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Japan accuses South Korea of ‘locking radar’ on Japanese plane

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Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya “strongly protested” to South Korea on Friday after a South Korean destroyer allegedly locked its targeting radar on a Japanese surveillance plane.

Iwaya, speaking to reporters at his ministry, described the action as “extremely dangerous that could cause an unexpected situation”.

The incident came at a time when greater coordination is called for between the two Asian neighbors to tackle issues including North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, maritime security and natural disasters, he said.

“It’s extremely regrettable that the incident of this time happened,” Iwaya said. “We will urge South Korea to prevent a recurrence.”

South Korea’s defense ministry said its destroyer was performing routine operations.

“We were operating a radar as part of the operation but it was not intended to trace any Japanese patrol aircraft,” the ministry said in a statement.

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“We’ve spoken with the Japanese side on this issue but will provide further explanations so that there is no misunderstanding going forward.”

Fire control radar is used to pinpoint the location of a target for missiles or shells. Directing the radar at a target can be considered a step away from actual firing.

Iwaya said the South Korean destroyer directed the radar at a Japanese navy’s P-1 patrol plane, which was conducting surveillance off the Noto Peninsula in the Sea of Japan, on Thursday.

In early 2013, a Chinese vessel directed a similar radar at a Japanese navy ship, prompting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to urge Beijing not to stoke tension over disputed East China Sea isles.

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Relations between Japan and South Korea have cooled over a bitter history that includes Japan’s 1910-45 colonization of the Korean peninsula, the forced mobilization of labor at Japanese companies and the use of comfort women, Japan’s euphemism for girls and women forced to work in its wartime brothels.

Editing by Nick Macfie, Robert Birsel

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Sailing among the stars: Here’s how photons could revolutionize space flight

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A few days from now, a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will lift off from Florida, carrying a satellite the size of a loaf of bread with nothing to power it but a huge polyester "solar sail."

It's been the stuff of scientists' dreams for decades but has only very recently become a reality.

The idea might sounds crazy: propelling a craft through the vacuum of space with no engine, no fuel, and no solar panels, but instead harnessing the momentum of packets of light energy known as photons -- in this case from our Sun.

The spacecraft to be launched on Monday, called LightSail 2, was developed by the Planetary Society, a US organization that promotes space exploration which was co-founded by the legendary astronomer Carl Sagan in 1980.

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Russians to prod Putin on poverty and his personal life as his ratings tank

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Russians are set to ask President Vladimir Putin about growing poverty at home and tensions abroad during an annual televised phone-in Thursday, which comes following a fall in his approval ratings.

The leader is also likely to face a degree of grilling on his personal life, according to questions submitted by the public online ahead of the live show.

Set to be held for the 17th time since Putin came to power in 1999, the show starts at 0900 GMT and usually lasts several hours.

Ahead of the carefully choreographed show, more than one million questions had been submitted, organisers told Russian news agencies.

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Trump could turn on Hope Hicks just like Michael Cohen: Trump family biographer warns

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Trump family biographer Emily Jane Fox explained that she didn't think that the president would turn on long-time aide Hope Hicks, but then again, it was the same thought about Michael Cohen as well.

In a panel discussion about Hicks' testimony during MSNBC's Brian Williams' Wednesday show, Fox recalled that Micahel Cohen once said that he would take a bullet for the president. Once it appeared that Trump would throw him under the bus, Cohen began looking for a way out.

The same scenario seems to be happening with Hicks now.

"She works at new Fox, which is a company run by a Murdoch son," Fox said. "It's a company that's brand new. She's the head of communications there. And there are shareholders who would take issue with the fact that a senior member of this company is being put in this situation and being thrust on the world stage."

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