering right now … will do.” (Sen. Inhofe, Congressional Record, S.3640, 6/29/2020)


The Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act Prioritizes Restoring And Enhancing American Advantages Over China And Russia And ‘Establishes The Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI) To Send A Strong Signal To The Chinese Communist Party That America Is Deeply Committed To Defending Our Interests’

“Our supremacy in the seas, in the skies, in space, in cyberspace, and on land must be protected, and as we look to the future of warfare, joint capabilities that ensure the protection of the joint force are essential. The FY21 NDAA ensures the United States fields a force of the optimal size, structure, and strategy, capable of supporting the conflicts envisioned by the [National Defense Strategy]. Unfortunately, in key technologies and capabilities, we’ve fallen behind our near-peer competitors. The FY21 NDAA accelerates innovation so we can compete effectively and regain our comparative advantage over China and Russia.” (“Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act,” U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 6/23/2020)

  • “The FY21 NDAA directs investments and implements policies that will maintain or expand our comparative advantage over China and Russia for key capabilities and technologies…. [The bill e]ncourages the development of our hypersonic weapons, as well as defenses against the hypersonic weapons of our competitors – an area of intense technological competition between the United States, China, and Russia — a key element of the NDS …” (“Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act,” U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 6/23/2020)

“The FY21 NDAA establishes the Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI) to send a strong signal to the Chinese Communist Party that America is deeply committed to defending our interests in the Indo-Pacific. PDI will enhance budgetary transparency and oversight, focus resources on key military capability gaps, reassure U.S. allies and partners, and bolster the credibility of American deterrence in the Indo-Pacific. The bill authorizes $1.4 billion for PDI in FY21, including $188.6 million above the budget request for Indo-Pacific requirements, such as missile defense, enhancing forward posture, and improving interoperability with allies and partners. The bill also authorizes a PDI topline of $5.5 billion for FY22, and directs the Secretary of Defense to create a spend plan for these resources.” (“Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act,” U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 6/23/2020)

“Developing and strengthening mutually beneficial alliances and partnerships is a key tenet of the National Defense Strategy. As such, the NDAA includes numerous provisions to support America’s allies and partners, build new relationships, and ensure our global network is well-positioned to counter existing and emergent threats. The bill supports DOD’s security cooperation efforts to strengthen the capabilities of international partners, particularly in the Middle East, to combat terrorism so the United States can enhance its focus on NDS priorities.” (“Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act,” U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 6/23/2020)

  • “[The FY21 NDAA e]xpresses commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act and supports deepened bilateral ties, [c]ommemorates the 25th anniversary of U.S.-Vietnam diplomatic relations and encourages the U.S. and Vietnam to upgrade their relationship to a strategic partnership … [p]rovides $250 million in security assistance for Ukraine, requires a long-term plan for assistance to Ukraine, and supports NATO designation of Ukraine as an ‘enhanced opportunities partner’ …” (“Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act,” U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, 6/23/2020)


Even During A Global Pandemic, China, Russia, North Korea, And Iran, Among Others, Continue To Aggressively Challenge And Confront The United States And Our Allies And Interests Throughout The World

CHINA: ‘China’s Military Provokes Its Neighbors, But The Message Is For The United States,’ Xi Jinping ‘Has Also Made The Military An Even Greater Priority In The Wake Of The Pandemic’ And It Is Catching Up With The U.S. Military

“In the same week that Chinese and Indian soldiers engaged in a deadly brawl, one of China’s submarines cruised through the waters near Japan, prompting a scramble of aircraft and ships to track its furtive movements. Chinese fighter jets and at least one bomber buzzed Taiwan’s territorial airspace almost daily. With the world distracted by the coronavirus pandemic, China’s military has encroached upon its neighbors’ territories on several fronts throughout the spring and now into summer, flexing its military might in ways that have raised alarms across Asia and in Washington. China’s military assertiveness reflects a growing sense of confidence and capability, but also one of confrontation, particularly with the United States over the pandemic, the fate of Hong Kong and other issues that China considers central to its sovereignty and national pride.” (“China’s Military Provokes Its Neighbors, but the Message Is for the United States,” The New York Times, 6/26/2020)

