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



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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Balloon diplomacy blows China off course



China claims an “airship” that is flying over the United States is for civilian meteorological and other scientific purposes and voiced regret that it strayed into U.S. airspace.

U.S. officials said on Thursday that a Chinese spy balloon has been flying over the United States for a couple of days, in what would be a brazen act just days ahead of a planned trip to Beijing by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In a statement late on Friday, China’s foreign ministry also said that it would continue to maintain communications with the United States to properly handle the unexpected situation.

“The airship is from China and is civilian in nature, used for meteorological and other scientific research. Due to the influence of westerly winds and its limited control capability, the airship deviated from its intended course,” it said.

“China regrets that the airship strayed into the United States by mistake due to force majeure. China will continue to maintain communication with the U.S. side to properly handle this accident,” it said.

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U.S. announces longer-range rocket for Ukraine



A new rocket that would double Ukraine’s strike range in its war with Russia was included in a $2.175 billion U.S. military aid package.

The new weapon, the Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb (GLSDB), will allow Ukraine’s military to hit targets at twice the distance reachable by the rockets it now fires from the U.S.-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS).

The 151 km (94 mile) GLSDB will put all of Russia’s supply lines in eastern Ukraine within reach, as well as part of Russian-occupied Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014.

“As part of the USAI package, we will be providing Ground Launched Small Diameter Bomb to Ukraine,” Brigadier General Patrick Ryder told a news briefing at the Pentagon. USAI stands for Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI).

Friday’s aid pledge opens the door to many more deliveries of the Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs (GLSDB).

When the new rockets arrive, it will mark the first time Ukraine has seen its rocket range grow exponentially since U.S. furnished HIMARS in late-June 2022.

HIMARS have a 77 km (48 mile) range and were instrumental in Ukraine’s counter offensive against Russian forces, which invaded on Feb. 24, 2022.

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Fans struggle to buy Beyonce concert tickets



If you’re struggling to get Beyonce tickets, you’re not alone

O2 customers in the U.K. were reporting problems with the company’s app and website.

For those who were able to get through, they paid anywhere from £56-199.

For those who are super keen, there are V.I.P. packages with front row seats. But that’ll set you back £475.

Some fans took to social media to vent their frustrations over the ticketing fiasco.

It’s Queen B’s first solo tour in seven years, and will take her across Europe and North America.

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