Friday, July 20, 2012

East Asia faces Iran sanctions dilemma

In January, I presented the difficulty that East Asian states face when balancing their economic interests in the Middle East and their political and security needs that are intrinsically tied to the US. The issues that were relevant then has remained so throughout the year - now with increased sanctions on Iran, Washington is testing the trans-Pacific ties.

United States sanctions on Iran over Tehran's nuclear program have left South Korea and Japan juggling between satisfying domestic energy demand and keeping relations with Washington sweet. Should loopholes aimed at bypassing punitive measures that are hampering economic recovery and growth close, Tokyo and Seoul will have to re-think the post-World War II trans-Pacific relationship.

read the full article at Asia Times

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Korea feels housing shock

South Korea's faltering housing market threatens to undermine broad economic growth, as construction companies struggle to find work and over-indebted homeowners and high-rent tenants curb spending, putting a squeeze on small enterprises that have no exports to fill the gap.

read the full article here