APSM Sep/Oct – Editor’s Desk

“We express our deep concern at test of a “thermonuclear explosive device for an intercontinental ballistic missile” announced by the DPRK on September 3….We cannot but regret the fact the DPRK leadership is creating grave threats to peace and security on the Korean Peninsular and the whole region by its actions”

– Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, 3 September, 2017

In firing, what is believed to be a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) over the northern islands of Japan, and then detonating a thermonuclear device, causing a seismic reading of M6.3, North Korea is clearly intent on continuing its provocation against military exercises by US, South Korea and Japan. South Korea has announced deployment of additional THAAD launchers across the country and has shifted military posture to allow for an immediate switch to offensive operations in the event of North Korean hostilities. Australia’s Prime Minister acknowledged “Right now the risk of war on the Korean peninsula is greater than it has been in more than 60 years”.

Alongside this tectonic threat of nuclear war, the Asia Pacific region is showing increasing signs of destabilisation with significant conflict in Philippines, Myanmar and border tensions arising between India and China. Monsoon flooding in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, also killed over 1,200 people, though largely silenced in Western media by Hurricane Harvey which killed over 50.

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission released an unclassified report Organised Crime in Australia 2017, which (again) verified an unrelenting and increasingly transnational organised crime profile in Australia. The report confirmed that physical geographic boundaries no longer contain criminal networks. The report also concluded, “the two key enabling technologies currently used to facilitate serious and organised crime are virtual currencies and encryption. Virtual currencies, such as bitcoin, are increasingly being used by serious and organised crime groups as they are a form of currency that can be sold anonymously online, without reliance on a central bank or financial institution to facilitate transactions. Darknet marketplaces such as Silk Road 3.0 and Valhalla Marketplace are used to facilitate the sale and trafficking of illicit drugs, firearms, precursor chemicals and child exploitation materials. Australia’s use of darknet marketplaces is expected to grow, given the increasing popularity of online trading and the perceived anonymity such marketplaces provide. Increased availability and ongoing advancement of technology will continue to provide criminals with a diverse range of resources to conduct criminal activity and impede law enforcement investigations.”…Click HERE to read full article.