North - South Korea

angelburst29

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South Korea urges North Korea summit before Trump Seoul visit, U.S. door 'wide open'
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju watch a performance given by amateur art groups of the wives of officers of units of the Korean People's Army (KPA) selected in the seventh round of the second-term contest of art groups of KPA officers' wives, North Korea, in this undated photo released June 3, 2019 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang. KCNA/via REUTERS

South Korea on Wednesday urged North Korea to hold another summit with its leader ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump's visit to Seoul next week, while the United States said its door remained "wide open" for talks with Pyongyang.

Xi visit raises prospect of 'concrete cooperation' with North Korea
FILE PHOTO: China’s President Xi Jinping attends a meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (not pictured) and Mongolia's President Khaltmaagiin Battulga (not pictured) on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan June 14, 2019. Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via REUTERS

China's President Xi Jinping heads to Pyongyang this week holding out the prospect of fresh measures to support North Korea's floundering, sanctions-bound economy, the first trip in 14 years by a Chinese leader.

'I Love Thee, China': North Korea woos Xi in lavish state visit
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Pyongyang International Airport in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this undated photo released on June 21, 2019 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).  KCNA via REUTERS

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed that strengthening bilateral ties, at a time of "serious and complicated" international affairs, was good for regional peace, North Korean state media said on Friday.

Slideshow (14 Images)
'I Love Thee, China': North Korea woos Xi in lavish state visit

China's President Xi completes state visit to North Korea: China state media
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a banquet in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this undated photo released on June 21, 2019 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).  KCNA via REUTERS

China's President Xi Jinping has departed North Korea, following a two-day state visit, Chinese state media reported Friday.

North Korea has more than sanctions to overcome for foreign investment: report
FILE PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits a shoe factory in Wonsan, North Korea, in this undated photo released December 2, 2018 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).    KCNA via REUTERS/File Photo
A historic visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping this week may have bolstered Kim Jong Un's hopes that economic relief may be coming soon, but a new report reveals North Korea's road to international investment may be blocked by more than sanctions.

Kim, Xi agree to grow ties whatever external situation: North Korean media
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during Xi's visit in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this picture released by by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on June 21, 2019.    KCNA via REUTERS

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and China's President Xi Jinping reached a consensus on "important issues," and agreed to build on their countries' friendly relations "whatever the international situation," North Korean state media reported.
 

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North Korea's Kim says will consider letter received from Trump
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reads a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump, in Pyongyang, North Korea in this picture released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on June 22, 2019. KCNA via REUTERS

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reads a letter from U.S. President Donald Trump, in Pyongyang, North Korea in this picture released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on June 22, 2019. KCNA via REUTERS

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un received a personal letter from U.S. President Donald Trump and will put serious thought into its content, North Korea's state-run news agency KCNA said.

In a report published early on Sunday in Asia, KCNA did not give details on the letter, but said Kim described it as "of excellent content". “Kim Jong Un said that he would seriously contemplate the interesting content,” the report said.

U.S.-North Korea talks have been stalled since a failed summit in February between Trump and the North Korean leader in Hanoi, Vietnam.

A U.S. official said on Wednesday the United States had no pre-conditions for new talks, but that progress would require meaningful and verifiable North Korean steps to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

Pompeo says hopes Trump letter to North Korean leader can restart talks
FILE PHOTO: A person walks past a banner showing North Korean and U.S. flags ahead of the North Korea-U.S. summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, February 25, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that he hopes a letter sent by President Donald Trump to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un can pave the way for new talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear program.

Trump to visit South Korea as Pompeo raises hope for new North Korea talks after letter
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a bilateral meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

U.S. President Donald Trump will visit South Korea this weekend after an exchange of letters with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un boosted hopes for talks aimed at ending North Korea's nuclear program.

Trump to visit South Korea this week for summit with Moon: Blue House
FILE PHOTO: South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in shakes hands with U.S. President Donald Trump at the start of a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

U.S. President Donald Trump will visit South Korea this week to discuss ways to revive nuclear talks with North Korea, the South's presidential Blue House said on Monday.
 

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Trump’s Friendly Letter to Kim Jong-un is Another Setback For John Bolton And The War Party
Trump's Friendly Letter to Kim Jong-un is Another Setback For John Bolton And The War Party - Eurasia Future

Whilst they’ve only met twice face-to-face, DPRK Chairman Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump have become the closest of pen pals in an age where business is otherwise dominated by email and public relations have become consigned to Twitter. The almost rustic nature of the letters exchanged between the unlikely but nevertheless close friends has been characterised by Trump as tantamount to the authoring of “love letters”.

Now, DPRK media has commented on the most recent letter that Trump has sent to Kim in a highly positive manner. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pyongyang:

“Kim Jong Un , Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the DPRK, received a personal letter from Donald Trump, President of the United States of America.
After reading the letter, the Supreme Leader of the Party, the state and the armed forces said with satisfaction that the letter is of excellent content.
Appreciating the political judging faculty and extraordinary courage of President Trump, Kim Jong Un said that he would seriously contemplate the interesting content”.
The letter which was reportedly delivered to Pyongyang prior to Xi Jinping’s highly successful visit is self-evidently symptomatic of a US leader who has stated on multiple occasions that he believes that the Korean peace process will be a complete success and that under Kim Jong-un’s leadership, the DPRK has a bright future of economic openness, reform and material success.

For the DPRK’s part, whilst official media has often been highly critical of Trump aides including Mike Pompeo and John Bolton, the DPRK has been equally if not more critical of Trump’s domestic opposition including Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden. What’s more is that in castigating Trump’s domestic opponents ranging from those in the Democratic party to the New York Times and CNN, the DPRK has employed language that is remarkably similar to that used by Trump.

This itself is symptomatic and indeed emblematic of a DPRK that is highly attuned to Donald Trump’s personal characteristics. It is quite clear that this itself is a material outgrowth of the personal understanding that Kim and Trump have rapidly developed and nurtured since 2018. Unlike many world leaders, the DPRK leadership clearly understands that for Trump the personal is a prelude to the professional. In other words, one must build a level of trust only possible after one has secured a high level of personal understanding in order to them move onto deal making when working with Donald Trump.

