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ADMIN posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogFile photo. -AFP RIYADH: Saudi air defences intercepted a ballistic missile fired at the kingdom by Yemen's Houthi rebels on Monday, state media reported. The attack was launched from Yemen's northern governorate of Saada, a Houthi stronghold, and "intercepted" at 7:23 local time, Colonel Turki al-Maliki told state news agency SPA. Maliki, the spokesman for the Saudi-led military coalition supporting the government in Yemen, said the missile was headed toward the city of Khamis Mushait - about 160 kilometres north of the border. Riyadh had warned that "Iranian-manufactured ballistic weapons" threatened the kingdom's security following an attack it said was intercepted near Riyadh airport in November. Maliki on Monday accused the Houthis of "repeatedly targeting densely populated cities" and accused the kingdom's regional rival Iran of delivering the weapons to the insurgents. The coalition has been blacklisted by the UN for the killing and maiming of children in air raids on Yemen. The United States, which backs the Saudi campaign against the Houthis, has also accused Iran of being at the origin of the ballistic missiles, a charge denied by Tehran. Russia said last week that evidence presented by the US was inconclusive, signalling it would oppose a bid to slap UN sanctions on Tehran. More than 9,200 people have been killed since the Saudi-led alliance joined the Yemen war in March 2015, according to the World Health Organisation, triggering what the United Nations has called the world´s worst humanitarian disaster.
ADMIN posted a blog entry in FDF Online NewsOver the years, the Indian cricket team has witnessed its players forging close relationships with each other, both on and off the field. Whether it's Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid or MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina, cricketers who usually spend a lot of time together are bound to strike a chord, which is equally important for the team as a whole. In the modern era, a similar bond has been seen between Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan. From sitting together in the team bus to flaying sick Bhangra moves on the streets, the duo appear to be inseparable. Such has been the camaraderie between the two Delhi cricketers that even their better halves were seen shopping and strolling through the streets together in South Africa recently. Stunning @virat.kohli dancing with @shikhardofficial & Zoravar on Gurudas Maan's Song ð ♥ï¸ #gurudasmann #virushkareception #virushkawedding #anushkasharma #viratkohli #viratanushka #couplegoals â¤ A post shared by Virat Kohli (@viratkohli18.insta) on Dec 21, 2017 at 9:24pm PST But, while Kohli and Dhawan have now been branded as 'Jai-Veeru' of the Indian cricket team, a rare moment of ferocity between the two Indian stars came to the fore on 1 February during India's much-anticipated ODI clash against South Africa in Durban. After a commendable bowling effort, the Indian cricket team got a blistering start through its openers Rohit Sharma and Dhawan. And, while Rohit fell prey to Morne Morkel after some exquisite strokes, his opening partner looked in a class of his own. The marauding left-hander was looking in deft touch, timing the ball to perfection with a strike-rate of over 100. Despite Rohit's dismissal, Dhawan's elegant stroke-play kept the asking rate in check and also ensured India stayed on track in their run-chase. Given his free-flowing batting early on, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that Dhawan was on his way to a big score. © BCCL However, contrary to popular perception and to the sheer displeasure of Dhawan, the Indian opener was forced to sacrifice his wicket after his captain and great friend pushed him for a