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Archive for the category “Asia”

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Makes First ‘Public Appearance’ In Weeks

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made his first public appearance in 20 days, North Korean state media reported early on Saturday, ending an absense that sparked speculation about his health. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that Kim attended a ceremony marking the completion of a fertiliser factory in Suncheon, near the capital of Pyongyang, with other senior officials, including his sister, Kim Yo Jong.

Read Here – AlJazeera

Kim Jong-Un Isn’t The First Of North Korea’s Leaders To ‘Disappear’

While Kim Jong-un’s two-week absence has inspired speculation and rumours that he is gravely ill, he is not the first member of North Korea’s ruling elite to disappear from public view. Some absences were caused by real trouble, including deaths, illness or purges. But frequently the so-called disappearances have simply shown the disconnect between insatiable curiosity about what’s happening inside the isolated, nuclear-armed nation and the thick cloak of secrecy surrounding its leadership.

The Curious Case Of The Maybe Dead Dictator

Whether or not the North Korean leader is dead, gravely ill, recovering, or perfectly fine is still unknown and most likely will be until anything official is released from Pyongyang. The only thing we can say for certain is that Kim failed to show up for “The Day of the Sun,” on April 15, which is the birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung, the country’s founder and eternal president. And something like that is noteworthy since it’s arguably the nation’s single-most important day.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

Vietnam Poised To Be Big Post-Pandemic Winner

Through early and efficient border closures, uncharacteristic official transparency and strategic Covid-19 diplomacy, communist-run Vietnam is fast emerging as a likely post-pandemic winner. For a nation that has long-sought to secure it’s place as a reliable and responsible global actor, the coronavirus outbreak and its minimal impact on Vietnam has presented the nation an opportunity in crisis analysts say it is firmly grasping.

Read Here – Asia Times

How Bangladesh Is Developing Without Riches

Bangladesh today is one of South Asia’s development success stories, with sustained growth of more than eight per cent and social indicators that are beginning to outstrip the rest of the region. It is also a country where more so than anywhere else in the region the independent press and opposition parties have withered away into near irrelevance.

Read Here – The National

Mahathir Mohamad Meets Malaysia’s King As Political Impasse Continues

Malaysia’s political chaos inched closer to a resolution as interim premier Mahathir Mohamad was summoned to meet with the country’s king, amid a power struggle with his on-off rival Anwar Ibrahim over the prime ministership. Mahathir, 94, resigned as Malaysia’s Prime Minister on Monday after the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition collapsed. He was subsequently reappointed by Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah as a caretaker premier.

Meet Kim Yo-Jong: North Korea’s Most Powerful Woman

In an era when North Korea has begun to shift its focus away from its nuclear weapons capabilities to pursue a “charm offensive” aimed at transforming its global image, one person stands out: Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of Kim Jong-un. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone following North Korea over the last several years. Many observers first saw her at the Pyeongchang Olympics, where she sat strategically positioned near U.S. Vice President Mike Pence. Yo-jong’s historic visit to South Korea challenged preconceived perceptions of North Korea’s elite. She was a symbol of a North Korea very few people could have conceived of: young, friendly, and charismatic.

Read Here – The National Interest

How The Good War Went Bad

The United States has been fighting a war in Afghanistan for over 18 years. More than 2,300 U.S. military personnel have lost their lives there; more than 20,000 others have been wounded. At least half a million Afghans—government forces, Taliban fighters, and civilians—have been killed or wounded. Washington has spent close to $1 trillion on the war.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs 

China, Myanmar Tighten Their Belt And Road Ties

China and Myanmar agreed to accelerate several joint infrastructure deals and projects during President Xi Jinping’s historic visit to the country, giving new impetus to commercial relations that have revived under Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Xi visited Myanmar on January 17 and 18, marking the first time a Chinese leader traveled to the Southeast Asian country in nearly two decades and coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the two sides establishing formal diplomatic relations.

Read Here – Asia Times

Asia in 2020: Trends, Risks, And Geopolitics

How Asia is changing and what are the challenges for 2020 … a presidential election year in the United States and how it will change the dynamics between Washington and key Asian capitals after a bruising trade war with China that impacted the global economy. Then there are elections in Taiwan, North Korea.. and other elephants in the room.

Hear Here – The Diplomat

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