The Hill Talk’s Glance at the Globe

New South Korean president favors dialogue with North:  Liberal Minjoo Party candidate Moon Jae-in was elected to a five-year term as South Korea’s president Tuesday amid boiling tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Moon replaces Park Geun-hye, who was driven from office after her presidency was consumed by a corruption scandal.

Vowing to build a “new Korea,” Moon has publicly expressed disapproval with the placement of the U.S.-made THAAD missile-defense system in South Korea and is expected to shift Seoul’s policy toward Pyongyang, opting for rapprochement.

“I will quickly move to solve the crisis in national security,” Moon said. “I am willing to go anywhere for the peace of the Korean Peninsula — if needed, I will fly immediately to Washington. I will go to Beijing and I will go to Tokyo. If the conditions shape up, I will go to Pyongyang.”

Italy builds detention centers to speed up deportations:  Overwhelmed by 40,000 migrants entering Italy since the beginning of the year, the Italian government has embarked on a crash program to construct detention centers to handle migrants prior to their eventual deportation.

Italy has been deluged with migrants in 2017 as a result of Turkey’s agreement with the European Union, which shifted asylum seekers and migrants away from Greece toward Italy.

Rome plans on building temporary shelters capable of accommodating up to 1,600 persons each while simultaneously determining their fate.  Italian officials say they will continue to deport and identify asylum seekers and migrants for permanent residence or re-settlement in other EU host countries.

U.S., China conclude new trade agreement:  A ten-point trade deal negotiated between the U.S. and China was finalized on Thursday.  U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the new pact, saying it will reduce the American trade deficit with China by the end of 2017.

Under the agreement, U.S. beef products are allowed into Chinese markets and the U.S. will open its markets to Chinese poultry.  Additionally, Beijing will allow U.S. credit institutions to conduct business in China and allow the sale of U.S. natural gas in China.

Although the U.S. and China enjoy a healthy commerce relationship, in 2016, the U.S. trade imbalance with China totaled $310 billion.  As a presidential candidate, President Trump vowed to lower trade deficits with China.

Lithuania to build wall on boundary with Russia:  Lithuania’s State Border Guard Service announced on May 10 it had signed an agreement with Gintreja, which will build a wall on its western boundary with Russia.

Lithuania shares a 27.7 mile border with Russian territory in the Kaliningrad Oblast.  Beginning along the southernmost point of Lithuania’s border with the Kaliningrad Oblast, a six-foot wall is to be built spanning the 27-mile boundary along the east edge of Kaliningrad north to the Nemen River.

Kaliningrad map

Lithuanian Interior Minister Eimutis Misiūnas explained the wall is being built to stop smuggling, prevent alleged breaches by Russia, and “geopolitical tension.” The wall is expected to be completed by December 2017 at a cost of  €1.3 million.

Philippines president to face impeachment:  Impeachment proceedings filed in March against Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte are set to begin on Monday, May 15 amidst controversy in the Philippine House, which is expected to dismiss the claim.

Duterte is accused of betrayal of public trust, violations to the Philippine constitution over the deaths of 7,000 connected to his nationwide anti-drug campaign and allegedly amassing a ₱2 billion fortune.

Under the terms of the Philippine constitution, one-third members of the Philippine House must support the proposed article for impeachment to advance.


[AP] [Humanosphere] [The Telegraph] [Delfi] [Gulf Times]