Eastern Asia

US-led strike on Syria inflames tensions over Korea

By Alex Lantier, 21 April 2018

If his summit with the North Korean leader goes ahead, Trump will undoubtedly use every means at his disposal, including military threats, to try to bludgeon Pyongyang into accepting US demands.

Trump’s secret diplomacy with North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 19 April 2018

The Trump administration senses the possibility of advancing US imperialism’s interests in Asia against its chief rivals, Russia and China, and potential competitors such as Japan.

US and North Korean officials discuss Trump-Kim summit

By Peter Symonds, 14 April 2018

The cynical character of Trump’s decision to meet with Kim Jong-un is underscored by the fact that two militarists—Pompeo and Bolton—are in charge of preparing the summit.

Japan activates first Marine brigade since World War II

By Peter Symonds, 10 April 2018

The new Marine brigade is not simply defensive in character but could be used during a Japanese war of aggression far from its shores.

Trump administration officials try to calm trade war fears

By Nick Beams, 9 April 2018

White House National Trade Council director Peter Navarro underscored the crucial importance of hi-tech development, both for US economic and military supremacy.

Russia-Japan dispute over Kurils reflects mounting tensions in North East Asia

By Gary Alvernia, 5 April 2018

Russia is placing warplanes in the Kuril Islands in response to the Japanese government’s remilitarisation and US threats of war against North Korea.

North Korean leader holds unannounced talks in China

By Peter Symonds, 28 March 2018

Facing mounting threats from the Trump administration, China and North Korea are under pressure to mend an increasingly frosty relationship.

Scandal surrounding Japanese prime minister deepens

By Ben McGrath, 26 March 2018

The affair highlights the intimate connections between the government and far-right extremist groups like Nippon Kaigi.

Chinese president expounds on his nationalist “dream”

By Peter Symonds, 22 March 2018

Xi’s consolidation as China’s political strongman takes place amid growing US threats of trade war and war, as well as intense social tensions at home.

Seventy thousand Rohingya have fled Burma since “repatriation” agreement signed

By John Roberts, 21 March 2018

Last November’s agreement between Burma and Bangladesh was a ploy to deflect attention from the Burmese military’s ongoing pogrom against Muslim Rohingya.

Trump signs Taiwan Travel Act in new provocation against China

By Peter Symonds, 19 March 2018

The legislation upends decades of diplomatic protocol in which the US maintained only low-level contact with Taiwan.

China’s NPC formally approves Xi’s indefinite rule

By Peter Symonds, 14 March 2018

The constitutional change removing the term limits on China’s president establishes a Bonapartist leader presiding over a regime confronting crises at home and abroad.

North Korea offers to enter talks to denuclearise

By Peter Symonds, 7 March 2018

Trump reacted positively to the announcement of possible talks with North Korea, but maintained Washington’s threats against the Pyongyang regime.

China’s National People’s Congress to install Xi as political strongman

By Peter Symonds, 6 March 2018

The CCP rules through a police-state regime that is handing extraordinary powers to Xi, driven by fears it will confront mounting social unrest and the danger of war.

US media airs pretexts for preemptive attack on North Korea

By James Cogan, 3 March 2018

Newspaper articles indicate that a war crime of historic dimensions is being prepared.

South Korean president holds talks with top North Korean officials

By Ben McGrath, 26 February 2018

North Korea has offered to hold talks with the US, but the Trump administration is insisting that Pyongyang must first demonstrate its willingness to denuclearise.

Trump uses Australian PM’s visit to threaten North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 24 February 2018

Trump warned that if sanctions on North Korea did not work he would move to “phase two,” which could be “a very rough thing.”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 February 2018

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Thousands to be sacked at GM factory in South Korea

By Ben McGrath, 15 February 2018

General Motors is demanding additional cuts to auto workers’ wages and conditions as it threatens to pull out of South Korea entirely.

China boosts censorship of social media

By Robert Campion, 15 February 2018

The Chinese regime justifies censoring the Internet in terms that are indistinguishable from those of the US government and corporate giants such as Google and Facebook.

