Archive | Far East

South Korea’s impeached President planned violent regime change for Pyongyang

NOVANEWS
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By Adam Garrie | The Duran 

A recent report from the Japanese outlet Asahi Shimbun appears to confirm a hypothesis recently published in The Duran that America’s recent fervor over North Korea has a great deal to do with the internal politics of South Korea, more so in many cases than it has to do with events in the DPRK (North Korea).

Impeached former South Korean President Park Geun-hye was known to be an avidly right-wing, anti-North Korean, militant leader. It was under her now disgraced leadership that South Korea agreed to house America’s THAAD missiles, a move that remains deeply unpopular among millions of South Korean citizens.

Now, Asahi Shimbun claims to have obtained documents from South Korea indicating that former President Park Geun-hye signed a document authorizing violent regime change in Pyongyang.

According to the report seen by the Japanese national newspaper, the Park regime was considering attempts at arranging deadly car accidents or train wrecks in order to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. Attempts at fomenting a violent coup in North Korea were also considered.

In light of these revelations, it is no wonder that North Korea has taken precautionary measures to defend its sovereignty against these violent threats of illegal regime change from its heavily armed and economically powerful neighbor.

According to the Japanese source, these plans have been taken firmly off the table by President Moon Jae-in, a man who is generally far more peace minded than his deeply militant predecessor.

America’s most bellicose posturing against Pyongyang came in the month prior to the South Korean special Presidential election which saw the peace minded Moon come to power in early May of 2017.

Although America still offers harsh rhetoric on all matters pertaining to North Korea, it was after the election of President Moon that America’s most violent rhetoric seemed to give way to talk of working with international partners including and especially China in order to resolve concerns over North Korea without the threat of military engagement.

These revelations which appear to be credible, demonstrate that Washington’s actions in respect of North Korea have as much to do with the developments in Seoul as they do with developments elsewhere.

READ MORE:

South Korea’s new President may turn to peace

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China may finance Russia’s natural gas pipeline to Europe

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Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline may get Chinese financing if European companies are forced out of the project by the latest round of US sanctions, business daily Vedomosti reports.

Russian officials have already contacted Chinese banks, sources have told the media.

“Nord Stream 2 has a good rate of return and low risks for creditors. Chinese banks may be interested,” explains Aleksey Grivach, deputy CEO at Russia’s National Energy Security Fund.

The extension will double the existing pipeline which delivers natural gas to Germany under the Baltic Sea and is estimated to cost €9.5 billion.

Initially, Engie, OMV, Royal Dutch Shell, Uniper, and Wintershall were to get a 50 percent stake minus one share in Nord Stream 2. However, red tape at the European Commission made Gazprom and its partners come up with another financing option. Under this plan, European companies will each provide an equal long-term loan to Gazprom, which will fully own the pipeline.

Financing of Nord Stream 2 may be affected by new US sanctions which target firms investing in Russian gas and oil projects. According to the new bill passed by the US Senate, and currently, before the House of Representatives, companies will be forbidden from making investments of over $1 million in the Russian energy sector.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin met the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, Ben van Beurden. Among other things, they discussed Nord Stream 2. Van Beurden told Interfax the new project “will be realized for the benefit of all parties – both Europeans and the Russian Federation.”

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Syria, Iran and N. Korea: Will Trump Attempt to Finish the Neocon Hitlist?

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By Steven MacMillan – New Eastern Outlook 

In Donald Trump’s short time in office, he has already shown his propensity to use military force. From dropping the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used on Afghanistan, to launching 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Iraq (oh wait, Syria), there is no doubt that the Trump administration has a prominent militaristic streak. 

But is this just for starters? If Trump stays in power for the duration of his term, is there a major war, or even multiple wars, on the horizon? Judging by the rhetoric and actions already taken by the Trump administration, it will be a miracle if the US does not start a major war in the near future. Coincidentally, the main countries in the sights of the Trump administration just happen to be the three countries that the neoconservatives pinpointed for regime change 17 years ago, but have not yet been dealt with.

1997 marked the birth of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neoconservative think tank of catastrophic proportions. It was founded by William Kristol, the longtime editor of the Weekly Standard, who also served as the chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle, and Robert Kagan, a former State Department official who is now a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute. A long list of neocons belonged to the group, including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz.

