region:northeast asia

  • US ex-officials meet N. Korean nuclear chief amid standoff - Yahoo News

    U.S. academics and former senior officials met with North Korea’s chief nuclear negotiator in Singapore on Sunday to get a feel for each other’s positions amid a yearslong standoff over the North’s nuclear weapons buildup.

    Leon Sigal, director of the Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project at the Social Science Research Council, a U.S.-based nonprofit, told reporters that the meeting will cover the North’s nuclear missile programs. He said “it’s two ways of taking each other’s temperature.

    The U.S. and North Korea have no formal diplomatic ties, but former U.S. officials occasionally meet the North’s diplomats in a bid to settle the impasse over Pyongyang’s pursuit of a long-range nuclear-armed missile that could hit the U.S. mainland.

    North Korea’s team was led by Ri Yong Ho, the chief negotiator for six-party denuclearization talks.

    North Korea has indicated willingness to rejoin the long-stalled talks, but has balked at U.S. demands it first take concrete steps to show it remains committed to the denuclearization goal.

    Earlier this month, North Korea told the United States that it is willing to impose a temporary moratorium on its nuclear tests if Washington scraps planned military drills with South Korea this year. Washington called the linking of the military drills with a possible nuclear test “an implicit threat,” but said it was open to dialogue with North Korea.
    Asked whether the two sides would also discuss recent hacking attacks linked to the comedy flick “The Interview,” Sigal said: “I don’t think we will get into that very much.

  • How to destroy the future | Noam Chomsky | Comment is free |

    In Northeast Asia, it’s the same sort of thing. North Korea may be the craziest country in the world. It’s certainly a good competitor for that title. But it does make sense to try to figure out what’s in the minds of people when they’re acting in crazy ways. Why would they behave the way they do? Just imagine ourselves in their situation. Imagine what it meant in the Korean War years of the early 1950s for your country to be totally leveled, everything destroyed by a huge superpower, which furthermore was gloating about what it was doing. Imagine the imprint that would leave behind.

    Bear in mind that the North Korean leadership is likely to have read the public military journals of this superpower at that time explaining that, since everything else in North Korea had been destroyed, the air force was sent to destroy North Korea’s dams, huge dams that controlled the water supply – a war crime, by the way, for which people were hanged in Nuremberg. And these official journals were talking excitedly about how wonderful it was to see the water pouring down, digging out the valleys, and the Asians scurrying around trying to survive. The journals were exulting in what this meant to those “Asians,” horrors beyond our imagination. It meant the destruction of their rice crop, which in turn meant starvation and death. How magnificent! It’s not in our memory, but it’s in their memory.

  • China’s dangerous brinkmanship in maritime Northeast Asia | The Strategist

    China’s behaviour over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands dispute with Japan is deeply worrisome. It not only displays a level of brinkmanship which could easily lead to war, it also seems to be part of a broader maritime ‘probing’ strategy designed to constantly test the resolve of Japan and its US ally. The result could be even greater instability in Northeast Asia.

    At least twice in the past two weeks, Chinese forces directed a fire-control radar at a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) vessel and helicopter. The key question is whether such dangerous crisis management reflects a deliberate strategy on the part of Beijing or if it was due to a lack of coordination among the key actors. According to media reports, the later seems closer to the truth. It seems that only now is China’s management of the dispute under direct command and coordination of a top-level task force led by General Secretary Xi Jinping.

    #chine #japon #senkaku

  • Japan’s paradoxical shift to the right | Inside Story

    29 October 2012

    A nationalist troika forming in the run-up to next year’s Japanese election poses challenges for the region, writes Tessa Morris-Suzuki

    THIS has proved to be a momentous year for the Asia-Pacific region, and particularly for Northeast Asia. North and South Korea and China are all undergoing or about to undergo important transitions in leadership – transitions attracting global media attention – but relatively little has been said about Japan, which is also in a state of political flux. Yet the implications of the changing configurations of Japanese politics are profound and potentially troubling.

    #japon #politique #droitisation #nationalisme