South Korea just launched itself into a very exclusive club. Here’s why its new sub-launched missile sets it apart.

South Korean navy submarine surfacing
A South Korean Navy’s Type 209-class submarine surfaces during the international fleet review near Busan, October 7, 2008.

  • On September 15, a South Korean submarine successfully test-launched a domestically built ballistic missile.
  • That test puts South Korea into the club of now eight countries with SLBM capability and makes it the only member without nuclear weapons.
  • It may also open a new phase in South Korea’s arms race with North Korea.

On September 15, the South Korean navy made history when it successfully launched its own domestically built submarine-launched ballistic missile from its first Dosan Ahn Changho-class submarine.

With that test, South Korea joins the US, Russia, China, Britain, France, India, and North Korea in the club of nations with SLBM capability, becoming the only member that doesn’t possess nuclear weapons.

The new capability is yet another attained by South Korea’s increasingly modern and sophisticated military, and it is only the latest milestone for the country’s rapidly developing domestic defense industry.

It may also represent a new phase in South Korea’s arms race with North Korea, which has responded with new missile tests of its own.

An exclusive club

South Korean submarine-launched ballistic missile
South Korea’s first underwater-launched ballistic missile is test-fired from a sub in South Korean waters, September 15, 2021.

The September 15 test, which President Moon Jae-in attended, was actually the third and final one of South Korea’s SLBM program.

The first test, conducted in July, involved firing an SLBM from a submerged barge. It was followed two months later by a second “cold launch” test from the Dosan Ahn Changho, a diesel-electric sub commissioned in August.

The missiles in all tests were Hyunmoo-4-4s, a variant of the Hyunmoo-2B designed to be fired from submarines. The Hyunmoo-2B has a maximum range of 800 km, though the missile used in the third test reportedly only flew 400 km.

With the Biden and Moon administrations agreeing to lift restrictions on the range of South Korean missiles in May, South Korea’s navy will likely field SLBMs with longer ranges in the future.

South Korea’s government has argued that it is actually the seventh country to achieve SLBM capability, as North Korea hasn’t clearly demonstrated that its active or under-development ballistic-missile subs are actually capable of launching any of its much-touted Pukguksong series of SLBMs.

Second-strike capability

A missile is seen launched during a drill of the Railway Mobile Missile Regiment in North Korea
A missile is seen launched during a drill by North Korea’s Railway Mobile Missile Regiment in September 2021.

South Korea’s military is already considered superior to that of the North, but North Korea’s growing nuclear arsenal, currently estimated to be between 67 and 116 warheads, could level the playing field in a conflict.

South Korea has invested heavily in modern, high-end military hardware, part of an effort to compensate for demographic shifts that will likely shrink the overall size of its military.

But that hardware – such as fighter jets and warships – are often in fixed locations that are known to North Korea. South Korea’s missile batteries and other ground assets are also at risk of discovery by North Korean spies.

As a result, there is a huge risk that South Korea’s most important military equipment could be destroyed in a preemptive nuclear attack by North Korea.

“A fundamental part of [North Korea’s] doctrine is surprise,” Bruce Bennett, a senior defense analyst at the RAND Corporation, told Insider. “If they are going to try and get that surprise, South Korea may get very little warning.”

To better defend against such an attack, Dosan Ahn Changho-class subs, originally envisioned as cruise-missile submarines, were redesigned to carry six SLBMs. A ballistic missile could reach targets deep inside North Korea in minutes, while a cruise missile, which flies closer to the ground, could take as long as an hour depending on where it’s launched.

“If they’ve got to preempt the North Korean preemption, they’ve got to have a ballistic missile,” Bennett said.

Dosan Ahn Changho-class subs can also stay underwater for extended periods, giving South Korea a nearly guaranteed way to strike back if attacked.

“You can’t follow the submarines,” Bennett said. “It’s a secure second-strike force.”

‘A hedge against the future’

North Korea missile launch
An underwater-launched missile emerges off the North Korean coastal town of Wonsan, October 2, 2019.

Predictably, North Korea has not taken kindly to South Korea’s SLBM development.

On September 11 and 12, it conducted a series of long-range missile tests – its first in six months – with new cruise missiles that flew 1,500 km, the maximum range of South Korea’s cruise missiles.

Just hours before the scheduled launch of South Korea’s SLBM, North Korea launched two ballistic missiles from train cars in the country’s mountains. The missiles traveled 800 km before crashing into the into the waters of Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

Pyongyang has tried to minimize South Korea’s SLBM test. North Korean state media has questioned its authenticity and claimed the missile “will not be effective in war” and has “no strategic or tactical value.”

On September 15, after Moon called South Korea’s missile capabilities a “sure deterrence” against North Korean attacks, Kim Jong Un’s sister responded by threatening the “complete destruction” of bilateral relations, describing Moon’s comments as “slander and detraction.”

Finally, at the end of September, North Korea launched the Hwasong-8, which it called a hypersonic missile, and followed it a day later with a test of a new surface-to-air missile.

North Korea Hwasong-8 hypersonic missile
A Hwasong-8 hypersonic missile is test-fired by North Korea,September 29, 2021.

