ASIA NEWS BITES: Plane Missing with 120 People; South Korea Suspends US Defense System; North Korea Fires Missiles; Apple Partners with Taiwan Firm for VR

ASIA NEWS BITES: Plane Missing with 120 People; South Korea Suspends US Defense System; North Korea Fires Missiles; Apple Partners with Taiwan Firm for VR
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What you need to know

A quick roundup of the most important news from around the region.

South Korea:

South Korea’s newly elected president, Moon Jae-in, has suspended the deployment of an American missile defense system, an apparent concession to China and a significant break with the United States on policy toward North Korea. - The New York Times

Samsung Electronics Co. said Wednesday that it will invest about $760 million to double its production capacity for mobile phones and refrigerators in India, a critical market for the world’s largest smartphone maker. - The Wall Street Journal


A week after China’s first cybersecurity law took effect, an investigation over the alleged theft and sale of iPhone users’ information looked set to test how well Apple Inc. and other foreign companies protect Chinese citizens’ personal data. - The Wall Street Journal

China’s government has rejected a U.S. state department call to release three activists detained while investigating a Chinese company that produced shoes for Ivanka Trump and other brands. It sought instead to enforce a cone of silence around the men, according to a lawyer and a family member who was interrogated and told not to speak to the foreign press. - The Guardian

China pushed back against a Pentagon warning about the Chinese military’s growing ambitions outside Asia, calling the U.S. report “irresponsible” and saying China’s defense policy was aimed at safeguarding its sovereignty. - The Wall Street Journal

China may not loom large in Britain’s campaign trail but frontrunner Theresa May’s vision for the post-Brexit UK will inevitably feature stronger cooperation with the world’s second biggest economy, analysts say. - South China Morning Post


Myanmar: plane goes missing with 120 on board. - The Guardian

North Korea:

North Korea launched a salvo of anti-ship cruise missiles from its east coast Thursday, South Korea's military said, adding they flew some 200 kilometers before dropping in the East Sea. - The Korea Times

Aid, exchange not enough to improve inter-Korean relations, said North Korean media. Commentary comes days after Pyongyang rejects the request to visit North by malaria-prevention NGO. - North Korea News

North Korea has condemned US President Donald Trump for pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, describing the decision as "the height of egotism" and an example of the "moral vacuum" in the US leadership. - The Telegraph


Indonesian authorities and the Vietnamese Embassy in Jakarta on Wednesday completed the necessary paperwork to release 690 Vietnamese citizens who had been detained for illegal fishing, according to Vietnam News Agency. - Vn Express

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Tuesday that Japan would help bolster Vietnam's coastal patrol capabilities with new patrol boats and defense equipment. - Vn Express

Asia continues to battle as Vietnam declares free of bird flu. - Vn Express


The disappearance of three Christians and a man accused of spreading Shia Islam in Malaysia has prompted fears that authorities are targeting religious minorities with extrajudicial detention. - The Guardian

Non-Arab nations in Asia, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and Pakistan, are getting caught in the middle after Saudi Arabia led a clampdown on Qatar, accusing the tiny emirate of supporting pro-Iranian Islamist militants. - The Irrawaddy


Nearly 2,000 garment workers on Wednesday extended a strike over paid time off for Sunday’s elections after their employer suspended 10 union activists at the factory, they said. - The Cambodia Daily


Taiwan's defense advantages declining: Pentagon report. - Central News Agency

Apple has announced its commitment to virtual reality, partnering with the Taiwanese firm HTC Corp. (宏達電) in VR development. - Central News Agency

EVA Airways Corp. on Tuesday unveiled its upgraded interactive robot known as "Pepper" at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, which is used to scan travelers' boarding passes and allow them to get information about their flight and the weather at their destination in various languages. - Central News Agency

Hong Kong:

A former wildlife crime investigator from Africa has pointed to Chinese individuals as being the major brokers currently active in Zambia’s illegal ivory trade, calling on the Hong Kong government to ban the trade as soon as possible. - South China Morning Post

More than 10,000 viewers complain after TV station switches from traditional characters – which are generally used in Hong Kong – to simplified, which are favored on the mainland. - The Telegraph

Hong Kong puts brakes on Uber in its roadmap for the future. Transport chief says car-hailing services must be run like taxi firms, dashing the company’s hopes that it could fit into a new regulatory regime. - South China Morning Post


Four workers suffered internal radiation exposure due to inhalation of a large amount of plutonium during an inspection at a nuclear research facility in Ibaraki Prefecture on Tuesday, the operator of the facility said Wednesday. - The Japan Times

The governor of Fukui in central Japan has consented to dismantling the prototype fast-breeder nuclear reactor in the prefecture. - NHK

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Vietnamese counterpart, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, pledged to work together toward the rapid passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement during a meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday. - The Japan Times

The Japanese government has been conducting exercises to test responses to terrorist attacks since the enactment of a law in 2004 stipulating the role of the central and local governments in emergency situations, the government is to hold its first drill based on the assumption of an organized attack from overseas. - NHK


The government is acting on the spread of fake news in social networking sites that have misled the public, especially in connection with recent incidents of national significance. - The Philippine Star

Former Marawi City Mayor Fahad Salic was arrested last night in Cagayan de Oro City reportedly due to rebellion in connection with the Maute siege of Marawi. - The Philippine Star

The Philippines has partially lifted the ban on overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) going to Qatar, a day after it was imposed. - BBC News


The Ministry of Transportation announced on Wednesday (07/06) that Qatar Airways passengers seeking to perform the umrah, or minor Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, will be transferred to other airlines following a recent diplomatic riff in the Middle East. - The Jarkata Globe

At a UN-Oceans summit, delegates from China, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines said they would work to keep plastics out of the seas. - BBC