Asia Pacific News

"Mainichi", 19.06.18.

The head of the administration of Nemuro city (prefecture of Hokkaido) Shyunsuke Hasegawa announced his intention in September of this year to leave his post in connection with the expiration of the third term of office, as well as the inability to continue work because of health problems. S.Hasegawa expressed the hope that Japan and Russia will be able to implement the projects planned in the framework of joint economic activities in the South Kurils. As it is known, S.Hasegawa was expelled from the Japanese delegation, who visited the South Kuril Islands from June 27 to July 1, 2017, in order to explore opportunities for joint economic activities, in connection with the Russian Federation's response after Japan's decision to impose economic sanctions against Russia due to the situation in Ukraine.


Xinhua, 19.06.18.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un plans to visit China as early as Tuesday to brief President Xi Jinping on his recent summit with U.S. President Donald Trump and discuss a negotiating strategy, sources familiar with the matter said. But his South Korean counterpart suggested Monday they could be eased sooner. “Our stance is that the sanctions must remain in place until North Korea takes meaningful, substantive steps toward denuclearization,” Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha told reporters. Seoul and Washington shared the same “big picture” view and would continue close consultations, she added.


Yonhap, 19.06.18.

South Korea and the United States have agreed to suspend their joint military drill slated for this August, Seoul’s defense ministry said Tuesday, following US President Donald Trump’s pledge to end “war games” with South Korea after his summit with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un last week Describing the suspended exercise as “defensive in nature,” the ministry added that there is no decisions yet regarding other joint exercises that follow the Ulchi Freedom Guardian. The ministry did not specify what “other exercises” would be. “The South Korean and the US defense ministries would maintain close coordination to make sure there is no daylight in the combined forces’ readiness posture,” the ministry said. United States President Donald Trump said Sunday it was his idea to suspend joint military exercises by South Korea and the US to foster favorable conditions for denuclearization talks with North Korea, adding that the military drills will immediately start back up if the talks collapse. "Holding back the 'war games' during the negotiations was my request because they are very expensive and set a bad light during a good faith negotiation," the US president.


Xinhua, 19.06.18.

Jointly issued by four departments - Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP), Supreme People's Court (SPC), Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) - the guideline said people who write, publish, broadcast or advocate terrorism-related content online, will be criminally liable. Published on the SPP website on Friday, the guideline aims to "safeguard national security, social stability and ensure public safety by punishing terrorism and extremism. "The guideline provides a legal basis and clear punishment standard for the country to deal with acts against social stability, especially in border regions such as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Xiong Kunxin, an ethnic studies expert and professor at Beijing's Minzu University of China, told the Global Times on Monday.


Asahi Shimbun, 19.06.18.

Two-thirds of voters want Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at an early date, but a majority do not expect Abe to resolve the abduction issue, an Asahi Shimbun survey showed. Similarly, 73 percent of respondents in the nationwide weekend survey positively evaluated the June 12 summit in Singapore between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump, but only 26 percent said they expect the leaders’ joint declaration to lead to North Korea’s denuclearization.66 percent of respondents do not expect North Korea to denuclearize, according to the survey. However, only 40 percent of respondents said they held high hopes of Abe resolving the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea decades ago, while 51 percent said they did not expect a breakthrough. The Abe Cabinet’s approval rate was 38 percent, up slightly from 36 percent in May, while the disapproval rate was 45 percent, up 1 percentage point. As for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s diplomacy in relation to North Korean issues, 42 percent had favorable assessments while 47 percent showed negative views. To resolve North Korea’s nuclear and missile issues, 48 percent said the international community should place emphasis on dialogue, which remained unchanged from the previous survey, while 39 percent said pressure should be intensified, down from 41 percent. The approval rating of Abe’s Cabinet rose slightly to 45 percent from 42 percent in the previous survey, while the disapproval rating declined to 44 percent from 47 percent. By political party, 38 percent said they supported the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, up from 37 percent in the previous survey, followed by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan with 6 percent, down from 7 percent. Forty-four percent said they had no party affiliation, up from 42 percent.


"Yomiuri", 18.06.18.

The Government of Japan has protested the Russian Federation's missile exercises scheduled for 18–21 June this year on the southern Kuril island of Iturup. The relevant statement was forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation through the Japanese Embassy in Moscow after the Russian side notified of missile firing the Japan Maritime Security Administration, which in its turn warned shipping companies and fishermen. The Russian Foreign Ministry rejected the protest of Tokyo, being stressed that the exercises would be conducted within the national territory.


"Yonhap", 18.06.18.

South Korea proposed that North Korea move its long-range artillery away from the heavily fortified border in an effort to reduce tensions during last week's rare cross-border military talks, government sources here said Sunday. During Thursday's general-grade meeting, the first in more than a decade, Seoul made a series of suggestions, including relocating the artillery pieces to areas 30 to 40 kilometers away from the Military Demarcation Line separating the two Koreas, the insiders said. The two sides held the talks to follow up on the Panmunjom Declaration from the April 27 inter-Korean summit at the truce village, which calls for joint efforts to alleviate military tensions and "practically eliminate the danger of war." According to a 2016 South Korean defense white paper, the North has 14,100 artillery pieces, including 5,500 multiple rocket launchers, a majority of which have been deployed near the border.


"Yonhap", 18.06.18.

South Korea's Navy said Monday it will soon kick off a regular exercise on defending the nation's easternmost islets of Dokdo amid Japan's continued territorial claim. The two-day training is to start in the afternoon, involving the 3,200-ton Yangmanchun destroyer and five other warships as well as seven aircraft including P-3C maritime surveillance planes, UH-60 Blackhawk choppers, the Air Force's F-15K fighter jets. A unit of marines will also be mobilized for a landing exercise. The military first staged such a Dokdo defense practice in 1986. Since 2003, it has conducted the drills twice a year in a show of Seoul's effective control of the rocky islets, which are inhabited by just a small Coast Guard detachment, and improve capacity to defend the territory. Japan's foreign ministry delivered its routine protest message to South Korea through a diplomatic channel, broadcast.


"Yonhap", 18.06.18.

The two Koreas are set to hold a series of talks on sports, reunions of separated families, railway and road connections and forestry cooperation in the coming weeks, officials said Sunday, a reminder of the ongoing thaw in cross-border ties. On Monday, they will meet at Peace House, a South Korean building in the truce village of Panmunjom, to discuss sports-related issues, such as their teams' joint march at the opening ceremony of the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia, slated for August. They are expected to fine-tune details of the date and the scale of the reunions and seek more practical solutions to the humanitarian issue of divided families, including a project to verify whether family members are still alive. Seoul has also been seeking to hold separate meetings with Pyongyang later this month on road and railway connections and forestry cooperation.


"Yonhap", 18.06.18.

South Korea and the United States are expected to announce their decision to suspend large-scale combined military exercises this week amid dialogue with North Korea, a government source here said Sunday. In the announcement, the allies are likely to include a "snapback" clause, the source said, hinting that the exercises would resume should the communist regime fail to deliver on its denuclearization commitment. After his historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he will stop "provocative, inappropriate and expensive" exercises with the South, which Pyongyang has decried as an invasion rehearsal. Observers said that the suspension of allied exercises could weaken Washington's rationale for an increase in Seoul's share of the cost for the upkeep of 28,500 U.S. troops in the country. The U.S. has reportedly demanded the South pay more, citing its costly deployment of strategic assets for the regular drills.


"Yomiuri", 18.06.18.

U.S. government has urged North Korea to declare its entire nuclear program within the next few weeks, The Yomiuri Shimbun learned on Saturday. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to press Pyongyang at his upcoming talks with a senior North Korean official — which could be held as early as this week — to provide a relevant declaration at an early date, according to a source close to the U.S. government. North Korea’s declaration of its entire nuclear program is seen as a major precondition leading toward its complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization. If Pyongyang provides the declaration, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump aims to draw up a road map for denuclearization to address such issues as the verification of nuclear facilities and materials in North Korea. Washington intends to proceed with the denuclearization process by setting a specific deadline, which could be within 2½ years, as Pompeo has previously said. “It is incredibly important that we get a full understanding of [North Korea’s nuclear program] as quickly as possible,” the secretary of state said on Thursday. “As part of the efforts that will be undertaken in the week and weeks ahead, we will work with the North Koreans to come to have a fuller understanding of [the program],” he added. As part of denuclearization measures, Pompeo has pointed to the need to verify such items as weapon stockpiles, knowledge bases, warehouses, and fissile material production facilities. For such verification, he has also expressed his intention to invite experts from countries other than the United States.


"Nikkei", 17.06.18.

Japan will dispatch a private-sector research team to a disputed island chain held by Russia to explore joint ventures between the two countries such as greenhouse strawberry and sea urchin cultivation. The latest research team will be dispatched as soon as this summer and will be private-sector led this time. It will study the feasibility of greenhouse cultivation for strawberries and sea urchin cultivation, narrowing down operational details and potential sites after surveying the islands and surrounding waters.


Yonhap, 17.06.18.

The defense chiefs of South Korea and the United States have had in-depth" discussions over the allies' combined military exercises, following U.S. President Donald Trump's recent remarks that he will stop "provocative war games," Seoul's defense ministry said Friday. Defense Minister Song Young-moo and his U.S. counterpart James Mattis held 30-minute telephone talks from 7:30 p.m. (Korea time) on Thursday to exchange views over the exercises, including the summertime Ulchi Freedom Guardian (UFG). "The two ministers agreed to continuously strengthen efforts to provide defense support, based on the solid South Korea-U.S. alliance, for the faithful and expeditious implementation of the agreement from the North Korea-U.S. summit," the ministry said in a press release.


"Korea times", 17.06.18.

Hong Joon-pyo, the chief of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP), resigned Thursday after his party suffered a crushing defeat in the previous day's local elections. The LKP won only two of the 17 big mayoral and gubernatorial races contested in Wednesday's local elections. It also won only one parliamentary seat in by-elections held concurrently with the local elections. Earlier in the day, Yoo Seong-min, a co-leader of the minor opposition Bareunmirae Party, also resigned after the party failed to win even one seat for big-city mayoralties and provincial governorships.


Military times, 17.06.18.

Congressional Research Service disclosed a report about active-duty personnel and mobilized reservists, who have died while serving in the U.S. armed forces from 2006 to 2018. The total number of casualties is around 15000. Seventy-two percent of the overall casualties ― 11,341 deaths ― occurred under circumstances unrelated to America’s ongoing wars, the report found. Accidents, self-inflicted wounds or illness made up the bulk of casualties. Roughly 14 percent of the deaths away from the battlefield were related to substance abuse of non-OCO accidental deaths. Approximately 16 percent of all non-OCO deaths, or 1,807, involved vehicles. Unsurprisingly, the majority of operation-related casualties came from Iraq (1961) and Afghanistan (2177), a report also noted that half those deaths came as the result of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).


"Korea Times", 17.06.18.

The government plans to expand analyses of psychological autopsies, a research process that attempts to determine the complex mental conditions preceding suicides, in continued efforts to shed a negative image associated with Korea. The measure undertaken by the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Korea Psychological Autopsy Center involves collecting all available information on the deceased including interviews with family members, relatives, close friends and health care providers that attended to them. The initiative was one of President Moon Jae-in's major campaign pledges, with the objective of reducing the rate to 20 for every 100,000 people, from the current 25.6.


mofa.go.jp, 16.06.18.

On the official site of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs was published an article in which the Japanese Consul General in Vladivostok Tatsuhiko Kasai said that within the cross-culture year of Russia and Japan have already been held 64 events. More over 64 events are expected, said Kasai. In the list of planned events, not only a large cultural program introducing Russians to the unique arts of the country of the rising sun, but also activities in the field of politics, economy, scientific cooperation, educational programs, exchanges in the field of youth policy and regional cooperation. Also, according to Kasai, the official opening of a new outpatient center – a joint project of JGC Corporation and Hokuto Social Medical Corporation was held in Vladivostok. The new institution will be engaged in the rehabilitation of patients with musculoskeletal disorders, resulting from injuries, surgery, recovery from a stroke. About 100 people are expected a day.


"Manila times", 16.06.18.

Vietnam's foreign ministry on Thursday denounced China's recent redeployment of missiles on an island in the Paracel (Hoang Sa) Islands as a serious violation of its sovereignty in the South China Sea. "Vietnam requests that China immediately put an end to these wrongful activities and withdraw the military equipment it had illegally deployed on Vietnam's Hoang Sa Islands" Vietnam's foreign ministry spokesperson said in a statement.


NHK, 16.06.18.

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera and US Defense Secretary James Mattis talked over the phone on Thursday, 2 days after the US-North Korea summit in Singapore. Mattis gave assurances that the US is not considering a reduction of the number of its troops in South Korea and said that the US military presence in the South is important for the security of East Asia. However, Mattis reportedly said the US is discussing with South Korea the possible suspension of joint military exercises in line with Trump's suggestion. Onodera said Japan and the US need to closely cooperate to continue calling for the thorough implementation of UN Security Council resolutions dealing with North Korea. The defense chiefs also agreed that Japan's Self-Defense Forces and the US military will continue their joint drills.


The Global Times, 16.06.18.

The press office of the Central Military Commission of the People's Republic of China said that in the frames of reforming the organizational structure, increasing the combat readiness and moral and psychological state of personnel, as well as eradicating corruption the PLA and the People's Armed Police will cease providing paid services to the civilian population of the country by the end of 2018. It was noted that at present time the Central Military Commission has already canceled the provision of 94% of paid services, which includes pre-school education, press and printing, construction and rental of real estate, maintenance and repair of civilian equipment, provision of facilities for training drivers, cultural events, agricultural production, medical care, research activities.


The Military Times, 16.06.18.

The president of Protect Our Defenders Don Christensen said that at the present time the US Department of Defense does not inform civilians affected by sexual violence by US military personnel about the possibility of applying to civil lawyers. He noted that in November 2017 only one of the 38 victims of the Army's military person were appealed to a civil lawyer. In addition it was reported that in 2017 year 1564 cases of sexual violence were recorded by the Army, 701 by the Navy, 594 by the Air Force, and 390 by the Marine Corps.


