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Daily Brief: New North Korea Sanctions Target Oil, Textiles, and Labor

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September 12, 2017

Daily News Brief

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TOP OF THE AGENDA

New North Korea Sanctions Target Oil, Textiles, and Labor

The UN Security Council voted unanimously on Monday to adopt a new sanctions resolution on North Korea after its sixth nuclear test earlier this month.

The new measures cap North Korea's imports of crude oil, ban its textile exports, and prohibit countries from issuing work permits to North Koreans, aiming to squeeze Pyongyang's sources of hard currency (AP). The United States, which earlier sought a total oil embargo as well as asset and travel freezes on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, said it is not looking for war and that Pyongyang has "not yet passed the point of no return" (WSJ). Peru expelled North Korea's ambassador (Korea Times) to the country, following a similar move by Mexico.  

ANALYSIS

"The opacity of the web of ships, people, and businesses perpetuating such trade flows [with North Korea] suggests the international community faces a huge challenge if its clampdown is to succeed," Don Weinland and Yuan Yang write for the Financial Times.

"North Korea's sixth test pushes the United States closer to a strategic choice between two unacceptable options: acquiescence to North Korea as a nuclear power, or 'catastrophic' military conflict to permanently end the North Korea threat," CFR's Scott A. Snyder writes for Forbes.

"U.S. military leaders should make plain to their political superiors and the American public that any U.S. first strike on North Korea would result in a devastating loss of American and South Korean lives," Scott D. Sagan writes for Foreign Affairs.

PACIFIC RIM

Dalai Lama Urges Peaceful Resolution in Myanmar

The Dalai Lama called on Myanmar's state counselor, Aung San Suu Kyi, as a "fellow Nobel Laureate" to find a humane solution (VOA) to the conflict between Burmese security forces and the Rohingya Muslim minority.

CFR's Joshua Kurlantzick asks if the U.S. will go forward with expanding military cooperation with Myanmar

SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA

Millions to March in India Against Child Exploitation

A month-long march to protest child trafficking and sexual abuse led by rights activist Kailash Satyarthi began in southern India on Monday. The demonstration, which will run from the south to the capital of New Delhi, is expected to draw ten million (Reuters).

AFGHANISTAN: A suicide bomber wounded two U.S. soldiers and at least three civilians (RFE/RL) in a Monday attack near Bagram Airfield, the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan.

Seth Jones of the RAND Corporation discusses Trump's plans for the war in Afghanistan on this episode of the President's Inbox.

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA

Eighteen Police Killed in Islamic State Attack in Sinai

The self-proclaimed Islamic State said it was behind an attack that killed eighteen police officers (Al Jazeera) in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on Monday. Hundreds of police and servicemen have been killed by militants affiliated with the group (BBC) since the military overthrew President Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

SAUDI ARABIA: Authorities said Monday they foiled an attack by Islamic State militants (DW) that targeted defense ministry buildings in Riyadh.

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Togo Postpones Israel-Africa Summit

A summit of Israeli and African leaders set for next month has been postponed at the request of Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe (AP), according to Israel's foreign ministry. Hundreds of thousands have protested in Togo in the last week against Gnassingbe, whose family has ruled the country for five decades (Africa News).

ZIMBABWE: First Lady Grace Mugabe has accused a South African woman of attacking her with a knife (AP) in a Johannesburg hotel last month; the woman alleges Mugabe assaulted her. Mugabe left South Africa after she was granted diplomatic immunity (Reuters)

EUROPE

Turkey to Buy Russian Missiles

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the country has paid a deposit (Hurriyet) on a $2.5 billion deal to purchase Russian anti-aircraft missiles, despite opposition from NATO allies. NATO members are encouraged to buy compatible weapons systems (BBC).

CFR's Steven A. Cook testified before U.S. Congress that U.S.-Turkey relations are in need of a reevaluation.

SPAIN: Hundreds of thousands marched in favor of Catalan independence (WSJ) in Barcelona on Monday. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has deemed a recent vote by Catalonia's parliament to hold an independence referendum illegal. 

AMERICAS

Guatemalan President Maintains Immunity

Lawmakers voted to preserve President Jimmy Morales's presidential immunity on Monday. Morales is being investigated by local prosecutors and a UN committee (DW) for allegedly receiving $800,000 in illegal campaign funds.

UNITED STATES

U.S. Military Responds to Irma

The Pentagon said Monday that more than fifteen thousand service personnel are involved in Hurricane Irma relief efforts (WaPo) in the southeastern United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Two-thirds of homes in Florida, some 6.5 million, are without power (BBC).

President Donald J. Trump will host Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (Reuters) at the White House on Tuesday. Najib is under investigation for money laundering in six countries, including the United States.

 
 
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