Friday Five: February 1, 2013

North Korea announced that following its successful satellite rocket launch in December 2012, it plans to conduct a nuclear test in the near future. CSIS’s Korea Chair Victor Cha has written about this at length, anticipating a provocation in the run up to Madame Park Geun-hye’s  inauguration in South Korea.

In Southeast Asia’s stock market sales reached new highs, pushed in part by positive data released on global economic performance. Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines all achieved milestones in market performance as of February 1.

The New York Times revealed in detail this week how its internal email structure was compromised by hackers based in China. The NYT website is currently banned in China following detailed reporting revealing the wealth associated with the family of outgoing Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in 2012.

New Zealand prime minister John Key reshuffled his cabinet  and turfed out several ministers in a move described as a way to revitalize the National Party’s political momentum.  Elsewhere down under, discussion and debate continued about the implications of Australia’s new security strategy that Prime Minister Julia Gillard recently launched.

Finally, the new Japanese government of Shinzo Abe followed through on recent LDP campaign promises that included boosting the defense budget. Tokyo’s announcement comes during the on-going row with China and Taiwan about possession of the Senkaku/Diaoyu islets.

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