Researcher at the Democracy Promotion Centre
Sek Sophal is a researcher at the Democracy Promotion Centre, the Ritsumeikan Centre for Asia Pacific Studies in Beppu, Japan. He is also a contributor to The Bangkok Post
It was 1.25am on Saturday, April 16, 2016 when a series of earthquakes hit the city of Kumamoto in the southern part of Japan's Kyushu region. With a main shock of magnitude 7.3, the earthquake was strong enough to shake the city of Beppu in nearby Oita Prefecture. Fearing that my old apartment would collapse, I dashed out to the street barefoot.
The Indian navy just transferred one of its Russian-made Kilo-class diesel-electric attack submarines to the Myanmar navy in late 2019, making it the first submarine ever to be deployed by Myanmar. If there are no technical problems, as Vice Admiral Prachachart Sirisawat, spokesman and deputy chief-of-staff of the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) speculated in early December, Myanmar could have put its newly acquired submarine into action in the Andaman Sea from Dec 24 last year.
During an official visit to Vietnam this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cited economic development of the country after the US-Vietnam normalisation as a model that may incentivise North Korea to implement a denuclearisation plan. The claims was only met with doubts.