Night Watch

North Korea: North Korea launched two more rockets off the east coast today. South Korean officials judged the North tested two 300-mm rockets to show their military testing is not restrained by Chinese President Xi's visit to Seoul. Xi has not visited Pyongyang since Kim Jong Un came to power. Nor has Kim Jong Un visited Beijing.

Special comment: In Feedback, some readers asked about the difference between a rocket and a missile. In conventional military usage, a rocket is a launch vehicle that is propelled by a rocket engine. When fitted with a warhead, rockets are unguided self-propelled, rocket -driven weapons.

A missile, which is short for guided missile in conventional military usage, is a launch vehicle that is propelled by a rocket engine and is also equipped with some form of targeting and guidance system. In the most simplistic sense, a missile is a guided rocket. Missiles with warheads are guided, self-propelled, rocket -driven weapons.

China-Japan: The Chinese government and media have criticized the Japanese Cabinet's decision to broaden the definition of self-defense. Multiple Chinese media outlets said that Japan has not learned the lessons of the last war. They also blamed the US for encouraging the Japanese to participate in the American scheme to contain China.

Afghanistan: An Afghan election official said today that the preliminary results of the presidential election will be announced on 7 July. Independent Election Commission Chairman Ahmad Yousuf Nouristani said the delay was ordered to enable the commission to audit polling stations where candidates had alleged fraud.

Comment: The delay represents a nod towards the validity of the voter fraud allegations. A week is not enough time to conduct investigation, but the optics are better than just ignoring the allegations. Plus, the delay gains the commission some more time to hope for a solution to emerge.

Iraq: Fractiousness among the Arabs. The invasion by fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has fractured Arab relations in Iraq. However, the breaks go deep, as shown in three news items.

First, Atheel al-Nujaifi, the governor of Nineveh Governate, called today for the formation of what he called a Sunni region possessing a degree of autonomy.


Night Watch

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