North Korea’s missile tests may be an attempt to demonstrate parity with South Korea’s missile capabilities, while state media may have downplayed the SLBM test in an attempt to distract from North Korea’s lack of progress on its own ballistic-missile subs.

South Korea’s military said the Hwasong-8 appears to be early in development with “considerable time” needed before it could be deployed. But North Korea’s growing nuclear arsenal coupled with the threat of hypersonic weapons, which are virtually impossible to intercept because of their speed and maneuverability, have only increased tensions.

Some South Korean officials have even called for again allowing US forces to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea or for developing its own nuclear weapons.

If Seoul did develop its own nuclear weapons, Dosan Ahn Changho-class subs and the Hyunmoo-4-4 missiles would already be able to carry the warheads.

“If you’re going to build your own nuclear weapons, what a great idea to have this submarine ready, to have the missile ready, and only have to build the nuclear warhead and put it on a missile and be set to go,” Bennett said. “It’s a hedge against the future.”

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Japan is converting its 2 biggest warships into aircraft carriers, and US Marines are helping it train to use them

Marine Corps F-35B lands on Japanese ship Izumo
A US Marine Corps F-35B lands aboard Japanese light aircraft carrier Izumo, October 3, 2021.

  • This month, US Marine Corps F-35Bs landed on and took off aboard Japanese warship Izumo.
  • It was the first time a fixed-wing aircraft has operated from a Japanese aircraft carrier in 75 years.
  • The milestone reflects Japan’s growing focus on countering China and its close work with allies to do so.

As China increases the size and capability of its military, Japan has responded by adapting its Self-Defense Force to meet what it sees as a growing threat.

Japan has created its first amphibious military unit since World War II and launched a new class of high-tech frigates, and it’s restructuring its tank force to be lighter and more mobile and building up its missile capabilities.

Perhaps the most eye-opening move, though, is the conversion of its two Izumo-class helicopter carriers into dedicated aircraft carriers.

On Sunday, two US Marine Corps F-35Bs landed on and took off from the deck of the Izumo, the lead ship of the class – the first time a fixed-wing aircraft has operated from a Japanese carrier in 75 years.

The test is just the first step toward Japan getting its first carriers since World War II.

Early adapter

Japanese aircraft carrier Hosho
Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft carrier Hosho conducts tests in Tokyo Bay in December 1922.

Japan has a long history with flattops, commissioning its first, Hōshō, in 1922.

Hōshō was the world’s first purpose-built carrier to enter service, beating HMS Hermes, which the British Royal Navy began constructing almost three years earlier.

Japan was one of the first countries to use carriers effectively. Their employment against China in the 1930s gave the Japanese considerable experience compared to their Western counterparts and led to better designs for Japanese carriers and carrier aircraft as well as high training standards.

By 1941, some of Japan’s carriers were widely considered to be the best in the world. The Japanese navy used coordinated formations of multiple carriers, which showed their strength at Pearl Harbor and then helped Japan dominate the Pacific for the first six months of the war.

But while Japan started the war with one of the best carrier forces in service, it couldn’t match the industrial might of the US, which built newer carriers and warships far more quickly and in much higher numbers.

By the end of the war, all the carriers Japan had in service had been sunk or damaged, and it lacked the manpower or resources to finish building the ones it had under construction.

Aircraft-carrying warships

Japan Maritime Self Defense Force ship JS Haruna
Japan Maritime Self Defense Force ship JS Haruna in Pearl Harbor, June 26, 2008.

After the war, Japan adopted a pacifist constitution. As a result, the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) never fielded carriers because of their traditionally offensive nature.

By the 1960s, however, the JMSDF had grown worried about the threat from increasingly sophisticated Soviet submarines and wanted ships capable of carrying helicopters for anti-submarine-warfare (ASW) operations.

The first of these ships were the two Haruna-class destroyers Haruna and Hiei. Commissioned in 1973 and 1974, respectively, they each had a large central hangar that carried three SH-3 Sea King and later SH-60K helicopters, and flew from a flight deck on the aft part of the ship.

In addition to the helicopters, the destroyers were armed with two Mk. 42 5-inch guns, two Phalanx close-in weapon systems, a single eight-barreled Sea Sparrow SAM launcher, an ASROC launcher with eight barrels, and two triple torpedo tubes.

Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer Ise
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Hyūga-class helicopter destroyer Ise departs Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, July 7, 2014..

The Haruna-class was followed by the Shirane-class destroyers, Shirane and Kurama, which were commissioned in 1980 and 1981, respectively, and were similarly armed.

In 1998, the JMSDF commissioned the first of three Ōsumi-class tank landing ships. The Ōsumis have a flattop deck and can carry multiple helicopters and amphibious vehicles. While similar in appearance to amphibious assault ships, they are used primarily for transportation duties.

In 2009, the JMSDF commissioned the helicopter destroyer Hyūga, the first of its class. It has a 646-foot flattop deck and can carry up to 11 helicopters, mainly MCH-101s and SH-60Ks. It’s armed with 16 Mk 41 vertical launch system cells, two Phalanx close-in weapon systems, and two triple torpedo tubes.

A second Hyūga-class vessel, Ise, was commissioned in 2011. Both ships are tasked primarily with ASW missions, and are classified as “escort ships” by the JMSDF.

