East Asia

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Son, sister of N. Korea's Kim rise through ranks to become generals

Son, sister of N. Korea's Kim rise through ranks to become generals

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korean leader Kim Jong Il promoted his youngest son to army general in an announcement Tuesday seen as official confirmation that the young man is being groomed to succeed his father. The dispatch on North Korean state media came just hours before the nation was to hold the largest Workers’ […]

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Japan asks China to cover damage to patrol boats

Japan asks China to cover damage to patrol boats

TOKYO – Japan asked China to pay for damage to Japanese patrol boats hit by a Chinese fishing vessel near disputed islands, as simmering tension between the two Asian neighbors showed no signs of easing Monday. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku’s remarks came a day after Japan’s prime minister rejected China’s demand that Tokyo apologize […]

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N. Korea reshuffles top officials ahead of key meeting

SEOUL – North Korea announced a reshuffle of senior officials Thursday just days ahead of a key communist party meeting expected to pave the way for a power transfer from Kim Jong-Il to his son. Kang Sok-Ju, North Korea’s first vice minister of foreign affairs, has been appointed to the position of a vice premier […]

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Signs of tensions leading up to Pyongyang parley

Signs of tensions leading up to Pyongyang parley

By Donald Kirk SEOUL — Think of any scenario for next week’s conference in Pyongyang of the Workers’ Party of Korea, and you may be right. The ascension of favorite son Kim Jong-Un to a top party position? Certainly a strong possibility. A grand finale complete with declarations of the glorious future of the party, […]

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China premier threatens Japan over boat dispute

China premier threatens Japan over boat dispute

BEIJING – China’s premier has threatened Japan for the first time in a growing fight over disputed islands, saying his country will take “further actions” if Japan does not immediately release a ship captain whose detention has splintered relations between the Asia powers. Wen Jiabao’s comments Tuesday night in New York were the first by […]

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Beijing threatens Tokyo against rearming talk and joining U.S. 'containment' policy

Beijing threatens Tokyo against rearming talk and joining U.S. 'containment' policy

By Willy Lam, East-Asia-Intel.com China-Japanese relations have been plunged into their lowest point since several weeks of rabid anti-Japanese riots in a dozen-odd Chinese cities in 2005.The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership has lifted its tight control over Chinese NGOs and allowed nationalistic groups to hold protests in Beijing against Japanese occupation of the Diaoyu […]

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China announces break in contacts with Japan, without informing Tokyo

BEIJING – Japan said Monday it was not officially informed of China’s decision to break off high-level government contacts over the extended detention of a fishing boat captain arrested after a ship collision near disputed islands. The rare move pushed already tense relations to a new low, and showed China’s willingness to play hardball with […]

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Young Kim's coming out is prime-time drama, North and South of the DMZ

By Donald Kirk WASHINGTON – The conference of the Korean Workers’ Party in Pyongyang is beginning to look like a non-event and its postponement is raising searching questions as to what’s going on inside the Hermit Kingdom. There’s speculation, fueled by a report on YTN, the South Korean cable news, that Dear Leader Kim Jong-Il […]

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Most productive responses to economic fears? Look to China and Russia

Gregory R. Copley, Global Information System Fear and uncertainty create patterns, paths of their own. And societies are again in a mosaic of uncertainty — and resultant fear — over the fate and durability of the social and security frameworks once taken for granted. Mass reaction to these fears will trigger transformative change. But there […]

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Ideological split surfaces in one of world's most secret political parties

Ideological split surfaces in one of world's most secret political parties

By Willy Lam, East-Asia-Intel.com A top priority of China’s labyrinthine propaganda apparatus is to convince Chinese and foreigners alike that the Chinese leadership is a picture of unity and camaraderie. Yet a sizeable chink in the armor was exposed by talks given in Shenzhen by Premier Wen Jiabao and President Hu Jintao within a space […]