North Korea Exhibits New Missile As Message To Biden And US

North Korea Exhibits New Missile As Message To Biden And US

North Korea has unveiled another missile (nothing new in that). Interesting is the fact that the unveiling occurred just a week before Biden’s inauguration as the US President. In that light, let us take a look at how the US-North Korea relationship was under Trump regime and how it alternated rapidly.

Crux of the Matter

New Missile Unveiled
North Korea recently unveiled a new type of “submarine-launched ballistic missile” at a parade. It has been described by the NK media as “the world’s most powerful weapon.”

Message To Biden?
The recent development has come days before Joe Biden takes charge as the US President from 20th January. Besides unveiling the new missile, North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un also called to be wary of the US “no matter who is in power” there.

“Our foreign political activities should be focused and redirected on subduing the U.S., our biggest enemy and main obstacle to our innovated development.”

Kim Jong Un on the US

Previously

  • North Korea had unveiled an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in October 2020.
  • The ICBM is reportedly able to hit even the US with a nuclear warhead.


Trump-Kim Era
Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un shared an alternating relationship in Trump’s tenure. The relations were tense as Kim accelerated NK’s nuclear programme while Trump continued with his ‘unusual’ diplomacy.

  • August 2017: Trump tweeted that “[North Korea] will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen” if they make any threats.
  • September: Trump, at the UN General Assembly, claimed that the “Rocket Man [Kim] is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime“.
    Kim called him “mentally deranged” in response.
  • November: The US officially designated North Korea as ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ – NK was removed from the list in 2008.

Button Battle

In January 2018, Kim claimed that the entire US was within its nuclear weapon range and that he has a “nuclear launch button” on his table. Trump had retaliated by claiming that he had “much bigger” and “more powerful” button on his desk.

Love Over Letters
However, their relation improved drastically with an exchange of ‘letters’.

  • September 2018: Trump claimed that he and Kim “fell in love” as “he wrote me [Trump] beautiful letters”.
  • June 2019: Trump visited North Korea – became the 1st US President to do so.

The Result?
No actual progress came though. with denuclearization talks proving unfruitful. It was witnessed in June 2020, when North Korea formally announced to cease attempts to establish diplomatic relations with the US over continued economic sanctions.

The 2016-20 period for the 2 nations witnessed several missile tests and threats by North Korea. Talks with the US also ultimately failed in the period, with several points of tension reminding people of the Korean war.

In 2020, Kim Jong Un declared that North Korea will develop strategic weapons to ensure the security of its state until a lasting peace-keeping mechanism is ready. Read about it in detail here.

Curiopedia
  • Ballistics is the field of mechanics concerned with the launching, flight behaviour and impact effects of projectiles especially ranged weapon munitions such as bullets, unguided bombs, rockets or the like. A ballistic missile is a missile that is guided only during the relatively brief initial phase of powered flight and the trajectory is subsequently governed by the laws of classical mechanics.
  • Huolongchushui (Fire dragon) were the earliest form of multistage rockets and ballistic cruise missiles used in post-classical China. The name of the weapon was used to strike fear into enemy troops.
  • North Korea’s human rights record is often considered to be the worst in the world and has been globally condemned, with the United Nations, the European Union and groups such as Human Rights Watch all critical of the country’s record.

“Opposition Free” Elections in Kazakhstan & Reminiscent Of ‘Borat’

Kazakhstan "Opposition Free" Elections Reminiscent Of 'Borat'

With the ruling party of Kazakhstan comfortably securing victory in an election widely calledopposition free“, the event has recalled the depiction of the country in the renowned ‘mockumentary’ Borat. Let’s see what evokes this reminiscence.

Crux of the Matter

Recent Election
Nur Otan is the ruling party of Kazakhstan. In the recent parliamentary election, the party won with a 71% vote.

The Catch?

  • The election was mainly “opposition free”.
  • National Social Democratic Party (NSDP) is the only registered party against Nur Otan in Kazakhstan.
  • NSDP did not field candidates in this election as a “protest” method, thus providing it with the title being widely used.

Intra-Party Election

  • 4 other parties competed with Nur Otan. However, all are its allies and support it.
  • No elections in the history of Kazakhstan have been recognized ‘fair’ since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

As all political parties contesting the elections supported the policies of the ruling party, the campaign was not competitive, and voters had no genuine political alternatives to choose from.

