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North Korea

North Korea Fires Fifth Missile In Third Straight Day Of Tests

YONHAP, THE KOREA TIMES (South Korea), AAP (Australia)

Worldcrunch

SEOUL – North Korea fired its fifth test missile in three straight days on Monday, in the latest series of weapons drills that have been condemned by South Korea and United Nation chief Ban Ki-moon, reports the AAP.

According to the South Korean Defense Ministry, the latest short-range missile was fired into waters off North Korea’s eastern coast.

"North Korea again launched a short-range projectile that appears to be a KN-02 (surface-to-surface) missile," a ministry official said, according to the Yonhap news agency. "We are closely watching the movements of the North's military in case of further launches."

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Map Burmesedays

Monday’s short-range missile, which was fired from a mobile launcher on North Korea’s east coast, flew about 120 kilometers into the Sea of Japan, according to Yonhap.

South Korea condemned the missile drills, reports the Korea Times: “South Korea defines North Korea’s provocative actions as deplorable and calls on the North to act responsibly in the international community,” said Ministry of Unification spokesman Kim Hyung-suk.

The U.S. also criticized the missile drills, with National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden saying “North Korea will achieve nothing by threats or provocations, which only further isolates the DPRK and undermines international efforts to ensure peace and stability in Northeast Asia.”

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has urged Pyongyang to refrain from any further launches, reports the AAP. "It is time for them to resume dialogue and lower the tensions," said Ban.

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Geopolitics

How A Drone Strike Inside Iran Exposes The Regime's Vulnerability — On All Fronts

It is still not clear what was the exact target of an attack by three armed drones Saturday night on an arms factory in central Iran. But it comes as Tehran authorities appear increasingly vulnerable to both its foreign and domestic enemies, with more attacks increasingly likely.

Screenshot of one of the Saturday drone attacks arms factory in Isfahan, central Iran

One of the Saturday drone attacks arms factory in Isfahan, central Iran

Screenshot
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — It's the kind of incident that momentarily reveals the shadow wars that are part of the Middle East. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack by three armed drones Saturday night on an arms factory complex north of Isfahan in central Iran.

But the explosion was so strong that it set off a small earthquake. Iranian authorities have played down the damage, as we might expect, and claim to have shot down the drones.

Nevertheless, three armed drones reaching the center of Iran, buzzing right up to weapons factories, is anything but ordinary in light of recent events. Iran is at the crossroads of several crises: from the war in Ukraine where it's been supplying drones to Russia to its nuclear development arriving at the moment of truth; from regional wars of influence to the anti-government uprising of Iranian youth.

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That leaves us spoiled for choice when it comes to possible interpretations of this act of war against Iran, which likely is a precursor to plenty of others to follow.

Iranian authorities, in their comments, blame the United States and Israel for the aggression. These are the two usual suspects for Tehran, and it is not surprising that they are at the top of the list.

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