While many world leaders in countries that nominally have a far closer relationship to the United States than does the erstwhile isolated DPRK would be grateful to have such a close and productive personal relationship with Donald Trump as does Kim Jong-un, there is another group of people who will be clearly flummoxed by the continued friendship between Trump and Kim. John Bolton and the Washington war party he represents have long been desirous for the Korean peace process to collapse. As Bolton appeared multiple times on Fox News stating that he felt that peace with Korean is impossible and that if there was to be a peace process, it would have to be humiliating and degrading for the DPRK – it goes without saying that Bolton is displeased with Trump’s pro-peace and penultimately pro-business approach to the DPRK.

As it was reported that Bolton’s personal demands at this year’s Hanoi summit were largely responsible for the summit’s abrupt ending, it becomes that much clearer that Washington’s most infamous warmonger does not share Donald Trump’s placid vision for a Korea entering a new era.

More recently it was reported that Donald Trump personally snubbed Bolton and his team in what would have been a run-up to an attack on Iran. According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump told a confidant the following about Bolton and his staff:

“These people want to push us into a war, and it’s so disgusting. We don’t need any more wars”.
Donald Trump’s friendship with Kim Jong-un and his actions which helped to avert a war on Iran make it clear that whatever one might think of Trump’s personality, at his core, he wants to do deals rather than make wars.
 

angelburst29

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Here's How DPRK Media Reported Donald Trump's North Korean Visit
Here's How DPRK Media Reported Donald Trump's North Korean Visit - Eurasia Future

“Pyongyang, July 1 (KCNA) — Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and supreme commander of the armed forces of the DPRK, had a historic meeting with President of the United States of America Donald Trump at Panmunjom on Sunday afternoon at the suggestion of Trump.

The Supreme Leader of the Party, the state and the armed forces of the DPRK accepted the opinion of President Trump that he would like to meet Chairman of the State Affairs Commission Kim Jong Un in the Demilitarized Zone during his June 29-30 visit to south Korea and went to the south side portion of Panmunjom to have a surprise meeting with him.

Kim Jong Un stepped out of the Panmun Pavilion on Sunday afternoon and had a historic meeting with Donald Trump just before the demarcation line at Panmunjom amid the worldwide attention.

In 66 years since the Armistice Agreement in 1953 there happened such an amazing event of the top leaders of the DPRK and the U.S. exchanging historic handshakes at Panmunjom, place that had been known as the symbol of division.

Kim Jong Un exchanged compliments with Trump about meeting him after about 120 days and guided him toward the north side portion of Panmunjom.

The two leaders stepped toward just before the Panmun Pavilion in the north side portion of Panmunjom where they held their hands again, leaving the historic moment of the sitting U.S. President setting his foot on the soil of the DPRK across the Military Demarcation Line for the first time in history.

They headed for the “House of Freedom” in the south side portion of Panmunjom, the venue of the talks, exchanging a pleasant chat.

President Moon Jae In greeted Kim Jong Un outside the House.

Kim Jong Un exchanged warm greetings with Moon Jae In.

Then there were a one-on-one chat and talks between the top leaders of the DPRK and the U.S.

They explained issues of easing tensions on the Korean peninsula, ending the inglorious relations between the two countries and making a dramatic turn and also issues of mutual concern and interest which become a stumbling block in solving those issues, and voiced full understanding and sympathy.

The top leaders of the two countries agreed to keep in close touch in the future, too, and resume and push forward productive dialogues for making a new breakthrough in the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and in the bilateral relations.

Kim Jong Un said that it was the good personal relations with President Trump that made such a dramatic meeting possible at just a one day’s notice, noting that the relations would continue to produce good results unpredictable by others and work as a mysterious force overcoming manifold difficulties and obstacles in the future, too.

Present at the talks from the DPRK side was Ri Yong Ho, member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, member of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK and foreign minister, and from the opposite side U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo.

The top leaders of the two countries expressed great satisfaction over the results of the talks.

After the talks Kim Jong Un exchanged parting words with Trump.

Trump and Moon Jae In saw Kim Jong Un off up to the demarcation line at Panmunjom”
 

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A U.S. man accused of taking part in a raid on the North Korean Embassy in Madrid was ordered freed on $1.3 million bail on Tuesday but must serve home confinement ahead of his possible extradition to Spain.

U.S. man accused of North Korean embassy theft in Madrid to be freed on bail
A combination photo of former U.S. Marine Christopher Philip Ahn allegedly shown in a still photos from a surveillance camera, standing in front of and entering the North Korea embassy in Madrid, Spain, February 22, 2019.    U.S. Attorney's Office Central District of California/Handout via REUTERS

A combination photo of former U.S. Marine Christopher Philip Ahn allegedly shown in a still photos from a surveillance camera, standing in front of and entering the North Korea embassy in Madrid, Spain, February 22, 2019. U.S. Attorney's Office Central District of California/Handout via REUTERS

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jean Rosenbluth, at a hearing in Los Angeles, warned Christopher Ahn, 38, that family members or close friends who posted bail for him could lose their money or property and face contempt of court charges if he fled.

“I spent a lot of time reading about you and I’m confident you’re going to do the right thing,” Rosenbluth told Ahn, who had several family members in attendance at the hearing.

The judge told Ahn, who lives in Chino Hills east of Los Angeles, he was to wear an ankle monitor and remain at home except for medical appointments and church.

Spanish authorities have charged Ahn with being among at least six individuals who entered the North Korean mission on Feb. 22 in Madrid, beat some embassy personnel, held them hostage for hours and then fled.

The intruders removed computers, computer drives and a mobile phone from the embassy, according to U.S. court documents.

The charges Ahn faces in Spain include breaking and entering, robbery with violence and causing injuries, according to U.S. court documents.

At least two of the individuals charged in Spain remain at large, including Adrian Hong, a Mexican national and longtime U.S. resident and activist who is said to have led the group.

Spanish investigators identified the intruders as members of a group called Cheollima Civil Defense, or Free Joseon, that seeks the overthrow of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Underground Railroad
An attorney for Ahn has acknowledged he was part of an “underground railroad” that helped at least one person and his family flee North Korean authorities, according to U.S. court documents.

