Under the Radar News 10.22.10

Posted on Friday, October 22, 2010 by Amy Chang

A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia

  • Speculating on whether North Korea is developing nuclear warheads, U.S. and South Korea watch closely as a reconnaissance satellite captures activity at a North Korean nuclear site. While South Korean officials and experts doubt it is preparing another nuclear test, they suspect North Korea may use it as leverage in sanction negotiations.

  • A 2011 climate change index ranked South Asian countries to be at greatest risk from the effects of climate change. Countries with the largest vulnerability are distinguished by high levels of poverty, dense populations, exposure to climate-related events, and reliance on flood and drought prone agricultural land.

  • Burma’s highest court will hear an appeal against the house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi, who is due to be released on November 13, days after Burma’s national election on November 7.

  • As China’s rare earth minerals embargo continues and expands, Japan plans to help Mongolia develop rare earth mineral mines to ensure supplies.

  • Stuxnet, a computer worm designed to target critical infrastructure, is suspected to originate from China. It has infected millions of computers, including those at Iran’s nuclear facilities, and has vast implications for cyber warfare.

  • China and Thailand are set to embark on a high-speed rail line connecting the two countries through Laos. The railway is expected to expand trade flows and improve infrastructure, though the governments also grapple with inter-operability and feasibility issues.

  • Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan have signed an agreement to construct a 1,043-mile natural gas pipeline between the countries.

  • India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calls for a modernization of its defense doctrine to better tackle new and non-traditional security threats.

  • At least one Type 093 nuclear-powered attack submarine has been spotted at China’s naval base in Hainan, leading analysts to believe that China is poised to expand its naval presence in the Indian Ocean and South China Sea.

  • The Taiwanese navy will send battleships to the “grey area” between Taiwan and mainland China to protect Taiwanese fisherman from harassment and other cross-border disputes.

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