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on Kazakhstan elections


Reminds Of Borat?

  • Satirical movie Borat is widely credited for making people across the world aware of Kazakhstan’s existence.
  • The movie was released in 2006, starring Sacha Baron Cohen as ‘Borat Sagdiyev’.
  • Borat acted as a reporter sent from Kazakhstan to cover “the greatest country”: the US.
  • It was banned in Kazakhstan due to its ‘offensive’ portrayal of the nation – portrayed it as sexist, racist, devoid of human rights, and civility.

Drastic Change With Sequel

  • Interestingly, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm or Borat 2 received an opposite reaction in Kazakhstan.
  • The nation has embraced the movie positively. Its recent tourism campaign of the nation had “very nice!” (famous dialogue of Borat) as its slogan.

Following have been cited as reasons for Kazakhstan’s change in attitude:

  • Even though the first part was mainly a satire on the US, the sequel focused completely on the US and actions of Donald Trump and his colleagues.
  • Tourism in the country increased drastically after the first part was released.

I chose Kazakhstan [for Borat] because it was a place that almost nobody in the U.S. knew anything about, which allowed us to create a wild, comedic, fake world. The real Kazakhstan is a beautiful country with a modern, proud society — the opposite of Borat’s version.

Sacha Baron Cohen

“Very Nice” Election
However, the recent “opposition free” election in the country has reminded people of Borat and how Kazakhstan was shown in the movie. Several people have been wondering if the portrayal (at least of its authoritarianism) was not much removed from reality!

Read about elections in other countries:

Curiopedia
  • Da Ali G Show is a British satirical television series created by and starring English comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. In the series, Baron Cohen plays three unorthodox journalists: faux-streetwise poseur Ali G, Kazakh reporter Borat Sagdiyev, and gay Austrian fashion enthusiast Brüno Gehard. These characters conduct real interviews with unsuspecting people, many of whom are celebrities, high-ranking government officials, and other well-known figures, during which they are asked absurd and ridiculous questions.
  • The Dictator is a 2012 political satire comedy film co-written by and starring Sacha Baron Cohen as his fourth feature film in a leading role. Baron Cohen, in the role of Admiral General Aladeen, the dictator of the fictional Republic of Wadiya visiting the United States.
  • The name “Kazakh” comes from the ancient Turkic word qaz, “to wander“, reflecting the Kazakhs’ nomadic culture. The term “Cossack” is of the same origin. The Persian suffix -stan means “land” or “place of”, so Kazakhstan can be literally translated as “land of the wanderers”.

Joe Biden And Financial Policies

Joe Biden And Financial Policies

Joe Biden’s stint as the US president will commence on January 20th, 2021. We do not know whether the President-elect will live up to expectations of being a hero – as deemed by many, but his plans for the country are ambitious and represents more than just reassurance from Trump’s administration. Here’s a look at the proposed financial policies of Joe Biden and how it may affect America and India.

Crux of the Matter

Biden And The Way Ahead
Experts say, Biden’s prsidency entices a feeling of hope and curiosity among American citizens as well as Indian commentators, but could draw scrutiny from the same. With all that has besieged the US – from the pandemic to the social unrest to the US Capitol Hill siege, citizens are expecting the new president to be a hero. Whether or not the president-elect will live up to such expectations only time can tell, but his plans for the country are still ambitious and represents more than just reassurance from Trump’s administration. Revitalizing the middle class and making it more racially inclusive is a cornerstone of his plans.

Tax Policy And Trade Solution
On the trade front, US and India’s relationship with China bodes well for the relations between both countries. India has had a trade surplus (exports greater than imports) with the US, for almost twenty years.

The US accounts for ~17% of India’s exports, rendering the relationship of the countries very significant, which does not look like changing any time soon.

  • Biden wants a progressive and less debilitating tax code.
  • His plan is to generate $4 trillion of additional revenue over a decade.
  • He wants are raise the top income tax bracket to 39.6% from 37%, tax capital gains, and dividends at ordinary rates for those with annual incomes over $1 million, and increase the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%.