The term underground railroad most commonly refers to a network of secret routes and safe houses that African-American slaves used to seek freedom in the 19th century.

Rosenbluth mentioned concerns about an “underground railroad” at the hearing on Tuesday, as she crafted conditions of Ahn’s release - such as not contacting Hong - which she said were intended to keep him from fleeing.

Ahn was expected to be released from custody in the coming days after bail is posted, said Ciaran McEvoy, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Ahn, who joined the U.S. Marines at 24 and served for six years, was not in the military at the time of the incident at the embassy.

“It’s like a huge weight has been lifted off of our shoulders knowing that he’s going to be home, he’s going to be with loved ones, we can visit with him now,” Juan Sanabria, 35, a former Marine who served with Ahn in Iraq said outside court.

U.S. agents arrested Ahn on April 18 in Los Angeles, and his attorneys have sought his release from custody since then.

Prosecutors objected to Ahn’s release, saying he is a flight risk.
U.S. wants North Korea freeze as beginning, not end, of denuclearization
FILE PHOTO: A person walks past a banner showing North Korean and U.S. flags ahead of the North Korea-U.S. summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, February 25, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

The United States would hope to see a freeze in the North Korean nuclear program as the start of a process of denuclearization, the State Department said on Tuesday, ahead of fresh talks with Pyongyang supposed to take place this month.

Japan, South Korea raise stakes in dispute over forced labor
FILE PHOTO: A truck drives between shipping containers at a container terminal at Incheon port in Incheon, South Korea, May 26, 2016.  REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Japan and South Korea raised the stakes on Tuesday in a dispute that threatens to disrupt global supplies of smartphones and chips, with South Korea denouncing Japanese reports it had transferred a sensitive chemical to North Korea.

Japan export curbs could be prolonged, says South Korea's Moon
South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks during a meeting with executives from South Korea's top 30 conglomerates at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, July 10, 2019.    Yonhap via REUTERS

South Korea's president said on Wednesday Japan's export curbs on key materials used by South Korean technology firms could be prolonged and his government will sharply boost spending to help reduce their reliance on Japanese suppliers.

Japan denies imposing South Korean trade embargo at WTO
FILE PHOTO: A logo is pictured outside the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters next to a red traffic light in Geneva, Switzerland, October 2, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

Japan denied imposing a trade embargo on South Korea on Tuesday, after a complicated diplomatic dispute that could disrupt global supplies of chips and smartphones erupted over forced labor in World War Two and banned trade with North Korea.
 

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Trump offers to help ease tension in Japan-South Korea dispute (Not by sending Bolton!)
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday offered to help ease tensions in the political and economic dispute between Japan and South Korea, which threatens global supplies of memory chips and smartphones.

U.S. adviser Bolton travels to Japan, South Korea amid trade dispute
FILE PHOTO: U.S. national security adviser John Bolton looks on as U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump acknowledge former astronauts and their family members during an Apollo 11 moon landing 50th anniversary commemoration in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 19, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis
U.S. national security adviser John Bolton departed on Saturday for a trip to Japan and South Korea as the two countries are in the middle of a trade dispute.

Japanese minister admonishes South Korea's envoy as dispute escalates
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono meets with South Korea's ambassador to Japan Nam Gwan-pyo at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo, Japan, July 19, 2019, in this photo taken by Kyodo. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS
Japan's foreign minister publicly admonished South Korea's ambassador on Friday in a worsening dispute over compensation for Korean forced laborers that has spilled over into their trade in high-tech materials used to make memory chips and screens.

South Korea deputy advisor Kim says Japan's export curbs violate international law
South Korea's Deputy National Security Adviser Kim Hyun-chong said on Friday that Japan has violated the WTO's principle of free trade and international law by imposing unilateral export restrictions against South Korea while diplomatic efforts have not been exhausted.

South Korean political leaders vow to work together to resolve Japan dispute

FILE PHOTO: Swimming - 18th FINA World Swimming Championships - Opening Ceremony - Gwangju Women's University, Gwangju, South Korea - July 12, 2019. South Korea's President Moon Jae-in speaks. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina
South Korea's President Moon Jae-in and leaders of the country's major political parties vowed on Thursday to work together to resolve a worsening political and economic dispute with Japan.

From beer to pens, South Koreans boycott Japanese brands as diplomatic row intensifies
A banner campaigning for boycott of Japanese products is seen at a market in Seoul, South Korea, July 12, 2019. The banner reads We don't sell Japanese products.    REUTERS/Daewoung Kim
As soon as supermarket manager Cho Min-hyuk got to work the day after Tokyo imposed curbs on exports to South Korea, he pulled all Japanese products off the shelves.

U.S.-South Korean military exercise to proceed: top South Korean official
FILE PHOTO:  South Korean army soldiers stand guard during a U.S.-South Korea joint river-crossing exercise near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas in Yeoncheon, South Korea, April 8, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji
A top South Korean official on Saturday said a U.S.-South Korean military exercise would go ahead as planned next month, denying Pyongyang's charges that holding it would breach an agreement made between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Pompeo rejects North Korean charges on military drills
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during the hemispheric anti-terrorism summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina July 19, 2019. Natacha Pisarenko/Pool via REUTERS
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has rejected charges from North Korea's Foreign Ministry that U.S. plans for military exercises with South Korea are in breach of agreements between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump.

South Korea rejects Japan call for arbitration over wartime labor dispute
South Korea on Friday rejected Japan's call for third-party arbitration over a court ruling last year ordering Japanese companies to pay compensation for using South Korean forced labor during World War Two.

Japan says Seoul must fix wartime labor issue that violates international law
FILE PHOTO: Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono gestures as he attends a news conference after a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, Russia May 10, 2019. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo
Seoul must take swift steps to resolve a dispute over the issue of compensation for wartime forced labor, Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono told South Korea's ambassador on Friday, adding that the situation violated international law.

Factbox: Key facts and numbers to watch in Japan's July 21 upper house election
FILE PHOTO: Japan's parliament building is seen through a steel chain in Tokyo July 4, 2013. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/File Photo
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner, the Komeito party, look set to retain a solid majority in parliament's upper house in a Sunday election, media surveys have shown.

