Asia Pacific News

Uriminzokkiri, 21.01.19.

The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK Tomás Quintana said that now in the North Korea the situation of human right is remain unchanged. In turn the a North Korean propaganda website Uriminzokkiri was published an article in which said that a statement of T.Quintana is "incorrect" and to him should be don't make such "provocative" statements because it would be to destabilizations relations between Seoul and Pyongyang.

Yonhap, the Rodong Sinmun, 21.01.19.

An editorial in DPRK ruling party organ the Rodong Sinmun was published an article in which DPRK strongly criticize a government of South Korea in connection with arrival to country 10 American's stealth fighter jets F-35A. A delivery the first lots it's planning on March. As you know in the March 2014 USA and South Korea were concluded a contract for delivery 40 F-35A till 2021 in account US$7 billion. The Rodong Sinmun was noted that a design government South Korea to increase their military power is contradicting of agreements which were reached by South and North Koreas for normalizations relations and it would lead to deterioration in relations between countries. Besides in the article was said that good opportunities for talks and improvement in North-South Korea relations in the past were also lost in the end without producing major achievements because of no other than such military provocative behavior.

The Japan Today, 21.01.19.

The International Hydrographic Organization has urged Tokyo to hold talks with Seoul over the name of the Sea of Japan, as South Korea insists that the body of water should also be referred to as the East Sea. In turn Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that a name "Japan Sea" is one appellation of body of water between countries and there is not necessity to change it.

Xinhua, 21.01.19.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that Beijing and Washington should be to go for to improve bilateral relations and to resolve current rare disputes through diplomatic channels. He also stressed that so-called "Taiwan's question" has always been the most sensitive issue in Sino-US relations and he urged the US to uphold the "one China" principle and don’t cooperate Taiwan's sovereignty.

Kyodo, "Asahi", 21.01.19.

The "Asahi" newspaper has published an article stating that the Japanese Prime Minister S.Abe is probably in a hurry to show its citizens any results in the negotiations on signing a peace treaty with Russia, but Moscow can use this haste and achieve for themselves the most favorable conditions, while Japan will make a "terrible mistake that will affect the whole country". According to the authors of the article, S.Abe promised the President of the Russian Federation V.Putin not to place the American military contingent in the disputed territories if Japan succeeds in reaching an agreement with Russia, which will affect the issue of national defense and the country's sovereignty. At the same time, the authors of the article expressed the hope that in an attempt to achieve results during the upcoming meeting with V.Putin, S.Abe would not forget about the main goal of these negotiations for his country – ensuring stability in the region. In turn, S.Abe ahead of the Russian-Japanese summit, which will be held in Moscow on 22-th of January, said that he is ready to sign a peace treaty with Russia in case of accepting guarantees from the Russian side, providing the return of Shikotan and Habomai Islands.

CNN, 20.01.19.

President Trump's disapproval rating has increased since the beginning of the ongoing government shutdown, according to a new poll. A CNN poll published Sunday found that Trump's disapproval rating is at 57 percent, up 5 points from December. The poll also found that his approval rating is at 37 percent, roughly the same it was last month. According to the poll, 55 percent of respondents said Trump is to blame for the shutdown and 32 percent said Democrats are mostly to blame.

Reuters, 20.01.19.

The Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said that in 2019th an anti-corruption campaign will be focus on health service, education and financial sector of China. Besides anti-corruption campaign will be focus on interest groups and grass-roots government. Also it was noted that in 2019 year China will be increase cooperation with other countries for return persons whose were contravened anti-corruption legislation.

"Yomiuri", 20.01.19.

Okinawa has decided not to allow the regional defense bureau to transplant corals from a site for the planned relocation of a US military base within the prefecture. The Okinawa prefectural government made the decision on Wednesday to reject the request for coral transplantation filed by the Defense Ministry's regional bureau in Okinawa last month. The bureau applied for permission to move to safety about 40,000 of some 74,000 coral reef colonies at the reclamation site off the coast of the Henoko district, Nago City. The Okinawa government says that its decision in August to revoke a landfill permit for the planned relocation site is still effective, and there is no need to transplant corals from there.

