ASIA NEWS BITES: Bomb Blast in Philippines; Pence Talks Tough on North Korea; Chinese Activist with Taiwan Immigration; Bangkok Street Food Ban; Police Held Hostage in Vietnam

ASIA NEWS BITES: Bomb Blast in Philippines; Pence Talks Tough on North Korea; Chinese Activist with Taiwan Immigration; Bangkok Street Food Ban; Police Held Hostage in Vietnam
REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
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A quick roundup of the most important news from around the region.

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North Korea, United Sates:

Vice President Pence warned North Korea on Monday not to test U.S. military might by pursuing its nuclear weapons program, citing recent strikes in Syria and Afghanistan as proof of American “strength and resolve.” – The Washington Post

Vice President Mike Pence issued a fresh warning to North Korea on Monday not to test America’s resolve. But behind the threatening talk, the White House is taking a more calculated approach, giving the Chinese government time to show whether it is ready to use its influence to curb its erratic, nuclear-armed neighbor. – The New York Times

China:

A former anti-graft Chinese official of vice-ministerial rank has himself been placed under disciplinary investigation, the Communist Party’s corruption watchdog announced on Monday. – South China Morning Post

Chinese censors have blocked social media activity in China related to a 2015 crackdown on human rights lawyers, new research shows. – The News Lens

Taiwan:

The Chinese activist and former political prisoner seeking political asylum in Taiwan is in the custody of Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency (NIA), the agency told The News Lens. - The News Lens

The People Rule Foundation, led by Lin I-hsiung (林義雄), is to stage a hunger strike against the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), to which he once belonged and led as chairman, for what the foundation said is its deliberate delay in amending the Referendum Act (公民投票法). – Taipei Times

Vietnam:

Hanoi administrators are calling on residents of a village outside the Vietnamese capital to remain calm and cooperate with authorities, after they took more than two dozen law enforcement officers hostage during a protest on Saturday. – Tuoi Tre News

Thailand:

All street food in Bangkok will be banned by the end of 2017, according to the city government, local media reported Tuesday. – Malaysiakini

South Korea:

Prosecutors have indicted former President Park Geun-hye on 18 charges, including bribery, as they continue to wrap up a six-month investigation into the major political scandal that removed her from office. – The Korea Times

Philippines:

Seven people were injured when two bomb explosions rocked a petrol station in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, police said Tuesday, April 18. – Agence France Press via Rappler