Top Asian News 3:42 a.m. GMT

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean military official says the two projectiles North Korea flew across its country toward the sea on Thursday were evaluated as short-range missiles. The official said Friday that the U.S. and South Korean militaries share the assessment and are jointly analyzing more details from the launch. He didn't want to be named, citing office rules. North Korea's state media showed leader Kim Jong Un observing the firing of rocket artillery and what appeared to be a short-range ballistic missile soaring from a launch vehicle. The North's second launch in five days was seen as a brushback pitch toward Washington over deadlocked nuclear negotiations.

WASHINGTON (AP) — In trying to hammer out a trade agreement with China, the Trump administration may be drawing inspiration from classic rock, specifically The Who's anthem "Won't Get Fooled Again." Fed up with China for breaking past promises, the administration is insisting on provisions designed to force the Chinese to live up to any commitments they make in trade talks that entered an 11th round on Thursday. In fact, top U.S. trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin this week accused the Chinese of already reneging on concessions they'd made earlier in the negotiations. In retaliation for that alleged backsliding, the United States is poised to dramatically escalate the trade war between the world's two biggest economies at 12:01 a.m.

BEIJING (AP) — The tariff war between Washington and Beijing poses one of the biggest challenges yet for Chinese President Xi Jinping, potentially exposing his political vulnerabilities at a time when the Chinese economy is already slowing. The U.S. effort to win concessions from China on strategic industrial policies has put Xi's own prestige on the line. It also has cast into question the ruling Communist Party's social contract with the Chinese people: keeping authoritarian, one-party rule and ruling class privileges in exchange for delivering robust economic growth, better living standards and a higher global profile for China. Chinese and U.S.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. said Thursday that it has seized a North Korean cargo ship that was used to violate international sanctions, a first-of-its kind enforcement action that comes amid a tense moment in relations between the two countries. The "Wise Honest," North Korea's second largest cargo ship, was detained in April 2018 as it traveled toward Indonesia. It's now in the process of being moved to American Samoa, Justice Department officials said. Officials made the announcement hours after North Korea fired two suspected short-range missiles toward the sea, the second weapons launch in five days and a possible signal that stalled talks over its nuclear weapons program are in trouble.

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. and Chinese negotiators met Thursday just hours before the United States was set to raise tariffs on Chinese imports in a dramatic escalation of tensions between the world's two biggest economies. China has threatened to retaliate if President Donald Trump goes ahead with the tariff hikes, adding to the heated rhetoric from both sides that was shaking stock markets around the world. The negotiators met Thursday evening. Then, after briefing Trump on the negotiations, top U.S. trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had a working dinner with the leader of the Chinese delegation, Vice Premier Liu He.

BEIJING (AP) — Ratcheting up tension ahead of talks in Washington, China vowed Thursday to defend its own interests and retaliate if President Donald Trump goes ahead with more tariff hikes in a dispute over trade and technology. Beijing will impose "necessary countermeasures" if the increases take effect Friday as planned, the Commerce Ministry said. It gave no details but a ministry spokesman said Beijing has made "all necessary preparations," suggesting it might be bracing for worsening conflict. Trump threw global financial markets into turmoil with Sunday's threat to raise import duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%.

TORONTO (AP) — Former U.S. national security adviser H.R. McMaster said Thursday China's treatment of two detained Canadians is a telling example of how China is a threat to the liberal international order. The retired lieutenant general who served as President Donald Trump's national security adviser said at the Munk debate in Toronto Thursday that China's communist party exposes the nature of their system every day and it's time for people to wake up. "Our free and open societies are under attack by an authoritarian closed model. A model that not only is affecting the Chinese people by extinguishing their rights, their rights to free speech, their rights to privacy but it is also affecting other nations of the world," McMaster said.

TOKYO (AP) — The U.S Navy said Thursday it has suspended its search for a Japanese air force F-35A stealth fighter that crashed off Japan's coast last month, after the allies scrambled to locate the aircraft to protect its military secrets. The pilot is still missing, and Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said Japan will continue its search. The Navy said in a statement that it was withdrawing after a salvage vehicle, CURV 21, found debris from the aircraft. It crashed in the Pacific off the eastern coast of Aomori in northern Japan during a night training flight on April 9. It went missing about half an hour after taking off from Misawa air base with three other F-35As and about a minute after the pilot abruptly ordered an end to the training exercise.

KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan broke ground Thursday on a shipyard to produce submarines to counter China's growing military threat. The self-governing island's President Tsai Ing-wen presided over a ceremony in the southern port city of Kaohsiung, saying submarines were an effective way to deter a foe from surrounding the island by sea. "We must have concept and thinking of asymmetric warfare," Tsai said, referring to the military concept where a smaller opponent can hold off a larger one using specialized strategies and tactics. China, which claims Taiwan as its territory to be annexed for force if necessary, operates a growing navy that boasts some 75 submarines, including latest generation homebuilt vessels.

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan Catholic officials said Thursday that church-run schools that have been closed since Easter Sunday bombings are expected to reopen next week, and Sunday Masses will resume this weekend if security conditions are appropriate. Archbishop of Colombo Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said priests have been asked to decide whether to hold services at their churches this Sunday depending on the security situation. President Maithripala Sirisena met with the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Sri Lanka and discussed measures being taken to ensure the safety of the churches and schools. The bishops declined to provide details of the talks.