Week in Focus: North Korea Destroys Nuclear Sites, Taiwan Loses Another Ally

Week in Focus: North Korea Destroys Nuclear Sites, Taiwan Loses Another Ally
Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

What you need to know

A weekly roundup of the region's most important news.

North Korea:

North Korea claimed Thursday (May 24) it destroyed its key nuclear weapons testing site, setting off explosions to collapse underground tunnels hours before President Trump called off a planned June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. — The Washington Post

North Korea, while professing peace, escalated cyberattacks on South Korea, launching fresh assaults on financial companies and groups focused on North Korea, according to people familiar with the matter. — The Wall Street Journal

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants economic help from the United States and security guarantees in exchange for denuclearization, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday (May 23). — Channel News Asia

Former US president Jimmy Carter said Donald Trump should be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize if he manages to forge peace with North Korea. — Channel News Asia

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Photo credit:AP/達志影像

Malaysia:

Malaysian police said they seized the equivalent of more than US$28 million in 26 different currencies in an empty apartment searched as part of an investigation into 1Malaysia Development Bhd., the troubled state investment fund founded by former Prime Minister Najib Razak. — The Wall Street Journal

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Photo Credit: Reuters / TPG

Malaysia's finance minister on Thursday (May 24) confirmed reports that funds from deals with the central bank and sovereign wealth fund Khazanah were used by the previous government to meet some liabilities of troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). — Channel News Asia

China:

The same symptoms of a mysterious attack that sickened American diplomats in Cuba have been reported at a United States consulate in southern China, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told lawmakers on Wednesday (May 23). — The New York Times

A Tibetan businessman who campaigned to preserve his native language from the encroaching dominance of Chinese was sentenced to five years in prison on Tuesday, after a contentious prosecution based on interviews that he gave to The New York Times. — The New York Times

China is considering ending the limits it sets on the number of children a family can have, Bloomberg, reported on Monday (May 21), citing people familiar with the matter. — Channel News Asia

A billionaire businessman, previously accused of meddling in Australia’s politics on behalf of China, conspired to bribe a prominent United Nations diplomat, an Australian politician said on Tuesday, raising new concerns about China’s efforts to interfere in democracies worldwide.— The New York Times

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Photo Credit: Depositephotos

While President Trump refocuses American industry on the earthbound technologies of the 20th century — coal, steel, and aluminum — China is setting its sights on the far reaches of the solar system.— The New York Times

China’s first-ever landing of a heavy bomber on a disputed island in the South China Sea punctuates a steady buildup of military assets that has solidified Beijing’s claims to one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. — The Wall Street Journal

Canada has blocked a US$1 billion takeover of a construction company by a state-controlled Chinese company over national security concerns, a rare move by a government that until now has largely welcomed such deals despite growing skepticism over Chinese money elsewhere. — The New York Times

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau press conference, Ottawa, Canada - 12 Nov 2015
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Canadian Press/REX Shutterstock (5386895a)Prime Minister Justin TrudeauPrime Minister Justin Trudeau press conference, Ottawa, Canada - 12 Nov 2015

Concrete and coral - Beijing's South China Sea building boom fuels concerns. — Reuters ​​​​​​​

All Chinese mosques should raise the national flag to "promote a spirit of patriotism" among Muslims, the country's top Islamic regulatory body has declared, as the Communist Party seeks to tighten its grip on religion. — Channel News Asia

Taiwan:

Taiwan’s diplomatic space shrinks further as Burkina Faso breaks ties. — The News Lens

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Photo Credit: AP/達志影像;Edited Image: The News Lens關鍵評論網

China's aviation regulator said on Friday (May 25) 18 out of 44 airlines it contacted have changed how they refer to Chinese territories on their websites by the 30-day deadline it set. — Channel News Asia ​​​​​​​

Japanese retailer Muji has been fined 200,000 yuan (US$31,300) in Shanghai for using packaging that lists Taiwan as a country, underscoring China's growing sensitivity to how companies refer to the self-ruled island. — Channel News Asia ​​​​​​​

A unit of electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn said it will launch an initial public offering in China on Thursday aimed at raising US$4.2 billion, in the biggest mainland debut for three years. — Channel News Asia

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Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

Japan:

In accomplished Japanese alpinist and motivational speaker, who lost nine fingers to frostbite on a previous attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest, died on the world’s highest peak on Monday (May 21) after he slipped and fell. — The New York Times

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photo credit: REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar/達志影像

Lawyers for sacked Japan football coach Vahid Halilhodzic filed a legal claim against his former employers on Thursday (May 24) claiming "damage to reputation and honor" and seeking compensation - of one yen. — Channel News Asia

Uber announced Tuesday (May 22) it would start its first taxi-hailing pilot program in Japan this summer, as it bids to break into a tough market in the world's third-largest economy. — Channel News Asia

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Photo credit: Reuters/達志影像

India:

Police opened fire Tuesday on protesters demanding the closure of a south Indian copper plant, killing nine people, officials said. Dozens of more people were reportedly injured. — The Wall Street Journal

Officials in a third Indian state were checking on Friday (May 25) if two people had been infected with the brain-damaging Nipah virus that has killed 12 in southern Kerala, although the government described the outbreak as minor. — Channel News Asia

Indian child killer sentenced to death 23 days after the arrest, raises fears over trial fairness. — Channel News Asia

Indonesia:

Indonesian police say they have killed 14 terrorist suspects and arrested 60 others in a crackdown following deadly suicide bombings last week linked to Islamic State. — The Wall Street Journal

Indonesia’s parliament overwhelmingly passed a tougher anti-terror law Friday (Ma, 25), giving police new powers to detain suspects following the worst terrorist attacks in the Southeast Asian country in over a decade. — The Wall Street Journal

Indonesian ride-hailing and online payment firm Go-Jek said on Thursday (May 24) it will enter Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines in the next few months, investing US$500 million in its international push. — Channel News Asia

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Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

Myanmar:

For the thousands of Rohingya refugees who fled a violent crackdown in Burma, a new crisis looms: The babies conceived in rape are due soon.— The Washington Post

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged India on Friday (May 25) to lean on Myanmar to take back Rohingya refugees who are camped in her country in the tens of thousands. — Channel News Asia

A Rohingya Muslim militant group denied accusations Friday that it slaughtered Hindu civilians amid last year’s outburst of violence in which Myanmar’s military drove some 700,000 Rohingya out of the country. — The Wall Street Journal

A Myanmar judge on Tuesday allowed the submission of evidence police say they obtained from the mobile phones of two Reuters reporters arrested in December for alleged possession of secret documents, in what has become a landmark press freedom case. — Reuters

Philippines:

An elderly Australian nun facing deportation after angering Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte launched a last-minute appeal against the order on Friday (May 25), the deadline for her to leave the country. — Channel News Asia

Thailand:

A famed Bangkok temple was at the center of a billowing embezzlement scandal Thursday (May 24) after US$4 million was found in bank accounts belonging to its abbot, the latest graft allegations to dog Thailand's scandal-mired clergy. — Channel News Asia

Thai police raided four Buddhist temples on Thursday, arresting several prominent monks and worshippers in the year's biggest such operation amid a crackdown on illegal financial dealings by temples. — Channel News Asia

Thai police detained leaders of an anti-junta protest on Tuesday (May 22) who had tried to mark the fourth anniversary of a coup by marching to Government House, one of the largest acts of dissent since the army grabbed power. —Channel News Asia

Editor: Morley J Weston