Five Things to Know, July 8, 2024

Five Things to Know, July 8, 2024

1.   A major Russian missile attack across Ukraine killed at least 20 people and injured more than 50 on Monday, officials said, with one missile striking a large children’s hospital in the capital, Kyiv, where emergency crews searched rubble for casualties. The Russian barrage targeted five Ukrainian cities with more than 40 missiles of different types, hitting apartment buildings and public infrastructure, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a social media post. Strikes in Kryvyi Rih, in central Ukraine, killed 10 people and injured 37, in what the head of city administration, Oleksandr Vilkul, said was a massive missile attack.

2.   The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called South Korea’s recent front-line live-fire drills “suicidal hysteria” as she threatened unspecified military steps Monday if further provoked. The warning by Kim Yo Jong came after South Korea resumed firing exercises near its tense land and sea borders with North Korea in the past two weeks. The exercises were the first of their kind since South Korea suspended a 2018 agreement with the North aimed at easing front-line military tensions in June.

3.   Chinese President Xi Jinping called on world powers to help Russia and Ukraine resume direct dialogue during a meeting Monday with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, state broadcaster CCTV reported. Orbán made a surprise visit to China after similar trips last week to Russia and Ukraine to discuss prospects for a peaceful settlement of more than the two-year war. Hungary assumed the rotating presidency of the European Union this month and Orbán has since embarked on a peace mission, which, however, lacks the endorsement of other European leaders.

4.   Japan and the Philippines signed a key defense pact Monday allowing the deployment of Japanese forces for joint military exercises, including live-fire drills, to the Southeast Asian nation that came under brutal Japanese occupation in World War II but is now building an alliance with Tokyo as they face an increasingly assertive China. The Reciprocal Access Agreement, which similarly allows Filipino forces to enter Japan for joint combat training, was signed by Philippine Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa in a Manila ceremony witnessed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. It would take effect after ratification by the countries’ legislatures, Philippine and Japanese officials said.

5.   Four U.S. Air Force and one South Korean air force C-130J Super Hercules airlifters flew over the Korean Peninsula for the first five-transport aircraft sortie last month, according to an Air Force news release. The U.S. C-130Js assigned to the 36th Airlift Squadron, 374th Airlift Wing at Yokota Air Base, Japan, flew to Gimhae Air Base on the southeastern coast of South Korea to load containers for a mass airdrop training mission June 25, according to the Air Force on July 1. The cargo consisted of 600-pound water drums to simulate real-time cargo airdrops, 7th Air Force Maj. Rachel Buitrago said by phone Monday.