The DailyBrief

Wednesday April 19, 2017

Washington-Tokyo strengthening ties: US Vice President Mike Pence says that Washington will work closer with Japan, other allies and China to put pressure on North Korea to end its development of nuclear weapons. Asia Times reports that Pence, who is visiting South Korea, Japan and Indonesia, said Tokyo’s role will grow and that 60 percent of the US naval fleet would be in the region by 2020, adding that Washington will continue to protect freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea.

The Dollar-Euro conundrum: Nations with exchange rates linked to either the dollar or the euro represent about two-thirds of the world economy, meaning the regular fluctuations between their exchange rates brings global financial instability. Sean Rushton argues that when finance ministers gather this month for the International Monetary Fund / World Bank spring meetings, they need to ask what can be done to stabilize instability between the world’s two largest currencies.

Kingfisher-Mallya, extradition begins: India’s flamboyant former liquor and aviation tycoon, Vijay Mallya, fled India for the UK in 2016 when banks went after him over US$1.4 billion in loans given to his failed Kingfisher Airlines. E Jaya Kumar writes that Mallya’s arrest in London on Tuesday, on charges of money laundering, cheating and conspiracy in what is the first step towards his extradition, shows both Delhi’s intent to tackle corruption and Britain’s willingness to cooperate with India.

Pyongyang’s rocket science: Even if North Korea’s April 16 missile test was a failure, the public display of rockets at this month’s military parade shows that Pyongyang still possesses some of the most developed missile systems in the world, writes Bertil Lintner. The most advanced of those missiles, known as the Taepodong 2, could conceivably reach the west coast of the United States and North Korea’s expanding missile reach is known to be a driving force behind the US’ rising strategic threats against Pyongyang.