UN: North Korea preparing nuclear test
The other news of the day: Japan promises to work with the US for regional stability. ASEAN condemns the lack of progress for peace in Myanmar. Sri Lankan athlete goes missing at the Commonwealth Games. Tensions rise in Nagorno Karabakh. Zelensky wants to speak “directly” with Xi Jinping.
According to a UN report, North Korea has made preparations for a nuclear test. Pyongyang has “continued to develop its capability for the production of fissile material at the Yongbyon site" in the first six months of this year. The site is home to the country's main nuclear reactors.
JAPAN – UNITED STATES
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today agreed to work together to ensure peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and a "free and open" Indo-Pacific. Yesterday five Chinese ballistic missiles landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone.
ASEAN – MYANMAR
ASEAN foreign ministers expressed their disappointment over failed attempts to restore peace in Myanmar, criticising the military junta for not implementing the five-point plan proposed by the organisation. Despite the Association's limited coercive capabilities, this is the second time that a Myanmar domestic political issue has been included in a joint communiqué.
SRI LANKA – UNITED KINGDOM
A Sri Lankan athlete has disappeared from the athletes’ village in Birmingham, where the 2022 Commonwealth Games are currently underway. Two members of the Sri Lankan judo team had also left the village, but were found by police. At present, according to the authorities, “it is difficult to reach a concrete conclusion” about their escape.
RUSSIA – IRAN – INDIA
Due to Western sanctions, Russia is increasingly turning to Asia. In July, 39 containers crossed Turkmenistan and Iran heading for India. This is the first major shipment using the International North-South Transport Corridor, a 7,200 km network of railways, highways and sea routes connecting Russia and Iran to India. Since the invasion of Ukraine, India's imports from Russia have increased almost fivefold, exceeding US$ 15 billion.
UKRAINE – CHINA
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky wants to speak directly with Chinese President Xi Jinping, considering him the only person who could effectively influence Russia to end the war, this according to the South China Morning Post, which obtained the first interview with the Ukrainian leader by an Asian media outlet.
ARMENIA – AZERBAIJAN
The head of the unrecognised Armenian republic of Nagorno Karabakh declared a state of partial military mobilisation, following attacks by the Azerbaijani army in Armenian-controlled territories, which resulted in two deaths and 14 injuries among the military. Azerbaijan's Defence Ministry decried shootings by the Armenian side, resulting in the death of one soldier.