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Wealthy North Koreans refuse loans to farms after government cancels farm debt

The North Korean government’s order to cancel the debts of collective farms is causing reluctance among wealthy lenders to issue new loans to farmers, a major funding setback that could hamper the country’s ability to produce food this year, sources told RFA. After a devastating famine from 1994-1998, North Korea’s cash-strapped government stopped subsidizing collective…

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Manila eyes broader ties with Indo-Pacific nations looking to counter Beijing

The Philippines is broadening its relationship with countries that are trying to counter Beijing’s growing assertiveness in the region, while it maintains friendly ties with China despite the Asian superpower’s incursions into Manila’s waters in the South China Sea. Nurtured by President Rodrigo Duterte to much criticism at home, Manila is keeping its relationship with…

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Vietnam’s vote for Russia on UN council could damage campaign to lead it

Vietnam’s vote against a U.S.-led resolution to remove Russia from the U.N. Human Rights Council on Thursday likely ends any hope Hanoi had to lead the body, one analyst told RFA. Cambodia’s abstention from voting, meanwhile, drew criticism from local rights groups who accused Phnom Penh of flip-flopping its position on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine….

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Philippines: Xi, Duterte agree to ‘positive engagements’ over South China Sea

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed during a bilateral meeting on Friday to remain “committed to broaden the space for positive engagements” in dealing with disputes over the South China Sea.  The telephone summit between the two leaders took place the same day the Philippines and the United States wrapped up…

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