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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)


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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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Finally Time For Negotiations? Russia And Ukraine Have The Exact Same Answer

The war in Ukraine appears to have reached a stalemate, with neither side able to make significant progress on the battlefield. A number of Western experts and politicians are now pushing for negotiations. But the irreconcilable positions of both the Russian and Ukrainian sides make such negotiations tricky, if not impossible.

photo of : Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, left, presents a battle flag to a soldier as he kisses it

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky presents a battle flag to a soldier at the Kyiv Fortress, October 1, 2023.

Ukraine Presidency/Ukrainian Pre/Planet Pix via ZUMA
Yuri Fedorov


The Russian-Ukrainian war appears to have reached a strategic impasse — a veritable stalemate. Neither side is in a position at this point to achieve a fundamental change on the ground in their favor. Inevitably, this has triggered no shortage of analysts and politicians saying it's time for negotiations.

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These conversations especially intensified after the results of the summer-autumn counteroffensive were analyzed by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Valerii Zaluzhny, with not very optimistic details.

Though there are advances of the Ukrainian army, it is mostly “stuck in minefields under attacks from Russian artillery and drones,” and there is a increasing prospect of trench warfare that “could drag on for years and exhaust the Ukrainian state.”

Zaluzhny concluded: “Russia should not be underestimated. It suffered heavy losses and used up a lot of ammunition, but it will have an advantage in weapons, equipment, missiles and ammunition for a long time," he said. "Our NATO partners are also dramatically increasing their production capacity, but this requires at least a year, and in some cases, such as aircraft and control systems, two years.”

For the Ukrainian army to truly succeed, it needs air superiority, highly effective electronic and counter-battery warfare, new technologies for mining and crossing minefields, and the ability to mobilize and train more reserves.

China and most countries of the so-called global South have expressed their support for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine. Meanwhile in the West, certain influential voices are pushing for negotiations, guided by a purely pragmatic principle that if military victory is impossible, it is necessary to move on to diplomacy.

The position of the allies is crucial: Ukraine’s ability to fight a long war of attrition and eventually change the situation at the front in its favor depends on the military, economic and political support of the West. And this support, at least on the scale necessary for victory, is not guaranteed.

Still, the question of negotiations is no less complicated, as the positions of Russia and Ukraine today are so irreconcilable that it is difficult to imagine productive negotiations.

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