  • “The increased operational tempo this year follows a military modernization program that began in the 1990s and accelerated under China’s ambitious and authoritarian leader, Xi Jinping. He steadily purged the military’s top ranks of corrupt or insufficiently loyal officers and shifted the focus of the People’s Liberation Army from heavy ground battles to more agile joint operations using air, naval and, increasingly, cyberweapons. Mr. Xi has also made the military an even greater priority in the wake of the pandemic. China’s premier, Li Keqiang, announced last month that the military budget would rise 6.6 percent this year, to nearly $180 billion … even as overall government spending was set to decline because of the global economic slowdown.” (“China’s Military Provokes Its Neighbors, but the Message Is for the United States,” The New York Times, 6/26/2020)

“China’s military is widely thought to remain far behind American armed forces, but it has caught up in some areas, including the expansion of its naval power and the deployment of anti-ship and antiaircraft missiles. By the end of last year, China was believed to have at least 335 warships, more than the United States, which has 285, according to a report last month by the Congressional Research Service in Washington. The report said China now posed ‘a major challenge to the U.S. Navy’s ability to achieve and maintain wartime control of blue-water ocean areas in the Western Pacific — the first such challenge the U.S. Navy has faced since the end of the Cold War.’” (“China’s Military Provokes Its Neighbors, but the Message Is for the United States,” The New York Times, 6/26/2020)

“China launched its military build-up in the mid-1990s with a top priority: keep the United States at bay in any conflict by making the waters off the Chinese coast a death trap. Now, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is preparing to challenge American power further afield. China’s shipyards have launched the PLA Navy’s first two Type 075 amphibious assault ships, which will form the spearhead of an expeditionary force to play a role similar to that of the U.S. Marine Corps. And like the Marines, the new force will be self-contained - able to deploy solo with all its supporting weapons to fight in distant conflicts or demonstrate Chinese military power.” (“China Expands Its Amphibious Forces In Challenge To U.S. Supremacy Beyond Asia,” Reuters, 7/20/2020)

“Over the past two decades, China has deployed an arsenal of missiles and a massive surface and sub-surface fleet to deter potential enemies from sailing in its coastal waters. Now, as part of an accelerated modernization of the PLA since Chinese President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012, these new amphibious ships and the specially trained marines they carry will boost Beijing’s firepower and political influence far from its shores, according to Chinese and Western military analysts.” (“China Expands Its Amphibious Forces In Challenge To U.S. Supremacy Beyond Asia,” Reuters, 7/20/2020)

  • “The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency report said China’s marine force is now organized into seven brigades, each with armor, infantry, artillery and missiles, and is the strongest force of this type among the rival claimants to disputed territories in the South China Sea. China’s marines ‘can simultaneously seize multiple islands in the Spratlys,’ the report said, referring to a contested group of islands and reefs in the South China Sea. They could also rapidly reinforce China’s outposts in the Paracel Islands, another disputed territory in the same waterway…. Amphibious warfare specialists say these marines would also be useful for seizing other disputed territory, including the uninhabited group of isles in the East China Sea that are claimed by both Tokyo and Beijing - known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and the Diaoyu islands in China.” (“China Expands Its Amphibious Forces In Challenge To U.S. Supremacy Beyond Asia,” Reuters, 7/20/2020)
  • “‘We are currently only seeing the tip of the iceberg,’ said Ian Easton, the senior director of the Project 2049 Institute, an Arlington, Virginia-based security research group. ‘Ten years from now, China is almost certainly going to have marine units deployed at locations all over the world. The Chinese Communist Party’s ambitions are global. Its interests are global. It plans to send military units wherever its global strategic interests require.’” (“China Expands Its Amphibious Forces In Challenge To U.S. Supremacy Beyond Asia,” Reuters, 7/20/2020)

‘China Has Stepped Up Its Military Activity Near Taiwan’

“China has stepped up its military activity near Taiwan after the self-governing island’s president, Tsai Ing-wen, won re-election in January by beating a candidate viewed as less hostile to Beijing. One of China’s two aircraft carriers cruised along the eastern coast of Taiwan in April, accompanied by five other warships. Chinese aircraft have repeatedly buzzed Taiwanese airspace in the last week, in what analysts said were tests of the island’s defenses. China plans to hold a military exercise in August that will reportedly simulate the seizure of Taiwan’s Pratas Islands …” (“China’s Military Provokes Its Neighbors, but the Message Is for the United States,” The New York Times, 6/26/2020)

