The estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been killed in Malaysia, a South Korean government source told Reuters on Tuesday. Kim Jong Nam, the older half brother of the North Korean leader, was known to be based mostly outside of his home country. Police in Malaysia told Reuters on Tuesday an unidentified North Korean man had died en route to hospital from Kuala Lumpur airport on Monday. Abdul Aziz Ali, police chief for the Sepang district, said the man’s identity had not been verified.
In the early morning of yesterday, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has launched a ballistic missile, another violation of multiple UN Security Council Resolutions, including Resolution 2321 adopted in November 2016.
“The DPRK’s repeated disregard of its international obligations is provocative and unacceptable. The DPRK must halt all launches using ballistic missile technology and abandon once and for all its ballistic missile programmes in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner, as required by the UN Security Council. We call on the DPRK not to raise tensions further and to re-engage in a credible and meaningful dialogue with the international community, in particular the Six-Party Talks“. That’s what the European Union External Action Service (EEAS) Spokeperson said, from Brussels.
The High Representative/Vice-President, Federica Mogherini will speak in the coming days to the Foreign Ministers of international partners to further discuss the international response.
DKPR’s behaviour continues to worry all the international community. Of course, Brussels seems to be so far from Pyongyang, but is a common opinion thet the nuclear tests and, generally speaking, the nuclear proliferation in the northern part of the Korean peninsula constitues a real danger for all countries.
Of course, the game hides some differents and complicated balances: first of all, the role of China, which in facts is the only trade partner for the DKPR. Also Putin’s Russia aims to keep the remote control of the region and – despite of the Trump’s russia – fliendly policy – does not like very much the american “temporary” presence in South Korea… and also american missiles and army in the area. Anyway, the Kim’s last launch makes some doubts rise. It is not a secret that one of the Trump’s ideas for the region was to reduce the american military contingent in the peninsula. So, this launch could seriously put in danger all the plans and political efforts to reduce Uncle Sam’s troops.
According to some geopolitical studies, North Korea and South Korea will never fight – directly – one each other. This, because the goals for each contendant in a new war, beetween the two enemies, could cancel each other. The common opinion – extremely summing – is that the DKPR has a strong defensive asset and a very well-motivated army, that could easily face attacks from south also using old planes, cold-war subarines and very obsolete boats. The South Korean Army is well trained and equipped, with new systems, boats and submarines, but her weakness is in the leadership (some units are entirely directed by american officers in charge), in the ideological motivation and, of course, in the potential feeling of loneliness without a clear american guidance and support. And we all know the political scandal that recently hit the Southkorean political leadership. That’s why this missile launch, in an moment while academics started to speculate about a progressive and slow american withdrawal, change the scene of play. Of course, the launch is a muscles demonstrations, but its meaning seems to be changed.
From an european point of view, we can only wait the next days. For sure, since now, the EU has been supporting international efforts to promote peace, stability, denuclearisation and an improvement in the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Since 1998, the EU has been conducting regular political dialogue with the DPRK. The European Community established diplomatic relations in May 2001 and some EU countries have diplomatic relations with the DPRK. As far as we can read on the official EU institutions’ websites and portals, the EU has been involved in providing assistance to some of the most vulnerable communities in the DPRK since 1195. Current activities are mainly oriented towards support for the agricultural sector and are financed under the Food Security Thematic Programme of the Development Cooperation Instrument.
North Korea conducted a missile test today, according to the South Korean government the rocket launched from the city of Banghyon, certainly there is only that the missile landed in the waters between Japan and South Korea. The reactions of Seoul and Tokyo have been very strong, both prime ministers have spoken of “unacceptable action” on the topic is also addressed by President Trump who assured full support to Japan, speaking before the press conference of Prime Minister Abe who is visiting the United States. According to analysts of the Institute for Far Eastern Studies in Seoul the test has been done by the North Koreans with the objective to gain further knowledge to develop intercontinental rockets capable of striking the United States.
Moscow has made a statement on the extradition of blogger Alexander Lapshin, who holds Russian citizenship, to Azerbaijan. “According to the available information, the Supreme Court of Belarus, having considered the case in a closed session on Feb. 7, dismissed the complaint of the citizen of Russia and Israel Alexander Lapshin against the decision of the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Belarus on his extradition to Azerbaijan. The Russian side expresses disappointment with this decision,” reads a message on the website of Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “We intend to continue taking all the necessary measures to protect the rights and legitimate interests of the Russian citizen to quickly return him to his family,” the message said.
On Monday evening, US President-elect Donald Trump promised on Twitter that North Korea would not develop a nuclear missile capable of reaching US territory. His comments came a day after the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, appeared to try to put pressure on Trump by announcing his country is in the “final stages” of developing an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). “North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the US,” Trump tweeted. “It won’t happen!”
South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Tuesday refused to testify in a case that will decide her future following her impeachment over a corruption scandal, forcing the Constitutional Court to delay the start of oral arguments.
After Park’s refusal, the nine-justice court asked her to testify on Thursday, when some of her current and former aides are also scheduled to testify. Her no-show brought criticism from lawmakers, who serve as prosecutors in the trial.
After North Korea claimed it is close to successfully launch an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the United States issued a sharp rebuke to Pyongyang against “provocative actions.” The toughly worded US statement called on “all states” to show the North that any unlawful action would have “consequences”, reports the Guardian.
Kim Jong Un on Saturday celebrated his fifth anniversary as the leader of North Korea, with the communist monarchy entering its 71st year. Taking over from his father, whose demise was observed at monuments and center plazas across the the nation, Kim has consolidated power over the last five years, especially with the execution of his powerful uncle and the purges that ensued. Also under Kim’s rule, the country’s nuclear and missiles program has flourished. Of the five nuclear tests North Korea has conducted, three have been under his watch and two, including its most powerful to date, were conducted this year.
The National Assembly passed the motion to impeach President Park Geun-hye over a corruption scandal, Friday. Park was suspended from office at 7:03 p.m. immediately after the result was officially delivered to the presidential office, and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn began working as acting head of state. The President’s fate is now in the hands of the Constitutional Court, which is expected to make a ruling on whether the impeachment was valid in a few months.
An impeachment vote against South Korea’s scandal-hit President will be postponed by at least a week, lawmakers said on Wednesday, after Park Geun-Hye announced she was willing to stand down early. Lawmakers from Park’s own party had backed moves to impeach her this Friday, but now want the issue discussed in Parliament before holding a vote, likely to be scheduled a week later.