June 17th, 2020.
US president Donald Trump has announced that he will pull out US troops stationed in Germany, after calling the European country “delinquent” for failing to meet its NATO spending obligations and accusing it of treating his country “unfairly” in trade agreements. Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has used his social media accounts to defend his allies and supporters recently targeted by investigations and arrests ordered by the country’s Federal Supreme Court, and said he will take legal measures to defend them. The Venezuelan ambassador to the United Nations has sent a letter denouncing what he called the Brazilian government’s “criminal negligence” in its handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and claiming that it is endangering the entire continent. Border tensions between China and India in the Ladakh region of the province of Kashmir have escalated, resulting in the death of 20 Indian soldiers as China announced it has held military exercises in its neighboring territory of Tibet. Finally, after blowing up the building which housed the Inter-Korea Liaison Office, the North Korean dictatorship announced its intentions of deploying troops into the demilitarized zone which separates the Communist dictatorship from South Korea, in a response to southern activists who used balloons to drop propaganda leaflets over its territory.
Take a look at our highlights.
Trump calls Germany ‘delinquent’, and confirms withdrawal of US troops
On Monday, United States president Donald Trump confirmed his plan of pulling out thousands of US military troops from Germany by the end of this year. Trump said that Germany, one of the superpower’s main allies, is “delinquent” by failing to meet its NATO spending obligations and accusing the European country of treating the US “unfairly” on trade. “We’re protecting Germany and they’re delinquent. That doesn’t make sense,” Trump said at the White House. “We are going to bring down the soldier count to 25,000 soldiers,” adding that the deployment of troops comes at “a tremendous cost to the United States.” The presence of American troops in Germany is a long-standing legacy of the Allied occupation of the country after the Second World War.
Bolsonaro says he will take “legal measures” after operations against his allies
In a series of posts made on his official Twitter account on Tuesday, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro discussed the recent operations by the Federal Police following instructions from the Federal Supreme Court which targeted his allies and supporters of his administration. In his tweets, Bolsonaro wrote about “abuses witnessed by everyone during the last weeks,” adding that his government “has always stood on the side of democracy and the Brazilian Constitution,” and that “there can only be democracy when the people are respected, when those who are governed choose who will govern them, and the fundamental freedoms are protected.” He concluded by saying that he “will take all possible legal measures to protect the Constitution and the freedom of the Brazilians.”
Venezuela denounces Brazil’s “criminal negligence” during the pandemic
The Venezuelan dictatorship’s ambassador to the United Nations, Samuel Moncada, sent yesterday a letter to the organization denouncing the “irresponsible conduct” of the government of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro regarding its response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. In the four-page letter, Moncada described Brazil as a “humanitarian bomb” jeopardizing the health of all Latin American countries; according to him, Bolsonaro’s “rejection of the seriousness of the pandemic” and his lack of “coherent public policies” for containing the pandemic is “seriously endangering millions of lives, inside and outside the country, and is negatively affecting measures adopted by the Venezuelan government.
China announces military exercises in Tibet amidst border conflict with India
Yesterday, the Chinese army announced it has conducted a military exercise in the mountainous territory of Tibet at an unspecified date. The announcement came at a moment in which tensions involving a border dispute with neighboring India have resulted in an actual confrontation between troops from both countries that caused the death of 20 Indian soldiers. In the exercise, held in the Nyenchen Tanglha mountains, seven thousand soldiers simulated the removal of enemy fortified positions with the use of artillery, missiles, aircraft, tanks, and drones. Both countries have a persistent dispute over the border between them in the Ladakh region of the Indian province of Kashmir, and the Chinese government is accusing the Indian army of illegally crossing twice into their side of the Galway Valley and attacking their troops.
North Korea announced it will send military into demilitarized zone
One day after blowing up the building of the Inter-Korean Liaison Office, in the border city of Kaesong, the government of North Korea announced it will send troops into areas next to the border with South Korea, as well as rebuild watchtowers and conduct military exercises in the region. The dictatorship’s state media released the first images of the explosion of the Liaison Office building, which functioned as the only direct communication channel between both countries, which currently have no diplomatic relations. The decisions are an answer to actions taken by South Korean activists, who used balloons to drop anti-Communist propaganda leaflets over the northern country. The government of North Korea announced that any other “shameful and imprudent” behavior from its southern counterpart would result in new retaliations.