Night Watch

North Korea: On 25 April, news services reported that a 24-year-old American "tourist" tore up his visa while passing through North Korean immigration more than two weeks ago. He claimed he wished to seek asylum after "choosing the DPRK as a shelter."

The Korean Central News Agency announced on Friday that, "The relevant organ put him in custody after taking a serious note of his behavior, and is now investigating the case."

Comment: The North's media reported the American acted "rashly" and violated various laws regulating public behavior. Evidently the North Koreans think it's crazy for an American to seek asylum in North Korea.

The North does not want and is suspicious of Westerners who want asylum in North Korea because they might be spies. There is a reasonable chance the North will expel this person after interrogation.

Nuclear test preparations update. The academic research group 38 North reported that its analysis of commercial satellite imagery dated 25 April showed that activity increased at several locations at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the past week. The group reported more vehicle and cargo movements that it judges are consistent with preparations for an underground nuclear test.

It also judged that the preparations are not complete because the tunnels that would be used for detonating a device or weapon do not appear to be sealed.

Russia-US: Update: On Saturday morning, Russian press reported that President Putin and Defense Minister Shoygu stopped taking calls from their American counterparts because they kept making the same demands over and over and had nothing new to say or offer.

Weekend events indicated that the Russian Foreign Minister continues to take calls from the US Secretary of State. In one weekend telephone call, both urged the other to use his good offices to secure the release of detainees held by their Ukrainian proxies.

Russia-Ukraine: Russian military aircraft "crossed and violated" Ukrainian airspace seven times overnight on 25 and 26 April, according to Kiev regime Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

The Russian Defense Ministry denied the accusation, according to the state news agency Itar-Tass.

Comment: The Russians showed that they can control the airspace and provide air cover for areas they want to protect. They also gave some pilots an opportunity to familiarize themselves with those areas in eastern Ukraine.


Night Watch

NightWatch is an internationally acclaimed nightly newsletter that tracks and assesses threats to US national security. It has an edgy, executive style unlike any other summary of its kind.
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