single that wasn't even there. Batting at 35, Dhawan was looking to flick the ball which took the inside edge onto the pads before rolling towards the pitch side in the 13th over. While Chris Morris was busy appealing for an LBW, Dhawan was still trying to figure out where the ball was. And, amid all the theatrics, Kohli somehow saw an opportunity to sneak in a quick single. For a man who didn't even know where the ball was, let alone get ready for a single, Dhawan soon found himself staring at the non-striker who was already halfway down the pitch. In the frenzy of noise and the visuals, Dhawan had two choices - run for the suicidal single or send Kohli back which would have surely got his captain into trouble. Thus, the Indian opener ran and sacrificed his wicket after Aiden Markram fired in a direct hit. © Reuters For someone who rarely loses his cool and is famous for his iconic smile, Dhawan was absolutely furious at Kohli for his dismissal. As he walked, Dhawan looked at Kohli and shook his head while gesturing there wasn't a single there. Later, in the dressing room, he was again seen venting his frustration to batting coach Sanjay Bangar who was listening patiently. Thankfully, Dhawan's dismissal didn't cause too much trouble for Team India who secured an emphatic six-wicket win on the back of Kohli's 33rd ODI hundred. But, the incident between the two cricketers who were recently seen dancing on the streets of Cape Town surely shocked the fans. Shikhar Dhawan Waiting For Virat Kohli To Come Back To Pavilion. ð #INDvSA #SAvIND #SAvsIND #Kohli pic.twitter.com/WADc2aZJ83 — Sir Ravindra Jadeja (@SirrrJadeja) February 1, 2018 Friendship ended with Kohli, Rohit is my New Friend ~ Shikhar Dhawan#RunOutPartners ð#IndvSA #IndvsSA #SAvIND pic.twitter.com/huKHijrqHO — Tabrez (@its_tabrez_) February 1, 2018 Only twice Dhawan has been run out in ODIs, both with Kohli on the other end. v Pak, Adelaide, in 2015 World Cp v SA, Durban, Today#SAvInd — Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) February 1, 2018 Newton's law of cricket It states that KOHLI will remain at rest or in motion in a straight line in indecisiveness and will lead to run out the batsman at the other end#INDvSA #FreedomSeries — The Eye Doctor (@sharad91mishra) February 1, 2018 Never seen Dhawan that animated. Even after a horrible drop or shot, he is usually smiling. Looks pissed off now — Nikhil ð (@CricCrazyNIKS) February 1, 2018 Rare moment where the batsman abusing after a run-out is not Kohli. #INDvSA — Trendulkar (@Trendulkar) February 1, 2018 Dear Shikhar Dhawan, you must be remember that Virat Kohli is the captain.#INDvSA — Sunil- The Cricketer (@1sInto2s) February 1, 2018 Kohli deserved the Man of the match award. Not only did he score a century but also took Shikhar Dhawan's wicket. — Bhayanak Puppy (@BhayanakPuppy) February 1, 2018
ADMIN posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogAgni-V on display during the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on January 26, 2013 India test-fired its nuclear-capable long-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) ?Agni-V?, the Indian Defence Ministry said on Thursday. The Agni-V, believed to be India's most advanced ICBM, was fired Thursday morning on Abdul Kalam island off the coast of the eastern state of Odisha. "We have successfully launched nuclear capable ballistic missile Agni-V today," Indian media quoted defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman as saying. The ministry called the test a "major boost" to the country's defense capabilities. The Agni-V was last tested on December 26, 2016, which was then described as its fourth and final experimental test. Once the Agni-V is inducted, India will join an exclusive list of countries with ICBMs (missiles with a range of over 5,000-5,500km) alongside the US, Russia, China, France and the UK.
