Under the Radar 12.10.12

Posted on Monday, December 10, 2012 by Henna Sharif

A weekly compilation of under-reported events in Asia.

  • Satellite images have shown an increase in activity at a North Korean missile launch site. North Korea plans to launch a missile in an attempt to put a polar-orbiting observation satellite into space. The international community has warned of the violations to UN Security Council restrictions and are preparing for any deviations from the launch trajectory.

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) opened its 11th prime ministers' meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The meeting laid the foundation for future development of the SCO including enhancing mutual trust, cooperation and common prosperity, while maintaining peace and stability among its member states.

  • U.S. and Chinese armed forces held a joint tabletop exercise on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. This was the 8th exercise between the Chinese and American armed forces since 1997. The drill involved a joint rescue and relief operation after an earthquake.

  • The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) are in talks to jointly launch a humanitarian mission for refugees of the deadly conflict between the Rohingya and Rakhine ethnic groups in Myanmar. The violence between the Buddhist Rakhines and the Muslim Rohingyas has claimed more than 80 lives, displaced 22,000 people and damaged 4,600 houses. The organizations would send food and help rebuild homes in the area.

  • The U.S. has exempted Taiwan from complying with sanctions it has imposed on Iran, but encouraged Taipei to keep reducing its Iranian oil imports. The U.S. called on Taiwan to continue limiting its relations with Iran as a new area of cooperation between the two countries to ensure global security.

  • In a Yomiuri Shimbun survey conducted in Japan prior to the 16 December House of Representatives elections, the opposition-Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) could win more than a working majority of seats. According to the survey, the LDP is poised to lead both the single-seat constituency and the proportional representation section. The survey also indicated that the New Komeito Party will have a firm hold of its seats.

  • In the 11th Vietnam-UK dialogue, both countries discussed prevention and fighting against corruption. British Ambassador to Vietnam Antony Stokes made assessments on Vietnam's anti-corruption work, noting three major developments including a revision of the Law on Anti-corruption; reports on anti-corruption with in-depth analysis and research made public; and commitment made by local authorities to anti-corruption.

  • A gas tanker has sailed through the Arctic waters, demonstrating the seas utility as a Suez Canal alternative and providing a Northeast sea route linking Europe and Asia. The route is not without political tensions as Russia continues to look for proof that the Lomonosov and Mendeleev ridges are part of Russia’s continental shelf.
  • Jump to TOP