Asia Government


Family's pain 'has never gone away.' Japanese abducted by North Korea in spotlight as Trump visits Japan

Los Angeles Times

When tales of young couples being snatched off beaches by North Korean agents first began to circulate around Japan in the late 1970s, they were dismissed by most Japanese as conspiracy theory paranoia. But as years went by, evidence mounted that North Korea had in fact engaged in a systematic program of abductions to obtain instructors in Japanese language and culture for its spies. North Korea long denied such claims, but in 2002, when then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made his historic visit to Pyongyang, then-North Korean leader Kim Jong Il took Japan by surprise by admitting 13 Japanese had been abducted. Kim apologized, blaming rogue special forces "on a reckless quest for glory." Among the surprised was the family of Megumi Yokota, a schoolgirl snatched while walking home from a badminton lesson in Niigata, on the Sea of Japan coast, in November 1977.


Give Saudi women a license not just to drive, but to run their own lives

Los Angeles Times

It'll be close, but it looks like women will be allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia with some time to spare before the automobile industry converts entirely to self-driving cars. A royal decree announced Tuesday that women would finally be allowed behind the wheel, heralding a preposterously overdue end to the most high-profile and infamous of the repressive kingdom's restrictions on women. Even a woman in prison requires a male guardian to agree to her release, according to the monitoring group Human Rights Watch, which described the guardianship system as the most significant impediment to women's rights in Saudi Arabia -- and even a barrier to the government's own plans to improve the economy. The abolition of the male guardianship system should be the next announcement we hear from the Saudi government.


Eyes in the sky: Inside the hunt for Islamic State fighters in Syria

Los Angeles Times

Over the past 20 years, unmanned aircraft were primarily used to collect intelligence or to launch Hellfire missiles at specific terrorist targets after extensive surveillance -- enemy strongholds or targeted killings of suspects in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and elsewhere. The Air Force launched its first "danger-close" drone strikes while aiding local forces fighting Islamic State in Surt, a coastal city in Libya, last year. Drones subsequently launched more than 70% of 495 airstrikes against the militants, helping local Libyan militia fighters retake Surt by December, according to the Air Force. U.S. special operations forces face growing demands and increased risks The U.S. military is targeting Islamic State's virtual caliphate by hunting & killing its online operatives one-by-one


As the world focuses on its nuclear ambitions, North Korea deploys another weapon: Drones

Los Angeles Times

The U.S. missile system, known as THAAD, is designed to stop the North from striking southern parts of South Korea with mid-range missiles. A U.N. panel of experts recently investigated North Korean drone flights and concluded that one likely was made in China. What's the point, the lawmaker asked, of spending roughly $35 billion annually on South Korean defense "when our radar can't detect small drones?" South Korea's military scrambles after unidentified object detected in airspace, renewing North Korean concerns South Korea's president to meet President Trump this week amid grave concerns over North Korea We went to North Korea.


U.S. forces shoot down Iranian drone over Syria as fighting escalates

Los Angeles Times

Democrats tie up Senate floor to protest Republicans' secrecy in writing healthcare bill Senate Democrats take to the chamber floor to decry the GOP's secret talks on healthcare bill President Trump's lawyer insists Trump is not under investigation, despite president's own tweets Trump and the Goldwater Rule: Should mental health pros weigh in on the president? Often seen but not heard, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner speaks at White House tech event. Senate Democrats take to the chamber floor to decry the GOP's secret talks on healthcare bill President Trump's lawyer insists Trump is not under investigation, despite president's own tweets Trump and the Goldwater Rule: Should mental health pros weigh in on the president? U.S. forces shoot down Iranian drone over Syria as fighting escalates A U.S. fighter jet Tuesday shot down an armed Iranian drone supporting Syrian government forces in southern Syria, marking the third American air-to-air shoot-down this month.


