Cloudy US Forecast

FAR EAST CORRESPONDENT — The U.S. tilt back into Southeast Asia has made a hesitant start with Bangkok delaying a decision on a request for NASA to use the U-Tapao airstrip in Rayong, a former base used during the Vietnam War, for weather research and atmospheric studies.

The request is a very minor move in the overall scheme of diplomatic relations. But although the U.S. says it’s designed for weather research, critics argue there’s more to it than that – some mutter that the government in Thailand is aiming for some political gains, or else suggest that it’s really some kind of covert U.S. operation for peaking into China. Read more in The Diplomat.

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Luke Hunt is a foreign correspondent, author and occasional photographer who has covered much of Asia fr the last 30 years.

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