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					                           Asia-Pacific Daily Press Highlights
                                      08 May 2009
               Note: VIC Daily News Summary will follow later this morning.

     North Korea Repeats Vows To Strengthen Nuclear Deterrent
     N.Korea Rejects Dialogue With Obama Administration
     [Japan] Gov't Mulling Budget For Building Satellite To Detect Missile Launch
     Russia Warns Japan Against 'Inflated Hopes' In Islands Dispute
     Witness Identifies Mumbai Suspect
     Poll Protesters Hurt In Kashmir Teargas Firing
     Pakistan Orders Military To Eliminate Extremists
     Aid Organisation To Pull Out Of Combat Zone In Pakistan
     Sri Lankan Military Facing Suicide Bombers
     Malaysia Confirms Islamic Militant Mas Selamat In Detention
     Malaysian Government Wins Control Of Disputed State
     22 Dead As Typhoon Hits Philippines
     Deadline Nears For Pacific Maritime Claims
     Emergency Regulations Working Well: Fiji Acting PM
     [Japan] Hospitals Told To Let In 'Flu' Patients
     Japanese Boy In U.S. Has New Flu, 3 At Narita Test Positive For A Type
     Asian Nations Set To Boost Flu Drug Stockpiles
     Flu Quarantine Lifted At Hong Kong Hotel

North Korea Repeats Vows To Strengthen Nuclear Deterrent
North Korea vowed on Friday to strengthen its nuclear deterrent because of what it called
Washington's continuing hostile policy, as a US envoy toured the region to try to restart
disarmament talks. "The study of the policy pursued by the Obama administration for the past
100 days since its emergence made it clear that the US hostile policy toward the DPRK (North
Korea) remains unchanged," a foreign ministry spokesman said. "The DPRK will bolster its
nuclear deterrent as it has already clarified," the spokesman said in a statement on the official
Korean Central News Agency. Stephen Bosworth, Washington's special envoy for North Korea,
arrived in China on Thursday for talks and was due in South Korea Friday afternoon. The North
announced it was quitting six-party nuclear disarmament talks and restarting a program to make
weapons-grade plutonium, after the UN Security Council condemned its April 5 rocket launch
and tightened sanctions. (cont)
Source: AFP

N.Korea Rejects Dialogue With Obama Administration
North Korea has rejected bilateral dialogue with the United States, claiming that the
administration of President Barack Obama is taking a hostile stance towards the country. The
North's state-run Korean Central News Agency quoted a foreign ministry spokesperson on
Friday as saying that the Obama administration has the same hostile policy towards the North as
the previous US government. The official said the North will gain nothing by sitting down in
front of a country that continues to view it with hostility. He added that his country is not trying
to build up its defense capabilities just to seek dialogue with the United States. This is the first
time that Pyongyang has accused the Obama administration by name. The remarks came one day
after the US envoy on North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, said Washington is not ruling out talks
with the North in order to resolve the stalemate over the international efforts to achieve its
nuclear disarmament. NHK's correspondent in Beijing says North Korea is apparently trying to
stress that it will continue to reject US proposals for the country to remain in the six-party talks
and not conduct another nuclear test.
Source: NHK

[Japan] Gov't Mulling Budget For Building Satellite To Detect Missile Launch
The government is considering whether to allocate research funds in its fiscal 2010 budget for
the development of a satellite to detect missile launches, government sources said Thursday. The
allocation of funds is being considered as the government is studying the feasibility of such a
system after North Korea's April 5 rocket launch, which Japan and other countries believe was a
long- range ballistic missile test conducted over Japan's northeastern region. Tokyo relied on a
U.S. satellite to obtain information about the rocket launch. Some government insiders think the
time is ripe for Japan to seriously assess the feasibility of maintaining a satellite system of its
own despite the huge development costs it may entail, the sources said. "It now seems unlikely
that there will be widespread public opposition to a move to enhance our information-gathering
capacity," a government source said. Developing an early warning satellite system is estimated to
cost several hundred billion yen. The government could give the nod once it is confident that the
system would be practical and the issue of cost is resolved, added the source. (cont)
Source: Kyodo

