China Begins Opening Up $9 Trillion Bond Market
China, the world’s third-largest bond market, accounting for $9 trillion in debt instruments, has started the process of opening up to foreign investors. Two major investment banks, including Citigroup, have announced plans to join the fray and several others are expectantly watching the unfolding situation. It’s not a sudden desire to liberalize, but pressure from shrinking foreign capital inflows and expanding outflows that has motivated Beijing’s communist leaders into this new and uncertain path.
North Korea Has Doubled Size of Uranium-Enrichment Facility, IAEA Chief Says
Jay Solomon, WALL STREET JOURNAL
North Korea has doubled the size of its facility for enriching uranium in recent years, according to the United Nations’ top nuclear inspector, who voiced doubt that a diplomatic agreement can end leader Kim Jong-un’s weapons programs. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Monday, Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, described North Korea as rapidly advancing its capacity to produce nuclear weapons on two fronts: the production of plutonium at its Yongbyon nuclear facility and the enrichment of uranium.
North Korea Makes Rare Admission of Deadly Accident
CBS NEWS SERVICE
Six people died when the roof of a mine in North Korea collapsed in January, the North’s state media reported Monday, in a rare admission of a deadly accident in the secretive country. Seven miners were initially trapped after the collapse Jan. 9 at the Unryul mine, a leading iron ore producer in the country’s southwest, North Korea’s main newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported. The mine accident, which hadn’t been reported by outside monitoring groups before the North Korean media report, proved again how difficult it is to obtain information about the North.
China’s New Missiles Targeting Taiwan
THE CHINA POST
Taiwan’s Defense Minister Feng Shih-kuan on Monday confirmed that there is a growing military threat from China, which he said has been deploying a new type of medium-range ballistic missiles capable of hitting Taiwan. Since 2016, China has been pushing military reform, including streamlining its armed forces to improve joint combat capabilities, Feng said in a report to the Legislature on Taiwan’s responses to the changing situation in East Asia.
Venezuela’s Greatest Threat Comes From Within
This year will be the most difficult for Venezuela to weather since oil prices collapsed in 2014, dragging the country’s economy down with them. Less than three months into 2017, Caracas is already grappling with relentless inflation and food shortages.Caracas’ biggest concern, however, is not what the opposition might do next, but what its own armed forces are capable of. The government’s primary concern lies in the fact that the country’s Strategic Defense Regions (REDI) and Strategic Defense Zones (ZODI) officers have room to act—and encourage their subordinates to follow—without their superiors’ immediate knowledge.