ASIA-PACIFIC COUNTRIES FORM WORLD’S LARGEST TRADING BLOC

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On 15 November, 15 Asia-Pacific countries formed the world’s largest free-trade bloc, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The agreement includes the 10 nations that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. The agreement excludes the United States, as tensions between China…

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ASIA-PACIFIC ARMS RACE TAKES OMINOUS TURN

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By Alex Pollock Rising tensions in the Asia-Pacific region account for what is being called a game-changer in the way two countries [Australia and Japan] think about protecting themselves from China’s rapid military expansion. China’s rapid build-up of bases, naval forces, and long-range air force in the South China Sea and beyond has unnerved its…

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TILLERSON SAYS US READY TO TALK TO NORTH KOREA; JAPAN WANTS PRESSURE

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13 DECEMBER 2017 – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions, backing away from a key US demand that Pyongyang must first accept that giving up its nuclear arsenal would be part of any negotiations. Tillerson’s new diplomatic overture comes nearly two weeks after North Korea said…

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UN SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING SOUGHT OVER NORTH KOREA MISSILE TEST

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13 FEBRUARY 2017 — The United States, Japan and South Korea have requested urgent diplomatic talks at the United Nations on Monday over North Korea’s latest ballistic missile launch, with Seoul condemning what it called “serious military and security threats” and predicting more such tests. A spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations said…

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