PNAC’s stated objectives included the desire to “shape a new century favourable to American principles and interests,” “increase defense spending significantly,” and challenge “regimes hostile to US interests and values.” In September 2000, the PNAC group released a report titled: Rebuilding America’s Defenses – Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century.’ The introduction to the report clearly expressed PNAC’s desire to maintain US supremacy in the world:

At present, the United States faces no global rival.  America’s grand strategy should aim to preserve and extend this advantageous position as far into the future as possiblePreserving the desirable strategic situation in which the United States now finds itself requires a globally preeminent military capability both today and in the future.” 

In order to maintain this supremacy, the report called for the Defense Department to be at the forefront of experimenting with transformative technologies, a move that would require a dramatic increase in defense spending.

Curiously, the report – published one year prior to 9/11 – argued that this transformation would likely be a “long one” unless an event on the scale of “Pearl Harbor” occurred:

“To preserve American military preeminence in the coming decades, the Department of Defense must move more aggressively to experiment with new technologies and operational concepts, and seek to exploit the emerging revolution in military affairs… The effects of this military transformation will have profound implications for how wars are fought, what kinds of weapons will dominate the battlefield and, inevitably, which nations enjoy military preeminence…

The Pentagon [however], constrained by limited budgets and pressing current missions, has seen funding for experimentation and transformation crowded out in recent years.  Spending on military research and development has been reduced dramatically over the past decade… Any serious effort at transformation must occur within the larger framework of U.S. national security strategy, military missions and defense budgets… The process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor” (p.50-p.51).

Under the guise of missile capability, the report then pinpointed five countries that the neocons, in conjunction with the CIA, considered “deeply hostile” to the US:

“Ever since the Persian Gulf War of 1991… the value of the ballistic missile has been clear to America’s adversaries. When their missiles are tipped with warheads carrying nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, even weak regional powers have a credible deterrent, regardless of the balance of conventional forces.  That is why, according to the CIA, a number of regimes deeply hostile to America – North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Libya and Syria – ‘already have or are developing ballistic missiles’ that could threaten U.S allies and forces abroad. And one, North Korea, is on the verge of deploying missiles that can hit the American homeland.  Such capabilities pose a grave challenge to the American peace and the military power that preserves that peace” (p.51-p.52).

This report was published approximately three years prior to the invasion of Iraq, and approximately 11 years prior to both the war in Libya and the start of the proxy war in Syria. The central point I am getting at here is that the wars we have seen unfold, and the wars to come, are not just short-term actions taken by the administration who happens to be in power at that particular time. They are planned years and sometimes decades prior to the first shot being fired. Regardless of which party the President belongs to – George Bush invaded Iraq with a blue tie on, whilst Barack Obama bombed Libya with a red one on – the same regime-change-agenda continues.

Two Down, Three to Go

Although there were other reports that marked more countries that the neocons considered ‘hostile’ to the US, or more accurately, hostile to US (Western) imperial ambitions, the September 2000 report focused on five countries. With Iraq and Libya already ‘liberated,’ three countries are still on the hitlist: Syria, Iran and North Korea. Coincidentally (or not), these are some of the main countries that the Trump administration is targeting, and we are only a few months into Trump’s reign.

 Syria: Trump has already bombed Syrian government forces – or forces fighting on the side of the Syrian government – on multiple occasions since being elected. After Trump bombed Syria back in April, both Kagan and Kristol praised him, yet demanded more blood. Even though they claimed not to be major supporters of Trump during the campaign, many Bush-era hawks were – including Rumsfeld, the former Defense Secretary. The Trump administration has also admitted sending hundreds of US troops – which includes Marines – into Syria, officially in order to fight against ISIS (through training and advising rebel forces), yet it’s clear the move has as much to do with the Syrian and Iranian governments than anything else.  

Iran: Throughout Trump’s campaign for the White House, he repeatedly criticized both Iran and North Korea. Trump has always been a severe critic of the Iranian nuclear deal, and a loyal supporter of the state of Israel, meaning war with Iran seems more probable that not. In fact, Iran has claimed that Trump and Saudi Arabia are behind the recent terror attacks in Tehran, which ISIS has claimed responsibility for.

During his trip to Saudi Arabia last month, Trump took the opportunity to take another jab at Iran. In February, the US Defence Secretary, James “Mad Dog” Mattis, called Iran the “biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world,” completely ignoring the role Saudi Arabia plays in exporting terrorism. It appears as though the Trump administration is in the process of deciding which path to Persia it thinks is going to be the most effective.

