Under the Radar 07.22.11

Posted on Friday, July 22, 2011 by Maggie Rank

A weekly compilation of underreported events in Asia.

  • A new assessment warns that South Korean F-15Ks, transportation planes, and helicopters are vulnerable to new North Korean infrared missiles. The South Korean military is currently working on strategies to handle the threat.

  • The Vatican and Malaysia have established diplomatic relations at a time of tension between Muslims and religious minorities. This agreement was confirmed by the Vatican after Pope Benedict XVI and the Malaysian Prime Minister met to discuss Christian-Muslim relations.

  • In midst of transition from foreign to local control, seven Afghan police were poisoned and shot dead at a checkpoint in the southern province of Helmand. Read the Project 2049 Institute's recommendations on strengthening the Afghan National Police.

  • Close economic and trade ties between Latin America and China have been driven forward by China’s economic boom and the free trade agreements signed with Chile, Peru and Costa Rica. Trade amounted to US $180 billion in 2010, a 50-percent increase year on year. Read more about China’s Colombian Courtship.

  • Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense says that the PLA outspends Taiwan at a rate of twenty to one, dollar-for-dollar. The MND warns that the PLA could blockade and seize Taiwan's outlying islands by 2020.

  • India’s largest oil companies have arranged for extra oil from Kuwait, UAE, and Saudi Arabia. Iran has warned that it may halt crude oil supplies to India on August 1 if outstanding debts are not paid.

  • Australia has settled its refugee swap deal with Malaysia with the hope that it will deter smugglers from targeting Australia. Australia will take 4000 confirmed refugees from Malaysia, while Malaysia will accept 800 asylum seekers from Australia.

  • The Mongolian Defense Ministry has announced plans to buy five Mikoyan MiG-29 fourth generation fighter jets from Russia this year. Mongolia has also expressed interest in purchasing a military transport carrier, weapons, and other military equipment.
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