Experts believe that this tax regime may turn into a boon for India as this may attract more FDI. India had reduced the corporate tax rate to 22% for companies that gave up all exemptions and incentives in September 2019. The effective rate without exemptions would be about 25.17%. However, a 15% rate has been offered to new companies including manufacturing firms. The rates are far more attractive compared to the previous rate of 30%.

Other Notable Policies

  • Biden’s climate change measures policy has attracted attention from the people.
  • Calling it the “Clean energy revolution”, he aims to invest $2 trillion and create up to 10 million jobs.
  • The US has also promised to rejoin the Paris Climate Change Accord which could help India in technical and financial ways but his policies could also spell danger.
  • In accordance with these policies, Biden may include carbon adjustment fees on goods imported from countries that are high carbon emitters, and India being a trade partner might be dealt with higher import tariffs.
  • Biden has promised to expand the Obama care subsidies to increase reach to more middle-income families on the health care forefront.
  • Biden expanded his student debt plan and said he wants to forgive all undergraduate tuition-related federal student debt for those who earn up to $125,000 and attended 2 and 4-year public colleges and universities.

Potential Concerns For India

  • Under the Trump administration, US restricted the visa regime due to the ‘America first’ policy, which affected Indian youth significantly – the new President seems inclusive of immigrants.
  • US sanctions on Iran impeded India from obtaining crude oil cheaply. Under Biden, India can hope the situation alleviates and lower crude oil price benefits the Indian economy – that has high crude oil consumption – in the long run.
  • In July 2020, Biden proposed a $700 billion plan to boost America’s manufacturing and technological strength. This involves government spending of $400 billion on US goods and services and a $300 billion investment in research and development (R&D) on technologies like electric vehicles, lightweight materials, 5G, and artificial intelligence.
  • This Made in America policy could also hinder investment in India when it comes to manufacturing.

The economic plans for the country seem promising for American citizens as well as immigrants.
“Will America be great again?” – Only time will tell.

Read More about the presidential elect Joe Biden here:

Summachar brings you this story in collaboration with Finmedium that can be found on Instagram at @finmedium and on the web here.

Curiopedia
  • Banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) is an industry term for companies that provide a range of such financial products or services. This term is commonly used by information technology (IT), information technology enabled services (ITES), business process outsourcing (BPO) companies and technical/professional services firms that manage data processing, application testing and software development activities in this domain.
  • Joe Biden’s negotiations with congressional Republicans helped pass legislation including the 2010 Tax Relief Act, which resolved a taxation deadlock; the Budget Control Act of 2011, which resolved a debt ceiling crisis; and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which addressed the impending “fiscal cliff”.
  • The United States fiscal cliff refers to the combined effect of several previously-enacted laws that came into effect simultaneously in January 2013, increasing taxes and decreasing spending. At 12:01 am EST on January 1, 2013, the US “technically” went over the fiscal cliff.

Trump Becomes 1st US President To Be Impeached Twice

Trump Becomes 1st US President To Be Impeached Twice

With Donald Trump achieving the milestone of becoming the first President to be impeached twice, let us look at what impeachment is, what led to the one of Trump, as well as its former cases.

Crux of the Matter

“Milestone” Achieved
On 13 January 2021, Donald Trump became the 1st US president to be impeached twice and only the 3rd US President to be impeached.

The House of Representatives formally charged him with “incitement of insurrection” after his supporters sieged the Capitol and committed violence.

What Is Impeachment?

  • Impeachment is the formal charging of President with certain crimes.
  • Impeachment is a part of the process of officially removing the President for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”.
  • Impeachment is done by the House (lower house).

Impeachment is succeeded by the Senate (upper House) trial, where 2/3rd majority is required to convict and remove the President. However, no President in history has been removed by the Senate.

Impeachment After Trump Leaves?
As per experts, late impeachment (after Trump leaves the office) is also possible.

  • Notably, impeachment may also be used to “disqualify” from office in future.
  • Meaning: Trump’s impeachment may prohibit him from contesting in the 2024 Presidential election as well as deny ex-President benefits.

Previous Instances Of Impeachment

Donald Trump (2019)

  • Impeached on charges of “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress”.
  • Trump reportedly pressurized the Ukrainian President to “investigate” Joe Biden and his son Hunter to aid him in 2020 elections.

