Some diplomacy links:
Yonhap News Agency reports that North Korea is substantially increasing its diplomacy with Africa, as evidenced by the increased frequency with which senior DPRK officials are visiting the continent. “There has been a constant flow of senior North Korean officials visiting Africa this year,” the report notes.
China’s State Councilor Yang Jiechi is in Russia this week to hold the second bilateral strategic security consultation this year. Yang is in Russia from Wednesday to Friday and will be meeting with his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of the Security Council.
South Korea’s Special Envoy to the Six-Party Talks, Cho Tae-yong, is also in Russia to discuss restarting the forum.
The U.S. Special Envoy for North Korean Human Rights Issues Robert King will travel to China, South Korea and Japan from August 19 through August 29.
ASEAN Foreign Ministers met in Thailand on Wednesday to discuss ways to strengthen the organization after it becomes a single community in 2015. The FMs will also prepare for the ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers meeting scheduled to take place in Beijing later this month.
Iran’s new President, Hassan Rouhani, has decided to travel to Kyrgyzstan next month for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit. According to Fars News Agency, which is seen as close to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, this will be the new president’s first trip abroad. Iran holds observer status at the SCO.
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir will visit India later this month.
Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou is visiting a number of countries in the Caribbean and South America this week.
U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, left on Monday for a nine-day trip to Asia. While in the region, Senator Menendez will stop in South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and China. For updates you can follow him on Twitter: @SenatorMenendez.
NBA superstar Kobe Bryant is in Manila, Philippines promoting Lenovo Mobile smartphones.