Asia-Pacific Region: Intelligence Summary: 29 May 2017

David McDonald – Asia-Pacific Section Chief

North Korea Fires SCUD-class Ballistic Missile, Japan Protests

29 May 2017


Reuters (SEOUL) – On 29 May, North Korea (DPRK) fired a SCUD-class, short range missile into the Sea of Japan.  The launch followed two unsuccessful medium-to-long range launches by DPRK.  The 29 May launch is the country’s third ballistic missile test since South Korean President Moon Jae-in entered office on 10 May.  Moon claims that international sanctions are not enough to curb DPRK’s missile programs.  Source: (Reliability: Moderate)


Analysis: It is highly likely that DPRK is using its recent missile tests to demonstrate its power to the international community and assess the Trump Administration’s response to its launches.  (Analytic Confidence: High).


ISIS Backed Militants Struggle For Control In The Southern Philippines

28 May 2017


Marawi City is in the Lanao del Sur region of Mindanao Island.  Image Source:     

The Guardian (WASHINGTON) — Muslim militants attempted to seize the Muslim-majority city of Marawi on 28 May.  The ISIS-backed group, known as the Maute, killed 19 civilians during a firefight with Philippine security forces.  In response, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in the region and blamed foreign extremists for bolstering the rebellion against his government.  Source: (Reliability: Moderate)


China’s Cyber Security Law: The Impossibility Of Compliance?

29 May 2017


Forbes (SHANGHAI) — China will enact a new Cyber Security Law on 1 June to consolidate its cyber security activities and respond to its cyber security concerns.  The law will likely affect multinational companies (MNC) if they are key suppliers to critical infrastructure and hold information on Chinese citizens.  One of the law’s provisions states that companies must oblige to onsite inspections and a “national security review.”  Source: (Reliability: Moderate)


Analysis: It is virtually certain that China will use this law to further solidify the monitoring of its companies’ and citizens’ online activities.


Indian Police Arrest 150 From Modi’s Party In Kolkata Clashes

25 May 2017


Reuters (NEW DELHI) — Indian police arrested 150 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) protestors after street battles occurred.  The BJP organized the protest in response to a perceived lack of security in the Congress party controlled, West Bengal region.  The BJP seeks to make political gains in the region after the Congress party won re-election in the region in 2016.  Source: (Reliability: Moderate)


Vietnam Receives Hamilton-class Cutter From U.S. Coast Guard

29 May 2017


IHS Janes (SINGAPORE) — Vietnam’s Coast Guard (CGBV) received the delivery of the USCGC Morgenthau from the United States.  The vessel is Vietnam’s largest to date and will likely improve the CGBV’s maritime surveillance capabilities.  Source: (Reliability: High)


Comment: USCGC Morgenthau served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 48 years.


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