Indonesia and Malaysia agree to take stranded migrants; North Korea claims to have miniaturised its nuclear weapons for missile use; Burundi postpones elections; Syrian rebels claim Idlib military base; and more

TOP OF THE AGENDA

Indonesia and Malaysia Agree to Take Stranded Migrants

Indonesia and Malaysia agreed (NYT) to provide temporary shelter for an estimated seven thousand migrants, mostly Muslim Rohingya from Myanmar and Bangladesh, who are stranded in Southeast Asian waters, according to officials. The announcement follows an emergency meeting in Kuala Lumpur of Indonesian, Malaysian, and Thai foreign ministers. Thailand did not sign on to the agreement (Reuters). Meanwhile, fishermen in Indonesia's Aceh province helped rescue (AP) more than 430 migrants on Wednesday. More than three thousand migrants have reached the shores of Indonesia and Malaysia this month. Thailand is set to host a regional conference on May 29 in Bangkok, where Southeast Asia's looming humanitarian migrant crisis is expected to top the agenda. 

ANALYSIS

"Southeast Asian nations ignored the Rohingya and trafficking until they festered into a major humanitarian crisis. Now the politicians deserve to be held accountable until they take in the Rohingya migrants at sea and pressure Burma to stop the persecution that drives such desperate journeys," writes the Wall Street Journal.

"While Southeast Asian countries’ current refusal to admit Rohingya migrants seems particularly cold-hearted, it’s part of a long-running refugee crisis. Before the latest wave, countries such as Malaysia and Bangladesh had already taken in large numbers of migrants, leading in some cases to serious clashes in those countries between Rohingyas, other ethnic groups, and state forces—a sad echo of what’s happening in Myanmar, the country they fled," writes Justine Drennan in Foreign Policy.

"Muslim countries within ASEAN—Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei—have more than enough wealth to care for their Islamic neighbors. The Burmese are bound by international law and if the rest of ASEAN expects its economic community, to be launched later this year, to be taken seriously then now is the time to act. If not, others will," writes Luke Hunt in the Diplomat

PACIFIC RIM

North Korea Claims Miniaturized Nuclear Weapons

A spokesman from North Korea's National Defense Commission said that it has successfully miniaturized (Yonhap) its nuclear weapons, a technological development which would allow its weapons to be delivered by missile. Earlier this month, Pyongyang also claimed to have successfully test-fired a ballistic missile from a submarine. Meanwhile, Pyongyang abruptly canceled (Korea Times) UN chief Ban Ki-moon's visit to a North Korean industrial complex on Wednesday, a day before his intended arrival.

ELSEWHERE:

Burundi postpones elections

Syrian rebels claim Idlib military base

This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org  

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