"Global Times", 15.06.18.

The recent summit between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia did not make progress on the territorial dispute due to the fact that the Japan-US alliance was still a formidable factor impeding the deepening of Japan-Russia relations. The alliance has a history of more than half century and will not collapse easily in the short term. However, Japan is increasingly seen to be pulling away from the US and seeking diplomatic independence. One prominent example is provided by then Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visiting Pyongyang in 2002 without informing the US. The Abe government has been seeking to amend the constitution to make Japan a "normal country".


Xinhua, 15.06.18.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Thursday. Xi said China and the United States share broad common interests and shoulder important responsibilities in safeguarding world peace and stability and promoting global development and prosperity. Working together, China and the United States can make big things happen to the benefit of both countries and the whole world, Xi said. He called on the two sides to implement the consensus reached by him and U.S. President Donald Trump during their meeting in Beijing, strengthen communication, enhance mutual trust, properly handle differences, and expand cooperation so as to ensure bilateral ties will go forward along the right track to benefit the two peoples and the world. Xi expressed his hope that the United States will handle sensitive issues, including the Taiwan issue and economic and trade frictions, in a prudent way to avoid serious obstruction to bilateral ties. Hailing the continuously developing U.S.-China relations under the joint guidance of both leaders, Pompeo said the United States attaches importance to bilateral ties and stands ready to enhance communication with China, properly handle outstanding issues, deepen cooperation in various fields, and meet global and regional challenges. Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday in Beijing. He expressed hope that the United States will work with China to expand practical cooperation in various fields, properly handle differences and promote the bilateral ties for bigger progress. Pompeo said the United States adheres to the one-China policy, and stands ready to enhance cooperation with China in order to make bilateral relations more fruitful.


NHK, 15.06.18.

NHK broadcasting company reported that Fumio Shimizu, Deputy Director-General of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceania Affairs Bureau had unofficial meeting with North Korean delegation in Ulaanbaatar at 2-day event, hosted by Mongolia's foreign ministry, is aimed at discussing security issues in Northeast Asia. The meeting came as the Japanese government is exploring possibilities of holding a Japan-North Korea summit between Japan Prime-minister Shinzo Abe and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un to resolve the abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korea.


Associated Press, 15.06.18.

The rival Koreas agreed Thursday to fully restore their cross-border communication lines after holding rare high-level military talks on reducing tensions. The military officials also discussed temporarily disarming an area in their jointly controlled truce village of Panmunjom, where soldiers from the North and South stand several feet from each other across the demarcation line that divides their countries, South Korea's Defense Ministry said. At a building on the northern side of Panmunjom, the South Korean officials were greeted by a North Korean delegation led by Lt. Gen. An Ik San. South Korean Maj. Gen. Kim Do-gyun told An that he was honored to meet him and expressed hope for a meaningful breakthrough in the talks.


Reuter, 15.06.18.

39% of Americans believe that the summit of the leader of the DPRK Kim Jong-un on Tuesday and the US President Donald Trump lowered the threat of a nuclear war between the two countries. This is evidenced by the published on Wednesday the results of a survey conducted by the Reuters agency in conjunction with the research center Ipsos. At the same time, 37% admitted that they do not believe in changes after the meeting. In general, the actions of the US President towards the DPRK were supported by slightly more than half of the respondents, but only a quarter believed that the summit would lead to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. 40% of respondents believe that the parties will not fulfill their obligations at the end of the summit, the opposite point of view is shared by 26% of respondents.


"Atlantic Council", 14.06.18.

On the official site of the American think tank "Atlantic Council" was published an article, where it is said that nowadays the Russian government wants to use the complete situation in the Japanese external policy in its interests. According to the authors of the article, "Russia is aware of Japan's necessity to follow American policy against the Russian Federation, nevertheless Russian authorities continue to blame Japan in it, thus abusing the Japanese friendly policy towards Russia". More over the authors of the article consider that Japan should first of all demonstrate its adherence to strengthening of strategic alliance with USA, and also stop balancing external policy, including preservation of friendly relationship with Russia with the aim of solving the Northern Territories issue in its favor.


"Voice of America", KCNA, 14.06.18.

US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday: "The nuclear threat from North Korea is no more." The statement came after the president returned from a meeting with the leader of the DPRK in Kim Jong-no in Singapore. "Now everyone can feel much safer than on the day I took office," said Trump. The meeting with Kim Jong-no was an interesting and very positive experience. North Korea has great potential in the future". In its turn KCNA cited the words of Kim Jong-un about that fact USA and DPRK took a brave decision to stop provocative and fierce acts against each other, and also reminded promise of D.Trump to stop the joint military exercises with ROK. More over US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in Seoul on Wednesday if Pyongyang would try to sabotage the negotiations, the Trump administration reserves the right to resume the exercises. The secretary also said that the signed D.Trump and Kim Jong-un agreement does not include many aspects of bilateral relations, which were held talks. All of them require further development and will be included in the agenda of subsequent US-North Korean contacts.


"Fox News", 14.06.18.

China opposes official contacts between the United States and Taiwan "in any form." This was announced on Wednesday by Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for the State Council of the State Council of the People's Republic of China for Taiwan Affairs. "The United States should adhere to the principle of "one China" and three joint communiques signed between Beijing and Washington in order not to undermine the bilateral ties, peace and stability in the region", the official said. "The administration of the Democratic Progressive Party of Taiwan, involving foreign powers, only harms relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait," Ma Xiaoguang stressed. In addition, according to the spokesman, "the Taiwan issue, which is vitally important for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China, remains the most sensitive in Sino-US relations".


NHK, 14.06.18.

Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Thursday. The three sides discussed their nations' response to the summit. During the meeting Kono expressed his views on how to proceed with the denuclearization process while maintaining pressure on North Korea. He is also expected to meet separately with Pompeo, who will continue to hold talks with North Korea.


"Radio Korea", 14.06.18.

The ruling Democratic Party has swept the local elections. According to exit polls and the vote count by midnight Wednesday, the party clinched 14 out of 17 governor and mayoral posts. The conservative main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) managed to win in just two areas in its traditional strongholds Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province. Independent candidate Won Hee-ryong won the Jeju governor's post. In the parliamentary by-elections held on the sidelines, the ruling party also secured eleven of the 12 legislative seats. The LKP only won in Gimcheon, North Gyeongsang Province ― a traditionally conservative district. As a result, the number of the ruling party's seats will likely increase to 130, while the LKP will add only one seat to 113, widening the gap between the two parties from seven to 17.


"Sankei Shimbun", 13.06.18.

Japan has lodged a protest against Russia's plan to lay fiber-optic cables to disputed islands that lay between the two countries, calling the construction work illegal and "extremely deplorable." "It is extremely deplorable that such a project is being carried out under the Russian occupation that has no legal basis," government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said on June 11, speaking of the four islands known in Russia as the Kurile Islands and in Japan as the Northern Territories. Suga said Tokyo has lodged protest with Russia over the fiber-optic project.


The Taibei Times, Voice of America, 13.06.18.

In the Neihu district of Taipei City on June 12th was held the opening ceremony of the new building of the American nonprofit "The American Institute in Taipei" performing the functions of the US Embassy in Taiwan. The ceremony was attended by President of Taiwan Tsai Inven and Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Culture Marie Royce. At the same time there was held in the Neihu a rally for support of the opening of a new building in which about 600 people took part. In turn the official spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China Geng Shuang said that China is strongly opposed to Washington's deployment of its diplomatic missions in Taiwan and also urged the American side to follow to the "one China policy".


The South Morning Post, 13.06.18.

Israeli intelligence firm ImageSat International reported that in the first half of June this year Beijing deployed HQ-9 on the island of Yongxing which is a part of the disputed Xisha Islands (in the international cartography - Paracelsia Islands) in the South China Sea. The Chinese Ministry of Defense declined to comment on this information.


The Manila Times, 13.06.18.

The Minister of Defense of the Philippines D.Lorenzana said that in the framework of modernization of the armaments and military equipment of the armed forces of the Philippines, as well as to counter the growing military activity of China in the region, Manila is considering buying a batch of submarines from Russia or South Korea. He noted that the absence of the Navy of the Philippines underwater fleet poses a threat to the territorial integrity of the country. In addition, D.Lorenzana said that in the long term it is planned to purchase aviation, ships and other weapons.


The Radio of Taiwan, 13.06.18.

The Radio of Taiwan reported that 63% of respondents hold the view that the government of Taiwan should take retaliatory measures against mainland China to overcome international isolation. 52% of respondents noted that Taipei should not follow to the "1992 consensus" on the development of intergovernmental relations with Beijing. In addition, 52% of Taiwanese said that since May 2016 mainland China does not observe the "status quo" in relations between the two shores of the Taiwan Strait.


"Sankei Shimbun", 12.06.18.

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan H.Seko at the reception on the occasion of the Day of Russia, which took place at the Russian Embassy in Tokyo, stated that the Russian and Japanese culture year should contribute to the strengthening of friendly relations between the two countries. In addition, H.Seko noted that summit meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin, that took place in May this year, had become very effective. According to him, he "for two years runs as the Minister responsible for the development of economic relations with Russia and would like to continue to cooperate, to the interaction between Japan and Russia for mutual benefit".


Kyodo, 12.06.18.

Japan and china launched a communication mechanism between their defense ministries on Friday to avert accidental clashes at sea and the air, while stepping a territorial row over islands in East China Sea. "The start is important step to enhance the mutual understanding and trust", Japanese minister Onodera said. "If the case is feared to become a major problem between two countries, phone talks will be swiftly between officials at appropriate level".


Kyodo, 12.06.18.

Since April of last year, the Defense Ministry's Okinawa Regional Bureau has been building 7 seawalls around the site, off the coastal district of Henoko in the city of Nago. Ministry officials say they are planning to start connecting the 7 seawalls in early July, and begin placing soil and sand inside the walls in mid-August. V-shaped runways are planned for the site. The bureau initially hoped to start filling in the area with soil and sand in July. But work was slowed by concerns about the possible impact on a rare species of coral near the site. Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga has been trying to block the base relocation. He says he will withdraw his predecessor's approval of the reclamation work.


NHK, 12.06.18.

On the official website of the Japanese broadcasting corporation NHK was published an article in which the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Japan T.Aso announced his readiness to return to the state treasury his annual salary for a total of about 20.9 million yen (about 189, 4 thousand dollars). Such decision was made by T.Aso as a token of apology for the falsification in his department of documents on the sale of the Japanese company Moritimo Gakuen, belonging to the familiar of wife of Japanese Prime Minister S.Abe, a plot of state land at a reduced cost. At the same time, NHK informed that in connection with the scandal, 20 officials of lower level will be subjected to various punishments, their work will be suspended without a compensation. Xinhua, 12.06.08. China's "Sky net" operation had captured 4141 fugitives from over 90 countries and covered near 1.5 billion dollars since 2015 as the end of April. New 2018 anticorruption campaign targets to eliminate offshore companies.


"Yomiuri", 11.06.18.

The Chairman of the Japanese regional opposition political party "Daichi" M.Sudzuki said that during the talks held by Japanese Prime Minister S.Abe and Russian President V.Putin, the sides managed to take one more step in the way of a complex negotiation process aimed at resolving territorial disagreements and the signing of a peace treaty between the two countries. According to M.Sudzuki, the leaders of the two countries succeeded in further specifying the plan of joint economic activity on the southern Kurils from eight points proposed by the Japanese side, providing for large-scale cooperation throughout the Russian Federation from Sakhalin Island to its western borders. M.Sudzuki noted that the most important of the eight items of the plan, in his opinion, is medical cooperation. M.Sudzuki also noted that at present the issue is being worked out between the concerned departments in Japan and private companies.


KYODO, 11.06.18.

The government is considering holding informal talks with North Korea on the sidelines of an international security forum in Mongolia next week after the historic U.S.-North Korea summit is held, government sources said Friday. Japan plans to send a senior official from the Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau to the Ulaanbaatar Dialogue from June 14 to 15. On the fringes of the security forum, the official at the deputy director-general level is expected to speak with a senior official from the Disarmament and Peace Institute, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry think tank, the sources said. The Mongolian government has been serving as an intermediary. Tokyo is expected to explore contacts with Pyongyang in the months ahead. In August, a meeting of their foreign ministers could be arranged between Japan and North Korea on the sidelines of an international meeting in Singapore.


Kyodo, 11.06.18.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono is planning to visit Seoul to meet his US and South Korean counterparts one day after the US-North Korea summit. Kono is arranging his visit for 2 days from June 13th.Kono hopes to be briefed by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about the first meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un scheduled on the 12th.Kono also plans to hold a foreign ministerial meeting with the US and South Korea to discuss coordinated action to denuclearize North Korea and solve the issue of Japanese abductees.


Yonhap, 11.06.18.

A group of South Korean officials and civilians visited North Korea on Friday to prepare for the opening of a liaison office in the North's border city of Kaesong. The 14-member team headed by Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung took the western land route and crossed the military demarcation line at 8:34 a.m. for a trip to inspect possible locations and facilities. "I believe the establishment of the liaison office between South and North Korea is the first step in implementing the Panmunjom Declaration and a significant measure for the sustainable development of South-North relations," Chun told pool reporters before departure at the customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) office in Paju.


Yonhap, 11.06.18.

South Korea's government has begun legal preparations in anticipation of the possible resumption of economic cooperation with North Korea, officials at the Ministry of Justice said Tuesday. The ministry has launched a review of major inter-Korean agreements on economic exchanges to revise them in a way that protects the property rights of South Korean companies and strengthens the security of South Korean people staying in the North, they said. Through the review, the ministry will also analyze the methods of dispute settlement between the North's authorities and South Korean companies and draw up concrete ways to improve them, they added. The agreements being reviewed by the ministry include the Agreement on Investment Protection between the South and the North which took effect between 2003 and 2005, and the Agreement on the Formation and Operation of Commercial Arbitration Commission. "The present agreements already contain relevant content (on dispute settlement), but a lot of ambiguities and deficiencies were detected in the operation of the Kaesong Industrial Complex," a ministry official said, referring to the now-closed South Korean industrial park in the North's border city of Kaesong. "We'll have our revisions of the agreements ready in preparation for the resumption of economic cooperation with the North and consultations on the amendment of relevant agreements," the official explained. For example, South Korean facilities and products were frozen in the North after the closure of the Kaesong complex in 2016. In 2010, the North froze South Korean assets at the Mount Kumgang tourism complex. In 2009, a South Korean boiler mechanic was imprisoned by North Korean authorities in Kaesong for unclear reasons for 137 days.(Yonhap)


Yonhap, 11.06.18.

