U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived in North Korea for meetings ahead of President Donald Trump's planned summit with Kim Jong Un. Pompeo landed Wednesday morning Pyongyang time and was greeted by North Korean officials. He waited at a hotel before meetings were to begin. It's Pompeo's second known visit to the country. Trump revealed last month that Pompeo met with Kim over Easter weekend. Trump has said the time and date of his planned meeting with Kim have now been agreed to, but he has yet to reveal where or when it will happen.
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in North Korea on Wednesday to finalize details of a historic summit planned between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Trump announced the mission in Washington on Tuesday just minutes before Pompeo arrived in Japan to refuel before flying on to Pyongyang, and as the president declared he was withdrawing from a landmark nuclear deal with another bitter U.S. adversary, Iran. U.S. officials say Pompeo will also press North Korea for the release of three detained American citizens, whose imminent release Trump has been hinting at.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in North Korea on Wednesday to finalize details of a planned summit between President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un. A look at recent events in U.S.-North Korea relations: Jan. 1, 2017: Kim Jong Un says in a New Year's address that preparations for launching an intercontinental ballistic missile have "reached the final stage." Jan. 2: President-elect Donald Trump 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!" July 4: North Korea conducts its first flight test of an ICBM, the Hwasong-14, which Kim calls the North's "package of gifts" for the U.S.'s Independence Day.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Voting is underway Wednesday in a fiercely contested Malaysian election that pits an opposition led by former authoritarian leader Mahathir Mohamad against the ruling coalition of Prime Minister Najib Razak, whose reputation has been battered by corruption allegations and an unpopular sales tax. Polling booths opened at 8 a.m. and long queues formed at some voting locations in Kuala Lumpur and other cities. Watched by election officials, voters at a polling station set up at a school in central Kuala Lumpur dipped a finger in purple ink before casting their votes. Analysts say the ruling National Front, in power since independence from Britain in 1957, might lose the popular vote for a second consecutive election.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has called the election campaign "quite vicious" after casting his vote in the coastal city of Pekan. Najib showed reporters a finger stained in purple ink after voting and then greeted supporters. Najib's ruling coalition is facing a strong challenge from an opposition alliance led by his former mentor, 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad, who was Malaysia's prime minister for 22 years until 2003. Voters have been angered by a corruption scandal at a state investment fund set up Najib and increased taxation. Najib said the campaign was "quite vicious in the content of the personal attacks which doesn't reflect a mature democracy." He urged Malaysians to vote based on facts.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan lawmaker says Taliban fighters have captured a second remote district compound in two days. Mohammad Hashim, a member of parliament from northwestern Faryab province, says the insurgents early Wednesday seized the compound in Bilchiragh district. Hashim says more than 40 government forces retreated. He says the Taliban also captured several villages nearby. Provincial police spokesman Abdul Karim Yorish says intense fighting is taking place near the compound, adding it's still in government hands. The Taliban have confirmed in a statement they control the district and say they also killed 10 government forces, whose bodies lay on the ground.
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The embattled Philippine chief justice returned to office Wednesday after taking two months of leave amid efforts by President Rodrigo Duterte's administration to oust her from the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno "is determined to see this through to the bitter end. No backing out," her spokesman Jojo Lacanilao told The Associated Press as Sereno returned to work in defiance of calls for her to step down. Sereno is facing an impeachment bid in the House of Representatives, which is dominated by Duterte's allies, but Solicitor-General Jose Calida has separately petitioned the Supreme Court to remove Sereno for allegedly failing to file statements of assets and liabilities in past years, a charge she denies.
TOKYO (AP) — The rapidly evolving situation on the Korean Peninsula and U.S. threats to free trade were likely agenda items as China, Japan and South Korea sat down Wednesday for their first trilateral summit in more than two years. The meeting comes amid a flurry of developments on the Korean peninsula. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met Moon on April 27 and Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this week. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, early Wednesday on an unannounced visit. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in opening remarks, praised the efforts of Xi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnam has requested China to withdraw its military equipment from South China Sea outposts, saying their deployment seriously violates Hanoi's sovereignty, increases tension and destabilizes the regional situation. The comments came after CNBC reported last week that China had installed anti-ship cruise missiles and surface-to-air missile systems on three outposts in the contested Spratly Islands, which are also claimed by Vietnam among others. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang says in a statement Vietnam has sufficient legal basis and historical evidence to affirm its sovereignty over the Spratlys and the Paracels in the South China Sea.
MYITKYINA, Myanmar (AP) — As the Myanmar army's bombs started falling near her home in Kachin state, Nlam Numrang Doi and her neighbors decided they had no choice but to grab what they could and scatter into the jungle. "We were in so much trouble, I couldn't even swallow my food," the 92-year-old recalled. "If we stayed in the village, we didn't know what could happen to us." She climbed onto her grandson's back and he carried her to a river where she and nearly 800 other villagers boarded boats to reach the state capital, part of a wave of 6,800 people who have fled their homes in Kachin since a fresh government offensive began in early April.