ADMIN posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogWASHINGTON: An emergency alert sent on Saturday to Hawaii?s residents warning of an imminent ballistic missile attack was transmitted mistakenly by state authorities due to human error, Hawaii?s governor and emergency management chief said. State officials and the US military?s Pacific Command confirmed that there was no actual threat to the state. Governor David Ige, a Democrat, said in comments aired on CNN, ?I was awakened by the alert like everyone else here in the state of Hawaii. It was unfortunate and regrettable. We will be looking at how we can improve the procedures so it doesn?t happen again.? The alert, sent to mobile phones and aired on television and radio, was issued amid high international tensions over North Korea?s development of ballistic nuclear weapons. Ige, who apologized for the incident, said the alert was sent out by mistake during a shift change at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. He said such shift changes occur three times a day every day of the year. Vern Miyagi, the agency?s administrator, said in comments also aired on CNN, ?It was an inadvertent mistake. The change of shift is about three people. That should have been caught. ... It should not have happened.? The U.S. Federal Communications Commission announced it was initiating a full investigation. The FCC has jurisdiction over the emergency alert system. Earlier this week, FCC chairman Ajit Pai said the agency would vote at its January meeting to enhance the effectiveness of wireless emergency alerts, which have been in place since 2012. CHECK LIST Miyagi said there was a ?check list? that should have been followed. He said, ?I think we have the process in place. It?s an matter of executing the process. I think it?s human error.? ?This will not happen again,? he added. Media reports said it took 38 minutes for the initial alert to be corrected. After the alert was sent, the Emergency Management Agency later said on Twitter: ?NO missile threat to Hawaii.? A spokeswoman for US Representative Tulsi Gabbard said the congresswoman checked with the state agency that issued the alert and was told it was sent in error. Gabbard then tweeted, ?HAWAII - THIS IS A FALSE ALARM. THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE TO HAWAII. I HAVE CONFIRMED WITH OFFICIALS THERE IS NO INCOMING MISSILE.? Gabbard also tweeted the mistaken alert, which stated: ?EMERGENCY ALERT BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.? North Korean President Kim Jong-un has threatened to unleash his country?s growing missile weapon capability against the U.S. territory of Guam or U.S. states, prompting President Donald Trump to threaten tough actions against Pyongyang, including ?fire and fury.? Trump was wrapping up a round of golf at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida when the incident was unfolding. White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said Trump was briefed and that it ?was purely a state exercise.? Hawaii State Representative Matt LoPresti, described his family?s reaction upon receiving the alert, adding that ?someone should lose their job if this was an error.? ?We took shelter immediately ... in the bathtub with my children, saying our prayers,? LoPresti told CNN. ?I was wondering why we couldn?t hear the emergency sirens. I didn?t understand that. And that was my first clue that maybe something was wrong, whether a hack or an error. But we took it as seriously as a heart attack,? LoPresti added. Hawaii, a chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean, has a population of about 1.4 million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and is home to Pacific Command, the Navy?s Pacific Fleet and other elements of the American military. In November, Hawaii said it would resume monthly statewide testing of Cold War-era nuclear attack warning sirens for the first time in at least a quarter of a century, in preparation for a possible missile strike from North Korea, state officials said at the time. US Senator Mazie Hirono, a Democrat from Hawaii, said on Twitter, ?At a time of heightened tensions, we need to make sure all information released to the community is accurate. We need to get to the bottom of what happened and make sure it never happens again.? The US Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was the target of the surprise attack by Japan on Dec. 7, 1941, that drew the United States into World War Two.
ADMIN posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogRIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Friday intercepted a ballistic missile over the kingdom's south near the border with Yemen, state media reported, hours after Yemeni rebels said they had launched an attack. The Houthi rebels, locked in a war against Yemen's Saudi-backed government, said they had fired a missile at the kingdom's southwestern province of Najran in a statement tweeted by their Al-Masirah television channel. Saudi air defences intercepted the ballistic missile over Najran, according to the kingdom's state-owned Al Ekhbariya news channel. A spokesman for the Saudi-led military alliance fighting the Houthis in Yemen did not immediately respond to a request for further details. Saudi Arabia, which has been targeted by multiple rocket attacks in recent weeks, has blamed its regional rival Iran for arming the Houthis in the Yemen war. The kingdom denounced the threat of "Iranian-manufactured ballistic weapons" after it intercepted a ballistic missile fired from Yemen over Riyadh in December. No casualties have been reported in the attacks. The Saudi-led coalition intervened in support of President Abedrabbo Mansur Hadi's government in March 2015, after the Huthis took over the capital Sanaa and much of the rest of the country. But despite the coalition's superior firepower, the rebels still control the capital and much of the north. More than 8,750 people have been killed since the coalition intervened, according to the World Health Organization.
