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Kim: North Korea not to hit Guam for now

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Nobody should be allowed to decide on military action, says South Korea

Responding to the global calls for calm, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has decided to halt a plan to launch four missiles towards Guam, a US territory in the Western Pacific ocean and warned that his country will “stay fire-ready” while keeping close watch on Washington’s actions.

According to KCNA the official news agency, the leader informed his military commanders, on Tuesday, that he would wait and monitor the US actions for the time being.  Kim conveyed his decision after inspecting the Strategic Force command in-charge of the nuclear armed missile units where he was given detailed briefing about the “plan for an enveloping fire at Guam.”

Kim said that he would “watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees” before executing any order. If they “persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea would then take action “as already declared,” he asserted.

North Korea had announced plan to launch missile to hit 30-40 kilometers close to Guam last week. The commanders were asked to prepare the plan by mid-August. It was reportedly a reaction to US president Donald Trump’s threat to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea. He had also said that US military is “locked and loaded” to deal with the North.

Meanwhile South Korean President Moon Jae-in  has warned that no  country should start a military action on the Korean Peninsula without his nation’s approval. This is considered to be unusual blunt rebuke to Donald Trump’s repeated warnings to North Korea.

In a televised address on the occasion of National Liberation Day, commemorating the end of Japanese colonial rule of Korea at the end of World War II, Moon said,  “It’s only South Korea that can decide on a military action on the Korean Peninsula.” He further emphasized, “No one should be allowed to decide on a military action on the Korean Peninsula without South Korean agreement.”

South Koreans have grown concern about the possible military conflict in the wake of rhetoric between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un about “fire and fury” and threat to hit Guam, a US territory in Pacific Ocean.

Donald Trump is also facing opposition in UK, one of its closest allies and partner in wars in several conflicts. Labour Leader Jeremy Cobryn, has, in an article published by Sunday Mirror, warned Theresa May government against taking part in any military action against North Korea.

The Labour leader further said, “In the interests of sanity and safety for the whole world, global ­pressure for dialogue and diplomacy must be overwhelming. Our government must not drag our country into any military action over the Korea crisis, including joint exercises,” he suggested.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Latest world news

Afghanistan shuts its embassy in Delhi, says persistent challenges from Indian government

The statement claimed that efforts have been made to tarnish their image and hinder diplomatic efforts in order to justify the presence and work of Taliban-appointed and affiliated diplomats.

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The Afghanistan embassy on Thursday has announced its permanent closure in New Delhi. Issuing an official statement, the Afghan embassy noted that effective from November 23, 2023 due to persistent challenges from the Indian government they have decided the closure of its diplomatic mission in New Delhi. 

The statement further mentioned that the decision follows the embassy’s earlier cessation of operations on September 30, a move made in the hope that the Indian government stance will favourably change to let the mission operate normally. In addition, the embassy said it was cognisant that some may attempt to characterise this move as an internal conflict, allegedly involving diplomats who switched allegiance to the Taliban, adding that this decision is a result of broader changes in policy and interests.

The statement further stated that the embassy extends its sincere gratitude to the Afghan citizens in India for their understanding and support throughout their mission’s tenure. The Afghan embassy further mentioned that despite limitations in resources and power it has worked tirelessly for their betterment and in the absence of a legitimate government in Kabul.

In the statement, the Afghan embassy noted that over the past two years and three months, the Afghan community in India has witnessed a significant decline, with Afghan refugees, students, and traders leaving the country, adding that the number has nearly halved since August 2021, with very limited new visas being issued during this period.

It added that they assure the Afghan community that the mission operated with transparency, accountability, and a commitment to fair treatment based on the goodwill and interests of Afghanistan considering historic ties and bilateral relations with India.

The statement claimed that efforts have been made to tarnish their image and hinder diplomatic efforts in order to justify the presence and work of Taliban-appointed and affiliated diplomats. In the face of these challenges, our committed team worked diligently in the most difficult circumstances, prioritizing the interests of the 40 million Afghans in every possible sphere from securing humanitarian aid and online education scholarships to facilitating ease in trade and advocating for the formation of a broad-based government, the Afghan embassy added.

As per reports, the Afghan embassy announced the closure of its operations on November 1, citing lack of resources and failure to meet Afghanistan’s interests by the Taliban regime.

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India News

Qatar court accepts India’s appeal against death penalty to 8 former Navy personnel

Arindam Bagchi, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said that India is engaged with the Qatari authorities on the matter and the government will continue to extend all legal and consular assistance to the former Navy personnel.

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In a major development, a court in Qatar on Thursday accepted the appeal lodged by the Indian government in connection with the death penalty given to eight former Indian Navy personnel by a court last month.

The Qatar court stated that they are studying the appeal and the next hearing is expected soon, as per reports. Last month, a Qatar court sentenced as many as eight former Navy personnel to death after they were detained in the country for more than a year.

The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said that the judgement is confidential. It added that there is a court of first instance that gave the judgment, which was shared with their legal team. The statement further mentioned that considering all legal options, an appeal has been lodged. The Ministry of External Affairs further remarked that they are in touch with the Qatari authorities.

Arindam Bagchi, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said that India is engaged with the Qatari authorities on the matter and that the government will continue to extend all legal and consular assistance to the former Navy personnel.

Earlier in August 2022, Qatar detained eight former Indian Navy officers on suspicion of working as spies for Israel while they were employed by a company based in the Middle Eastern nation. The former officers include Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Captain Saurabh Vasisht, Commander Amit Nagpal, Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Sanjeev Gupta, and Sailor Ragesh. The aforementioned former Navy officers were arrested by Qatar intelligence agency from Doha on August 30, 2022.

Reports stated that the bail pleas of the Navy veterans were rejected multiple times by Qatari authorities. The death penalty of the former Navy officers was announced by the Court of First Instance of Qatar in October this year.

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Health

WHO asks China for details on rise in respiratory illnesses, pneumonia in children

The authorities said the reason for the rise in respiratory illnesses is due to the lifting of Covid – 19 restrictions and circulation of known pathogens like mycoplasma pneumoniae and influenza. According to medical experts this common bacterial infection typically affects younger children, respiratory syncytial virus and the virus that causes COVID-19.

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has asked China for details in rise in respiratory illnesses and clusters of pneumonia in children. The Chinese authorities had held a press conference on November 13 reporting a rise in respiratory diseases.

The authorities said the reason for the rise in respiratory illnesses is due to the lifting of Covid – 19 restrictions and circulation of known pathogens like mycoplasma pneumoniae and influenza. According to medical experts this common bacterial infection typically affects younger children, respiratory syncytial virus and the virus that causes COVID-19.

Both WHO and China had faced questions about the transparency of reporting the first COVID-19 cases that were observed in Wuhan in late 2019. According to the WHO, groups including the program for monitoring emerging diseases reported a rise in cases of pneumonia in children in North China.

The WHO added it was not clear if these diseases were associated with an overall rise in respiratory infections which had been reported by China. The WHO said it had asked for additional information and laboratory results from the pneumonia outbreaks among children through the International Health Regulations mechanism.

The WHO said it was in continous contact with scientists through its network of existing technical partnerships with China. WHO China said it was routine activity to request information on rise in respiratory illnesses and pneumonia in children from Chinese authorities.

According to reports undiagnosed pneumonia in children was not mentioned in during the press conference by the Chinese authorities. The WHO said there had been a rise in influenza like illnesses as compared with the same period in the last three years. A few days ago videos of hospitals crowded with parents and children are circulating in the media in Xian. Some of videos posted on social media show children doing homework while receiving intravenous drips in hospital.

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