Shinzo Abe with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in Mr Abe, who was re-elected as President of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party on September 20, wants to revise the country's post-war-pacifist constitution, with a view to enforcing it by 2020. Article 9 of the constitution, if taken literally, bans maintenance of armed forces but it has been interpreted to allow a military for self-defence. Abe wants to add a reference to the Self-Defence Forces (SDF), as Japan's military is known, to clarify their status. Conservatives see the US-drafted constitution which ended World War 2 as a humiliating reminder of Japan's defeat in World War Two – but critics of the proposed reforms are concerned about expanding
Two men were charged in Singapore Thursday with supplying luxury goods, including jewellery and watches, to North Korea in violation of UN sanctions. They were the latest examples of illicit trade through the global trading hub, which has been cracking down on the flow of banned goods to the nuclear-armed state. A Singaporean man is accused of having helped companies provide luxury items to North Korea on 43 occasions between 2010 and 2016, police said. Three companies linked to the man, named in local reports as 58-year-old Chong Hock Yen, have also been charged. The second man, a North Korean named in reports as Li Hyon, is charged with abetting two companies to supply similar prohibited items,
South Korean President Moon Jae-in relayed the invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to the pope verbally during a 35-minute meeting in the Vatican. Kim told Moon, a Catholic, of his wish to meet the pontiff during a meeting last month and the South Korean leader announced before the trip that he would be relaying a message.. According to the president's office, Francis expressed his strong support for efforts to bring peace to the Korean peninsula. Moon's office quoted the pope as telling Moon: "Do not stop, move forward.
Beijing could find more reasons to relax its enforcement of sanctions against North Korea as the trade war between the U.S. and China continues, according to Scott Seaman director of Asia at Eurasia Group. "The more that Trump puts pressure on China in the economic front, it stands to reason that the Chinese will be less motivated to cooperate well on North Korea," Seaman said.
The names of the North Korean defectors have been changed in this article to protect their identities. Gilze en Rijen and Musselkanaal, The Netherlands - Kyung-Ae Choi*, a North Korean woman in her early fifties, first arrived in Europe on a fake Chinese passport, in 2012. It had been given to her by a Chinese broker who arranged flights for her and her three children to France. "I couldn't understand what the writing [on signs] meant, but it all looked like English to me. That's when I realised that I was in Europe," she told Al Jazeera, at a reception centre in the Netherlands. She had seen written English before in a North Korean film, People and a Hero, which she had watched in secondary
Close to the border with North Korea, the sea teems with small South Korean fishing boats. It is early in the morning and a plentiful fishing ground, which has been closed for the winter, is about to be opened up to the eager divers on board the boats. They know a bountiful catch awaits the quickest and bravest among them. But this sea holds many dangers, especially for compressor divers like 50-year-old Park Myongho. Wearing a heavy diving suit, helmet and lead weights, Park relies upon a single hose to deliver air to him as he tries to catch octopuses and other sea creatures on the seabed. If the hose gets tangled up or caught on something, it means certain death. "A compressor diver is always
The Democratic Party has no coherent North Korea policy. The party's approach has been a mixture of tough talk and reactive criticism of Trump, not the coherent vision that's badly needed on a critical issue. And while there's been robust criticism of Democratic foreign policy from the left, North Korea has barely been mentioned. For example, in a major speech on foreign policy given at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies on Oct. 9, left-leaning Sen. Bernie Sanders made only one casual reference to North Korea before moving on to discussing the Middle East. The inability to formulate a clear policy on North Korea is a severe weakness. North Korea has a strong
Mongolia has invited Kim Jong Un to visit the nation's capital, which once hoped to host the historic summit between the North Korean leader and US President Donald Trump, an official said Tuesday. The invitation comes amid expectations that Kim and Trump, who met in Singapore in June, will hold a second summit -- a time and location for which have yet to be determined. According to Mongolian President Khaltmaa Battulga's office, the invitation was sent to Kim on October 10, though no specific date was proposed.
PARIS (AP) — South Korean President Moon Jae-in has met with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss inter-Korean talks and bilateral issues.
The radical concept, which would require an unprecedented level of cooperation and mutual trust on the long-divided Korean peninsula, was included in a joint statement issued after a September summit between the North's leader Kim Jong Un and the South's President Moon Jae-in in Pyongyang. "The South and North agreed to ... discuss the issue of South-North joint hosting of the 2032 Summer Olympics around the end of the month at the joint liaison office," read a joint statement issued after a high-level meeting Monday. Pyongyang boycotted the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics after it demanded co-hosting rights and negotiations fell apart over how to share the events, but its decision to participate in this year's Pyeongchang Winter Games triggered a dramatic diplomatic turnaround on the peninsula.
North and South Korea continued their push for peace Monday with high-level talks that resulted in a host of agreements, including a plan by the rivals for a groundbreaking ceremony this year on an ambitious project to connect their railways and roads. Many outsiders believe that U.S.-led efforts to rid North Korea of its nuclear-tipped missiles are lagging significantly behind the Koreas' efforts to move past decades of bitter rivalry. There was also controversy over a decision by South Korea's Unification Ministry to block a North Korean defector-turned-reporter from covering the talks at the border village of Panmunjom over concerns of angering North Korea. A series of weapons tests by North Korea last year, and an exchange of insults and threats between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, had many on the Korean Peninsula fearing war.