ADMIN posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Friday expressed concern at the reported ballistic missile attack by Yemen's Houthi rebels on Saudi Arabia, said a statement released. "It strongly condemns the attack and commends the timely action by Saudi forces to destroy the missile preventing any loss of lives," said the FO. Pakistan reiterated its full support and solidarity with the government and the people of the kingdom. The statement further added that it condemns any threats aimed Saudi Arabia and demanded the "anti-Government forces in Yemen to desist from attacks against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia". On Thursday, Yemen's Houthi rebels said they fired a ballistic missile at Saudi Arabia and hit a military target, in the second such attack this month, after threatening to retaliate over a crippling blockade. "We confirm the success of our ballistic missile trial, which hit its military target inside Saudi Arabia," the Houthi-run Al-Masira television channel said. Hours earlier in a speech broadcast on Al-Masira, rebel chief Abdulmalik al-Houthi had warned against "prolonging the blockade" imposed on Yemen following a November 4 rebel missile attack that was intercepted near Riyadh international airport. "Should the blockade continue, we know what (targets) would cause great pain and how to reach them," he said. Saudi Arabia and its allies tightened the longstanding blockade on Yemen's ports and the main international airport in Sanaa in the wake of the November missile attack. The move prompted the Houthis to warn that they considered "airports, ports, border crossings, and areas of any importance" in Saudi Arabia, as well as its ally the United Arab Emirates, legitimate targets. The conflict has claimed more than 8,600 lives since the Saudi-led coalition joined the government's war against the rebel alliance. More than 2,000 people have also died of cholera this year. The United Nations (UN) has warned Yemen faces mass famine unless the Saudi-led coalition allows more food aid into the country, long the poorest in the region. The coalition allowed limited supplies into select areas in Yemen last weekend. Yemen's conflict ? which has enabled Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Daesh to flourish in the chaos of war ? shows no sign of waning. The Houthi-Saleh rebel alliance has also begun to unravel, with clashes between the Houthis and fighters loyal to the former president leaving at least 14 dead on Wednesday. Violence between the two ? whose alliance first began to show cracks in August ? flared again Thursday night, localised in southern Sanaa and around the residence of two of Saleh's nephews.
ADMIN posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogHouthi fighters walk in Sanaa, Yemen, November 30, 2017. AFP/Mohammed Huwais DUBAI: Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels said Thursday they fired a ballistic missile at Saudi Arabia and hit a military target, in the second such attack this month, after threatening to retaliate over a crippling blockade. "We confirm the success of our ballistic missile trial, which hit its military target inside Saudi Arabia," the Houthi-run Al-Masira television channel said. A spokesman for the Saudi-led military coalition fighting the Houthi rebels in Yemen did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Hours earlier in a speech broadcast on Al-Masira, rebel chief Abdulmalik al-Houthi warned against "prolonging the blockade" imposed on Yemen following a November 4 rebel missile attack that was intercepted near Riyadh international airport. "Should the blockade continue, we know what (targets) would cause great pain and how to reach them," he said. Saudi Arabia and its allies tightened the longstanding blockade on Yemen's ports and the main international airport in Sanaa in the wake of the November missile attack. The move prompted the Houthis to warn that they considered "airports, ports, border crossings, and areas of any importance" in Saudi Arabia, as well as its ally the United Arab Emirates, legitimate targets. "We will not stand idly by ? we will seek more radical means to prevent both the tightening of the blockade and all acts aimed at starving and humiliating the people of Yemen," the rebels' political office said this month. Riyadh accuses its arch-rival Iran of arming Yemen's Houthis and, earlier this month, Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said this "could be considered an act of war". Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of supplying the Houthis with arms. Iran's foreign ministry has denied the accusation. Rebel rift The Houthis ? a northern minority that has long complained of marginalisation ? descended on the capital Sanaa from their mountainous region in September 2014, seizing the city with little resistance. Security forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh ? who ruled Yemen for decades until he resigned under pressure in 2012 ? joined forces with the Houthis. Together, they forced the government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi to flee to the main southern city of Aden and later to Riyadh. Saudi Arabia and a coalition of mainly Arab allies launched air strikes in March 2015 against the Houthis and later sent ground troops to support pro-government forces. The conflict has claimed more than 8,600 lives since the Saudi-led coalition joined the government's war against the rebel alliance. More than 2,000 people have also died of cholera this year. The United Nations (UN) has warned Yemen faces mass famine unless the Saudi-led coalition allows more food aid into the country, long the poorest in the region. The coalition allowed limited supplies into select areas in Yemen last weekend. Yemen's conflict ? which has enabled Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Daesh to flourish in the chaos of war ? shows no sign of waning. The Houthi-Saleh rebel alliance has also begun to unravel, with clashes between the Houthis and fighters loyal to the former president leaving at least 14 dead on Wednesday. Violence between the two ? whose alliance first began to show cracks in August ? flared again Thursday night, localised in southern Sanaa and around the residence of two of Saleh's nephews.