Top US intelligence official declares “decision time” on North Korea coming closer

By Peter Symonds, 14 February 2018

Amid speculation about talks between North and South Korea, the US Director of National Intelligence was skeptical that Pyongyang would negotiate away its nuclear weapons.

Japan’s ruling party pushing to end constraints on military

By Ben McGrath, 14 February 2018

While the constitution has not prevented Japan from building a military, Prime Minister Abe is working to remove all legal barriers to the aggressive pursuit of Japanese interests.

US to expand military deployments as war danger builds in Asia

By James Cogan, 12 February 2018

The United Sates is preparing for “great-power conflict” in the Pacific by massively increasing its military presence in the region.

US vice president foreshadows “toughest” sanctions on North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 8 February 2018

Pence’s aggressive remarks cut across any attempt by the South Korean president to use the Winter Olympics to create an opening for negotiations with North Korea.

Earthquake hits Taiwan, killing eight people and injuring hundreds

By Eric Ludlow, 8 February 2018

Scores of people remain trapped in damaged buildings in Hualien, not far from the earthquake’s epicentre.

Trump administration presses for more options for war on North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 3 February 2018

Even as tensions appear to have eased on the Korean Peninsula with the Winter Olympics about to begin, the US is continuing its preparations for a military strike.

With Indo-Pacific tensions rising, Japan and Australia strengthen military ties

By Mike Head, 19 January 2018

Turnbull’s visit to Tokyo constitutes another warning that all the major powers in the region are preparing for war.

Japan’s working poor

By Kurt Brown, 18 January 2018

There has been a huge increase in the proportion of the workforce engaged in poorly paid, part-time work.

False alarm of incoming missile in Japan

By Peter Symonds, 17 January 2018

The false alert, coming days after a similar incident in Hawaii, highlights the advanced preparations by the US and its allies for war with North Korea.

Stricken Iranian tanker sinks, causing major oil spill in East China Sea

By Robert Campion, 17 January 2018

After the ship exploded, all its crew members were presumed dead and concerns were raised about the worst petroleum condensate discharge in history.

Trump emphasises hostile stance on North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 15 January 2018

The latest fracas underscores the erratic character of the Trump administration’s stance toward North Korea.

Two Koreas hold talks amid continuing acute tensions

By Peter Symonds, 10 January 2018

The meeting produced an agreement for North Korea to participate in the Winter Olympics, but did nothing to end the dangerous standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons.

Fuel tanker collision in East China Sea

By Robert Campion, 10 January 2018

The vessel could leak large quantities of oil into the East China Sea and threaten widespread pollution of coastal waters.

US President Trump backs meeting between two Koreas

By Peter Symonds, 8 January 2018

Trump suggested the possibility of talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, even though he had threatened North Korea with nuclear annihilation just days earlier.

Talks between North and South Korea to proceed

By Peter Symonds, 6 January 2018

The meeting will take place under conditions of extreme tension as a result of the Trump administration’s campaign of “maximum pressure” to force North Korea to abandon its nuclear arsenal.

Chinese president orders troops to be “ready to fight”

By Mike Head, 5 January 2018

Like the US and other governments around the world, the Chinese regime is resorting to nationalism and militarism.

North and South Korea propose to hold talks

By Peter Symonds, 3 January 2018

The proposal came amid high tensions on the Korean Peninsula after bellicose US threats and crippling sanctions against North Korea.

Tensions between South Korea and Japan reemerge over “comfort women”

By Ben McGrath, 3 January 2018

The ruling Democratic Party of Korea and its predecessors have long used anti-Japanese sentiment to distract the public from their anti-working class policies.

US president accuses China of illegal oil transfer to North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 30 December 2017

Trump’s tweet declaring Beijing was “caught RED HANDED” smacks of a contrived provocation aimed at ramping up tensions with China and North Korea.

South Korea’s deadliest fire in a decade leaves 29 dead

By Ben McGrath, 27 December 2017

The tragedy highlights the ruling elite’s utter disregard for safety and public planning in the quest for profits.

UN imposes harsh new sanctions on North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 23 December 2017

The latest measures, drawn up by Washington, represent a last-ditch attempt to force North Korea to abandon its nuclear arsenal.

