September 12, 2018

News Briefs – September 12, 2018

Report: Germany mulls future military options on Syria

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman says Germany is talking with allies about the situation in Syria but isn’t confirming a report that Berlin is mulling the possibility of participating in future military strikes.
Without naming sources, the Bild newspaper reported Sept. 10 that the defense ministry is examining the possibility of some kind of involvement in future military action if Syria’s government carries out a further chemical attack. It said that followed a U.S. request to the chancellery.
Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said that “of course the German government is in contact with partners and allies” on Syria. However, he said “there has been no situation in which a decision had to be made” and that he “won’t participate in speculation.”
Germany stayed out of previous U.S.-led airstrikes but voiced its support. AP

Koreas to hold military talks ahead of their leaders’ summit

South Korea says it will hold military talks with North Korea this week to discuss how to ease tensions along their border.
The talks scheduled for Sept. 13 at the border village of Panmunjom will come days before the leaders of the two countries hold their third summit of the year.
South Korea’s Defense Ministry says the talks will deal with disarming a jointly controlled area at Panmunjom, removing front-line guard posts and conducting joint searches for soldiers missing from the 1950-53 Korean War.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently told vising South Korean officials that he has faith in President Donald Trump and reaffirmed his commitment to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.
The White House said Sept. 10 that Trump received Kim’s request to schedule a second meeting between the two. AP

State Dept OKs possible early warning aircraft sale to Japan

The Pentagon says that the State Department has approved the possible sale of up to nine early warning aircraft to Japan for about $3.1 billion.
The department says Japan will use the Navy’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft to get greater awareness of activities in the air and sea in the Pacific region. It says the twin turboprop aircraft will also improve Japan’s ability to defend itself.
Congress was notified of the potential sale on Sept. 7. The price includes the aircraft, support systems and spare parts. Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Melbourne, Fla., would be the main contractor.
The State Department says the aircraft is critical to help Japan, a staunch U.S. ally, develop a strong self-defense. AP

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