Pacifist constitution reform at stake as Japan goes to polls
A voter casts a ballot at a voting station during Japan's upper house election in Tokyo, Japan July 21, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling bloc was forecast to win a solid majority in an upper house election on Sunday that could determine whether his dream of revising the post-war, U.S.-drafted pacifist constitution can be kept alive.
 

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Trump: Positive North Korea correspondence, but no time yet for talks
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stand at the demarcation line in the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Panmunjom, South Korea, June 30, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday his administration had very positive correspondence recently with North Korea, but the two sides have yet to set a time to restart talks aimed at ending Pyongyang's nuclear program.

North Korea's Kim inspects new submarine, signals possible ballistic missile development
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits a submarine factory in an undisclosed location, North Korea, in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 23, 2019.    KCNA via REUTERS
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits a submarine factory in an undisclosed location, North Korea, in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 23, 2019. KCNA via REUTERS

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspected a large, newly built submarine, state news agency KCNA reported on Tuesday, potentially signaling continued development of a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) program.

Kim inspected the operational and tactical data and combat weapon systems of the submarine that was built under “his special attention”, and will be operational in the waters off the east coast, KCNA said. It said the submarine’s operational deployment was near.

“The operational capacity of a submarine is an important component in national defense of our country bounded on its east and west by sea,” Kim said.

KCNA did not describe the submarine’s weapons systems or say where and when the inspection took place, but analysts said the apparent size of the new vessel indicated it was designed to carry missiles.

North Korea has a large submarine fleet but only one known experimental submarine capable of carrying a ballistic missile.

U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Amano dies aged 72
FILE PHOTO: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano addresses a news conference during a board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria March 4, 2019.   REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo
U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Yukiya Amano has died, the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Monday, the day he had been expected to announce he would step down early because of an illness that had visibly weakened him over the past year.

Factbox: Amano headed U.N. nuclear watchdog during turbulent period
FILE PHOTO: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano addresses a news conference during a board of governors meeting at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria, September 11, 2017. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader/File Photo
U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Yukiya Amano has died, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Monday. He was 72.

Pirates steal cash and shoes in Korean cargo ship robbery
Pirates attacked a South Korean-flagged cargo ship in the South China Sea early on Monday, stealing thousands of dollars in cash and even the sailors' shoes, South Korean authorities said.

Two people sustained minor injuries when seven pirates boarded the CK Bluebell and made off with $13,000 and belongings including mobile phones, clothes and shoes from the 22-strong crew,
officials from the oceans and fisheries ministry said.
Tougher policing has made piracy less frequent on the strategic shipping route in recent years.

The dry bulk vessel CK Bluebell had set sail from its anchorage off Singapore on Saturday afternoon, heading northeast for South Korea’s port of Incheon, Refinitiv Eikon ship tracking data showed. Korean officials said the ship was sailing normally after the robbery.

The incident took place near the Singapore Strait, a busy sea lane that runs past Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said.

Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) said the incident did not take place in city-state’s waters. “The MPA was informed by the Korea Coast Guard that it took place in the South China Sea near Anambas Islands,” a spokesman said.

This month, China’s Ministry of Transport raised its security recommendation for Chinese vessels in the nearby Malacca Strait, between the Malay peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

A Chinese official declined to specify the reason for the new security level, saying only that the decision was the result of comprehensive research taking into account all factors.

Huawei secretly helped North Korea build, maintain wireless network: Washington Post (???)
A Huawei signage is pictured at their store at Vina del Mar, Chile  July 14, 2019. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido
Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the Chinese company put on a U.S. blacklist because of national security concerns, secretly helped North Korea build and maintain its commercial wireless network, the Washington Post reported on Monday, citing sources and internal documents.

Trump: 'We will have to find out' about Huawei's relationship with North Korea
President Trump says he will look into reported ties between Huawei Technologies and North Korea. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