Chinese Forces Have Harassed Ships From Neighboring Countries In The South China Sea And Flown Modernized Bombers On Patrols Of The Region ‘On An Almost Daily Basis’

“China has also expanded its claims to the South China Sea, creating two new administrative districts to govern the islands it controls in the Paracel and Spratly chains and menacing other neighbors. In April, China’s Coast Guard rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat. The same month, a Chinese government research ship stalked an oil vessel in waters Malaysia claims as its own, prompting the United States and Australia to send four warships to monitor the situation. The Philippines lodged a formal diplomatic complaint after a Chinese warship pointed its targeting radar at a Philippine naval vessel. In the East China Sea, the patrol by a Chinese submarine last week was the first detected since 2018, when Japanese warships forced a nuclear attack submarine to surface. It follows rising tensions over Japan’s administration of the Senkaku Islands …” (“China’s Military Provokes Its Neighbors, but the Message Is for the United States,” The New York Times, 6/26/2020)

“It has also stepped up patrols in the skies over the region. Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., commander of the Pacific Air Forces who will soon take over as the Air Force chief of staff, said Wednesday that until recently China had only occasionally flown missions of its H-6 bombers but was doing so now on an almost daily basis. Those bombers, while old, have been revamped and equipped with new missiles that China put on display at the military parade last October commemorating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.” (“China’s Military Provokes Its Neighbors, but the Message Is for the United States,” The New York Times, 6/26/2020)


China’s Crackdown On Hong Kong Has Been Swift And Sweeping

‘China Passes Security Law Giving It Sweeping Powers Over Hong Kong,’ ‘Confirm[ing] The International Community’s Worst Fears’

“China passed a contentious new law for Hong Kong on [June 30th] that would empower the authorities to crack down on opposition to Beijing, risking deeper rifts with Western governments that have warned about the erosion of freedoms in the territory. The law’s swift approval in Beijing signaled the urgency that the Communist Party leader, Xi Jinping, has given to expanding control in Hong Kong after the territory was convulsed by pro-democracy protests last year. Details of the law had not been disclosed as of Tuesday evening but Carrie Lam, the city’s leader, said it would come into effect later in the night.” (“China Passes Security Law Giving It Sweeping Powers Over Hong Kong,” The New York Times, 6/29/2020)

  • “The law underscores Beijing’s resolve to achieve a political sea change in Hong Kong, a former British colony with its own legal system and civil liberties unseen in mainland China. It could be used to stifle protests like those that last year evolved into an increasingly confrontational, and sometimes violent, challenge to Chinese rule. The legislation dealt a blow to Hong Kong’s opposition forces on Tuesday even before it went into effect. Several prominent young activists bowed out of politics, a few groups disbanded, and some businesses distanced themselves from the pro-democracy movement. Opposition politicians quickly criticized the law for its power to silence dissent. ‘It’s meant to suppress and oppress, and to frighten and intimidate Hong Kongers,’ Claudia Mo, a pro-democracy lawmaker, said. ‘And they just might succeed in that.’” (“China Passes Security Law Giving It Sweeping Powers Over Hong Kong,” The New York Times, 6/29/2020)
  • “Passage of the law came amid fears in Hong Kong and abroad that it would be used to curb opposition voices in the Asian financial hub. The U.S. has already begun moves to end special trade terms given to Hong Kong after the former British colony was returned to China in 1997…. Critics say it is the most significant erosion to date of Hong Kong’s British-style rule of law and the high degree of autonomy that Beijing promised Hong Kong would enjoy at least through 2047 under a ‘one country, two systems’ framework…. The law’s passage ‘represents the greatest threat to human rights in the city’s recent history,’ said the head of Amnesty International’s China Team, Joshua Rosenzweig. ‘The speed and secrecy with which China has pushed through this legislation intensifies the fear that Beijing has calculatingly created a weapon of repression to be used against government critics, including people who are merely expressing their views or protesting peacefully,’ Rosenzweig said in a statement.” (“China Approves Contentious Hong Kong National Security Law,” The Associated Press, 6/30/2020)

