12 February 2017

North Korea has tested an intermediate ballistic missile in defiance of a UN Security Council ban.   The missile was a Musudan intermediate-range missile which has had a number of unsuccessful tests as well.  The North Korean objective appears to be to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the American homeland.  President Trump has previously stated that his Administration would not tolerate a North Korean ICBM, but his initial reaction to the test was simply to reaffirm US support for Japan.

A special assembly, consisting of members of the lower house in the Bundestag and representatives from the German states, has elected Frank-Walter Steinmeier as Germany’s next president.  Steinmeier is a Social Democrat and his election was broadly based among members of all the German parties.  The German President is not popularly elected but Steinmeier represents a reliable left-wing in German politics, having served previously as the Foreign Minister. He is a vocal critic of US President Trump and his election suggests that US-German relations will likely become more problematic, a development that can only weaken Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Mexican politics have been roiled for several years, but the election has catalyzed popular discontent with corruption and inefficiency into a serious governing challenge. A new movement, called Vibra México, has arisen to protest the governing elite’s handling of various crises.  The movement’s conundrum, however, is deciding whether to back current President Peña Nieto as he tries to mobilize the country to resist President Trump’s policies.  If Peña Nieto does not seem to be effective in defending Mexico’s interests, it is likely that popular discontent will erupt against the government.

 

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Posted February 12, 2017 by vferraro1971

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