Under the Radar News 7.9.10

Posted on Friday, July 9, 2010 by Evelyn Kusnawirianto

A weekly compilation of underreported developments in Asia

  • South Korean troops in Afghanistan will start working with the US forces there to conduct daily aerial reconnaissance in an effort to boost its surveillance against possible attacks on South Korean civilian aid workers after a rocket attack last week.

  • Australia has agreed to help Indonesia with people smuggling by providing patrol boats and surveillance aircraft as part of its $21.2 million package dedicated to fight people smuggling in the region.

  • The financial crisis has slowed the pace of poverty reduction and contributed to increased unemployment for some of the poorest countries in the East Asia and Pacific region. The World Bank has therefore increased its financial and technical support, committing a record $236 million to countries including Papua New Guinea, and projects such as infrastructure works in China.

  • Opposition to Australia’s proposal for setting up a refugee processing center in East Timor is growing. Many point out that East Timor is a small and impoverished country that will not have the capacity to run the center.

  • Japan has criticized Russia’s large-scale military drill on Etorofu, one of four contested islands off Hokkaido which are currently held by Russia.

  • A new report by Human Rights Monitors released this Monday points to new evidence that Myanmar’s military rulers are funding an illegal bid to build nuclear weapons using gas revenues from the Yadan gas pipeline, operated by Chevron and Total. The accusation has been denied by Myanmar’s military rulers.

  • China’s fifth- largest freshwater lake, the Chaohu Lake that supplies drinking water to 300,000 Chaohu city residents has been threatened by a green algae outbreak. Officials has been testing the water quality every two hours and sending boats to clean the algae up.

  • Indonesia and Switzerland will soon launch talks on a comprehensive economic partnership under the framework of the European Free Trade Association. Indonesia has been recognized as one of the seven countries Switzerland had prioritized for economic development.

  • A South Korean aid group reports that North Korea has sent 34 relatives of former economic official Pak Nam Gi and others to a prison camp on the outskirts of a northern city of Hoeryong, due to Pak’s failed economic policy when he was in office.
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