Asia

20.08.2009

North Korea requests bilateral talks with US

A North Korean diplomatic delegation has told New Mexico's state governor Bill Richardson that Pyongyang wants bilateral talks with the United States about its nuclear programme. Pyongyang seems to have adopted a more moderate course recently: Two US journalists were released and North Korea is sending a delegation to the funeral of former South Korean president Kim Dae-jung. »

19.08.2009

North Korea to send a delegation to Kim Dae-Jung´s funerals

In a late but important recognition, the government of North Korea announced its intention to participate in Kim Dae-Jung´s funerals. President Kim, was the first South Korean President to actively seek reconciliation with the North. He made enormous progress in the relations with North Korea, which he visited in 2000 and held an historic meeting with its leader Kim Jong-il. »

18.08.2009

Soka Gakkai holds memorial services for atomic bomb victims

Remembering the 64th anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb, services in solemn tribute to war victims was conducted at the Soka Gakkai Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After the memorial service in Hiroshima, the Soka Gakkai Women's Peace Committee (WPC) held a meeting where hibakusha (bomb survivor) shared their experiences at the end of the Second War. »

18.08.2009

Afghans go to elections with increasing need for Reconciliation between parties

The election campaigns in Afghanistan have ended with mass rallies by a number of presidential candidates. Actual President Hamid Karzai and former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah lead the polls. To gain support of the Ayatollahs and Uzbek voters, Karzai approved a law against women’s right to refuse sexual demand of husbands and allowed the return of Abdul Rashid Dostum. »

18.08.2009

Kim Dae-jung, 2000 Peace Nobel Prize, dies in Seoul

President of South Korea from 1998 to 2003, and the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize recipient. He has been called the "Nelson Mandela of Asia" for his long-standing opposition to authoritarian rule. When he was President of South Korea, he risked the so called “Sunshine Policy” with North Korea’s Kim Jon-il in 2000, in an attempt to bring peace to the Korean peninsula. »

17.08.2009

Lucky Cat

Right in Nagoya international airport, in line to check in for my flight back to Sao Paulo, I hear a strange noise. Meow, meow.… There was a cat, somewhere close by. I tried to find it but could not. It was coming from a couple who spoke Portuguese. They had lots of luggage. The passengers behind them also had lots of luggage. »

17.08.2009

Moluccan exiles will settle for autonomy

The new president of the Moluccan government-in-exile says an independent Moluccan state is no longer its absolute priority. In an interview with the Nederlands Dagblad, John Wattilete says he is prepared to place the future of the islands in the hands of the people and if they no longer wish to fight for independence from Indonesia then "he would accept the consequences". »

17.08.2009

North Korea opens border for family visits

North Korea's KCNA state press agency says the border has been re-opened for family visits from South Korea. The move is an important gesture at a time of rising tension between the two countries. North Korea has also announced that the whole country is on high alert because of joint military exercises taking place between the United States and South Korea. »

17.08.2009

United States citizen released by Myanmar

United States citizen, John William Yettaw, was released and deported by the government Sunday and left the country along with Democrat Senator of the United States Jim Webb who concluded his three-day visit to Myanmar. Yettaw´s visit was the excuse for Aung San Suu Kyi 18 month extension house arrest that does not allow Ms Suu Kyi to run for next year’s elections. »

15.08.2009

Pariahs of Asia play nuke hand for respect

In the episode of the two journalists freed by North Korea, a dangerous game was played when Bill Clinton genuflected at North Korea´s Kim Jong-il. Myanmar has no foreign enemies that it needs to deter. Instead of being an international pariah the Myanmar´s generals would win a lot of respect if they would become nuclear. There are signs that this could happen. »

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