KYODO, 20.01.19.

Former Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda formed a new in-house group in the lower house on Wednesday with six other lawmakers, vowing to serve as a bridge between the two major opposition parties ahead of the upper house election in summer. "We have to take a toll on the Liberal Democratic Party and put an end to (Prime Minister Shinzo) Abe's administration in the election," Noda said in a press conference. Noda, who was in office between 2011 and 2012 under the then Democratic Party of Japan, stressed the importance of reuniting the leading opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and the second-largest party, the Democratic Party for the People, both of which are splinters of the now-defunct DPJ.

KBS, 20.01.19.

South Korea and the United States will reportedly hold their computer-simulated command post exercise in early March. According to a military source on Tuesday, the Key Resolve exercise will be held for two weeks starting March fourth. The two allies are said to be in the final phase of related discussions. The Key Resolve's name could be changed to 19-1, while the Freedom Guardian drill, likely to be held in August, could be changed to 19-2. Seoul's Defense Ministry said last month that the allies will hold the computer-simulated command post drills in the first and second half of 2019.

NHK, 20.01.19.

The results of a public opinion poll conducted by the NHK company showed that 38% of respondents support a one-time return of all the Northern Territories to Japan. 38% of survey participants were in favor of a phased transfer of the southern Kuriles to Japan: first, the islands of Shikotan and Habomai, and then Kunashir and Iturup. And only 10% of respondents agree to the transfer under the jurisdiction of Tokyo only two islands – Shikotan and Habomai. The opinion on the need for the early conclusion of a peace treaty with Russia expressed 30% of the Japanese. 28% of respondents believe that there is no need to hurry in this question, and 31% of respondents found it difficult to answer.

ASSOCIATED PRESS, 19.01.19.

Taiwan is holding live-fire military exercises following extended threats against the island by China. Artillery and assault helicopters fired at targets off the west coast city of Taichung on Thursday, while Mirage fighter jets took off amid rainy conditions from the air base at Hsinchu to the north. The drills are Taiwan's first since Chinese President Xi Jinping on Jan. 2 reasserted Beijing's willingness to use military force to bring self-ruling Taiwan under Chinese control.

KBS, 19.01.19.

South Korea is considering registering a disarmed guard post as a cultural heritage site, as part of "symbolic efforts" to preserve the nation's oldest front-line military surveillance facility in accordance with an ongoing peace mood on the Korean Peninsula, the Ministry of National Defense said Thursday. The post was established in 1953 when the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed. But firearms and troops were withdrawn last year from the facility in Goseong, Gangwon Province, following the Comprehensive Military Agreement agreed to by defense chiefs of the two Koreas. The agreement mandated Seoul and Pyongyang to each destroy 10 guard posts along the border area. They also agreed to leave intact one post on each side as a symbolic indicator of the legacy of the tension-ridden border area.

Mainichi Japan, 19.01.19.

Foreign Minister Taro Kono may meet his South Korean counterpart next week on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland to discuss bilateral ties that have worsened over wartime labor issues, diplomatic sources said Thursday. The meeting between Kono with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha would be the first since frictions rose following a South Korean court ruling in late October that ordered a Japanese firm to pay compensation for wartime labor during Japan's colonial rule between 1910 and 1945. The alleged locking of a fire-control radar by the South Korean Navy on a Japanese Self-Defense Force patrol plane has also exacerbated the clash between Tokyo and Seoul. Tokyo has taken issue with a recent string of events related to wartime labor as it maintains that the issue of compensation was settled "completely and finally" under a 1965 agreement that was signed with a treaty that established diplomatic ties.

Reuter, 19.01.19.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying, commenting on the message that Washington will rely on nuclear deterrence in Russia and China in its new missile defense strategy, said the United States in the field of strategic weapons are based on double standards. According to Hua Chunying, "The United States are demanding that other countries reduce their research in the field of weapons development, but they themselves continue to develop their own weapons of mass destruction". The representative of the PRC Foreign Ministry also expressed the hope that the United States, being the most powerful world power, as well as being one of the five permanent member states of the UN Security Council, will work together with other permanent members to promote global peace and stability.

