Morning Brief: Political fallout from North Korean test

Top Story This weekend’s North Korean missile launch may have been expected for weeks and may have been a complete dud, but it has still managed to grab the world’s attention. Despite the fact that the rocket failed to reach orbit, Kim Jong Il is still calling it a “striking demonstration of the might of ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
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Conservative activists burn a model of a North Korean missile and portraits of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il during ae protest rally against North Korea's launching of a long-range rocket, near the US embassy in Seoul on April 5, 2009. North Korea launched a long-range rocket, defying months of pressure from the US and its allies over what they said was an illegal ballistic missile test. AFP PHOTO/KIM JAE-HWAN (Photo credit should read KIM JAE-HWAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Top Story

This weekend's North Korean missile launch may have been expected for weeks and may have been a complete dud, but it has still managed to grab the world's attention. Despite the fact that the rocket failed to reach orbit, Kim Jong Il is still calling it a "striking demonstration of the might of our Juche-oriented science and technology."

The UN Security Council failed to agree on a resolution condemning the launch yesterday because of resistance from China and Russia. North Korea's neighbors are planning to institute new sanctions against the regime and South Korea may upgrade its own missile arsenal.

Top Story

This weekend’s North Korean missile launch may have been expected for weeks and may have been a complete dud, but it has still managed to grab the world’s attention. Despite the fact that the rocket failed to reach orbit, Kim Jong Il is still calling it a “striking demonstration of the might of our Juche-oriented science and technology.”

The UN Security Council failed to agree on a resolution condemning the launch yesterday because of resistance from China and Russia. North Korea’s neighbors are planning to institute new sanctions against the regime and South Korea may upgrade its own missile arsenal.

Speaking in Prague yesterday, Barack Obama seized on the test in promising to “reduce the role of nuclear weapons” in U.S. national security policy and urging other countries to do the same.

Obama arrived in Turkey today where he is emphasizing deepening U.S. ties with the country.

Middle East

Six car bomb explosions killed 34 people around Baghdad.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is visiting Baghdad.

At his first cabinet meeting, new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to produce a peace plan soon.

Europe

A powerful earthquake in central Italy killed at least 50 people. Thousands have been left homeless.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin defended his government’s handling of the economy in a speech before parliament. 

Macedonia elected a new president.

Asia

A controversial Afghan law that critics say would legalize marital rape is being held for review, says the country’s justice ministry. David Rothkopf comments.

Two explosions ripped through crowded markets in Northeast India. Separatist militants are suspected.

China has pledged to achieve universal healthcare by 2020.

Africa

South African prosecutors have dropped corruption charges against African National Congress President Jacob Zuma.

Meeting in Zambia, Western donors pledged $1 billion in aid for infrastructure project in Southern Africa.

Somali pirates hijacked a Taiwanese fishing boat and a British cargo ship.

Americas

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the U.S. government would consider forcing out bank CEOs as a condition for future assistance.

Speaking from Iran, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez said over the weekend that he wants to “press the reset button” on relations with the United States.

Fidel Castro is protesting Cuba’s exclusion from next week’s Summit of the Americas.

KIM JAE-HWAN/AFP/Getty Images

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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