Under the Radar 2.19.13

Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 by Henna Sharif

A weekly compilation of under-reported events in Asia.

  • The UN Security Council met in an emergency session to discuss the nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) last Tuesday. The desire by many Security Council members is to impose even harsher sanctions on North Korea, which could include banning specific, high-tech items used in the nuclear program, like epoxy paste for centrifuges, limiting or outlawing some banking transactions, and a far more stringent inspection of ships bound to and from North Korea.

  • South Korea's military deployed cruise missiles capable of striking the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and accelerating the development of ballistic missiles. Under a deal revised last year with the United States, South Korea is allowed to develop ballistic missiles with a range of up to 800 kilometers, more than double the previous limit. The announcement came a day after the DPRK conducted its third nuclear test in defiance of UN resolutions.

  • Last month the U.S. announced that a second resolution on Sri Lanka would be presented at the UNHRC sessions that start from February 25, saying the Sri Lankan government had failed to implement key reconciliation and human rights measures since the end of the war in 2009. Sri Lanka will continue to oppose the U.S.-backed resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) later this month but would accept assistance to address specific post-war reconciliation issues.

  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will visit the United States this week from February 21 to 24. The postponed U.S. trip by Abe aims at restoring and enhancing the Japan-U.S. alliance, which the prime minister called as the core of Japan's foreign policies.

  • Last week Pakistan conducted a successful test fire of a short range Surface to Surface Missile Hatf IX (NASR), which can carry nuclear warheads. Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Khalid Shameem Wynne witnessed the test and stated that the Pakistan's Armed Forces was fully capable of safeguarding Pakistan's security against all kinds of aggression.

  • The Chinese government went public with a comment on Japan’s protest over a Chinese navy missile frigate that twice beamed its targeting radar on a Japanese helicopter and a Japanese destroyer last month. Chinese officials blamed Japan for increasing tension between the two countries over disputed islands in the East China Sea. “The Japanese are deliberately ratcheting up the crisis, creating tensions and tarnishing China’s image,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying. “What the Japanese are doing is on the opposite track of making efforts to improve our bilateral relationship.”
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