WASHINGTON (AP) — A man suspected of involvement in a mysterious dissident group's February raid on North Korea's Embassy in Madrid was arrested in Los Angeles by U.S. authorities. Christopher Ahn, a former U.S. Marine, was arrested and charged Friday, according to a person familiar with the matter. The specific charges against Ahn were not immediately clear. The person could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Separately, on Thursday, federal agents raided the apartment of Adrian Hong, a leader of the Free Joseon group, the person said. Hong was not arrested. Free Joseon, also known as the Cheollima Civil Defense group, styles itself as a government-in-exile dedicated to toppling the ruling Kim family dynasty in North Korea.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Saturday issued a relatively mild criticism of White House national security adviser John Bolton for calling on North Korea to show more evidence of its disarmament commitment before a possible third leaders' summit. North Korea's criticism appears to be a continuation of its frustration at deadlocked nuclear negotiations with the United States. Earlier in the week, the North tested a new weapon and demanded that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo be removed from the nuclear negotiations. But the country is still avoiding directing harsh rhetoric toward the U.S. and directly criticizing President Donald Trump in an apparent effort to keep diplomacy alive.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A suicide blast rocked Afghanistan's capital Saturday during a gun battle with security forces, officials said, killing at least seven people a day after hopes for all-encompassing peace talks collapsed. At least eight people were wounded. Police chief Gen. Sayed Mohammad Roshandil said the bomber blew himself up outside the Telecommunications Ministry, clearing the way for four gunmen to enter the building and the heavily guarded government compound in central Kabul. Nasart Rahimi, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said four civilians and three soldiers were killed during the attack. Eight civilians were wounded, he said. Wahidullah Mayar, spokesman for the Public Health Ministry, said the wounded people were evacuated to hospitals, three of them women.
NEW DELHI (AP) — A former employee of India's Supreme Court has accused the country's chief justice of sexual harassment, an accusation that was vehemently denied by the judge, the nation's largest news agency reported Saturday. The 35-year-old woman filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court on Friday alleging two instances of misconduct in October last year shortly after Ranjan Gogoi took over as India's most senior judge, the Press Trust of India news agency said. Gogoi convened an urgent court session with the other two justices on Saturday and said the charges were part of a conspiracy by some "bigger force," according to PTI.
TOKYO (AP) — Without close friends in Asia, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears to be using every opportunity, even the emperor's accession, to court President Donald Trump. Abe is scheduling a rushed visit to Washington to meet with Trump and celebrate first lady's birthday, and then is inviting him to be first foreign leader to meet the new emperor, the two countries announced Friday. Tokyo and Washington said that Trump and first lady Melania Trump will make a state visit to Japan at the end of May, just weeks after Crown Prince Naruhito ascends Japan's Chrysanthemum throne. Naruhito's 85-year-old father, Emperor Akihito, is ending his three-decade reign on April 30 by abdicating.
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Dozens of protesters took to the streets in Bangladesh's capital to demand justice for an 18-year-old woman who died after being set on fire for refusing to drop sexual harassment charges against her Islamic school's principal. Nusrat Jahan Rafi told her family she was lured to the roof of her rural school in the town of Feni on April 6 and asked to withdraw the charges by five people clad in burqas. When she refused, she said her hands were tied and she was doused in kerosene and set alight. Rafi told the story to her brother in an ambulance on the way to the hospital and he recorded her testimony on his mobile phone.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday rejected a North Korean demand that he be replaced as President Donald Trump's top negotiator, as the United States and Japan vowed to continue to enforce tough sanctions on North Korea until it dismantles its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. Pompeo's refusal to step down and the joint U.S.-Japanese pledge made at a meeting of their foreign and defense ministers at the State Department threw more uncertainty over the possible resumption of stalled denuclearization talks. The talks have been at an impasse over sanctions since Trump's second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended without any agreement in late February, and the North has warned it may not return to the table without immediate sanctions relief.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's former President Hamid Karzai said Friday that peace in his homeland, ravaged by more than 17 years of war, will only be possible when Afghans from all sectors of society sit together and negotiate — including the Taliban. Karzai expressed disappointment that a scheduled gathering for Afghan-to-Afghan talks in Qatar was postponed indefinitely after a falling out over who should attend. It would have marked the first time that Taliban and Kabul government officials sat together. The talks, which were to start Friday in Doha, where the Taliban maintain an office, were considered a significant first step toward finding a negotiated end to the war in Afghanistan, America's longest conflict, and the eventual withdrawal of U.S.
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese e-commerce tycoon Jack Ma has long been an example of how the power of big dreams, strong leadership and sheer elbow grease can create massive fortunes in China's go-go economy. Yet, recent remarks by the head of Chinese online business giant Alibaba that young people should be prepared to work 12-hour days, six days a week have prompted a public debate over work-life balance in the country. Ma is one of China's richest men and his comments brought both condemnation and support as China's maturing economy enters a period of slower growth — and young people look to escape the drudgery their parents often had to endure.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's government said it will resurrect a multibillion-dollar property and transportation project in Kuala Lumpur involving a Chinese state company, calling it a contribution to China's global "Belt and Road" infrastructure initiative. Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is traveling to China next week to attend the second Belt and Road forum, said Friday the Cabinet agreed to reinstate the Bandar Malaysia project, which is expected to cost 140 billion ringgit ($33.8 billion). It comes a week after Malaysia resumed a China-backed rail link project after the Chinese contractor agreed to cut the construction cost by one third to 44 billion ringgit ($10.6 billion).