The chief of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) said that the United States should pull out of next week's summit with North Korea if Pyongyang does not agree to complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization (CVID). Hong Joon-pyo, the party chairman, also objected to a possible declaration of an end to the 1950-53 Korean War when U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un hold a summit on June 12 in Singapore. He also said that a declaration of an end to the war should be made only after North Korea completely dismantles its nuclear arsenal.


Xinhua,11.06.18.

The United States is considering sending a warship through the Taiwan Strait, U.S. officials said, in what could be seen as a provocative move that comes at a time when Sino-U.S. ties are under pressure from trade disputes and the North Korean nuclear crisis. The United States should properly handle the Taiwan issue, so as to avoid harming two-way ties and stability in the Taiwan Strait, China's Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday. Spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the comments at a daily news briefing after U.S. officials told Reuters the United States was considering sending a warship through the sensitive Taiwan Strait. On Tuesday China’s Foreign Ministry said the United States should properly handle the Taiwan issue, so as to avoid harming two-way ties and stability in the Taiwan Strait. Spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the comments at a daily news briefing after the news broke that the Trump administration was considering the move.


Fox News, 11.06.18.

28% fell that North Korea will give up nukes while meeting with North Korean leader, while 60% think opposite. 66% approved the meeting. 33% Voters think war with North is less likely than it was 2 years ago (35% the same).


Jiji Press, 10.06.18.

The Japanese news agency Jiji published an article whose authors referring to the press service of the border control department of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation in the Sakhalin region report that Russian and Japanese border guards held joint exercises to detain contraband smugglers in which Sakhalin border guard ship Coral and Sakhalin four patrol vessels, a patrol boat and aviation of the Maritime Security Administration of Japan. The article says that according to the legend of the exercises, the Japanese patrol aircraft noticed in the sea, as a cargo ship was loaded onto a fishing schooner, after which the offender was detained by joint efforts. The head of the Federal Security Service in the Sakhalin region, Lieutenant-General Sergei Kudryashov and the Chief of Staff of the First District of the Maritime Security Administration of Japan, Iwasaki Shinichi, noted that the cooperation between departments is constantly developing and "is reaching a new high level." The goals and objectives of the exercises, which took place at a high organizational level, were fully achieved. In his turn, Russian Ambassador in Japan Mikhail Galuzin noted that the exercises became "evidence of strengthening not only cooperation, mutual trust and friendship of coastal guard of Russia and Japan, but also countries as a whole."


"Japan Times", 10.06.18.

Secretary-General of the Cabinet of Ministers of Japan Y.Suga during a press conference in Tokyo said that the principled position of the US and Japan towards the DPRK has not changed, despite the fact that US President D.Trump stated his reluctance to use the term "maximum pressure" against Pyongyang. In addition, according to Suga, Japan and the United States will continue to coordinate their policies with the goal of achieving actions aimed at eliminating nuclear-missile potential of the DPRK. Y.Suga also recalled the statement of D.Trump, who stated earlier that the sanctions against North Korea would continue until it demonstrates real change in its policy.


Asahi Shimbun, 10.06.18.

Asahi Shimbun survey showed that the approval rate for his Cabinet still increased and rose to 36 percent, and a disapproval rate fell to 44 percent. Fifty-three percent of respondents said they did not want Abe to continue as LDP president in the scheduled autumn party presidential election, compared with 33 percent in favor of Abe remaining in the post that would allow him to continue as prime minister and 25 percent voted Shigeru Ishiba, a former party secretary-general on this post.


Yonhap, 10.06.18.

Three minor opposition parties called on President Moon Jae-in Wednesday to withdraw a government-proposed constitutional revision bill that he signed two months ago, ahead of a plenary review session. The National Assembly is scheduled to hold a session Thursday to decide to approve the government bill on revising the Constitution. The minor Bareunmirae Party, Party for Democracy and Peace and Justice Party called for Moon to retract the bill, saying that they will boycott the Thursday session if the vote is pushed for. "Without consultation with parliament, it is impossible for the government-proposed bill to be passed at the National Assembly," they said. In late March, President Moon signed the bill, which calls for removing the single five-year term limit on the presidency to allow one re-election for a second four-year term.


Reuters, 10.06.18.

Australia will review its espionage laws, the government’s chief legal officer said on Wednesday, as the country seeks to strengthen spy agencies strained by juggling counter-terror work and worries about China’s rising influence. For years Australia has been handing extra cash and extra powers to its police and spy agencies to bolster their counter-terrorism abilities. Then in December, responding to “disturbing reports about Chinese influence,” the government turned its attention on interference in politics and announced a crackdown on political donations and the outlawing of foreign interference. “We live in an unprecedented age of foreign interference, influence, espionage and domestic terrorism,” “With China we’re in a situation which we were never in previously, where we now have levels of concern - because they have levels of capacity and ambition - that weren’t the case,” said Professor Greg Barton, a security expert at Deakin University in Melbourne. Outdated laws that have not kept pace with the advent of the internet and cybersecurity challenges, as well as arcane information sharing rules between Australian intelligence agencies, would be likely candidates for reform, he said.


"Hokkaido Shimbun", 09.06.18.

On June 9–10 this year in a number of public institutions of Nemuro city (Hokkaido Prefecture) will be organized nine performances with the participation of artists of the popular "Yosakoi" creative collective, performing in a combined style, combining national Japanese choreography, contemporary disco music, and rock and roll. This dance group takes part in all significant events of the country, including national holidays, attracting the attention of a large number of Japanese citizens. The event is organized by the Hokkaido prefecture's Northern territory affairs administration. According to the organizers, the dance show will attract public attention to the Northern Territories issue.


Global Times, 09.06.18.

Extremists are increasingly flowing from the Middle East into Southeast Asia, making the region "the hub of world terrorism activities," a Chinese delegate has warned the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. Speaking to the Global Times in Singapore on Sunday, delegate Zhang Chi, an associate professor at the Institute for Strategic Studies, People's Liberation Army (PLA)'s National Defense University, said Southeast Asian countries must cooperate more deeply with China on anti-terrorism. China and some Southeast Asian countries have already begun joint anti-terrorism drills and will expand cooperation in the near future, Zhang noted.


Kyodo News, 09.06.18.

Japan intends to hold a foreign ministerial meeting with North Korea in Singapore in early August if progress is made on Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and missile programs at an expected U.S.-North Korea summit, government sources said Tuesday. Tokyo has conveyed its intention to arrange talks between Foreign Minister Taro Kono and his North Korean counterpart, Ri Yong Ho, on the sidelines of an international security conference, they said. Japan hopes to pave the way for a summit with North Korea and advance long-stalled negotiations over the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by Pyongyang decades ago, according to the sources. The United States and North Korea are currently arranging a summit between their leaders in Singapore on June 12. The envisioned meeting between Japan and North Korea would likely take place between Aug. 1 and 4 when the two ministers are expected to be in Singapore for the ASEAN Regional Forum, the sources said.


Yonhap, 09.06.18.

The South Korean Foreign Ministry launched on Monday a task force for promoting cultural and people-to-people ties with Japan at a time when bilateral relations remain tenuous due to wartime history and territorial issues. The group, composed of several private-sector members and ministry-related individuals, is expected to come up with a set of proposals that would boost cultural and social exchanges between the two countries. Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha said at an event marking the group's launch that exchanges between the two peoples must be promoted even as the South Korean government handles historical issues in accordance with its "principles." Concerned over a decrease in the number of Japanese tourists to South Korea amid diplomatic spats between the two countries, Kang asked the group to prepare "bold proposals" that could not be conceived of by ministry bureaucrats.


"Korea Herald", 09.06.18.

The Ministry of National Defense has unveiled its plan to raise the proportion of female military officers to 8.8 percent by 2020 from this year's 5.5 percent. This year, the defense ministry selected 1,100 female military officers, and plans to more than double the number to 2,450 in 2022.


"Hokkaido Shimbun", 08.06.18.

Hokkaido prefecture's Northern territory affairs administration posted an announcement on the official website of Hokkaido Prefecture, in which it invites the prefectural commercial organizations to take part in a propaganda action called "Caravan in support of the return of the northern territories." The action will be held on June 12 this year in the Oshima district (Hokkaido Prefecture). In the announcement it is noted that those who want to fill in the corresponding statement published on the site. Under the terms of the action, its participants will have to conduct oral propaganda, distribute printed propaganda materials and collect signatures in support of the national movement for the return of the northern territories.


Kyodo, 08.06.18.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday he is willing to talk directly with North Korea in a bid to resolve the festering issue of abductions of Japanese citizens and foster better ties with Pyongyang. S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that he could invite North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the United States if their meeting next week goes well.Abe added there was no change in Japan’s policy to pursue “real peace in Northeast Asia” and that if North Korea “is willing to take steps” in the right direction, it will have a “bright future.” Korea when he meets North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore next week. Abe said he wanted to make sure that Trump's efforts to negotiate an agreement don't harm Japan's interests. Trump said Abe talked about the abductees "long and hard and passionately, and I will follow his wishes and we will be discussing that with North Korea absolutely."U.S. President Donald Trump said that the two leaders were working together to improve trading and other relations and that Abe promised new Japanese investment in the United States. Work to place soil and sand in waters off a coastal area of Okinawa for a facility to replace a US Marine base may start in mid-August.


Xinhua, 08.06.18.

China warns U.S. to stop sensationalizing the “militarization” of South China Sea and causing trouble in the region as there will be a cost. China will not be frightened by any so called warships or bombers, China will only continue to take all necessary measures to defend its national sovereignty and security more firmly, and continue to maintain regional peace and stability in the South China Sea region, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying on Wednesday at a regular briefing. The remarks came after the U.S. military confirmed on Tuesday that two B-52 bombers were deployed within the vicinity of the South China Sea. U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis last Tuesday claimed that China is “militarizing” the South China Sea, but now the U.S. military has confirmed the deployment of two B-52 bombers. Hua demanded an explanation from the U.S. that whether this move can be called “militarization”. “Is this move also in the name of ‘freedom of navigation’? Shouldn’t one improve vigilance, strengthen the capabilities of alertness and defense to confront when someone frequently shows


Reuters, 08.06.18.

Taiwan simulated repelling an invading force on Thursday and used civilian-operated drones for the first time as part of annual military drills on the self-ruled island amid escalating tensions with China. “Our armed forces’ combat effectiveness is the guarantee of our national security. It is the flourishing basis of society, and it is the back-up force for our values of democracy and freedom,” Tsai said at the Han Kuang drills in the central Taiwanese city of Taichung. More than 4,000 personnel and over 1,500 pieces of equipment were deployed in the annual exercise, with drones flying overhead to provide battlefield surveillance and construction workers practicing repairs to an airbase runway. “In the process of the drills taking place, our armed forces displayed their fighting capacity and our ally nation was able to observe,” said Taiwan Defence Ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi. “This is one way we hope to deepen our dialogue on both sides,” he added.


Yonhap, 08.06.18.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed to urge North Korea to denuclearize in a "complete, verifiable and irreversible" way while keeping existing U.N. sanctions in place. The U.S. and Japan will maintain economic sanctions against North Korea until the reclusive country gives up its nuclear weapons program Tokyo has asked Washington to raise the long-standing issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s, as Abe has made resolving it a priority. Pyongyang has claimed that the issue is settled. Kono and Pompeo reaffirmed that the abduction issue will be taken up when Trump sits down with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a Japanese government official said. "It is a message to Chairman Kim that the U.S. wants North Korea to take steps toward denuclearization so that they won't have to bring into action further punitive measures," Kono told reporters.


Jiji Press, 07.06.18.

On the website of the news agency Jiji Press an article was published that says that the chairman of the commission of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan on the development of northern territories Ichita Yamamoto proposed amendments to the law on the promotion of development of the northern remote regions of the country during the meeting of the Japanese parliament. These amendments provide for the exclusion of five settlements in Hokkaido Prefecture from the program of financing provided from the Regional Development Fund. According to I.Yamamoto, the adoption of these measures is caused by a substantial reduction of the fund due to the low flow of private capital into the economy of remote areas and until the previous volume of investment is restored, their management needs to seek funds for development from the local budget.


"JoongAng Ilbo", 07.06.18.

The "JoongAng Ilbo" newspaper published an article where it is said that China can provide large investments to North Korea, if the DPRK-US summit is successful. Earlier it was reported that on May 7-8, the second meeting of Xi Jinping and DPRK leader Kim Jong-un took place in the port city of Dalian in northeast China. According to the source of the publication, during the talks, Kim Jong-un asked for investments in the four economic zones of the DPRK – Pyongyang, Nampo port in the west, Chongjin port in the north-east of the country and bordering with China Sinuiju. "So far, small and medium-sized companies have invested in the DPRK, which has caused difficulties in developing the necessary infrastructure". "After the second meeting of the leaders of China and North Korea, such topics as the infrastructure in Pyongyang and the development of mining centers, for example, in Tancheon in the North Korean province of Hamgyong-Namdo are taken into consideration", the source said.


"JoongAng Ilbo ", 07.06.18.

The American expert group "38 North" made a report, based on its own analysis of satellite data, that DPRK finished dismantling of the facility at the test site north of the city of Kusong, where it tested the technology for medium-range missiles KN-15, shown in 2017 at a parade in Pyongyang. The satellite image from this date shows that the test stand is cleaned, and most of the surrounding infrastructure is dismantled or destroyed.


"India Times", 07.06.18.

