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Josh Smith
For Josh Smith's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
A South Korean soldier stands guard at the Joint Security Area in the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas on Feb. 7, 2023. Since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a stalemate, both nations have had policies that treat each other differently than other countries.
ASIA PACIFIC / Politics
Jan 4, 2024
In threatening shift, Pyongyang moves to redefine relations with Seoul
Changes to North Korean policy and government organizations effectively treat South Korea as a separate, enemy state.
A missile is displayed during a military parade in Pyongyang on Thursday.
ASIA PACIFIC
Jul 28, 2023
Russian, Chinese officials join Kim Jong Un at military parade
The widely anticipated parade on Thursday night commemorated the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, celebrated in North Korea as "Victory Day."
A general view inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas. Tourists wishing to see the area should expect far stricter supervision if visits to the border resume.
ASIA PACIFIC
Jul 26, 2023
Travis King crossing puts North Korea border tours under scrutiny
Some predict changes could include making the tours smaller, keeping groups behind glass or back away from the border where troops from both sides stand almost face to face.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Jul 20, 2023
How a U.S. soldier made a mad dash into North Korea
The U.S. military was scrambling on Wednesday to determine the soldier"s fate, as well as his motive.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
May 29, 2023
Inside South Korea's race to become one of the world’s biggest arms dealers
South Korea"s arms sales jumped to more than $17 billion in 2022 from $7.25 billion the year before, according to its defense ministry.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / FOCUS
May 27, 2023
North Korea spent the pandemic building a huge border wall
Pyongyang has built hundreds of kilometers of new or upgraded border fences, walls and guard posts along its borders with China and Russia, commercial satellite imagery shows.
Japan Times
JAPAN
Mar 15, 2023
Yoon says Japan cooperation vital amid concerns on North Korea and supply chains
"There is an increasing need for Korea and Japan to cooperate in this time of a polycrisis," Yoon said.
Japan Times
WORLD
Jan 30, 2023
NATO chief urges South Korea to step up military support for Ukraine
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is in Seoul, the first stop on a trip that will include Japan and is aimed at strengthening ties with U.S. allies.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Dec 13, 2022
North Korean spies trick foreign experts into writing research for them
A hacking group has targeted those with knowledge of issues regarding the country, apparently in a bid to gain intelligence, information and insight.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / Politics
Nov 29, 2022
China can and should deter North Korea from nuclear aims, says South Korea's Yoon
Not doing do so would lead to an influx of military assets to the region, Yoon said, including higher defense spending in Japan and more deployments of American warplanes and ships.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / ANALYSIS
Nov 22, 2022
In male-dominated North Korea, leadership prospects of Kim's daughter uncertain
Some analysts argue that despite North Koreau2019s deeply patriarchal society, gender may not disqualify a daughter or another woman from taking the reins.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / ANALYSIS
Nov 9, 2022
North Korean launches show no scarcity of funding and materials despite sanctions
Pyongyang's record-busting number of missile launches have highlighted that the country is likely supported in part by overseas networks that provide funding and material, analysts say.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Oct 31, 2022
U.S. and South Korean warplanes begin largest-ever air drills
The operation, called Vigilant Storm, will run until Friday, and will feature about 240 warplanes conducting about 1,600 sorties, the U.S. Air Force said.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / ANALYSIS
Oct 28, 2022
Deal for reducing military tensions with North Korea could go 'back to square one'
With talks long stalled, recent drills and shows of force along the fortified border between the two Koreas have cast doubts on the future of the 2018 agreement.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Sep 9, 2022
New North Korea law outlines nuclear weapons use, including pre-emptive strikes
The move comes as observers say North Korea appears to be preparing to resume nuclear testing for the first time since 2017.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / Politics / ANALYSIS
Jul 26, 2022
South Korea doubles down on risky ‘Kill Chain’ plans to counter North's nuclear threat
Seoul is pouring resources into preparing for preemptive strikes if necessary, a strategy some experts say may exacerbate their arms race and risks miscalculation during a conflict.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC
Jul 7, 2022
North Korea's Kim convenes conference for strengthening party rule
The event was the first of its kind and involved "realizing the organizational and ideological consolidation of the Party ranks in every way," state-run media said.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / FOCUS
Jun 29, 2022
Crypto crash threatens North Korea's stolen funds as it ramps up weapons tests
The sudden plunge in crypto values complicates Pyongyang's ability to cash in and may affect how it plans to fund its weapons programs.
Japan Times
WORLD / ANALYSIS
May 27, 2022
U.N. Security Council split spells end of an era for U.S.-led sanctions on North Korea
The two countries on Thursday vetoed a U.S.-led push to impose more U.N. sanctions on North Korea over its renewed ballistic missile launches.
Japan Times
ASIA PACIFIC / ANALYSIS
May 23, 2022
South Korea's Yoon uses Biden summit as springboard for global agenda as China looms
Inaugurated on May 10, Yoon has said his main foreign policy goal will be to make South Korea a "global pivotal stateu201d with a focus on promoting freedom, peace and prosperity.

Longform

At the Akan International Crane Center, just north of the city of Kushiro proper, visitors can see the majestic red-crowned crane — a symbol of Hokkaido.
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