Asked about a media report that said Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] had secretly built and maintained North Korea's commercial wireless network, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday, "We will have to find out."

~~~
Japan's Abe says upper house election win shows support for constitution debate
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is also leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), looks on as he puts a rosette on the name of a candidate who is expected to win the upper house election, at the LDP headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, July 21, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his ruling coalition's solid win in an upper house election on Sunday showed that voters supported debate over his proposal to revise the post-war, pacifist constitution.

Takeaways from Japan poll: diplomatic challenges and diversity
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is also leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), reacts as he puts a rosette on the name of a candidate who is expected to win the upper house election, at the LDP headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, July 21, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has avoided lame-duck status after his ruling bloc won a solid victory in Sunday's upper house election but the poll - with nearly record-low turnout - has dented his hopes of revising the pacifist constitution and left him facing tough diplomatic challenges.

Japan's pro-constitution reform forces fall short of two-thirds upper house majority: NHK
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is also leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), attends a news conference a day after an upper house election at LDP headquarters in Tokyo, Japan July 22, 2019.   REUTERS/Issei Kato
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling bloc won a solid majority in an upper house election on Sunday but his coalition and allies fell short of a two-thirds majority needed to begin revising the pacifist constitution, public broadcaster NHK said.

Japan not now considering sending military for U.S.-proposed maritime coalition: Suga
FILE PHOTO: Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga speaks at a news conference about North Korea's missile launch in Tokyo, Japan in this photo taken by Kyodo on September 15, 2017.  Kyodo/via REUTERS/File Photo
Japan's top government spokesman said on Tuesday that there was no change in the country's stance that it was not considering sending its Self-Defence Forces for a U.S.-proposed maritime coalition in the Middle East.

Japan's top government spokesman Suga, finance minister Aso to retain posts: Kyodo
FILE PHOTO: Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga attends a news conference at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan May 29, 2017.   REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and Finance Minister Taro Aso will likely retain their posts in a cabinet reshuffle expected in September, Kyodo news agency reported on Tuesday.
 

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Japan-South Korea slanging match over tiny islands dragged again into Olympic arena
FILE PHOTO: A general view shows a part of the group of islets known in South Korea as Dokdo and in Japan as Takeshima in the Sea of Japan October 20, 2007. REUTERS/Yuri Maltsev/File Photo
A war of words over ownership of a group of tiny islands in the sea between Japan and South Korea spilled over to the Olympics on Wednesday as Tokyo criticized Seoul's complaint over a map of Japan on the Tokyo Games website.

South Korea fails to drum up support at WTO in row with Japan
South Korea's bid to garner international support in a row with Japan by airing its case at the World Trade Organization brought no visible dividend
on Wednesday, as no other countries took the floor to support either side, a Geneva trade official said.

South Korea says Japan flatly rejects meeting over trade row
South Korea's deputy trade minister Kim Seung-ho said on Wednesday he had asked a senior Japanese official for a face-to-face meeting on a trade row between Tokyo and Seoul but he had been flatly turned down.

South Korea protests Japan's 'grave' plan to drop it from smooth-trade list

Sout Korea deputy trade minister Kim Seung-ho (C) attends the General Council meeting where the worsening trade and diplomatic dispute between South Korea and Japan will be raised at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, Switzerland, July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
South Korea protested on Wednesday against a Japanese plan to remove it from a list of countries that face minimum trade restrictions, saying it would undermine their decades-old economic and security cooperation and threaten free trade.

Russia, South Korea trade conflicting claims over alleged airspace intrusion
A Russian A-50 military aircraft flies near the disputed islands called Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea, in this handout picture taken by Japan Air Self-Defence Force and released by the Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan July 23, 2019. Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan/HANDOUT via REUTERS
Russia's embassy in Seoul on Wednesday said that Moscow had not apologized for an alleged airspace violation the previous day, after South Korea said that a Russian attache had expressed "deep regret" and blamed malfunctioning equipment.

Russia denies it apologized to South Korea over alleged airspace breach: Ifax

Russia's embassy in Seoul on Wednesday denied that Moscow had formally apologized to South Korea over an alleged airspace violation during a joint air patrol with China the previous day, the Interfax news agency reported.

China's defense ministry says China-Russia joint air patrols did not enter territorial air space
China's defense ministry said on Wednesday that China and Russia carried out joint air patrols on July 23 but did not enter territorial air space of any other country.

Russia accuses N. Korea of detaining fishing boat and crew: RIA

Russia on Wednesday accused North Korea of illegally detaining one of its fishing vessels and said it would freeze talks with Pyongyang on fisheries cooperation until the issue was resolved, the RIA news agency reported.

Russian boat was illegally seized by North Korea: Russian fishing agency
Russia's state fishing agency said on Wednesday that a Russian vessel held by North Korean border guards had not been in North Korean waters when it was detained and that Pyongyang's action had been illegal, the RIA news agency reported.
 

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Japan says North Korea launched short-range ballistic missiles: Kyodo
The two projectiles launched by North Korea early on Thursday were short-range ballistic missiles, a Kyodo report citing a Japanese government source said.

Japan defense minister calls North Korean projectile launch 'very regrettable': Jiji
Japan's Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya speaks at the IISS Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore, June 1, 2019. REUTERS/Feline Lim

Japanese Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya said North Korea's launch of a pair of projectiles on Thursday was "very regrettable", Jiji news agency reported.

Nuclear talks in doubt as North Korea tests ballistic missiles, envoy cancels trip
The flag of North Korea is seen in Geneva, Switzerland, June 20, 2017. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy
North Korea test-fired two new short-range ballistic missiles on Thursday, South Korean officials said, its first missile test since its leader, Kim Jong Un, and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to revive denuclearisation talks last month.

U.S. calls for no more North Korean 'provocations,' hopes to resume talks
FILE PHOTO: South Korean people watch a live TV broadcast on a meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas, in Seoul, South Korea, June 30, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

The United States on Thursday urged North Korea to refrain from further provocations after the communist country test-fired two new short-range ballistic missiles and said it still hoped for a resumption of working-level talks on North Korea's denuclearization.

Explainer: Competing claims make northeast Asian sea a flashpoint
FILE PHOTO: A Chinese H-6 bomber flies over East China Sea in this handout picture taken by Japan Air Self-Defence Force and released by the Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan July 23, 2019. Joint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan/HANDOUT via REUTERS/File Photo

The wedge of sea between Japan, Russia, and the Korean peninsula became a new flashpoint this week, with a regional airspace dispute, a seized fishing boat, and missile tests by North Korea aggravating longstanding tensions.

The patch of ocean is commonly known as the Sea of Japan, but South Korea argues it should be known by the more neutral name the East Sea.

The dispute over the name exemplifies the numerous conflicting interests in the area, which has been the scene of sometimes intense military and political brinkmanship.

The most serious encounter this week came on Tuesday when Russian and Chinese warplanes conducted their first joint long-range air patrol in the Asia-Pacific over the sea, triggering warning shots from South Korean fighter jets and a round of diplomatic protests.

Analysts say the joint patrol is likely the first of many actions by China and Russia to try to send a message that their collaboration will be an increasingly significant factor in the region.

DISPUTED AIR
Tuesday’s air patrol highlighted conflicting claims over various “air defense identification zones” (ADIZ).

An ADIZ is usually an area where countries may unilaterally demand that foreign aircraft take special steps to identify themselves, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization.

An ADIZ is different from a country’s airspace, which usually means the space above its territory, extending 12 nautical miles away from its coastline.

Unlike airspace, there are no international laws that govern air defense identification zones.

Russia said it does not recognize South Korea’s air defense identification zone, known as KADIZ, while China said the area where Tuesday’s patrol occurred was not territorial airspace and that all countries enjoyed freedom of movement in it.

