China Slams US Paper over Pro-Japan Editorial
China is lashing out at a major U.S. newspaper for publishing an editorial urging Washington to offer stronger support to Japan in its heated territorial dispute with Beijing.
A Friday editorial in The Wall Street Journal said China is likelier to "back down" if the Obama administration is more explicit that the islands at the heart of the dispute belong to Japan.
The piece, which did not contain a byline, also said "Japan needs U.S. support against Chinese bullying" over the islands, known in Japan as Senkaku and in China as Diaoyu.
In response, China's state-run Xinhua news agency on Tuesday ran its own editorial, suggesting the Journal was acting as a "mouthpiece" for the Japanese government on the islands issue.
The Xinhua editorial accused the Journal of taking an "extreme" position, despite what it said was the paper's "reputed balanced news reporting."
China's foreign ministry on Monday also took aim at the U.S. paper, urging it to take an "objective and impartial stance, and play a more constructive role in easing tensions."
White House officials say they have refused to take a position on the islands' sovereignty, but acknowledge they do fall under a mutual U.S. defense treaty with Japan.
Report: NKorea's ICBM Prototypes Getting 'Scary Good'
A top research group says prototype ballistic missiles seen at recent North Korean military parades may be more advanced than earlier believed, possibly enough to threaten the U.S. west coast.
Many Western analysts dismissed the KN-08 missiles as primitive, non-operational mockups when they appeared in photos of Pyongyang military parades in April 2012 and again in July of this year. But the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University said the missiles, even if fakes, appear to be getting more advanced, and have reached the point of being what it called "scary good."
The institute's report said the missile mockups appear to show North Korea can assemble components and technologies "good enough to produce missiles with theoretical ranges from 5,500 to over 11,000 kilometers." That would easily be far enough for North Korea to make good on its threats of being able to strike the U.S. mainland with a nuclear warhead.
The report cautioned the KN-08s are "almost certainly" non-operational and would need to be tested at least once. It said, though, a test could occur any time, given the advanced state of the mockup hardware and recent satellite photos showing upgrades at North Korea's main missile launch site.