Asia Stories


Apr 17 2014 Taliban In Pakistan Ends Ceasefire

ISLAMABAD - Islamist militants in Pakistan, referred to as the Pakistani Taliban, have formally ended a 40-day cease-fire that they called to engage in peace talks with the government. The move has raised fears of renewed suicide bombings and terrorist attacks in the country.
The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan — a loose alliance of militant outfits — […]


Apr 16 2014 South Korean Ferry Sinks, Hundreds Missing

SEOUL - South Korean officials say three people are dead and at least 290 missing after a ferry sank off the country’s southern coast Wednesday.
The boat was carrying more than 459 people, mostly students, to the resort island of Jeju when it sank in what appeared to be calm conditions.
Many are feared to be trapped […]


Apr 13 2014 7.6 Earthquake Strikes Near Solomon Islands

WASHINGTON - A powerful magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck near the Solomon Islands on Sunday morning, triggering a tsunami warning that was later canceled, according to U.S. government agencies, and there were no immediate reports of damage.
The quake was centered 100 km (60 miles) south of Kira Kira on the island of Makira at a depth […]


Apr 7 2014 Japan Orders Strike Against North Korean Missiles

TOKYO - Japan has ordered a destroyer in the Sea of Japan to strike any ballistic missiles that may be launched by North Korea in the coming weeks after Pyongyang fired a Rodong medium-range missile over the sea, a government source said on Saturday.
Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera issued the order on Thursday, but did […]


Apr 5 2014 China Reports Potential Location Of Missing Airliner

BANGKOK - China’s official news agency is reporting what could be a breakthrough in locating the Malaysia Airlines jet missing for nearly a month.
A Chinese ship, searching about 1,600 kilometers northwest of Perth, Australia, says it heard multiple pings that could have come from the missing plane’s flight recorder.
The Xinhua news agency reported the Chinese […]


Apr 1 2014 Japanese Families Return To Radioactive Hot Zone

TOKYO - People in Japan on Tuesday began their first homecomings in three years to a small area evacuated after the Fukushima disaster, but families are divided as worries about radiation and poor job prospects have kept many away.
The reopening of the Miyakoji area of Tamura, a city 140 miles northeast of Tokyo and inland […]


Apr 1 2014 US Warns North Korea Against Provocations

WASHINGTON - The United States is warning a new round of saber-rattling by North Korea is “dangerous and has to stop.”  The warning comes as U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel prepares for a week-long trip focusing on issues in Asia, including North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
North Korea’s latest attempt to grab attention with live-fire […]


Mar 31 2014 Pervez Musharraf Indicted For Treason

ISLAMABAD - A special court set up to try Pakistan’s former military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, has indicted him on five counts of treason, a milestone for civilian authority in a country long dominated by the army.
Musharraf pleaded “not guilty” to each count Monday at the court in Islamabad.  If convicted, he could face the death […]


Mar 31 2014 North, South Korea Trade Artillery Fire

SEOUL - North Korea has fired artillery shells into South Korean waters, apparently in reaction to military exercises being conducted between the U.S. and South Korea.
Seoul responded immediately on Monday by shelling North Korean waters.  Officials say no shells hit any land areas on either side along the western sea boundary and no one was […]


Mar 27 2014 North Korea Suffers Foot And Mouth Disease Outbreak

SEOUL - The World Organization for Animal Health says deadly foot-and-mouth disease has spread to another farm in the North Korean capital Pyongyang.
In an e-mail to VOA’s Korean service Wednesday, the organization said at least six pigs were slaughtered January 16 after an outbreak of the disease in Sunan Village.
The new foot-and mouth outbreak in […]


Mar 26 2014 North Korea Continues Firing Missiles Into Sea

SEOUL - North Korea has fired two medium-range missiles into the sea off its east coast, a move Seoul and Washington immediately slammed as a provocation.
South Korea says the suspected Rodong ballistic missiles fired early Wednesday flew about 650 kilometers before landing in the sea between Korea and Japan.
That represents an escalation for Pyongyang, which […]


Mar 25 2014 Malaysian Jetliner Search Suspended

WASHINGTON - Bad weather is forcing the suspension of the search for a missing Malaysian jetliner, which authorities have now concluded crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said high waves, strong winds and dense clouds are preventing airplanes and ships from searching the area, 2,500 kilometers west of Perth.
The search for […]