North Korea: In relation to North Korea, the Trump administration has essentially backed the country into a corner, producing the obvious response from North Korea: an (attempted) show of strength. A country that the US carpet bombed during the Korean war – which included using napalm – it hardly seems likely that North Korea is just going to give in to US threats, considering the resentment many in the country still feel towards America.

This is not a defense of North Korea, but the Trump administration making one provocative statement after another has hardly reduced tensions in the region.  In March, Mattissaid that “reckless” North Korea has “got to be stopped.” The following month, Trump said North Korea is a problem that “will be taken care of.” Although Mattis has acknowledged that a conflict with North Korea would be “catastrophic,” the Trump administration appears to be willing to ratchet up tensions regardless.

In contrast, both Russia and China have emphasised that dialogue and diplomacy trump threats. Speaking in May, the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, said that “we have to stop intimidating North Korea” and “return to dialogue” with them, after affirming that Russia “is against expanding the pool of nuclear powers, including North Korea.” Also in May, the Chinese Foreign Ministry called for the US and North Korea to “stop irritating each other,” and advocated “dialogue and negotiation.”

It also important to note that the North Korean issue is really about a lot more than just North Korea. As Paul Craig Roberts has highlighted, the North Korean ‘crisis’ has everything to do with Russia and China. Similar to how the US used the Iranian ‘threat’ to put anti-ballistic missile systems close to Russia’s borders, the North Korean crisis can be used to deploy anti-ballistic missiles systems next to the eastern borders of Russia and China. In a positive development however, the South Korean government has just announced (at the time of writing anyway) that it will halt the deployment of the US anti-ballistic missile system – known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) – on its territory for potentially up to a year, citing environmental concerns.

If the Trump administration and the neocons are actually reckless enough to try and force regime change in all three countries in the near future, this brings the US into direct confrontation with both Russia and China. And if a hot war between these three nuclear powers erupts, this would mark the end of human civilization as we know it.

Posted in USA, Iran, North Korea, Syria0 Comments

The beautiful side to North Korea

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The beautiful side to North Korea: Photographer claims Kim’s communist enclave is ‘extremely clean’ and an ‘exotic destination’ we should all visit

As tensions between North Korea and the United States continue to escalate, a Malaysian photographer has encouraged others to visit by releasing photos he took while traveling to the country.

In the images, North Korean residents can be seen going about their daily business in town squares and train stations while children listen to street performers.

Other pictures show the capital Pyongyang illuminated at night with skyscrapers stretched across the city, as well as temples and countryside landscapes.

Photographer Reuben Teo, 31, from Sarawak, Malaysia, took the photos on a trip to the country last month.

Mr Teo was only told not to photograph military, military checkpoints and construction while in the country, and believes his pictures show a different side to North Korea than how it is usually portrayed in the media.

‘The country is also extremely clean and I can honestly tell you that it sits next just to Japan in terms of cleanliness. Put North Korea in your list of exotic destinations to visit,’ Mr Teo said.

North Korea, meanwhile, says it is continuing to test new missiles that could attack enemy warships.

The country has tested four missile systems year alone, sending a defiant message to its enemies that it will continue to pursue a weapons program that has rattled its neighbors and Washington.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un observed the launches, according to the official Korean Central News Agency, which said the missiles ‘accurately detected and hit’ floating targets at sea after making ‘circular flights’.

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Parliament Secretariat: Deuba Sole Nepali PM Candidate

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  • Deuba previously served as prime minister from 1995 to 1997, 2001 to 2002 and 2004 to 2005.
    Deuba previously served as prime minister from 1995 to 1997, 2001 to 2002 and 2004 to 2005. | Photo: Reuters
When the deadline expired on Saturday, Deuba was the only candidate to have filed his nomination for candidacy.

On Sunday the president of the Nepali Congress party Sher Bahadur Deuba was the sole candidate contesting the position of prime minister.

RELATED: Nepal Holds First Local Election in 20 Years

According to Xinhua, all nominees were required to register candidacy at the parliament secretariat by Saturday. But, after the deadline expired, Deuba was found to be the only candidate to have filed his nomination. An official statement from the secretariat confirmed that Deuba will be the only candidate in the prime minister race on Sunday.

Deuba previously served as prime minister from 1995 to 1997, 2001 to 2002 and 2004 to 2005.