The newspaper "India Times" reported that India is sending three warships and a military transport aircraft to participate in international naval maneuvers "Malabar", in which the US Navy and Japan will also participate. According to the newspaper, the maneuvers will be held from June 7 to June 16, for the first time a water area near the US-owned island of Guam in the western part of the Pacific Ocean. According to the publication, India will be represented by the multi-purpose stealth frigate INS Sahyadri and anti-submarine warfare corvette, INS Kamorta, fleet tanker INS Shakti and a long range maritime patrol aircraft P-8I. As the newspaper notes, New Delhi this year reduced the number of ships participating in the "Malabar". In Malabar 2017, held in the Bay of Bengal, India had fielded aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and a Kilo-class submarine, in addition to seven other major warships.


"Korea Times", 07.06.18.

The National Assembly is seeking to establish a special committee to speed up inter-Korean economic exchanges, party officials said Wednesday. This is part of a measure to follow up on the April 27 Panmunjeom Declaration, signed between the leaders of the two Koreas, and to prepare for greater demand for inter-Korean economic cooperation expected after the North Korea-U.S. summit on June 12. "The special committee will go a step further than past special committees about inter-Korean summits to organize bills and budgets facing the upcoming inter-Korean exchanges," a key official of the DPK was quoted as saying.


plaza.rakuten.co.jp, 06.06.18.

On June, 6 this year in the vicinity of the fairground "Tikaho" in Sapporo (prefecture of Hokkaido) under the auspices of the League of Chishima Habomai Islands Residents the exhibition of posters will be held with the purpose of attracting attention of the local population to the Northern Territories issue. Within the framework of the event was organized a signature collection corner to demand the return of the Northern Territories. In addition, in order to cover in detail the main aspects of the territorial dispute between the Russian Federation and Japan, as well as the prospects for its solution in favor of Japan, one of the former residents of the "disputed islands" is invited to the event, who will give a lecture, during which anyone can take part in the discussion on this issue.


Yonhap, 06.06.18.

South Korean president’s plan for accelerating permanent peace regime.South Korean President Moon Jae-in is reportedly attempting to include a non-aggression pact as a key plank in the trilateral declaration of the end of the Korean War by South Korea, North Korea and the US. The idea is to combine the political declaration of the end of the military confrontation between the three parties on the Korean Peninsula with an agreement between South and North Korea and between North Korea and the US not to attack each other, focusing on the US’s promise not to engage in military aggression against North Korea.“Although this is a political declaration stating that war is over on the Korea Peninsula, augmenting this with a trilateral non-aggression pact, and particularly a promise by the US not to attack North Korea, is an attempt to enhance the declaration’s status as a military security guarantee for North Korea,” this source said.According to this approach, the declaration of the end of the war will be made by South and North Korea on the one hand and by North Korea and the US on the other, who have all been engaged in the military standoff on the Korean Peninsula, while the peace treaty will be signed by South Korea, North Korea, the US and China, who are all parties (either actual or effective) in the 1953 armistice agreement as well as countries with a key interest in the Korean Peninsula. The declaration of the end of the war ought to be understood in terms of regime security for North Korea, which is a key point of controversy in the North Korea-US summit. This plan is behind President Moon’s recent repeated emphasis that the end of the war should be declared by South Korea, North Korea and the US, even though China had originally been considered as well,” a source who is familiar with recent developments on the Korean Peninsula said on June 4Trump hopes summit with N. Korea will be 'start of something big'US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he hopes his planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be the beginning of "something big.""Meeting in Singapore with North Korea will hopefully be the start of something big...we will soon see!" he tweeted. “


Yonhap, 06.06.18.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has reaffirmed that the American troop presence in South Korea remains unchanged ahead of a high-stakes meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un."North Korea has sought security guarantees for its regime in exchange for denuclearization, a condition that could include the drawing down of the 28,500 American troops stationed in the South.Mattis ruled that out as a subject of discussion."I'll say it again. I'm not making news here. The same thing. We're not going anywhere," he said. "If five years from now, 10 years from now, it could be up for review, that would be between a democracy called the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and a democracy called the United States of America."


Reuter, 06.06.18.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement Sunday urging China to face its past and respect the universal rights and people's fundamental freedoms.Pompeo said that on the anniversary of the "violent suppression of peaceful demonstrations," the United States urges the Chinese government "to make a full public accounting of those killed, detained or missing."China should also "release those who have been jailed for striving to keep the memory of Tiananmen Square alive" and "end the continued harassment of demonstration participants and their families," he said.In response to Pompeo’s comments, China had lodged “stern representations” with the United States, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Monday.China long ago reached a clear conclusion about the events of that era, but the United States every year issues statements making “gratuitous criticism” of China and interfering in China’s internal affairs, Hua said“The U.S. Secretary of State has absolutely no qualifications to demand the Chinese government do anything,” she added.


Kyodo, 06.06.18.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to visit the United States to reaffirm close cooperation ahead of President Donald Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.Abe is to leave Tokyo on Wednesday afternoon and will meet Trump on Thursday in Washington.Their 7th one-on-one meeting will take place before the US-North Korean summit slated for June 12th in Singapore.Abe hopes to reaffirm that Japan and the US will work together to persuade the North to give up its nuclear program in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner.He also hopes that the Trump-Kim summit will pave the way for Pyongyang to scrap ballistic missiles of all ranges and resolve the abductions of Japanese citizens.Abe is calling for keeping pressure on North Korea until it takes concrete actions.


Kyodo, 06.06.18.

Four Chinese patrol ships entered Japanese territorial waters on Tuesday, near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.The Japan Coast Guard regional headquarters in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, said the ships entered off Uotsuri Island shortly after 10 AM.The ships left after about 90 minutes. Japanese patrol boats are monitoring them and warning them to stay out of Japanese waters.It is the 11th such incursion this year off the Senkaku Islands, and the first since May 24th. The Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Director General, Kenji Kanasugi, has lodged a protest in a phone call to the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo.Japan controls the Senkaku Islands, which are under the jurisdiction of Ishigaki City in Okinawa. The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan's territory. China and Taiwan claim them.


"Hokkaido Shimbun", 04.06.18.

On June 1-4 this year the second in 2018 year group of Japanese citizens consisting of 60 people made a trip to the southern Kuril Islands within the framework of the Russian-Japanese visa-free exchange program. During the trip, the participants of the delegation, including the former Japanese residents of the southern Kurils, as well as their family members, inspected the fish factory and hot springs of Iturup Island, as well as visited the graves of their ancestors in Kurilsk. In addition, the Japanese planned a number of different cultural events with the inhabitants of the island, including making origami. According to the head of the delegation, Shigemasy Noguchi, such events make it possible to substantially strengthen friendly relations between the Japanese and the inhabitants of the southern part of the Kuril Islands.


Jiji Press, 04.06.18.

Japan, the United States and South Korea on Sunday agreed that they will maintain pressure on North Korea to take concrete actions toward its denuclearization. The policy was confirmed at a meeting among Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and South Korean Defense Minister Song Young Moo. The officials met on the sidelines of the three-day annual Asia Security Summit, known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, until Sunday. The three countries had the discussions to coordinate their views ahead of a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to be held in Singapore on June 12. At the Singapore meeting, Onodera said Tokyo aims to make North Korea abandon all of its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner. "It is necessary for the international community to work closely to make North Korea change its policies," he also said. Defense cooperation among the United States, Japan and South Korea represents great pressure to North Korea, Mattis said, adding that there will be no reward to Pyongyang without its verifiable and irreversible denuclearization.


Associated Press, Global Times, 04.06.18.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Saturday raised the prospect of additional American steps against China if its "militarization" of the South China Sea keeps apace. He said Beijing was intimidating and coercing others in the region by putting weapons systems on manmade islands. Mattis said there was little doubt about Beijing's intentions. "Despite China's claims to the contrary, the placement of these weapons systems is tied directly to military use for the purposes of intimidation and coercion," Mattis said at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue. China recently has deployed anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles, electronic jammers and other equipment on the Spratly Islands, and landed a bomber aircraft at Woody Island. Such provocative remarks were immediately refuted by Lieutenant-General He Lei, deputy head of the Academy of Military Sciences of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) and leader of the Chinese delegation to this year's SLD. "China proposes that, on the basis of history and international laws, disputes be addressed by peaceful means between China and South China Sea claimants," He said.


Yonhap, 04.06.18.

All of North Korea's three top military officials are believed to have been replaced, an intelligence source said Sunday, in a move that could be aimed at taming the military ahead of a denuclearization deal with the U.S. No Kwang-chol, first vice minister of the Ministry of People's Armed Forces, replaced Pak Yong-sik as defense chief, while Ri Myong-su, chief of the KPA's general staff, was replaced by his deputy, Ri Yong-gil, according to the source. These changes are in addition to Army Gen. Kim Su-gil's replacement of Kim Jong-gak as director of the General Political Bureau of the Korean People's Army. The replacement was confirmed in a North Korean state media report last month. "The North appears to have brought in new figures amid the changes in inter-Korean relations and the situation on the Korean Peninsula as the previous officials lacked flexibility in thinking," the source said. "In particular, No Kwang-chol has been classified as a moderate person."


Yonhap, 04.06.18.

The United States and North Korea held a fourth round of working-level talks on Sunday in preparation for their summit later this month, sources here said. The U.S. delegation, led by Sung Kim, U.S. ambassador to the Philippines, held talks with the North's team, led by Pyongyang's Vice Foreign Minister, Choe Son-hui, in the border village of Panmunjom. The two sides met in the same place last Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday. U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are scheduled to meet for a historic summit on June 12 in Singapore. In his meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha on Friday, Kim said the consultations with North Korea were "moving in the right direction" but there was still "much work left before the proposed summit."


Yonhap, 04.06.18.

A senior North Korean official arrived in Beijing on Sunday on his way back home from a rare trip to the United States that included a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of the central committee of the North's ruling Workers' Party, landed at Beijing's Capital International Airport around 8 p.m. on an Air China flight from New York. Sources said that Kim could meet with Chinese officials before departing for home to brief them on the results of his meetings with U.S. officials. While in the U.S., Kim held talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York to discuss preparations for the upcoming summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un set for June 12 in Singapore. The North Korean official then headed to Washington and paid a visit to Trump at the White House on Friday and delivered a personal letter from the North's leader.


"Sankei Shimbun", 01.06.18.

The newspaper "Sankei Shimbun" published an article entitled "The way to return four islands is not visible". The authors of the article, assessing the results of the past Japan-Russia summit in St. Petersburg and Moscow, expressed dissatisfaction with the outwardly conciliatory line of the Japanese leader in the Russian direction. They noted that they blamed not only on Prime Minister S.Abe, but on Moscow, which does not respond to his calls to "return" the Kuril Islands. According to the authors of the article, "the serious problem lies in the fact that Russia does not react at all to the call for the return of the islands and the Japanese do not understand the negotiating position in which prospects for return are absent". At the same time the newspaper criticizes S.Abe for his support of joint economic activities with the Russian Federation on the South Kurils with the aim of achieving long standing access to it and creation of favorable conditions for transition of islands to Japan. "Sankei Shimbun" considers that joint economic activities will be carried out in accordance with the legal position of Russia and will jeopardize the sovereignty of Japan.


Yonhap, 01.06.18.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in may travel to Singapore next month to hold a three-way summit with his U.S. and North Korean counterparts, Seoul officials noted Thursday, possibly suggesting that Washington and Pyongyang may currently be considering a formal end to the Korean War as an incentive to the North for its denuclearization. An official from the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said nothing has yet been decided when asked if President Moon planned to visit Singapore for a three-way summit with U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who are expected to hold a bilateral summit there on June 12. However, the official said the president will make a trip if there is an invitation from the U.S. and North Korea.


The Mainichi Shimbun, 01.06.18.

Japan is weighing high-level, direct talks with North Korea, potentially an August meeting between the two countries' foreign ministers, local media said. The talks could take place on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Forum in August in Singapore, the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper said citing unnamed government sources. Kyodo News agency, also citing unnamed sources, said Tokyo has sounded out Pyongyang on a proposal for Foreign Minister Taro Kono to meet his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong Ho. The last ministerial-level talks between Tokyo and Pyongyang were in 2015, also on the sidelines of an ASEAN meeting.


Yonhap, 01.06.18.

China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chuning called on the United States and the DPRK to hold a meeting of the leaders of the two countries at the appointed time, which is a key link in the settlement of the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula. "We have noticed that the working groups of the United States and the DPRK are currently actively preparing for the meeting of the leaders of the two countries, and we have always believed and believe that direct contacts and dialogue between the leaders of the two countries are the key link in resolving the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula ... We call on the United States and the DPRK to continue to show sincerity, to hold a meeting of the leaders at the appointed time, "Hua Chuning said at the briefing.


"Straits Times", 01.06.18.

It has been informed that an assessment report by the CIA saying “North Korea does not intend to give up its nuclear weapons any time soon” was recently reported to U.S. President Donald Trump. “Everybody knows they are not going to denuclearize. President Trump also read the report days before he canceled the originally scheduled summit on the 24th,” said one intelligence official. The report said that North Korea has not demanded that the United States remove all its troops from South Korea in preliminary talks, and this is not expected to happen in the North Korea-U.S. summit.


"Sankei Shimbun", 02.06.18.

The newspaper Sankei Shimbun published an article in which it is said that the governor of the Sakhalin region Oleg Kozhemyako instructed the regional transport ministry to work out the issue of improving the transport accessibility of the South Kurils as soon as possible, stating that "for many years this is the biggest problem for the inhabitants of remote Russian islands." According to the instructions, "planes to the Kurils must fly daily, including evening and night, which will provide a convenient for citizens docking with flights departing from Sakhalin to other regions of Russia, as well as abroad." At the same time, "Sankei Shimbun" reports that the "Avrora airline", has no problems with fulfilling the instructions of the governor – they are ready to fly daily, so now the issue of more efficient operation of the airports of the Kunashir and Iturup islands is being decided.


Reuter, 02.06.18.

Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Armed Forces commenting China's deployment of weapons in the area of the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, said that the US Armed Forces have big experience during the Second World War to neutralize enemy forces located on isolated islands. McKenzie underlined that "It's not worth seeing more than just a statement and a historical fact". At the same time the official representative of the Ministry of Defense of the PRC, Senior Colonel Jen Guoqiang, on Thursday at a briefing called the words of the former head of the Pacific Command of the US Armed Forces Admiral Harry Harris unfounded that China is striving for hegemony in Asia. "There is nothing new in his statements for us, we firmly oppose his unjustified accusations against the Chinese armed forces," said Jen Guoqiang. "I intend to say that the healthy and progressive development of cooperation between the armies of China and the United States corresponds not only to their interests, but also to the broad expectations of the international community," he stressed.


CNN, 01.06.18.

Admiral Harry Harris said Wednesday that China's "dream of hegemony" is Washington's biggest long-term challenge, CNN reported. "North Korea remains our most imminent threat and a nuclear-capable North Korea with missiles that can reach the United States is unacceptable," he was quoted as saying. But, he also noted, "China remains our biggest long-term challenge. Without focused involvement and engagement by the United States and our allies and partners, China will realize its dream of hegemony in Asia."


Yonhap, 01.06.18.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said Thursday that he wishes for a "great success" from the North Korea-United States summit slated for June 12 in Singapore. Fukuda also said peace is the biggest goal for Northeast Asia during his address at a forum jointly organized in Tokyo by South Korea's Ministry of Unification and the Institute for Far Eastern Studies of Kyungnam University. "Japan fully understands that the issue of Japanese abductees in North Korea cannot be resolved unless peace and stability come to the (Northeast Asian) region," he said. He forecast that five- or six-party talks could follow the planned meeting of the North Korean and U.S. leaders.


Xinhua, 01.06.18.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying expressed strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to a US State Department report on Hong Kong affairs. She said the principle "one country-two systems" had been faithfully enforced. China's determination to fully implement the principle of one country two systems will not change. She added that US should be cautious on issues related to Hong Kong.


pref.hokkaido.lg.jp, 01.06.18.

The official site of Hokkaido prefecture published an announcement that at Sapporo city (Hokkaido prefecture) will be held a speech contest among the middle school pupils with the theme: "Speculations on the Northern Territories issue". The event will be organized by the local Northern Territories Issue Countermeasures Association volunteers. The winners of the contest will be announced in 2019 year before the Northern Territories Day and will be given precious prizes marked with the symbol of the movement for the return of the Northern Territories.


Associated Press, 01.06.18.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reported "good progress" in meetings with a top North Korean official Thursday as they sought to salvage an on-again, off-again summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Earlier, Trump told reporters that North Korean officials may come to Washington on Friday with a letter from Kim. The adversaries are eying the first summit between the U.S. and the North after six decades of hostility. He would not say that the summit is a definite go for Singapore on June 12 and could not say if that decision would be made after Trump reads Kim Jong Un's letter. However, his comments were the most positive from any U.S. official since Trump abruptly canceled the meeting last week after belligerent statements from the North.


STARS AND STRIPES, 01.06.18.

Air Force F-22 Raptors deployed to Okinawa this week to replace a squadron of F-35A Lightning II stealth jets. Fourteen of the fifth-generation fighters from the 525th Fighter Squadron at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, will be stationed at Kadena Air Base for about a month, according Japan’s Mainichi newspaper. The United States has deployed 14 F-22 Raptor stealth jets to an air base in Japan in an apparent move to increase diplomatic pressure on North Korea before the planned summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and the North's leader Kim Jong-un, Japanese media reported Thursday. According to the Sankei Shimbun, U.S. armed forces will station the 14 F-22 jets at the air base on Okinawa for a month. On Tuesday, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan left the naval base in Japan's eastern port city of Yokosuka for a patrol mission in the western Pacific Ocean.


Associated Press, 01.06.18.

The leaders of Japan and Vietnam agreed Thursday to bolster cooperation in maritime safety and defense, and expressed shared concerns over China's growing activity in the South China Sea. Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed during talks in Tokyo to strengthen defense cooperation in areas including military training, equipment and technology. In a statement after their talks, they called for a non-militarization of the South China Sea and warned against any unilateral actions changing the status quo.


JoongAng Ilbo, 01.06.18.

A delegation of 200 working-level officials from North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party is visiting China to study the country’s development model amid warming bilateral ties, multiple sources here told the JoongAng Ilbo Thursday. The delegation is said to have split in groups and are visiting institutes involved in their respective fields across China, including Shanghai and Shenzhen in Guangdong Province, two cities that epitomize China’s economic reforms, another source said. The group’s visit was the second time last month that North Korea dispatched a group of government officials to China to study its economic development.


"Sankei Shimbun", 29.05.18.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, answering the questions of members of the budget committee of the upper house of parliament, said that his visit on 24-th of May to Russia made it possible to concretize the plans for cooperation in the economy between the two countries. He said that he "had fruitful negotiations with President Vladimir Putin, and a number of documents were signed". The prime minister said, that both sides "concretized the plan for cooperation between Japan and Russia within eight points, which he proposed two years ago." In the framework of this program, 130 projects, approximately half of them have specific agreements, including contracts". Abe stressed that "both countries are trying to implement projects in areas directly improving the life of the Russian people" and that "economic cooperation increases mutual trust, contributes to the work on the elaboration of a peace treaty between the two countries". Earlier, at a press conference in Tokyo, Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga also stressed that during the meeting between Prime Minister Abe and President Putin, concrete results were achieved. At the same time, he pointed to the progress in the preparation of projects for joint economic activities in the southern part of the Kuril Islands.


Kiodo, 29.05.18.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday he has agreed with U.S. President Donald Trump to meet before a planned U.S.-North Korea summit. Abe said after a phone call with Trump that they had agreed to cooperate to make the summit between the U.S. president and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meaningful. Trump and Kim separately expressed their readiness over the weekend to meet on June 12 in Singapore as originally planned, although the U.S. president had called off the summit on Thursday.


AP, 29.05.18.

The news agency Associated Press published an article where it is said that at present time three groups of American representatives are preparing for a possible meeting between US President Donald Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong-un. As reported by Associated Press, one of them was headed by Joe Hagin, White House deputy chief of staff for operations. According to the agency, this group went to Singapore in case of holding the meeting there. The second group was formed by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo during the period when he was head of the CIA and consists of the intelligence officers. The third group, led by the US ambassador to the Philippines, Song Kim, is discussing with the representatives of the DPRK the possibility of holding a meeting.


KCNA, 29.05.18.

The KCNA published an article where it is said about Pyongyang's commitment to the goal of the entire world community to achieve the cessation of nuclear tests. According to KCNA, the DPRK will implement the process of denuclearization on its own schedule, developed by the authorities of the country. "The DPRK is moving along the path chosen by itself, according to its schedule", the statement stresses. KCNA paid attention to the elimination last week of the North Korean nuclear test site Punggye-ri, and also noted the commitment of the DPRK to the goal of the entire world community to achieve the cessation of nuclear tests and "to build a nuclear-free world without wars". In its turn Korea chairman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington said that "what the North Koreans really want is a peace treaty with the U.S. that would formally end the 1950-53 Korean War". According to Cha, "they want a peace treaty because it validates them as a nuclear weapon state".


Yonhap, 29.05.18.

The Defense Ministry of the Republic of Korea (ROK) said Monday that it was prepared to hold talks on military affairs with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) "at any time". Defense Ministry spokesperson Choi Hyun-soo told a regular press briefing that it was prepared to hold a general-level, inter-Korean meeting on military affairs at any time. Choi said the military talks between general-level officials from the two Koreas would be pushed for after the high-level inter-Korean talks scheduled for June 1. ROK President Moon Jae-in and top DPRK leader Kim Jong-un held their surprise second summit Saturday on the DPRK side of the border village of Panmunjom. Moon and Kim agreed to resume the high-level inter-Korean talks, which Pyongyang had called off citing the South-US joint air drills, on June 1.


"Mainichi", 28.05.18.

The "Mainichi" newspaper published an article in which Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appearing at a plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum said, that the Southern Kuril Islands may become a symbol of Japanese-Russian cooperation once stability is established in the relations between the two nations. "What will the world be like when lasting stability is established between Japan and Russia? The islands, once a core of the dispute, will become a symbol of Japanese-Russian cooperation opening new possibilities as a logistics stronghold," he said. According to the Japanese prime minister, the Sea of Japan in such conditions will turn into a "logistics highway." S.Abe also said that a peace treaty between Japan and Russia is necessary for the implementation and development of large-scale cooperation and for the establishment of the two countries as "a unified force in ensuring of prosperity of the region and the world".


"Korea Times", 28.05.18.

U.S. officials have crossed the border into North Korea to continue preparations for a potential meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the State Department said Sunday. The two sides are holding talks in the truce village of Panmunjom, which sits on the inter-Korean border, the department's spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, said in a statement. U.S. team is led by Amb. Sung Kim, a former U.S. ambassador to Seoul and former negotiator on North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The North Korean side is led by Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui.


AFP, 28.05.18.

Hundreds marched through Hong Kong on Sunday (May 27) ahead of the 29th anniversary of China's crackdown on democracy protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. Semi-autonomous Hong Kong is the only place on Chinese soil where the anniversary is openly marked with a famous vigil in Victoria Park on June 4 each year. The march is an annual precursor to the main event. Protesters shouted "Accountability for the massacre! End one-party dictatorship!" Around 1,100 people attended the protest.


South China Morning Post, 28.05.18.

China’s Ministry of Defence accused the US of "serious infringement of Chinese sovereignty" after two American warships entered Chinese territorial waters and lodged protest against the provocation. The Higgins guided-missile destroyer and the Antietam, a guided-missile cruiser, came within 12 nautical miles of the Paracel Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbours. The Chinese defence ministry said the move has "undermined the strategic trust between the two countries’ military forces" but China has "unswerving" determination to safeguard its sovereignty and national security.


KCNA, 28.05.18.

The leaders of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) have agreed to hold high-level talks on June 1, the DPRK's state media KCNA reported Sunday, adding DPRK leader Kim Jong Un's hopes were "fixed" for a potential summit next month with the US. "The top leaders of the North and the South agreed to hold the North-South high-level talks on coming June 1 and further accelerate the talks of various fields including the ones of military authorities and Red Cross," the KCNA reported.


Xinhua, Reuter, 27.05.18.

The United States rescinded an invitation to China to participate in a massive naval exercise in the Pacific in the summer, citing evidence of Beijing’s continued militarization of disputed islands in the South China Sea, Pentagon officials announced Wednesday. Marine Lt. Col. Christopher Logan, a Defense Department spokesman, described disinviting China’s navy from participating in the biennial Rim of the Pacific exercise as a first step in protesting China’s actions in the Spratly Islands. China has long been accused of building artificial land masses in that region, which is also claimed by the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and Malaysia, and placing military assets there. “China’s behavior is inconsistent with the principles and purposes of the RIMPAC exercise,” Logan said in a statement. “The United States has not taken sides in the disputes in the region. It has called on China to remove all military systems and discontinue militarization of all disputed territory in the South China Sea, Logan said. News of the withdrawn invitation, which broke shortly before China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, prompted Wang to accuse the US of having a “negative mindset”.


Xinhua, 27..05.18.

Wang Yang, top political advisor and senior Party official, met a delegation from Taiwan-based United Daily News Group here Thursday. The current cross-Strait relations remain complicated and difficult, said Wang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), at the meeting. The mainland upholds the 1992 Consensus, which embodies the one-China principle, and works for peaceful development of the cross-Strait relations and peaceful reunification of the motherland, Wang said. He stressed that the mainland firmly opposes and contains any attempts at Taiwan independence.


Yonhap, 27..05.18.

Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea (SPARK) said South Korea covered 72.6 percent of the costs for keeping 28,500 U.S. troops here in 2016, after analyzing defense expenditures of both South Korea and the U.S. According to official announcements by Seoul and Washington, the total costs of the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) presence here add up to around $2 billion (2.17 trillion won), of which South Korea pays 42 percent. However, the civic group stated taking into account the sites South Korea provides for military bases, the percentage rises above 70 percent. The group said South Korea paid around 3.39 trillion won in direct and indirect expenses for the USFK last year, according to data from the defense ministry. Direct costs paid by South Korea for the USFK were 1.81 trillion won. This included 944.1 billion won in costs paid under the Special Measures Agreement (SMA), 666.7 billion won in expenses for relocating personnel to Pyeongtaek and 184.3 billion won for repairing military facilities. Also included in the expenses were managing the Korean Augmentation To the United States Army (KATUSA) and conducting environmental studies on bases. Indirect costs totaled 1.57 trillion won ― most of which accounted for South Korea providing land for U.S. military use. The civic group said the land value exceeds 1.16 trillion won." The U.S. government must stop forcing South Korea to raise its portion of costs, and must immediately return accumulated funds and illegally reaped interest earnings," the group said. It also demanded the U.S. stop calling for Korea to cover more costs of deploying U.S. strategic assets and maintaining a THAAD battery here.


KYODO, 27..05.18.

Activist Shinako Oyakawa recently used her first participation at a United Nations gathering in New York to highlight Okinawan issues in the context of a broader struggle for the rights of indigenous people around the world. "Both the Japanese and U.S. governments are violently pushing through construction of new military bases at Henoko and Takae," said the Ph.D. candidate at the University of the Ryukyus and executive member of the Association of Comprehensive Studies for Independence of the Lew Chewans. "Our problem is about two different countries that are the colonizers, which makes it complicated," Oyakawa said. "We are in the gap (between) two countries. We can't agree (with either) and we are kind of excluded." The Japanese government adopted a resolution in 2008 recognizing the country's Ainu population, mainly from the northern island of Hokkaido and nearby areas, as an indigenous people with their own language and customs. However, no such designation has been granted to the people of Okinawa. At present, the government considers the Ryukyu language to be a dialect of Japanese.


Reuter, 26..05.18.

The House of Representatives of the US Congress passed a draft budget of the Ministry of Defense for 2019 fiscal year, allowing the United States to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) according to the official website of the House of Congress. "In the light of the material violation of the INF Treaty by the Russian Federation, the United States has the legal right to suspend the operation of the treaty in whole or in part, as long as the Russian Federation continues to violate the INF Treaty," the bill says. According to the document, the actions allegedly taken by Russia to violate the INF Treaty, including flight tests, production and possession of banned systems, violated the objectives, and thus constitute a material violation of the INF Treaty. The document notes that as long as the Russian Federation allegedly violates the treaty, the US should take action to induce Russia to return to the terms of the treaty, in particular by financing the technical capacity and location of defense assets in Europe in order to protect the US and NATO members from missile systems of ground basing of the Russian Federation.


