Worldview Security Update – July 31, 2019
31-Jul-19

ASIA

China (Security threat level – 3): During the evening of 30 July 2019, protesters clashed with police officers outside the Kwai Chung police station in the Kwai Fong area of Kwai Tsing District, located in New Territories, Hong Kong. Demonstrators gathered outside the police station after authorities charged 44 protesters —  detained inside the station — with rioting during protests on 28 July. Riot police officers used pepper spray and baton charges to disperse the protesters after initially warning them to leave. However, there were no reports of injuries or arrests.

China / Vietnam / Laos (Security threat levels – 3 / 3 / 3): According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC), as of 0900 UTC on 31 July 2019, Tropical Storm Wipha was located approximately 385 km (240 mi) south-southwest of Hong Kong, and was moving northwest at 19 kph (12 mph). At that point, the storm was generating maximum sustained winds of 65 kph, with gusts of up to 83 kph. Wipha has already prompted moderate rainfall in Hong Kong, and authorities have issued a Typhoon 8 signal (the third highest level alert on a 10-tier scale)  on 30 July to warn of the potential threat of heavy rainfall and subsequent flash floods. Hong Kong International Airport (VHHH/HKG) announced that 397 flights were delayed, and 22 more were canceled on 31 July; further flight delays and cancellations are likely. Current forecasts suggest that the storm will move across China’s Hainan Island and the Leizhou Peninsula before moving across northern Vietnam and Laos between 2 and 4 August.

North Korea (Security threat level – 3): At 0506 local time on 31 July 2019 (2006 UTC on 30 July), the North Korean military launched two short-range ballistic missiles from a site on the Hodo Peninsula in South Hamgyong province, located on the eastern coast of the country. The projectiles reportedly flew approximately 250 km (155 mi) downrange at a maximum altitude of 30 km before falling into the East Sea. Previously, two short-range ballistic missiles were launched from Wonsan, which is located approximately 25 km southwest of the Hodo Peninsula, on 25 July.

GOVERNMENT WARNINGS

Democratic Republic Of The Congo (Security threat level – 5): On 31 July 2019, the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issued updated travel advice for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to include information regarding attacks on Ebola responders, which reads in part as follows: "The security situation in eastern DRC remains unstable…There are continued reports of attacks and kidnappings, including against staff from NGOs. There have been a number of reported attacks on Ebola responders working in affected areas."

Paraguay (Security threat level – 3): On 30 July 2019, the U.S. Embassy in Asunción issued updated travel advice for Paraguay, which reads in part as follows: “Demonstrations are taking place frequently in the downtown area of Asunción, particularly in the proximity of government buildings and offices, often without warning. You should avoid large gatherings, monitor local media and follow the guidance of local authorities.”