South Korean President Moon Jae-in says Trump deserves Nobel Peace Prize

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said US President Donald Trump deserved a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end the stand-off with North Korea over its nuclear weapons programme, a South Korean official said on Monday.
“President Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize. What we need is only peace,” Moon told a meeting of senior secretaries, according to a presidential Blue House official who briefed media.
Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Friday pledged at a summit…

Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal inspires anti-graft board game

A Malaysian board game based on “Monopoly” is taking aim at the massive 1MDB scandal before elections, featuring a motley crew of figures central to the controversy and items allegedly bought with looted money.
Designed by an anti-graft watchdog, “Kleptopoly” sees players move tokens round a board and pick up high-end properties, with the richest – but least corrupt – player declared the winner at the end. The US Department of Justice alleges that US$4.5…

Trump’s ultra-hawkish security adviser hails Libya as model for North Korea’s denuclearisation

Libya’s decision to give up its nuclear programme through diplomacy is a model for efforts to have North Korea do likewise, US National Security Adviser John Bolton said on Sunday.
“We have very much in mind the Libya model from 2003, 2004,” Bolton told Fox News Sunday when asked whether North Korea would have to fully give up its nuclear weapons, fuel and missiles before the US makes concessions.
“There are obviously differences – the Libyan programme was much…

Thais protest against officials building homes on sacred mountain

Around 1,000 people protested in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai on Sunday against the construction of homes for officials on forested land flanking a revered mountain, in one of the largest shows of dissent under junta rule.
Public frustration has been mounting over the project since aerial images of several dozen officials’ homes – carved into the green foothills of Chiang Mai’s Doi Suthep mountain – started circulating on social media earlier this year. On…

Japan angry at US after low-flying F-16 fighter jet footage was uploaded to YouTube

The Defence Ministry’s local bureau in northeastern Japan lodged a complaint with the commander of Misawa Air Base after video footage taken from a US fighter jet flying at a very low altitude was uploaded to YouTube, officials said.
The US military at the base in Aomori Prefecture said it has confirmed that the 10-minute footage was taken from one of its F-16 fighter jets during flight training and the aircraft flew below the minimum allowed altitude at several locations, they said. The…

Wooden Philippine boats retracing historic voyage to China

Crafted from a centuries-old design, three identical wooden boats set off from the Philippine capital for China on Saturday, to retrace a historic trip by a Filipino sultan and showcase long-standing maritime ties.
The 29 crew members on the three vessels – two propelled by engines and the third by sail – hope to make it across the South China Sea, a nearly 1,000km (620-mile) voyage, to the eastern city of Xiamen by May 2. The 18-metre (60-foot) boats are replicas of a “…

Duterte ‘not abandoning’ court victory against Beijing over South China Sea areas, says spokesman

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xhan Phuc on Friday he is not abandoning Manila’s 2016 arbitral award against China over features in the South China Sea, his official spokesman said.
According to Harry Roque, Duterte assured Phuc during a bilateral meeting in Singapore ahead of their participation in a regional summit this weekend that the International Court of Arbitration’s decision “will be addressed at the proper time”….