Under the Radar News, 2.5.2010

Posted on Friday, February 5, 2010 by Prashanth Parameswaran

A weekly compilation of underreported developments in Asia

  • Japan plans to pass a bill to transfer authority to manage and control uninhabited islets from local entities to the central government. The move is part of Tokyo’s bid to assert its sovereignty in the face of China’s protests to its claim of an exclusive economic zone there.

  • Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya declared his government can end the country’s southern Malay-Muslim insurgency by the end of 2010. But rights groups maintain that as long as the current state of emergency there propagates a ‘culture’ of impunity’, the violence will not ebb.

  • South Korea delivered eight light ground attack aircraft to Peru for use in border surveillance and counter-drug missions. Seoul hopes that the deal will pave the way for a closer arms supply relationship with Lima.

  • The Burmese junta has nuclear ambitions, and is cooperating with North Korea on possible nuclear technology procurement while misleading overseas suppliers in its efforts to obtain it, according to a fresh study by two well-known proliferation experts. The new evidence heightens U.S. concerns about the hermetic state's involvement in nuclear proliferation.

  • A leading energy affairs official projected that Taiwan's green energy production could hit more than thirty billion US dollars by 2015, creating 110,000 new jobs and making Taipei one of the world's leaders in new energy technology development and production.

  • The brutal beating of a demonstrator by East Timorese police in front of United Nations officers raises serious questions about the world body’s training of the local police force, an opposition lawmaker said. The UN said it would launch a joint investigation into the alleged assault.

  • A top security consulting firm concluded that the Aurora cyber attack last month was in fact part of a more sustained effort that has been stealing data for perhaps up to five years. It also said that while it could not determine the extent of China's involvement, it has correlated almost every intrusion to “current events within China”.

  • Indonesia’s energy minister announced the country will not be developing nuclear power anytime soon, dampening expectations that Jakarta would aggressively tap the energy source over the next few years. He said Indonesia would exploit other available energy sources first.
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