AFP news reported on August 25 that Iran's recent unveiling of new missile-firing assault boats and an aerial drone is a source of concern for U.S. officials. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters: "This is ... something that is of concern to us and ... concern to Iran's neighbors."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on August 20 that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have been invited to Washington on September 2 to start talks related to the Middle East peace process. Clinton said this will be the first time in 20 months that Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to resume direct negotiations.
Citing an interview with the Iranian National News Agency (IRNA), the Jerusalem Post reported on August 17 that Iranian nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi warned that an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities would be an "international crime."
The latest round of joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea, made up of 86,000 troops from the two nations. began in the Yellow Sea on August 16. Voice of America News reported that much of the training will take place on computer displays as commanders practice how they would respond to North Korean nuclear, missile and submarine attacks.
According to South Korea's Defense Ministry, on August 9, North Korea fired more than 100 rounds of artillery into the Yellow Sea near the disputed sea border with the South.
On the 65th anniversary of the first use of nuclear weapons in warfare against a civilian population, a new precedent was set as U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos attended the annual Hiroshima Peace Memorial ceremony honoring the victims of the bombing in Hiroshima, Japan — the first time a U.S. official was present at the event.
U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos will attend the city of Hiroshima’s annual ceremony memorializing the 1945 atomic bombing of the city on August 6 — the first time a U.S. official has attended the commemoration. Bloomberg News quoted State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley, who said in Washington on August 3: “At this particular point, we thought it was the right thing to do.” Crowley added that the presence of Roos will “express respect for all of the victims of World War II.”
An AP report noted that colonels from the United Nations Command (UNC) — the agency responsible for carrying out the terms and conditions of the July 27, 1953, cease-fire agreement in Korea — met at the "truce village" of Panmunjom inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas on July 23 with representatives of Pyongyang's Korean People's Army. During that meeting, UNC officers reminded North Korea about the UN Security Council order to honor the 1953 truce.
AFP news reported on July 22 that a spokesman for the North Korean delegation at the ASEAN security talks in Hanoi has condemned the U.S.-South Korea naval exercises planned for July 25 as a threat to global peace. The USS George Washington aircraft carrier arrived in the South Korean port of Busan on July 21 to take part in the exercises.