Japan’s biggest ships

FILE PHOTO: File picture of Japanese helicopter carrier Kaga taking part in a joint naval drill with Japanese destroyer Inazuma and British frigate HMS Argyll (not in the picture) in the Indian Ocean, September 26, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo
Japanese helicopter carrier Kaga during a naval drill in the Indian Ocean, September 26, 2018.

Hyūga and Ise were the JMSDF’s largest ships until Izumo, which was launched in 2013 and commissioned in 2015.

Izumo and its sister-ship, Kaga, are both 813 feet long, and, like the Hyūgas, were helicopter-carriers intended for ASW operations.

However, in 2018, after years of speculation, the Japanese government confirmed that it would convert the Izumo-class ships into aircraft carriers and that it would buy 42 F-35Bs with short-takeoff and vertical-landing capability.

It’s not clear how many aircraft each ship can deploy with, but the conversion may allow them to carry well over a dozen helicopters and fighter jets.

JS Izumo in Japan
JS Izumo at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in Japan, September 30, 2021.

The first phase of modification for Izumo began in 2020 and was completed in July. The ship now has a distinctive yellow line similar to that on the US Navy’s America-class amphibious assault ships. Izumo’s deck was also given heat-resistant coating.

The second phase of modification is planned to start around early 2025 and will involve changing the bow from its current trapezoidal shape to one that is rectangular, as well as changes to the ship’s interior.

Kaga is planned to begin its first phase of modification around early 2022, and the work is expected to take 14 months.

Japan hopes to acquire its first 18 F-35Bs in 2023 or early 2024. They will be flown by Japan’s air force and be based at Nyutabaru Air Base in Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s four largest islands. The jets will embark on the carriers only in select situations.

More aircraft, more options

Marine Corps F-35B lands on Japanese ship Izumo
A US Marine Corps F-35B conducts a vertical landing aboard Izumo off the coast of Japan, October 3, 2021.

The decision to convert the ships into carriers was prompted by China. Beijing has adopted an aggressive foreign policy, particularly in dealing with territorial disputes, that has alarmed many of its neighbors.

In 2018, Japan accused China of engaging in “unilateral, coercive attempts to alter the status quo based on its own assertions that are incompatible with existing international order.”

Particularly worrying for Japan are China’s actions around the Senkaku Islands, a group of uninhabited islands north of Taiwan that are administered by Japan but claimed by China as the Diaoyu Islands.

China’s navy, which is the largest in the world and is still growing, includes two aircraft carriers with a third on the way. It also has one Type 075 amphibious assault ship in service and two more in the water. China’s air force and naval aircraft give it the largest aviation force in the region, according to the Pentagon.

In the face of China’s growing air and naval fleets, the new carriers will enable Japan to bring its own aircraft to bear from multiple directions and will allow Japanese, US, and maybe even European F-35Bs to operate from each other’s ships.

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US Marines and special operators have been quietly training troops in Taiwan amid concerns about China, report says

Taiwanese soldiers holding grenade launchers and machine guns, during an operation as part of the 37th edition of the HanKuang military exercise, in Tainan, Taiwan, 14 September 2021
Taiwanese soldiers holding grenade launchers and machine guns, during an operation as part of the 37th edition of the HanKuang military exercise, in Tainan, Taiwan, 14 September 2021.

  • A small contingent of US troops has been quietly training Taiwan’s military amid concerns about China, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • The US personnel in Taiwan reportedly include Marines and special operators.
  • The Pentagon did not comment on the news, but said US support for Taiwan is aligned against threats posed by China.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A small force of US Marines and special operators have been secretly training troops in Taiwan on a rotational basis for at least a year amid concerns about China, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing US officials.

The force reportedly includes about two dozen special operators and support troops who are working with ground force units and an unspecified number of Marines working with Taiwan’s maritime units on small-boat operations.

The Department of Defense neither confirmed nor denied the report, declining to comment on specific operations, engagements, or training.

Pentagon spokesman John Supple said in an emailed statement though that “our support for and defense relationship with Taiwan remains aligned against the current threat posed by the People’s Republic of China,” which the US has urged to “honor its commitment to the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait differences.”

China considers Taiwan a national interest and inseparable part of its sovereign territory and has not renounced the use of force as an option for bringing the democratic self-ruled island under its control.

“The PRC has stepped up efforts to intimidate and pressure Taiwan and other allies and partners, including increasing military activities conducted in the vicinity of Taiwan, East China Sea, and South China Sea, which we believe are destabilizing and increase the risk of miscalculation,” Supple said.

In a period of just four days starting last Friday, the Chinese military flew nearly 150 military aircraft, including fighters and bombers, into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, pushing Taiwan to scramble patrol aircraft, issue radio warnings, and track the Chinese aircraft with air defense systems.

A security expert told Insider this week that Chinese military flights near Taiwan, which occur almost daily, put a strain on Taiwan’s limited defense capabilities.

Taiwan’s defense minister Chiu Kuo-cheng warned Wednesday that China would likely be able to launch a “full-scale” invasion of Taiwan by 2025.

“We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said earlier this week. “We have an abiding interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. That’s why we’ll continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability.”