Following the failure of the major parties to form a consensus government, President Bidya Devi Bhandari called for the country to form a new government on the basis of majority votes.

Deuba needs 297 votes in the 593-member parliament to win. His Nepali Congress party currently holds 207 seats while the closest rival, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), has 82 seats.

Early reports from the media revealed that Deuba was on track to becoming the prime minister based on majority votes in the House.

The resignation of former prime minister and leader of the Communist Party of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal – also known as Prachanda, on May 24 prompted the election.

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As Tensions with US Mount, Germany Reaffirms “Strategic Partnership” with China

Under conditions of mounting tensions with the United States, Germany is expanding its already close political and economic ties with China.

At a joint press conference in Berlin with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that in the period since China initiated diplomatic relations with Germany 45 years ago, the country has “become an increasingly important and now strategic partner.” This applies to “the entire spectrum” of relations, “of a political as well as economic nature … but also with regard to the cooperation on cultural and social issues.”

“At times of global instability,” Merkel said, both countries feel they “have a responsibility to expand our partnership in these diverse areas and intervene in favour of a rules-based global order.”

She was “happy” that there was “during this year a very intensive exchange.” Another visit is planned by Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of the G20 summit in early July in Hamburg.

Trading relations had been “an important subject” in the talks, Merkel continued. It had been

“agreed that trading nations like Germany and China should cooperate and issue a clear recognition of free trade,” declared Merkel, in what was a barely concealed swipe at US President Donald Trump.

At the G7 summit last week, Trump repeated his criticism of Germany’s trade surplus and threatened to adopt counter-measures.

Germany’s political and economic relations with China are already more developed than with any other country outside of the European Union (EU). Regular government consultations have been taking place between the two countries since 2011.

“China was our most important trading partner in 2016, with a bilateral trade volume of €170 billion. These are already very impressive figures,” Merkel said.

Merkel and Li had “discussed that we want to expand these developments, which have been positive for both sides.”

The two countries signed 11 agreements and declarations of intent, according to the German government’s web site, including on cooperation in air travel technology, electronic mobility and recycling technology, and in the area of artificial intelligence. Partners on the German side included industrial giants like Airbus, Daimler, VW and Bosch, as well as mid-sized businesses and research institutes.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and China's Prime Minister Li Keqiang shake hands - behind them a bank of photographers with cameras.

Prime Minister Li Keqiang was in Berlin for talks with the Chancellor (Source: Bundesregierung/Denzel)

Deutsche Bank signed a five-year cooperation agreement with the China Development Bank (CDB) on Tuesday. Both banks committed in the agreement to finance projects on the “New Silk Road,” up to a cost of $3 billion. With its “One Belt, One Road” initiative, the Chinese government hopes to revive the trade route of the Middle Ages with massive investments in infrastructure in order to connect China’s major economic centres with Europe and Africa.

Germany and China also intend to cooperate more closely in the future on climate protection measures.

China will “continue to adhere to its promises within the framework of the Paris Agreement on climate change,” Li announced in Berlin, only a few hours before Donald Trump declared the US was exiting the deal in Washington.

The picture of Merkel and Li jointly reaffirming their commitment to the Paris Agreement took on a symbolic character under such conditions and was circulated widely around the world.

It is expected that during his visit to Brussels today, Li will sign a joint agreement with EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Council President Donald Tusk on wide-ranging cooperation to combat climate change.

Cooperation between Germany and China on security policy matters is relatively new. With regard to North Korea,

they “shared the conviction that North Korea could pose a danger to world peace,” Merkel said.

At the same time, they were “committed to a negotiated solution that is very, very urgent.” Germany declared its readiness “to be able to contribute to such a solution.”

Li also noted that they “want to cooperate more closely on other security policy matters.” Among other things, Germany and China want to “provide assistance to Afghanistan to rebuild its society and economy, and help them to increase their security capabilities so that the population can live there in peace.” The two countries would consult closely on “other international issues,” including “the Iranian nuclear dossier and the Istanbul process.”

Cooperation is also developing in the military sphere. German soldiers took part in joint exercises with troops from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army for the first time on Chinese territory during the 2016 “Combined Aid 2016” aid exercise. It was the first joint exercise between the PLA and any European army. Armed forces from both countries are already working side by side in Africa in UN missions, such as Minusma in Mali.