"Asahi", 19.01.19.

In an article published by the "Asahi" newspaper, Japan’s well-known Russian expert, professor at the University of Tsukuba, political scientist Itsuro Nakamura said that the main topic of the upcoming meeting of the leaders of Russia and Japan, V.Putin and S.Abe, will be military cooperation between the two countries, including cuts in US military bases in Japan, as well as the prospect of deploying Russian military bases in Hokkaido. According to I.Nakamura, "a peace treaty between the two countries will still be signed, S.Abe acknowledges the outcome of the Second World War, but the territory of Japan will remain as it is now". At the same time, according to I.Nakamura, this is not the main goal of President of the Russian Federation V.Putin, unlike his desire to create a military alliance with Japan and deploy Russian military bases in Hokkaido. At the same time, the political scientist noted, the goal of V.Putin is to ensure that American military bases are stationed on the island of Okinawa, and Russian bases are located on the island of Hokkaido. I.Nakamura is convinced that only in this way Japan will be able to remove Russia's concerns about the possibility of locating American bases in the southern Kuriles in the event of their transfer to Japan.

Yonhap, 18.01.19.

South Korea's spy chief visited Washington over the past weekend to coordinate the allies' positions ahead of high-level talks between the United States and North Korea, a source said Thursday. Suh Hoon, director of the National Intelligence Service, arrived in the U.S. capital Sunday and met with Central Intelligence Agency chief Gina Haspel, the source said on condition of anonymity. Washington and Pyongyang are in talks to arrange a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. And Kim's close aide, Kim Yong-chol, also arrived in Washington later Thursday to finalize details with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"Washington post", 18.01.19.

A close aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is heading to the United States apparently to discuss a second summit between the leaders of the two nations. Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the Workers' Party of North Korea, arrived in Beijing at around noon on Thursday. He left for Washington in the evening. Kim is in charge of high-level talks with the US, and is expected to meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to coordinate a place and a time for the summit.

"Korea times", 18.01.19.

Top negotiators on North Korea from South Korea and China met for discussions Thursday, ahead of a high-level meeting between Pyongyang and Washington to discuss the time and place for a second summit between their leaders. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou and Lee Do-hoon, the special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs, shared the details of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping that took place in Beijing earlier this month. The two were likely to have discussed possible multilateral talks on a peace treaty that would include China, which was brought up in the North Korean leader's New Year address, diplomatic sources in Seoul said. On a related note, officials of a Seoul and Washington working group held a video conference the same day. They discussed ongoing inter-Korean projects and ways to get the best results while protecting the best interests of the two allies.

"Defense news", 18.01.19.

On January 17-th of this year US President D.Trump presented an updated strategy for the development of a national missile defense system. In this regard, US Deputy Secretary of Defense Michael Griffin said that the United States will begin work on deploying missile defense elements in space in 2019. According to M.Griffin, "The United States need to create a network of low-orbit satellites that will counter the development of China and Russia in the area of regional hypersonic threats. According to the official, these developments, unlike intercontinental ballistic missiles, are more difficult to detect, and therefore the United States should be closer to the launch site and have a wider coverage. M.Griffin also expressed confidence that the cost of such a space component of the missile defense system "would be acceptable", and confirmed that the corresponding costs would be included in the draft budget for FY2020, which will be presented in February this year. In addition, speaking of the possible deployment of interceptors in space, M.Griffin said that a separate study would be devoted to this issue, which would include, among other things, the effectiveness and cost of deploying such systems. Dates of such a study, he did not name.

"Mainichi", 18.01.19.

Russian-Japanese consultations were held in Moscow, attended by Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Russian Federation T.Mori and I.Morgulov. During the talks, the sides discussed preparations for the upcoming January 22 this year the meeting of the President of the Russian Federation V.Putin with the Prime Minister of Japan S.Abe, at which the question of concluding a peace treaty between the Russian Federation and Japan is expected to be considered.