The US has traditionally supported Taiwan’s efforts to bolster its defenses through arms sales, which are consistently condemned by Beijing. Other options have been suggested though.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict Christopher Maier told Congress in May that the US “should be considering strongly” strengthening Taiwan’s irregular warfare capabilities, telling lawmakers during his confirmation hearing that special operators could help Taiwan in this area, reported at the time. He said nothing of forces already deployed there.

China has not officially commented on The Wall Street Journal report, though it has repeatedly stated that “China will take all necessary steps to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

There have previously been reports of US military personnel in Taiwan training forces. Following reports last fall, both Taiwan’s defense ministry and the Pentagon characterized the reporting as “inaccurate.” The Pentagon statement Thursday did not dispute The Wall Street Journal report.

Insider has reached out to US Indo-Pacific command for comment on reports of US military activities in Taiwan but has not received a response.

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The 14 key ways to prepare for before, during, and after a job interview in 2021

Closeup shot of two unrecognisable businesspeople shaking hands in an office
An interview is a multi-step process.

  • It’s obvious that the more prepared you are for an interview, the likelier you are to get the job.
  • There are things you should bear in mind for post-interview too, however.
  • Experts suggest you need to know the difference between listening and active listening.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

While job interviews are a great opportunity to move your life in a different direction, to work for someone new, to get back in the market, or push forward with your career, they can be pretty stressful.

An interview is a multi-step process that begins the moment you send a resume, ending only when you say goodbye to your interviewer.

Successful interviewing entails thorough preparation, mastering your own body language, and controlling your emotions so everything goes smoothly.

These are some of the most important points to keep in mind before, during, and after job interviews, as well as the most commonly asked questions, and how to communicate with the recruiter in an effective and convincing way.

The first thing you need to do is ensure you bring a physical copy of your updated resume, that you prepare an excellent cover letter, and that you review all the following key points.

1. Make sure you know what the job entails

If you’ve sent out a lot of resumes, you should make sure you’ve analyzed the job description.

Write down the reasons why you are interested in the position, memorize what the company is looking for in the candidate and write a list of your qualities, skills, strengths, and weaknesses.

Above all, focus on the roles you have already performed in similar positions or on the virtues that make you the ideal person for the vacancy.

During the interview, you should link your skills with the requirements of the position.

2. Gather as much information as you can

Review the company’s website, browse its blog, and social media – especially the most corporate ones, like Twitter or LinkedIn.

Take a look at the news, main products, or services, organization chart, image, corporate culture or philosophy.

This helps you show that you’re prepared and you’ve done your homework.

3. Rehearse the questions

Doing mock interviews with a friend or family member, practicing in front of the mirror, and doing trial and error tests will calm you down and give you more self-confidence, help to reduce your anxiety before the interview, and to answer more fluently.

4. Practice body language

The mirror is your greatest ally when learning to control your body language.

Upright posture, facial expressions, eye contact, or hand movements are all fundamental.

Try to control your nervous tics, don’t play with objects or get distracted, show empathy and self-control, and try not to avoid the recruiter’s gaze.

Never keep your arms crossed or your posture slouched.

A meta-analysis, which compiled the results of about 50 different studies, suggests that the five best body language gestures to make a good impression are the following: smiling, maintaining eye contact, laughing, limited physical closeness, and subtle imitation of the other person’s gestures.

5. Prepare your outfit

You should have your clothes ready the night before.

Choose a discreet, comfortable, clean, and sharp look depending on the features of the company.

A bank is not the same as a marketing startup, for example.

In any case, you should at least try to convey a positive image and, depending on the role, choose a more casual or more formal look.

6. Write down the address

Make sure to jot down the address and arrive 10 or 15 minutes early in case anything happens.

7. Introduce yourself appropriately

During the interview, pay attention to body language, maintain eye contact and a friendly and approachable tone, and be polite but without being distant or coming across as overbearing.

You need to try to create a positive first impression, sit upright without slouching, show that you’re listening, and display enthusiasm and interest at all times.

8. Actively listen during the interview

It’s important to be dynamic and interactive in a job interview, so you shouldn’t t be afraid to put questions to your interviewer.

You should try to make your interest in being an active part of the company clear.

If you get stuck at any point, simply take a deep breath and pick up the conversation where you left off.

9. Be natural

Put your best communication skills into practice, without sounding automatic or robotic.

Don’t be afraid to explain the most interesting parts of your resume in detail, and try to connect with your interviewer.

10. Accept a drink

You should also try to accept a glass of water if offered.

11. Say a proper goodbye

Once you’ve ended the interview, you should thank the interviewer for their interest and the opportunity.

Be polite, ask when and how you will have results of the job selection process and if you have the opportunity, review and emphasize the reasons why you would give your best and be delighted to accept the position offered by the company.

12. Thank your interviewer

You can thank your interviewer for their interest by sending a thank you email a few days later.

It’s generally not recommended to openly ask about the salary in a job interview, however.

Take the opportunity to express your excitement about being hired and your eagerness to start working. If you’re involved in several employment processes, you can use a template and customize it according to the application.

13. Follow up a few days later

When a week or a few days have passed, you should pro-actively get back in touch with the company to express your interest in knowing the results of the process.

