US Navy warship collides with cargo ship off coast of Japan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF FOX NEWS)

US Navy warship collides with cargo ship off coast of Japan

The USS Fitzgerald was involved in a collision with a merchant vessel while operating off the coast of Japan and there have been injuries, according to a statement Friday from the U.S. military.

The Japanese Coast Guard has arrived on the scene, about 56 nautical miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan.

Live footage shot from a helicopter Saturday morning by Japanese broadcaster NHK showed heavy damage to the mid-right side of the Navy ship, which appeared to be stationary in the water. People were standing on various parts of the deck.

The collision occured at approximately 2:30 a.m. local time on June 17.

Three compartments aboard the guided-missile destroyer are flooded, according to a Pentagon official.

“There is no danger of the ship sinking,” one official told Fox News.

There are plans to tow the US warship back to Yokosuka, Japan
home to a US Navy base.

The incident will be investigated.

Fitzgerald, a guided-missile destroyer, carries Tomahawk cruise missiles and missiles capable of shooting down ballistic missiles, part of the regions ballistic missile defense program.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson and the Associated Press contributed to this report. 

North Korea launched a ballistic missile from the northwestern part of the country early Sunday, the South Korean Joints Chief of Staff said.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

(CNN) North Korea launched a ballistic missile from the northwestern part of the country early Sunday, the South Korean Joints Chief of Staff said.

“Our military is closely monitoring for provocative movements by North Korea and is maintaining all readiness postures,” a statement from the military said.
The missile, launched near the city of Kusong, flew 700 kilometers (435 miles), the South Korean military said. A US defense official confirmed that it flew that far, but said the US is still assessing what type of missile it was.
This is the first provocative move from North Korea since South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office. Moon has advocated dialogue with North Korea to denuclearize.
The firing of the missile could also be seen as an insult to Beijing. China remains one of North Korea’s only allies and is responsible for much of the heavily-sanctioned nation’s economy.
On Saturday, Chinese leader Xi Jinping launched a major trade and infrastructure project with multiple world leaders in Beijing. A North Korean delegation attended the conference.

Condemnation from Japan

The missile landed in waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, according to a statement from the Japanese government.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe condemned the launch in a quick doorstep interview with reporters.
“Despite strong warning from the international community, North Korea launched a ballistic missile again,” Abe said. “This is totally unacceptable and we strongly protest it. North Korea’s missile launch is a serious threat to Japan and clearly violate against the UN resolution.”
The projectile launch comes two weeks after a ballistic missile test that South Korean and US officials said failed.
That missile, launched April 29, blew up over land in North Korean territory, according to a spokesman for the US Pacific Command.

Prior launches

North Korea has previously attempted at least nine missile launches on six occasions since US President Donald Trump was inaugurated in January. Some of those missiles reached the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea. Sunday’s launch, however, was near the west coast.
Though tensions between the United States and North Korea have been higher than usual over the past few months, a senior North Korean diplomat told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency on Saturday that Pyongyang is open to talks with Washington “under the right conditions.”
Earlier this month Trump said he would be willing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “under the right circumstances.”
No sitting US president has ever met with the leader of North Korea while in power, and the idea is extremely controversial.
Kim’s regime has sought to advance its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The Trump administration has made a show of force in the region to deter those programs’ development.

China And Russia Hold 5th Annual Military Drills: This Year In The South China Sea

(This article is courtesy of the Shanghai Daily News Paper)

China, Russia navies to hold navy drill in South China Sea

CHINA and Russia will stage an eight-day Navy drill in the South China Sea off southern China’s Guangdong Province starting Monday, a Chinese Navy spokesperson said Sunday.

The drill, “Joint Sea-2016,” will feature Navy surface ships, submarines, fixed-wing aircraft, ship-borne helicopters marine corps and amphibious armored equipment from both navies, according to spokesperson Liang Yang. Most of the Chinese participants will come from the Nanhai Fleet under the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

Together, Chinese and Russian participants will undertake defense, rescue, and anti-submarine operations, in addition to joint-island seizing missions and other activities, Liang said.

The marine corps, in particular, will carry out live-fire drills, sea crossing and island landing operations, and island defense and offense exercises among others, he said.

Liang said the drill, from Sept. 12-19, is part of an annual program, which aims to consolidate and advance the Sino-Russian comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, and deepen friendly and practical cooperation between the two militaries.

It will also improve coordination between the two navies on joint defense operations at sea, he said.

Earlier reports in July quoted a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson as saying that the drill “does not target any third-party.”

The annual China-Russia joint naval exercise is the fifth of its kind between the two countries since 2012. The drills were held in 2012 in the Yellow Sea; off the coast of Russia’s Far East in 2013; and in the East China Sea in 2014.

In 2015, the drill was conducted in two phases: in the Mediterranean in May and then in the Peter the Great Gulf, the waters off the Clerk Cape, and the Sea of Japan in late August.

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