Asia News Today | No more North Korean missiles, “genocide” in Myanmar
North Korea conducted another missile launch, this time using a multiple rocket launcher system, the latest for North Korean missile testers. The South Korean military statement did not specify how far the rocket traveled, the direction it was fired or the exact type of rockets or weapons launched, but said it was constantly monitoring the current frenzy of launch activities. news reports that North Korea fired four rockets in the space of an hour from South Pyongan province into the sea off the country’s west coast. So far this year, North Korea has carried out 11 intercontinental rocket launches, as it works through North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s strategic weapons wish list established last year. A failed North Korean missile launch last week resulted in a mid-air explosion that reportedly rained debris near the North Korean capital Pyongyang, but no official comment on the failed launch, even s It happened near North Korea’s main international airport. A multiple rocket launch system test will be considered less provocative than a long-range missile launch, but analysts warn that this type of weapon still poses a major threat to South Korea.
The United States has determined that the violence against the Rohingya minority committed by the Myanmar military in 2017 constituted genocide and crimes against humanity. More than 700,000 members of the predominantly Muslim Rohingya community have fled Buddhist-majority Myanmar since 2017 after the brutal military crackdown that is now the subject of a genocide case in the UN’s highest court in La Hague. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will formally announce the decision to designate the crackdown as genocide during a speech at the Holocaust Museum in Washington today, where an exhibit on “Burma’s Path to Genocide” – using the old name of Myanmar – is presented. Blinken announced during a visit to Malaysia last year that the United States was “very actively” investigating whether the treatment of the Rohingya might “constitute genocide”. as “extreme, large-scale, widespread and apparently intended both to terrorize the population and drive out Rohingya residents”.
The closure of Russian airspace to most international airlines, including just about every major European carrier, is forcing companies to find alternative routes. For the bulk of flights connecting Europe and Southeast Asia, this is a major problem with Russia, the largest country in the world, located directly between their point of departure and their destination. Take the example of the Finnair flight from Helsinki to Tokyo. In the past, Finnair planes would take off and then turn into Russian airspace for the next 5,000 kilometers. They then flew over Mongolia and China, before re-entering Russia just north of Vladivostok.
The final leg of the trip would be across the Sea of Japan and then to Narita Airport in Tokyo…usually just under 9 hours. Now they were forced to take a route directly over the North Pole and then into Japan…a new journey taking over 13 hours. To make the new route even slightly financially viable, Finnair is prioritizing cargo and limiting the number of passengers to just 50. Japanese airlines have also been forced to use the polar route for their European destinations to avoid the Russian airspace.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam was forced to rebut a direct comparison between Omicron’s handling of Hong Kong’s surge and that of neighboring Shenzhen province. Shenzhen announced a week-long citywide lockdown for its residents on Sunday evening after reporting 66 new infections. Meanwhile, Hong Kong recorded 26,908 new infections and 286 Covid-related deaths today. After the announcement of Shenzhen’s lockdown, photos circulating yesterday showed supermarkets packed with locals stocking up on food, while some workers headed to their offices to make arrangements to work from home. Shenzhen is home to around 17 million people.Jason Poon Chuk-hung, chief analyst at Hong Kong Strategic Solutions, said Shenzhen’s harsh but organized lockdown stood in stark contrast to the Hong Kong government’s indecisiveness, making pointed remarks on Carrie Lam’s mishandling of the situation. He urged Hong Kong’s administration to learn from its northern neighbor to effectively carry out mass testing when the local daily case count fell into triple digits, and to rebuild district-level support networks. But Ms Lam responded by saying that in densely populated Hong Kong, queues during mass testing could raise concerns about cross-infection risks. Millions of people are now locked down, especially in cities in northeast China, as China battles with its biggest surge of Covid since the initial outbreak and faces large-scale challenges to its zero covid policy.
The Covid pandemic pushed 4.7 million people in Southeast Asia into extreme poverty last year, as 9.3 million jobs disappeared, compared to a baseline scenario without Covid. All of this contained in a report by the Asian Development Bank, titled Southeast Asia: Getting Out of the Pandemic. The report indicates that the latest Omicron wave could reduce economic growth in the region by almost 1% this year. The region’s economic output in 2022 is expected to remain more than 10% lower than the non-COVID baseline scenario. Among the hardest hit are unskilled workers and those working in retail and the underground economy, as well as small businesses without a digital presence. The report goes on to say that the region is facing global headwinds including emerging variants of COVID-19, tightening global interest rates, supply chain disruptions, rising commodity prices and inflation.
MotoGP returned to Indonesia for the first time since 1997 over the weekend but suffered numerous delays due to torrential rain at the Mandalika track around half an hour before the start of the race. Eventually, Miguel Oliveira took victory in the shortened MotoGP Indonesian Grand Prix, from reigning world champion Fabio Quartararo as Marc Marquez was ruled out with a concussion in a nasty warm-up crash. Poleman Fabio Quartararo successfully launched from the start line to grab the lead on his works Yamaha, with Oliveira taking second ahead of Ducati’s Jack Miller and a fast-starting Alex Rins on the Suzuki. But it was Miguel Oliveira who made the most of the wet conditions to win the race.
Lots of unstable weather around Thailand until at least tomorrow, and thereafter southern Myanmar will face heavy rain. There is currently a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal, between Thailand and India, moving slowly north-northeast and is expected to make landfall in Myanmar later today and Bangladesh tomorrow. It is expected to intensify today, hitting Cyclone stats and earning the nae Cyclone Asani. The system reinforces the south and southeast winds blowing over the northern, central, eastern and southern regions of Thailand, bringing more rain, with isolated heavy rains in the northern and southern regions. center, and along the east coast of the southern region. .
The TMD warns boats in the Gulf and off the Andaman coast to be aware of the storm and check the weather before heading offshore.
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