Xinhua, 26..05.18.

Kim Eui-kyeom, spokesman for the South Korean president, told reporters that South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed his deep regret over the cancelled summit between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States, Moon's office said early on Friday. "It is embarrassing and very regrettable for the scheduled North Korea (DPRK)-U.S. summit not to be held on June 12," Moon said at the urgent meeting of the National Security Council (NSC). Moon said the Korean Peninsula's denuclearization and building permanent peace are historic tasks that cannot be delayed nor be given up. We hope that the leaders resolve problems through direct and close dialogue, said Moon Jae-in.


The Wall Street Journal, 26..05.18.

The United States has been reportedly maintaining sanctions against Pyongyang as part of its maximum pressure campaign despite preparations for the June 12 summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un. The White House is considering dozens of new sanctions against North Korea, which may go into effect early next week, US-based media reported. According to The Wall Street Journal, the US National Security Council met on Thursday to discuss potential sanctions against Pyongyang, military action and other ways forward.


NHK, 26..05.18.

Four Chinese patrol boats temporarily entered Japanese territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea on Thursday. Japan Coast Guard officials said the Chinese ships entered the waters off Uotsuri Island in Okinawa Prefecture shortly after 10 AM. They say the vessels stayed in the area for about 2 hours before leaving. The Japan Coast Guard is monitoring the Chinese ships and is warning them to stay out of Japanese waters. This is the 10th day this year that Chinese patrol vessels have entered Japan's waters off the Senkakus.


Reuter, 26..05.18.

The House of Representatives of the US Congress passed a draft budget of the Ministry of Defense for 2019 fiscal year, allowing the United States to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty) according to the official website of the House of Congress. "In the light of the material violation of the INF Treaty by the Russian Federation, the United States has the legal right to suspend the operation of the treaty in whole or in part, as long as the Russian Federation continues to violate the INF Treaty," the bill says. According to the document, the actions allegedly taken by Russia to violate the INF Treaty, including flight tests, production and possession of banned systems, violated the objectives, and thus constitute a material violation of the INF Treaty. The document notes that as long as the Russian Federation allegedly violates the treaty, the US should take action to induce Russia to return to the terms of the treaty, in particular by financing the technical capacity and location of defense assets in Europe in order to protect the US and NATO members from missile systems of ground basing of the Russian Federation.


Xinhua, 26..05.18.

Kim Eui-kyeom, spokesman for the South Korean president, told reporters that South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed his deep regret over the cancelled summit between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States, Moon's office said early on Friday. "It is embarrassing and very regrettable for the scheduled North Korea (DPRK)-U.S. summit not to be held on June 12," Moon said at the urgent meeting of the National Security Council (NSC). Moon said the Korean Peninsula's denuclearization and building permanent peace are historic tasks that cannot be delayed nor be given up. We hope that the leaders resolve problems through direct and close dialogue, said Moon Jae-in.


The Wall Street Journal, 26..05.18.

The United States has been reportedly maintaining sanctions against Pyongyang as part of its maximum pressure campaign despite preparations for the June 12 summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un. The White House is considering dozens of new sanctions against North Korea, which may go into effect early next week, US-based media reported. According to The Wall Street Journal, the US National Security Council met on Thursday to discuss potential sanctions against Pyongyang, military action and other ways forward.


NHK, 26..05.18.

Four Chinese patrol boats temporarily entered Japanese territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea on Thursday. Japan Coast Guard officials said the Chinese ships entered the waters off Uotsuri Island in Okinawa Prefecture shortly after 10 AM. They say the vessels stayed in the area for about 2 hours before leaving. The Japan Coast Guard is monitoring the Chinese ships and is warning them to stay out of Japanese waters. This is the 10th day this year that Chinese patrol vessels have entered Japan's waters off the Senkakus.


NHK, 25..05.18.

US President Donald Trump has cancelled his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which had been scheduled for June 12th in Singapore. In a letter to Kim Jong Un, Trump writes that he feels having the meeting at this time is inappropriate "based on the tremendous anger and hostility" in a recent statement from Pyongyang. Referring to North Korea's comments about its nuclear capabilities, Trump says the capabilities of the US are "so massive and powerful." Trump says North Korea and the world have lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity. He says the missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history. But the president writes he looks forward to meeting Kim someday. Trump says that if Kim changes his mind, he only needs to contact him. Pyongyang earlier threatened to call off the summit if the US demanded that North Korea unilaterally disarm.


NHK, 25..05.18.

Foreign media report that North Korea has carried out what it says is the dismantling of a nuclear test site. North Korean officials had earlier announced that the site at Punggye-ri in North Hamgyong Province would be closed by Friday. This reportedly included blowing up all tunnels to seal their entrances, and removing observation facilities at ground level. The demolition is seen as an attempt by Pyongyang to show its commitment to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, ahead of the first-ever US-North Korea summit scheduled for June 12th.


The Associated Press, 25..05.18.

China’s Defense Ministry on Thursday criticized as "unconstructive" Washington’s withdrawal of an invitation for it to participate in a multinational naval exercise the U.S. is hosting this summer. A statement on the ministry’s website said the move would do nothing to change China’s resolve to "play a role in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region." A Pentagon statement said the decision to disinvite the Chinese navy was "an initial response" to what it called China’s militarization of the South China Sea, which China claims almost in its entirety. Wang said both US and China are "big" countries and are "well positioned" to have greater cooperation at the sea. "Mil-to-mil exchanges well help to increase mutual trust. It also help us to make greater efforts towards world peace and stability," he said.


www.nato.int, 25..05.18.

The North Atlantic Council agreed on Thursday (24 May 2018) to accept Japan’s request to designate its Embassy to Belgium as its Mission to NATO. The Ambassador of Japan to Belgium will be the Head of the Mission of Japan to NATO. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited Tokyo in October 2017, where he met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera. During the visit, both sides agreed to deepen cooperation in areas of common concern, including maritime security, cyber defence, nuclear non-proliferation, and gender mainstreaming in peace missions.


Yonhap, 23..05.18.

South Korea and the US on Tuesday reaffirmed their commitment to denuclearization of North Korea, and to guarantee the Kim Jong-un regime’s security should conditions be met. Speaking at the summit meeting held in Washington DC on Tuesday (US time), President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump agreed to collaborate closely in the run up to the US-North Korea talks. “And this will provide real guarantee of safety to North Korea, and at the same time bring peace and prosperity to North Korea.”Trump, however, hinted that the meeting – set for June 12 in Singapore – being thrown off schedule remains a possibility. “There are certain conditions that we want. And I think we’ll get those conditions. And if we don’t, we don’t have the meeting,” Trump said, adding that it would be “a great, great meeting for North Korea” if the conditions are met. Trump also said that Kim Jong-un’s safety will be guaranteed, and promised economic aid in return for complete and verifiable denuclearization. “I will guarantee his safety yes. We will guarantee his safety. We’ve talked about that from the beginning. He will be safe. He will be happy. His country will be rich. His country will be hardworking and very prosperous,” Trump said.


Yonhap, 22..05.18.

A majority of young South Koreans are skeptical of North Korea’s pledge to get rid of its nuclear weapons despite a widely welcomed summit between the leaders of the two Koreas last month.Seoul National University polled 1,000 South Koreans between 20 and 39 from April 28, a day after the inter-Korean summit, until May 7, and again on May 12 after the respondents attended a lecture about North Korea.In the first survey, 68 percent were skeptical of the North's pledges, rising 92 percent in the second.Some 56 percent said their image of the North Korean leader has improved ямsummit, but 40 percent said their impression has not changed while four percent said it got worse. Sixty percent felt the inter-Korean summit was a success, while 32 percent said it met expectations and seven percent said it fell below expectations.


Japan Today, 22..05.18.

An advanced U.S. destroyer equipped with cutting-edge ballistic missile defense technology arrived at its new home port at the Yokosuka naval base in Kanagawa Prefecture on Tuesday, as the U.S. Navy’s Japan-based 7th Fleet looks to bounce back from two deadly accidents less than a year ago while also contending with nuclear-armed North Korea.The USS Milius guided-missile destroyer, while not technically a replacement for the USS Fitzgerald or the USS John S. McCain, both of which were damaged in separate collisions with merchant ships last year, is seen as a welcome addition ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump’s scheduled meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in Singapore on June 12.The destroyer is equipped with the Aegis missile defense system that can shoot down ballistic missiles in space, and is part of a bolstered naval force that would be the first line of defense in the event of a return to a security environment that last year saw North Korea lob a pair of intermediate-range ballistic missiles over Japan and test a long-range weapon. Experts say that long-range missile demonstrated the North is capable of striking most, if not all, of the continental United States.


Xinhua, 22..05.18.

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said Tuesday that the ongoing dialogue between the DPRK and the United States is the result of peace-making efforts by its top leader Kim Jong Un, rather than that of outside pressure. The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a commentary that by deciding to hold a dialogue with the United States, Kim "is defending peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and the region.""He made a strategic decision to end the inglorious history of the DPRK-U.S. relations and received U.S. Secretary of State (Mike) Pompeo, who visited the DPRK. The commentary said that "there are some arguments describing the improvement of the situation on the Korean Peninsula as the 'result of hard-line diplomacy' of the U.S. and the 'result of sustained pressure.'""It seriously chills the atmosphere of the DPRK-U.S. dialogue and is of no help to the development of the situation," it said."It would be absolutely beneficial to world peace and stability to have a proper understanding of the present phase of the situation on the Korean Peninsula," the commentary said.


Yonhap, 22..05.18.

The South Korean military will look to incorporate unmanned combat systems into manned units starting as early as 2024 amid a shrinking population, defense ministry sources said Tuesday.The study concluded that the Army could make use of unmanned reconnaissance vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned mine detection robots, among other advanced systems. The Navy could rely on unmanned surface and underwater vehicles and the Air Force could acquire unmanned anti-aircraft guns.The Agency for Defense Development (ADD) is said to be developing these systems and related technologies.The study said unmanned reconnaissance vehicles could do the work of about 500 to 600 soldiers. It also said a fully automatic, unmanned turret system for K-9 self-propelled howitzers in the Army and the Marines could save the work of about 2,000 troops.One military official said the automatic turret system is on track for full development within three years. "In the face of the declining population, building units with both troops and unmanned systems is a must," one military source said. "This study was conducted to look into ways to maximize combat efficiency even as our manpowe falls."


Yonhap, 23..05.18.

Three minor opposition parties called on President Moon Jae-in Wednesday to withdraw a government-proposed constitutional revision bill that he signed two months ago, ahead of a plenary review session. The National Assembly is scheduled to hold a session Thursday to decide to approve the government bill on revising the Constitution. The minor Bareunmirae Party, Party for Democracy and Peace and Justice Party called for Moon to retract the bill, saying that they will boycott the Thursday session if the vote is pushed for. "Without consultation with parliament, it is impossible for the government-proposed bill to be passed at the National Assembly," they said. In late March, President Moon signed the bill, which calls for removing the single five-year term limit on the presidency to allow one re-election for a second four-year term.


Yonhap, 22..05.18.

South Korea's defense ministry on Monday dismissed growing speculation that Seoul and Washington could scale back their regular summertime military exercise to avoid provoking North Korea. "There is no change in our stance regarding the combined exercise that is annual and defensive in nature," Choi Hyun-soo, the ministry's spokeswoman, said during a regular press briefing. "At this point in time, we plan to keep the level of the exercise as it has been."


Yonhap, 22..05.18.

Japan defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Monday that Japan is facing its toughest security environment since World War II.“It’s important to work together with USA to maintain pressure and sanctions, to achieve North Korea’s complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization and its abandonment of weapons of mass destruction and every ballistic missile. China is strengthening and spreading its military force over a wider area, and is expanding and increasing its maritime and airspace activities,” Onodera said, referring to ongoing activity of Chinese military near Japan-administered Senkaku Islands, which claimed by China. He pledged to do his best to protect his country and its territory.


Joongangdaily, 22..05.18.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday nominated Adm. Harry Harris, the outgoing chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, to be the ambassador to South Korea. Adm. Harry Harris will succeed Marc Knapper, who is a career diplomat and charge d’affaires at the embassy, has been acting as the ambassador since January 2017. It’s known that Adm. Harry Harris has extensive geopolitical expertise in the Indo-Pacific region, and he is a hawkish supporter of harsh policy on DPRK and China.


Associated Press, 22..05.18.

Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen said Sunday her government will step up security measures to respond to military threats from China. She said that there is a need for beefing up development of a domestic arms industry and increasing of defense budget in response to pressure from Beijing.


Kyodo, 22..05.18.

Japan Defense Ministry is set to outsource part of its cybersecurity operations to the private sector to bypass training its own staff, sources close to the ministry have said. The ministry plans to contract out work related to responding to cyberattacks, including analyzing malware and introducing artificial intelligence to interpret attacks, the sources said. The ministry also plans to accept personnel from the private sector as Self-Defense Forces members at the cybersecurity units in order to promote personnel exchanges, they said.


STARS AND STRIPES, 21..05.18.

President Donald Trump and his South Korean counterpart agreed to work closely to ensure the success of the planned U.S.-North Korean summit as they prepare for their own meeting Tuesday in Washington. Trump and Moon Jae-in "exchanged views on various actions taken by North Korea recently," in a nearly half-hour phone call on Sunday (South Korean time), according to South Korea’s presidential office. Moon is seeking to keep the recent dialogue with the North on track after Pyongyang threatened to scuttle the process in anger over U.S.-South Korean war games and what it called one-sided demands on denuclearization from Washington.


KYODO, 21..05.18.

