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Posts Tagged ‘Myanmar’

US intercepted N. Korea ship over arms fears

June 13, 2011 Comments off

afp

North Korean cargo ship Kang Nam I docks at Thilawa port, south of Myanmar’s commerical capital Yangon (AFP/File, Khin Maung Win)

SEOUL — The US Navy intercepted a North Korean ship suspected of carrying missiles or other weapons to Myanmar and made it turn back, a senior US official said Monday.

The comments by Gary Samore, special assistant to President Barack Obama on weapons of mass destruction, confirmed reports of the incident, which happened last month, in The New York Times and South Korean media.

The New York Times said the ship was intercepted south of the Chinese city of Shanghai by a US destroyer on May 26.

In an interview with Yonhap news agency, Samore identified the cargo ship as the M/V Light and said it may have been bound for Myanmar with military-related contraband, such as small arms or missile-related items.

“We talked directly to the North Koreans. We talked directly to all the Southeast Asian countries including Myanmar, urging them to inspect the ship if it called into their port,” he was quoted as saying.

“The US Navy also contacted the North Read more…

Iran Vows To Unplug The Internet

May 28, 2011 Comments off

wsj.com

Iran Internet Unplug
Iran is taking steps toward an aggressive new form of censorship: a so-called national Internet that could, in effect, disconnect Iranian cyberspace from the rest of the world.

The leadership in Iran sees the project as a way to end the fight for control of the Internet, according to observers of Iranian policy inside and outside the country. Iran, already among the most sophisticated nations in online censoring, also promotes its national Internet as a cost-saving measure for consumers and as a way to uphold Islamic moral codes.

In February, as pro-democracy protests spread rapidly across the Middle East and Read more…

Beijing Agrees to Operate a Key Port, Pakistan Says

May 23, 2011 Comments off

wsj

BEIJING—Pakistan’s defense minister said China has agreed to take over operation of the strategically positioned but underused port of Gwadar, and that Islamabad would like the Chinese to build a base there for the Pakistani navy.

Ahmad Mukhtar gave no clear timetable on the possible change at Gwadar, on Pakistan’s western coast, which is currently managed by a Singaporean government company. But his statement Saturday is the latest illustration of how Pakistan is portraying China as a powerful alternative ally and aid source if the U.S. scales down military assistance for Islamabad in the aftermath of Osama bin Laden’s killing.

China is eager to expand its influence in Pakistan over the long term, but is wary of the country’s chronic instability, which was highlighted late Sunday when a Pakistani naval base was attacked in the western port of Karachi, about 300 miles southeast of Gwadar.

Mr. Mukhtar made the announcement after accompanying Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani on a visit to China last week. During that visit, Pakistani officials say, Beijing agreed to expedite delivery of a second batch of 50 jointly developed JF-17 fighter jets to Pakistan, possibly within six months.

The fighter agreement prompted India’s defense minister, A.K. Antony, to express serious concern in a meeting with reporters late Friday about the growing defense ties between China and Pakistan, and to assert that India’s only possible response was to build up its own military arsenal.

Attempts on Sunday to contact Mr. Antony and other Indian officials for comment about Gwadar were unsuccessful. In the past, Indian officials have expressed concern Read more…

Iran, North Korea Partnering on Ballistic Missiles, U.N. Says

May 16, 2011 Comments off

globalsecuritynewswire

(May. 16) - An Iranian Shahab 3 ballistic missile lifts off in a 2009 test. The Shahab 3's warhead appears comparable in design to a North Korean warhead unveiled last year, according to a U.N. report that says the countries seem to have exchanged ballistic missile technology (Shaiegan/Getty Images). Iran and North Korea seem to routinely be swapping ballistic missile equipment in breach of U.N. Security Council directives, a classified expert report to the international body stated on Friday (see GSN, Dec. 1, 2010).

Illegal trades of missile technology had “transshipment through a neighboring third country,” the report states. Multiple envoys told Reuters the nation in question is China.