Russia Warns Japan Against 'Inflated Hopes' In Islands Dispute
Russia on Thursday warned Japan not to expect a decades-old territorial row to be resolved
ahead of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s visit to Tokyo early next week. “I would like to stress
our readiness for a calm, constructive conversation on this topic and what’s more important,
without some sort of inflated expectations and therefore without disappointment,” Yury
Ushakov, a veteran diplomat and deputy head of Putin’s staff, told reporters. “Expectations then
cause major disappointments.” Putin is expected in Tokyo for a day of talks Tuesday with a
high-powered delegation of top businessmen and officials. He is scheduled to meet his Japanese
counterpart Taro Aso as well as former premiers Junichiro Koizumi and Yoshiro Mori. Japanese
officials planned to raise their “favorite territorial problem,” said Ushakov, and while Russia was
ready to discuss any hypothetical scenarios it was important to avoid “extreme positions.” (cont)
Source: Kyodo


Witness Identifies Mumbai Suspect
The first witness in the Mumbai attacks trial has identified the lone surviving gunman,
Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab, in court, the prosecution has said. Police officer Bhaskar
Kadam told the court he was at Girgaum Chowpatty sea front in south Mumbai on the night of
26 November 2008 when Qasab was caught. Mr. Qasab is charged on 86 counts, including
waging war against India, murder and possessing explosives. He has pleaded not guilty to all the
charges. More than 170 people died in the attacks, including nine gunmen. Mr. Qasab is the
sole surviving suspected attacker. Two Indians, Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, are also
on trial accused of being members of the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group and of scouting for the
attacks. They too have pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit the same offences as Mr.
Qasab. (cont)
Source: BBC

Poll Protesters Hurt In Kashmir Teargas Firing
SRINAGAR (Reuters) - At least 30 people were injured when police in Srinagar fired teargas
shells on Friday to disperse thousands of Muslims protesting the general election, police said.
More than 6,000 protesters, many of them masked and led by senior separatist leader and chief
cleric, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, marched through downtown Srinagar, Kashmir's summer capital,
and threw stones at the police, said police officer Mohammed Shafi. "No election no selection,
we want freedom," and "Indian troops go back," the protesters chanted, a day after Kashmir
voted in the penultimate stage of the month-long election. Turnout in the Kashmir valley,
flashpoint of a two-decade-long insurgency, was as low as 19 percent on Thursday after anti-
India separatists called for a poll boycott. The separatists, most of whom were placed under
house arrest for more than a week, called the low voter turnout a success. "Boycott is a
democratic verdict. People have rejected the 62-year-old repression by India," said Syed Ali
Shah, senior hard line separatist leader, at Friday prayers at a Srinagar mosque. Aside from the
ruling Congress party, other parties contesting the polls include the main opposition Hindu-
nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, the regional National Conference and the Peoples Democratic
Party. (cont)
Source: Reuters

Pakistan Orders Military To Eliminate Extremists
Pakistan has sent fresh troops to the volatile Swat valley after ordering the army to "eliminate"
extremists battling government forces for control of the key northwest district. Authorities
slapped an indefinite curfew on a swathe of land to facilitate the deployment of troops, a senior
military official told AFP. The move came after attack helicopters, artillery and warplanes
pounded suspected Taliban hideouts on Thursday in the deadliest fighting since the government
reached a February peace agreement with hardliners. In a televised address, Prime Minister
Yousuf Raza Gilani called for unity against extremists whom he said were threatening the
nation's sovereignty and who had violated the deal. President Asif Ali Zardari, in Washington
for talks aimed at quelling the chronic unrest gripping the nuclear-armed US ally, vowed military
operations would last until "normalcy" had returned to Swat. "It's a regional problem, it's a
worldwide problem," he said after meeting key Congressional leaders considering a massive aid
package for Islamabad. (cont)
Source: AFP

Aid Organization To Pull Out Of Combat Zone In Pakistan
The international humanitarian organization Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) or Doctors
Without Borders has pulled out of parts of Pakistan where there is fighting between government
forces and Taliban rebels. The international humanitarian organization was the only organization
supporting the hospital in Mingora, the main town in the Swat Valley, and the only provider of
ambulance services. MSF's coordinator for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Brice Delevigne, who is
based in Brussels, says his staff were being caught in the fighting and it was just too dangerous
to continue operating. "The last few weeks have been very difficult for us and we took the
decision together with our Pakistani colleagues saying okay now its just too dangerous," he says.
Mr Delevigne says there have been several incidents involving MSF staff. "Ambulances have
been caught in crossfire, bullets on the ambulance... difficulties on checkpoints," he said. This
now means civilians in Taliban areas are without medical services of any kind.
Source: Radio Australia