Bill Clinton (1998)

  • Impeached on charges of “lying under oath to a federal grand jury” and “obstruction of justice”.
  • Clinton lied about having “sexual relationship” with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
  • Impeachment not for the extramarital affair, but for perjury (lying about the issue under oath) and using power to hide the matter.

Andrew Johnson (1868)

  • Impeached on charges of “violating the Tenure of Office Act”.
  • Done so by removing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton from office.

Curiopedia
  • Dilma Vana Rousseff is a Brazilian economist and politician who served as the 36th president of Brazil. She was the first woman to hold the Brazilian presidency. On 31 August 2016, the Senate voted 61–20 to impeach, finding Rousseff guilty of breaking budgetary laws and removed her from office.
  • The charge of high crimes and misdemeanours covers allegations of misconduct by officials. The impeachment of the King’s Chancellor, Michael de la Pole, 1st Earl of Suffolk in 1386 was the first case to use this charge.
  • Other than impeachment, no other penalty can be given to a president in position for the violation of the Constitution under Article 361 of the Indian constitution. No Indian President has faced impeachment proceedings. Hence, the provisions for impeachment have never been tested.

Pakistan 2nd Biggest Digital Audience Of DD And All India Radio

Pakistan 2nd Biggest Digital Audience Of DD And All India Radio

With India’s neighbour Pakistan featuring in the top digital audience of DD and All India Radio of Prasar Bharati, let us look at some stats revealed by the latter as well as one notable incident regarding India, Balochistan, Pakistan and All India Radio.

Crux of the Matter

Before We Start
Prasar Bharati is the statutory autonomous body functioning as India’s Public Service Broadcaster. It consists of All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan (DD).

100% Digital Growth

  • Digital channels of Prasar Bharati registered more than 100% growth in 2020.
  • Prasar Bharati app (NewsOnAir) added more than 2.5 million users in 2020 as well as received more than 300 million views.
  • Channels across Doordarshan and Akashvani received more than 1 billion digital views.
  • Most popular digital videos included Prime Minister’s interactions with school students, Republic Day parade 2020 and a rare video of mathematician Shakuntala Devi from DD National archives.

Audience From The Neighbourhood

  • Pakistan was the 2nd largest “digital audience” for DD and AIR content after people inside India.
  • The US was the 3rd largest digital audience.
  • One notable incident of AIR also associated with Pakistan and its annexation of Balochistan.

Balochistan In 1947

  • As per the Foreign Policy Centre of the UK, most of Balochistan was known as Kalat before 1947.
  • Remained independent for 7 months after Indian independence and partition in 1947.

Infamous Menon Declaration

  • 27 March 1948: V P Menon, Secretary in Ministry of States, made a statement on All India Radio.
  • Menon claimed that Kalat “was pressing” to join India but the latter rejected it.

2 versions exist:

  • King of Kalat had never discussed joining India and was in touch with both India and Pakistan to prevent invasion from the latter.
  • Kalat wanted independence but asked to join India amidst Pakistani threat, which India rejected.

Damage Done

  • Either way, the damage was done.
  • Sardar Patel immediately denied that any such request was put, and so did PM Nehru.
  • However, it proved a bit too late, as the AIR broadcast was heard by King of Kalat and also reported by Pakistani Government.
  • In less than a week, Pakistani Army annexed Kalat and captured the King.

Balochistan has since been a part of Pakistan. However, both share a strained relationship due to reported violent suppression by the latter continuing even today.

Curiopedia
  • The Prasar Bharati Act provides for the establishment of a Broadcasting Corporation, to be known as Prasar Bharati, and define its composition, functions, and powers. The Act received the assent of the President of India on 12 September 1990 after being unanimously passed by Parliament. It was finally implemented in November 1997.
  • Akashvani is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘celestial announcement‘ or ‘voice from the sky/heaven‘. ‘Akashvani’ was first used in the context of radio by M. V. Gopalaswami in 1936 after setting up India’s first private radio station in his residence; Akashvani was later adopted as All India Radio’s on-air name in 1957; given its literal meaning in Sanskrit, it was believed to be a more than a suitable name for a broadcaster.
  • Krishi Darshan debuted on Doordarshan on 26 January 1967 and is Indian television’s longest-running program. In 2015, it was shifted from DD National and airs on DD Kisan, but also airs on the former channel.