ADMIN posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogFile North Korea fired a ballistic missile that landed close to Japan on Wednesday, the first test by Pyongyang since a missile fired over its neighbour in mid-September, officials said. North Korea launched the missile a week after President Donald Trump put North Korea back on a US list of countries that Washington says support terrorism. The designation allows the United States to impose more sanctions, although some experts said it risked inflaming tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Japan?s government estimated that the missile flew for about 50 minutes and landed in the sea in Japan?s exclusive economic zone, Japanese broadcaster NHK said. An Aug. 29 missile fired by North Korea that flew over Japan was airborne for 14 minutes. South Korea?s Joint Chiefs of Staff said Wednesday?s missile was fired from Pyongsong, a city in South Pyongan Province, at around 1817 GMT over the sea between South Korea and Japan. Minutes after the North fired the missile, South Korea?s military conducted a missile-firing test in response, the South Korean military added. The Pentagon said it had detected a ?probable? missile launch from North Korea. ?We detected a probable missile launch from North Korea. We are in the process of assessing the situation and will provide additional details when available,? Pentagon spokesman Colonel Robert Manning told reporters. Leading Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun quoted an unidentified government official as saying the missile did not cross over Japan and it fell into the Sea of Japan or on the Korean peninsula. The White House said US President Donald Trump was briefed while the missile was still in the air. South Korean news agency Yonhap, citing South Korea?s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the missile flew to the east and the South Korean military was analysing details of the launch with the United States. US stocks pared gains after reports of the missile launch. The S&P 500 index was up half a percent in midafternoon. Two authoritative US government sources said earlier that US government experts believed North Korea could conduct a new missile test within days. After firing missiles at a rate of about two or three a month since April, North Korea paused its missile launches in late September, after it fired a missile that passed over Japan?s northern Hokkaido island on Sept. 15. The US officials who spoke earlier declined to say what type of missile they thought North Korea might test, but noted that Pyongyang had been working to develop nuclear-tipped missiles capable of hitting the United States and had already tested inter-continental ballistic missiles. Last week, North Korea denounced Trump?s decision to relist it as a state sponsor of terrorism, calling it a ?serious provocation and violent infringement.? Trump has traded insults and threats with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and warned in his maiden speech to the United Nations in September that the United States would have no choice but to ?totally destroy? North Korea if forced to defend itself or its allies. Washington has said repeatedly that all options are on the table in dealing with North Korea, including military ones, but that it prefers a peaceful solution by Pyongyang agreeing to give up its nuclear and missile programs. To this end, Trump has pursued a policy of encouraging countries around the world, including North Korea?s main ally and neighbour, China, to step up sanctions on Pyongyang to persuade it to give up its weapons programs. North Korea has given no indication it is willing to re-enter dialogue on those terms. North Korea defends its weapons programs as a necessary defence against US plans to invade. The United States, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea as a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean war, denies any such intention.