Mar 21 2014 Missing Malaysian Airliner Still Not Found

BEIJING - Australia’s deputy prime minister says the international search to locate the objects captured earlier this week by satellite in the Southern Indian Ocean has yet to find anything.
Warren Truss told reporters in Perth Friday it is possible that something floating on the sea that long ago may no longer be floating and may […]


Mar 17 2014 IAEA: Japan Should Dump Radioactive Water Into Sea

TOKYO - International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano is recommending some of the contaminated water from Japan’s tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant be released into the ocean.
Japanese authorities have struggled to contain the rapidly accumulating water used to cool the plant’s damaged reactors. Some of the hundreds of tanks used to store the radioactive […]


Mar 16 2014 Search For Missing Boeing 777 Now Includes 25 Countries

WASHINGTON - Malaysian authorities say the number of countries involved in the search for a missing Malaysia Airlines passenger jet has grown to 25 after it was determined the plane may have flown over several countries.
Transportation Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says the search and rescue operation increased by 11 countries, noting the plane could have flown […]


Mar 6 2014 North Korea Rejects Family Reunion Talks

SEOUL - North Korea has rejected South’s Korea’s proposal for talks on resuming reunions between families separated by the 1950s Korean War.
Seoul’s Unification Ministry said the North delivered the message Thursday, saying a “proper atmosphere had not been created” to resume the talks.
A ministry spokesman, Kim Eui-do, said Seoul was disappointed in Pyongyang’s decision.
“Our side […]


Mar 4 2014 North Korea Fires Scud Missiles Into Sea

SEOUL - North Korea continued Tuesday launching short-range missiles into the ocean, as part of what Seoul says is a protest against U.S.-South Korean military drills.
The South Korean Defense Ministry says the North fired three artillery shells about 55 kilometers using a multiple rocket launcher off its southeast coast early Tuesday. Later, it fired four […]


Mar 1 2014 Karzai Still Refuses To Sign Security Agreement

WASHINGTON - Afghan President Hamid Karzai has not yet agreed to sign a Bilateral Security Agreement [BSA] with the United States. The agreement would determine the scope of activity for American troops in Afghanistan after 2014. Karzai has been a U.S. ally for more than a decade — but in the waning days of his […]


Feb 26 2014 Obama Warns Karzai On US Troop Withdrawal

WASHINGTON - President Obama called Afghan President Karzai on Tuesday to reiterate that there will be no U.S. troop presence on the ground in Afghanistan unless the Afghan government signs a bilateral security agreement.
Before they spoke on the phone Tuesday, Obama and Karzai were not known to have spoken for months.
The Afghan leader has refused […]


Feb 26 2014 Gary Locke Blasts China On Human Rights

WASHINGTON - Outgoing U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke used his final speech in office Wednesday to urge Beijing to strengthen its rule of law and provide greater freedom of expression.
Speaking to a group of Chinese university students in Beijing, Locke said in many cases China would need only to adhere to its existing laws […]


Feb 23 2014 Taliban Suspends Talks With US On Prisoner Swap

ISLAMABAD - The Taliban says it has temporarily suspended talks with the United States on a possible prisoners’ swap, citing the “current complexity of the political situation in Afghanistan.” The statement comes days after media reports quoted U.S. authorities as saying the Obama administration has renewed efforts at talks with the Afghan insurgent group to […]


Feb 21 2014 China Outraged At Obama Meeting With Dalai Lama

BEIJING - China has issued an angry reaction to news that President Obama will meet with the Tibetan spiritual leader Friday at the White House,warning there will be consequences for the U.S. if the meeting is not canceled.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the meeting is a “crude interference” with China’s internal affairs, adding that […]


Feb 20 2014 Fukushima Springs New Radioactive Leak

TOKYO - A new leak of highly radioactive water has been discovered at Japan’s tsunami-stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Plant operator TEPCO said Thursday that 100 tons of contaminated water leaked from a storage tank at the facility.
A TEPCO spokesman said the leak has been stopped and that it is unlikely any of the water reached […]


Feb 19 2014 Pervez Musharraf Faces Trial In Pakistan

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s former president, Pervez Musharraf, has appeared in a special court to face treason charges, after repeated no-shows for weeks. The trial of the former army leader is unprecedented in a country where the military has staged several coups and its top officers have, until now, enjoyed an undeclared immunity from prosecution.
Security was tight […]


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