Is Asia a powder keg ready to blow?

Is Asia a powder keg ready to blow?

June 16, 20203 min read

This week has seen rising tensions across Asia with key players facing off on what looks to be a dramatic rise in tensions with the potential for action.


First off  … Korea, where early Tuesday the first salvo was thrown:

North Korea has blown up a joint liaison office with the South near the North's border town of Kaesong.

The move comes just hours after the North renewed threats of military action at the Korean border.

The site was opened in 2018 to help the Koreas - officially in a state of war - to communicate. It had been empty since January due to Covid-19 restrictions.

In a statement, South Korea warned it would "respond strongly" if the North "continues to worsen the situation".

The destruction of the office, it said, "abandons the hopes of everyone who wanted the development of inter-Korean relations and peace settlement in the Korean Peninsula".

"The government makes it clear that all responsibility of this situation lies in the North." June 16 - BBC


And this incident occurred which saw gun fire traded between China and India for the first time in almost a half century:

Three members of India’s armed forces have been killed in a “violent face-off” with Chinese soldiers on their disputed Himalayan border, the Indian army has said in a statement.

The deaths are the first loss of life in the border area in at least 45 years, and come amid a renewed dispute between the two countries in recent weeks. Indian and Chinese soldiers, who often do not carry weapons in the area to avoid escalating conflicts, have brawled, detained each other and deployed forces and equipment in the western Himalayas in recent weeks.

“During the de-escalation process under way in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place yesterday [Monday] night with casualties on both sides,” the Indian army said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon Delhi-time. “The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers.”

It said “senior military officials of the two sides are currently meeting at the venue to defuse the situation”.

It was unclear whether shots had been fired or if the men were killed in hand-to-hand combat. Several Indian media reports cited defence sources claiming the fighting involved stones and clubs.

The Chinese also military suffered casualties, according to a tweet by the editor-in-chief of China’s state-run Global Times newspaper. “Based on what I know, Chinese side also suffered casualties in the Galwan Valley physical clash,” Hu Xijin wrote. He did not give further details. June 16 - The Guardian



The world seems on edge, and if you are a journalist covering these topics and you need the perspective and input of an expert who can help with your story – then let us help.

Dr. Glen Duerr's research interests include comparative politics and international relations theory. Glen is an expert on this subject and is available to speak to media regarding this topic– simply click on his icon to arrange an interview.

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  • Glen Duerr, Ph.D.
    Glen Duerr, Ph.D. Professor of International Studies

    Dr. Deurr's research interests include nationalism and secession, comparative politics, and international relations theory

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