In North Korea, missile launch preparation reportedly continues, with a projected launch range of December 10-22. Korea Chair Victor Cha and program Fellow Ellen Kim have penned a new CSIS Critical Questions, which points out that the DPRK averages a provocation of some form within 18 weeks of an ROK election. South Koreans are slated to vote on December 19.
China’s territorial dispute in the South China Sea flared with Vietnam this week. After a cable to an exploration vessel was severed, China called on Vietnam to end unilateral exploration of the oil and gas resources in the disputed waters. To learn more read about geography of the dispute, read our cogitASIA South China Sea Frame by Frame #2 by Greg Poling.
Renewed tensions in Asia offset some modest positive feeling in the region following the announcement of ASEAN’s Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations, which came as the East Asia Summit meetings concluded in late November. Murray Hiebert and Liam Hanlon explain what RCEP means for the region and implications for TPP members in a recent CSIS Critical Questions.
In other East Asian news, South Korea soccer player Park Jong-woo was suspended two matches and fined by the International Olympic Committee for his actions after the bronze medal match of the 2012 London Summer Olympics with Japan. As the match ended, Park took a poster from a fan that stated in Hangul, “Dokdo is our territory!” The small island, known as Takeshima in Japanese, remains a point of contention between Japan and South Korea, which the ROK’s Lee Myung Bak visited hours before the match in August. Lee’s visit stoked protests and criticism in Japan.
This week the IOC also suspended the Indian Olympic Association prior to its own elections. There are ongoing investigations of corruption against some of the leaders in charge of hosting the disastrous Commonwealth Games in India, two of whom were running for election to the IOA. Some Indians hailed the move as a turning point against corruption in Indian sport and society.