Japan will dispatch a senior diplomat to Singapore to collect information when the United States and North Korea hold a historic summit next month, Japanese government sources said Saturday. Tokyo is aiming to use the recent conciliatory mood surrounding North Korea as a momentum to resolve the issue of abductions of Japanese citizens by Pyongyang in the 1970s and 1980s, which has prevented the two countries from moving to establish diplomatic ties. Kenji Kanasugi, director general of the Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, will head the Japanese liaison team to be sent to Singapore in time for the June 12 summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un. Kanasugi, who will visit Singapore from June 11 to 13, is expected to closely communicate with U.S. officials ahead of the summit and to be briefed by them afterwards.


JIJI, 21..05.18.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga welcomed Sunday the return to Japan of some land plots that had been used for U.S. military facilities in Okinawa Prefecture. "This (the return) marks a big step toward the reduction of Okinawa’s base-hosting burden," Suga said at a ceremony to celebrate the transfers of some of the site for the U.S. Marine Corps’ Makiminato Service Area in the city of Urasoe and the site for the former West Futenma Housing Area in Ginowan. On Saturday, Suga visited Nago to hold talks with Nago Mayor Taketoyo Toguchi and the leaders of 12 municipalities in northern Okinawa. The local leaders asked the central government to support the revitalization of northern Okinawa and reduce the local burden of hosting U.S. military installations.


The Associated Press, 21..05.18.

The Pentagon criticized what it called China’s "continued militarization" of island outposts in the disputed South China Sea, where the Chinese air force landed long-range bombers for the first time, putting entire Southeast Asia within their range. "The United States remains committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific," a Pentagon spokesman, Marine Lt. Col. Christopher Logan, said in an email. "We have seen these same reports and China’s continued militarization of disputed features in the South China Sea only serves to raise tensions and destabilize the region." The Washington-based Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, using Chinese social media posts, identified the location of the exercise as Woody Island, China’s largest base in the Paracel Islands.


"Philippine star", 21..05.18.

The Philippines and the United States have committed to bolstering joint efforts in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism by sharing military intelligence information, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) of the Philippines said on Sunday. The DFA said agreement was reached during a recent meeting between a high-level Philippine delegation led by Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano. US Pacific Command Admiral Harry Harris Jr and the commanders of all US Pacific Command's service components represented the US delegation.


The Jakarta Post, 21..05.18.

Indonesia will soon have a new antiterrorism law to replace the current law, which is widely seen as week, with deliberations on the antiterrorism bill expected to conclude this May or June. Law enforcers will have greater powers. The new terrorism law will include numerous provisions on terrorism prevention measures- something that is not dealt with comprehensively in the prevailing terror law. People who import explosives or component for terrorism can be charged, people who mastermind terror attacks, partake in paramilitary training with the purpose of launching terror attacks, with maximum terms ranging from 12, 15 and 20 years to life sentence and the death penalty.


Kyodo News, 19..05.18.

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency plans to test an antiballistic missile, jointly developed with Japan, on its ability to intercept an intercontinental ballistic missile, a senior defense official said Wednesday.Rear Adm. Jon Hill, deputy director of the agency, did not provide details, such as timing, on the planned test of the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA, citing the protection of intelligence." With the missile threat posed by North Korea in sight, the SM-3 Block IIA is designed to intercept short to medium-range ballistic missiles.Experts have referred to the possibility of extending its range to take down ICBM targets.Hill said conducting a test against an ICBM target is part of the path toward putting the SM-3 Block IIA on a production phase. the test is expected to take place by the end of 2020.


Kyodo News, 18..05.18.

Kyodo News reported that U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis would be visit Japan in late June for talks on North Korea with his Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera. It's noted that they would be discussion a further effect for a policy of pressure on the North Korea. Kyodo News also reported that to underscore the closeness of the allies, U.S. President Donald Trump could also visit Japan to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after the scheduled summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.


Xinhua, 19..05.18.

China’s first domestically designed aircraft carrier, which displaces 50,000 metric tons, leaves the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry’s shipyard in Liaoning province on Sunday. Tests will focus on reliability, capability of new vessel's propulsion systems China's first domestically designed aircraft carrier set out its maiden sea trial on Sunday morning, indicating it might not be long before it is delivered to the Chinese Navy. The colossal vessel, which displaces 50,000 metric tons, left the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry's shipyard in Liaoning province about 7 am amid thick fog with the assistance of several tugboats before navigating into the sea under its own power. The People's Liberation Army Navy said in a statement the trial aims to demonstrate the reliability and capability of the ship's propulsion systems, adding its construction has been proceeding well.


The Global Times, 19..05.18.

The Chinese WeChat social media account users suggested publishing a list of Taiwan separatists to enable their punishment, with their names being added to an international wanted list. But a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council in Beijing An Fengshan said that now there is no necessity to create such list because any stubborn and wrongheaded supporters of "Taiwan independence" will be condemned by the people and punished by history. Besides The Radio of Taiwan reported that 73.3 percent of Taiwan's public is in favor of the government's policies of maintaining the status quo across the Taiwan Strait and striving for greater international participation. Also 88.1 percent of respondents said, the two sides should engage in normal and healthy exchanges


"Korea Times", 19..05.18.

In a survey conducted by Realmeter, Moon's approval rating came to 76.3 percent last week, down 1.1 percentage points from the week before. The ruling Democratic Party continued to enjoy an increase in its own approval rating, apparently helped by the growing mood for reconciliation between the divided Koreas. Its approval rating surged 2.4 percentage points to 56.3 percent over the cited period, while that of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party slipped 0.2 percentage point to 17.7 percent. The splinter Bareunmirae Party's approval rating remained unchanged at 6.0 percent, and that of the progressive Justice Party fell 1.7 percentage points to 4.6 percent.


Kyodo News, 19..05.18.

The U.S. Missile Defense Agency plans to test an antiballistic missile, jointly developed with Japan, on its ability to intercept an intercontinental ballistic missile, a senior defense official said Wednesday.Rear Adm. Jon Hill, deputy director of the agency, did not provide details, such as timing, on the planned test of the Standard Missile-3 Block IIA, citing the protection of intelligence." With the missile threat posed by North Korea in sight, the SM-3 Block IIA is designed to intercept short to medium-range ballistic missiles.Experts have referred to the possibility of extending its range to take down ICBM targets.Hill said conducting a test against an ICBM target is part of the path toward putting the SM-3 Block IIA on a production phase. the test is expected to take place by the end of 2020.


Kyodo News, 18..05.18.

Kyodo News reported that U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis would be visit Japan in late June for talks on North Korea with his Japanese counterpart Itsunori Onodera. It's noted that they would be discussion a further effect for a policy of pressure on the North Korea. Kyodo News also reported that to underscore the closeness of the allies, U.S. President Donald Trump could also visit Japan to meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after the scheduled summit in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.


Xinhua, 19..05.18.

China’s first domestically designed aircraft carrier, which displaces 50,000 metric tons, leaves the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry’s shipyard in Liaoning province on Sunday. Tests will focus on reliability, capability of new vessel's propulsion systems China's first domestically designed aircraft carrier set out its maiden sea trial on Sunday morning, indicating it might not be long before it is delivered to the Chinese Navy. The colossal vessel, which displaces 50,000 metric tons, left the Dalian Shipbuilding Industry's shipyard in Liaoning province about 7 am amid thick fog with the assistance of several tugboats before navigating into the sea under its own power. The People's Liberation Army Navy said in a statement the trial aims to demonstrate the reliability and capability of the ship's propulsion systems, adding its construction has been proceeding well.


The Global Times, 19..05.18.

The Chinese WeChat social media account users suggested publishing a list of Taiwan separatists to enable their punishment, with their names being added to an international wanted list. But a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council in Beijing An Fengshan said that now there is no necessity to create such list because any stubborn and wrongheaded supporters of "Taiwan independence" will be condemned by the people and punished by history. Besides The Radio of Taiwan reported that 73.3 percent of Taiwan's public is in favor of the government's policies of maintaining the status quo across the Taiwan Strait and striving for greater international participation. Also 88.1 percent of respondents said, the two sides should engage in normal and healthy exchanges


"Korea Times", 19..05.18.

In a survey conducted by Realmeter, Moon's approval rating came to 76.3 percent last week, down 1.1 percentage points from the week before. The ruling Democratic Party continued to enjoy an increase in its own approval rating, apparently helped by the growing mood for reconciliation between the divided Koreas. Its approval rating surged 2.4 percentage points to 56.3 percent over the cited period, while that of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party slipped 0.2 percentage point to 17.7 percent. The splinter Bareunmirae Party's approval rating remained unchanged at 6.0 percent, and that of the progressive Justice Party fell 1.7 percentage points to 4.6 percent.


The Stars and Stripes, 18..05.18.

The Stars and Stripes reported that former a commander of Five's U.S.A. operation fleet Adm. John C. Aquilino was assume command of U.S. Pacific Fleet from Adm. Scott H. Swift. Besides, the candidature of U.S. Central Command’s deputy commander Lt. Gen. Charles Brown Jr. has been nominated to executive director of Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. He would replace Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, who is awaiting final confirmation by the full Senate to take the helm of U.S. Northern Command. Also Ministry of Defense disproved a publication of South Korean's Chosun Ilbo about that the candidature of Gen. Robert Bruce Abrams, commander of the U.S. Army Forces Command, has been tapped to lead American troops in South Korea.


AP, 18..05.18.

Trump cautioned that the fate suffered by Libya shows what will take place if we don’t make a deal. US president offered assurances that North Korea would benefit from any deal it reaches with US regarding its nuclear program, amid uncertainty whether negotiations between two countries will actually take place.He said it would be in Kims best interest to work with United States to ease tensions in the region. “The best thing he could ever do is to make a deal”.


Xinhua, 18..05.18.

All concerned parties on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue should move towards each other, not in the opposite direction, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here Wednesday. Wang told reporters that to achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, an issue with deep and complex historical roots, the situation of one party showing flexibility and the other tending to take a tougher stance must be avoided. Wang stressed that the current detente on the Korean Peninsula has not come easily, and the initiative taken by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) should be fully acknowledged. "All the other related parties, especially the United States, should cherish the opportunity for peace that we are witnessing. We shall all be a promoter of peace, not a discourager," Wang added. "Japan Times", 18..05.18.

Japan's parliament passed a law to encourage female candidates to stand for elections in a country where women are vastly underrepresented in politics. Under the new law, political parties are urged to make the number of male and female candidates as equal as possible and are encouraged to set targets for gender parity. Only 47 of the 465 members of parliament's lower house are women, a ratio of 10.1 percent.


NHK, 17..05.18.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has expressed support for dialogue between North Korea and the United States after Kim Jong Un hinted at calling off the US-North Korea summit scheduled for next month, saying the North would be forced to reconsider the meeting if the US tries to drive the country into a corner and demand unilateral nuclear abandonment. Xi also expressed readiness to support Pyongyang's desire to rebuild its economy. He said China supports North Korea's development of its economy and improvement of its people's living standards. In its turn South Korea's Unification Ministry said on Wednesday that it sent a letter to the North through an inter-Korea communication channel on the military demarcation line. The ministry says the letter expresses disappointment about Pyongyang's cancellation of a ministerial meeting planned for Wednesday. It notes that the move runs counter to the spirit and intent of the joint declaration adopted by the both countries' leaders last month.


Yonhap, 17..05.18.

The Ministry of National Defense said that the Max Thunder exercise would “proceed as planned” until May 25 and that “no difference in position” existed between Seoul and Washington on the decision. “The Max Thunder drill is meant to enhance the ability of pilots,” said Choi Hyun-soo, a spokeswoman for the Defense Ministry. “It is not geared toward implementing an operational plan or attack maneuver.” South Korea’s defense minister and the commander of the U.S. Forces Korea held an emergency meeting on Wednesday and agreed to proceed with ongoing military exercises as planned after North Korea abruptly called off a high-level meeting with the South in protest of the drill.


JoongAng Ilbo, 17..05.18.

The Donald Trump administration is expected to name Robert B. Abrams, a four-star Army general, as the new U.S. Forces Korea commander, according to a diplomatic source Wednesday. Abrams will replace Gen. Vincent Brooks, who will leave his post as commander of United States Forces Korea (USFK) possibly as early as this summer. An official announcement naming Abrams, currently commander of the U.S. Army Forces Command, as the new head of the USFK is expected to come at a later date, and the replacement is expected to take place in July or August.


NHK, 16..05.18.

Japan's Defense Ministry is planning to start talks with local authorities at 2 candidate sites for a new ground-based ballistic missile defense system. It's considering deploying them at Self-Defense Forces training grounds in Akita Prefecture in the north and Yamaguchi Prefecture in the west. He indicated that senior ministry officials will soon be sent to Akita and Yamaguchi to begin talks on specific details of the planned deployment. However, Akita Gov. Norihisa Satake told a news conference Monday that the necessity of Aegis Ashore may come into doubt if Pyongyang becomes less of a threat through a series of planned diplomatic events, such as the planned summit on June 12 between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. “If the threat becomes weaker, then the precondition would no longer be valid,” Satake said.


KCNA, 16..05.18.

North Korea said Wednesday it is canceling high-level talks with South Korea planned for later in the day due to ongoing military exercises between the South and the United States. The North's Korean Central News Agency said the Max Thunder drills between the South Korean and US air forces are a rehearsal for invasion of the North and a provocation amid warming inter-Korean ties. "This exercise targeting us, which is being carried out across South Korea, is a flagrant challenge to the Panmunjom Declaration and an intentional military provocation running counter to the positive development on the Korean Peninsula," the KCNA report said. To the US, it said: "The United States will also have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-US summit in light of this provocative military ruckus jointly conducted with the South Korean authorities."


NHK, 16..05.18.

North Korea has invited eight South Korean journalists to an event to showcase the dismantling of its nuclear test site scheduled for next week, Seoul's unification ministry said Tuesday. The North invited four reporters each from wire news and broadcasting companies for the event to be held from May 23-25 to dismantle the Punggye-ri site, where the North has carried out all six of its nuclear denotation tests, according to the ministry. NHK broadcasting cited analysis of satellite images from May 7th of the nuclear facility on Monday, which shows that buildings near west and north portals have also been demolished.


NHK, 16..05.18.

