Under the Radar News 11.12.10

Posted on Friday, November 12, 2010 by Amy Chang

A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia

  • A U.N. report reveals that despite UN sanctions, North Korea has annually exported around US$100 million worth of conventional weapons and nuclear weapons technology to Burma, Iran and Syria.

  • Japan, in an effort to update its fighter jet fleet, eyes the F-35 stealth jet as the next addition to the Air Self-Defense Force.

  • The $4.1 billion Indo-U.S. defense deal for 10 C-17 Globemaster-III giant strategic airlift aircraft is set to expand even further, adding another 6 to the order. The deal is aimed, in part, to amplify Indian power projection in the region.

  • Tokyo will send around 100 soldiers to a remote Japanese island, Yonaguni, in the East China Sea amid growing anxiety over China's naval activities.

  • Myanmar state media reports that the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party has a substantial lead over opposition parties, winning over 80 percent of total seats.

  • President Ma vows to avoid an arms race with China and will seek a balance of military power across the Taiwan Strait through soft power and asymmetric military development.

  • South Korea may drop its demand that North Korea apologize for sinking the Cheonan warship if long-stalled six-party nuclear disarmament talks can resume.

  • Malaysia’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation will boost investment in cyber security to address the rising prominence of cyber attacks and establish a comprehensive program and responsibilities for mitigation.

  • A landmark meeting in Laos on cluster munitions has set targets to destroy stockpiles of the weapons, clean up areas contaminated with unexploded ordnance, and help victims of the bombs. Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia are among the most countries most affected by unexploded bombs.

  • The role of U.S. and NATO troops in training Afghanistan’s police force is the key to a stable future in the country.

  • India and Malaysia are keen to commence collaborative defense projects and enhance cooperation in counterterrorism and maritime security through means such as information-sharing and bilateral Joint Working Groups.

  • Japan’s Trade Minister Akihiro Ohata and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke agreed to diversify rare earth supply to avoid an overreliance on China’s exports.

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