Three US carriers lead naval drill aimed at N. Korea
SEOUL, Nov 11 (AFP) - Three US aircraft carriers, accompanied by South Korean warships, launched a joint naval drill Saturday in a fresh show of force aimed at North Korea, whose nuclear ambitions have dominated US President Donald Trump's ongoing tour of Asia.
The four- day exercise in the western Pacific involves three flattops -- USS Ronald Reagan, USS Nimitz and USS Theodore Roosevelt -- and seven South Korean vessels including three destroyers.
It is the first such triple-carri- er drill in the region for a decade.
“The exercise is aimed at enhancing deterrence against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats and showing off preparedness to fend off any provocative acts by the North,” a South Korean defence ministry spokesman said.
Nuclear- armed North Korea regularly denounces such military drills as rehearsals for invasion and sometimes conducts its own military manoeuvres or missile tests in response.
The US warships will carry out air defence drills, sea surveillance, defensive air combat training and other operations, the US Navy said.
The exercises come on the heels of Trump's visits to Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing this week, which were dominated by the question of how to counter Pyongyang's nuclear weapons threat.
At a summit in Seoul, Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-In agreed to increase the deployment of US military assets around the Korean peninsula to step up pressure on the North.
And in a speech to the South Korean parliament, Trump warned North Korea not to underestimate the United States, while offering leader Kim JongUn a better future if he gives up his nuclear ambitions.
The North, which this year carried out its sixth nuclear test, generating by far the largest yield to date, has fired dozens of missiles in recent months -- all in defiance of multiple UN sanctions.
Two have overflown key US ally Japan, and the regime has claimed that it now has the technology to mount a nuclear warhead on a missile that can travel as far as the US mainland.
There has been speculation that Kim would order another missile test to coincide with the US president's marathon visit to the region which ends on Tuesday.
Since becoming president, Trump has engaged in an escalating war of words with Kim, trading personal insults and threats of military strikes and raising concerns about an outbreak of hostilities.
SYDNEY, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Papua New Guinea will delay by at least 24 hours a plan to forcibly evict hundreds of men from an abandoned Australian detention centre, three asylum seekers said on Saturday.
Hundreds of men have barricaded themselves into the Manus island centre for more than 11 days without regular food or water, defying closure bids by Australia and Papua New Guinea in what the United Nations calls a “looming humanitarian crisis”.
Trans-Pacific trade deal advances without United States
DANANG, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Countries in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal have agreed on the core elements to move ahead without the United States, officials said on Saturday, after last-minute resistance from Canada raised new doubts about its survival.
Taking the agreement forward is a boost for the principle of multilateral trade pacts after U.S. President Donald Trump ditched the TPP early this year in favour of an “America First” policy he believes would save U.S. jobs.
Talks - often heated - have been held on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the Vietnamese resort of Danang, where Trump and other leaders held their main meeting on Saturday.
Indonesian museum removes Nazi-themed exhibit after outrage
JAKARTA, Nov 11 (AFP) - An Indonesian museum that allowed visitors to take selfies with a life- size wax sculpture of Hitler against a backdrop of Auschwitz concentration camp has removed the exhibit following international outrage, the manager said Saturday.
De ARCA Statue Art Museum in the Javanese city of Jogjakarta drew swift condemnation from rights groups after details of the controversial display were published in foreign media.
Top Thai royal aide sacked for 'evil acts': palace
BANGKOK, Nov 11 (AFP) - A senior Thai royal official has been sacked for “evil acts” including having an extramarital affair and forcing his alleged mistress to get an abortion, the palace said, the latest top aide to be axed under King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
Vajiralongkorn, 65, took the throne one year ago following the death of his widely revered father King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who reigned for seven decades.
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