Pacific News Minute

Moyan Brenn / Flickr
Moyan Brenn / Flickr

If you're planning to visit Pyongyang this weekend, remember to set your watch back an extra thirty minutes. In an effort to expunge a vestige of Japanese Colonization, North Korea has created its own time zone, as of Saturday, which marks 70 years since Japan's occupation of Korea ended at the end of the Second World War. More from Neal Conan in the latest Pacific News Minute.

Wikipedia
Wikipedia

Last week, the Bikini Council approved resolutions, asking the U.S. Government for help to relocate, yet again. The population of the famous atoll was evacuated ahead of nuclear weapons tests in the 1940s, their home remains radioactive and their island of exile has been inundated by high waves at least five times in the last four years. More from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

JasonParis / Flickr
JasonParis / Flickr

Last week, as people from across the Cook Islands gathered in Rarotonga to celebrate fifty years of free association with New Zealand. Prime Minister Henry Puna continued to raise the possibility of more independence, and a seat at the United Nations. As we hear from Neal Conan in our latest Pacific News Minute, the bid is on hold, at least for now.

Day Donaldson / Flickr
Day Donaldson / Flickr

There were commemorations earlier today in Hiroshima, to mark seventy years after the atomic bomb devastated the city and killed an estimated 150 thousand people, almost all of them civilians. More ceremonies follow Sunday, in Nagasaki, but amid the solemnity of those events, many across the region are waiting to hear what Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will say to mark Japan's surrender. More from Neal Conan in today's Pacific News Minute.

Naval Surface Warriors / Flickr
Naval Surface Warriors / Flickr

As the United States continues its strategic shift to the Asia-Pacific, important regional allies continue their shift toward the U.S.  We reported last month on Japanese purchases of U.S. Warplanes...now, as we hear from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute, Australia has confirmed an upgrade to its latest American weapons deal.

PROAMISOM Public Information / Flickr
PROAMISOM Public Information / Flickr

Talks are underway in Brisbane, Australia between the United States and 17 Pacific Island Nations on a new South Pacific Tuna Treaty.  The old treaty expired and an interim agreement is set to run out at the end of this year.  As we hear from Neal Conan today’s Pacific News Minute, a deal is critical for American Samoa.

Official U.S. Navy Page / Flickr
Official U.S. Navy Page / Flickr

Next month, the Chinese and Russian Navies will hold their largest ever joint exercise in waters close to Japan.  More from Neal Conan, in today’s latest Pacific News Minute.

This will be the fourth consecutive year for joint exercises in the Pacific.  16 vessels took part last year, 20 are scheduled to participate this year including, for the first time carrier based aircraft.  The major tactical drill is a joint amphibious assault in Russia's Primorsky territory about 250 miles from Japan.

Roger W / Flickr
Roger W / Flickr

The treasury department has issued sanctions against a shipping company based in Singapore for allegedly assisting North Korean weapons traffic, which is banned by both the United States and the United Nations.  As we hear from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute, the charges date back to an infamous incident two years ago.

John Ragai / Flickr
John Ragai / Flickr

As of today, Malaysia's leading business and investment newspapers are off the stands. The government suspended publication for three months, charging that reports into a widening scandal involving the Prime Minister could lead to political mayhem and economic instability.  More from Neal Conan, in today’s Pacific News Minute.

brewbooks / Flickr
brewbooks / Flickr

Over the past few weeks, the political situation in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia has been in flux as one of the larger anti-independence parties broke up and its deputies joined other parties in the local assembly or decided to sit as independents.  As we hear from Neal Conan in today’s Pacific News Minute, the switches leave the congress in confusion as it prepares to organize a referendum on independence.

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