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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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China’s relationship with North Korea

The launch of two intercontinental ballistic missiles by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or ‘North Korea’) on 4 July and 28 July of this year induced a rapid reaction from Western states. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop described the 4 July launch as ‘provocative’, while the Government referred to the 28 July launch as ‘reckless and menacing’. Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson condemned the launches, noting that ‘global action is required to stop a global threat’. Secretary Tillerson further stated that ‘any country that hosts North Korean guest workers, provides any economic or military ben... Read more...

Getting information on the Japanese nuclear incident

The devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11th led to a crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant that resulted in some radiation contamination of the environment and worldwide media attention and commentary. There are six older-type Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) at this site that require cooling systems in order to keep their fuel rods from overheating. While the reactors did turn off during the earthquake, their heat and loss of backup power for the cooling systems has led to some extraordinary measures being taken. These have included water-bombing, mobile water pump spraying and the use of boron-enriched seawater. Some explosions also occurred at the site, pro... Read more...

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