South Korea opened fire at tense border zone. Turns out incursion was North Korean balloons

Los Angeles Times

The slow-moving, unidentified object flying over South Korea's border on Tuesday afternoon caused so much concern that soldiers issued loudspeaker warnings and ultimately fired more than 90 machine gun rounds in the air. What first seemed like a provocative North Korean military incursion -- perhaps a drone flight over the two countries' highly secured border -- turned out to be much more innocuous, the South Korean military said Wednesday. South Korean military officials, closely allied with American forces, said Wednesday that their troops hadn't overreacted to the potential provocation, which to them was reminiscent of a drone flight 18 months ago by the North that also prompted gunfire. The council Monday issued a strong statement of condemnation, saying more potential sanctions against the North Korean regime might be coming.


Q&A: How will we know driverless cars are safe?

Los Angeles Times

Senator debate, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said President Obama could "go to hell," Hurricane Matthew is expected to make landfall in Florida tonight, and a Lancaster sergeant was shot and killed during a burglary call. Senator debate, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said President Obama could "go to hell," Hurricane Matthew is expected to make landfall in Florida tonight, and a Lancaster sergeant was shot and killed during a burglary call. Senator debate, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said President Obama could "go to hell," Hurricane Matthew is expected to make landfall in Florida tonight, and a Lancaster sergeant was shot and killed during a burglary call. Senator debate, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said President Obama could "go to hell," Hurricane Matthew is expected to make landfall in Florida tonight, and a Lancaster sergeant was shot and killed during a burglary call.


Hijackers' time in Southern California at center of allegations of Saudi government involvement in 9/11 attacks

Los Angeles Times

Jerry Brown on Friday signed legislation that expands the legal definition of rape and imposes new mandatory minimum sentences on some sexual assault offenders -- measures inspired amid national outcry over the sexual assault case of former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner. Jerry Brown on Friday signed legislation that expands the legal definition of rape and imposes new mandatory minimum sentences on some sexual assault offenders -- measures inspired amid national outcry over the sexual assault case of former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner. Staff at Donald Trump's California golf resort said they scheduled young, thin, pretty women to work when he came to town. Staff at Donald Trump's California golf resort said they scheduled young, thin, pretty women to work when he came to town.


Putin's party may have just won another victory, but its performance is underwhelming

Los Angeles Times

Barely a week after North Korea exploded the most powerful nuclear device it has ever tested, U.S. defense officials said the secretive country appears to be readying a tunnel for yet another, putting the country on an alarmingly fast-paced schedule to deploy nuclear warheads. Barely a week after North Korea exploded the most powerful nuclear device it has ever tested, U.S. defense officials said the secretive country appears to be readying a tunnel for yet another, putting the country on an alarmingly fast-paced schedule to deploy nuclear warheads. Bayer buying Monsanto, Uber's self-driving cars, Cup of noodles is changing its recipe, new battle over child vaccination, an Emmys preview, the new Chevy Bolt, Ryan Lochte's "Dancing with the Stars" premiere gets overshadowed by protesters. Bayer buying Monsanto, Uber's self-driving cars, Cup of noodles is changing its recipe, new battle over child vaccination, an Emmys preview, the new Chevy Bolt, Ryan Lochte's "Dancing with the Stars" premiere gets overshadowed by protesters.


Militants sneak into Indian army base and mow down sleeping soldiers in Kashmir, killing 17

Los Angeles Times

The four assailants, who also threw grenades that caused tents and temporary shelters to catch fire at the army brigade headquarters at Uri, were killed in a gun battle with security forces that lasted six hours, authorities said. Just last Christmas, Modi visited Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at his home in Pakistan in what was seen as a confidence-building move ahead of negotiations between the country's top diplomats. Bayer buying Monsanto, Uber's self-driving cars, Cup of noodles is changing its recipe, new battle over child vaccination, an Emmys preview, the new Chevy Bolt, Ryan Lochte's "Dancing with the Stars" premiere gets overshadowed by protesters. Bayer buying Monsanto, Uber's self-driving cars, Cup of noodles is changing its recipe, new battle over child vaccination, an Emmys preview, the new Chevy Bolt, Ryan Lochte's "Dancing with the Stars" premiere gets overshadowed by protesters.