The Week: Most Recent east-asia recent posts.en-usTue, 19 Feb 2013 09:00:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent east-asia from THE WEEKTue, 19 Feb 2013 09:00:00 -0500Cyber-war: Just how dangerous are China's military hackers?<img src="" /></P><p>Last week, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced a new honor, the Distinguished Warfare Medal, for U.S. cyber-warriors, drone pilots, and other service members who do battle far from the battlefield. The&nbsp;perceived mockery of bestowing accolades on these "armchair warriors" seems a little less cutting after a new <em>New York Times</em> report on the massive amount of hacking directed toward the U.S. government, critical infrastructure, and private corporations from the Shanghai-area headquarters of Unit 61398, a shadowy branch of China's People's Liberation Army.</p><p>The <em>Times</em> story draws heavily on...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Tue, 19 Feb 2013 09:00:00 -0500Will North Korea's provocative nuclear test backfire?<img src="" /></P><p>North Korea's nuclear test&nbsp;this week will bring about little to no good. Depending on what international monitors confirm about the test &mdash; Was the warhead plutonium-based or, worse, fueled by enriched uranium? Was it smaller than previous warheads, and thus closer to fitting atop a ballistic missile? &mdash; Pyongyang could be significantly closer to developing a workable nuke able to reach Japan, or its obvious end goal, the U.S. If there's a silver lining to the isolated communist regime's (figurative) mushroom cloud, it's that, as President Obama said Tuesday, such "provocations....</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Wed, 13 Feb 2013 12:00:00 -0500What the North Korean news agency's website looked like after the Hermit Kingdom's nuke test<img src="" /></P><p>The North Korean central news agency on Tuesday triumphantly blasted&nbsp;the news that the Hermit Kingdom had conducted its third nuclear test, but the agency's website hasn't been changed since yesterday. Like <em>The New York Times</em> front page before the 9/11 attacks, the Korean Central News Agency's website is a window into the dull affairs of state that dominated the news before the world changed. Though North Korea's news may be duller than most, judging from such scintillating headlines as "Kim Jong Un's Work to be Deeply Studied in Mongolia," "Mokran Bookshop Busting With Citizens," and "Kimjongilia...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryu-spaeth" ><span class="byline">Ryu Spaeth</span></a>Tue, 12 Feb 2013 15:17:00 -0500North Korea's nuclear test: How worried should we be?<img src="" /></P><p>North Korea conducted a nuclear test on Tuesday, in defiance of foreign leaders around the world. Condemnation came swiftly. President Obama called the long-threatened move a "highly provocative act" demanding "swift and credible action by the international community." China, which had urged Pyongyang not to conduct the test, declared its "staunch opposition" but urged calm as the United Nations Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting.</p><p>North Korea's official KCNA news service said the test involved a "miniaturized and lighter nuclear device with greater explosive force" than those the...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/harold-maass" ><span class="byline">Harold Maass</span></a>Tue, 12 Feb 2013 11:00:00 -0500Destroy New York: North Korea's creepy new propaganda video<img src="" /></P><p><iframe width="660" height="395" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p><p>Unlike Iran, which says its nuclear program is just for civilian energy-generation, North Korea has almost refreshingly naked ambitions to be a world-class nuclear power. On Tuesday, South Korea said that its isolated northern neighbor is on the verge of conducting a third nuclear test, in violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution. Even China, North Korea's only major ally and donor, is warning against a nuclear test; a leading Chinese newspaper, <em>The Global Times</em>, opined that Pyongyang should pay "a heavy price" if it follows through, including a cut in aid.</p><p>With the world against...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/peter-weber" ><span class="byline">Peter Weber</span></a>Wed, 06 Feb 2013 09:08:00 -05004 must-sees on Google's new map of North Korea<img src="" /></P><p>North Korea was long a big blank space on Google Maps. No roads were visible. No train lines. In fact, Pyongyang, the secretive communist nation's capital, was the only identified landmark. Google changed that on Tuesday, unveiling a detailed view of North Korea that points out spots as small as stores or subway stops, and as large as North Korea's gulags, some of which are the size of cities. Google says the pinpoint-specific maps were created through years of crowdsourcing. Volunteer "citizen cartographers" &mdash; working outside the Hermit Kingdom and using publicly available materials for...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/harold-maass" ><span class="byline">Harold Maass</span></a>Tue, 29 Jan 2013 17:51:00 -0500How far is North Korea from being able to hit the U.S. with a nuke?<img src="" /></P><p>North Korea is shaking its fist at the world yet again this week.</p><p>Pyongyang is angry at the United Nations for toughening sanctions as punishment for the Hermit Kingdom's launching a long-range missile to carry a satellite into orbit in December. And on Friday, North Korea threatened to attack its democratic neighbor, South Korea, if it goes along with the measures approved by the U.N. Security Council. Also this week, North Korea vowed to test a nuclear device and fire more test missiles toward the U.S., which it called the "sworn enemy" of the Korean people. Such saber rattling is nothing new...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/harold-maass" ><span class="byline">Harold Maass</span></a>Fri, 25 Jan 2013 10:58:00 -0500Jimmy Dushku: The 25-year-old who is North Korea's one true Twitter friend<img src="" /></P><p>Google Chairman Eric Schmidt capped a controversial four-day visit to North Korea on Thursday with a call for the country's censorship-happy communist government to give its people access to the internet, or face further economic decline due to the country's global isolation. It was a strong message from one of the web's most powerful figures, although North Korea watchers seem pretty confident the country's young leader, Kim Jong Un, will ignore it. There's one American, however, Pyongyang does appear to listen to. That would be Jimmy Dushku, a young investor who is one of exactly three Twitter...