The Vietnam News, 17.01.19.

Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh expressed concern over the "slowing down" of the negotiation process between the ASEAN and China countries on the development of the draft "Code of Conduct" in the South China Sea. As expected, the "Code of Conduct" of the parties in the South China Sea, the text of which the ASEAN and China countries have agreed on for more than 10 years, is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

Jiji News, KCNA, 17.01.19.

Japanese Prime Minister S.Abe said that he would take all possible measures to solve the problem of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korean secret services in the 1970s. In turn, the KCNA published a message stating that S.Abe is trying to popularize the so-called problem of "Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea" in order to put pressure on the DPRK. The report notes that Japan is a "criminal state", whose government seeks to hide the facts of violence against citizens of the DPRK during Japanese colonial rule on the Korean Peninsula in 1910-1945.

KBS, 17.01.19.

US Vice President M.Pens called on the DPRK government to take "concrete measures" to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula in accordance with the agreements reached during the meeting of DPRK leader Kim Jong-un and US President D.Trump in Singapore in April 2018. Besides, South Korea's Minister Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha stated that the United States and RK are currently negotiating to take "appropriate measures" in relation to the DPRK, if Pyongyang is the first to take steps to stabilize the situation on the Korean Peninsula. She noted that the measures under consideration include both the resumption of joint business projects between South Korea and the DPRK and the conclusion of a peace treaty between the countries.

The Japan Today, 17.01.19.

Japanese Minister of Defense T.Iwaya during a meeting in Washington with Acting United States Secretary of Defense P.Shanahan spoke of the need to strengthen military cooperation between Tokyo and Washington in space and cyberspace against the background of the growing activity of the China in the region. He also noted that the continuing development of the DPRK nuclear missile program is also a threat to Japan’s national security. According to T.Iwaya the deployment of American ground-based anti-missile systems Aegis Ashore on the territory of Japan increases the likelihood of successful interception of DPRK ballistic missiles and will help strengthen the missile defense system of Japan. In addition, the Japanese government will continue the redeployment of the US Marine Corps of Aviation Futenma from Ginowan city (central part of Okinawa, pref.Okinawa) to Nago city (Henoko district, north of Okinawa, pref.Okinawa).

Xinhua, 17.01.19.

The US National Security Council called on the Chinese government not to use military force as well as to abandon the policy of reuniting Taiwan and mainland China. In turn, the official representative of the State Council Office for Taiwan Affairs Ma Xiaoguang urged the United States to stop making such "irresponsible" statements aimed at destabilizing the situation in the Taiwan Strait, as well as interfering in China’s internal affairs. He noted that Beijing is strongly opposed to the so-called "independence" of Taiwan and that only Chinese citizens have the right to decide on the reunification of the island with mainland China.

Reuters, 17.01.19.

The intelligence department of the US Department of Defense published a report stating that China at present time actively is reforming its armed forces paying more attention to the improvement and use of PLA armed forces of new types of military hardware. According to the authors of the report the desire to modernize the Chinese Armed Forces is aimed at preparing for military aggression against Taiwan. Its fact is giving rise to concern of military-political leadership of the USA. The official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the China Hua Chunying commenting on this report said that it "contains unfounded arguments regarding the development of China, its strategic goals and the strengthening of its defense capabilities". She also stressed that it would be beneficial for both China and the United States to develop relations between the armed forces of both countries. In addition in her opinion the so-called "Taiwan issue" is one of the points of China's domestic policy and urged the United States to observe the "one-China principle" and not destabilize the situation in the Taiwan Strait.

The Nikkei, 16.01.19.

According to a South Korean public opinion poll conducted by the research agency Realmeter, 45.6% respondent said that government should take a tougher stance on Japan against the background deterioration in relations between Seoul and Tokyo. As you know deterioration in relations between Seoul and Tokyo was on 20th December 2018 year in during accident South Korea's destroyer and Japan's military aircraft and also decision of Supreme court for seizure of assets of Japan's company Nippon Steel. But 12.5% respondent said that South Korea should exercise restraint with Japan.

