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U.S. summons emergency meeting of UN due to rise in North Korean missile threat

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After the 15th missile test carried out by North Korea this year, the U.S. is stressing the need for the U.N. to discuss the intensifying situation

The U.S. has requested a U.N. Security Council (UNSC) meeting later this week to discuss North Korea’s use of nuclear weapons, as the country steps up its ballistic missiles programme.

Washington is pushing the 15-member body to strengthen sanctions against Pyongyang.

Washington holds the UNSC Presidency for May, and according to diplomats, has been considering calling a meeting since late last week.

The public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at 3pm local time in New York.

In recent months, North Korea has ramped up its missile tests. These tests have raised concerns for neighbouring countries and U.S. President Joe Biden.

The North’s latest launch came days before South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol was elected.

He has promised to take a hard line against North Korea and recently called for the denuclearisation of the country.

The U.S. calls for greater action from the U.N.

The U.S. hopes to further sanction North Korea. However, Russia and China are reportedly opposed to this. China and Russia hold veto power on the UNSC

U.S. Department of State spokesman Ned Price says North Korea’s actions pose a severe threat to all countries.

“It is a challenge, it is a threat to international peace and security that the UN Security Council and its members have recognised in the past.”

He thinks it is significant for U.S. allies to make it clear these actions are unacceptable.

“We think it’s vital to send a very clear signal to [Pyongyang] that these types of provocations won’t be tolerated, they won’t improve its strategic positioning and the world will respond accordingly,” he says.

North Korea has already been subject to U.N. sanctions since 2006.

Over the past few years, the UNSC has stepped up its bid to cut off funding for Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes.

U.S. President Joe Biden wants North Korea to consider denuclearising

President Biden is pushing for the U.N. to take a stronger stance against North Korea.

However, talks between the two nations have been stalled since a 2019 summit with Kim Jong Un and then U.S. President Donald Trump.

President Joe Biden speaks during the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. (Eduardo Munoz/Pool Photo via AP)

North Korea has also accused the U.S. of hostile policies including sanctions and military drills.

In response, Kim Jong Un says they will step up the development of banned nuclear weapons.

According to a transcript from the Korean Central News Agency, he states the nation’s nuclear weapons are “a symbol of national power”.

“We will continue to take steps to strengthen and develop our nation’s nuclear capabilities at the fastest pace,” he says.

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World

North Korea’s five biggest missiles

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North Korea has flown a missile over Japan for the first time in five years

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris did not mince her words when she paid a visit to the demilitarised zone last week.

“In the North, we see a brutal dictatorship, rampant human rights violations and an unlawful weapons program that threatens peace and stability,” she said.

North Korea’s latest missile launch is the latest in a string of tests following Harris’ visit.

U.S. President Joe Biden spoke with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida following Tuesday’s long-range missile. The pair condemned the test in the “strongest terms,” as they described it as a danger to the Japanese people.

Associate Professor Tilman Ruff from the University of Melbourne believes the threat of nuclear war has increased.

“This is clearly the time of greatest danger of nuclear war since the at least the Cuban missile crisis.”

North Korea has carried out over 30 missile tests this year, as authorities brace themselves for bigger weapon, which could reach the U.S. east coast.

in response to Tuesday’s test, South Korea and the U.S. fired a string of missiles into the East Sea.

5. The Musudan

The Musudan, or the Hwasong-10 is a medium-range ballistic missile, which has an estimated range of more than 4,000km.

The missile was first tested in October 2016 and is believed to be capable of reaching South Korea and Japan.

4. The KN-08

The KN-08 is a long-range ballistic missile, which boasts an estimated range of more than 6,000km.

While North Korea had two unsuccessful tests of this weapon in 2016, it was successfully tested in 2017.

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un inspects his weaponry.

3. The Pukguksong-2

The Pukguksong-2 is a medium-range ballistic missile, which has an estimated range of more than 2,000km.

This is a land-based variant of the Pukguksong-1 weapon, which is submarine-launched.

The missile was first tested in February of 2017 and is believed to be capable of reaching South Korea and Japan.

2. The Hwasong-14

The Hwasong-14 is North Korea’s first intercontinental ballistic missile. It is also one of their most powerful missiles, with an estimated range of more than 8,000km.

The missile was first tested in July 2017 and is believed to be capable of reaching New York.

1. The Hwasong-12

The latest missile test over Japanese territory is understood to be an intermediate-range Hwasong-12.

This ballistic missile has an estimated range of more than 4,500km, and is believed to be capable of reaching the U.S. territory of Guam in the Pacific.

The long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12.

North Korea’s missile tests have risen under the rule of its current leader, Kim Jong-Un. In fact, there have been more test launches this year, than in the previous decade alone.

“If anybody thought that the risk of nuclear war went away with the end of the Cold War, then these current concerns should put an end to any such complacency.”

Associate Professor Tilman Ruff, the University of Melbourne

There are also a range of other weapons in the North Korean inventory, including a nuclear bomb, which is believed to be six times bigger than what the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.

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Rolls Royce CEO slams aviation for failing on climate targets

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Aviation needs to act on net-zero targets, that’s according to the CEO of Rolls Royce

Warren East says the sector needs to move towards bio-fuels like hydrogen and electric aircraft.

Travellers can even look forward to flying on planes that has a gas turbine that’s burning hydrogen.

Speaking at a conference in London, East says transitional technology is the answer that plane-makers are searching for.

Some companies are already looking at sustainable fuels that can offer 80 per cent off carbon emissions across their lifetime.

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World

Damming report reveals China ran smear campaigns against Australia and the U.S.

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A new report has taken aim at China’s response to a series of riots in the Solomon Islands last year

The new damming report has found China ran a smear campaign against western nations in the Solomon Islands.

After riots back in November 2021, the Chinese Communist Party published a number of false stories, blaming the unrest on Australia and the U.S.

The report says Chinese diplomats intensified their criticisms of western leaders, while state media tried to paint Australia and the U.S. as bullies.

It analysed Chinese state information campaigns in the Solomon Islands over a period spanning 18 weeks.

But the campaign had limited success.

Of the 67 articles published by China, only 11 were shared on public Facebook pages, and this is where the vast majority of Solomon Islanders access their news content.

However, the researchers warn this isn’t an excuse for Australian and American officials to relax.

Urging the two western nations to increase their engagement with media in the Pacific on-cam  to further counter China’s influence in the region before it’s too late.

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