ADMIN posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogAn image ? obtained as a screenshot from the YouTube channel of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation ? shows an intercontinental ballistic missile being fired from a cosmodrome, Plesetsk testing ground, Russia, October 26, 2017. Geo.tv via Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation/Youtube MOSCOW: Russia conducted several ballistic missile tests on Thursday from "land, air, and sea" as part of its strategic nuclear programme, the Defence Ministry announced. A "Topol" intercontinental ballistic missile was fired from the Plesetsk testing ground in the northwest of the country and three ballistic missiles were launched by two nuclear missile submarines (SSBNs), two from the Okhotsk Sea, north of Japan, and one from the Barents Sea in the Arctic Ocean. Russian military forces "have carried out an exercise to manage its strategic nuclear forces", the ministry said in a statement. Strategic bombers Tu-160, Tu-95MC, and Tu-22M3 also took off from several Russian air bases and launched cruise missiles at "ground-based" targets in Kamchatka, eastern Russia, in the Komi Republic in the north, and on Russian military terrain in Kazakhstan. "All objectives of the training have been successfully completed," the statement said. In early September, Russia carried out joint military exercises with Belarus on NATO's eastern flank, causing concern in Poland and the Baltic states due to the size of the drills and doubts over Moscow's intentions. On Thursday, NATO members challenged Russia over "discrepancies" concerning the number of troops involved and the figures officially announced by Moscow. "There is a discrepancy between what Russia briefed before the exercise? and the actual numbers and the scale and the scope of the exercise," NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg told reporters after a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC).
ADMIN posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogSEOUL: North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan on Tuesday, South Korea´s military and the Japanese government said. The "unidentified ballistic missile" was launched at around 2057 GMT Monday from Sunan, near Pyongyang, the South´s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement, saying it travelled east "and over Japan". "South Korea and the US are jointly analysing for details," it added. Tokyo also said it overflew its territory, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe saying the government would take "full steps" to ensure the safety of the Japanese people. The country´s chief government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, said the missile posed a "serious, grave security threat" to Japan. The firing comes days after Pyongyang launched three short-range missiles in what was seen as a minimal provocation after the start of the Ulchi Freedom Guardian South Korean-US joint military exercises. But Tuesday´s flight path represents a significant escalation by Pyongyang, which earlier this month threatened to fire a salvo of missiles towards the US territory of Guam. Any such flights would have to pass over Japan. When Pyongyang carried out its first two successful tests of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) last month it fired them on lofted trajectories that avoided travelling over the Asian island nation. Japan has in the past vowed to shoot down North Korean missiles or rockets that threaten to hit its territory, and deployed its Patriot missile defence system in response to the Guam threat, reports and officials said, with an Aegis destroyer also stationed in the Sea of Japan (East Sea). In 2009, a North Korean rocket passed over Japanese territory without incident, triggering Japan´s immediate denouncement. At the time North Korea said it was launching a telecommunications satellite, but Washington, Seoul and Tokyo believed Pyongyang was testing an ICBM.
