fox-news/world/world-regions/asia

China says it has complained to France after one of its warships entered Chinese territorial waters while passing through the Taiwan Strait this month.

The April 7 incident marks a rare occasion of military friction between the two countries, which have held joint search and rescue exercises before.

Ren said the navy dispatched ships to identify, warn and escort the French ship and would remain “highly alert to firmly safeguard China’s sovereignty and security.”

The 160-kilometer (100-mile)-wide Taiwan Strait divides mainland China from the island Beijing claims as its territory. It is considered an international waterway heavily trafficked by ships from all nations, many of them bound for Chinese ports.

China is highly sensitive to operations by foreign warships near areas it claims, such as the South China Sea.

Source: Fox News World

The ambiance was friendly. Nice, comfy seats. An exchange of polite welcomes.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un even managed to match Russian President Vladimir Putin’s manspreading — the two sat with knees spread wide apart as they chatted before the start of their first summit, which began Thursday in the Far East port city of Vladivostok.

With so little else to go on, it’s a common practice for North Korea watchers to pay extremely close attention to Kim’s every word and gesture when he makes public appearances. Summits are no exception, and there’s always lots of analytical commentary, insightful and silly.

What caught the attention of many outside observers Thursday wasn’t the scene, but the sound — of Kim’s loud breathing.

Clips of the introductory encounter were quickly tweeted around the world, many with comments about the leader’s audible breathlessness. South Korea’s media, meanwhile, speculated that it could be a sign of Kim’s poor health. He is, after all, overweight and a notoriously heavy smoker.

But when the two delivered their opening comments to start the actual talks, Kim seemed to have gotten over whatever the problem was.

Experts have noted that when Kim met President Donald Trump for the first time, they nearly lunged at each other with hands outstretched for a handshake. They vied several times to lead the other with an alpha male hand on the back. Gazes were carefully not averted, lest that appear to suggest submission.

The impression from their second encounter, in Hanoi two months ago, was more measured. The two tended to mirror each other more closely, which is a sign of respect and cooperation rather than aggression.

Kim’s first greeting with Putin was more like his performance in Hanoi.

He and Putin approached each other with smiles and held an extended handshake for the cameras. It’s often an awkward moment, even for the most experienced politicians. But they appeared relaxed, as they also did during the initial part of the talks, which were broadcast live.

Unlike the much taller Trump, Putin is roughly the same height as Kim, which probably helped.

The health of the North Korean leader has been the topic of speculation before.

During his first summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, last April, he appeared to be out of breath as he signed a guestbook after a short walk. He was also shown on TV red-faced at a banquet, likely from the ample beverages available.

But Kim has managed to make it through nearly a dozen summits now.

It remains to be seen how effective he will be in getting out from under the sanctions that have been imposed on his country for its nuclear weapons programs. But if nothing else, he has demonstrated a surprising air of confidence alongside some of the biggest players on the world stage.

Source: Fox News World

An Afghan official says the Taliban ambushed a security convoy, killing nine policemen in western Farah province.

Abdul Samad Salehi, a provincial councilman, says the convoy was heading to defuse a roadside bomb on Wednesday afternoon when the ambush happened in Anardara district.

Saleh says that shortly after the attack on the convoy, other Taliban insurgents targeted and briefly overran the district police headquarters. After a few hours of clashes, reinforcements arrived and wrested back control of the headquarters.

The insurgents did not immediately comment on the Farah attacks. The Taliban have been active in the area and have launched large-scale attacks against Afghan security forces in Farah.

The Taliban stage-near daily attacks even as they hold talks with a U.S. envoy tasked on a peaceful resolution to the war.

Source: Fox News World

The Latest on the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka (all times local):

10:20 a.m.

Australia’s prime minister said one of the suicide bombers in the Sri Lanka Easter attacks had been in Australia years earlier.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the person had been in Australia on a student and a graduate skilled visa with a spouse and child visa as well. The individual left in early 2013.

Morrison told reporters Thursday the person’s Australian link was part of an ongoing investigation and wouldn’t comment further.

Separately, a British security official has confirmed one of the bombers was believed to have studied in the U.K. between 2006 and 2007. The security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the investigation, said British intelligence was not watching Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed during his stay in the country. His name was first reported by Sky News.

— Associated Press journalist Greg Katz in London contributed to this report.

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10 a.m.

Sri Lanka has banned drones and unmanned aircraft as authorities continue controlled detonations of suspicious items four days after a series of suicide bombing attacks killed more than 350 people in and around the capital of Colombo.

Sri Lanka’s civil aviation authority said Thursday that it was taking the measure “in view of the existing security situation in the country.”

Hobby drones have been used by militants in the past to carry explosives.

Iraqi forces learned that they are difficult to shoot down while driving out the Islamic State group from northern Iraq, where the extremists loaded drones with grenades or simple explosives to target their forces.

