In­side the Ring

The Washington Times Weekly - - National Security - Bill Gertz

late 1990s, a vi­o­lent sep­a­ratist move­ment was ac­tive in Xin­jiang com­mit­ting acts of ter­ror,” Mr. Wortzel said.

Wang Baodong, a Chi­nese Em­bassy spokesman, had no di­rect com­ment on Gen. Yang’s visit but said en­hanced mil­i­tary ex­changes be­tween the United States and China are mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial and pro­mote peace and sta­bil­ity.

“We be­lieve that un­der the cur­rent com­plex and change­able in­ter­na­tional sit­u­a­tion, China and U.S. share ex­pand­ing com­mon in­ter­ests in han­dling var­i­ous global is­sues, such as chal­leng­ing cli­mate change, al­le­vi­a­tion of nat­u­ral dis­as­ter, coun­tert­er­ror­ism and non­pro­lif­er­a­tion,” he said.

On the Chi­nese mil­i­tary spy­ing cases, Mr. Wang said “al­le­ga­tions of China con­duct­ing es­pi­onage in the U.S. are false and un­help­ful for in­creas­ing mu­tual trust be­tween the two coun­tries.” Coun­cil Res­o­lu­tion 1718,” said the source, who has ac­cess to in­tel­li­gence data. Most of the auto im­ports are Mercedes-Benz sedans, the source said.

Med­i­cal equip­ment pur­chased by the North Korean leader in­cludes ex­pen­sive imag­ing equip­ment, in­clud­ing MRI, CT and Xray ma­chines cost­ing mil­lions of dol­lars. The leader also tried and failed to im­port two am­bu­lance he­li­copters worth an es­ti­mated $12.8 mil­lion.

Mr. Kim also owns a 150-foot yacht with a swim­ming pool and two wa­ter slides and has at least 24 va­ca­tion vil­las through­out North Korea. Mr. Kim con­tracted with an Ital­ian com­pany in March 2008 to build a Euro­peanstyle rose gar­den about 6,000 square feet in size at the one house, the Song­dowan villa in Won­san, the south­east­ern port city.

The North Korean leader also spends lav­ishly on ex­otic food im­ports, in­clud­ing lob­ster, shark’s fin, caviar and tur­tle. He is said to fa­vor Chi­nese melon and Su­danese wa­ter­melon.

“When Kim Jong-il’s birth­day comes near, North Korean diplo­matic mis­sions and trad­ing com­pa­nies get busy ev­ery year pre­par­ing a va­ri­ety of lo­cal spe­cial­ties to present” to him, the source said. “They also im­port tur­tle eggs from In­dia, shark’s liv­ers from An­gola, seal gen­i­tals from South Amer­ica to in­vig­o­rate Kim Jong-il’s sex­ual en­ergy.”

A spokesman at the North Korean mis­sion to the United Na­tions could not be reached for com­ment. with a 25-mile range — twice the range of ear­lier ver­sions.

IDF statis­tics show that since Jan­uary, when rocket and mis­sile strikes from Gaza num­bered more than 300 to­tal at­tacks, the num­ber has de­clined to 19 Kas­sam and mor­tar strikes in Septem­ber. There have been no Grad strikes since Fe­bru­ary.

Col. Lei­bovitch dis­closed to In­side the Ring a Ha­mas map ob­tained by Is­raeli forces in the early stages of the mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion last win­ter. The map shows a neigh­bor­hood that was di­vided into sec­tors and color-coded to in­di­cate the lo­ca­tions of im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vices, bombs and the place­ment of snipers out­side two mosques.

Is­raeli also is de­vel­op­ing a new sys­tem to shoot down short-range rock­ets and mis­siles, called Iron Dome, that is close to be­ing de­ployed, Col. Lei­bovitch said.

By con­trast, the Pales­tinian en­clave of the West Bank has re­turned to rel­a­tive nor­malcy, she said, with a construction boom, large growth in the gross do­mes­tic prod­uct, in­creased tourism, travel and the im­por­ta­tion of cars.

Sui­cide bombers com­ing from the West Bank also have dropped sharply since the erec­tion of the se­cu­rity bar­rier. The last time a bomber was at­tacked was in 2006. As a re­sult, IDF forces have dis­man­tled 170 road­blocks and se­cu­rity check­points in the West Bank, Col. Lei­bovitch said.

“The ma­jor­ity of peo­ple in the West Bank have cho­sen to leave ter­ror­ism be­hind them,” she said. “But in Gaza, rad­i­cal Is­lam is tak­ing a very danger­ous di­rec­tion.”

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