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/harold-maass" ><span class="byline">Harold Maass</span></a>Thu, 10 Jan 2013 15:15:00 -0500China tightens internet restrictions: What does it mean for web users?<img src="" /></P><p>Closing a loophole that has allowed internet users to espouse uncensored political viewpoints and anonymously attack political corruption, China's National People's Congress has overwhelmingly passed a new rule that requires users to input their real names when signing up for network access. Though the Chinese government has downplayed the rule's potential impact, many analysts and cultural critics remain concerned that this is yet another step in China's attempts to quell political dissent. "Their intention is very clear: It is to take back that bit of space for public opinion, that freedom of...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/scott-meslow" ><span class="byline">Scott Meslow</span></a>Fri, 28 Dec 2012 12:15:00 -0500North Korea's rocket launch: 3 consequences<img src="" /></P><p>The U.S., Japan, and South Korea are demanding new sanctions against North Korea after the communist nation carried out an apparently successful launch of a four-stage Unha-3 long-range rocket on Wednesday, in defiance of a United Nations Security Council ban against missile tests. The move was seen as a boost to Pyongyang's young leader, Kim Jong Un, who is trying to establish himself as a strong and worthy successor to his father, the late Kim Jong Il. The rocket carried a satellite, not warheads, but if North Korea did manage to place the satellite in orbit, as its state media claims, Pyongyang...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/harold-maass" ><span class="byline">Harold Maass</span></a>Wed, 12 Dec 2012 10:15:00 -0500Kim Jong Un wins 'Sexiest Man Alive': How The Onion tricked a Chinese newspaper<img src="" /></P><p>Bradley Cooper. Channing Tatum. Kim Jong Un? Not to be outdone by <em>People</em>'s annual ode to chiseled abs, <em>The Onion</em> nominated North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un this year's "Sexiest Man Alive." Unfortunately, not everyone was in on the spoof, namely China's largest Communist Party newspaper, <em>The People's Daily</em>, which not only took the bait but splashed a 55-page slideshow dedicated to the&nbsp;boyish leader across its homepage.&nbsp;</p><p class="p2">"The U.S. website <em>The Onion</em> has named North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un as the "Sexiest Man Alive for the year 2012," writes the <em>People's Daily</em>, underneath a cover...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Tue, 27 Nov 2012 09:55:00 -0500Everything you need to know about China's new leaders<img src="" /></P><p>China's ruling Communist Party opened its week-long 18th National Congress on Thursday, launching a carefully choreographed, five-month process that will transfer power from President Hu Jintao and other top officials to a new generation of leaders. To kick off the meeting, Hu delivered a 90-minute speech in which he urged his colleagues to stamp out corruption, which has triggered public anger at the government. "Nobody is above the law," Hu told the 2,309 delegates and party notables. "If we fail to handle this issue well, it could prove fatal to the party." Here's what you should know:<br /><br /><strong>Why is...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 08 Nov 2012 17:10:00 -0500The world's silliest territorial dispute<img src="" /></P><p><strong>Are the islands important?<br /></strong>Only in a symbolic way. The eight tiny islands and outcroppings &mdash; known as the Senkaku islands in Japan, which administers them, as the Diaoyu in China, and as the Tiaoyutai in Taiwan &mdash; have a total area of less than three square miles, and are home only to a band of feral goats. Located about 100 miles northeast of Taiwan and 265 miles west of the Japanese island of Okinawa, they do sit in prime fishing territory, and there are natural gas deposits and possibly large oil reserves nearby. But it is national pride, honed by centuries of bitter rivalry and war...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSat, 20 Oct 2012 11:15:00 -0400Is North Korea finally embracing capitalist reforms?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">This week, <em>Reuters</em> and <em>The Associated Press</em> reported that North Korea is introducing modest measures to reform the country's collectivist economy. The regime will reportedly allow farmers to keep their surplus crops to sell or barter, and while that may sound like small potatoes, it would represent the most significant economic reform that supreme leader Kim Jong Un has made since coming to power some nine months ago. Indeed, it is precisely the type of agricultural reform that communist China embarked upon in the late 1970s, ushering in a period of liberalization that eventually turned China into...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 25 Sep 2012 13:55:00 -0400What the Foxconn riot tells us about China<img src="" /></P><p>Foxconn, a company most famous for building Apple's iPhones and other iGoodies, but also responsible for assembling lots of other tech wonders, encountered an unwelcome controversy this weekend when 2,000 workers rioted, requiring the government to dispatch 5,000 armed officers. (Watch amateur video footage of the riot below.) In the end, 40 people were hospitalized, several workers were arrested, and&nbsp;Foxconn shut down the factory to give everyone a chance to cool down. The riot is only the latest in a string of woes for Foxconn, which faced scrutiny after a riot at another plant in June....</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 24 Sep 2012 18:35:00 -0400Why China and Japan are feuding over tiny islands<img src="" /></P><p>A long-simmering territorial dispute is heating up between China and Japan in the East China Sea. Last week, 14 Chinese activists planted Chinese and Taiwanese flags on one of the uninhabited islets, known as "Senkaku" in Japan and "Diaoyu" in China. Then, on Sunday, 10 Japanese demonstrators, including Tokyo city assembly members, swam ashore on one of the islands, triggering anti-Japan riots in China. What is behind this increasingly tense feud? Here, a brief guide:</p><p><strong>Why are these islands so important?</strong><br />The short answer is their location. The chain of small islands is surrounded by rich fishing...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 21 Aug 2012 12:05:00 -0400