Sri Lankan Military Facing Suicide Bombers
Sri Lanka's military says the Tamil Tigers are using suicide bombers to hold back government
forces who are close to overrunning the last patch of rebel-held territory. A military spokesman
says advancing ground troops are being confronted by suicide attacks, but gave no details on
whether there had been any casualties. The government estimates that up to 20,000 civilians are
being held in an area less than five square kilometers where the rebels are besieged. The United
Nations has said the number could be as high as 50,000. President Mahinda Rajapakse, under
pressure over allegations that his troops have been shelling civilians, has invited UN Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon to visit the island.
Source: Radio Australia


Malaysia Confirms Islamic Militant Mas Selamat In Detention
The alleged leader of an Islamic militant group accused of plotting to crash an airliner in
Singapore has been arrested in Malaysia after more than a year on the run, authorities said
Friday. Malaysian Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein confirmed that Mas Selamat bin
Kastari, who had escaped from a high-security detention centre in Singapore, was being held
under internal security laws. "Mas Selamat is under our detention and is being investigated right
now. He was planning something which allows us to arrest him," Hishamuddin told a press
conference, without elaborating on those plans. "We are becoming an expert on him so
hopefully this time he won't escape us, and the Singaporean experience will help," he said of the
Indonesian-born militant who has escaped custody several times. Hishamuddin would not
confirm reports in the Singapore media that Mas Selamat was caught on April 1 in the southern
state of Johor, which is separated from Singapore by a narrow waterway. (cont)
Source: AFP

Malaysian Government Wins Control Of Disputed State
Malaysia's ruling coalition has taken control of a disputed legislature in Northwestern Perak
state. Police arrested 65 people, including five opposition MPs, in a battle over who governs the
peninsula's second largest state. Police, backed by water cannon, deployed barbed wire around
the state legislature in Ipoh, as it held its first session since the state government was ousted. The
National Front coalition succeeded in ousting the speaker of the assembly and installing its own
man in the post, effectively taking over the legislature, which was then officially opened by the
son of the Sultan of Perak. The former speaker was pulled from the building by police after loud
arguments and fights among the politicians on floor of the assembly. Perak is the focal point of
tensions between the opposition and the National Front government that has ruled Malaysia for
51 years following the takeover of the state government in a move orchestrated by Najib Razak,
the country's new Prime Minister.
Source: Radio Australia

22 Dead As Typhoon Hits Philippines
At least 22 people were killed and thousands displaced overnight as Typhoon Chan-hom raked
the northern Philippines, officials said Friday. The typhoon blew out into the Philippine Sea off
the northeast coast of Luzon island early Friday after unleashing landslides, floods, and power
cuts across the north of the country. Among the worst-hit areas was the mountain town of
Kiangan and nearby areas that were devastated by landslides, and the cape of Bolinao on the
South China Sea coast that bore the full force of its landfall late Thursday. "Bolinao -- well
frankly speaking it's devastated," Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro told reporters in Manila
after a helicopter overflight of the coastal region swamped with floods and littered with downed
pylons. Chan-hom killed 12 people in Bolinao and nearby towns, where strong winds knocked
down houses, trees and electric posts, he added. In the Cordillera mountain region northeast of
Bolinao, nine villagers were crushed to death by large boulders that rolled down slopes in
Kiangan and nearby towns on Thursday night, Olive Luces of the local civil defense office told
AFP here. (cont)
Source: AFP


Deadline Nears For Pacific Maritime Claims
Countries in the Pacific region have less than a week to submit claims to the United Nations if
they think they have legitimate grounds to extend their continental shelf boundaries. Solomon
Islands, Paupa New Guinea and Federated States of Micronesia have submitted a joint claim
which covers the Ontong Java plateau. Phil Symonds from Geoscience Australia says the area
could potentially be rich in biological and mineral resources. "In the case of the Ontong Java,
which is sitting in environments that are more commonly associate with finding deep sea
minerals - metalic sulfide deposits and things like that, that would be the most obvious
conventional type of resource," he said. "I dont think the Onong Java is an area where you would
be really looking for oil and gas deposit." In the Pacific, Palau, Tonga and Nauru are the only
countries yet to lodge submissions. Kiribati and Tuvalu have extended deadlines of several years,
because they signed the UN convention of the Law of the Sea after 1999, when the original
deadline was set.
Source: Radio Australia