Also Thursday Sri Lankan authorities detonated a suspicious item in a garbage dump in Pugoda, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) east of Colombo.

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6 a.m.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed one Japanese national was killed and four others injured in the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka.

The body of the person who died was returned to Japan early Thursday.

Officials at Narita airport near Tokyo lowered their heads as the coffin, covered with blue tarp and a bouquet of white flowers on top, came out of the plane.

Japanese media have identified the victim as 39-year-old Kaori Takahashi. The reports say she was having breakfast with her family at the Shangri-La hotel when she was killed and that her husband and a daughter were injured in the attack.

The Foreign Ministry has not released the identities of the dead and injured.

Sri Lankan police have said at least 359 people were killed and more than 500 wounded in Sunday’s bombings, which mainly targeted churches and hotels. Most of the victims were Sri Lankan but more than 30 of the dead were foreigners.

Source: Fox News World

Sri Lanka has banned drones and unmanned aircraft as authorities continue controlled detonations of suspicious items four days after a series of suicide bombing attacks killed more than 350 people in and around the capital of Colombo.

Sri Lanka’s civil aviation authority said Thursday that it was taking the measure “in view of the existing security situation in the country.”

Hobby drones have been used by militants in the past to carry explosives.

Iraqi forces learned that they are difficult to shoot down while driving out the Islamic State group from northern Iraq, where the extremists loaded drones with grenades or simple explosives to target their forces.

Also Thursday Sri Lankan authorities detonated a suspicious item in a garbage dump in Pugoda, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) east of Colombo.

Source: Fox News World

Chinese state media say 11 workers were killed and two seriously injured when the cable on an elevator snapped at a construction site in northern China.

The Voice of China radio said the accident occurred early Thursday morning in the Hebei province city of Hengshui.

It is the latest in a series of industrial accidents this year that have killed scores of workers, underscoring shoddy enforcement of safety regulations and a desire to cut corners as the economy slows.

In March, 78 people were killed in a blast at a chemical plant in the Jiangsu province city of Yancheng that had numerous safety violations, making it one of China’s worst industrial accidents in recent years.

Source: Fox News World

The Latest on the summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (all times local):

2 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have shaken hands before heading to talks at a university in Russia’s far-eastern city of Vladivostok.

TV coverage showed Kim arriving in a limousine before shaking hands with Putin. Putin smiled and gestured to Kim before they both walked inside the building.

Putin then introduced Kim to Russian officials who shook his hand.

Thursday’s summit reflects Russia’s effort to position itself as an essential player in the North Korean nuclear standoff.

Kim’s first trip to Russia comes about two months after his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, which failed because of disputes over U.S.-led sanctions on the North.

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12:30 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Vladivostok for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Thursday’s summit reflects Russia’s effort to position itself as an essential player in the North Korean nuclear standoff.

Kim’s first trip to Russia comes about two months after his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, which failed because of disputes over U.S.-led sanctions on the North.

Putin and Kim are set to have one-on-one meeting at the Far Eastern State University on the Russky Island across a bridge from Vladivostok. The meeting will be followed by broader talks involving officials from both sides.

Kim arrived Wednesday in Vladivostok on his armored train, saying upon arrival that he’s hoping for a “successful and useful” visit.

Source: Fox News World

Japan’s future new emperor is a musician and historian who is expected to bring a global perspective to an ancient institution when he ascends the Chrysanthemum Throne on May 1.

The 59-year-old Naruhito will be Japan’s first emperor to have studied abroad and will enjoy greater liberty in shaping his own role than his father.

Japan’s constitution limits the emperor to a symbolic role, and Naruhito is likely to emulate his father, 85-year-old Akihito.

Akihito chose to end his three-decade reign by abdicating April 30.

In an annual news conference ahead of his Feb. 23 birthday, Naruhito said he was open to taking up a new role that “suits the times.”

Source: Fox News World

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Vladivostok for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Thursday’s summit reflects Russia’s effort to position itself as an essential player in the North Korean nuclear standoff.

Kim’s first trip to Russia comes about two months after his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, which failed because of disputes over U.S.-led sanctions on the North.

Putin and Kim are set to have one-on-one meeting at the Far Eastern State University on the Russky Island across a bridge from Vladivostok. The meeting will be followed by broader talks involving officials from both sides.

Kim arrived Wednesday in Vladivostok on his armored train, saying upon arrival that he’s hoping for a “successful and useful” visit.

Source: Fox News World

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin gives an intriguing twist to the global diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with North Korea, which appeared to hit a wall after a summit between Kim and President Donald Trump collapsed in February.

It also adds a chapter to the storied but often-strained friendship between Pyongyang and Moscow, which was forged in the blood of war and weathered by the Soviet collapse and tensions surrounding the North’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

A look at relations between the two sides since the 1950-53 Korean War:

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KOREAN CONFLICT

The old Soviet Union was directly involved in the founding of North Korea after the end of World War II, which ended Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula but resulted in a division between the Soviet-backed North and U.S.-controlled South.