The deepening cooperation between Berlin and Beijing in a number of important policy areas is directly bound up with fraying Transatlantic relations, which have been a cornerstone of German foreign policy since the founding of the Federal Republic 70 years ago. Following last week’s NATO and G7 summits, Merkel called the alliance with the US into question during a speech in a Munich beer tent on Sunday, and declared that Germany would now take its “fate” into its own hands.

Although neither Merkel nor Li referred to the US or Trump by name during the press conference, German-Chinese cooperation is increasingly directed against the policies of the US, which is turning to economic protectionism and preparing for a military confrontation with Iran and North Korea. Such conflicts would not only be targeted at China, but also the geopolitical and economic interests being pursued by German imperialism in Asia.

Posted in China, Germany0 Comments

Why is ISIS Operating in the Philippines?

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In response to violence allegedly instigated by ISIS in the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao, imposed military rule, and threatened to extend it nationwide to defeat the threat.

What’s going on? Why did ISIS begin operating in the Philippines? Weeks after taking office in mid-2016, Duterte blasted Western imperial Middle East policies, saying the Obama administration and Britain “destroyed the (region)…forc(ing) their way into Iraq and kill(ing) Saddam.”

“Look at Iraq now. Look what happened to Libya. Look what happened to Syria.”

He blasted former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for failing to act responsibly against what’s gone on for years – on the phony pretext of humanitarian intervention and democracy building.

He called Obama a “son-of-a-bitch” for his unaccountable actions – no way to make friends in Washington, especially if his geopolitical agenda conflicts with US aims.

On the day he declared martial law, he met with Vladimir Putin in Moscow for discussions on future military and economic cooperation.

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Philippine president given red carpet treatment in Beijing, with both sides agreeing to resume talks on South China Sea (Source: South China Morning Post)

He seeks improved economic and military ties with China. Ahead of visiting Beijing last October, he said

“only China…can help us,” adding:

“All that I would need to do is just to talk and get a firm handshake from the officials and say that we are Filipinos and we are ready to cooperate with you, to help us in building our economy and building our country.”

“If we can have the things you have given to other countries by the way of assistance, we’d also like to be a part of it and to be a part of the greater plans of China about the whole of Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.”

He promised to cool tensions over South China Sea disputes.

“There is no sense fighting over a body of water,” he said.

“We want to talk about friendship (with Beijing). We want to talk about cooperation, and most of all, we want to talk about business. War would lead us to nowhere.”

He announced no further joint military exercises with America, saying he’s open to holding them with China and Russia.

Shifting away from longstanding US ties doesn’t go down well in Washington. Are efforts by ISIS to establish a Philippines foothold part of an anti-Duterte Trump administration or CIA plot independent of his authority?

According to a June 2 Duran.com report, retired Philippine military official Abe Purugganan claims ISIS violence in Mindanao is part of an opposition Liberal Party plan to undermine Duterte and oust him from office – citing information from a party whistleblower.

Below are the comments The Duran posted, saying:

“There is a lot of noises and chatters flooding the cyberspace, you got to use your discernment to filter all these information.”

“LETS PLAY FIRE WITH FIRE,” explaining “(t)hese are the exact words stated by Loida Lewis and her fellow oligarchs on a meeting months ago with Liberal Party members abroad,” adding:

Their plan is to use ISIS or ISIS-connected terrorists to instigate violence and chaos in Mindanao, wanting Duterte’s government destabilized and ousted.

If the information reported is accurate, it explains what’s now going on, likely to worsen, perhaps spread to other parts of the country.

Last week, Duterte said

“if I cannot confront (ISIS terrorists threatening the country), I will resign. “If I am incompetent and incapable of keeping order in this country, let me step down and give the job to somebody else.”

If US dirty hands are behind the ISIS insurgency, he’s got a long struggle ahead, trying to overcome the attack on him and perhaps Philippine sovereignty.

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North Korea says ballistic missile test successful

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North Korea confirmed its recent test-firing of a ballistic missile was “successful”, the state-run news agency KCNA reported Tuesday, a day after the projectile landed in waters close to Japan.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un “guided” the launch — the third missile test by the nuclear-armed regime in less than three weeks — which was carried out in defiance of UN sanctions warnings and US threats of possible military action.

“The ballistic rocket flew toward the east sky where the day broke and correctly hit a planned target point… after flying over the middle shooting range,” the report said.

