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Showing posts from April 15, 2013

Militants kill 13 Afghan troops at army post

Kunar, Afghanistan: Taliban militants killed 13 Afghan soldiers in a fierce gun battle on Friday after storming an army post in the east of the country near the Pakistan border, police said.

“The attackers were heavily armed,” a senior police officer in Kunar province, who declined to be named, told AFP. “We have recovered the bodies of 13 of our soldiers. The outpost has been nearly destroyed.”

John Kerry in Japan to discuss North Korea

Tokyo: US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Japan on Sunday to discuss nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula after securing vital support from China to help defuse the weeks-long crisis.

On the final stop of a 10-day tour, he was to meet first with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, which has deployed Patriot missiles around the capital in anticipation of a missile launch by the North.

As the top diplomats prepared to meet, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will hold talks with Kerry on Monday, said Pyongyang had to realise it was harming itself by being “provocative”.

There are fears any launch could come on Monday, the anniversary of the birth of the North’s late founder Kim Il-Sung. The presence of Kerry in the region, ensuring maximum publicity, may also appeal to the regime.

“The government will do its utmost to protect the lives and safety of the Japanese people,” Abe told local reporters during a visit to Iwo To, better known as Iwo Jima, where he att…

Troops break siege of key army camps

Beirut: Syrian troops have broken a months-long rebel siege on two key military bases in the northwestern province of Idlib, killing at least 21 opposition fighters, a watchdog said on Sunday. “Regime forces managed to lift the siege on the Wadi Deif and Hamdiya military camps after the army went around the rebel fighters and attacked them from behind,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. At least 21 rebels were killed in the attack, which focussed on the village of Babulin, the Britain-based group said. Troops “now control two hilltops on either side of the Damascus-Aleppo international highway” reopening a supply route for the army, Observatory director Rami Abdul Rahman said. The watchdog said two military trucks carrying materiel and soldiers have since been spotted passing through the area for the first time in months.

The area is in the countryside near the strategic town of Maaret Al Numan, which fell to rebel forces last October. Rebels began blocking military sup…

The Real Reasons for the Crisis on the Korean Peninsula

By Alexander VORONTSOV

April 14, 2013  -"SCF" - Tensions are rising on the Korean Peninsula. Pyongyang has decided to close the industrial complex in Kaesong, which is a joint enterprise zone with South Korea, and has suggested that foreign embassies evacuate the Democratic People's Republic of Korea for reasons of safety. Most significant in this series of steps has been the decision of the Plenum of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers' Party, held in March 2013, regarding legal confirmation of North Korea's nuclear status and the decision of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea «On further strengthening the status of a country in possession of nuclear weapons for the purposes of self-defence».

The majority of media, while painting a vivid picture of North Korea's militancy, is not trying to understand the reasons why the conflict on Korean soil is currently escalating so dramatically. When they do try, they usually name Pyongyang as the in…