U.S. President Joe Biden arrives at Osan Air Base on May 20, 2022, in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. (Pool photo)(Kyodo)

The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.


S. Korea, U.S. to further boost deterrence against N. Korea

SEOUL - South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed Saturday to further strengthen deterrence against security threats posed by North Korea during their first summit talks in Seoul, condemning Pyongyang for recent escalatory ballistic missile tests.

Yoon and Biden shared the view that North Korea's nuclear program presents a "grave threat" not only to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula but also the rest of Asia and the world and sought complete denuclearization of the peninsula, according to the joint statement released after the two-hour summit talks.


Polls close in tight Australian general election

SYDNEY - Voting closed nationwide in Australia's tightly contested general election Saturday, with ballot counting now under way.

Polling centers that opened at 8 a.m. closed at 6 p.m., with results from the country's eastern and central states already trickling in.


Japan, Australia, India, U.S. to agree on COVID vaccine cooperation

TOKYO - The leaders of Japan, Australia, India and the United States will agree to step up the provision of COVID-19 vaccines to the international community, when they hold a summit meeting next week, a Foreign Ministry official said Saturday.

The agreement, part of the four Indo-Pacific democracies' efforts to counter China's expanding influence in developing countries, is expected to be stated in their joint statement, said the Japanese official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.


Japan, U.S., 3 others walk out APEC trade meet in protest of Russia

BANGKOK - Representatives of Japan, the United States and three other countries briefly walked out of a meeting of Asia-Pacific trade ministers on Saturday in protest against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, officials said.

The two-day meeting in Bangkok of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum will wrap up Sunday, with promotion of trade and investment in a post-COVID-19 world high on the agenda.


Salvage of Hokkaido tour boat starts, with 12 people still missing

SAPPORO - Preparatory work to salvage a tourist boat that sank off Hokkaido last month, leaving 14 dead and 12 people still missing, started Saturday morning.

The raising of the 19-ton Kazu I will now take place early next week. The boat, which currently sits on the seabed some 120 meters below the surface, went missing off the Shiretoko Peninsula on April 23.


Russia declares full control of Ukraine's Mariupol

KYIV - Russia has declared full control of a steel plant in Ukraine's key port city of Mariupol, finally pushing out the remaining Ukrainian resistance, according to the Russian defense ministry, as the ongoing war is set to enter its fourth month.

Igor Konashenkov, the ministry's spokesman, was quoted by the Tass news agency as saying on Friday that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has informed President Vladimir Putin about the "complete liberation" of the Azovstal plant and Mariupol from Ukrainian militants.


Japan protests China over suspected test drilling in E. China Sea

TOKYO - Japan's Foreign Ministry said Friday it has confirmed ongoing construction by China of a facility believed to be meant for unilateral gas field development in the East China Sea.

The ministry lodged a protest with the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo, saying it is regrettable that China has pushed forward with unilateral development.


Senior Japan finance official nabbed for alleged assault on train

TOKYO - A senior Finance Ministry official was arrested Friday for allegedly beating and kicking a fellow passenger on a moving train in Tokyo, investigative sources said.

Heihachiro Ono, the 56-year-old deputy vice minister for policy planning and coordination, was drunk when he allegedly assaulted the passenger early Friday and denies having any recollection of the incident, the sources said. The victim did not sustain any serious injuries.