“The draft law, which runs to 66 articles, confirms the international community’s worst fears about Beijing’s rapid encroachment on Hong Kong, which is supposed to enjoy some autonomy for 50 years under the hand­over agreement signed by Britain and China in 1997…. Similar national security laws in mainland China have been invoked by the state in recent years to sentence labor organizers, peasants resisting land grabs, bloggers and lawyers. In Macao, a Chinese territory adjacent to Hong Kong where similar laws have been in place since 2009, public displays of dissent are extremely rare, and politically sensitive protests, including vigils marking the 1989 massacre of students at Tiananmen Square, are banned.” (“China Presses Ahead With Security Law To Curtail Hong Kong’s Political Freedoms,” The Washington Post, 6/21/2020)

  • “Beijing has gone further than the extradition bill in eroding Hong Kong’s autonomy and dashed hopes of meaningful universal suffrage. Details of a proposed national security law released over the weekend showed that Chinese authorities will have the right to directly prosecute residents for vaguely defined offenses to national security…. While China has said the law is needed to fight terrorism, secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces, Hong Kong activists say the use of similar legislation in the mainland to jail journalists, human-rights lawyers, religious leaders and dissidents suggests they will face the same threat. Eric Lai, vice convener of the Civil Human Rights Front, cited the case of Yu Wensheng, a human-rights lawyer in China sentenced this month to four years in prison for subversion in a secret trial after calling for constitutional reforms. ‘We would have to become like mainland Chinese human rights activists,’ said Lai, whose group organized some of the largest protests in Hong Kong last year. ‘We may face criminal charges for everything we do.’” (“China’s Smothering of Hong Kong Has Democrats Preparing for Jail,” Bloomberg News, 6/21/2020)

“Some 56% of residents oppose the legislation, according to a Reuters/Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute poll released [June 26th].” (“Hong Kong Security Vote ‘Likely’ as Poll Shows Strong Local Opposition,” Bloomberg News, 6/26/2020)

‘Seemingly Overnight, Hong Kong Was Visibly And Viscerally Different,’ With Pro-Democracy Rallies Banned, Books And Signs Removed, And Chinese Intelligence Agents Occupying A Hotel To Enforce The New Law

“In recent days, as China took a victory lap over the law it imposed on the city [June 30th], the defiant masses who once filled Hong Kong’s streets in protest have largely gone quiet. Sticky notes that had plastered the walls of pro-democracy businesses vanished, taken down by owners suddenly fearful of the words scribbled on them. Parents whispered about whether to stop their children from singing a popular protest song, while activists devised coded ways to express now-dangerous ideas. Seemingly overnight, Hong Kong was visibly and viscerally different, its more than seven million people left to navigate what the law would mean to their lives. The territory’s distinct culture of political activism and free speech, at times brazenly directed at China’s ruling Communist Party, appeared to be in peril.” (“Hong Kong, Changed Overnight, Navigates Its New Reality,” The New York Times, 7/05/2020)

  • “Most years, [the anniversary of the hand-off of Hong Kong from Great Britain to China] draws large pro-democracy rallies. But this time, they were banned. Protests were scattered, and the police swept in and arrested hundreds. Ten people, including a 15-year-old girl, were accused of ‘inciting subversion,’ a vaguely defined crime under the new law; some had merely waved flags, bearing slogans that had never been explicitly outlawed…. A Chinese official said Wednesday that the law was meant to hang over would-be troublemakers like the sword of Damocles.” (“Hong Kong, Changed Overnight, Navigates Its New Reality,” The New York Times, 7/05/2020)
  • “Public libraries have removed several books by pro-democracy figures from circulation, amplifying concerns that China’s sweeping national-security law for Hong Kong will be used to restrict political discussion in the city…. [T]he Hong Kong government said a popular protest slogan, ‘Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times,’ could violate the new law, and police have arrested a number of demonstrators carrying signs authorities allege refer to independence for the city. Across the city, businesses aligned with the pro-democracy movement have removed posters and other signs in support of the movement out of fear that their display could be considered illegal.” (“Hong Kong Libraries Pull Books for Review Under China’s Security Law,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/05/2020)