waqas dar posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogNorth Korea's leader Kim Jong Un watches a military drill marking the 85th anniversary of the establishment of the Korean People's Army (KPA) in this handout photo by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) made available on April 26, 2017. KCNA/Handout/REUTERS/File Photo SEOUL: North Korea fired what appeared to be a short-range ballistic missile on Monday that landed in the sea off its east coast, South Korea's military said, the latest in a series of missile tests defying world pressure and threats of more sanctions. The launch was immediately reported to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who called a meeting of the National Security Council at 7:30 AM (3:30 AM Monday), South Korea's Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. The missile was believed to be a Scud-class ballistic missile and flew about 450 km, the Joint Chiefs said in a statement. North Korea has a large stockpile of Scud missiles, originally developed by the Soviet Union. Modified versions have a range of up to 1,000 km. North Korea last test-fired a ballistic missile on May 21 off its east coast and on Sunday said it had tested a new anti-aircraft weapon supervised by leader Kim Jong Un. Pyongyang has conducted dozens of missile tests and tested two nuclear bombs since the start of 2016 in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions. It says the program is necessary to counter US aggression. Kim's rocket stars: the trio behind North Korea's missile program The three, seen with Kim in photographs and TV footage, are of great interest to Western security and intelligence agencies UN Security Council vows sanctions over North Korea missile test North Korea´s long-term bid to develop a credible nuclear attack threat to the US mainland saw it launch Sunday what appeared to be its longest-range missile yet The United States has said it was looking at discussing with China a new UN Security Council resolution and that Beijing ? the main diplomatic ally of Pyongyang ? realises time was limited to rein in the North's weapons program through negotiations. Experts say the North appears to be gaining meaningful data that is fed into its effort to build an intercontinental ballistic missile. 'Did not pose a threat' The US Pacific Command said it tracked what appeared to be a short-range ballistic missile for six minutes and assessed it did not pose a threat to North America. "We continue to monitor North Korea's actions closely," the Pacific Command said, adding that it was working on a more detailed assessment of the launch from near the country's Wonsan Airfield. "US Pacific Command stands behind our ironclad commitment to the security of our allies in the Republic of Korea and Japan," it in a statement. "The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) assessed that the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America." US 'government is aware' US President Donald Trump has been briefed about North Korea's firing of a projectile reported to have been a missile test, a White House official said on Sunday. "The United States government is aware," the White House official said. "The president has been briefed." 'Highly problematic' Japan lodged a protest against the North's latest missile launch, which appeared to have landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said. "This ballistic missile launch by North Korea is highly problematic from the perspective of the safety of shipping and air traffic and is a clear violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions," Suga told reporters in televised remarks. While no damage to planes or ships was detected, Suga added, "Japan absolutely cannot tolerate North Korea's repeated provocative actions. We have strongly protested to North Korea and condemn its actions in the strongest terms." Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also vowed action along with other nations to deter Pyongyang's repeated provocations. "As we agreed at the recent G7, the issue of North Korea is a top priority for the international community," Abe told reporters in brief televised remarks. "Working with the United States, we will take specific action to deter North Korea."
SEOUL: North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Sunday in an apparent test of the South´s new president who backs engagement with Pyongyang. The missile flew about 700 kilometres (435 miles) before landing in the Sea of Japan, South Korea´s Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The US Pacific Command said it did not appear to be an intercontinental ballistic missile. New South Korean President Moon Jae-In, who was inaugurated on Wednesday, slammed the test as a "reckless provocation" after holding an emergency meeting with national security advisors. He said the government strongly condemned this "grave challenge to the peace and security of the Korean peninsula and the international community," his spokesman Yoon Young-Chan said. Moon, unlike his conservative predecessors, advocates reconciliation with Pyongyang but warned Sunday that dialogue would be possible "only if the North changes its behaviour". Moon had said in his inauguration speech that he was willing to visit Pyongyang "in the right circumstances" to defuse tensions on the Korean peninsula, with Pyongyang and Washington exchanging hostile rhetoric. US President Donald Trump has threatened military action against the North but recently appears to have softened his stance, saying he would be "honoured" to meet the North´s leader Kim Jong-Un under the right conditions. A senior Pyongyang diplomat said Saturday the North would be willing to hold talks with the US if the conditions are right. Washington has been looking to China for help in reining in Kim and the missile test is likely to embarrass Beijing, which is hosting a summit Sunday to promote its ambitious global trade infrastructure project. It was also North Korea´s first launch since a controversial US missile defence system deployed in South Korea became operational on May 2 and follows a failed April 29 ballistic missile test. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe slammed the latest missile launch as "totally unacceptable" and a "grave threat" to Tokyo. "We strongly protest against North Korea," he said. The missile was launched from a site near the northwestern city of Kusong, according to the South´s Joint Chiefs of Staff. North Korea test-fired a missile from the same city in February with the missile flying more than 500 kilometres. The North has staged two atomic tests and dozens of missile launches since the start of last year in its quest to develop a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the US mainland. Most experts have doubted that the North has developed an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) with that range. But many say the isolated nation has made a great progress in its nuclear and missile capabilities since Kim took power after the death of his father and longtime ruler, Kim Jong-Il, in 2011.
