South Korean man arrested over alleged Daesh terror plot

Screen grab from South Korea’s national television, KBS. The TV has reported on Thursday that Seoul has arrested a serving soldier for his alleged links to Deash. ( Source KBS TV screen )
Updated 04 July 2019

South Korean man arrested over alleged Daesh terror plot

  • Soldier, 23, discharged from army this month held after stealing explosives equipment

SEOUL:  A South Korean man with alleged links to Daesh militants was on Thursday arrested on suspicion of plotting acts of terrorism.

The 23-year-old soldier, identified only by his surname Park, had been discharged from the East Asian country’s army on July 2 this year, according to South Korean national television channel, KBS.

He was arrested by a police and military task force for having stolen a sparking-plug for explosives in October 2017 while participating in special training on demolition techniques.

The man is accused of having collected video clips of Daesh operations and other related materials to post online. The TV report said investigation authorities had seized emails Park had received from Daesh on how to join the terror group.

South Korean police and military started their probe after obtaining intelligence on Park provided by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

If the allegations are found to be true, it would be the second reported Daesh-linked case involving a South Korean national.

In 2015, a 17-year-old South Korean, identified only as Kim, disappeared after telling family he was going to study in Turkey. Authorities suspect he made his way into Syria to try and join Daesh.

Although police could not confirm he linked up with the terror group, they found evidence of his interest in the Islamic militants on his Twitter account. The teenager had posted a picture of a Daesh flag and frequently tweeted, “I want join” while asking to meet “brothers.” He had followed pro-Daesh accounts and often retweeted the group’s propaganda.

IAEA urges Iran to explain uranium particles at undeclared site

Updated 21 November 2019

IAEA urges Iran to explain uranium particles at undeclared site

  • IAEA said in a report last week that its inspectors had "detected natural uranium particles of anthropogenic origin at a location in Iran

VIENNA: The UN nuclear watchdog on Thursday urged Iran to explain the presence of uranium particles at an undeclared site, as a landmark deal aimed at curbing Tehran's atomic activities threatens to collapse.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a report made public last week that its inspectors had "detected natural uranium particles of anthropogenic origin at a location in Iran not declared to the agency".
The agency's acting head Cornel Feruta said IAEA and Iranian officials would meet in Tehran next week to discuss the matter, adding that the UN body had not received any additional information.
"The matter remains unresolved... It is essential that Iran works with the agency to resolve this matter promptly," he told IAEA member states at a meeting of the agency's board of governors.
A diplomatic source told AFP that the IAEA would send a high-ranking technical delegation to Iran next week.
The particles are understood to be the product of uranium which has been mined and undergone initial processing, but not enriched.
While the IAEA has not named the site in question, diplomatic sources have previously said the agency asked Iran about a site in the Turquzabad district of Tehran where Israel has alleged secret atomic activity in the past.
Sources say the IAEA took samples from the site in the spring and that Iran has been slow in providing answers to explain the test results.
The 2015 deal between Iran and world powers has been faltering since last year when the United States pulled out and started to reinstate punishing sanctions on Tehran, leaving the other signatories struggling to salvage the agreement.
Over the past few months, Iran has breached several parts of the deal it signed with the US as well as Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, in which it committed to scaling back its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.
But Britain, France and Germany have said they are extremely concerned by Iran's actions in stepping up its uranium enrichment and other breaches.
Enrichment is the process that produces fuel for nuclear power plants but also, in highly extended form, the fissile core for a warhead.
On Monday, the IAEA confirmed Iran's stock of heavy water for reactors has surpassed the 130-tonne limit set under the agreement.
Heavy water is not itself radioactive but is used in nuclear reactors to absorb neutrons from nuclear fission.
Heavy water reactors can be used to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons as an alternative to enriched uranium.
The IAEA has also said one of its inspectors was briefly prevented from leaving Iran, calling her treatment "not acceptable".
Iran has cancelled the inspector's accreditation, saying she triggered a security check at the entrance gate to the Natanz enrichment plant last month.
The IAEA has disputed the Iranian account of the incident, without going into details.