May 14th, 2014
06:54 AM ET

What is needed to stop torture?

It has been 30 years since the United Nations adopted the Convention Against Torture, which commits all governments to combating the abuse.

And yet, torture remains widespread across Asia.

Amnesty International reports there are at least 23 Asia-Pacific countries still carrying out acts of torture. It adds that the true number is likely to be higher.

The human rights group says China and North Korea are among the worst offenders.

Torture is also used to force confessions or silence activists in other countries in the region including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

What is needed to finally stop torture?

I posed that question to Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director of Amnesty International. Click on to hear her thoughts on what can finally end the brutal practice.

July 16th, 2012
10:09 PM ET

Change in North Korea

The man who oversaw one of the world's biggest armies is out. Less clear is who takes over Ri Yong Ho's position as North Korea's powerful army chief.

And more importantly, what does it mean?

Ri's sudden dismissal caught North Korea watchers by surprise. He has frequently been by Kim Jong Un's side since the young leader took over following his father's death in December 2011.

In fact, they walked opposite each other during Kim Jong Il's funeral procession.

KCNA/AFP/Getty Images

They appeared together as recently as last week. There was no sign of disagreement, or the "illness" that forced Ri's removal.


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Filed under: General • North Korea
Sorrow & symbolism in North Korea
December 28th, 2011
02:16 PM ET

Sorrow & symbolism in North Korea

North Korean television aired footage of late leader Kim Jong Il's funeral procession for three hours on Wednesday. Every detail was highly choreographed. FULL POST

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Filed under: General • North Korea
November 25th, 2010
12:05 PM ET

Will it deter or provoke North Korea?


The USS George Washington is America’s massive nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. And it’s on its way to the Yellow Sea, not far from the site of Tuesday’s deadly clash between North and South Korea.

The carrier is heading toward the south of Yeonpyeong Island for long-planned U.S.-South Korea joint exercises that are set to start in the coming days.

The North Koreans have already denounced the upcoming drill, saying that the North will launch an additional attack on South Korea if it continues “reckless military provocation.”  North Korea indirectly referred to the planned U.S.-South Korea military drill as an example of provocation.

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN that the drills are “meant to send a very strong signal of deterrence and also work with our very close allies in South Korea.”

“We’re very focused on restraint – not letting this thing get out of control,” Mullen said.

But the Chinese don’t see it that way. 

The North Korean ally expressed “concern” over the exercises.  The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced, "We oppose any act that undermines peace and stability on the peninsula.”

So will the military exercises deter or provoke?  The world awaits Pyongyang’s response… as the USS George Washington makes its way to South Korea.

November 23rd, 2010
03:31 PM ET

What is Pyongyang thinking?

Our top story tonight... South Korea says two soldiers were killed after the North attacked Yeonpyeong Island.

Seoul's international allies quickly condemned the North's actions. Beijing appealed for calm. But how did Pyongyang respond?

The North Korean news agency, KCNA, warned of "merciless military counteractions" if South Korea intrudes "even 0.001 mm" into its waters.

Here's the full statement on the KCNA website. Prepare for a colorful read.