Japan's Foreign Ministry says in its annual report that Japan, the United States and South Korea should closely coordinate their policies to get North Korea to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. Citing North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, the report describes Japan's current security situation as one of the most precarious in the postwar era. It says Japan, the US and South Korea should use the opportunity to work together to achieve the complete elimination of the North's weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. Turning to China, the report says moves to improve ties gained momentum last year, which marked the 45th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic ties. The document also clearly says that South Korea’s effective control of the Takeshima islands in Shimane Prefecture is an “illegal occupation.”


Mainitchi, 16..05.18.

Japan approved Tuesday a new ocean policy that highlights maritime security amid the perceived growing threats from North Korea and China, a reversal from the previous version which centered largely on the development of resources at sea. The ocean program cited threats from North Korea's ballistic missile launches and operations by Chinese vessels around the Japanese-controlled and Chinese-claimed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. In an attempt to beef up Japan's intelligence gathering ability and the need for the coast guard and the Fisheries Agency to cooperate to enhance the response to illegal operations by North Korean and other countries' fishing vessels amid a surge in the number of such cases in the waters surrounding Japan. Stars And Stripes, 13..05.18.

China will replace the United States as the most powerful player in the Asia-Pacific region by 2030.Washington leads in military capability and cultural influence, but Beijing is competing effectively below the threshold of conflict. China leads in terms of economic relationships in Asia, and the Belt and Road Initiative is likely to increase this lead, the pair wrote.Unless there’s drastic change, China will top the index in 10 to 15 years, Fullilove told the newspaper Tuesday.China could supplant the U.S. not only in the Pacific but in other parts of the world, said Paul Buchanan, an American security analyst based in New Zealand.However, when it comes to the military rivalry it isn’t clear that the U.S. will lose its dominant position, he said. China will likely clash with a neighbor in the near future over an issue such as the right of safe passage or freedom of navigation, Buchanan predicted.If and when that happens, the U.S. military is likely to get involved, and the outcome will determine the long-term pre-emanant power in the region, he said.


Kyodo, 13..05.18.

There were 15.53 million Japanese and other children in the nation as of April 1, down 170,000 from a year earlier and the least since comparable data became available in 1950, data released by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry showed Friday. A child is defined as anyone 14 years old or younger. The ratio of children to the overall population dipped to a record low of 12,3 percent.


Yonhap, 13..05.18.

Almost seven out of 10 South Koreans back President Moon Jae-in's plan to seek National Assembly ratification of the latest inter-Korean agreement, dubbed the Panmunjeom Declaration, to ensure sustainability of concerned projects. According to Realmeter's opinion survey released Thursday, 66 percent of respondents answered they are in favor of ratification. Only 22.33 percent oppose it, the poll showed. Support for the ratification was dominant across all generations and regions, except for supporters of the largest conservative Liberty Korea Party (LKP). The outcome showed 53.7 percent of LKP supporters oppose ratification.


Yonhap, 12..05.18.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha travel to the United States for talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on North Korea and alliance issues, her ministry announced Thursday. Kang hold her first official meeting with Pompeo as Seoul's top diplomat in Washington D.C. on Friday. Kang and Pompeo discussed recent security conditions in Northeast Asia ahead of the summit talks between President Moon Jae-in and President Donald Trump slated for May 22, according to the ministry.


Japan Times, 12..05.18.

The leaders of South Korea, Japan and China vowed joined efforts Wednesday to help implement the outcome of a recent summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in which they agreed to pursue complete denuclearization of North Korea and establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. "Prime Minister Abe and Premier Li said Japan and China too will constructively contribute to the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula while offering their congratulations and welcome of the successful outcome of the South-North Korea summit," it added. In a joint declaration, dubbed the Panmunjom Declaration, Moon and Kim also called for a formal end to the Korean War. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also renewed his pledge to win the release of Japanese abductees detained for decades in North Korea.


Yonhap, 12..05.18.

The ruling Democratic Party's approval rating reached an all-time high of nearly 57 percent this week, a survey showed Thursday, amid positive views of President Moon Jae-in's efforts to make peace with North Korea.The Realmeter survey, conducted on 1,000 adults on Tuesday and Wednesday, put the Democratic Party's approval rating at 56.9 percent. That surpasses the party's previous high of 56.7 percent recorded in the fourth week of May, a couple of weeks after last year's presidential election.It also marks the highest approval rating that a South Korean political party has recorded since January 2008.On the other hand, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party saw its rating fall for the third straight week to 17.4 percent, down 0.4 percentage point from the previous week.The approval ratings of minor opposition parties also fell. The Bareunmirae Party logged 5.6 percent, the Justice Party 4.5 percent and the Party for Peace and Democracy 1.8 percent, the survey showed.


Xinhua, 11..05.18.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in talks with U.S. President Donald Trump on the phone Thursday discussed policy measures ahead of the first-ever U.S.-Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) summit in the coming weeks, the foreign ministry here said in a statement. They also said they remained committed to cooperating with South Korea and "affirmed the shared goal of North Korea abandoning its illicit weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs," the statement said.


Stars And Stripes, 11..05.18.

Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will hold the first-ever U.S.-North Korean summit June 12 in Singapore, Trump said Thursday. “The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12th,” he said in a tweet. “We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!” Kim said the summit would be an “excellent first step toward promotion of the positive situation development in the Korean peninsula and building of a good future,” KCNA said in a report about Pompeo’s visit.


Yonhap, 11..05.18.

South Korea has proposed holding high-level talks with North Korea next week to discuss follow-up measures on agreements reached by their leaders during their recent summit, a unification ministry official said Thursday."We are making arrangements with the North for the high-level meeting, and when the date is determined, we will let you know," he said. "We expect that the meeting could take place in the middle of next week."He said that during the high-level talks, it would be possible to discuss the issue of South Korean citizens detained in the North.According to the unification ministry, six South Korean citizens, including three Christian missionaries, are being held in the North on charges of spying for South Korea's spy agency.


Xinhua, 11..05.18.

Pro-reunification groups in Taiwan gathered in Kaohsiung Thursday to protest US arms sales to the island and ask for peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait. Protestors assembled in the city during a forum on defense industries of the United States and Taiwan, holding banners and boards that read, "We want peace, not war," "No more debts for arms sales," "No Taiwan independence," and other slogans. Continuous military purchases will not save, and will only destroy, the future of the island, said the statement. Protesting groups included the Labor Party of Taiwan, the Alliance for the Reunification of China, and the China Tide Association.


Reuters, 09..05.18.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis urged top lawmakers shepherding a must-pass defense bill through Congress to include measures that would tighten oversight of foreign investment in the United States in hopes of hampering Chinese efforts to gain access to sensitive U.S. technology. In the letter dated Friday, which was seen by Reuters and has not been previously reported, Mattis urged the Republican chairmen and top Democrats on the Armed Services committees in the House and the Senate to include in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) measures that would broaden the powers of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.


NHK, 09..05.18.

Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson has said that the US Navy will re-establish its Second Fleet to patrol the northern Atlantic Ocean amid what are perceived to be growing threats from Russia. Richardson said the National Defense Strategy, the guidelines for US diplomacy and security, made it clear that an era of great power competition has returned, while the security environment continues to grow more challenging and complex. The Second Fleet was disbanded in 2011 due reductions in the US military budget.


The Associated Press, 09..05.18.

The U.S. Air Force says bases in Missouri, South Dakota and Texas will receive the next-generation B-21 bomber to replace existing aircraft starting in the mid-2020s. The Air Force said Wednesday that Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota and Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri have been chosen as "reasonable alternatives" to host the new B-21 bomber. Officials are expected to make a final basing decision in 2019. The B-21 is to replace B-1 and B-2 aircraft. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson says current bomber bases are best suited for the B-21.


The Nikkei, 09..05.18.

The Nikkei reported that the National Institute for Defense Studies and China's National Defence University would be restart the exchange program in September. It was noted that the exchange program began in 1997 but was suspended all along of aggravation between two countries for question a belonging of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.


NHK, 08..05.18.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will start a 4-day visit to Japan for a trilateral summit involving South Korea, as well as bilateral talks with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. On Wednesday, Li will attend the 3-way summit to meet Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and also have separate talks with Abe. On Thursday, Li will meet Emperor Akihito before travelling to Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido. In the summit meetings, China will seek cooperation in dealing with North Korea and trade protectionism.


Stars And Stripes, 08..05.18.

About 8000 U.S. and Philippine troops on Monday kicked off the 34th iteration of the annual Balikatan exercise – which means "shoulder to shoulder" in Tagalog – that runs through May 18 in the Philippines. "This year’s exercise focuses on improving the effectiveness of U.S.-Philippine humanitarian aid and relief, and counter-terrorism efforts in response to a scenario-based crisis". Sixty Australian Defence Force troops and 20 Japan Self-Defense Forces personnel are also involved in the drills.


Yonhap, 08..05.18.

Representatives of South Korea and China armed forces hold in the Seoul working-level defense policy talk for discussing a military co-operation between two countries. A South Korea's delegation was headed the chief of the National Defense Policy Office of the ministry Yeo Seok-joo and China's – head of the international military cooperation unit of China's defense ministry major-general Hu Changming. During the meeting sides were exchange opinions about situation on the Korean Peninsula and results Korean summit. Also they were exchange opinions about further improvement a military cooperation between South Korea and China. It was noted that last time of meeting South Korea's and China's representative' was in the January 2016 year because of deterioration of relations between two countries and a purpose of South Korea's high political leadership to deploy the terminal high altitude (THAAD) anti-missile system.


Yonhap, 08..05.18.

White House National Security Advisor John Bolton denied a New York Times report claiming Trump ordered the review of a possible reduction in US Forces Korea numbers. According to the source South Korea and the United States are expected to hold a new round of talks next week in their ongoing negotiations over the costs for U.S. troops stationed in South Korea. The talks are led by Chang Won-sam, a career diplomat who was appointed in mid-November to head the negotiation team, and Timothy Betts, deputy assistant secretary for plans, programs and operations at the U.S. State Department. The U.S. has asked for Seoul to pay more. In the last two rounds of negotiations, Washington demanded South Korea share the cost of deploying U.S. strategic assets around the Korean Peninsula. Seoul rejected the request, saying the issue should not be part of negotiations.


USA. The Washington Post, 07..05.18.

The House Armed Services Committee was unveiled details of its $717 billion defense policy bill. The bill would authorize $616.7 billion for the Pentagon’s base budge. Also the bill is providing to authorize $69 billion for a war fund known as the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account and $22.1 billion for the Department of Energy’s defense programs. The bill matches the request for $2.8 billion to buy spare parts for aircraft for the Navy, Marines and Air Force. Besides, an extra $100 million for spare parts for the F-35 fighter jet.


KOREAN PENINSULA. Xinhua, 07..05.18.

The Ministry of Unification for easing of tensions in the region launched an appeal to various South Korea's Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) to “immediately” stop flying anti-DPRK leaflets into North Korea which contains a critic of North Korea regime and the leader of DPRK Kim Jong Un. Besides in the early of May South Korea's police was kept near Paju City 40 activists of NGO and withdraw 5,000 leaflets and balloons which was planning launched into DPRK.


USA – CHINA. The South China Morning Post, 07..05.18.

The deputy assistant defence secretary for South and Southeast Asia Joe Felter said that deployment by China anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems to three outposts in the Spratly Islands is attempt of China's side to militarise that’s disputable islands. He also noted that Beijing at the present time carry on an "aggression economic policy" with regard to countries of Indian ocean and Pacific ocean.


REPUBLIC OF KOREA. The Nikkei, 07..05.18.

The Gallup Korea poll reported that South Korean President Moon Jae-in approval rating was increased and now reached 83% (that's on 10% over in April). Also 88% of respondents supported the summit between two countries. Besides 65% of respondents expressed one's hope for Kim Jong Un would be adopt a policy for normalization of relations with South Korea.


REPUBLIC OF KOREA – USA. The Nikkei, 07..05.18.

The South Korean President Moon Jae-in will visit Washington to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump on May 22. They are expected would be to discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula and an upcoming meeting of Trump with Kim Jong Un.


THE ASAHI SHIMBUN, 03.05.18.

Fifty-eight percent of voters oppose constitutional revisions under the Abe administration, a reflection of the growing unpopularity of the prime minister, an Asahi Shimbun survey showed. Support for revisions by the current administration dropped to 30 percent. The approval rate for his Cabinet was 36 percent, while the disapproval rate jumped to 56 percent.


Reuters, 03.05.18.

South Korea said Wednesday the issue of U.S. troops stationed in the South is unrelated to any future peace treaty with North Korea and that U.S. forces should stay even if such an agreement is signed. "U.S. troops stationed in South Korea are an issue regarding the alliance between South Korea and the United States. It has nothing to do with signing peace treaties," said Kim Eui Kyeom, a spokesman for the presidential Blue House, citing South Korean President Moon Jae In. However, Seoul wants the troops to stay because U.S. forces in South Korea play the role of a mediator in military confrontations between neighbouring superpowers like China and Japan, another presidential official told reporters on condition of anonymity earlier on Wednesday.


Xinhua, 03.05.18.

China hopes that the dialogue between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States will be smooth and achieve substantial progress, said visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi here Wednesday. During the talks with DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, Wang said that China fully backs the DPRK's efforts to achieve the goal of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. He also said that China welcomes the successful summit meeting between the leaders of the DPRK and South Korea held on April 27 and its important outcomes. Ri Yong Ho said that supreme leader Kim Jong Un cherishes traditional friendship between the DPRK and China, and it is a resolute stand of the WPK and the DPRK government to maintain and develop DPRK-China friendly relations from a new starting point.


Korea Times, 03.05.18.

President Moon Jae-in's approval rating bounced back to a record high following the successful outcome of Friday's inter-Korean summit, polls showed Wednesday. Realmeter, a political survey firm based in Seoul, also showed that Moon's recent approval rating hit 70.6 percent. "The result is due to the inter-Korean summit and the North's pledges for denuclearization and peace signals on the Korean Peninsula," the polling agency said. By age, those in their 30s and 40s topped the list in support with more than 80 percent of them in favor of Moon. Those over 60 had the lowest rate of 18 percent, according to the Gallop Korea survey.