|Asia News Digest
South Korea, Russia Join Forces for Development
Sept. 10 (EIRNS)South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, in Moscow for a two-day visit, met first with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and announced that the two nations will work closely together on both the development of the Russian Far East, and on the diplomatic dead-lock between North and South Korea since the sinking of the South Korean naval ship Cheonan in March.
Lee and Putin agreed to "substantial collaboration" to develop Siberia and the Far East, as beneficial for both nations. They emphasized that solving the conflict between North and South Korea was urgent, both to assure peace, and in order to complete the vision of connecting the Eurasian rail lines from Russia into South Korea, and constructing an oil and gas pipeline through the North to the South.
LaRouche noted the importance of this Korean/Russian cooperation in terms of bringing Japan into the regional scheme. "It's complicated," LaRouche said. "The Japan question in Asia, is a very crucial question, which depends, from the standpoint of Russia, on Japan's relationship to China. So, Japan's relationship to China is crucial for Japan's relationship to Siberia and Russia in particular, as such. The Koreans are much freer on this thing, which is crucial to this whole development of this part of the world. Japan has a technological base which is very useful for this entire area; and the interest and survival of Japan depends upon it. But Japan has been a 'bad guy,' in a sense, in some respects, in this area; where KoreaSouth Korea, in particularis neutral on that issue. I mean, you have conflicts in Asia which are still there, and you cannot ignore them. But what you do, if you bring a formula into place, between Russia and South Korea, Japan can come in on that."
Karzai Orders British Security Company To Leave Afghanistan
Sept. 6 (EIRNS)A London-based private military company (PMC), Blue Hackle, providing security in Afghanistan, has been told to leave the country because of the company's involvement in smuggling arms out of Afghanistan to some other killing fields. Officials said President Hamid Karzai revoked Blue Hackle's operating license on Sept. 5, to take effect immediately. But that did not go well with British allies, such as Gen. David Petraeus, who reportedly met with Karzai to pressure him to reverse his decision. The Scotsman reported that "tense meetings between Karzai, General David Petraeus ... and other senior western officials were taking place in Kabul."
Although the news broke today, the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) had unearthed Blue Hackle's smuggling operation on Aug. 30, when it seized "a large amount of military equipment including arms and munitions" from a private security firm. NDS said the mat@aaeriel was "being illegally transferred by a private security company from Kabul city to the airport and then to unknown destination." The NDS statement named the security firm as Blue Hackle, a member of the British Association of Private Security Companies. "The weapons were provided to this company by arms smugglers," NDS said, adding that they had been confiscated amid an investigation.