Night Watch

North Korea: North Korea missile crews launched two SCUD short-range missiles off the east coast early Sunday morning.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the Scud missiles flew about 500 kilometers from a launch site near the city of Wonsan into the Sea of Japan. An official from the Joint Chiefs of Staff said North Korea did not give any prior warning of the launch for civilian flights or ships. The South Korean armed forces increased their alert level.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) announced that the test was successful, owing to the tactical guidance that Kim Jong Un provided.

Comment: This was the second missile firing in a week. North Korea tested SCUDs last in March.

South Korean analysts say the latest launch was a "military demonstration" aimed at drawing the attention of the international community to the visit this Thursday of Chinese President Xi Jinping. The point of the firing, evidently, was to remind nations once again that the security situation is dangerous.

The irony is that the North is saber-rattling just after it went to pains to invite foreign tourists to the resorts at Wonsan. Kim Jong Un and his acolytes seem incapable of crafting a coherent set of messages for foreign audiences.

Afghanistan: The election crisis worsened over the weekend. Presidential candidate Dr. Abdullah said he would not be responsible for a post-election crisis if the polls were not cleansed. He also said that there is a rumor that 1.5 million ballots are fraudulent. He demanded those ballots be removed from the count. He complained that the election commission has done nothing to cleanse the votes.

The election commission said it was willing to delay announcing preliminary election results for a few days, provided a solution to the election crisis was found.

Comment: Abdullah's behavior and statements strongly indicate he expects to lose the election. Violent protests seem unavoidable.

Sangin. During this Watch, Pakistani press reported the Taliban still control two parts of Sangin District in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan, after ten days of fighting. The Afghan army is committing more troops to the operation.


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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