Soviet officers installed ambitious young nationalist Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of North Korea’s current ruler and an ex-guerrilla commander who fought Japanese forces from Manchuria in the 1930s, as the Korean leader of the emerging state on the northern half the peninsula. By early 1950, Kim Il Sung successfully persuaded an initially reluctant Joseph Stalin to allow him to unify the Koreas by force, guaranteeing a swift victory.

Kim Il Sung’s forces launched a surprise attack on the South in June, triggering a devastating war that drew massive interventions by the United States and China and left millions killed or injured before stopping with an armistice in 1953.

The Soviets supported North Korea during the war with weapons, military advisers and pilots but stayed out of land warfare, a decision that shaped Kim Il Sung’s postwar efforts to strengthen his personal power and autonomy. Moscow’s support became less important for Kim’s internal control when he could count on China to counter the influence of the Soviets, especially after the late 1950s when relations between the two major communist powers grew increasingly hostile.

While playing Moscow and Beijing against each other to win more political independence and aid, Kim Il Sung consolidated his domestic power by violently purging his pro-Soviet and pro-Chinese opponents.

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SOVIET COLLAPSE

Despite the ups and downs in bilateral relations, Soviet military, energy and food aid were crucial in keeping North Korea’s struggling economy afloat for decades. That all changed in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union, which instantly deprived Pyongyang of its main economic and security benefactor.

The post-communist government in Moscow led by President Boris Yeltsin saw Russia as a partner of the U.S.-led West and had no enthusiasm to continue supporting North Korea with aid and subsidized trade. Moscow established formal diplomatic ties with Seoul in hopes of drawing massive South Korean investment and allowed its Soviet-era military alliance with North Korea to expire. There were widespread predictions that a collapse of the North Korean government was imminent.

Facing an existential crisis, North Korea reacted by accepting more help from China, which despite a level of mutual distrust remains Pyongyang’s only major ally and considers preventing a North Korean collapse critical to its security interests. The North also became more vocal in its pursuit of a nuclear deterrent, which forced the United States to the negotiation table.

In 1994, shortly after the death of Kim Il Sung, North Korea reached a major agreement with the United States to halt plutonium production in exchange for energy and food aid and security assurances. The deal broke down in 2002 after U.S. officials confronted Pyongyang over a clandestine nuclear program using enriched uranium.

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PUTIN IN PYONGYANG

Russia began to reconsider its Koreas policies in the late 1990s over what it saw as disappointing business activity with South Korea and concerns that Moscow’s heavy tilt toward Seoul diminished its influence in international efforts to deal with Pyongyang. The divergence between Moscow and the West over key security issues was also becoming clear.

After his first election in 2000, Putin actively sought to restore Russia’s ties with North Korea, visiting Pyongyang in July that year for a meeting with Kim Jong Il, the second-generation North Korean leader, where they issued criticism of U.S. missile defense plans. The trip was seen as Putin’s message to the West that Russia would seek to restore its traditional domains of influence. Putin hosted two return visits by Kim Jong Il in 2001 and 2002.

Russia was also a participant in the so-called six-party talks with North Korea that were aimed at persuading the North to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for security and economic benefits. The talks, which also involved the United States, China, South Korea and Japan, have stalled since December 2008.

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KIM’S NEW WAY

Kim Jong Un’s meeting with Putin is the first summit between the countries since his father traveled to eastern Siberia for a meeting with then-Russian President Dimitry Medvedev in August 2011.

Kim Jong Il died in December that year. Under Kim Jong Un, North Korea accelerated its weapons tests to turn a crude nuclear program into a viable arsenal that includes purported thermonuclear weapons and long-range missiles potentially capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.

The Trump-Kim meeting in Vietnam in February broke down after the North demanded the removal of most of the U.S.-led sanctions against the country in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear program. Kim had said he would seek a “new way” if the United States continued to test his patience with sanctions.

Kim’s outreach to Putin could be part of his plans to expand his options and secure allies who would apply pressure on Washington to ease its stance on sanctions. Russia currently seems better positioned to endorse Kim’s stance than China, which is locked in high-stakes trade negotiations with the U.S.

The summit with Kim could also serve Putin’s desire to increase Russia’s regional clout. Although Moscow has never supported a nuclear-armed North Korea, it may share a view with Pyongyang that a weakened U.S. influence in the region would benefit both.

Following three-way talks in Moscow last October, the deputy foreign ministers of North Korea, Russia and China called on the U.N. Security Council to “adjust” its sanctions regime on Pyongyang to facilitate progress in the nuclear negotiations. While Moscow and Beijing can’t lift the sanctions on their own, they can give Pyongyang more breathing room if Kim persuades them to loosen their enforcement of the measures.

Source: Fox News World


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