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Daily Brief: North Korea Says Missile Can Hit Anywhere in U.S.


Council on Foreign Relations Newsletter If you are unable to see the message below, click here to view. November 29, 2017 Daily News Brief   TOP OF THE AGENDA North Korea Says Missile Can Hit Anywhere in U.S. South Korea said that dialogue with North Korea is "unrealistic" and raised the prospect of additional unilateral sanctions after the North fired a ballistic missile on Tuesday that flew higher and farther than any previous tests (NYT). South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon said Seoul, which responded to the test with a battery of its own missile launches (WSJ), will continue to pressure Pyongyang in "close coordination" with other countries (Korea Times). North Korean state TV reported that the missile, which flew nearly 2,800 miles upward and six hundred miles to the east before landing in the Sea of Japan, is capable of reaching anywhere on the U.S. mainland (Guardian). ANALYSIS "We do not know how heavy a payload this missile carried, but given the increase in range it seems likely that it carried a very light mock warhead. If true, that means it would be incapable of carrying a nuclear warhead to this long distance, since such a warhead would be much heavier," David Wright writes for the Union of Concerned Scientists. "As the covered warhead reenters the atmosphere at Mach 24, it needs to be capable of withstanding temperatures of around 7,000 degrees Celsius to 8,000 degrees Celsius. Securing such technology has been cited as the toughest challenge for the North in developing an operational ICBM," Jun Ji-hye writes for the Korea Times. "[Chinese President Xi Jinping's] new policy orientation on the Korean Peninsula could open a window for greater cooperation on North Korea through a trilateral dialogue and, eventually, regional stability if the United States and South Korea can find a way to coordinate their policies and embrace the newly forming interests of China as a rising great power," Heung-kyu Kim writes in a CFR Discussion Paper. PACIFIC RIM Australia's Senate Passes Gay Marriage Bill A bill to legalize same-sex marriage is expected to face a final vote in the House of Representatives (SMH) next week. Australians overwhelmingly favored legalizing gay marriage in a referendum this fall (VOA). This CFR Backgrounder looks at the status of marriage equality worldwide. SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA WHO Warns of Possible Diphtheria Outbreak in Bangladesh The World Health Organization has reported several cases of the infectious disease diphtheria (Reuters), which has a mortality rate of 10 percent, among the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh who fled a military crackdown in Myanmar. CFR's Joshua Kurlantzick discusses whether it is safe for Rohingya refugees to return to Myanmar. SRI LANKA: The Sri Lankan Department of Meteorology announced that a tropical depression had formed off the country's southeast coast and is gaining strength, prompting fears of mudslides and flooding (Al Jazeera). MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA France Calls for Sanctions on Libya Traffickers At a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday, France called for imposing targeted sanctions on human traffickers in Libya (VOA) and referring them to the International Criminal Court after the council reviewed media footage showing apparent slave auctions of stranded African migrants there. A Libyan envoy said local authorities are investigating the charges. EGYPT: A Cairo court has issued prison sentences to sixteen men arrested last month in a crackdown (BBC) on men believed to be homosexual following the display of rainbow flags at a September concert in the capital city. SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Zimbabwean President Offers Amnesty to Recover Assets President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared a three-month amnesty for individuals and corporations to return stolen state assets to avoid prosecution (FT). Mnangagwa was sworn in last week following a military coup that ended Robert Mugabe's thirty-seven-year rule. CFR's John Campbell and Peter Godwin discuss a post-Mugabe Zimbabwe. EUROPE UK's Brexit Liabilities Could Reach €100 Billion The United Kingdom's liabilities to the European Union after it exits the bloc (FT) could amount to €100 billion, roughly $134 billion, though net payments over time may reach only half that amount, according to diplomats familiar with the negotiations. THE HAGUE: A war crimes hearing for former Bosnian Croat military and political officials was cut short on Wednesday when a defendant drank a liquid that he declared to be poison (BBC) after a judge upheld his sentence. AMERICAS Bolivian Court Allows Morales to Seek Fourth Term Bolivia's constitutional court has annulled the results of a referendum held last year (BBC) in which voters rejected President Evo Morales's proposal to run for a fourth consecutive term in office. The court also ruled that the right of a citizen to run for office supersedes constitutional term limits (AP). VENEZUELA: Government security forces used brutal treatment (HRW) against opposition activists and detainees this year, including torture, sexual assault, asphyxiation, and electric shocks (DW), according to a new report from Human Rights Watch and a Venezuelan rights group.  UNITED STATES Libyan Convicted of Terrorism in Benghazi Attack A jury has found Ahmed Abu Khattala guilty of terrorism (WaPo) for a 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, but acquitted him of murder charges (BBC) for the deaths of a U.S. ambassador, diplomat, and several guards. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday that the United States should be the first NATO ally to respond if a European member of the organization (RFE/RL) is attacked, and that the United States and its European allies recognize the threat posed by a "recently resurgent Russia" (VOA). This CFR panel looked at the history of Russia's relations with the West. GLOBAL Bitcoin Currency Hits Milestone The cryptocurrency bitcoin traded for more than $10,000 (WSJ) for the first time in its nine-year existence on Tuesday, as the combined value of all bitcoins surpassed $167 billion (BBC).         Council on Foreign Relations — 58 East 68th Street — New York, NY 10065 CFR does not share email addresses with third parties. Forward This Email | Subscribe to CFR Newsletters | Unsubscribe - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  


Date: November 29, 2017 at 11:04PM