Clearing its intention, North Korea tests short-range missiles in Far East

Pyongyang set its intentions straight by launching several short-range missiles off its missile test site at Kittaeryong, on the east coast of North Korea into the sea. The U.S. military’s Pacific Command at Haiti reported within a span of 20 minutes, it had detected three short-range ballistic missiles. Although initially, the Pacific Command had said two of the missiles had failed in flight, it later revised its statement saying two missiles flew about 250 km in a north-easterly direction. According to the Washington Post, “We are working with our interagency partners on a more detailed assessment and we will provide a public update if warranted,” Cmdr. Dave Benham, a spokesman for the U.S. Pacific Command.

This act is widely seen as North Korea’s protest at the annual joint military drills conducted by South Korea and the United States which the former considers as preparation of war. On July 28, North Korea had tested an intercontinental ballistic missile designed to fly 10,000 km targeting some parts of US. This led to rising tension and exchange of heated words as US President Donald Trump warned North Korean leader Kim Jong Un of fire and fury if he threatened the United States.

Sources – Wasington Post, Reuters 

North Korea says no to negotiations with United States

Hand of friendship offered by United States towards North Korea in exchange of an end to missile test launches has been responded by a traditional retaliatory stance by North Korean. N.Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho reinforced that his country “will under no circumstances, put the nukes and ballistic rockets” on the table for negotiations.

In last one month, North Korea has tested two ballistic missiles, with it’s reach being rival countries i.e. South Korea, Japan, and a major part of the United States. This is why United Nations on August 5, 2017 passed sanctions forwarded by United States, as a means of punishment for the nuclear power-armed South Asian nation.

According to reports by the Washington Post, these sanctions will cause a revenue loss worth $1 billion mainly by curb on coal export. Talking about the stringent action against North Korea, US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley said that this is the first time that this amount of “economic sanctions package” has been “leveled against the North Korean regime”.

China, who has been the only ally to North Korea, has also supported the sanctions with it’s Foreign Minister committing to a ‘100 %’ resolution towards the UN sanctions. However, the state-run newspaper People’s Daily has expressed disapproval saying, “Sanctions must avoid causing negative impacts to ordinary people..”.

Sources: Washington Post, NDTV

Americans banned from travelling to North Korea

The U.S. State Department has imposed a ban on the United States’ passport holder to travel to North Korea. According to the statement issued on August 2, the ban will be in effect from September 1.

The officials have asked all the U.S. passport holders currently living in North Korea to return before the restriction begins. The ban will be in effect for next one year. According to a report by CBS, the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, can further extend the ban or revoke it sooner.

According to the statement, “The Secretary has authorized the restriction due to the serious and mounting risk of arrest and long-term detention of U.S. citizens under North Korea’s system of law enforcement.”

According to a Reuters report, North Korea currently holds one Korean-American missionary and two academics, three South Korean nationals and a Canadian pastor. According to Japan, several dozens of their nationals are also detained by North Korea.

In a public notice, journalists and humanitarian workers are exempted from the ban. The ban has come in amid increasing tensions between the two nations. The upcoming ban will also make North Korea the only country Americans can not fly to.

Sources – Reuters, CBS News

USA to bar Americans from travelling to N. Korea

The US has decided to bar its citizens from traveling to North Korea. Two agencies, Koryo Tours, and Young Pioneer Tours, which operate tours in the East Asian country, have conceded that the announcement would be made on July 27 and will come into effect 30 days later.

Although the USA has not confirmed after the death of jailed American student Otto Warmbier, their ties have worsened. Warmbier traveled to North Korea through Young Pioneer Tours in January 2016.

He was arrested on charges of trying to steal a propaganda sign and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. He was returned to the US in a state of coma and died a week later on June 19 aged 22.

In a statement by Koryo Tours, it said after the ban comes into effect, it will not be legal for anyone to travel to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on a US passport.

The announcement date July 27 also coincides with North Korea’s ‘Victory Day’ to commemorate the 1953 Korean War armistice.

