4 minute readNorth Korean Twitter account and more

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agency is moving towards viewing Islamic militants in the country as a greater threat to the nation than the Indian Army.

‘A recent internal assessment of security by the Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan’s powerful military spy agency, determined that for the first time in 63 years it expects a majority of threats to come from Islamist militants, according to a senior ISI officer.

The assessment, a regular review of national security, allocates a two-thirds likelihood of a major threat to the state coming from militants rather than from India or elsewhere.

It is unclear whether the assessment of the ISI—a powerful group largely staffed by active military officers—is fully endorsed by Pakistan’s military and civilian government. The assessment’s impact on troop positioning and Pakistan’s war against militants remains to be seen.

The assessment reflects the thinking in the mainstream of the ISI. But U.S. officials worry that elements of Pakistan’s military establishment, which they say includes retired ISI officers, continue to lend support to militants that shelter in Pakistan’s tribal regions, an effort these people say is aimed at building influence in Afghanistan once the U.S. pulls out.

A spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs didn’t return calls seeking comment.’

No surprise there.

But the Journal’s Tom Wright thinks that this is not an assessment that is likely to be taken seriously by India.

‘India will want to see action rather than an assessment of risk. India thinks Pakistan has not done enough to crack down on the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks in 2008. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, during an Independence Day speech at the Red Fort Sunday, said more action on that front is a prerequisite to better relations with Pakistan.

Some Indian observers are also wary about whether the ISI’s mainstream, which authored the security assessment, are able to control rogue elements – former ISI and military officers that many in India and the U.S. believe have maintained ties with militants.

“It’s a good development, provided the bulk of the ISI, including retired officers, take a hint,” said Naresh Chandra, chairman of the National Security Advisory Board.’

Arab New says BAE Systems will be setting up a Eurofighter Typhoon assembly line in Saudi Arabia.

‘“We have started training Saudis on Typhoon aircraft assembling at our plant in Warton in order to establish an assembling plant in the Kingdom shortly,” said Guy Griffiths of BAE Systems.’

North Korea is on Twitter. At least their government is, according to an Associated Press report , which says that a government-run website opened a Twitter account last Thursday.

‘The North’s government-run Uriminzokkiri website posted an announcement last week saying it has a Twitter account and a YouTube channel.

The Twitter account, which opened last Thursday under the name uriminzok, which means “our nation” in Korean, has garnered more than 3,000 followers in less than a week.

As of Tuesday, uriminzok tweeted 11 links to Uriminzokkiri reports that threaten “merciless retaliation” against South Korea and the U.S. and call South Korean President Lee Myung-bak’s administration a “prostitute of the U.S.”

The Uriminzokkiri website, which is run by the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland in Pyongyang, is blocked in South Korea, with a government warning against “illegal content” popping up instead.’

For those of us outside South Korea, click here to see the account.

The Iranian nuclear plant Bushehr started running but a report indicates there to have been a fighter aircraft crash near the site, according to the Associated Press.

Haaretz in Israel reports that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have documents relating to the ‘public relations campaign’ initiated by one of the contenders vying to become head of the IDF.

‘The document is said to outline a public relations campaign drawn up by leading candidate GOC Southern Command Yoav Galant, in an effort to boost his chances of succeeding Ashkenazi.’

Also, it seems India has no qualms about buying Zimbabwe’s Blood Diamonds. It seems the Indian envoy to the country is pretty enthusiastic about it. This report from the Israeli Diamond Industry website.

Meanwhile the Pentagon has also submitted its long-overdue report on China’s military to the US Congress, reports the Wall Street Journal. More on that from StratPost in a while.

And here’s a picture of the one of the six Indian Air Force C-130J at the flightline in Marietta, Georgia in the United States, with other C-130
aircraft destined for the US and Canadian Air Forces.

Saurabh Joshi

Saurabh Joshi

Saurabh is a journalist based in New Delhi, India who has worked in print, television as well as internet news media. Besides defense and strategy, his past assignments have ranged from reporting terror strikes to elections. He has studied journalism and law at the University of Delhi. 

So what do you think?