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Nuclear sabre-rattling takes centre stage

World events continue to shock and surprise, with the nuclear sabre-rattling of North Korea taking centre stage. Its growing arsenal means more intense threats. With Trump screaming blood are we just months away from a calamitous war?

Nuclear sabre-rattling takes centre stage

With the detonation of its latest H-bomb test, and a series of missile launches arching over Japan, the previous schedule has been revised considerably. The US is faced with several uncomfortable facts. First, the North Korean arsenal is capable of striking mainland United States and inflict immense damage. Secondly, whether it is developing these technologies indigenously or acquiring them from global powers, North Korea’s capacity is progressing faster than expected. Lastly, the chance of the regime collapsing is growing increasingly slim. In spite of the affront which it presents to Xi, the result of a North Korean fall would be mass exodus to China’s border and the unification of an enemy state right on its doorstep. 

For this reason, the US might have to accept North Korea as an unwelcome and belligerent but nevertheless certified member of the nuclear club, and treat the Hermit Kingdom accordingly. 

Cyclone havoc

A series of hurricanes have battered the southern states of Texas and Florida, destroying homes, disrupting industry, and killing dozens. Explosions of petrochemical plants and destruction of oil pipelines have flooded parts of the country with highly toxic material which will make cleanup efforts both more difficult and more time – consuming. That poorer neighbourhoods are disproportionately affected has raised further questions about inequality in America.

 

More positive trade news

With regards to Indo-US relations, the febrile political climate has seen relatively few changes. The H1B Visa issue remains unclear, with no confirmation on whether the Trump administration will seek to lower the numbers or not. However, more positive news has come out in terms of trade, with the sale of high-tech US military drones to India. Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj met US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in New York further cementing Indo-American relations.

 

Trade with EU higher priority 

For Britain, the departure from the EU continues to splinter the ruling Conservative party. Factions that support a hard Brexit emphasise the country’s links to the Commonwealth. Whilst the Japanese government said they were not averse to making deals with Britain, they admitted that the EU trading bloc was a greater priority.

Another blow to Prime Minister 

Theresa May’s ambitions for Commonwealth trade lies with statistics which reveal the extent of international students who illegally stay behind after their course had ended. This has long been one of the Prime Minister’s ideological standpoints. Whilst her Home Office had estimated 100,000 rule-breakers, the real figure is closer to 4,500 - a revelation which has hurt May’s credibility. Given that visa restrictions have long been a stumbling block for more trade with India, this recent revelation might at last change the British mindset.

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