South Korea’s military earlier said the Scud-type missile travelled eastward for 450 km (280 miles). Japan said it believed it had fallen into its exclusive economic zone, extending 200 nautical miles from the coast.

The missile test triggered swift condemnation from US President Donald Trump who said it showed “disrespect” for neighbouring China, the North’s sole major ally, which has sought to dampen tensions over Pyongyang’s weapons programme.

Several rounds of UN sanctions have done little to stop the isolated regime from pushing ahead with its ambition to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that can deliver a nuclear warhead to the continental US.

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South Korea: Moon Angered by Arrival of Weapons

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South Korean President Moon Jae In demanded a probe yesterday into why he wasn’t told about the arrival of additional launchers for the country’s US-supplied terminal high-altitude area defence (Thaad) missile defence system.

President Moon vowed before taking office on May 10 to review deployment of a system that has infuriated both North Korea and China, which consider its powerful radar a security threat.

Many of his supporters don’t want the system, which US President Donald Trump said Seoul should pay for.

Senior presidential adviser Yoon Young Chan said Mr Moon had discovered that four more launchers for the Thaad system had arrived in the country since the original two launchers were installed in April.

Defence Ministry officials didn’t report their arrival when they gave the president’s policy advisory committee a briefing last Thursday.

“President Moon said that it’s ‘very shocking’ after receiving a report” on the incident from his national security director, Mr Yoon said.

The new president, who favours dialogue with North Korea, is working with cabinet members appointed by his pro-Washington conservative predecessor Park Geun Hye, who was ousted from office in March over a corruption scandal. Mr Moon has nominated some of his own cabinet members but they haven’t formally taken office.

He was sworn in as president straight after winning a May 9 by-election and hasn’t had the usual two-month transition period.

Washington stations about 28,500 troops in South Korea, supposedly as deterrence against potential aggression from North Korea.

After facing conservative attacks on his security views during the election campaign, Mr Moon toned down his Thaad criticism, saying that deployment would be inevitable if North Korea continued provocative test-firing of ballistic missiles.

THAAD in South Korea

The new president has said that he will employ both persuasion and pressure to resolve the North Korean nuclear stand-off.

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Japan wants US parachute drills grounded amid Okinawa anger

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Japan is opposed to a two-day parachuting drill that the US plans to conduct near the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa. Local residents have protested such drills in the past, and this would be the third in two months.

Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said the US military failed to notify the Japanese authorities seven days ahead of the exercise, as they are supposed to. In fact, Japan learned of the Americans’ plans from a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) filed with the aviation authorities, which is meant to keep civilian aircraft out of airspace where US military planes are flying during the exercise, NHK reported.

“We asked [the Americans] not to conduct the training and to delete the NOTAM. So far we have not received a response from the US site,” Inada told reporters on Tuesday after a cabinet meeting.

The parachuting exercises, which are planned for Wednesday and Thursday, would be conducted off the coast of the city of Uruma. Similar drills were conducted off the Kadena Airbase on the night of May 10 and on April 24.

The previous two drills sparked protest among Okinawans, who have not seen such exercises since 2011. After the second training, Deputy Okinawa Governor Moritake Tomikawa filed a protest with Japan’s Defense Ministry, expressing outrage and saying that such exercises cannot become routine.

Defense Minister Inada called the US move “regrettable,” saying the US should observe a 1996 bilateral agreement under which parachuting exercises should be conducted on the remote island of Iejima, off Okinawa’s main island, with the Kadena base used only as an exception.

“The United States did not offer sufficient explanation on why the exercise conducted (Wednesday) amounted to an exceptional case,” Inada said at a regular news conference. “It is extremely deplorable that it took place at Kadena Air Base without Japan and the United States able to share the same perception in advance,” she stressed.

The Kadena Airbase is one of several US military installations on Okinawa, a southern Japanese island that hosts some 70 percent of the US troops in Japan and is home to some 20,000 US service members, contractors, and their families.

During a parachuting drill in 1965, a trailer airdropped into a local village inadvertently landed on a schoolgirl, killing her.

The protest over the latest planned drill comes a day after Okinawa police arrested a US airman assigned to the Kadena base following a drunk hit-and-run. Staff Sergeant Miguel Angel Garza allegedly hit a car on Monday and fled the scene. The female driver of the second vehicle sustained minor injuries, Japanese authorities said.

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