Japan’s cabinet approves draft budget that boosts the military

By Ben McGrath, 23 December 2017

Tokyo’s buildup of weaponry further aligns it with the US in preparation for war with North Korea and China.

US will “compel” North Korea to denuclearise

By Peter Symonds, 21 December 2017

Trump’s National Security Adviser McMaster said the president had ordered him to “to continue to refine a military option should we have to use it.”

South Korean and Chinese leaders meet over North Korea, economic ties

By Ben McGrath, 21 December 2017

The summit between the two presidents will do nothing to alleviate the growing danger of war in Northeast Asia.

US secretary of state issues new ultimatum to North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 16 December 2017

If North Korea does not give up its nuclear arsenal, the US is not only demanding an international economic blockade, but preparing to attack Pyongyang.

Trump administration scotches suggestion of talks with North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 14 December 2017

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s offer of talks without pre-condition was quickly followed by a White House official declaring that “now is not the time.”

Gruesome murder case in Japan reflects social alienation and despair

By Gary Alvernia, 12 December 2017

The media has been quick to sensationalise every detail of the murders, while completely ignoring any broader examination of their social causes.

Mass eviction of rural migrant workers from Chinese capital

By Robert Campion, 11 December 2017

With some given as little as 15 minutes notice, migrant workers are being expelled from Beijing in droves and their homes demolished behind them.

Is the United States on the brink of nuclear war?

By Andre Damon, 11 December 2017

In the 13 days since North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching large portions of North America, the US has further escalated its war threats.

Further signs of looming US war with North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 9 December 2017

Out of the blue, Trump officials have suggested that US athletes might not compete in the Winter Olympics in South Korea due to security concerns.

US sanctions against North Korea target China

By Peter Symonds, 23 November 2017

Washington is determined to exploit the confrontation with Pyongyang to undermine China economically and strategically.

Trump designates North Korea as state sponsor of terrorism

By Peter Symonds, 21 November 2017

Trump’s decision is another step towards a catastrophic war that would not only kill millions on the Korean Peninsula but could potentially draw in major powers such as China and Russia.

“Time is quickly running out”

Trump threatens China over North Korea and trade

By James Cogan, 10 November 2017

Three aircraft carrier battlegroups are positioned off the coast of the Korean Peninsula and will rehearse for war this weekend.

In wake of US threats against North Korea, China heaps honors on Trump

By James Cogan, 9 November 2017

The strategic orientation of the Chinese regime is to avoid an open clash with Washington for as long as possible.

In Seoul, Trump delivers war ultimatum to North Korea

By James Cogan, 8 November 2017

The casualties and horrors of a second Korean War, in 2017, could make those of nearly 70 years ago pale in comparison.

Trump encourages Japanese militarism against North Korea and China

By James Cogan, 7 November 2017

Trump displayed complete indifference to anti-war sentiment in Japan, as he strutted alongside right-wing nationalist prime minister Shinzo Abe.

Trump in Asia: On the eve of war

By James Cogan, 6 November 2017

Trump personifies the decay of American imperialism and the calculation of its strategists that it can arrest its decline by military means.

Trump begins 12-day visit to Asia to build war coalition against North Korea

By James Cogan, 4 November 2017

The visit symbolically began with a visit by the president to the Pearl Habor naval base, where war between the US and Japan for dominance over Asia began in December 1941.

President Xi presides over brittle Chinese regime

By Peter Symonds, 1 November 2017

Xi has emerged as a Bonapartist figure, who, confronted with huge challenges at home and abroad, serves to maintain party unity and ward off an internal crisis.

US masses ships and aircraft outside North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 30 October 2017

The Trump administration is threatening a war not just with conventional weapons, but with nuclear bombs—directed against North Korea and any other power that joins the conflict.

Trump: US “totally prepared” for war with North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 26 October 2017

The US military preparations take place amid bitter infighting in Washington fuelled, in part, by fears an American attack on North Korea could be imminent.

