Thought for the day

"I contend that for a nation to try and tax itself into prosperity, is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." -- Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965)

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Seoul scrambled 30 fighter jets in response to North Korea flying 12 warplanes near the border that separates the two countries on Thursday, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

According to a statement quoted by Yonhap news agency, eight North Korean fighters and four bombers were spotted at around 2pm and “conducted air-to-surface firing drills for about an hour.”

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South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff and Japan Coast Guard report that North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles towards the sea off the east coast of the Korean peninsula this evening.

The two missiles launched Thurs. fell outside Japan’s EEZ, NHK reports citing an unidentified government official.

This launch comes just two days after they fired a longer-range missile over Japan.

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A US Navy aircraft carrier strike group is moving into waters off the Korean Peninsula as tensions flare after a spate of North Korean missile launches over the past two weeks, South Korean security officials said.

South Korea’s National Security Council (NSC) held an emergency meeting on Thursday after North Korea launched two more short-range ballistic missiles, the sixth such launch in 12 days, the country’s Presidential Office said in a statement.

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The US is increasingly involved in a dangerous tit-for-tat with North Korea while supporting its South Korean ally. Following Pyongyang's ultra-provocative intermediate range missile test a day ago, which saw a North Korean missile fly high over Japan, the US has repositioned a nuclear-powered aircraft just off the Korean Peninsula

The US Navy has tapped Raytheon Missiles & Defense to upgrade the computer-controlled and radar-guided weapon systems of South Korea’s surface warships.

The $49-million deal, part of the US government’s foreign military sales program, procures four MK-15 Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWS) Block 0 to Block 1B Baseline 2.

Officials in South Korea acknowledged a failed missile test on Wednesday after an explosion at a military base left surrounding residents concerned about a possible attack from the North.

The blast at Gangneung Air Base, about 60 miles south of the North Korean border, happened as allies the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United States conducted a series of joint tests late on Tuesday, a show of force after Pyongyang’s latest long-range missile launch.

A malfunctioning South Korean ballistic missile blew up as it ploughed into the ground on Wednesday during a live-fire drill with the United States that was a reprisal for North Korea's successful launch a day earlier of a weapon that flew over Japan and has the range to strike the US territory of Guam.

The United States asked the U.N. Security Council to meet on North Korea on Wednesday after Pyongyang fired a ballistic missile over Japan, but diplomats said China and Russia are opposed to a public discussion by the 15-member body.

Nuclear-armed North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile farther than ever before on Tuesday, sending it soaring over Japan for the first time in five years and prompting a warning for residents there to take cover.

The line for promoting NATO's potential in the Asia-Pacific region (APR) using any tools is clearly taking shape, Nikolai Nozdrev, director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Third Asian Department (3AD), said in an interview with Sputnik.