You could also use a template for this.

14. Keep your head up

If you don’t get the job, keep updating your resume, looking for suitable offers, and scouring portals in search of offers that match your profile.

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China sent 52 warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense zone in its largest show of force yet

In this undated file photo released by the Taiwan Ministry of Defense, a Chinese PLA J-16 fighter jet flies in an undisclosed location
In this undated photo released by the Taiwan Ministry of Defense, a Chinese PLA J-16 fighter jet flies in an undisclosed location.

  • China sent a record-breaking force of military aircraft into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone Monday.
  • In a display of military might, China sent 52 military aircraft flying past Taiwan.
  • Taiwan’s military says it scrambled patrol aircraft, issued radio warnings, and monitored the situation via air defense units.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In a massive show of force following a US warning about Chinese military activity near Taiwan, China sent 52 warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone on Monday, forcing the self-ruled island to scramble patrol aircraft in response, according to the Republic of China Air Force.

The Chinese military aircraft group, the largest China has sent since Taiwan’s defense ministry began keeping records last year, included 34 J-16 fighter jets, two Su-30 fighters, two Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft, two KJ-500 early warning aircraft, and 12 H-6 bombers.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force aircraft entered the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ but did not enter Taiwan’s territorial airspace.

Patrol aircraft were dispatched to respond to the Chinese military aircraft group, which was monitored by air defense missile units. Radio warnings were issued to the intruding planes.

China, which considers Taiwan an inseparable part of its territory, a critical national interest, and an important sovereignty issue, has never renounced force as a tool for reunification and routinely flies military aircraft near Taiwan, but sorties have traditionally been much smaller, with larger displays of Chinese military might occurring less frequently.

Until last week, the largest recorded fly-by was 28 Chinese aircraft, but on Friday, as China celebrated the founding of the People’s Republic of China under the authority of the Chinese Community Party, the country flew a record-breaking 38 aircraft through Taiwan’s ADIZ in two waves.

The PRC was founded on Oct. 1, 1949 following the Communist defeat of the Nationalists, who fled the mainland to Taiwan. Though hostilities ended decades ago, a formal peace treaty officially ending the civil war was never signed.

On Saturday, China broke the record from the day before, sending 39 military aircraft in two waves into the zone.

Monday’s activities involved a single wave of Chinese military aircraft significantly larger than any seen previously.

This display of Chinese military power comes just one day after the US Department of State issued a statement on Chinese military activities near Taiwan. In the latest four days, China has sent nearly 150 aircraft into Taiwan’s air defense zone.

“The United States is very concerned by the People’s Republic of China’s provocative military activity near Taiwan, which is destabilizing, risks miscalculations, and undermines regional peace and stability,” department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.

“We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic, and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan,” he said.

China has not yet commented on the latest activity.

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China is working on a next-generation fighter jet for its growing fleet of aircraft carriers and could unveil it this year

A man looks at a J-31 gyrfalcon stealth fighter plane model designed by Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC)
A man looks at a stealth fighter plane model designed by Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) at an aviation expo.

  • China is working on a next-generation fighter jet for its growing aircraft carrier fleet.
  • The chief designer of the current carrier-based fighter said this week the new jet could be revealed this year.
  • There has long been speculation about what China’s next-generation aircraft will look like.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

China is working on a next-generation carrier-based fighter jet, and the aircraft could be unveiled this year, the chief designer of the country’s current carrier-borne fighter said this week at the Zhuhai airshow, Chinese media reported.

“As soon as it is ready, you will get to see it. Don’t worry. Just wait. It will be here soon,” Sun Cong, the chief designer of the J-15 carrier-based fighter that arms China’s first two carriers, Liaoning and Shandong, told reporters at a press conference Wednesday.

“Probably this year, before the end of the year, you will be able to see it,” he said in a video clip from the briefing posted on state-run broadcaster CCTV’s national defense and military news Weibo channel.

The state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China shared the video on social media with a short note suggesting the aircraft will be unveiled within the year. China’s current carrier fighter is capable, but there has long been speculation that the Chinese navy will adopt a fifth-generation fighter to match the ambition shown in its carrier fleet build-up.

liaoning aircraft carrier
China’s aircraft carrier Liaoning takes part in a military drill of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in the western Pacific Ocean, April 18, 2018.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has two conventional carriers – the Liaoning and Shandong. The first ship was built from the refitted hull of an older Soviet vessel, and the other is essentially a Chinese-built copy of the first, with some upgrades and improvements.

A third carrier, a still unnamed vessel known simply as Type 003, is in the works and is expected to “significantly upgrade China’s naval capabilities,” according to an analysis of satellite imagery of the ship by three experts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“When the Type 003 eventually enters service, it will be a formidable addition to China’s navy and allow it to more effectively project power,”they wrote in June as images showed the carrier coming together at Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai.

The new aircraft carrier will likely feature catapults for launching a wider variety of planes more efficiently and effectively than the ramp system on its predecessors. It will also have a larger flight deck than the other two ships and likely a number of other improvements. This new ship is expected to be China’s first modern aircraft carrier.

The ships are apparently not the only place where China is hoping to make a significant technological leap forward.

