North Korea, China Pursuing Nuke-Ready Cruise Missiles: Air Force
Diane Barnes, Global Security Newswire — May 30, 2013
The U.S. Air Force nuclear weapons command this month accused North Korea and China of each developing new cruise missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, but analysts on Thursday cast doubt on the credibility of the military assertions.
Laos Returns Refugees to North Korea
Jeyup S. Kwaak, The Wall Street Journal — May 31, 2013
Laos handed over a group of North Korean refugees to Pyongyang this week and rejected criticism it had endangered their lives, saying South Korea was informed of the detentions but made no attempt to help, an assertion a South Korean official disputed.
Rights groups demand North Korea account for defectors reportedly sent back from Laos
The Associated Press — May 31, 2013
Human rights groups have demanded that North Korea guarantee the safety of nine of its citizens who reportedly fled to Laos, only to be apprehended and sent back home.
U.S. Lifts Iran Sanctions on Laptops, Mobile Phones
Terry Atlas, Bloomberg — May 30, 2013
President Barack Obama’s administration lifted U.S. trade sanctions that bar sales of consumer communications equipment and software to ordinary Iranians. The policy shift was announced today by the U.S. State and Treasury departments, which administer the sanctions imposed on such consumer electronics since 1992.
Iran says sanctions not affecting oil production
George Jahn, Associated Press — May 31, 2013
Iran’s oil minister shrugged off the effects of sanctions on its oil industry on Friday, claiming that a drop in crude exports was being made up for by international sales of gasoline and other refined products.
Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism sees “marked resurgence” : U.S.
Warren Strobel, Reuters — May 30, 2013
Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism overseas underwent “a marked resurgence” in 2012, reaching levels not seen in 20 years, the U.S. State Department charged on Thursday in its annual report on trends in political violence.
Park urges N. Korea to agree to government-level dialogue
Yonhap News Agency — May 31, 2013
President Park Geun-hye said Friday North Korea should hold government-to-government dialogue with South Korea, rather than civilian-level exchanges, if it wants to normalize a suspended joint industrial complex and resolve other issues.
Growth Not Missile Threat Tops Park’s South Korea Agenda
Yoolim Lee, Bloomberg BusinessWeek — May 30, 2013
With North Korea escalating its threats to test a ballistic missile, South Korean President Park Geun Hye was conferring with Bill Gates on another pressing matter. Seated across from Microsoft Corp.’s billionaire co-founder on April 22 at a formal dining table in the Blue House, her official residence, Park picked the tech mogul’s brain about how to nurture entrepreneurs to keep the world’s 15th-largest economy humming.
Two-Decade-Old Pledge Complicates South Korean Nuclear Aspiration
Elaine M. Grossman, Global Security Newswire — May 30, 2013
South Korea’s designs on producing atomic fuel recently scotched a 2014 trade deal with the United States, but could yet have new ramifications: Potentially shattering a twenty-one-year-old pledge Seoul made to never process sensitive nuclear materials, according to issue experts.
Target Malfunctions Imperil Missile Defense Effort
Richard H.P. Sia, Foreign Policy — May 30, 2013
…For years, the public’s focus on the nation’s nearly $10 billion-a-year missile defense program has been on whether American interceptors can hit incoming ballistic missiles…Less attention has been paid to the targets used in U.S. missile defense testing, which have failed or malfunctioned at an alarming rate since the 2002 inception of the Missile Defense Agency