Morning Brief, Wednesday, July 5
North Korean missile test Just when you think you can go away for a few days, like we here at Passport did over the long weekend, Pyongyang goes and test-fires seven missiles, at least one of which was long-range, over the Sea of Japan. Tokyo is enraged and Asian markets falter. Here's the question everyone ...
North Korean missile test
North Korean missile test
Just when you think you can go away for a few days, like we here at Passport did over the long weekend, Pyongyang goes and test-fires seven missiles, at least one of which was long-range, over the Sea of Japan. Tokyo is enraged and Asian markets falter. Here's the question everyone should be asking: Did China give the nod? Just yesterday, before the missile launch, China and North Korea announced two exchange visits by high-ranking officials. And Matt Frei at the BBC thinks Japanese PM Koizumi's chummy visit to DC and Graceland upset Beijing so much that the Chinese may have told Kim Jong Il they'd stand aside if he pushed the trigger:
W had arranged a personal tour of Graceland [for Koizumi] with bells and whistles and the Chinese president wasn't even allowed to call his recent meal at the White House a state visit….
Kim Jong-il relies on China for everything from food to power to rental videos. He is unlikely to have launched several missiles without its consent.
Tehran's chief nuclear negotiator was due to give an answer to the incentives package today, but abruptly cancels the meeting with the EU's Javier Solana instead. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei announces the formation of a new foreign policy council, which many see as a rebuke to Ahmadinejad, and economic reforms aimed at improving Iran's bid to enter the WTO.
Conservative candidate Felipe Calderon leads Lopez Obrador by the narrowest of margins after Sunday's vote. Lopez Obrador demands a nationwide recount, and election officials concede that up to 3 million votes are still uncounted.
Sectarian killings have increased in Baghdad since Zarqawi's death. The NYT reported yesterday that the CIA has reassigned many analysts charged with finding Osama bin Laden. Whitehall confirms that al Qaeda sympathizers have been trying to infiltrate MI5. Continued violence in Gaza and Israel. Two bus explosions rock Kabul. World Cup hosts Germany lose to Italy, and Islamist gunmen in Somalia open fire on a crowd watching the banned Cup game, killing two. A British woman wakes up from a stroke with a combination of Jamaican, Canadian, and Slovakian accents.
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