The Frontlines Bulletin (19MAY2011)

The Frontlines Bulletin is designed to give you short, concise information on news from around the world. To read the full bulletin check out: THE FRONTLINES BULLETIN (181809(S)MAY2011)

North Korea

The United States plans to send its envoy for North Korean human rights, Robert King, to Pyongyang to assess the need for food aid and evaluate methods to ensure the aid shipments reach the hungry, a South Korean Foreign Ministry official said on 17 May. The official said King could visit as early as the week of 22 May.

A U.N. report that says China is allowing Iran and North Korea to collaborate on banned nuclear missile technology highlights the weakness of international efforts to stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction and presents U.S. officials with a dilemma. Lawmakers, congressional staffers and former officials told The Washington Times there has been clear evidence for more than a decade of China’s role assisting North Korea, Iran and Pakistan spread the know-how and technology needed to make nuclear-armed ballistic missiles that can strike cities a continent away.


Pakistani paramilitary troops shot at NATO helicopters that crossed from Afghanistan into Pakistan early Tuesday, triggering a firefight that left two soldiers wounded, military officials here said. According to a statement by the Pakistani army, paramilitary soldiers at a border post in North Waziristan spotted NATO helicopters in Pakistani airspace Tuesday morning. They fired on the helicopters, which then shelled the post, injuring two, the statement said. Pakistan said it had lodged a “strong protest” with NATO and demanded a border meeting of military officials. The Pakistani parliament on 14 May condemned the US raid to find and kill Usama bin Laden, calling for a review of U.S. relations and noting Pakistan could sever supply lines to US forces in Afghanistan should another such operations take place. Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate chief Lieutenant General Shuja Pasha reportedly said he is ready to resign from his post over the bin Laden incident, according to a lawmaker. His resignation was not accepted.


The Chinese People’s Liberation Army band is on its first visit to the US, making a joint appearance Monday night with the US Army band at Washington’s Kennedy Center. In the past year, the Pentagon leadership has expressed growing concern about China’s cyberespionage forays and its robust Navy, including the possible launch of its first aircraft carrier later this year. These trends are troubling to US military officials, who are seeking to expand American military presence in the Pacific. Chinese efforts to flex its muscle in recent years have at times sent shockwaves through the Pentagon. China’s successful ballistic missile shoot-down of one of its own orbiting satellites in 2007 was a feat widely seen as an ominous move toward the militarization of space. “I’m increasingly concerned about where China seems to be heading with that,” Mullen told the Monitor. During this visit, leaders on both sides are seeking to strike a more conciliatory tone, especially since it’s on the heels of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s first state visit to the US in January.




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