Kim’s rocket stars: After successful missile launches, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un often exchanges smiles and hugs with the same three men and shares a celebratory smoke with them. Ju-min Park and James Pearson write that the three are of great interest to Western security and intelligence agencies since they are the top people in the secretive country’s rapidly accelerating missile program.
China’s hypnotic pull: The allure of a China, where one sells one of something to every person in the country, can make otherwise sensible people act insensibly, argues Grant Newsham. This is because doing business in the People’s Republic of China, says Newsham, requires willingness to overlook dangers that in any other country would unnerve foreign investors and businessmen.
Duterte facing crisis: The Philippine leader says he will resort to any means necessary, including nationwide martial law, to counter the rising threat of Islamic State-linked militancy, reports Richard Javad Heydarian. Duterte is facing a security crisis after the Maute group, also known as the Islamic State of Lanao (ISL), laid siege to the city of Marawi, the largest in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.
Australia-Chinese property surge: The majority of Sydney residents are opposed to foreign property ownership after a surge in Chinese purchases and skyrocketing prices. Helen Clark reports that a recent survey showed 55 percent of Sydney residents disagreeing with the idea that foreigners should be allowed to buy property, and by foreign the respondents meant mainly Chinese, who were the focus of the report.
Silk Road troubles: A fresh wave of terror assaults in Pakistan’s restive Balochistan has been carried out by militants determined to disrupt the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. F.M. Shakil reports that in the last two weeks, thirty-eight people have been killed, scores more injured and now two Chinese workers have been kidnapped.