North Korea hails 'largest ever' firing drill

Apr 27, 2017, 02:00

Instead of a nuclear blast or a big missile test, North Korea marked Tuesday's 85th anniversary of the founding of its military by deploying a large number of long-range artillery units on its east coast for a live-fire drill, South Korea's military said.

South Korea's military said it's closely watching North Korean troop movement around Wonsan, but didn't confirm the Yonhap report, which cited an unnamed source to report that the North carried out an exercise involving 300 to 400 artillery pieces.

The U.S. military has started moving parts of the controversial THAAD anti-missile defense system into a planned deployment site in South Korea, Yonhap news agency reported on Wednesday, amid high tensions over North Korea's missile and nuclear programs.

The port call by the USS Michigan, which is created to carry ballistic missiles and cruise missiles, came as a United States aircraft carrier strike group steamed toward Korean waters in an effort to deter North Korea from a sixth nuclear test or more missile launches in defiance of UN sanctions.

"(North Korea) believes the only way to deter the USA from attacking them, and maintaining the power of the Kim regime, is by the possession of nuclear weapons", said Joe Bermudez, an analyst with 38 North, a North Korean monitoring group.

South Korea's navy said it was conducting a live-fire exercise with USA destroyers in waters west of the Korean peninsula and would soon join the carrier strike group approaching the region.

The senior U.S. Navy officer overseeing military operations in the Pacific says U.S. naval forces in the region are capable of defending themselves against any missiles North Korea may fire at them.

On Monday, US President Donald Trump said the status quo with nuclear-armed North Korea was unacceptable, calling for new sanctions on the country. However, North Korea has, in fact, been offered multiple security assurances across several USA administrations: take the 2005 joint statement reached during six-party talks, or the "Leap Day Deal" signed during president Barack Obama's term.

The US has also sent a nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Michigan, to the peninsula where it will conduct drills with the USS Carlson.

The Trump administration, which has been urging China to rein in Pyongyang, is due to hold a classified briefing for senators on the situation at the White House later on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, North Korea conducted its fifth missile test this year.

Mike Brown is more than capable of leading the Warriors
Also unknown is the availability of Matt Barnes (right ankle/foot sprain), and Shaun Livingston (right index finger sprain). Golden State won Game 1, 121-109, with Durant, beat Portland in Game 2 by 29 and won a third game by six on the road.

Emiratis, Malaysians reach $1.2B deal over troubled fund
This settlement serves to only benefit the infamous Malaysian Official 1, Prime Minister Najib Razak, and his friends. Following Monday's settlement, 1MDB said it will meet the obligations through liquidation of investment fund units.

IMD sees decent monsoon, counters Skynet's downbeat forecast
Maize, soybean, pulses, and sugarcane are among other key crops sown across the country during the summer monsoon season. The seasonal rainfall over central India and northeast India were within forecast limits.

The Chinese president said he hopes all sides avoid doing anything to worsen the tense situation on the Korean peninsula, according to the Xinhua news agency.

North Korea has ambitions to build a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the USA mainland.

Sen. John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, suggested Tuesday that he wants to encourage the Trump administration to take a harder line with China over North Korea's nuclear provocations, and this is just the kind of pressure a president sometimes needs in a toxic atmosphere when partisan concerns threaten to override national-security needs.

"North Korea's unlawful weapons programs represent a clear, grave threat to U.S. national security in the United States, the ROK and Japan". Pyongyang launched a missile one day after the 105th birthday of late founder Kim Il Sung on April 15.

"The council must be prepared to impose additional and stronger sanctions on the North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile programmes". Hecker, a United States scientist who has visited North Korea seven times since 2004, told me last week during a phone press conference that the regime never shared anything with its public about building a bomb before 2003.

FILE - In this Friday, April 7, 2017 file image provided by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a tomahawk land attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea as the United States blasted a Syrian air base with a barrage of cruise missiles in fiery retaliation for a gruesome chemical weapons attack against civilians earlier in the week.

