The QUAD – a proposed security grid involving India, US, Australia and Japan may be shelved for now. Admiral Phil Davidson, who heads the US Indo-Pacific Command, said that the QUAD, which was to be developed to counter a rising China looks bleak for now.
The QUAD of India, US, Australia and Japan
The QUAD was initiated in 2007 by PM Shinzo Abe of Japan, with the support of Vice President Dick Cheney of the US, PM John Howard of Australia and Indian PM Manmohan Singh. The dialogue was paralleled by joint military exercises of an unprecedented scale, titled Exercise Malabar. The diplomatic and military arrangement was widely viewed as a response to increased Chinese economic and military power, and the Chinese government responded to the Quadrilateral dialogue by issuing formal diplomatic protests to its members.
Davidson said the issue came up “several times” but Indian navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba “made it quite clear that there wasn’t an immediate potential for a quad.” The announcement comes as a blow, especially as the US said on Thursday that it appears a North Korean nuclear testing site is operational once again.
On Wednesday, foreign experts and a South Korean lawmaker who was briefed by Seoul’s spy service said North Korea was restoring facilities at a long-range rocket launch site that it dismantled last year as part of disarmament steps. Satellite photos taken on various dates showed new activity at the Tongchang-ri launch site, northwest of Pyongyang.
North Korean long-range rocket launch site appears to have resumed “normal operation status” as work to rebuild the launch pad has proceeded rapidly, US experts said Thursday.
“Given that construction, plus activity at other areas of the site, Sohae (Satellite Launching Station) appears to have returned to normal operational status,” the specialized website 38 North said.
The website and the Center for Strategic and International Studies tracked activity at the site — which began before last week’s aborted summit in Hanoi between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un — using commercial satellite imagery.
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