Korea

North Korea: impulsive and reckless on the outside, rational and strategic within

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North Korea’s nuclear weapons capabilities will not undermine the current deterrence system and regional balance of power nor lead to a nuclear arms race, writes Stephen Szuster The resumption of a nuclear weapons program in North Korea and its successive missile tests in recent months have stoked great alarm, especially when the regime is routinely […]

Cambodia

Cambodia: a democracy no longer, descends into autocratic rule

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The steady erosion of democracy in Cambodia has been dramatically accelerated during 2017, writes Carlyle A. Thayer One of the world’s longest serving leaders, Hun Sen, Cambodia’s Prime Minister, has since 2016 set about deliberately dismantling his country’s democratic system. Month by month, the country’s political opposition has been eviscerated through a combination of coercion […]

Southeast Asia

ASEAN: 50 years of peace and prosperity with tough challenges ahead

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Regional stability and economic prosperity are hallmarks of the ASEAN way, but on its fiftieth anniversary the association faces a demanding security environment that will surely test it, writes Sue Thompson Fifty years ago, when formal regional cooperation in Southeast Asia began, it was clear that non-interference had unanimous support.  In its inaugural declaration of […]

India

Instant divorce invalid: the Indian Supreme Court judgment

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  Women’s rights are upheld and Muslim personal laws remain in place but discriminatory measures remain, writes Ronojoy Sen, as he details how the landmark decision came about By uttering ‘talaq’ three times in quick succession, Muslim men in India have been able to divorce their wives. In a recent ruling, the Supreme Court of […]

Korea

Heir-apparent in gaol: is it the end of the ‘Samsung Republic’?

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Controversy over corruption continues in South Korea months after the impeachment and gaoling of former President, Park Geun-hye, writes Hyung-A Kim The billionaire heir-apparent to South Korea’s largest family-owned conglomerate or chaebŏl, Samsung Electronics, has been gaoled for five years for bribery and embezzlement, among other charges. Lee Jae-yong, aged 49, also known as Jay […]

Myanmar

Radical uncertainty: Myanmar at a critical juncture

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There are moments in history when time itself seems compressed, when so many shocking and important events crowd together that it becomes almost impossible to keep track of them, writes Jonathan Bogais The past few weeks in Myanmar have certainly been vertigo-inducing. The extreme violence perpetrated by the Tatmadaw (Myanmar military), Buddhist nationalist militias and […]

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