North Korea

Talking points

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 February, 2012, 12:00am


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Our editors will be looking ahead today to these developing stories ...

Succession in the air on prince's birthday

Japan's Crown Prince Naruhito, the first son of Emperor Akihito, celebrates his 52nd birthday, just days after practising the constitutional role he may expect to play one day. As his 78-year-old father (pictured) recuperated from Saturday's four-hour heart operation, the prince handled official duties such as attending public ceremonies and meeting state guests. The emperor's youngest son, Prince Akishino, suggested there should be a discussion about setting a retirement age for the head of state and the palace medical supervisor said ways to reduce Akihito's duties were under consideration.

Sichuan to hold briefing on post-quake recovery

Wei Hong, the executive vice-governor of Sichuan, will give a news conference tomorrow on the formal completion of the province's reconstruction programme after the magnitude-8 quake that struck on May 12, 2008 in Wenchuan country, claiming around 87,000 lives, according to the official toll. In November 2008 the central government's top planning agency said it would spend one trillion yuan (HK$1.23 trillion) over the next three years to rebuild areas ravaged by the disaster.

US, North Korean officials to meet in Beijing

The United States and North Korea reopen nuclear talks in Beijing that will give US officials a glimpse into the political transition from late leader Kim Jong-il, who died two months ago, to his young son Kim Jong-un (pictured). Analysts say the talks could show North Korea's readiness to return to a nuclear disarmament-for-aid deal with Washington in progress before Kim's death.

Countdown to launch of Beidou satellite

China is planning to launch Compass-G5, its 11th regional positioning, navigation and timing satellite, in the early hours of Saturday from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan. The satellite is part of the Beidou navigation system, a global navigation network made up of more than 30 satellites expected to be in place by 2020, in an alternative to the global positioning system, or GPS, maintained by the United States.

London forum to discuss saving Somalia

Representatives from more than 40 governments and multilateral organisations, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, are expected to attend a conference in London on the instability in Somalia; a country afflicted by famine, civil war, piracy and, more recently, an Islamist insurgency led by the Al-Shabab movement. Delegates are expected to discuss a new international approach to solve problems, which include the absence of a functioning government for several decades.

Leung's West Kowloon documents to be released

The government is expected to release documents related to allegations of a conflict of interest against chief executive hopeful Leung Chun-ying. The accusations relate to a West Kowloon design competition in 2001, in which Leung allegedly failed to declare business connections between his company DTZ Holdings and a Malaysian contestant. The release will coincide with Leung's formal announcement of his candidacy to be chief executive.