The Sankei Shimbun, 16.01.19.

The Sankei Shimbun as referred to anonymity in the Japan's government published an article in which said about of possibility a military exercises in 2019 year of USA and it would be use at first time High-Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) or Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS). A targets of exercises are rebuff amphibious assault of Beijing in the case of military conflict between China and Japan. It was noted that in the August 2017 year was ended a manning by HIMARS of 3rd Marine Division (Camp Courtney, Okinawa prefecture).

Xinhua, 16.01.19.

The PLA’s chief of the Joint Staff Department General Li Zuocheng made the remarks during a meeting in Beijing with Admiral John Richardson, the US chief of naval operations about a necessity increasing military cooperation between China and USA. But he said that Beijing would be "sail in" if any country interfere in the internal affairs of a China in the case of so-called "Taiwan's question". Li Zuocheng also said that Taiwan is a part of China and Beijing may be use their military force for territorial defence and sovereignty.

Yonhap, 16.01.19.

The South Korea's Ministry of National Defense was published the Defense White Paper on 2018 year in which deleted its reference to North Korea as a "major enemy". Instead of singling out the North, the military more generally identified its enemy as any force that threatens the nation's sovereignty, territory, people and property. But the main opposition Liberty Korea Party said that deleted of North Korea as threat to national security is "inappropriate".

The Sankei Shimbun, 16.01.19..

The Prime Minister of Japan S. Abe during a meeting with representatives of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Japan, said that on 22th January he will scheduled to hold talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The agreement on which was reached on 15th January following the meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Russian Federation T.Kono and S.Lavrov. According to S.Abe, during the talks "it is planned to discuss the state and prospects for the development of bilateral cooperation in the political, trade, economic and humanitarian fields, as well as the prospect of concluding a peace treaty between the two countries". The Sankei Shimbun reported that the head of the Japanese government will make a stop in the Russian capital on the way to the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"Rodon Shinmun", 15.01.19.

Pyongyang may seek to offer resuming operation of the inter-Korean Gaeseong Industrial Complex as a possible corresponding measure in return for denuclearization measures. However, this needs U.S. approval due to multiple sanctions which may bar the operation of the complex. South Korean and U.S. officials are likely to discuss the matter this week. In his New Year address, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un expressed wishes to resume operation of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex and Mount Geumgang tours. President Moon Jae-in in a press conference last week welcomed Kim's remarks and stated the government would discuss the matter with the U.S. and the U.N. to resolve the issue of sanctions.

Bloomberg, 15.01.19.

Kim Jong Un told the world this month that North Korea took steps to stop making nuclear weapons in 2018, a shift from his earlier public statements. The evidence shows production has continued, and possibly expanded. Satellite-imagery analysis and leaked American intelligence suggest North Korea has churned out rockets and warheads as quickly as ever in the year since Kim halted weapons tests, a move that led to his June summit with U.S. President Donald Trump. The regime probably added several intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear proliferation analysts say, with one arms control group estimating that Kim gained enough fissile material for about six more nuclear bombs, bringing North Korea’s total to more than 20. "There is no indication that their nuclear and missile programs have slowed or paused," said Melissa Hanham, the director of the One Earth Future Foundation’s Datayo Project and an expert in using satellite imagery and other publicly available data to analyze weapons proliferation. "Rather it has reached a new stage." Recent reports have shown that North Korea continued to operate two suspected uranium enrichment facilities – one near its long-established Yongbyon nuclear center and another location suspected of being a gas centrifuge site.

KBS, 15.01.19.

Two F-35A stealth fighter aircraft will be delivered to South Korea from the U.S. by the end of March, a military source said Sunday. The source said two aircraft will arrive every month and up to 10 stealth fighters will be handed over by the end of the year. In March 2014, the Air Force agreed to purchase 40 of the radar-evading strike aircraft from Lockheed Martin for 7.4 trillion won. A single plane is reportedly priced at around 120 billion won.