“[At the end of June], the new national-security law was approved by Beijing’s legislature in a fast-tracked process that bypassed local lawmakers. Since then, officials have moved quickly to create the enforcement apparatus: appointing judges and prosecutors; forming a security committee with an adviser from Beijing that resolved to keep its decisions private; and issuing new rules giving local police broad powers to implement the legislation that targets secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign entities.” (“Overnight, a Hong Kong Hotel Is Transformed Into China’s State Security HQ,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/08/2020)

  • “First the construction signs went up, then a flagpole appeared and police officers started to swarm the streets. Within hours, a skyscraper hotel in a cozy neighborhood of bars, apartments and boutiques was transformed into something new: the headquarters of Beijing’s powerful new security agency for the city. Soon after dawn [on July 8th], Chinese and local officials formally inaugurated the Office for Safeguarding National Security, with Chinese state media invited to attend while many local and foreign journalists had to watch the proceedings from afar. The rapid arrival of China’s security agents, handed sweeping powers to start policing the city under Beijing’s new national security law, underscored how quickly this cosmopolitan financial center is changing…. The speed at which the hotel, with a rooftop pool, was transformed into a base for mainland intelligence agents is the latest sign of Beijing’s quickstep approach to enforcing new laws designed to rein in a city that was gripped by mass and sometimes violent antigovernment protests last year.” (“Overnight, a Hong Kong Hotel Is Transformed Into China’s State Security HQ,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/08/2020)


RUSSIA: U.S. Fighters Were Scrambled Six Times In June To Intercept Russian Military Aircraft Intruding Near Alaska And Russian Hackers Are Targeting Organizations Developing Coronavirus Vaccines

“U.S. warplanes intercepted four Russian reconnaissance aircraft near Alaska, marking the sixth such incident this month, U.S. commanders said. The Russian Tu-142's came within 65 nautical miles south of Alaska's Aleutian island chain and ‘loitered’ in the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) for eight hours on Saturday. But they stayed in international airspace and did not enter U.S. or Canadian airspace, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said on Twitter. NORAD posted video of the Russian aircraft, which were intercepted by F-22s.” (“U.S. Jets Intercept Russian Planes Near Alaska For 6th Time This Month,” CBS News, 6/29/2020)

“Russian cyber actors are targeting organizations involved in coronavirus vaccine development, according to a new warning by US, UK and Canadian security officials on Thursday that details activity by a Russian hacking group called APT29 … An advisory published by the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) details activity by the Russian hacking group and explicitly calls out efforts to target US, UK and Canadian vaccine research and development organizations. ‘APT29's campaign of malicious activity is ongoing, predominantly against government, diplomatic, think tank, healthcare and energy targets to steal valuable intellectual property,’ a press release on the advisory said.” (“UK, US And Canada Allege Russian Cyberattacks On Covid-19 Research Centers,” CNN, 7/17/2020)

  • “A notorious hacking team backed by the Russian government has been exploiting a serious flaw in commonly used email software, the National Security Agency (NSA) warned Thursday, issuing a rare advisory that publicly attributed attempts to utilize the software flaw to a nation-state actor. The NSA’s Cybersecurity Directorate said a group of cyber actors known as ‘Sandworm team’ from the GRU, Russia's military intelligence agency, had identified and exploited a vulnerability in the popular email software Exim Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) since at least August 2019.” (“NSA Warns Of New Cyberattacks By Russian Military Hackers,” CBS News, 5/28/2020)


NORTH KOREA: North Korea Has Been Stoking Tensions With South Korea To Capture The Attention Of The U.S., Is Vowing To Boost Its Nuclear Weapons Program, And Has Threatened Military Action Against Seoul

“North Korea has been ramping up tensions with South Korea … but the campaign seems aimed at making a renewed push for sanctions relief by recapturing the attention of a U.S. administration that is distracted by domestic issues. North Korea blew up a joint liaison office on its side of the border [in June], declared an end to dialogue with South Korea and threatened military action…. Analysts say one of Kim’s goals in lashing out at U.S. ally South Korea is to remind Washington of the unresolved issues with North Korea, potentially forcing it to intervene.” (“North Korea's Kim Stokes Tensions With Eye On Distracted Trump,” Reuters, 6/19/2020)