waqas dar posted a blog entry in Geo News BlogNorth Korea test-fired a ballistic missile Saturday in apparent defiance of a US push for tougher international sanctions to curb the Asian country's nuclear threat. "North Korea fired an unidentified missile from a site in the vicinity of Bukchang in Pyeongannam-do (South Pyeongan Province) early this morning," the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported, adding that the missile "is estimated to have failed." A US defense official confirmed North Korea had fired a missile. The launch comes with tensions high on the Korean peninsula, with US President Donald Trump warning of the risk of a "major conflict." It came just hours after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson addressed the UN Security Council for the first time, called for a global campaign of pressure on Pyongyang -- with China playing a major role -- to halt its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. "Failing to act now on the most pressing security issue in the world may bring catastrophic consequences," he warned. He repeated Washington's threat that US military options were "on the table." Tillerson said China had "unique" leverage over its communist ally and neighbor. But Beijing pushed back, arguing that it was unrealistic to expect one country to solve the conflict. "The use of force does not solve differences and will only lead to bigger disasters," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the council. His country, he said, should not be "a focal point of the problem on the peninsula" and stressed that "the key to solving the nuclear issue on the peninsula does not lie in the hands of the Chinese side." Risk of nuclear attack 'real' Russia joined China in saying a military response would be disastrous and appealing for a return to talks and de-escalation. Military action was "completely unacceptable," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov told the council. A miscalculation could have "frightening consequences," he warned. But Tillerson argued that diplomacy had to be backed with credible muscle. "Diplomatic and financial levers of power will be backed up by willingness to counteract North Korean aggression with military action, if necessary," he said. "The threat of a North Korean nuclear attack on Seoul or Tokyo is real, and it is likely only a matter of time before North Korea develops the capability to strike the US mainland." Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un are locked in an ever-tighter spiral of threat, counter-threat, and escalating military preparedness. The US is deploying a naval strike group led by an aircraft carrier to the Korean peninsula, and a missile-defense system called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) will be operational "within days," according to officials. North Korea meanwhile said it has conducted its biggest ever artillery drill and threatened to "bury at sea" the US aircraft carrier. Speculation has mounted it could soon carry out a sixth nuclear test. China wants talks The meeting of the top UN body on Friday laid bare major differences among key powers over the way to address the North Korea crisis. Over the past 11 years, the Security Council has imposed six sets of sanctions on Pyongyang -- two adopted last year -- to significantly ramp up pressure and deny Kim's regime the hard currency revenue needed for his military programs. But UN sanctions experts have repeatedly told the council the measures have had little impact because they have been poorly implemented. Tillerson called on all countries to downgrade or sever diplomatic relations with North Korea and impose targeted sanctions on entities and individuals supporting its missile and nuclear program. The United States is ready to impose sanctions on third countries where companies or individuals are found to have helped North Korea's military programs, he said. China instead wants Pyongyang to freeze its military programs in exchange for a halt to US-South Korean annual drills. "Now is the time to seriously consider talks," said Wang. But Tillerson was blunt in saying it was up to North Korea to take the first concrete steps. "We will not negotiate our way back to the negotiating table," he said. "We will not reward their bad behavior with talks." The United States, Russia and China took part in six-party talks on North Korea's denuclearization from 2003 to 2009, along with Japan, South Korea and Pyongyang.