This week makes a total of 39 cases of foreign military aircraft entering the KADIZ without identifying themselves this year, South Korea’s defense ministry said, all of them from China or Russia.

Tuesday’s incident escalated after South Korea said one Russian aircraft penetrated South Korean airspace near a tiny chain of islets claimed by both South Korea and Japan.

Russia says its aircraft were never closer than 25 km (15 miles) from the South Korean-controlled islets.

Japan claims its own ADIZ, and says it also scrambled fighter jets to intercept the Russian and Chinese aircraft.

DISPUTED ISLANDS
South Korea has for decades administered the disputed islets, which it calls Dokdo. Japan calls them Takeshima.

A war of words over their ownership spilled over to the Olympics on Wednesday as Japan criticized a South Korean complaint over a map of Japan on the Tokyo Games website, which showed the islets as a small dot, colored as Japanese territory.

Artyom Lukin, a professor at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, said the joint Russian-Chinese exercise, in “one of the most politically sensitive areas in Northeast Asia”, was unlikely to have been a coincidence.

“The message is, the Russo-Chinese ‘strategic partnership’ is now a force to be reckoned with militarily in East Asia,” he said.

The region is likely to see “more frequent and increasingly assertive” joint military actions by Russia and China, he said.

China stressed the importance of its military ties with Russia in a 2019 Defence White Paper released on Wednesday.

“The military relationship between China and Russia continues to develop at a high level, enriching the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era,” China said.

DISPUTED SEAS
On Thursday, North Korea fired two short-range missiles into the sea off its east coast, a test that South Korea criticized as unhelpful in easing tensions on the peninsula.

Also this week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspected a new submarine that he said would soon be operational in the “East Sea of Korea”.

On Wednesday, Russia accused North Korea of illegally detaining one of its fishing vessels and its crew in the rich fishing grounds of the sea, and said it would freeze talks with North Korea on fisheries cooperation until the issue was resolved

“This incident could be irritating for Russia, yet will hardly be a major setback for a relationship already under immense strain due to various issues such as sanctions,” said Anthony Rinna, a specialist in Korea-Russia relations at Sino-NK, a website that analyzes the region.
 

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Pompeo says he expects working-level talks with North Korea in a couple weeks
FILE PHOTO -  U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looks on during a joint news conference with Argentina's Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie at the end of the hemispheric anti-terrorism summit, in Buenos Aires, Argentina July 19, 2019. Natacha Pisarenko/Pool via REUTERS
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday he expects working-level talks with North Korea to take place in a couple of weeks and that the United States still sees a diplomatic way forward to settling the conflict, despite Pyongyang's missile testing.

North Korea's Kim says missile test a warning to South Korean 'warmongers'
A view of North Korea's missile launch on Thursday, in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 26, 2019.  KCNA/via REUTERS

North Korea said on Friday its latest missile launch was a warning to South Korean "warmongers" to stop importing weapons and conducting joint military drills, a message that analysts said was also aimed at the United States.

Both missiles North Korea fired flew some 600 km: South Korea military
A view of North Korea's missile launch on Thursday, in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 26, 2019.  KCNA/via REUTERS

Both of the missiles North Korea fired on Thursday flew some 600 km (373 miles), an official at South Korea's defense ministry said, citing a joint assessment of the launches with the United States.

North Korean missile launch not a threat directed at U.S, South Korea: allies say
The South Korean-U.S. military command said on Friday a North Korean missile launch the previous day was not a threat directed at South Korea or the United States and had "no impact on our defense posture".

North Korea test-fires new type of short-range ballistic missiles — media

AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, archive

TOKYO, July 26, 2019 - Two projectiles, which were test fired by North Korea on Thursday, were an upgraded type of KN-23 short-range ballistic missiles, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported on Friday.

North Korea conducted on Thursday morning launches of two short-range missiles off the country’s east coast and into the Sea of Japan.

The Japanese news agency reported citing data from the South Korean presidential office that after the detailed analysis of the missile launches the National Security Council drew a conclusion that the test-launched projectiles were "a new type of short-range ballistic missile."

North Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA) announced earlier that DPRK leader Kim Jong-un "guided the power demonstration fire of a new-type tactical guided weapon Thursday."

KCNA reported that the launches of missiles were "a solemn warning to the south Korean military warmongers who are running high fever in their moves to introduce the ultramodern offensive weapons into South Korea and hold military exercise in defiance of the repeated warnings from the DPRK."

North Korea’s missile tests come less than a month following a meeting between President of the United States Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

North Korea’s new ballistic missile similar to Russia’s Iskander, reports say

© AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

Earlier reports stated that the two projectiles test-fired by N.Korea on Thursday were an upgraded type of the KN-23 short-range ballistic missiles, which Pyongyang had already tested in spring.

TOKYO, July 26, 2019 - Two short-range missiles test-fired by North Korea this week are similar to Russia’s Iskander tactical missile system by their operational characteristics, Yonhap news agency reported on Friday, referring to South Korea’s Defense Ministry.

The ballistic missiles test-fired by Pyongyang are similar to Russia’s 9K720 Iskander system (NATO reporting name: SS-26 Stone) and are capable of flying to a range of about 600 km, the news agency said.

North Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA) announced earlier on Friday that DPRK leader Kim Jong-un "guided the power demonstration fire of a new-type tactical guided weapon Thursday." As North Korea stated, the missile launches came in response to Seoul’s plans to deploy new weapon systems and hold military drills on the Korean Peninsula.

None of the missiles launched by North Korea reached Japan’s special economic zone in the Sea of Japan. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated that North Korea’s new missile launches posed no direct threat to the country’s national security but pledged to keep close contact with the United States and South Korea on this issue.
 

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Trump says not upset by North Korean launch of short-range missiles
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 26, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he was not upset by North Korea's launching of short-range ballistic missiles earlier this week.

Diplomats working for release of Russian ship, detained by North Korea

© Yuri Smityuk/TASS

The Russian-flagged fishing vessel has 17 crew members on board.

VLADIVOSTOK, July 24, 2019 - Russian diplomats are working to solve the problem of a Russian ship, detained by North Korea last week; they have already managed to meet with the ship’s crew, a Russian Foreign Ministry’s representative in the Far Eastern city of Vladivostok told TASS on Wednesday.

"The embassy was notified [about the detention] on the same day [July 18], diplomats have been working to solve the issue from the very outset. As far as I know, they have already managed to meet with the ship’s crew," the source said.

He added that, according to his information, the vessel was detained by North Korea’s border guards. It has 17 crew members on board, two of them are citizens of South Korea.

According to media reports, the detained vessel was Russia’s Xian Hai Lin 8 seiner, owned by the Northeastern Fishing Company. The ship was detained when it was en route to a fishing zone. The ship, flying the Russian flag, was built in 2015 and has a deadweight of 180 tonnes.

Russian, Chinese top diplomats discuss situation on Korean Peninsula, in Persian Gulf
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov meet with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of the BRICS foreign minister's meeting in Rio de Janeiro.

MOSCOW, July 26, 2019 - The situation on the Korean Peninsula, in the Middle East and in the Persian Gulf was in focus of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, on Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

"The ministers discussed ways for further strengthening bilateral cooperation and closer coordination in global affairs. They exchanged views on current international issues, including cooperation within BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, ChinaSouth Africa], the situation on the Korean Peninsula, in the Middle East and in the Gulf region," the ministry said.

The talks were held on the sidelines of the meeting of the BRICS foreign ministers in Rio de Janeiro.
 

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Club floor collapses in South Korea as athletes dance; two people dead
South Korean firefighters and officials examine the collapsed structure of a nightclub where several athletes competing at the World Aquatics Championships were dancing, in Gwangju, South Korea, July 27, 2019.  Yonhap via REUTERS

South Korean firefighters and officials examine the collapsed structure of a nightclub where several athletes competing at the World Aquatics Championships were dancing, in Gwangju, South Korea, July 27, 2019. Yonhap via REUTERS

