SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — President Donald Trump asserted on Sunday that China was working with the United States on "the North Korea problem," and his vice president told American and South Korea service members that the North's latest "provocation," a failed missile launch shortly before his arrival in Seoul, laid bare the risks they face. While the North did not conduct a nuclear test, the specter of a potential escalated U.S. response trailed Pence as he began a 10-day trip to Asia amid increasing tensions and heated rhetoric. Trump's national security adviser cited Trump's recent decision to order missile strikes in Syria after a chemical attack blamed on the Assad government as a sign that the president "is clearly comfortable making tough decisions."
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — The clouds of war, it might seem, are gathering around the Korean Peninsula. The North Korean government flaunts an increasingly sophisticated arsenal of intercontinental missiles and launches a midrange version, which apparently fails seconds after takeoff. The U.S. moves an immense warship to the waters off the peninsula in a display of military might. President Donald Trump warns he's ready to "solve North Korea," while North Korea's deputy foreign minister says his country will conduct its next nuclear test whenever it sees fit. And in Pyongyang, where war would mean untold horrors, where neighborhoods could be reduced to rubble and tens of thousands of civilians could be killed, few people seem to care much at all.
BEIJING (AP) — Automakers face a dilemma in China's huge but crowded market: Regulators are pushing them to sell electric cars, but buyers want gas-guzzling SUVs. The industry is rattled by Beijing's proposal to require that electric cars make up 8 percent of every brand's production as early as next year. Consumers are steering the other way: First-quarter SUV sales soared 21 percent from a year earlier to 2.4 million, while electric vehicle purchases sank 4.4 percent to just 55,929. "It's tough for someone with an EV to come and take away market share from SUVs," said Ben Cavender of China Market Research Group.
BEIJING (AP) — A monitoring group and a U.S.-backed radio station say a Tibetan Buddhist monk set himself on fire in western China in an apparent protest against Beijing's rule. Free Tibet and Radio Free Asia said the monk set himself ablaze in a public square in the town of Kardze on Saturday morning. The unidentified monk was taken away after the fire was extinguished by security forces. It was uncertain if he survived. If confirmed, it would be the 148th case of a Tibetan self-immolating since 2009, according to Radio Free Asia. At least 125 have died. Eyewitnesses have said many cried out for Tibetan independence or prayed for the return of Tibet's exiled Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama.
HONG KONG (AP) — China's economic growth ticked higher to 6.9 percent in the first quarter of the year, according to the latest figures. The official data released Monday show that the world's second-biggest economy grew at a slightly faster pace in the January-March period compared with the previous quarter's 6.8 percent expansion. It's the second straight quarter that China's economy has accelerated, in a sign that a rebound is gaining momentum after last year's economic growth was its slowest pace in nearly three decades. The rebound is being supported by government spending on infrastructure as well as a credit-fueled real estate boom.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A North Korean medium-range missile exploded seconds after it was launched on Sunday, U.S. officials said, a high-profile failure that came hours before the U.S. vice president arrived in South Korea, and as an American aircraft supercarrier approaches the Korean Peninsula in a show of force. The U.S. had good intelligence both before and after the launch, said a White House foreign policy adviser traveling with Vice President Mike Pence, who arrived in Seoul in the afternoon to start a 10-day trip to Asia. No planned response is expected from the Trump administration because the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the administration's initial understanding of the launch, said there was no need for the U.S.
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea's big day, the anniversary of the birth of its founding leader, Kim Il Sung, came and went with no underground nuclear test by the North, and no pre-emptive strikes off the deck of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier sent to waters off the Korean Peninsula by President Donald Trump. Just hours before Vice President Mike Pence began his visit to Seoul on Sunday, Pyongyang fired off a ballistic missile — but it appears to have exploded seconds after it got off the ground. So, all clear? Well, yes and no. Though tensions had been rising dangerously between Washington and Pyongyang in the lead-up to the April 15 anniversary, the biggest holiday of the year in North Korea, the heightened rhetoric and saber-rattling on both sides could begin to cool down — a pattern that has been common in recent years, especially in the spring, when the U.S.
HONOLULU (AP) — A man who witnessed a Hawaii shark attack says the victim is a French surfer who had part of a leg amputated but is in remarkably good spirits. Mac Pigott tells KHON-TV he visited the victim on Saturday in a hospital on the island of Kauai following the attack at Davidson's Beach. Pigott did not identify the French man by name, but he provided KHON-TV with a picture of him smiling from his hospital bed. Pigott says doctors amputated one of the man's legs just below the knee. He says the victim is setting goals so he can compete one day in the Paralympic Games.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is embarking on a 10-day, four-nation tour of the Asia-Pacific this weekend, arriving in South Korea after a failed missile launch by the North. His visit comes amid tensions over North Korea's aggressive flaunting of its nuclear and missile program. Pence will visit South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Australia during his trip, meeting with leaders in the region, military troops and business groups. It will be Pence's second foreign trip as vice president — he traveled to Germany and Belgium in February to meet with NATO and European Union officials. Five things to know about President Donald Trump's No.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan President Ashraf Ghani met Sunday with U.S. National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster and discussed mutual cooperation in Afghanistan's fight against the Taliban and Islamic State group. A statement released Sunday said both sides talked about bilateral relations between the two countries in the arenas of security, counter-terrorism, regional issues and economic development. Ghani said in the statement that terrorism is a serious threat to security and stability in the region and the world and that if it is not defeated, it could affect the lives of future generations. In an interview on ABC's "This Week," said that in the past the U.S.