North Korea has confirmed the successful execution of its fifth nuclear test, and has publicly confirmed their ability to mass produce standardised nuclear warheads that can be mounted on strategic ballistic rockets. The test is another flagrant violation of five sets of sanctions imposed upon North Korea by the UN since 2006, which was when North Korea carried out its first illegitimate nuclear test.
North Korea has been known to use nationally important dates for displays of their military strength. September 9 is North Korea’s National Day, on which it celebrates the founding of the nation as it is currently known. Seismic activity on Friday morning near North Korea’s Punggye-ri underground nuclear testing site tipped off seismologists, who registered a 5.3 magnitude seismic event.
Early estimates placed the explosive yield of the blast at 10 kilotonnes, which was enough for the nuclear test to be their largest nuclear test. However, later estimates say that the yield was closer to 20 kilotonnes, which would make it significantly more destructive than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. The President of South Korea Park Geun-hye has condemned the test, and called it an act of self-destruction criticizing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for his ‘maniacal recklessness.’ The test was also protested by Japan, and the United States of America warned Pyongyang of ‘serious consequences.’
Kim Jong-un’s actions may have severe repercussions such as further and tougher sanctions imposed on North Korea, which may limit the import of several important products like fuel into the country, causing severe damage to its already faltering economy.
Russian President Vladimir Putin at a business forum held at Vladivostok urged countries to show caution while dealing with North Korea. This forum was also attended by South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Putin also asked North Korea to agree with the arguments supported by the United Nations. He also pointed out that any action, which would lead to the escalation of tension, would be counter-productive. South Korean President Park Geun-hye also recommended that if we tend to stop the nuclear programs of North Korea, all the countries should come together.
Concerns about North Korea’s nuclear programs have also spread, as it conducted its fourth nuclear test in January. This has also resulted in the implementation of various sanctions on North Korea. Park Geun-hye also said that if North Korea chooses to abandon its nuclear programs, South Korea will support it along with the global community.
Sources: TOI , Indian Express
On Wednesday, North Korea has executed its vice premier for education and rebuked two high-ranking officials according to South Korea. If this is true it would mark a new series of measures by Kim Jong Un to discipline top aides. Analysts say that it has been done in order to tighten Kim’s grip on power. “Vice premier for education Kim Yong-Jin was executed,” Seoul’s Unification Ministry spokesman Jeong Joon-Hee said during a regular briefing. The 63-year-old vice premier was accused of being an anti-revolutionary element and executed by a firing squad last month, the ministry official said, citing information obtained from several unspecified sources.
Kim Yong Jin was promoted as vice premier in 2012 after serving as an education minister. South Korean President Park Geun-Hye had last week stated that, “The North is walking on an extreme path to maintain regime security and its elite are increasingly betraying the regime and defecting.”
However, at the moment no signs of instability are being seen in the authoritarian North Korean government as Kim Jong Un regularly interacts with state-controlled media and tours throughout the country.
Read more at: Reuters
History was created, when Dipa Karmakar, Indian gymnast from Tripura became the first woman to qualify for the individual Vault finals. Karmakar made her debut Olympic Games after finishing after finishing the 8th in the qualifying round in India. The Indian girl is country’s first woman gymnast. She managed to perform her appreciated ‘Prod nova’ vault perfectly. Her much acknowledged move gained her 14.850 points after two attempts.
She acquired a score of 12.033, which also included a 0.300 penalty. Though, she is the first Indian woman gymnast to win a Commonwealth Games medal, she was positioned 47th in the all round standings with a combined score of 51.665. The nervous win did not stop Dipa. Her achievement was enough to secure a place in the finals scheduled for August 14 as the top-8 made the cut for the medal round. She secured 7.000 in difficulty and in execution in her first attempt. In the first attempt, her landing was low on her ‘Produnova’ and her second vault was a ‘Tsuk double full twist’ with step to the side and in her second attempt her difficulty score was little lower. Her constant effort let her gain 11.666. She was not able to perform well on difficult but she had a good performance on the executive.
Simone Biles, three-time world all-around champion topped the list with an amazing score of 16.050. She was the one who scored a magnificent 9.700 on execution in both her attempts.
North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho declared on Tuesday that they will conduct nuclear deals depending on the attitude of the United States and according to him, Washington was responsible for thwarting efforts of de-nuclearization on the Korean peninsula.
Ri ensured N. Korea as a responsible state and would not use its nuclear power unless threatened while speaking to reporters in an Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting in Laos.
His remarks followed hours after US Secretary of State John Kerry, attending the same meeting in Vientiane, warned N. Korea of dire repercussions if Pyongyang tries to carry out missile tests.
The failure of the stalled six-party talks regarding the N. Korea’s nuclear power deal was blamed upon USA by the newly appointed Ri, who made his overseas debut as the country’s topmost plenipotentiary. “The key factor damaging the situation is the United States’ hostile policies… and the problem is getting worse” Reuters quoted Ri Yong-ho as saying, citing strict impositions by the UN Security Council since N. Korea conducted their fourth nuclear test in the month of January.
But the North continues its ballistic missile tests in spite of the UN sanctions and has made it conspicuous that it will continue to do so without any remorse.
The United States and South Korea announced on Friday that an advanced missile defense system, called as Terminal High Altitude Area Defence(THAAD), will be installed in South Korea. The decision was made public by Yoo-Jeh-Seung, the deputy minister for policy of the South Korean defense ministry and Lt.General Thomas Vandal the commander of U.S eighth army in Seoul,South-Korea. This comes as a result of North Korea testing nuclear ballistic missiles in the Korean peninsula. In a joint statement released by both the countries said that shield will only be to counter the North Korean threat. China, however, has expressed dissatisfaction and said that it would greatly affect the security balance of the Korean peninsula.
U.S.A, has denied the claims by China by stating that THAAD would be solely used against North Korea and not against China or any other nation. Various nuclear and missile test by North Korea in the past few months have prompted U.S.A and South Korea to this decision. Another factor here is the North Korean missiles can now hit the U.S.A’s pacific fleet. Experts suggest, as a result of this decision China would move closer to North Korea and also the fact that it would have an adverse effect on the South Korean economy, as South Korea is the largest tourist hub for Chinese travelers. Local villagers in South Korea are also against this move since they believe that installation of THAAD defense system can also cause harmful radiation , which could spread in nearby areas. North Korea has yet to provided any response to this move.
Sources: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/08/world/asia/south-korea-and-us-agree-to-deploy-missile-defense-system.html?_r=1 (NEWYORK TIMES)
With South Korea deserting the industrial park that aided the Pyongyang nuclear program and the US Senate starting new sanctions, the United States and its allies have tightened its finances on North Korea.
These actions, including the Japanese sanctions, come with the UN Security Council members being stuck on the idea of punishing North Korea for its recent nuclear test and long- range rocket launch.
After Seoul’s “unavoidable” decision to close the Kaesong industrial zone in North Korea several Seoul trucks passed the border of North Korea with completed goods and equipment from the factories there. Seoul took this decision since North Korea had been using millions of dollars in hard money that it got from Kaesong to fund its nuclear weapons and missile programs.
However, the action was criticized by the 124 South Korean companies with factories in the area, who told that their business was getting affected due to politics.
Seoul has asked Pyongyang to make sure the citizens return safely as it worries that North Korean officials may not let people leave the park which is just 10 kilometers over the border.
A regulation by Pyongyang which was newly drafted in September 2014 would have allowed North Korea to detain South Korean entrepreneurs in Kaesong in the case of an unsettled dispute in business, but Seoul had rejected it.
Sources: NDTV, Zee News