Shenyang J-15 'Flying Shark' fighter jets aboard China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning
Shenyang J-15 ‘Flying Shark’ fighter jets aboard China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning

Just as its first two carriers were based off Soviet carrier designs reflected in ships like Russia’s sole carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, the J-15 is said to be based on an incomplete prototype of the Russian Sukhoi Su-33 carrier-based air superiority fighter.

This fourth-generation aircraft is generally considered to be capable, but a fifth-generation fighter, typically defined in part by stealth capabilities, would offer a potential boost to China’s ability to project power with its carrier force.

As Chinese media highlighted this week, there has been a lot of speculation that China’s next carrier-based fighter could be based on the fifth-generation J-31 (FC-31), a stealthy aircraft that first flew in 2012 and was originally marketed for export before the project was overhauled.

Speculation was fueled this past June when images surfaced on social media showing what appeared to be a stealthy fighter jet, one similar in design to the FC-31, on a mock land-based carrier in Wuhan.

The Chinese PLAN is the largest navy in the world, according to the US Department of Defense. But the US Navy, China’s biggest rival in the maritime domain, possesses the more powerful force and the largest carrier force, with 11 nuclear-powered flattops.

The US carrier force consists almost entirely of Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, but the Navy is building a new class of carriers known as the Ford-class, the first of which is expected to deploy next year.

In addition to the work on a new class of aircraft carriers, which are equipped with a suite of new technologies, the US Navy has also begun fielding carrier-based fifth-generation F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters on its ships.

The first US aircraft carrier to deploy with F-35s departed San Diego in August and sailed through the South China Sea this month.

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How a surprise invasion deep behind enemy lines turned the tide in the US’s first Cold War conflict

US Army soldiers land at Inchon during Korea War
US soldiers land at Incheon, September 18, 1950.

  • In September 1950, three months after the North Korean invasion, South Korean troops and their allies held just a corner of the peninsula.
  • Gen. Douglas MacArthur, commander of UN forces in Korea, knew the pressure needed to be relieved.
  • MacArthur devised a bold plan to land thousands of troops at Incheon – 150 miles behind enemy lines.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

On the morning of September 15, 1950, as US and Royal Navy warships fired at targets ashore, US Marines boarded landing craft and assaulted Wolmido, a small fortified island at the mouth of Incheon harbor.

The North Korean invasion three months earlier had devastated the South Korea army, pushing it into a last bastion in the southeastern corner of the peninsula.

The Marines landing at the port of Incheon were part of a 40,000-strong landing force with a critical objective: liberate the city and open a second front.

It was the largest amphibious invasion since D-Day, and like that operation, it would turn the tide of the war. Nothing less than the fate of South Korea was at stake.

Pusan Perimeter

US soldiers fighting on Pusan Perimeter during Korean War
US soldiers fire at North Korean positions along the Pusan Perimeter, September 4, 1950.

The situation in South Korea in September 1950 was perilous. The North Korean offensive launched on June 25 was too strong for South Korea’s military to fight off alone, and Seoul was captured in just three days.

On June 27, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 83, which condemned the North Korean action as a “breach of the peace” and called for the world to assist South Korea. Resolution 84, passed on July 7, designated the US as the leader of military operations to save South Korea.

Ultimately, 21 countries contributed to the US-led effort. It was the Cold War’s first hot conflict.

The first American soldiers arrived in early July, but due to equipment and supply shortages as a result of the downsizing of the US military after World War II, they were unable to reverse North Korea’s gains.

By August, communist forces held all but a 100-mile by 50-mile area around the port city of Busan that was known as the “Pusan Perimeter,” where UN and South Korean forces desperately held off repeated KPA attacks.

‘I shall crush them’

Gen. Douglas MacArthur at Incheon invasion
MacArthur and other officers observe the shelling of Incheon from the USS Mount McKinley, September 15, 1950.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the famed American general in charge of UN forces in Korea, knew the pressure needed to be taken off the Pusan Perimeter.

He devised a bold plan for an amphibious operation to land thousands of troops at Incheon – 150 miles behind enemy lines.

Incheon was on the opposite side of the peninsula and only 20 miles from Seoul, which meant UN forces could land, liberate the capital, and launch a pincer attack that would surround the KPA on two sides.

It would not be easy. Incheon’s tide fell as much as 36 feet twice a day, exposing completely impassable mudflats for 12 hours. Moreover, the city had seawalls as high as 12 feet in some places, and the KPA had turned Wolmido into a fortress.

Troops assaulting in the morning waves would have to wait 12 hours for reinforcements, and those arriving in the evening would have only 30 minutes of daylight to secure their objectives.

“We drew up a list of every natural and geographic handicap – and Inchon had ’em all,” one staff officer wrote later.

“Make up a list of amphibious ‘don’ts,’ and you have an exact description of the Inchon operation” another officer recalled.

MacArthur was undeterred. He knew such an operation would be “sort of helter-skelter” but believed it would be the kind of surprise that could win the war.

“We must act now or we will die,” he told his staff at a planning conference. “We shall land at Inchon, and I shall crush them.”

Operation Chromite

US Marines land at Inchon
First Lt. Baldomero Lopez leads Marines over the seawall in the second assault wave at Incheon, September 15, 1950.