Emergency Regulations Working Well: Fiji Acting PM
Fiji's interim Attorney-General and acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum says the regime
is pleased with the country's current emergency regulations, and specifically the strict controls on
the media. Mr Sayed Khaiyum told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat program that the regulations,
which prevent negative political reporting, are working as expected. "You'll find if you talk to
the ordinary citizens of this country that they're quite happy with the situation at the moment
because the media tends to not be sensationalising stories," he said. "Stories are being reported
on everyday life in Fiji and problems etc. But in terms of the political angle, that's not being
covered or by various people making speculative comments that's out of the media. "And in fact
that's good for us in terms of lack of disturbance and lack of incitement." Mr Sayed Khaiyum
says media outlets in the country have been too biased in the past and that needs to change.
Source: Radio Australia

[Japan] Hospitals Told To Let In 'Flu' Patients
The health ministry on Thursday told hospitals not to reject patients with fevers after dozens of
people were denied treatment, apparently due to fears of swine flu infection. The Tokyo
metropolitan government received 92 complaints of rejections between Saturday and noon
Tuesday. Most of the rejected patients had not traveled abroad recently. "We are unaware of
cases violating the Medical Practitioners Law, but it is regrettable that patients felt they were
refused," Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura said. "We instructed the health minister not
to let such a response (by a hospital) happen again." The health ministry's notice, sent to
prefectural governments, asked medical institutions not to reject patients with fevers, particularly
those referred by prefectural telephone consultation services.
Source: The Asahi Shimbun

Japanese Boy In U.S. Has New Flu, 3 At Narita Test Positive For A Type
A 6-year-old Japanese boy living in Chicago has become the first Japanese national confirmed to
have caught the new strain of influenza while three Japanese males tested positive for influenza
A in preliminary tests after arriving at Narita airport from Detroit on Friday evening, according
to the foreign and health ministries. The three males who live in Osaka -- a high school teacher
in his 40s and two teenage students -- were taken to a hospital in the city of Narita, Chiba
Prefecture, where further tests are being conducted on samples taken from them to determine
whether they have been infected with the new H1N1 strain that is rapidly spreading across the
world, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said. The three were among 392 passengers on a
Northwest Airlines flight that arrived at Narita airport around 4:30 p.m. They had stayed in
Oakville, Canada, on a school trip from April 24 and have developed symptoms such as
coughing, the ministry said. The boy in Chicago, a kindergartener, visited a hospital on Tuesday
local time after having a fever of more than 38 C and was confirmed to be infected with the new
flu on Thursday, Japanese Foreign Ministry officials said. (cont)
Source: Kyodo

Asian Nations Set To Boost Flu Drug Stockpiles
Asian nations will increase stockpiles of medicines to fight H1N1 flu and look at ways of sharing
supplies in case of a pandemic, according to a statement drafted for ministers meeting on Friday.
Health ministers from China, Japan, South Korea and the 10-member Association of Southeast
Asian nations (ASEAN) meeting in Bangkok also agreed to look at screening people leaving
affected areas, it said. The statement said they would "assess the potential need and increase
stockpiling of essential medicines, medical supplies and personal protective equipment to the
level necessary for effective responses," it said. This was needed because 90 percent of the
global vaccine production is concentrated in Europe and the United States, meaning that "access
to effective pandemic vaccines is a major problem in this region", it said. The Asian countries,
home to around a third of the world's population of six billion people, said they would also
"establish... a system for sharing essential supplies among national stockpiles in case of
emergency need." (cont)
Source: AFP
Flu Quarantine Lifted At Hong Kong Hotel
More than 280 guests and staff forced to spend a week quarantined in their Hong Kong hotel
over fears of the A(H1N1) flu were released on Friday, an AFP reporter witnessed. They had
been sealed inside the Metropark, in the Chinese city's bustling Wanchai nightlife district, since
last Friday after it emerged that a Mexican who tested positive for the A(H1N1) virus had stayed
there. Guests rushed into the street as the hotel's doors were opened at 8:30pm (1230 GMT) and
were faced with a wall of hundreds of reporters and photographers who had jostled for position,
many having arrived hours earlier, to take pictures and speak to them. "It's fantastic to have fresh
air," a Portuguese man, who did not want to be named, said as he left the hotel. Most of the
guests were whisked quickly away to buses to take them to the airport or to other nearby hotels.
Source: AFP

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