The North Korean regime announced that it was prepared to return to the negotiating table with the United States over its nuclear program following weeks of heightened rhetoric and provocative posturing. The DPRK’s spokesperson indicated certain conditions were necessary for negotiations. These were met with resistance from U.S. officials. Pyongyang also celebrated the anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birthday on April 15.
In Southeast Asia news, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) began reviewing a 1962 dispute ruling between Thailand and Cambodia over the Preah Vihear temple. While the ancient Hindu temple complex was awarded to Cambodia in the previous decision, three miles of territory on the border is still disputed between the two states. The border has been the site of armed clashes in recent years.
Dates for the next round of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue have been set for July 8-12 in Washington D.C. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Treasury Jacob Lew will host counterparts State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Vice Premier Wang Yang. President Xi Jinping also provided condolences to President Barack Obama following the tragic Boston Marathon bombings, which took the life of a Chinese woman studying in Boston.
India’s government announced it is working to resolve obstacles to a trade agreement with the European Union. Both parties stated they want to have the EU-India FTA deal done by the end of 2013, but must overcome differences on IPR issues, service sector access and equity caps on FDI in India’s insurance sector.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hosted Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar in Tokyo during her visit this week, a sign of Japan’s continued commitment to provide aid and invest in Myanmar as it is undergoing nascent reforms.