The Sunday Subject – July 9, 2023

President Biden made the controversial decision to send cluster munitions to Ukraine.

As cluster munitions pose long-term risks to civilians, Western allies have expressed concern with Biden’s decision. Margarita Robles, Spain’s defense minister, said her country had a “firm commitment” not to offer certain weapons to Ukraine, while British prime minister Rishi Sunak said Britain “discourages” the use of cluster bombs. Biden called his decision difficult but necessary as “the Ukrainians are running out of ammunition.”

As her four-day trip to China came to a finish, US treasury secretary Janet Yellen said that talks were “productive.”

Yellen stated that despite the need for the two superpowers to communicate clearly on their “significant disagreements,” it was possible for “both of our countries to thrive” and that economic decoupling would be “disaster” and “destabilizing.” The visit was part of an attempt to relaunch diplomatic dialogue between the US and China after years of tense relations.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Seoul to protest Japan’s plan to discharge treated radioactive water into the ocean.

South Koreans and other neighboring countries have expressed concern about Japan’s plan to release 1.3 million tons of treated radioactive water from the Fukushima power plant disaster in 2011, despite Japan’s insistence that it is safe. Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, says the release would have negligible environmental and health impacts.