Asia-Pacific Affairs Daily Briefing – 24 June 2020
Daily News Briefing – Asia-Pacific (24 June 2020)
India demands the reduction of staff in the Pakistan embassy.
The Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement urging the Pakistan government to cut their staff stationed in New Delhi by half. This announcement emerged as a result of an increase in claims made towards Pakistan officials, accusing them of “espionage and maintained dealings with terrorist organizations”, as stated in the report. This came weeks after two members of the embassy were caught and expelled due to these activities on the 31st of May. The statement also indicated that India intends to do the same and reduce their representatives in Islamabad, as they have said that their officials have been targeted in campaigns of intimidation as well as threatened at gunpoint. The measure will be implemented in the next seven days, according to the document.
China and India move towards a complete disengagement in Eastern Ladakh.
Following the violent dispute in the region that took place in the previous weeks, both parties have agreed to withdraw their troops in the border territory. This was decided informally in the midst of a positive 11-hour meeting held on Monday between the commander generals of both nations. In a press conference held by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, a statement was released saying the encounter was helpful to “ease the situation through dialogue and consultation” and that “Both agreed to keep up dialogue and work together for peace and tranquillity on the ground along the border.” No official measure has been announced yet.
Russian News agency reports North Korea’s plans to end the United States’ power.
Tass news agency, the largest Russian media organization, reported exclusively on remarks made by the North Korean embassy in Moscow. The article indicated that the diplomatic mission in Russia claimed that Pyongyang owns enough nuclear weapon and missiles to “those who dare to raise their hand in the DPRK”, according to a statement given by the embassy to Tass. The same message communicated a warning to Washington in regards to a new conflict in the Korean Peninsula that could ultimately destroy the US. No other media outlet has reported these statements.
North Korea plans next move against South Korea as tension continues to escalate.
The North Korean government owned new agency, KCNA, announced Pyongyang’s intent to distribute anti-government propaganda in South Korea. The source claimed that the plans consisted of attaching leaflets, cigarette butts and other trash items on to 3000 balloons, in a similar manner in which the anti-Pyongyang propaganda had been distributed in North Korea only weeks ago. This would be the biggest distribution of leaflets into Seoul. The scheme is still in preparation and there has not been any indication of when it would occur.
China launches own navigational satellite, cutting its dependency from US-controlled technology.
China announced the successful launch of their new geolocation system denominated the BeiDou (BDS). This new technology ultimately challenges the Global Positioning System (GPS), a US-owned system, and increases China’s power in Space. These satellites also defy the GLONASS, the system created by Russia and the European Galileo systems, programs similar to the GPS. The BDS is a 10-billion-dollar network that is composed of 35 satellites that will be able to reach the entire globe.