Xi Jinping consolidates grip over Chinese Communist Party apparatus

By Peter Symonds, 25 October 2017

The elevation of Xi to supreme leader is a sign of crisis of the CCP regime, which is beset with irresolvable internal and external problems.

China faces growing debt problems, says central bank governor

By Nick Beams, 24 October 2017

The use of the term “Minsky moment” could be an indication of how serious the bank chief regards the situation.

Ruling LDP maintains two-thirds majority in Japanese election

By Ben McGrath, 23 October 2017

While the media is declaring Abe’s victory a mandate for his policies, the low turnout points to widespread alienation from the political establishment.

Japan’s Stalinists seek to head off anti-war movement ahead of election

By Ben McGrath, 21 October 2017

By blaming Pyongyang for the current crisis, the JCP is effectively lining up behind Japan’s ruling elite and the US in their confrontation with North Korea and China.

Chinese leader calls for “strong nation” and “strong military”

By Peter Symonds, 21 October 2017

Confrontation is inevitable as US imperialism regards China as the chief challenge to its global hegemony, and Chinese capitalism strains against the restrictions of the current world order.

US admiral must “imagine the unimagined:” All-out war with North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 18 October 2017

The comment from Admiral Harry Harris, who is centrally responsible for preparing US forces for conflict with North Korea, is the latest threat against Pyongyang.

Chinese Communist Party congress meets amid gathering crises

By Peter Symonds, 17 October 2017

Xi is being elevated to the status of supreme leader as the regime confronts a slowing economy, rising social tensions and the growing US threat of trade war and war.

US open to diplomacy with North Korea “until the first bomb drops”

By Peter Symonds, 16 October 2017

Far from offering any reassurance of a peaceful solution, Tillerson’s remarks underscore the advanced state of US preparations for a war with North Korea.

China’s billionaires rapidly expand their fortunes

By Mike Head, 16 October 2017

President Xi’s five-year reign, due to be extended next week, has accelerated a vast accumulation of corporate wealth.

The US on the brink of war with North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 12 October 2017

As Trump faces a mounting political crisis at home, the US president may see a war with North Korea as a means of shoring up his administration and crushing domestic political opposition.

Australia deploys for war with North Korea and confrontation with China

By James Cogan, 11 October 2017

A flotilla of six Australian warships is making its way toward the Korean Peninsula and an Australian attack submarine is already in the area exercising with US and Japanese subs.

US defence secretary calls on military to be ready for war against North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 10 October 2017

President Trump has repeatedly dismissed efforts to start talks with North Korea and to end the dangerous confrontation on the Korean Peninsula.

UK draws up plans to back US military attack on North Korea

By Robert Stevens, 10 October 2017

At the Conservative Party’s annual conference, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said his government was prepared to use nuclear weapons against North Korea or another adversary.

Japan’s new Party of Hope releases right-wing populist election platform

By Ben McGrath, 9 October 2017

The new party backs remilitarization along with constitutional changes to remove any restraints on military action in order to advance the interests of Japanese imperialism.

Japan’s Democrats found new party to posture as opponents of remilitarization

By Ben McGrath, 6 October 2017

The CDP is a regrouping of many of the same Democrats who imposed austerity measures and aligned with the US war drive against China while in office from 2009 to 2012.

Trump administration crisis worsens amid war drive against North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 5 October 2017

Notwithstanding concerted efforts to downplay any breach, Tillerson has been publicly at odds with Trump—most sharply over the US confrontation with North Korea.

Trump rules out negotiations with North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 2 October 2017

Trump’s crude tweet branded Tillerson’s efforts as “a waste of time” while also targeting Chinese leaders, with whom the US secretary of state had just held talks.

Japan’s main opposition party dissolves itself ahead of general election

By Ben McGrath, 30 September 2017

The dissolution of the Democratic Party is the end product of the party's continuous shift to the right over two decades.

North Korea warns that Trump’s threats are a declaration of war

By Peter Symonds, 26 September 2017

Washington’s constant drumbeat of threats and military provocations is aimed at forcing Pyongyang to unconditionally capitulate or goad it into action that can be seized on as the casus belli for a war of annihilation.