Yun met with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts Tuesday in Tokyo, and China's main point man on North Korea was also in town, in a sign that diplomacy is not entirely dead.

The US says it will only target North Korean missiles, but China and Russian Federation see the system's powerful radars as a security threat.

The official China Daily newspaper said it was time to step back from harsh rhetoric.

Japan's Foreign Ministry announced that China's envoy for North Korea, Wu Dawei, was arriving in Tokyo for talks with Kanasugi that may take place later this week.

  • Major OPEC members agree to extend output cuts

    Major OPEC members agree to extend output cuts

    The May contract expired Thursday down 17 cents at US$50.27, the lowest close for front-month futures since April 3. Global crude stockpiles remain above the five-year averages despite OPEC's aim to cut them back to those levels.
    Delhi BJP files police complaint against Kejriwal

    Delhi BJP files police complaint against Kejriwal

    Delhi Chief Minister Aravind Kejriwal Wednesday morning called on Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the Kerala House. The elections for the 272 wards of North, East and South municipal corporations of Delhi will be held on April 23.
    Packers to Open Regular Season at Home vs Lacy, Seahawks

    Packers to Open Regular Season at Home vs Lacy, Seahawks

    The Falcons held a 28-3 lead before collapsing to lose in the most historic comeback in Super Bowl history. Since that night, the Packers are 2-2 against Seattle, including a loss in the 2015 NFC Championship game.
  • Budget battle intensifies; school board wants balanced budget

    Budget battle intensifies; school board wants balanced budget

    Most charter schools are new starts, but the bulk of the ASD's charters are in existing schools that have struggled for years. Smith said commissioners don't plan to raise taxes, but he said they understand the need.
    Applications for US jobless aid rise but remain at low level

    Applications for US jobless aid rise but remain at low level

    Filings for first-time claims rose by 10,000 to 244,000, according to the government's latest report (pdf.). They have been below the 300,000 benchmark for 111 weeks. 15, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
    Most habitable planets may lack dry land

    Most habitable planets may lack dry land

    Now, we know of thousands of such planets - and today, scientists may have discovered the best candidate yet for alien life . Rocky planets within that habitable zone of a star are considered the best place to find evidence of some form of life.
  • School Students clash With Police in Srinagar

    School Students clash With Police in Srinagar

    The Senior Superintendent of Police Srinagar , SP East and SDPO Kothibagh were among a dozen policemen injured, sources said. On April 9, the day of polling for Indian elections in Srinagar constituency, massive anti-India protests were staged.
    Globally topping 10K chargers, Tesla supercharger network to expand double in 2017

    Globally topping 10K chargers, Tesla supercharger network to expand double in 2017

    It further added that many sites will soon enter construction to open in advance of the summer travel season. California, a key market for Tesla , will get more than 1,000 new superchargers this year.

    Arnautovic blunder proves valuable to Swansea

    Marko Arnautovic stepped up from the spot but inexplicably struck his penalty high into the stands behind Fabianski's goal . Paul Clement insists his Swansea players have the stomach for their Premier League relegation fight.
  • Trump picks acting Customs chief as Secret Service director

    Trump picks acting Customs chief as Secret Service director

    Clancy returned to his retirement in March, allowing President Donald Trump the opportunity to fill the post as he sees fit. The position is directly appointed by the president, meaning Alles will not require Senate confirmation.

    How the Borussia bomber hoped to make millions

    No one was killed, but the bombs injured a policeman and one of Dortmund's players, 26-year-old Spanish global Marc Bartra. A police officer accompanying the bus also suffered trauma.
    Seahawks to open 2017 season at Packers

    Seahawks to open 2017 season at Packers

    The Packers will travel to Atlanta in week two to open the NFC champion Falcons new stadium in primetime Sunday, Sept. 17. The Packers' Week 8 bye, the latest bye week for Green Bay since 2014 ( Week 9 ), is sandwiched by two home games.