SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea's president on Tuesday urged both North Korea and the United States to "make bold decisions" to break a deepening diplomatic impasse over the North's nuclear ambitions, saying he'll continue to act as mediator. President Moon Jae-in's comments come days before he's to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the third time this year to discuss how to achieve denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula. Moon said that summit must lead to another "big step" toward denuclearization. The talks come at a crucial moment in the overall diplomacy, which is currently stuck amid recriminations between Washington and Pyongyang on how to follow through on vows made at a summit in June between Kim and President Donald Trump to rid the North of its nuclear weapons.
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Tens of thousands of North Korean students rallied in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square in the final major event of the country's 70th anniversary, an elaborate celebration that has showcased the nation's aspirations for economic growth and Korean unity. The rally Monday night featured a sea of university and high school students carrying torches that spelled out giant slogans and words when seen from above the square. Leader Kim Jong Un did not attend. This year's anniversary downplayed the missiles and nuclear weapons that brought the country to the brink of conflict with the United States just one year ago.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban insurgents launched separate attacks on Afghan security forces in the country's north, killing at least 52, provincial officials said Monday. Mohammad Yusouf Ayubi, head of the provincial council in Kunduz province, said that at least 13 security forces were killed and 15 others wounded in an attack on a checkpoint they were manning in Dashti Archi district. The firefight began late Sunday and continued into Monday morning. Meanwhile in Jawzjan province, Provincial Police Chief Gen. Faqir Mohammad Jawzjani said the Taliban attacked Khamyab district from different sides, forcing Afghan forces to withdraw from the district headquarters to avoid civilian causalities.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has received a request from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for a follow-up to their historic June summit, and planning is in motion to make it happen. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that no details had been finalized. Trump had told reporters last week that he was expecting a letter from Kim. Sanders said Trump has received the letter, which she described as "very warm, very positive." The White House will not release the full letter unless Kim agrees it should be made public, she said. "The primary purpose of the letter was to request and look to schedule another meeting with the president, which we are open to and are already in the process of coordinating that," Sanders said at her first press briefing in nearly three weeks.
BANGKOK (AP) _ Police in Thailand shut down a forum organized by foreign journalists to discuss whether senior military officers in Myanmar should face justice for alleged human rights abuses committed by their forces against Rohingya Muslims and other ethnic minorities. About a dozen policemen showed up ahead of Monday evening's scheduled panel discussion at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand and ordered the panelists not to speak. The scheduled speakers included Tun Khin, a prominent U.K.-based Rohingya activist; Kobsak Chutikul, a former Thai diplomat; and Kingsley Abbott, a representative of the International Commission of Jurists, a rights advocacy group.
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — The leader of Cambodia's now dissolved opposition party was freed on highly restrictive bail Monday after being jailed for a year on a treason charge, the latest government opponent to be released since Prime Minister Hun Sen's landslide election victory. The Phnom Penh Municipal Court said in a statement that Kem Sokha was granted bail due to health reasons, but stressed that the case against him would proceed. The court's release order is so restrictive that it amounts to a form of house arrest. The 65-year-old politician may travel only a few blocks from his house; he may not meet former leaders of his party, nor its supporters, nor take part in any rallies; and he is not allowed to meet foreigners, especially those connected with the case against him.
BEIJING (AP) — China on Monday promised retaliation if U.S. President Donald Trump escalates their tariff battle, raising the risk Beijing might target operations of American companies as it runs out of imports for penalties. The threat came after Trump said Friday he was considering extending penalties to an additional $267 billion of Chinese products in their battle over Beijing's technology policy. That would be on top of $50 billion of goods already hit by 25 percent duties and another $200 billion on which Washington is poised to raise tariffs. "If the United States insists on imposing another round of tariffs on Chinese products, China will definitely take countermeasures to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.
TOKYO (AP) — Naomi Osaka's halting Japanese, her manners — she bowed and apologized after beating Serena Williams in the U.S. Open final — and her simple charm have swelled national pride in Japan and eclipsed many questions about her mixed-race parentage in a famously insular country. Two days after becoming the first Japanese player to win a Grand Slam tennis title, Osaka is still filling the front pages of the country's three major daily newspapers and leads the discussions on talk shows. The perspective from Japan on Monday: Osaka is being embraced as Japanese despite her mixed background. National pride — at least for now — is overriding questions of cultural identity and what it means to be Japanese.
INCHEON, South Korea (AP) — Move over pot stickers, here comes another Asian dumpling. South Korea's largest food company is making a multimillion-dollar bet on "mandu," developing its own machines to automate the normally labor-intensive production of the Korean dumpling and building factories around the world. "It will be the next kimchi," predicted Cho Gun Ae, a senior researcher at CJ CheilJedang Corp. who has spent more than 20 years researching dumpling recipes and production. The nearly 4-year-old effort is an example of how technology is transforming the food industry, in this case making over the image of frozen dumplings as a cheap and unhealthy product made by small companies.
BANGKOK (AP) — A wildlife monitoring group says research it has conducted since 2016 has found a sharp increase in the number of people belonging to Facebook groups in Thailand where endangered animals are bought and sold. The monitoring network TRAFFIC said its researchers found 1,521 animals for sale online in 12 Facebook groups in Thailand in less than a month of monitoring in 2016. Follow-up research on the same 12 groups showed that at least nine were still active in July this year, with one becoming secret, and their overall membership had increased to 203,445 from 106,111. Maethinee Phassaraudomsak, data and research officer for TRAFFIC in Thailand, said in an email Monday that the monitoring "shows how easy it is to carry out this business and market wildlife publicly while staying anonymous and out of reach of authorities." A new report by the group shows screenshots of exotic animals advertised for sale on Facebook.