Suu Kyi voicing impossible dream to be president put leaders on spot

Aung San Suu Kyi. Photo: EPA

Most politicians coyly deny they want to lead their country until the last possible minute, but Myanmar's opposition leader, Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, dispensed with the usual pleasantries and announced unequivocally her desire to be president two years before the

Saturday, 8 June, 2013, 3:19am

Hawkish North Korean general makes a comeback

Gereral Kim Kyok-sik (right) with former North Korean leader Kim Kong-il. Photo: AP

North Korea has reappointed a hardline and loyal general as military chief in a move experts said was part of young leader Kim Jong-un's attempt to tighten his grip on the armed forces. In a brief dispatch, the Korean Central News Agency referred to Kim Kyok-sik as chief of the Korean People's Army general staff, a notch higher in the military hierarchy than his previous post of defence minister.

23 May 2013 - 1:50am

China should focus on hi-tech weapons, not plodding old carriers

China should focus on hi-tech weapons, not plodding old carriers

Technology has a clever habit of outdoing fantasy, and this month the US Navy announced that it has finally produced a working Laser Weapon System (the US military has been trying to develop something like this for decades). After proving itself by shooting down target drones in 12 out of 12 tests, the laser will be on board an active US warship by next year, probably in the Persian Gulf, ready to zap Iranian missiles.

26 Apr 2013 - 2:27am 2 comments

Post-quake rescue operations expose China's military aircraft weaknesses

An aerial view shows houses damaged after a strong earthquake in Lushan county, Ya'an. Photo: Reuters

Military analysts said domestic-made rescue helicopters lack the ability to carry heavy loads and are less capable at handling extreme weather conditions. Some chalk the disparity up to Beijing's focus on the development of advanced fighter jets and other general-purpose planes.

24 Apr 2013 - 4:46am 2 comments

Taiwan stages live-fire exercises in hotly contested Spratly Island chain

A Taiwanese soldier fires during an exercise on Taiping. Photo: AFP

Taiwan's coastguard said yesterday that Taipei had staged a live-fire drill within a hotly contested island chain in the South China Sea, in a move that risks stoking regional tensions. More than 2,000 rounds of ammunition were fired by garrison forces on Taiwan-administered Taiping, the largest of the Spratly Islands, Wang Chin-wang, chief of the Coast Guard Administration, told parliament.

23 Apr 2013 - 2:22am

First live-fire drill in five years as part of Taiwan's Han Kuang exercises

A live-fire drill in Hsinchu county last year. Photo: AFP

Taiwan has begun its largest military exercises since 2008, which will today see a live-fire drill on Penghu Island in the middle of the Taiwan Strait. The drill will review the armed forces' ability to defend Taiwan against a simulated attack by mainland forces.

17 Apr 2013 - 4:59am

Wikipedia article deleted after French spy agency's 'threats'

Sue Gardner, the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation. Photo: NYT

The foundation behind Wikipedia has accused the French DCRI domestic intelligence agency of forcing a volunteer to remove an article because it was deemed to contain military secrets.

The article on the free online encyclopedia, created in July 2009, dealt with a military radar station in Puy-de-Dome in south central France.

8 Apr 2013 - 4:45am

Bid to change Thailand's military-backed constitution faces legal fight

Soldiers shoot rubber bullets at protesters in 2010. Photo: AFP

Thai lawmakers moved to change parts of a military-backed constitution after the country's highest court agreed to hear a case that may block them from doing so, signalling a renewed round of political tension.

5 Apr 2013 - 3:40am

Vatican rejects Argentina junta claims against pope

People hold an Argentinian flag in St Peter's square in Rome. The Vatican rejected claims that Pope Francis did not do enough ito save two priests kidnapped and tortured by the Argentinian military junta. Photo: AP

The Vatican on Friday rejected claims that Pope Francis failed to do enough to protect two priests kidnapped and tortured by Argentina’s military junta and said he had in fact helped save lives.

16 Mar 2013 - 12:44am

Taiwan deputy defence chief laments military readiness in face of threats

Ma Ying-jeou. Photo: AFP

Taiwan's military has warned that a lack of crisis awareness, a low birth rate and resource constraints could threaten security in the face of a growing threat from the mainland.

The deputy defence minister, Andrew Yang Nien-dzu, said yesterday there was still a long way to go before Taipei could establish "military confidence-building measures" with Beijing to avert that threat.

14 Mar 2013 - 6:44am

Japan urges China to reveal full defence spending details

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga. Photo: AFP

There are reports that Beijing is increasing its defence budget by nearly 11 per cent in the coming year, which would put growth in double digits for the third straight year, but analysts believe spending could be much higher.

8 Mar 2013 - 2:46am

Britain seeks to arm Syrian terrorists, President Assad says

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Photo: AFP

Britain has been pushing to lift a ban on the sale of arms to Syria's rebels, but at a meeting last month European Union foreign ministers ruled that only "non-lethal" aid and "technical assistance" could be given to the opposition.

4 Mar 2013 - 5:27am

PLA Navy to conduct training drills in western Pacific over Lunar New Year

PLA Navy to conduct training drills in western Pacific over Lunar New Year

The People's Liberation Army Navy will conduct drills in the western Pacific Ocean during the Lunar New Year holiday after finishing a regular patrol mission in the South China Sea.

9 Feb 2013 - 4:06am 2 comments

Abe plans to amend constitution to enact full-fledged military

Shinzo Abe. Photo: AP

Shinzo Abe, Japan's hawkish prime minister, yesterday told lawmakers he planned to change the post-second world war constitution that imposed pacifism on the nation, in a move likely to stir suspicion in China and beyond.

1 Feb 2013 - 3:28am

Briefs, January 28, 2013

Japan will boost its number of military personnel, Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said, as the new government led by the Liberal Democratic Party tackles a territorial spat with Beijing over East China Sea islets.

28 Jan 2013 - 5:32am