Pyongyang’s Plan – Despite mounting international pressure, a defiant North Korea appears poised to launch its Unha-3 rocket, viewed by the U.S. and others as a ballistic missile test that violates U.N. resolutions aimed at reining in the authoritarian state’s nuclear program. Dismissing such accusations as “nonsense,” North Korea insists its launch is designed to send a satellite into orbit, but the Atlantic explains how the rogue regime’s contentions are easy to see through. And Foreign Policy looks beyond the current flurry at what Pyongyang’s apparent advancements in missile technology mean for international security.
Ceasefire Watch – As the world watches to see whether Syrian government forces will abide by the U.N. ceasefire, Gulf News labels Kofi Annan’s peace deal as “increasingly ludicrous” due to unprecedented violence against civilians and rebels earlier this week. The LA Times conjectures that a ceasefire failure will force the international community into “more aggressive options, such as imposing a no-fly zone or authorizing pinpoint airstrikes,” even though these alternatives have previously been rejected by the U.N.
Let The Talks Begin – Two days before the Istanbul round of talks are scheduled for take off, Tehran said it will offer “new initiatives” in connection with its controversial nuclear program. It’s an attempt to “strike a posture of conciliation,” the New York Times says. While analysts remain conservative in their expectations of a real solution to the deadlock on Iran, the Atlantic makes the case that the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei might be willing to cut a deal if the United States plays the right cards.
South Korea Elects – Amid forecasts of a hung parliament, South Korea’s ruling New Frontier Party sneaked a narrow but significant victory in Wednesday’s elections. The reason, some say, is the party’s new leader Park Geun-hye, TIME’s Krista Mahr reports. Global Post explains how the parliamentary elections have set up a “tantalizing contest” for the crucial presidential race in December that is likely to determine the country’s stand on North Korea among a range of pressing domestic issues.
A Taxing Debate – In the wake of British Chancellor George Osborne’s assertion that he will curb tax evasion by the wealthy in Britain, controversy is emerging as this would mean a cap on philanthropists’ donations, with charitable giving slashed to 25% of the individual’s income. The Evening Standard labels the government’s tax message “a mess” and argues that their reforms’ threat to philanthropy is “precisely the wrong thing” to do. The Times of London suggests that this reveals an “unacceptable level of chaos at the heart of the executive.”
Snap Election Projection – As Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, announces a snap general election to be held on May 6th, CNN analyses what this could mean for the future of the Greek people, as they protest against austerity measures that have created mass disillusionment with the incumbent coalition government. The article claims that it is “likely” to result in another coalition, and “could lead to more uncertainty.”