Sources-

  1. Washington Post-http://The US has decided to bar its citizens from travelling to North Korea. Two agencies, Koryo Tours and Young Pioneer Tours, which operate tours in the East Asian country, have conceded that the announcement would be made on July 27 and will come into effect 30 days later. Although USA has not confirmed but after the death of jailed American student Otto Warmbier, their ties have worsened. Warmbier travelled to North Korea through Young Pioneer Tours in January 2016. He was arrested on charges of trying to steal a propaganda sign and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. He was returned to the US in a state of coma and died a week later on June 19 aged 22. In a statement by Koryo Tours, it said after the ban comes into effect, it will not be legal for anyone to travel to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on a US passport. The announcement date July 27 also coincides with North Korea’s ‘Victory Day’ to commemorate the 1953 Korean War armistice.

2. BBC-http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-40680500

122 countries adopt global treaty on nuclear ban

As many as 122 countries has adopted a global treaty on nuclear ban at the United Nations on Friday. Only NATO member- the Netherlands voted against it while Singapore abstained from the process of voting. 

Opposition rose from Britain, France and the United States that said such a decision is not a correct way to deal with reality especially when there are perpetual threats coming from North Korea.

The United States, Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel neither did take part in the negotiations nor did they vote. 

Not even did Japan take part in the negotiations even after being victimised with atomic attacks several times.

The UN ambassadors from United States, Britain and France clearly said they do not have an intention to join the treaty.

“This treaty offers no solution to the grave threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear program, nor does it address other security challenges that make nuclear deterrence necessary,” they said in a joint statement.

The three countries instead want to strengthen the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty which seeks nuclear arms to remain stationed in  US, Russia, Britain, France and China countries.

Source: TOI, AFP

Image Source: AP

China reacts to Us bombers flying over South China Sea

“The Chinese military will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and security as well as regional peace and stability,” said the Chinese defense ministry in response to the US. Bomber planes flying over the disputed South China Sea. The U.S. Air Force strongly believes that the region should be treated as an International territory in spite of China’s opposition.

China has already dispatched military vessels and fighter jets to ward away U.S. warship sailing near the disputed region. The tension between the two escalated as the US President Donald Trump and the Chinese President Xi Xinping are set to meet at the G-20 summit at Hamburg. They are supposed to discuss China’s role in stifling North Korea’s Missile and nuclear weapons programme after King Jong-Un launched an intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson was however critical of the U.S. bomber planes,”But China resolutely opposes individual countries using the banner of freedom of navigation and overflight to flaunt military force and harm China’s sovereignty and security,” he exclaimed. The South China Sea witnesses a $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passing through it every year, with countries like Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan claiming parts of this region.  A U.S. warship reportedly sailed near a disputed island in the South China Sea a few days back as the tension between these two heavyweight countries refuses to fade away.

 

News Sources- Ani, Reuters 

North Korea claims to successfully launch test launch first ICBM missile

A defiant North Korea claims to have tested its first Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM)- code named Hwasong 14 which it claims has the ability to hit targets across the globe.The referred missile was claimed to cover an altitude of 2802 kms and covered a distance of  933 kms in 39 minutes before landing close to the sea of Japan during it”s testing.An ICBM missile operates within the range of 5000-10000 kilometers and has the capability to carry a nuclear warhead.Although many skeptics will doubt about the nuclear warhead, re-entry vehicle and other proofs of working guidance of the missile, the fact that North Korea has actually managed to showcase its technological ability in launching an ICBM adds credibility to the nation.
Expectedly the close neighbours along with U.S.and Russia have strongly condemned the test. While South Korea has called for action by UN Security Council, Japan has stressed for an alliance with South Korea and U.S. to put pressure on Pyongyang. Russia and China have asked North Korea to suspend its tests and also asked the alliance of U.S and South Korea to stop it’s military exercise plans.The launch which took place on 4th July, which incidentally is American Independence Day gives North Korea a chance to hit peripheral areas of U.S. Although a full front coverage of U.S is still far away the launch proves that.
North Korea had made progress despite a hard call on itself by global superpowers.
News Sources- BBC, ANI