ASIA NEWS BITES: Dog Eating Festival Opens; Miranda Kerr Linked to Malaysian Corruption Scandal; Myanmar Refugee Suicide Rate Lifts

ASIA NEWS BITES: Dog Eating Festival Opens; Miranda Kerr Linked to Malaysian Corruption Scandal; Myanmar Refugee Suicide Rate Lifts
REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

What you need to know

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

North Korea:

North Korea sent drone to collect “military intelligence” at THAAD site. - North Korea News

The Trump administration has come under growing pressure to open negotiations on a temporary freeze on North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests in return for reducing the American military footprint in the Korean Peninsula, according to American officials and foreign diplomats. - The New York Times

South Korea:

South Korea has proposed that North Korea host some of the skiing events at next year’s Winter Olympics, in a move it hopes will ease cross-border political tensions. - The Guardian

South Korean President Moon Jae In, in a newspaper interview published online Tuesday, urged Japan to take legal responsibility and offer an official apology for former comfort women. - The Japan News

About 8,000 construction workers gathered in central Seoul, Wednesday, to urge companies to hire more Korean nationals, claiming the illegal employment of foreign workers was causing too many problems. - The Korea Times


China dismisses Trump comments on North Korea. Beijing says its contributions to solving problems on Korean Peninsula are 'indispensable'. - North Korea News

A notorious Chinese dog meat festival opened on Wednesday with butchers hacking up slabs of canines and cooks frying the flesh, despite rumors that authorities would impose a ban this year. - AFP via Hong Kong Free Press

Animal activists in Guangdong have intercepted a truck containing over 1,000 dogs prior to the start of the infamous Yulin dog meat festival, according to Hong Kong media. - Hong Kong Free Press

Top US officials began talks with their Chinese counterparts Wednesday seeking a tougher line on North Korea’s nuclear ambitions — after President Donald Trump implied that Beijing had already tried and failed. - AFP via NDTV

State-run newspapers in Vietnam and China reported in recent days that senior military officials from the two countries would hold a fence-mending gathering along a border where their militaries fought a brief but bloody war in 1979. - The New York Times

Property tycoon Wang Shi’s step-down from the helm of China Vanke marks the end of an era for one of the crown jewels of China’s private business world. - The Wall Street Journal


Suicide among Myanmar refugees in Thailand’s biggest camp increased at an alarming rate during the past two years, according to a study by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). - Radio Free Asia


The Financial Supervisory Commission’s (FSC) affirmation of SinoPac Financial Holding Co (永豐金控) board director Paul Chiu’s (邱正雄) eligibility to become chairman as was “a confusion of the commission’s role,” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. - The Taipei Times

Same-sex couples will be allowed to complete household registration nationwide outside their area of residence as of July 3, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday, even though several local governments continue to refuse to accept such registrations. - The Taipei Times

Taiwan is showcasing its domestically developed defense, aerospace and smart machinery technologies and products and exploring opportunities for cooperation at the 2017 Paris Air Show at Paris-Le Bourget Airport being held June 19-25. - Central News Agency

Cyclists seeking new adventures might consider joining the “Furthest” lighthouse cycling tours being offered under the auspices of the Taiwan Cycling Festival, which begins later this month. - The Taipei Times

Hong Kong:

Poll: Only 3.1% of young Hongkongers identify as Chinese, marking 20 year low. - Hong Kong Free Press

Hong Kong may have put the brakes on car-hailing services, but the government is backing the fast-growing bicycle-sharing business in the city, with two new operators planning to open shop soon. - South China Morning Post


The Japanese government seized the lead role in buying Toshiba's chip unit after expressing concerns about technology leaking to China, but a legal fight could hold up a deal. - The Wall Street Journal

A Russian company is working with a South Korean construction firm on one of the 4 islands controlled by Russia, which Japan claims all of those islands. - NHK World

Japan’s SoftBank is investing $100 million into a Boston-based cybersecurity firm run by former Israel counterintelligence members, the latest high-profile cash injection into a bustling industry offering newfound defenses against global hackers. - The Wall Street Journal


Nineteen cricket fans arrested in India for celebrating Pakistan’s win against Indiain the Champions Trophy “should be released immediately,” according to Amnesty International. - The Gaurdian

At the centre of the performance was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who performed yogic postures on the International Yoga Day on Wednesday, even as the weather conditions threatened to spoil the show. - The Hindu

From bathrooms to buddies - Indian workplaces get transgender-friendly. - The Hindu


Australian model Miranda Kerr should hand over millions of dollars in gifted jewels that were allegedly purchased using money stolen from a fund established by Malaysia’s prime minister, a Malaysian NGO has said. - The Guardian


Islamist militants seized an elementary school in the restive southern Philippines on Wednesday, holding 31 hostages, including students, for about 12 hours before escaping into a vast marshland area, the military said. - The New York Times


An Indonesian doctor on Sumatra island and a teenager in Jakarta fled from their homes last month in fear of vigilantes from the radical Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) who threatened and harassed them. - Channel NewsAsia

A tiny number of millionaire households will control more than 50 percent of Indonesia's financial wealth — around $900 billion — by 2021, a new report from Boston Consulting Group showed, making it harder for the government to end economic inequality in the country. - The Jakarta Globe

Social networking giant Facebook has received an in-principle approval to set up a domestic unit in Indonesia and the government is now processing the details, the country's investment chief said on Wednesday. - The Jakarta Globe

New anti-terrorism law to allow jailing of militant returnees. - The Jakarta Globe


German teenagers who shot toy gun at Thai king spark a diplomatic incident. - The Guardian

The murder of a respected Islamic teacher in this restive southern province on Tuesday night was an act of terrorist behavior, the Internal Security Operations Command (Isoc) said Wednesday. - The Bangkok Post