SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A North Korean mid-range ballistic missile apparently failed shortly after launch Saturday, South Korea and the United States said, the third test-fire flop just this month but a clear message of defiance as a U.S. supercarrier conducts drills in nearby waters. North Korean ballistic missile tests are banned by the United Nations because they're seen as part of the North's push for a nuclear-tipped missile that can hit the U.S. mainland. The latest test came as U.S. officials pivoted from a hard line to diplomacy at the U.N. in an effort to address what may be Washington's most pressing foreign policy challenge.
North Korea's state media has reiterated the country's goal of developing a nuclear missile capable of reaching the continental United States on the same day rivals Washington and Seoul detected a failed missile launch from an area near Pyongyang. The Rodong Sinmun newspaper also said Saturday that the North revealed two types of new intercontinental ballistic missiles in an April 15 military parade honoring its late state founder, Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of current ruler Kim Jong Un. The parade featured previously unseen large rocket canisters and launcher trucks. It said: "The large territory that is the United States has been entirely exposed to our pre-emptive nuclear strike means." Referring to the United States sending the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier to Korean waters, the newspaper said that "rendering aircraft carriers useless is not even a problem" for its military.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A North Korean missile launch Saturday is the latest development in an ongoing game of brinkmanship this year with President Donald Trump's new U.S. administration. A look at key moments this year: Jan. 1: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says in a New Year's address that North Korean preparations for launching an intercontinental ballistic missile have "reached the final stage." ___ Jan. 2: Trump, then president-elect, tweets: "North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won't happen!" ___ Jan.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine marines have killed an Abu Sayyaf extremist commander and a notorious kidnapper who had sailed across the sea border into Malaysia to snatch tourists and sailors for ransom, the military chief said Saturday. Gen. Eduardo Ano told The Associated Press that Alhabsy Misaya was slain in a clash with marines late Friday in the jungles between the towns of Indanan and Parang in Sulu province. He said Misaya's body was identified by military officials and captured Abu Sayyaf militants. Misaya has been blamed for abductions of dozens of Malaysians and Indonesian hostages, including one who was beheaded.
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Ultra-nationalist Buddhist monks and their supporters have forced the closing of two Muslim schools in Yangon, Myanmar's biggest city, in a reminder that religious strife remains a threat to the country's stability. About a dozen monks and scores of supporters gathered Friday afternoon near the two Muslim madrassas while police stood by as protesters demanded that local officials close the buildings. The raucous three-hour gathering ended when officials agreed to allow them to chain the entrances of the two buildings, which the protesters claim were built illegally. Tensions between Myanmar's overwhelmingly Buddhist population and the Muslim minority spread after violent conflict broke out between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Muslim Rohingya in 2012 in western Rakhine state, where the Rohingya are accused of entering the country illegally from Bangladesh.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Neat certainties are rare in the North Korean nuclear crisis, which for decades has simmered and occasionally boiled over, without resolution. So it was jarring to see the absolute confidence with which America's top Pacific commander described the ability of a contentious U.S. missile defense system, scheduled to be up and running in days in South Korea, to shoot down North Korean missiles. "If it flies, it will die," Adm. Harry Harris Jr. told U.S. lawmakers at a hearing Wednesday. Like nearly everything associated with the world's last Cold War standoff, the truth is muddier. To test the admiral's assertion, The Associated Press asked a handful of specialists to weigh in on one of the biggest points of friction in Northeast Asia.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Contradicting U.S. President Donald Trump, South Korea said Friday it has no plan to renegotiate a bilateral trade deal with the U.S., or to pay for the U.S. missile defense system being deployed on its territory. South Korea's trade and defense ministries were reacting to President Donald Trump's remarks that he will fix or end what he called a "horrible" bilateral trade deal with South Korea, and that he would make the Asian ally pay $1 billion for the THAAD missile defense system. Trump made the remarks in an interview Thursday with Reuters news agency. Woo Taehee, South Korea's vice trade minister, said the country was not notified of any trade renegotiation, and that there have been no working-level talks with the U.S.
TANAH LOT, Indonesia (AP) — Thousands of people flock daily to the centuries-old, sacred Hindu temple at Tanah Lot, a rock formation that juts into the Indian Ocean. An island at high tide and flanked by sheer cliffs, it's among Bali's most photographed sites, particularly for the mesmerizing sunsets that transform the waters into a shimmering orange vista. It's getting a new neighbor, described as "Trump International Hotel and Tower" in the Trump Organization's promotions for what will be its first resort in Asia. They promise breathtaking views, a super-sized golf course overlooking the temple and an "enchanting and unrivaled getaway from the current luxury hotels" in Bali.
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Thousands of supporters of Pakistan's popular opposition leader Imran Khan have rallied in the capital Islamabad to call for the resignation of the country's prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, over his alleged corruption. Friday's rally came a week after Pakistan's Supreme Court, acting on a petition submitted by Khan, asked investigators to complete a probe into corruption allegations against Sharif within two months. Amid chants of "Go, Nawaz! Go!" Khan told his supporters that Sharif will resign soon. However, Sharif's ruling Pakistan Muslim League party typically scoffs at predictions such as Khan's, maintaining that the premier will remain in power until 2018 when his term ends.
BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors say authorities have arrested two Japanese citizens and an American on suspicion of selling millions of euros worth of drugs online. Frankfurt prosecutors say a 43-year-old Japanese man, a 40-year-old Japanese woman and a 39-year-old man from the U.S. were arrested late Thursday in Berlin. Their names weren't released. In a statement Friday, prosecutors said the suspects were part of a gang that sold cocaine, cannabis and Ecstasy on darknet websites, which aren't visible without special software. Prosecutors say the three suspects and a 38-year-old Japanese woman who's still on the run received at least 2.3 million euros ($2.51 million) from the sale of drugs online since September 2012.