The US Central Command says it’s in the process of refining its privacy policies after it was reported that a fitness tracking app that maps people’s exercise habits could pose security risks for security forces around the world. Strava, which bills itself as “the social network for athletes” and allows its users to share their running routes, released a newly updated global heatmap last November. But experts and keen observers have recently realized its potential to reveal location patterns of security forces working out at military bases in remote locations.
Following a request from the U.S. military in December to the Japanese government, Japan’s Maritime Self-Defence Force (MSDF) has deployed its ships and seaplanes in waters near the Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the Korean Peninsula in an attempt to thwart North Korea from evading United Nations (UN) sanctions and to keep a close control on foreign ships transferring oil to North Korea. The MSDF has also sent its ships and surveillance seaplanes as far as the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan, for daily patrolling of suspicious ships coming near the Korean peninsula.
The US military flew two Air Force B-1 bombers over the Korean peninsula in a show of force late on Tuesday amid high tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes, South Korea’s military said. The two B-1B Lancer bombers were accompanied by two F-15K fighters from the South Korean military after leaving their base in Guam. The US military said in a separate statement Japanese fighters had also joined the drill, making it the first nighttime combined exercise for the US bombers with fighters from Japan and South Korea. The South Korean military said this was part of a regular exercise to bolster military defences and also to display the alliance between the United States and South Korea. South Korean and US government officials have been raising their guard against more North Korean provocations with the approach of the 72nd anniversary of the founding of North Korea’s ruling party, which fell on Tuesday. US Air Force Major Patrick Applegate said: “Flying and training at night with our allies in a safe, effective manner is an important capability shared between the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea and hones the tactical prowess of each nations’ aviators”. “This is a clear demonstration of our ability to conduct seamless operations with all of our allies anytime, anywhere”, the US release quoted him as saying.