Yemen conflict; Myanmar coup; N. Korea missile launch

In today's episode, we examine ongoing conflicts in Yemen and how it may affect peace talks being proposed by the USA, discuss the Myanmar coup in light of new western sanctions, and talk about North Korea’s latest missile tests.
Today on The Leaders' Brief -
  • Last week, Yemen's Houthi rebels rejected a Saudi initiative to end a six-year-long war that has pushed the country towards economic ruin and a never-ending famine. Strategy experts believe that the Saudi coalition had underestimated Yemen’s Shiite political alliance, and instead of emerging victorious, has riled up civil conflict in the country causing immeasurable losses, including over 200,000 deaths and large-scale economic ruin in the next six years. Last month, in a phone call with Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, US President Joe Biden revisited the Yemen crisis and sought a peace deal.

  • The USA and the UK announced sanctions against a military-owned conglomerate in coup-hit Myanmar last Thursday as the government’s brutal crackdowns against protestors continued. Thursday’s sanctions against Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd. could put enormous economic pressure on the country’s military. The highly secretive company is an important source of cash-flow for the military and could drain the coup organisers of much needed resources. Announcing the sanctions, the UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, "Today's sanctions target the military's financial interests to help drain the sources of finance for their campaigns of repression against civilians". 

  • North Korea is back in the news for provocative actions in the Korean peninsula. Last week, the country fired off a pair of cruise missiles during a US secretary of state Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's visit to Asia to discuss security issues. The South Korean Defense Ministry said last Wednesday that the two missiles were fired from South Pyongan province on Sunday which flew over the sea between the Korean peninsula and China into the Sea of Japan. The USA said that the launch was not in violation of US sanctions but the country’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan will host his counterparts from Japan and South Korea this week to discuss and craft a coordinated strategy toward North Korea. 

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