The upper deck of a nightclub collapsed on top of revelers in South Korea on Saturday, killing two people and injuring several foreign athletes competing at the World Aquatics Championships, rescue officials and witnesses said.

The floor gave way in the Coyote Ugly nightclub in the city of Gwangju at about 2:30 a.m. (1730 GMT Friday), pinning people underneath and injuring at least 10, rescue officials said.

The two people killed were South Korean.

New Zealand men’s water polo team captain Matt Small said he was on the second-floor deck when it collapsed.

“We were just dancing and then the next minute we dropped,” he told New Zealand’s Radio Sport. “We ... fell on top of the heads of other people that were beneath us ... Some of them were pretty dire cases,” he said of the injured.

Kim Young-don, chief of the Gwangju Seobu Fire Station, told a briefing there were about 370 people in the club at the time.

“We deem that the second level ... seems to have collapsed because there were too many people on it,” he said. “The second level is a small space, it’s not a space where a lot of people can be.”

Gwangju, about 330 km (205 miles) south of the capital Seoul, has been hosting the championships, which feature swimming, water polo and diving, over the past fortnight. The meet finishes on Sunday.

Organizers said eight foreign athletes were injured, with seven sustaining minor injuries and one remaining in hospital for treatment of a leg laceration.

Three of the injured athletes were from the United States, two from New Zealand and one each from Italy, the Netherlands and Brazil, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported. All but the Brazilian were water polo players, it said.

A Gwangju police officer told Reuters two co-owners and two workers at the nightclub were being questioned about possible illegal expansion and renovation at the nightclub, and the legality of its licensing.

Slideshow (9 Images)
Club floor collapses in South Korea as athletes dance; two people dead
 

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Russian vessel Xiang Hai Lin 8 detained in North Korea released

© Yury Smituik/TASS

July 28, 2019 - The Russian fishing boat Xiang Hai Lin 8 detained by North Korean border patrol officers has been released on Saturday, the Russian embassy in Pyongyang reported on it official Facebook page on Sunday.

"On July 27, the coordinated work of the Russian diplomatic agency led to a release of the fishing boat Xiang Hai Lin 8. At 16:00 local time, captain Verevka was informed by the North Korean side about the release. At 19:30, the vessel left the Wonsan port’s pier and headed to Sokcho (South Korea), where two South Korean crewmembers will come ashore," the diplomatic mission’s statement reads.

A crewmember told TASS that "the vessel was released without any fines, the incident is over." "The full crew is aboard the ship, everyone is feeling well," he said. "[The ship] is expected to arrive on Sokcho shortly."

The Russian vessel Xiang Hai Lin 8 was detained in North Korea on July 17, when it was heading to the Sea of Japan from South Korea’s town of Sokcho to catch crab. Seventeen crewmembers were aboard the ship, 15 Russian and 2 South Korean citizens. According to the North Korean Foreign Ministry representatives, the ship was detained for "violating the rules of entry and stay in North Korea."

The ship-owner company said that the vessel entered a certain 50-mile zone the Russian was unaware about, which was cited as the reason behind the detention. Until July 27, the ship was stationed in the Wonsan port.

The fishing boat Xiang Hai Lin 8 was built in 2015 and flies the Russian flag. The Northeastern Fishing Company owns the boat and is registered in the Island of Sakhalin.

North Korea releases detained Russian fishing boat: Russian embassy
Russian fishing boat Xianghailin-8, which was detained on July 17 by border guards, is docked in the port of Wonsan, North Korea, July 26, 2019. Russian Embassy in the DPRK/Handout via REUTERS

North Korea has released a Russian fishing boat held after being accused of violating entry regulations, the Russian embassy in North Korea said on Sunday, in an incident that prompted a Russian warning of a freezing of talks on fisheries cooperation.

Hungarian swimmer banned from leaving South Korea for sexual harassment probe: police
FILE PHOTO: Swimming - 18th FINA World Swimming Championships - Men's 200m Butterfly Heats - Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center, Gwangju, South Korea - July 23, 2019. Tamas Kenderesi of Hungary competes. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

South Korean police have banned Hungarian swimmer Tamas Kenderesi from leaving the country as they investigate allegations of sexual harassment against the Olympic bronze medallist, authorities said on Sunday.
 

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U.S.' Pompeo hopes for North Korea talks soon, no leaders' summit planned
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo adjusts his earphone during a joint news conference with Argentina's Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie at the end of the hemispheric anti-terrorism summit, in Buenos Aires, Argentina July 19, 2019. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday he hoped working-level talks to revive denuclearization talks with North Korea could occur "very soon" but emphasized that a follow up leaders' summit was not planned.


Little chance for Lavrov-Pompeo meeting at ASEAN forum in Thailand - Russian diplomat
VIENNA, July 28, 2019 - It is highly improbable that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will meet with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on the sidelines of an ASEAN ministerial meeting in Bangkok, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Sunday.

"Chances are slim, since the two top diplomats’ schedules are not coordinated and there is too little time ahead of the event," he said.

During his visit to Bangkok on July 30-31, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is expected to have talks with his Thai counterpart, Don Pramudwinai, and other top diplomats from ASEAN nations.


Japan's Abe unlikely to meet South Korea's Moon at U.N. in September: Sankei
FILE PHOTO:  South Korean President Moon Jae-In is welcomed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe upon his arrival for a welcome and family photo session at G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 28, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/Pool
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is unlikely to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in during the United Nations General Assembly in September, the Sankei newspaper said on Monday, the latest sign of strained ties between the U.S. allies.


South Korea says North Korean fishing boat, three crew to be returned
South Korea returned three North Koreans who crossed the maritime border aboard a fishing vessel at the weekend, an official at Seoul's defence ministry said on Monday.
 

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North Korea's Kim Jong Un has tested a new short range ballistic missile, considered "standard" and US backers - UK, France and Germany have complained to the UN, to the delight of the Neo-con's (Bolton-Pompeo), trying to make the situation a bigger deal, then it really is. Trump, on the other hand, is playing down the testing. Yet, in recent days, the US Military have tested a new missile and shield in the Artic, to Israel's satisfaction and no one's complaining to the UN? Israel says Arrow-3 missile shield passes U.S. trials, warns Iran

Japan, a US ally, is in a trade dispute with South Korea ... and it's getting ugly.

North Korean projectiles believed to be short-range ballistic missiles: Kyodo
The North Korean projectiles launched early Friday are believed to be short-range ballistic missiles, Kyodo News reported, citing unnamed Japanese government officials.

Trump says he is not worried about short-range missiles fired by North Korea
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he was not worried about missiles being tested by North Korea, calling them very standard, short-range devices.

At U.N., Britain, France, Germany urge North Korea to hold 'meaningful' talks with U.S
A man stands near a TV showing a file picture of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for a news report on North Korea firing short-range ballistic missiles, in Seoul, South Korea, July 31, 2019.    REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

Britain, France and Germany called on North Korea to engage in "meaningful" talks with the United States and said international sanctions need to be fully enforced until Pyongyang has dismantled its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Trump: North Korean missile tests may defy UN, but not his agreement with Kim
FILE PHOTO - U.S. President Donald Trump pauses during an address at a campaign rally in Cincinnati, Ohio. U.S., August 1, 2019.   REUTERS/Bryan Woolston

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that North Korea's missile tests may have violated United Nations resolutions but did not break his agreement North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

North Korea's Kim Jong Un inspected new rocket system again: KCNA
FILE PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin (not pictured) at Far East Federal University on Russky Island in Vladivostok, Russia, April 25, 2019.  Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un again on Friday inspected the test firing of a "newly-developed large-caliber multiple launch guided rocket system", North Korean state media reported early on Saturday.

North Korea want to host World Cup qualifier with South in Pyongyang
North Korea have nominated Pyongyang as the host venue for their World Cup qualifying match against South Korea in October, clearing the way for the two countries to play on North Korean soil for the first time in almost 30 years.

Trump plays down new apparent North Korea test, still open to talks
People watch a TV showing a file picture of a North Korean missile for a news report on North Korea firing short-range ballistic missiles, in Seoul, South Korea, August 2, 2019.    REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday played down what appeared to be North Korea's third missile launch in just over week, saying they were short-range and "very standard" and would not affect his willingness to negotiate with Pyongyang.