MacArthur’s plan, dubbed “Operation Chromite,” was approved and assigned a massive force of 40,000 men and 230 ships.

UN aircraft and warships bombed and shelled cities, bridges, and railways across Korea in the weeks before the battle, hoping to distract the KPA from the true target.

Air attacks on Incheon began on September 10. On September 13, two days of naval bombardment began, with particular attention to Wolmido, the first target for capture. Despite the intensity of the bombardment, three destroyers were damaged by return fire from coastal artillery.

On September 15, the first landing craft arrived at Wolmido. With support from 10 tanks, the Marines were able to quickly take the island with only 17 wounded.

They waited 12 hours before the second wave arrived, which landed Marines at beaches north and south of Incheon. As the Marines pushed into the city, they were constantly supported by fire from cruisers, destroyers, and aircraft carriers.

The Marines were able to secure the harbor by September 16. There were a few pockets of heavy resistance during the initial landings but mostly light resistance in the city itself. US troops quickly moved to the surrounding hills, taking Kimpo Airfield on September 18 and turning it into an airbase.

The KPA were completely surprised, and the diversionary tactics added to the confusion. The KPA sent tanks to slow down the Americans, but they were no match for UN forces. By September 19, Incheon was secure.

Three more years

Marines fighting in Seoul during Korean War
US Marines engaged in street fighting during the liberation of Seoul, September 1950.

Operation Chromite was a massive success. With Incheon liberated, UN forces headed to Seoul. It was retaken within two weeks of the landings, despite desperate KPA resistance.

The invasion of Incheon and liberation of Seoul resulted in about 3,500 casualties for UN forces. KPA casualties, meanwhile, were estimated to be roughly 14,000 dead and 7,000 captured.

The KPA was outflanked and soon forced into complete retreat. On September 23, UN forces at Pusan began pushing north to link up with troops at Incheon and Seoul.

Allied airpower, operating from Kimpo, other airfields in South Korea, and Japan, as well as from nearby carriers, continued to attack KPA positions virtually unchallenged.

By the end of September, the remnants of the KPA had retreated back across the 38th Parallel. It was a stunning reversal, but the war was far from over.

MacArthur, buoyed by his victory and determined to push the communists out of Korea, was allowed to advance north of the 38th Parallel.

Worried about the loss of an ally, the Soviets and Chinese increased their support. The Chinese officially joined the war in October, and Soviet fighter pilots began engaging UN aircraft in November.

There would be another three years of bloodshed before the war ended in a stalemate that persists to this day.

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Gen. Milley says he was ‘certain President Trump did not intend on attacking the Chinese’

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and former President Trump.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and former President Donald Trump.

  • Gen. Mark Milley defended a series of calls he made to his Chinese counterpart during the Trump administration.
  • “I am certain that President Trump did not intend on attacking the Chinese,” Milley said.
  • The calls were originally reported in a new book by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In his opening testimony before the Senate Armed Service Committee on Tuesday, Gen. Mark Milley – chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – defended his decisions to call his Chinese counterpart twice during the final months of the Trump administration.

“I know, I am certain, that President Trump did not intend on attacking the Chinese,” Milley said emphatically, explaining that the calls to the Chinese were generated by “concerning intelligence” that China believed an attack was imminent.

Milley said the calls were made to assure China that the US had no plans to attack it to try to reassure worried Chinese leaders. China has one of the world’s largest militaries and like the US is armed with nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Milley also addressed his call with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on January 8, noting the speaker made numerous personal references about the then-President during the call. “I am not qualified to determine the mental health of the President of the United States,” Milley says he told Pelosi.

The remarks came during a hearing on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan as Milley testified alongside Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and General Kenneth McKenzie, commander of US Central Command.

Ahead of the publication of “Peril” by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa earlier this month, reports emerged that Milley made calls to his Chinese counterpart out of fear that Trump might start a war with the country during his final months in office. The former president has falsely said that Milley may be guilty of “treason” for his actions, while some congressional Republicans called for the general to be court martialed.

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Chinese social media users are in an uproar over the letter Evergrande’s chairman sent to employees, calling him ‘delusional’ and accusing him of ‘cheating’ employees out of money

evergrande china
The Evergrande headquarters is seen in Shenzhen, southeastern China on September 14, 2021, as the Chinese property giant said it is facing “unprecedented difficulties” but denied rumours that it is about to go under.

  • The letter Evergrande chairman Xu Jiayin sent to employees has become a trending topic on the country’s Twitter-like platform, Weibo.
  • In the letter, Xu said the real estate developer would soon “walk out of the darkness.”
  • Weibo users called Xu “delusional” and accused him of “cheating” people of their money.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Chinese social media users on the country’s Twitter-like platform, Weibo, are in an uproar over a letter Evergrande chairman Xu Jiayin sent to employees on September 21.

Xu, the head of the beleaguered Chinese real-estate giant, penned the company-wide letter on the Chinese Mid-Autumn festival, calling on his 123,276 employees to unite and work hard in the face of adversity. In the memo, Xu said the company would soon “walk out of the darkness.”

