Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for June 9, 2022

Newsline: US national security team slammed for “disastrous” diplomacy

On “Fox & Friends” Thursday, former White House Global Engagement Director Brett Bruen urged the White House to bring in a new national security team. “I do [think Jake Sullivan needs to go]. And I said that last summer after the reckless retreat from Afghanistan. But I think it’s got to go beyond Jake, because there is a real process problem here. And you see it playing out time and time again. And in response to that op-ed last summer in USA Today, the White House obviously trained their fire on me and on the work that I’ve been doing, just trying to be a credible voice on some of these issues. And I think, quite frankly, what we need is to acknowledge some of the problems, because if we don’t, we’re not going to fix them.” (https://www.foxnews.com/media/obama-official-slams-biden-national-security-team-bruen) A former Obama administration official also criticized President Biden’s “reckless” foreign policy statements in a new USA Today op-ed.

Newsline: Several Blocks Closed After Bottle Thrown Over Fence at Chinese Embassy in Washington

Several blocks are shut down in Northwest D.C. early Thursday after someone threw a bottle with a liquid in it over the fence at the Chinese embassy, officials say. (https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/several-blocks-closed-after-bottle-thrown-over-fence-at-chinese-embassy-in-dc/3073185/) A D.C. Fire & EMS hazmat team responded to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China at 3505 International Place NW. They are investigating the contents of the bottle. Police have shut down Connecticut Avenue NW between Albemarle Street NW and Tilden Street NW in the Van Ness neighborhood. Those blocks are closed until further notice.

Newsline: Drone targeted U.S. Consulate in Iraq

A drone attack targeted the U.S. Consulate in Iraq’s northern city of Erbil on Wednesday, a security source told Reuters. A drone exploded in Erbil on Wednesday injuring three people and damaging several cars, according to a statement by Kurdistan’s counter-terrorism service. The explosive drone detonated on Pirmam road in Erbil’s outskirts at 9:35 p.m. Iraq time, the statement said. (https://www.fxempire.com/news/article/drone-attack-targets-u-s-consulate-in-iraqs-erbil-security-source-1027648) Two security sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the drone was shot down. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. A security source said earlier that a drone attack targeted the U.S. consulate but did not give further details.

Newsline: South Korea kick-starts diplomacy for reboot with Japan

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol is preparing to kick diplomacy with Japan into high gear with a new ambassador and a planned trip by his top diplomat after being buoyed by a landslide victory in local elections last week. South Korea’s regional elections on June 1 served as the first major test of public support for the new administration, which took control roughly a month ago. Yoon’s People’s Power Party won 12 out of 17 mayoral and gubernatorial races that day. Still, the blow to the progressive opposition, which traditionally has taken a tough line on Japan, is a boon for Yoon’s foreign policy goals. (https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Japan-South-Korea-rift/South-Korea-s-Yoon-kick-starts-diplomacy-for-reboot-with-Japan) Yoon met with U.S. President Joe Biden on May 21 in Seoul shortly after taking office, where they reaffirmed the importance of the alliance between Washington and Seoul. He considers thawing ties with Japan as his next diplomatic priority. Foreign Minister Park Jin is making final preparations to visit Japan late this month. Yoon is looking to attend the NATO summit in Spain starting June 29, raising the possibility of a meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida there should he also attend. High-ranking officials from the U.S., South Korea and Japan have been in talks since May.