06/18/2024, 09.58
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Putin in North Korea after 24 years. Also expected in Vietnam

Today's news: Tension on the border between the two Koreas, some soldiers from the North are said to have crossed the border by 20 metres; Chinese officials 'hide' Cheng Lei, a journalist already imprisoned by Beijing, during the meeting between Li Quiang and Albanese in Canberra; Malaysia wants to join the BRICS economic grouping; The Arakan Army warned the 20,000 civilians in Maungdaw of an imminent battle.


President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to visit North Korea on 18-19 June at the invitation of Kim Yong-Sun - for the first time since his visit in 2000 - and then travel to Vietnam to meet with Communist Party Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng and other authorities in the country, meetings that have been scheduled since the beginning of the year. Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that "Russia has every right to develop these relations".


Tensions on the border between the two Koreas. The South Korean army fired warning shots after some North Korean soldiers crossed the military demarcation line near the border this morning, according to the country's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). About 20-30 soldiers crossed the 20-metre line inside the demilitarised zone and quickly returned north after the warning shots, according to a JCS official.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dissolved his six-member war cabinet, a widely expected decision that follows the resignations of centrist opposition leader Benny Gantz and his ally Gadi Eisenkot. Since Gantz resigned eight days ago over the lack of a war strategy, far-right ministers have called for him to take his place. A spokesman for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) stated that, as far as he is concerned, this will not affect the chain of command.


All roads were blocked off outside the key town of Maungdaw in western Myanmar, where the Arakan Army warned the 20,000 remaining civilians of an imminent battle with military junta troops, residents told Radio Free Asia. But many residents were unable to leave the town near the Bangladesh border because junta troops had already erected barricades, a Rohingya man who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals told RFA. "The death toll could rise because of the battle," he said.


Chinese officials prevented journalist Cheng Lei from appearing in front of the cameras during a meeting between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Canberra. Cheng, who has already been imprisoned for three years, said she was stopped from 'saying' or 'doing something' that officials said 'would give a bad impression'. Li's visit - the first by a Chinese premier since 2017 - was seen as another step towards thawing tensions between the two nations.


Malaysia is preparing to join the BRICS group of emerging economies, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said in an interview with Chinese media outlet Guancha. The BRICS group of nations originally included Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which gave it its acronym. Last year it began expanding its membership to challenge a world order dominated by Western economies, with Saudi Arabia, Iran, Ethiopia, Egypt, Argentina and the United Arab Emirates joining.


Priyanka Gandhi, sister of Congress leader and India's main opponent Rahul Gandhi, will soon participate in its first elections, the party announced. Priyanka Gandhi is a descendant of the Nehru-Gandhi family, India's most famous political dynasty. The 52-year-old will contest the by-election in the Wayanad seat in the southern Indian state of Kerala, which will be vacated by her brother who won in two different constituencies. A victory for her would mean the presence of all three members of the Gandhi family in the Indian Parliament, after her mother Sonia and Rahul.


The Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pašinyan, proposed to Azerbaijan to form a bilateral mechanism to investigate violations of the ceasefire regime at the borders, so as not to regularly end up in mutual accusations for any skirmishes as in recent days, and to establish common rules to 'restore discipline'.

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