“North Korea’s strategic goal is ‘to build up a more reliable force to cope with the long-term military threats from the U.S.,’ [North Korean foreign minister] Ri Son-gwon said? on Friday?. He ?suggested that the ?North’s ?goal involved ?expanding ?its nuclear? ?weapons program, noting that [Kim Jong-un] ?gave such an instruction during a meeting of his Central Military Commission in May.” (The New York Times, 6/11/2020)

  • “North Korea is now estimated to have up to 40 nuclear warheads, from 30 last year, according to SIPRI, a Stockholm think tank that released estimates this month. South Korea’s Moon [Jae-in] government recently shifted its tone toward the North after the Kim regime threatened to carry out military action against Seoul and dramatically destroyed an inter-Korean liaison office on its territory that had served as the South’s de facto embassy to the North.” (“South Korean President Issues Warning to North Korea,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/25/2020)

“New satellite images obtained by CNN show recent activity at a previously undeclared North Korean facility that researchers suspect is being used to build nuclear warheads. The imagery, captured by Planet Labs and analyzed by experts at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, indicates that the facility, which is in the village of Wollo-ri near the country's capital city of Pyongyang and has not been previously disclosed to the public, is believed to be linked to North Korea's nuclear program and remains active.” (“New Satellite Imagery Shows Activity At Suspected North Korean Nuclear Facility,” CNN, 7/08/2020)


IRAN: Iran Is Drafting A ‘Sweeping Economic And Security Partnership’ With China And Continues To Obstruct Inspections Of Suspected Nuclear Activity As It Increases Its Stockpiles Of Enriched Uranium

“Iran and China have quietly drafted a sweeping economic and security partnership that would clear the way for billions of dollars of Chinese investments in energy and other sectors, undercutting the Trump administration’s efforts to isolate the Iranian government because of its nuclear and military ambitions. The partnership, detailed in an 18-page proposed agreement obtained by The New York Times, would vastly expand Chinese presence in banking, telecommunications, ports, railways and dozens of other projects. In exchange, China would receive a regular — and, according to an Iranian official and an oil trader, heavily discounted — supply of Iranian oil over the next 25 years. The document also describes deepening military cooperation, potentially giving China a foothold in a region that has been a strategic preoccupation of the United States for decades. It calls for joint training and exercises, joint research and weapons development and intelligence sharing — all to fight ‘the lopsided battle with terrorism, drug and human trafficking and cross-border crimes.’ The partnership — first proposed by China’s leader, Xi Jinping, during a visit to Iran in 2016 — was approved by President Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet in June, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said last week.” (“Defying U.S., China and Iran Near Trade and Military Partnership,” The New York Times, 7/11/2020)

“International nuclear inspectors and the United States accused Iran on [June 19th] of hiding suspected nuclear activity, the first time in more than eight years that Tehran has been accused of obstructing inspections, paving the way for a new confrontation with Western powers. The accusation came in a resolution passed by the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations watchdog, after its new director general, Rafael Grossi, reported that Iranian officials had repeatedly blocked inspectors and ‘sanitized’ a site they wanted to visit beginning last July.” (“Iran Is Accused Of Hiding Suspected Nuclear Activity,” The New York Times, 6/19/2020)

“Iran has continued to increase its stockpiles of enriched uranium and remains in violation of its deal with world powers, the United Nations’ atomic watchdog said [June 5th]. The International Atomic Energy Agency reported the finding in a confidential document distributed to member countries and seen by The Associated Press. The agency said that as of May 20, Iran’s total stockpile of low-enriched uranium amounted to 1,571.6 kilograms (1.73 tons), up from 1,020.9 kilograms (1.1 tons) on Feb. 19.” (“UN Agency Says Iran Is Violating All Restrictions Of Nuclear Deal,” The Associated Press, 6/5/2020)



Related Issues: North Korea, Russia, America's Military, Iran, NDAA, China