South Korea backs Trump’s threats to “totally destroy” North Korea

By Ben McGrath, 26 September 2017

The Moon Jae-in administration in Seoul is deepening its military cooperation with the US while continuing to posture as an advocate of peace on the Korean Peninsula.

As Trump threatens North Korea, most Americans oppose war

By Peter Symonds, 25 September 2017

An opinion poll revealed the majority of Americans oppose a US attack on North Korea, fear it will lead to a wider war and do not trust Trump as commander-in-chief.

Trump provokes North Korean counter-threats and heightens war danger

By Peter Symonds, 23 September 2017

North Korea has clearly concluded that the US is intent on destroying its government and is developing its nuclear arsenal in a desperate bid to counter the US threat.

Trump announces aggressive sanctions against trade with North Korea

By Mike Head, 22 September 2017

Trump’s executive order is clearly aimed primarily at China, but can also threaten other countries.

Japanese PM backs US “military option” against North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 20 September 2017

Abe’s conclusion that “dialogue will not work with North Korea” amounts to a menacing threat to deal with Pyongyang either through regime change or war.

Top Canadian general stokes fears over North Korea to justify joining US ballistic-missile defence

By Roger Jordan, 20 September 2017

Canada’s top general in the North American Aerospace Defence command has made the sensationalist claim that the US would not defend Canada from a ballistic missile strike.

South Korea assassination squad to target Pyongyang leadership

By Ben McGrath, 18 September 2017

This “decapitation squad” is part of a broader plan for preemptive war against North Korea that would have devastating consequences for the region.

Trump threatens North Korea with “effective and overwhelming” military force

By Peter Symonds, 16 September 2017

Senior Trump officials insisted that the US had a “military option” and warned that time was running out for any diplomatic solution to the Korean crisis.

North Korea tests missile in response to sanctions

By James Cogan, 15 September 2017

Washington is pushing the besieged regime in North Korea into a corner from which it could escape only by a complete capitulation to US demands.

UN Security Council imposes severe sanctions on North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 12 September 2017

Far from easing tensions in North East Asia, the UN resolution sets the stage for further US provocations and heightens the danger of military conflict.

As US threatens North Korea, NATO chief warns of “more dangerous world”

By Peter Symonds, 11 September 2017

The danger of catastrophic war in Asia is provoking deep fears in Europe and exacerbating divisions with Washington.

As US threatens war against North Korea, China appeals to European powers

By Alex Lantier, 9 September 2017

China has called on Germany and France to coordinate sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear test and prevent US escalation on the Korean Peninsula from leading to war.

US completes anti-missile deployment in South Korea amid heightened war danger

By Ben McGrath, 8 September 2017

Under pressure from Washington, South Korean President Moon has moved away from his previous calls for dialogue with North Korea and toward increasingly hawkish positions.

UN head warns Korean crisis could spiral into world war

By James Cogan, 7 September 2017

Sharp divisions exist between the US, China and Russia over Washington’s demands that the UN impose a total trade embargo on North Korea.

Burmese military steps up ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims

By John Roberts, 7 September 2017

Aung San Suu Kyi, promoted by the US and its allies as a “democracy icon,” has backed the military’s pogrom at every step.

The US faces off against China and Russia over North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 5 September 2017

In a provocative speech in the UN, US ambassador Nikki Haley not only targeted North Korea over its nuclear test, but also threatened China and Russia.

Trump, North Korea and the danger of world war

By Peter Symonds, 4 September 2017

While North Korea’s nuclear test certainly compounds the risk of conflict, the prime responsibility for pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war rests with US imperialism.

Another war threat: Trump rules out talking to North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 31 August 2017

If negotiations are not an option, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that the US is preparing to attack North Korea militarily.

Trump threatens North Korea with war

By Peter Symonds, 30 August 2017

By declaring “all options are on the table,” Trump effectively ruled out strong hints last week that a peaceful solution to the standoff could be found.

Amid high tensions, North Korea fires intermediate-range missile over Japan

By Peter Symonds, 29 August 2017

US and South Korean military commanders reportedly agreed to an early, tough response, including “military measures,” to demonstrate “the alliance’s strong will.”