Asia

The U.S. and Japan May Literally Start a War over Rocks in the South China Sea

 Chinese navy frigate. Flickr/Charles W. Clark

Washington’s commitment to Tokyo may endanger American security.
Eric Hyer

China’s increasingly truculent behavior in the East and South China Seas has generated apprehension over China’s intentions and deepened U.S. concerns, especially over freedom of navigation, land reclamation and the potential militarization of disputed features by China.

Beijing Goes Mobile in the South China Sea

By Pepe Escobar
 "Information Clearing House" - "RT" - Not a day goes by without some sort of turmoil in the South China Sea. Let’s cut to the chase: war is not about to break out. In a nutshell, the non-stop drama, as ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) diplomats told me, is all about “escalation-management protocols.” Translation: how to prevent any unilateral outburst that could be interpreted as warlike.

Uzbekistan and South Korea: towards a special relationship

uz-sk-16
Central Asia Caucasus Analyst, Mirzokhid Rakhimov and Sung Dong Ki
South Korea’s Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn visited Uzbekistan on May 19-20, 2016. The visit was the fifteenth official high-level meeting between the two countries. Over the last year, several new actors have increased their engagement with Central Asia, aside from South Korea also including Japan and India.

A nuclear arms race in East Asia?

The eventual deployment of the North Korean nuclear-armed missiles might easily push South Korea towards acquiring its own nuclear deterrent, writes Lankov [The Associated Press]

Anrei Lankov

The eventual deployment of the North Korean nuclear-armed missiles might easily push South Korea towards acquiring its own nuclear deterrent, writes Lankov [The Associated Press]

Recently, news from the Korean Peninsula has been dominated by missiles: as satellite images confirmed, the North Koreans have been busy preparing another test launch of "BM-25 Musudan", their intermediate-range missile.

US-Vietnam Rapprochement Fast-tracked amid South China Sea Dispute

By U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Timothy Smith [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Geopolitical Monitor, Michael Hart
President Obama’s upcoming visit to Vietnam could amount to far more than just a symbolic political photo opportunity. It comes amid suggestions that the U.S. may be about to lift an arms embargo which has remained in place for four decades. If this were to happen, it would signal a historic shift in perspective and represent the most significant stride forward in diplomatic relations to date between these two former adversaries, more than 40 years after the end of the Vietnam War.

A Rare Congress and Mixed Signals in North Korea

Stratfor Analysis
For the first time in more than 35 years, North Korea is preparing to hold a full Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK). Originally intended to be a regular occurrence for the WPK, party congresses convened only sporadically until 1980, when Kim Jong Il was named as Kim Il Sung's successor, and juche (loosely translated as self-reliance) was formalized as the government's official guiding philosophy.

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