N. Korea might test ballistic missiles

Updated 14 April 2016

N. Korea might test ballistic missiles

SEOUL: North Korea has been making preparations to launch mid-range ballistic missiles, possibly to mark the birthday of the country’s late founding president on Friday, South Korean media reported.
The North deployed one or two Musudan ballistic missiles around the eastern port of Wonsan about three weeks ago, Yonhap news agency said Thursday, citing an unnamed Seoul official.
“There is an ample possibility that the North would launch them around Kim Il-Sung’s birthday,” Yonhap quoted the official as saying.
The North lavishly celebrates Kim’s April 15 birthday, often with massive military parades featuring its most impressive-looking weapons or with missile launches.
The nuclear-armed state has staged several short- and mid-range missile launches but has yet to test the Musudan missile, known to have a range of up to 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles).
Seoul’s Defense Ministry spokesman said there was a “possibility” the North would carry out such missile test around Friday’s anniversary, but declined to elaborate.
On Tuesday, CNN reported US intelligence satellites had spotted signs that North Korea may be preparing for an unprecedented launch of a mobile ballistic missile.
Seoul military declined to confirm the report. Tension has been running high on the divided peninsula since the North conducted its fourth nuclear test in January and a rocket launch a month later that was widely seen as a disguised ballistic missile test.
The UN Security Council responded with its toughest sanctions to date, angering the North, which has since made repeated threats of attacks targeting Seoul and Washington. They have been accompanied by claims of success in miniaturising a nuclear warhead to fit on a missile and developing a warhead that can withstand atmospheric re-entry.


Trump says generals feel Beirut blast was likely an ‘attack’

Updated 05 August 2020

Trump says generals feel Beirut blast was likely an ‘attack’

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump said US military generals have told him that they “seem to feel” the massive explosion that rocked Beirut on Tuesday, killing at least 70 people, was a “terrible attack” likely caused by a bomb.
Trump was asked why he called it an attack and not an accident, especially since Lebanese officials say they have not determined the cause of the explosion. He told reporters at the White House: “It would seem like it based on the explosion. I met with some of our great generals and they just seem to feel that it was. This was not a — some kind of a manufacturing explosion type of a event. ... They seem to think it was a attack. It was a bomb of some kind, yes.”
Trump offered condolences to the victims and said the United States stood ready to assist Lebanon. “It looks like a terrible attack,” he said.
A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on the matter Tuesday night, referring questions back to the White House.

The explosion flattened much of a port and damaged buildings across the capital, sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky. In addition to those who died, more than 3,000 other people were injured, with bodies buried in the rubble, officials said.
The cause of the blast was not immediately known, but initial reports suggested a fire had detonated a warehouse at the port. Abbas Ibrahim, chief of Lebanese General Security, said it might have been caused by highly explosive material that was confiscated from a ship some time ago and stored at the port. Local television channel LBC said the material was ammonium nitrate.
Witnesses reported seeing a strange, orange cloud like that which appears when toxic nitrogen dioxide gas is released after an explosion involving nitrates.