Chinese state-linked financial news outlet National Business Daily posted the letter on Weibo. Within 30 minutes of posting, Evergrande became a trending topic on the social media platform. The Evergrande letter topic thread, which is comparable to a subreddit, raked in more than 100,000 comments.

Evergrande, which is on the verge of collapse, has more than $305 billion in liabilities – more than any other company in the world, Markets Insider reported. Its failure to pay off its debts has prompted tremors across regional and international markets, with some analysts calling it China’s “Lehman Brothers” moment.

Some users called Xu “delusional” for not recognizing the real-estate firm’s immense debt load.

“The letter is complete bullshit. Why don’t you return the cash you borrowed?” wrote a Weibo user called TangRui Yaya in a comment on the letter.

“Pretty interesting coming from a man who cheats people of money and his workers of their salaries,” wrote a Weibo user with the ID Shoudekeliandepangzier, referencing rumors that the company owes tens of thousands of its workers their paychecks. “There’s no reason for him (Xu) to talk so much and give empty explanations.”

According to a recent New York Times report, employees were seen gathering outside Evergrande’s offices in mid-September, demanding their paychecks and bonuses. Evergrande did not respond to the Times’ request for comment.

Several Weibo users also questioned the state of Evergrande’s real-estate business, seeking explanation as to what will happen to Evergrande’s half-built properties now that the company is floundering in debt.

“My aunt bought a unit at one of your properties. I don’t have an answer for her when she asks me what’s going to happen to her apartment. It’s not going to be built, is it?” wrote a Weibo user with the ID TaHuiJingshengBingYuanle in response to Xu’s letter.

Some social media users went as far as to call for Xu’s imprisonment.

“I hope this is Xu Jiayin’s last Mid-Autumn festival as a free man. He has to pay for this chaos he’s caused and all the people who have suffered,” wrote a Weibo user with the ID Xiande Henhaoma.

Evergrande and Xu did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

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Read the full letter the chairman of Evergrande sent to 120,000 employees as analysts say the Chinese real-estate giant is on the brink of collapse

FILE PHOTO: An exterior view of China Evergrande Centre in Hong Kong, China March 26, 2018. Picture taken March 26, 2018.      REUTERS/Bobby Yip
An exterior view of China Evergrande Centre in Hong Kong

  • The chairman of beleaguered Chinese real estate giant Evergrande Xu Jiayin sent a letter to 125,000 employees this week.
  • He encouraged them to unite in the face of adversity and said the company would soon “walk out of the darkness.”
  • The real-estate giant is estimated to be $300 billion in debt.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The chairman of beleaguered Chinese real-estate giant Evergrande, Xu Jiayin, sent a letter to 125,000 employees on September 21, encouraging them to unite in the face of looming corporate troubles.

The real-estate company was once China’s top property developer but is now lurching on the brink of collapse. The Shenzhen-headquartered company has more than $305 billion in liabilities – more than any other company in the world, Markets Insider reported.

To date, Evergrande has developed 876 projects on 293 million square meters of land, per its 2019 annual report, with properties in every Chinese province.

However, after the Central Government in Beijing imposed new rules in January in a bid to control developers’ debt, Evergrande found itself unable to meet its interest payments.

The property developer’s impending collapse could have far-reaching implications, with regional and international markets reacting to what analysts are calling China’s “Lehman Brothers” moment. In response to the Evergrande crisis, the Dow has tanked more than 700 points as of September 20.

Insider obtained a copy of the letter Xu sent to his 123,276 employees via email on September 21. We have translated the letter into English from its original Chinese. Representatives for Xu and Evergrande did not immediately reply to Insider’s requests for comment.

Are you an Evergrande employee with a tip or story to share? Reach out to this reporter at

Read Xu’s letter in full below:

“Dear department leaders and colleagues,

I am sending my sincerest well-wishes to you on the occasion of the Mid-Autumn Festival. May you and your families have a happy holiday, and stay safe and healthy. My sincerest regards to all our employees who are still fighting on the frontlines for our re-opening and resumption of production!

At the moment, our company has encountered an unprecedented and mammoth difficulty. As a whole, our staff has also experienced a challenge they have never seen the likes of. The members of our leadership team have surmounted every difficulty, making a brave stand for their teams, and working night and day. They are the pillars that protect and ensure our company’s stability. Here, I extend my deepest gratitude to all of you. I also thank your families, who have supported you and made silent sacrifices – they have my greatest respect.

I have always been proud of our company’s army of loyal, immensely hardworking staff, who persevere regardless of gains or losses. I firmly believe that Evergrande employees never yield, are never defeated, and only grow stronger in adversity. This is the greatest source of power that we have to overcome all difficulties and win this war.

I further believe that through the collective work of our leadership team and all our employees – if we continue to fight, and persevere through this struggle – we will walk out of the darkness soon.

If we do this, we’ll be able to push toward a complete reopening and fulfill our promise to guarantee that properties reach the hands of our buyers. We will also be able to account to home buyers, investors, our collaborators, and financial institutions, with a solid response – that we are responsible, and can shoulder this burden.

If we are united, we can move mountains! My colleagues, let’s unite and demonstrate courage in the face of a hundred adversities, and a tough, solid spirit. Let us fulfill with all our strength the responsibility we have to our society, and build a better future together!”

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