The report by the Panel of Experts assigned to oversee adherence to U.N. sanctions levied against North Korea was sent to the Security Council on Friday and viewed by Reuters on Saturday.

The document is expected to increase apprehension over Pyongyang’s collaboration with Tehran and to bolster worries about Beijing’s willingness to implement sanctions targeting North Korea and Iran’s nuclear activities, diplomats said.

The Security Council sanctions forbid commerce in atomic and missile systems with the North.

“Prohibited ballistic missile-related items are suspected to have been transferred between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran on regular scheduled flights of Air Koryo and Iran Air,” the experts stated.

“For the shipment of cargo, like arms and related materiel, whose illicit nature would become apparent on any cursory physical inspection, (North) Korea seems to prefer chartered cargo flights,” the document says.

Chartered cargo flights typically travel “from or to air cargo hubs which lack the kind of monitoring and security to which passenger terminals and flights are now subject,” according to the report.

A number of envoys to the Security Council said Beijing was not pleased with Read more…

North Korea Could Help Myanmar Obtain Nuke Tech, Expert Says

April 13, 2011 Comments off

globalsecuritynewswire

Myanmar could create systems for nuclear weapons with North Korean support, but the Southeast Asian state has yet to build such equipment, former International Atomic Energy Agency official Robert Kelley said on Monday (see GSN, April 11).

The nation possesses multiple facilities it might tap for uranium enrichment, the Yonhap News Agency quoted Kelley as saying. The enrichment process can produce civilian as well as weapons material.

The facilities incorporate German equipment, said Kelley, now a fellow with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

“When the Germans are inspecting, the factories appear to be civilian,” he said. “But Read more…

Dozens killed and injured in Burma quake: official

March 25, 2011 Comments off

smh.com

More than 60 people were killed, 90 people injured and dozens of buildings destroyed when a strong earthquake struck Burma near the Thai border, officials from both countries said today.

Tremors were felt as far away as Bangkok, almost 800 kilometres from the epicentre, Hanoi and parts of China during the earthquake yesterday, which the US Geological Survey (USGS) measured at magnitude 6.8.

A Burma official said dozens of people were killed in two towns close to the epicentre.

“The death toll of the quake has increased to more than 50 in Tarlay and Mine Lin townships,” said the official, who declined to be named.

“Roads are also closed. According to the information that we have, more than 130 buildings collapsed because of the quake. There might be more casualties and damage.”

Across the border, Thai authorities said a 52-year-old woman was killed in Mae Sai district after a wall in her Read more…

Earthquake in SW China destroys scores of homes, causes casualties

March 10, 2011 Comments off

KUNMING, CHINA (BNO NEWS) — A strong earthquake struck the Chinese – Myanmar (Burma) border region on late Thursday morning, seismologists said, destroying scores of homes and a supermarket and causing an unknown number of casualties.

The 5.8-magnitude earthquake at 11.28 a.m. local time (0458 GMT) was centered in the Dehong Dai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture in China’s Yunnan Province, close to the border with Burma. It struck about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the China Earthquake Networks Center (CENC).

Several minutes after the initial earthquake, CENC said two aftershocks with magnitudes of 4.5 and 4.7 rattled the area. Reports of damage and casualties were coming in, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.

Xinhua cited county officials as saying that “many houses” in the region had collapsed, causing an unknown number of casualties. A supermarket also collapsed, it added, without giving other details.

In October 2010, a light 4.7-magnitude earthquake destroyed a school in Taikang County in the country’s Hennan Province, injuring 12 students. The quake also destroyed dozens of other homes in the region.

And in August 2010, more than 300 homes were damaged and 12 people were injured when a moderate 5.0-magnitude earthquake rattled Sichuan province. Before that, on April 14, nearly 3,000 people were killed and more than 12,000 others sustained injuries when a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake rocked northwest China’s Qinghai Province.