Beijing overtakes U.S. and Russia in hypersonic arms race

Today's headlines: former dictator Chun Doo-Whan, the butcher of Gwangju, died at the age of 90 in Seoul; the first of three trials for the 2019 Easter massacres opened in Sri Lanka; Burma's shadow government raises money to fund the fight against the military junta; the IAEA chief in Tehran for nuclear talks; Kiev services: Russia ready to invade Ukraine between January and February. 



China's test of a hypersonic weapon - rotating around the Earth at 6,200 kilometers per hour and maneuvering to change its trajectory - in July included the launch of an ultra-high-speed missile. An achievement that not even Russia and the United States had achieved and that surprised the Pentagon, positioning Beijing at the forefront of advanced strategic and nuclear weapons. 


Former South Korean dictator and general Chun Doo-Whan, the "butcher of Gwangju" who ruled the country with an iron fist, stifling any political opposition, died today at the age of 90. He had been ill for some time and passed away at his home in Seoul. Even after leaving power, he remained one of South Korea's most hated personalities.


In Sri Lanka opened yesterday the first of three trials related to the Easter massacres of 2019, almost 270 people the victims. In the dock is the former police chief Pujith Jayasundara, accused of failing to act despite intelligence alerts of a possible attack that struck at the heart of the Christian community. More than 1,200 people are expected to testify. 


The shadow government in Myanmar (NUG), which opposes the junta in power after the coup last February, has raised 6.3 million dollars on the inaugural day of the sale of "revolutionary" bonds. A project launched in recent days and aimed at generating funds to overthrow the military, which has gathered the support of many Burmese abroad. 


Three Cambodian refugees, deported from Thailand, have been jailed on charges of conspiracy in a growing government crackdown. Veourn Veasna and Voeung Samnang were placed in the UN protection program. Thavry Lanh was repatriated in recent days, thanks to an agreement between Phnom Penh and Bangkok strongly criticized by NGOs and pro-human rights activists. 


International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director Rafael Grossi landed in Tehran last night to settle "technical issues" regarding the 2015 agreement. He is scheduled to meet today with nuclear program chief Mohammad Eslami and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian. After months of stalemate, talks will resume next week in Vienna. 


In Kazakhstan the local currency, the tenge, has undergone a sudden devaluation due to the worsening of the economic and energy crisis. In the country there have been protests against gasoline increases and demonstrations by "mothers against vaccines", who do not want to immunize their adolescents. A group clashed with police in Nur-Sultan while trying to storm the Palace of Ministries.


According to Kiev's intelligence services, Russia could begin its invasion of Ukraine between January and February next year. The operation would also be supported by the Belarusian army; Lukasenko said that "if the Ukrainians close the borders, bad people will arrive in the Donbass." Sources from Moscow speak of a "military shield" to protect Crimea and Donbass from the Ukrainians.