Five Things to Know, May 28, 2024
(South Korean Ministry of National Defense)

Five Things to Know, May 28, 2024

1.   Seoul for the first time has released video footage of a Pyongyang satellite launch, which failed Monday night and scattered debris over the Yellow Sea. The black-and-white footage shows the satellite’s rocket exploding over the sea at 10:46 p.m., two minutes after launch, a Ministry of National Defense spokesman told Stars and Stripes by phone Tuesday. The video was taken from a South Korea military vessel sailing northwest of the Korean Peninsula. The spokesman declined to elaborate on the footage but said it was the first time the military publicly released a video of a North Korean satellite launch.

2.   A U.S. congressional delegation met Taiwan's new leader on Monday in a show of support days after China held drills around the self-governing island in response to his inauguration. Rep. Andy Barr, the co-chair of the Taiwan caucus in the U.S. Congress, said the United States is fully committed to supporting Taiwan militarily, diplomatically and economically. “There should be no doubt, there should be no skepticism in the United States, Taiwan or anywhere in the world, of American resolve to maintain the status quo and peace in the Taiwan Strait,” the Republican from Kentucky said at a news conference in the capital, Taipei, after the delegation met Taiwan President Lai Ching-te.

3.   New Israeli strikes on Rafah have killed at least 16 Palestinians, first responders said Tuesday, as residents reported an escalation of fighting in the southern Gaza city once seen as the territory’s last refuge. An Israeli incursion launched in early May has caused nearly 1 million to flee from Rafah, most of whom had already been displaced in the war between Israel and Hamas. They now seek refuge in squalid tent camps and other war-ravaged areas. The United States and other close allies of Israel have warned against a full-fledged offensive in the city, with the Biden administration saying that would cross a red line and refusing to provide offensive arms for such an undertaking. On Friday, the International Court of Justice called on Israel to halt its Rafah offensive, an order it has no power to enforce.

4.   While usage of caffeine and nicotine may have a positive effect in limited small doses, consistent and high-level doses of those stimulants often negatively impact operational readiness and health of U.S. sailors, according to a new study from Pepperdine University. The study included a sample size of 15,880 active-duty Navy personnel, and evaluated the relationship between job stress and stimulants, and their effect on readiness in an operational environment. It determined that stimulants could be the “best option” for short-term and occasional operations, but ultimately worsened conditions when sailors routinely faced high job stress and poor sleep schedules.

5.   A ship came under attack Tuesday in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen, with a private security firm saying radio traffic suggested the vessel took on water after being struck. No group immediately claimed responsibility, but suspicion immediately fell on Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have launched a number of attacks targeting ships over Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Few other details were immediately available about the attack, reported by the British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center. It happened off the port city of Hodeida in the southern Red Sea, near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait that links it to the Gulf of Aden.