SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered his military to expand its combat exercises and strengthen war preparedness as he looks to escalate an already provocative run in weapons demonstrations in the face of deepening tensions with its neighbors and Washington. Kim presided over a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Central Military Commission on Monday and encouraged the armed forces to perform “ever-victorious feats” and display “matchless military strength” to open a new phase in development, the country’s official Korean Central News Agency reported Tuesday. The meeting came amid signs North Korea is planning a military parade that may be an occasion to showcase the latest hardware from his growing nuclear weapons and missile program that’s brewing concern for the United States and its allies in Asia. The commission’s members, who represent Kim’s top military brass, discussed a series of tasks aimed at inducing “great change” in the … [Read more...] about N. Korean leader orders military to improve war readiness
The UN secretary-general has warned the world could be facing further conflict - as North Korea steps up its preparedness. As the first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine approaches, Antonio Guterres said he fears the world is "sleepwalking into a wider war" with its "eyes wide open". He pointed to the war in Ukraine as having undermined global solidarity and trust, and urged all countries to recommit to the UN Charter, which calls for the peaceful settlement of disputes. After experts set the Doomsday Clock at 90 seconds to midnight - the closest it has ever been to "global catastrophe" - Mr Guterres urged the general assembly's 193 member nations to change their mindset to decision-making and look at "what will happen to all of us tomorrow - and act". This is instead of near-term thinking, which he called "irresponsible" and "immoral". "The so-called 'tactical' use of nuclear weapons is absurd," he said, calling for nuclear-armed countries to renounce the … [Read more...] about UN chief fears world ‘sleepwalking into wider war’ – as North Korea steps up preparedness
YOU SANG-CHUL The author is the head of the China Institute of the JoongAng Ilbo and CEO of China Lab. Last year marked the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Korea and China and between Korea and Vietnam. I still have vivid memories of Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc visiting Seoul in December. About a month upon returning, Phuc suddenly resigned. He supposedly stepped down for his ethical responsibility for two vice prime ministers who were involved in a corruption scandal, as both of them are close to him. Others are attributing his resignation to an ongoing power struggle. The Vietnamese Communist Party adopts a group leadership system led by four heavyweights: the general secretary, the president, the prime minister and the speaker of the National Assembly. The secretary general controls the party and the military while overseeing the state affairs. The president is in charge of diplomacy and national defense whereas the prime minister manages the … [Read more...] about [Meanwhile] Sinicization of Vietnam?
BALI, Indonesia — President Biden returns home from a week of diplomacy and crisis management in the Middle East and Asia strengthened in his faith that this period of war and economic turmoil calls for his brand of coalition-building politics — reinforcing the leadership differences with his predecessor, Donald J. Trump, just as he announced another White House run on Tuesday. Mr. Biden’s swing through Egypt, Cambodia and Indonesia was buoyed by a cascade of better-than-expected news for Democrats in the midterm elections and punctuated by a nearly three-hour meeting with China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, that appeared to ease the rancorous rhetoric between the two increasingly rivalrous economies, the world’s largest. As reports emerged of Russian-made rockets killing two people in Poland, Mr. Biden convened an emergency meeting with NATO and Group of 7 leaders over the latest missile strikes in Russia’s war in Ukraine, declining to speculate on the source until more facts were … [Read more...] about Amid Crises, Biden Offers the World a Choice: My Way, or Trump’s
For free real time breaking news alerts sent straight to your inbox sign up to our breaking news emails Sign up to our free breaking news emails Ukraine and the three Baltic countries, all former Soviet republics, moved a step closer Friday to boycotting next year’s Paris Olympics because of the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes. The International Olympic Committee plans to allow Russians and Belarusians to compete as “neutral athletes” despite their invasion of Ukraine, saying it can't discriminate athletes based on their citizenship. However, countries have been excluded in the past. The Olympics also have a history of countries choosing to boycott rather than compete against athletes they believed should not have been invited. 1920 — Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary and Turkey are not invited to the 1920 Antwerp Olympics after defeat in World War I. Host nation Belgium was one of the countries Germany occupied. After the … [Read more...] about Olympic bans and boycotts go back a century