North Korea’s cyber capabilities should be considered “just below their nuclear capability” as a risk to global security, according to one of South Korea’s most decorated generals. Speaking in London, Lieutenant General In-Bum Chun said “we should be very worried,” about the North’s cyber sophistication. A report published today has linked last year’s hacking of... View Article

China has announced plans to build a US$2 billion artificial intelligence (AI) research park in west Beijing as part of its ambition to become the world leader in AI technologies. According to the official state news agency Xinhua, the park will focus on ‘developing areas such as super high-speed big data, cloud computing, biometric identification... View Article

India’s External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, is to tour three Southeast Asian countries this month, highlighting the region’s importance to the world’s sixth largest economy. Mrs Swaraj will visit Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore during a five day trip, in which economic ties and defence will be discussed, the Economic Times reports. Mrs Swaraj will also... View Article

Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, the former Permanent Secretary at the Brunei Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry, has begun his five-year term as Secretary-General of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). Lim is a leading diplomat who served as Brunei’s Chief Negotiator during Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free-trade talks. Described by the Jakarta Post... View Article

Questions are arising over the future of the World Trade Organization after a three-day ministerial conference ended in discord. Delegates in Buenos Aires failed to reach agreements on relatively simple e-commerce and agricultural issues, prompting ministers to call for ‘plurilateral arrangements’ to enable progress, Reuters reports. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom was cited as saying... View Article

The world’s first ‘Komodo bond’ issued by an Indonesian state-owned enterprise was launched in London today, offering investors “access to the local currency, enabling them to gain a higher return compared to USD Bonds,” according to Rini Soemarno, Minister of State Owned Enterprises of Indonesia. The Komodo bond – an Indonesian offshore rupiah-dominated bond –... View Article

His Excellency Tran Ngoc An has been appointed as Vietnam’s Ambassador to the UK.  Mr Tran takes over from His Excellency Nguyen Van Thao, who returned to Vietnam at the end of October after a three-year posting in London. Mr Tran was most recently Ambassador-Director General of the Department of Multilateral Economic Cooperation at the... View Article

The free trade deal between the European Union and Japan was finalised today, with EU President Jean-Claude Juncker tweeting: “It’s done.” The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) follows four years of negotiations, and will cut tariffs, introduce cooperation on standards and regulations, and open up public procurement markets, the Financial Times reports. In a joint statement,... View Article

Singapore is focusing on the themes of ‘resilience’ and ‘innovation’ as Chair of ASEAN for 2018. At a lecture titled ‘ASEAN: Next 50’ on Tuesday, Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Singapore, said that ASEAN would always be affected by external forces, and the challenge was to “collectively build a bigger, stronger ship” that... View Article

The Philippines is pursuing a new trade-based approach to development, calling for fairer rules and market access over aid projects, according to the Undersecretary for Industry Development and Trade Policy. Speaking at Asia House’s major conference in Hong Kong, Dr. Ceferino S Rodolfo said the Philippines was “not pushing for help, we are not seeking assistance.... View Article