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TALUQAN, Afghanistan — A total of 18 fighters including eight police and 10 militants have been confirmed dead as clash erupted in Khawja Ghar district of the northern Takhar province on Thursday, district governor Mohammad Omar said.

“A group of Taliban insurgents attacked security checkpoints in Gortepa area of Khawja Ghar district at 02:00 a.m. local time today, triggering heavy gun battle which lasted for a few hours, and as a result 10 rebels and eight security personnel were killed,” Omar told Xinhua. (Afghanistan-Taliban-Clash)
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SEOUL — China has played a positive role in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and improving inter-Korean relations, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in his New Year press conference on Thursday.
“Until now, China has played a positive role in helping very much the Korean Peninsula’s denuclearization and the improved inter-Korean relations,” said Moon in the televised press conference. (S.Korea-DPRK-China)
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SEOUL — South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday that Japan should take a humble attitude over history, referring to Japan’s protest against the country’s top court ruling on forced labor by the Imperial Japan during World War II.
“The Japanese government should respect the ruling by (South) Korea’s judicial branch though it has complaints. It is not a wise attitude for Japanese politicians and leaders to politicize and cause controversy over the issue,” Moon said during his New Year press conference. (S.Korea-Japan-Dispute)
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TOKYO — The Japanese government said Wednesday an uninhabited island in the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima will be purchased by March to be used by Japanese forces, as well as for U.S. military aircraft to practice carrier landings.
Japan’s top government spokesperson told a press briefing on the matter Wednesday that along with U.S. military drills to be held on Mage Island, located 12 km west of Kagoshima’s Tanegashima Island, the government is also mulling the use of the island for Japan’s Self-Defense Forces’ (SDF) operations. (Japan-Island-Military Base) Enditem

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