“It is a highly regrettable decision because it does not concur with our nation’s position,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference on Feb. 14.

The Russian government in 2010 started to name uninhabited isles in the Kurile island chain northeast of Hokkaido between the Sea of Okhotsk and the Pacific Ocean, but progress has been slow.

The southern part of the chain forms Japan’s Northern Territories–the Habomai islets and the islands of Shikotan, Kunashiri and Etorofu–which were seized by Soviet forces at the end of World War II. Japan has since been demanding that Moscow return the islands.


Poison is just one tool for North Korea’s highly trained spies, defectors say



Kim Jong Nam, half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has been killed in Malaysia, according to South Korean government sources. Julian Satterthwaite reports.

Poison pens and torch guns are part of the arsenal of North Korea’s spies who receive special privileges in the secretive nation where 28 million people are suffering in poverty, defectors say.

“We were taught to be ready to die for the Kim regime and if caught, to make sure we were not taken alive,” said Kim Dong–shik, a defector who was trained as a spy and infiltrated South Korea before he was shot in Seoul.

Suspicion surrounding the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged 46 year-old half-brother of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un at Kuala Lumpur’s international airport on Monday, has fallen on the country’s huge spy network.