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N. Korea tests railway-borne missile in latest launch amid US tension

The country tested the rail-based system for the first time last September, saying it was designed as a potential counter-strike to any threatening forces.

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N. Korea tests railway-borne missile in latest launch amid US tension
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Seoul: North Korea tested a railway-borne missile in its firing drills on Friday, state media KCNA said on Saturday, amid a US push for fresh sanctions against the isolated state following its recent series of weapons tests.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said two short-range ballistic missiles (SRBMs) travelled about 430 km (267 miles) to a maximum altitude of 36 km (22 miles) after being launched eastward on the northwest coast of North Korea.

The official KCNA news agency did not specify the missiles' range, or trajectory, but said a firing drill was held in North Pyongan Province to "check and judge the proficiency in the action procedures of the railway-borne regiment."

The country tested the rail-based system for the first time last September, saying it was designed as a potential counter-strike to any threatening forces.

Since New Year's Day, North Korea has launched three ballistic missiles in an unusually fast sequence of weapons tests. The previous two launches involved what state media called "hypersonic missiles" capable of high speeds and manoeuvring after launch.

Hours before the latest test drill, North Korea slammed the United States for pursuing new sanctions in response to its recent missile launches, calling it a "provocation" and warning of a strong reaction. read more

U.S. President Joe Biden's administration imposed its first sanctions against Pyongyang on Wednesday, and called on the U.N. Security Council to blacklist several North Korean individuals and entities.

North Korea has defended the missile tests as its sovereign right to self-defence and accused the United States of intentionally escalating the situation with new sanctions.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did not attend the drill. KCNA said the military leadership had ordered the test "at short notice" and the system precisely struck the target set in the east coast with "two tactical guided missiles."

The system "demonstrated high manoeuvrability and rate of hits," KCNA said, adding its success led to discussions to "set up proper railway-borne missile operating system across the country."

North Korea has been steadily developing its weapons systems, raising the stakes for stalled talks aimed at dismantling its nuclear and ballistic missile arsenals in return for U.S. sanctions relief.

South Korean Chung Eui-yong and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the latest launch during their phone call on Saturday and coordinated responses to the North's recent missile tests, the State Department said.

Both sides highlighted the importance of maintaining firm combined readiness posture and urged Pyongyang to return to a negotiating table, Seoul's foreign ministry said.

SOURCE: REUTERS

Mehak Javed

Mehak Javed is immensely creative and an enthusiastic journalist, contributing in the publication of timely and accurate news. She is a skilled writer along proven history of achievement in the field with several years of professional experience. Mehak is working with GNN since 2020.

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First teaser for official PSL 7 anthem released

‘Agay Dekh’ Teaser for official PSL 7 anthem features sneak peeks into music video of song

Published by Faisal Waqas

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First teaser for official PSL 7 anthem released

Lahore: The first teaser for the official Pakistan Super League (PSL) anthem for this season has been released, with the song titled “Agay Dekh” set to feature pop superstars Atif Aslam and Aima Baig.

While most of the details of the anthem continue to be kept tightly under wraps, the teaser features sneak peeks into the music video of the song. Shots of Atif and Aima with their backs towards the camera, children playing gully cricket and yet-to-be-filled stadium seats offer just enough to hype most PSL fans for the much-awaited anthem.

Prior to the release, the official PSL account tweeted, “Agay Dekh! #HBLPSL7 Anthem teaser dropping soon. First look on TikTok at 2:00 PM. Stay tuned!” 

Fans of the singers are excited for the release of the anthem, with Atif’s followers being particularly delighted over the fact that the anthem will be released in addition to his latest Coke Studio 14 offering opposite Momina Mustehsan. Agay Dekh, produced by Abdullah Siddiqui, will be released in collaboration with TikTok. 

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South Korea pays Iran's UN dues with frozen assets

Iran has more than $7 billion in funds for oil shipments frozen at two South Korean banks due to US sanctions.

Published by Siddra Sumreen

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South Korea pays Iran's UN dues with frozen assets

Seoul: South Korea has used $18 million of frozen Iranian assets to pay Tehran's dues to the UN, Seoul said Sunday, in a move to immediately restore the country's voting power.

The payment was made Friday in cooperation with the US and the UN after Iran made an "emergency request" to South Korea to pay the dues, the finance ministry said in a statement Sunday.

Iran has more than $7 billion in funds for oil shipments frozen at two South Korean banks due to US sanctions.

"Iran's voting right at the UN General Assembly is expected to be immediately restored with the payment," the ministry added.

The Islamic republic was South Korea's third-largest Middle Eastern trade partner before the United States unilaterally withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers and reimposed crippling sanctions.

The UN cited unpaid dues when it suspended Iran's voting rights at the General Assembly earlier this month.

Under the UN charter, a member country's right to vote is suspended when its arrears equal or exceed the dues it should have paid over the preceding two years.

Iran also lost its vote over unpaid dues last year. It said it could not pay even the minimum amount because of US economic sanctions.

After months of negotiations Iran was granted an exemption -- it was allowed to access money blocked by the US Treasury -- and got back its vote in June in time for the election of new members of the Security Council.

SOURCE: AFP

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Bomb on bus kills six in western Afghan city of Herat

The sticky bomb attached to the fuel tank of the passenger vehicle

Published by Siddra Sumreen

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Bomb on bus kills six in western Afghan city of Herat

Kabul: A bomb blast on a minibus killed at least six people in the western Afghan city of Herat on Saturday.

The sticky bomb was attached to the fuel tank of the bus, and left nine other people wounded.

"Four women were among the six killed," the head of Herat s provincial hospital, Arif Jalali said.

The blast was confirmed by Herat's intelligence office.

"Initial reports indicate it was a sticky bomb attached to the fuel tank of the passenger vehicle," said Sabit Harwi, a spokesman for the office.

Herat provincial police also confirmed the bomb blast.

Security in Afghanistan has vastly improved since a two-decade long insurgency by the Taliban ended with the hardline Islamist group’s capture of the capital Kabul in August.

However, several attacks are reported each week throughout the country, including some claimed by the regional chapter of the Islamic State group.

Herat is the country's third-biggest city, close to the border with Iran, and has remained relatively peaceful in recent months.

SOURCE: AFP

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