~~~
South Korea-Japan talks falter ahead of decision on favored-trade list
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (L) meets her Japanese counterpart Taro Kono during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, August 1, 2019.   Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

South Korea called on Thursday for Japan to allow more time for diplomacy as talks on their most serious dispute in years failed to make progress, a day before Japan could remove South Korea from its list of favored trade partners.

Japan export move on South Korea not designed to hurt relationship, minister says
Japan's decision to remove South Korea from a list of countries that enjoy minimum export controls was not intended to hurt Tokyo's relationship with Seoul, Japan's industry minister said, adding that exporters can still use a special bulk license.

South Korea's Moon pledges action against Japan's 'unfair' trade step
FILE PHOTO:President of South Korea Moon Jae-in speaks at the the University of Oslo during his official State visit to Norway, in Oslo, Norway June 12, 2019. NTB Scanpix/Ryan Kelly via REUTERS/File Photo

President Moon Jae-in vowed on Friday to take stern action against Japan's decision to strip South Korea of its fast track export status, calling it a reckless and unfair retaliatory action by Tokyo.

South Korea launches 'Let's Learn Japan's Restrictions' website for puzzled businesses
The South Korean government has launched a new learning website for companies puzzled by Japan's recent trade restrictions against the country amid growing confusion over changes of rules about buying Japanese goods.

South Korea says it will respond firmly Japan's decision to drop it from easy trade list
South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks during an irregular cabinet meeting at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, August 2, 2019. Yonhap via REUTERS

South Korea said on Friday it will respond firmly to Japan's decision to remove it from Tokyo's list of easy trade countries.

South Korea says U.S. concerned about Japan's new trade move against Seoul
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha attends the 26th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) in Bangkok, Thailand August 2, 2019. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

South Korea's foreign minister said on Friday the United States had "great concerns" about Japan's removal of South Korea from its list of favored trade partners.

South Korea warns Japan of security pact risk, calls for 'cooling-off' in trade row
FILE PHOTO: A police officer stands guard near Japan and South Korea national flags at a hotel, where the South Korean embassy in Japan is holding the reception to mark the 50th anniversary of the normalisation of ties between Seoul and Tokyo, in Tokyo  June 22, 2015.   REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

South Korea is exploring all options in a bitter trade row with Japan, including scrapping an intelligence sharing pact, but wants a cooling off period with Tokyo, a senior South Korean official said on Saturday.

Japan calls Russian PM's visit to disputed island regrettable
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev shakes hands with Air Force officer at the Yasny airport during visits the Southern Kuril Island of Iturup, Russia August 2, 2019.  Sputnik/Alexander Astafyev/Pool via REUTERS

A visit on Friday by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to an island claimed by both Japan and Russia was extremely regrettable, Japan's foreign ministry said, urging Moscow to take constructive steps to advance ties.
 
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