Correspondent, EU foreign affairs and NATO
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Feb 25, 2015

U.S. ‘deeply concerned’ by North Korean nuclear advances

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is “deeply concerned” about North Korea’s nuclear advances, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday after a U.S. research institute predicted Pyongyang could possess as many as 100 nuclear weapons within five years.

Sung Kim, U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy, told a Washington seminar he could not comment on findings presented earlier by experts at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, because he had not seen the report and U.S. government assessments were classified.

Feb 18, 2015

U.S. must invest to keep ahead of China in space, hearing told

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China’s space program is catching up with that of the United States and Washington must invest in military and civilian programs if it is to remain the world’s dominant space power, a congressional hearing heard on Wednesday.

Experts speaking to Congress’s U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission said China’s fast advances in military and civilian space technology were part of a long-term strategy to shape the international geopolitical system to its interests and achieve strategic dominance in the Asia-Pacific.

Feb 17, 2015

U.N. rights judge wants balloons, hackers to get message to N.Korea

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The head of a U.N. Commission of Inquiry said on Tuesday more efforts were needed, including the use of balloons and computer hacking, to tell the North Korean people about its damning report on human rights conditions in their country.

Retired Australian Judge Michael Kirby Kirby said it was “completely unacceptable” for North Koreans to be kept in the dark about the commission’s report, which compared abuses in their country to Nazi-era atrocities. (U.N. report:

Feb 13, 2015

Sri Lanka minister optimistic about delaying war-crimes report

WASHINGTON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Sri Lankan Foreign Minister
Mangala Samaraweera said on Thursday he was optimistic about
securing a delay in the release of a U.N. report on alleged war
crimes during his country’s civil war until the government has
had time to establish a new judicial mechanism to deal with the

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with U.S. Secretary of
State John Kerry, whose support is crucial to such a delay,
Samaraweera stressed the decision was one for U.N. High
Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and the
president of the U.N. rights council.

Feb 12, 2015

Sri Lanka seeks delay in U.N. war-crimes report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Sri Lanka said on Wednesday it was seeking a delay of several months in the release of a U.N. report on alleged war crimes during the country’s civil war until the government has time to establish a new judicial mechanism to deal with the allegations.

Last March, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to look into reports of abuses during the conflict, saying the Sri Lankan government had failed to investigate properly. The U.N. report is due out on March 25.

Feb 7, 2015

U.S. judge dismisses Marshall Islands’ nuclear suit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. judge has dismissed a lawsuit
brought by the Marshall Islands against the United States that
accused Washington of failing in its obligation to negotiate
nuclear disarmament, campaigners said on Friday.

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation said U.S. Federal Court
Judge Jeffrey White dismissed the suit on Tuesday on the grounds
that the harm caused by the U.S. breach of the Treaty on
Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was “speculative.”
Compelling it to negotiate disarmament would not redress any
harm to the Marshall Islands, it added.

Feb 7, 2015

U.S. security adviser Rice pledges help for Sri Lanka ‘transition’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States pledged on Friday to assist Sri Lanka’s new government in creating a more open and democratic society.

In a speech laying out President Barack Obama’s updated national security strategy, U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice included Sri Lanka alongside Myanmar – which is also known as Burma – and Tunisia as a country “in transition.”

Feb 6, 2015

U.S. invites Japan, China leaders for state visits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Friday it had invited Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese leader Xi Jinping to pay state visits this year, in a further sign of President Barack Obama’s policy emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region.

Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, said Washington had also asked South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Indonesian President Joko Widodo to visit this year as part of Washington’s moves to increase economic, security and diplomatic engagement with the region.

Feb 3, 2015

U.S.-India nuclear ‘breakthrough’ could be finalised within year

NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A “breakthrough understanding” to open India’s nuclear power sector to U.S. firms reached during President Barack Obama’s visit to New Delhi last month could be finalised this year, Indian officials say.

The Jan. 25 announcement by Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi followed six weeks of intensive talks, but few details were released beyond a framework based on India’s acceptance of the principle that plant operators should bear primary liability in the event of a nuclear disaster.

Jan 30, 2015

Obama, Dalai Lama due to attend U.S. prayer event February 5

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama are scheduled to attend the U.S. National Prayer Breakfast in Washington next week, but it was unclear if they will have a private meeting like one last year that angered Beijing.

The White House said Obama would deliver remarks at the Feb. 5 event about the importance of upholding religious freedom, and that the organizers had also invited the Dalai Lama. A congressional aide said the Tibetan spiritual leader had confirmed his attendance.

    • About David

      "David Brunnstrom is Reuters U.S. Asia Policy Correspondent, based in Washington DC. Before moving to Washington in 2012, he reported from all over Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and parts of Asia as EU and NATO correspondent based in Brussels. Before that, he spent nearly 20 years in Asia for Reuters, with postings in Bangkok, Seoul, Tokyo, Hanoi, Islamabad and Kabul."
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