Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 01

Headlines From The Week

  • Positive Moves on the Korean Peninsula – In a surprising move, President Kim stated his intention to consider opening dialogue with South Korea to cover North Korea’s involvement in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics which begin in February 2018. North Korea’s involvement in the Games is likely to decrease the possibility of military tests or an attack during the event. Planned US-South Korea military drills which were due to take place during the Games have been postponed; Pyongyang views these annual drills as provocation.
  • Unrest in the DRC – An estimated 12 people were killed in renewed protests in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Dozens more were injured and more than 120 arrested in widespread anti-government protests, as demonstrators called on President Kabila to step down and respect a 2016 political agreement in which he had pledged to allow for new elections before the end of that year.
  • Storm Grayson Strikes the USA – Storm Grayson has caused hazardous travel conditions along the eastern seaboard of the United States. The storm has brought strong winds, heavy snowfall, and freezing conditions. At least 12 deaths have been attributed to the cold, more than 2,700 flights have been cancelled, and tens of thousands have been left without power. States of emergency have been issued in certain locations.
  • Iranian Protests Continue – Violent protests have continued throughout Iran, with unrest reported in more than 70 cities. More than 20 people have said to have been killed, though security forces have been relatively calm in their response, compared to previous cases of unrest, refraining from widespread aggression.
  • Brazil Prison Break – At least 77 inmates escaped from a jail in the central state of Goias in Brazil on 01 January. The breakout occurred after a riot in the jail between two rival criminal gangs; nine prisoners were killed and 14 injured. Brazil’s jails are notoriously overcrowded with violence an endemic issue.
  • Kabul Terror Attack – At least 20 people were killed and 30 more were killed in a terror attack in the Afghan capital of Kabul on 04 January. Authorities have reported that a suicide bomber targeted police officers who were handling a protest. The Afghan affiliate of Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks.
  • US Security Aid to Pakistan Cut – The US government announced plans to cut almost all of its security aid to Pakistan, claiming that it has failed to deal with terror groups operating within its borders, despite Pakistan being a key regional ally. The move has been praised by India and Afghanistan; though China, which has invested heavily in Pakistan, has come to its defence.

What To Look Out For Next Week

  • Orthodox Christmas and the Epiphany – Orthodox Christians are to celebrate their Christmas on the 06-07 January. This may cause some disruptions in Orthodox countries, notably in Eastern Europe. Other Christians around the world also celebrate the Epiphany religious holiday on the same dates, this is likely to cause limited disruption.
  • North-South Korea Talks – The first of high-level talks between Pyongyang and Seoul since December 2015 are set to take place at the ‘truce village’ of Panmunjom on 09 January. These talks, proposed by Seoul after President Kim’s new year message, are set to cover the potential for North Korea’s involvement in the upcoming Winter Olympics, to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February. The participation of North Korea is set to improve the security of the Games. It is also hoped that other issues can be discussed during this meeting. It is unclear, at present, why President Kim offered this olive branch in his New Year’s Day message.

Significant Dates & Events

  • 06 January – Pro-Kurdish march to take place in Paris.
  • 06 January – Anti-Corruption march to take place in Tel Aviv.
  • 07 January – Northern Cyprus elections.
  • 07 January – Victory over Genocide Day (Cambodia).
  • 08,10,12 January – South Western Railway (UK) walkouts.
  • 09 January – Martyrs Day (Panama).
  • 11 January – Proclamation of Independence Day.
  • 11 January – Air France Pilots threaten walkout.
  • 12 January – Zanzibar Revolution Day
  • 12-13 January – Czech Republic Presidential Elections.
  • 12-15 January – Hungarian Civil Service plan to strike.
  • 12 January – Norway’s FlyViking airline to cease operations.

Click the following link to download this report as a PDF: Weekly Risk Roundup – Week 01 The Weekly Risk Roundup highlights significant events from the last week and what to look out for next week. Week 01 Weekly Risk Roundup was compiled by Solace Global’s in-house intelligence team.