Suspicious activity near the China-Bhutan border. Satellite imagery obtained by Indian news portal The Print reportedly shows new construction activity by the Chinese military near the contentious Doklam plateau. In 2017, the Indian and Chinese militaries engaged in a 72-day standoff in Doklam. According to the report, permanent structures shown in the images could serve as storage, parking or accommodations. There is also a newly constructed unpaved road leading to the structures, located just 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) from the border. There was also speculation that one of the structures may be a helicopter hanger, though no support structures have been identified. More activity was observed in Cona County, near the border in eastern Bhutan. Here, China is reportedly constructing a series of roads and bridges for transport of goods or troops stationed in the area. The report said troops numbering more than a battalion were stationed there and a tunneling facility was possibly being upgraded.

More precision-guided missiles for Hezbollah. According to Israel’s Channel 13, intelligence reports indicate Iran helped Hezbollah construct a new missile facility in Beirut. The report said the factory could include the capability to produce precision-guided missiles. It also claimed that Israeli intelligence shared the information with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who then warned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri about the facility’s location. Hezbollah is believed to have precision-guided missile storage sites in Beirut near major civilian infrastructure, including an airport and a football stadium.

North Korea’s food shortage. South Korea’s National Intelligence Service reportedly told lawmakers Friday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered his Foreign Ministry to ask international organizations for aid because the country was experiencing a severe food shortage. According to some experts, the country’s food and oil supplies are barely enough to last a year. The regime reportedly confiscated the U.S. dollar holdings of overseas trading companies in an effort to raise foreign currency reserves.

The U.S. welcome in Iraq. Iraq’s parliamentary speaker said in an interview that U.S. forces are still needed in Iraq to combat the Islamic State’s remaining presence. It seems Iraq is being pulled in two directions: It still wants ties with the United States, and some 5,000 U.S. troops remain stationed there. But it also has a strong Iranian presence as Iran-backed politicians are winning seats in the government, Iranian trade (including electricity) is increasingly important to the Iraqi economy, and tens of thousands of Iran-backed militants operate in Iraq. The speaker’s comments show that Iraq still believes it needs U.S. support despite the growing Iranian influence in the country.

Europe shifting on Iran? In a letter sent to U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, France, Germany and Britain warned that Iran’s recent development and launching of ballistic missiles are part of efforts to develop nuclear-capable missiles and violate a 2015 U.N. resolution. The statement is notable given Europe’s objection to the reimposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran. Diplomatic concerns over Iran’s missile program, which led to Washington’s decision to reapply sanctions in the first place, may be an indication that Europe is moving toward backing U.S. pressure on Iran.

U.S. deployments in the Western Pacific. According to Japanese media, a U.S. Air Force RC-135S Cobra Ball, a reconnaissance aircraft designed to monitor ballistic missile launches, arrived in Japan over the weekend amid speculation that North Korea is planning to resume missile testing. U.S. Marines also deployed 14 aircraft to South Korea for joint exercises and an amphibious assault ship carrying 10 F-35Bs (more than such ships can usually carry) to the South China Sea. And according to the South China Morning Post, the U.S. and Philippines are in talks over the possible deployment of a U.S. rocket system to help the Philippines boost its defense capabilities against Chinese expansion in the South China Sea.

Honorable Mentions