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N.Korea calls U.S. sanctions ‘provocation,’ warns of strong reaction

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(Last Updated On: January 14, 2022)

North Korea defended its missile tests as its legitimate right to self-defence and said the United States is intentionally escalating the situation by imposing new sanctions, state media reported on Friday, citing the foreign ministry, Reuters reported.

North Korea’s recent development of a “new-type weapon” was just part of its efforts to modernize its national defence capability, and did not target any specific country or harm the security of neighbouring countries, a spokesperson for North Korea’s foreign ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency KCNA.

“The U.S. accusation of the DPRK’s legitimate exercise of the right to self-defence is an evident provocation and a gangster-like logic,” the statement said. DPRK are the initials of North Korea’s official name.

The statement warned of an unspecified “stronger and certain reaction” if the United States adopts a confrontational stance.

According to the report the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday imposed its first sanctions over North Korea’s weapons programs following a series of North Korean missile launches, including two since last week.

It also called on the United Nations Security Council to take action against several North Korean individuals and entities accused of violating security council resolutions that ban North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons development, read the report.

North Korea has said the recent weapons were “hypersonic missiles” that would boost its strategic military forces.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States had made clear it has no hostile intent toward North Korea and is willing to engage in talks without preconditions, but that the tests are “profoundly destabilising.”

According to Reuters the North Korean foreign ministry said that while Washington may talk of diplomacy and dialogue, its actions show “it is still engrossed in its policy for isolating and stifling” North Korea.

“The U.S. is intentionally escalating the situation even with the activation of independent sanctions, not content with referring the DPRK’s just activity to the UN Security Council,” the statement said.

North Koreans call this the “anti-American season”, said Jean Lee, a North Korea analyst with the Washington-based Wilson Center, Reuters reported.

“Pyongyang raises tensions with an illicit test; when Washington responds with sanctions, North Korea rallies the people around a manufactured threat,” she said in a post on Twitter. “That gives the regime justification to pour resources into its nuclear program.”

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More than 100 million people forcibly displaced in the world: UN refugee agency

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(Last Updated On: May 23, 2022)

More than 100 million people have been driven from their homes around the world, the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Monday, citing new data about those escaping violence, conflict, persecution and human rights violations.

The war in Ukraine has been one of the factors propelling millions of people to flee, the UNHCR said, adding that protracted conflict in places like Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo were other factors behind the high numbers.

“It’s a record that should never have been set,” said U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi in a statement sent to journalists. “This must serve as a wake-up call to resolve and prevent destructive conflicts, end persecution, and address the underlying causes that force innocent people to flee their homes.”

The UNHCR data includes refugees, asylum seekers and those displaced within their own countries. Last week, an humanitarian body said those displaced within their own countries had reached a record of close to 60 million people by the end of last year.

Grandi urged action to address the causes of displacement, saying humanitarian aid was only treating the consequences.

“To reverse this trend, the only answer is peace and stability so that innocent people are not forced to gamble between acute danger at home or precarious flight and exile,” he added.

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Biden supports Japan becoming permanent member of UNSC

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(Last Updated On: May 23, 2022)

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Monday that he supports Japan becoming a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, NHK public television said on Monday.

Calls have been rising recently for reform of the United Nations Security Council, where both Russia and China are permanent members.

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Australia ousts conservatives after nine years, Albanese to be PM

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(Last Updated On: May 22, 2022)

Australia’s Labor Party was set to end almost a decade of conservative rule as the government was swept away in Saturday’s election by a wave of support for candidates who campaigned for more action on climate change and may hold the balance of power.

Partial results showed that while Labor had made small gains, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition had been punished by voters in Western Australia and affluent urban seats in particular, Reuters reported.

“Tonight, I have spoken to the leader of the opposition and the incoming prime minister, Anthony Albanese. And I’ve congratulated him on his election victory this evening,” said Morrison.

Albanese, speaking as he headed to his party celebrations, said he wanted to unite the country and “end the climate wars”.

“I think people want to come together, look for our common interest, look towards that sense of common purpose. I think people have had enough of division, what they want is to come together as a nation and I intend to lead that.”

Albanese said he aimed to be sworn in swiftly so he could attend a meeting of the Quad security grouping in Tokyo on Tuesday. He promised constitutional recognition and parliamentary representation for Indigenous Aboriginals, as well as the establishment of an anti-corruption commission.

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