The DailyBrief

Tuesday August 1, 2017

Situation not critical: North Korea’s new inter-continental ballistic missiles are not the game-changers one might imagine from the reaction to recent launches, writes Robert E. McCoy for Asia Times. Much of America is now within Pyongyang’s reach, he writes; however, without a reliable re-entry system its artillery cannot hurt US targets. The hardware also adds little to the level of threat already posed to South Korea and Japan.

Doing Deng’s work? China’s recent offer to the Philippines to jointly develop energy resources in the South China Sea calls to mind its late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping’s cooperative approach on the matter, writes Richard Javad Heydarian. History has shown the difficulties of negotiating a resource-sharing agreement among rival claimant states, however – especially when China still claims almost the entirety of the disputed area.

Russian shock therapy: The Kremlin, writes MK Bhadrakumar, has just administered shock treatment to the US establishment by demanding it cut 755 diplomatic personnel. But the bigger political impact may be to kill the ‘Russia collusion’ story plaguing US President Donald Trump. After all, if Trump is a Russian stooge, wouldn’t Vladimir Putin wish to be more discreet about the whole relationship?

Don’t blame Inada. Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada’s resignation last week is better viewed as being symptomatic of the problems with Japanese defense policy at large than of her personal shortcomings, writes Grant Newsham for Asia Times. One might more correctly point the finger, he argues, at several generations of Japanese and American “alliance managers” who were content with building a misshapen JSDF and a Japanese national defense pathologically dependent on the USA.

Asia Times app: The Asia Times has launched an app for both iOS- and Android-based devices that will deliver the publication’s regular daily news, commentary, blogs and live coverage while also bringing readers added functionality. Asia Times Staff report that the app, launched on July 25, includes content notification, share and save functions and is free to download from both the Apple Store and Google Play.