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News Analysis
North Korea's internal problems could have unanticipated implications
Seoul/Brussels - The recent tightening of economic sanctions, compounded with domestic problems, could trigger North Korean instability as the country’s human security tragedy continues to deteriorate.
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Jammat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh remains a potent threat
Dhaka/Brussels - The Bangladesh government has taken steps to dismantle the terrorist group Jammat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), but it should not take its demise for granted: the organisation is regrouping and the possibility of another attack is increasing. (Full Story)
March 7 Iraqi Elections. The international community should intensify its electoral monitoring
Baghdad/Washington/Brussels : The run-up to the Iraqi elections on 7 March has brought to light deep-seated problems that threaten the country’s fragile recovery.
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Iran Nuclear Impasse. Beijing would negotiate for weak sanctions
Beijing/Brussels -While China resists tougher UN Security Council sanctions on Iran, it is likely to ultimately come on board but will seek to delay and weaken the West’s desired measures.

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Russia Boosts its Naval Capabilities with French Mistral-class Vessels
While France recently celebrated the keel-laying for its third Mistral-class amphibious assault ship (Bâtiment de Projection et de Commandement, BPC) at the DCNS shipyard in Saint Nazaire, the vessel may see an even greater success. (Full Story)
Burundi: Ensuring Democratic Elections
Nairobi/Brussels - Burundi’s escape from its long civil war can only be solidified if all political forces, including government, opposition parties, civil society and media ensure that this year’s series of elections is truly democratic.
  (Full Story)

Romania Accepts US Ballistic Missile Defence Basing Plans
Romanian President Traian Basescu announced last week that his country would accept an US offer to base medium-range interceptor missiles (the proposed land-based version of the SM3 system) as part of the revamped missile defence plans formulated by the Obama Administration in 2009. (Full Story)
China reacts Strongly to US-Taiwan Multi-Billion Dollar Arms Deal
Multi-billion dollar arms deals announced by the US on Friday caused strong protests from China along with an announcement halting all military and diplomatic visits. The latter had seen happier days in late 2009 when both countries exchanged high-ranking delegations, including a visit by US President Barack Obama to Beijing in November. (Full Story)
To counter piracy, large-scale coordinated effort required
by German Navy Vice Admiral (retd.) Lutz Feldt
 
Each payment of a ransom has been, and remains, a further brick in the wall of recruitment and the successful accomplishment of attacks on international shipping. To counter this development, a large-scale and coordinated effort is required. (Full Story)

Middle Eastern Terrorist Groups and Criminal Activity
By David T. Johnson, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs

The threat of terror and the origins of terrorist groups spans beyond any single region. Moreover, terrorist groups’ links to criminal activity is not a new phenomenon. In the 70s and 80s, for example, groups like the Red Army Faction, the Red Brigades and the domestic Symbionese Liberation Army financed violent terrorism with violent crimes like bank robbery. (Full Story)

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