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Terror beneath the sea: North Korea ready to launch SLBM from submarine

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NEW satellite images of North Korea bases appear to show the volatile state is overhauling its missile sub fleet as tension rises during the nuclear stand-off between Kim Jong-un and the US.

The pictures show activity at a test site which is scarily similar to preparations before the Stalinist nation’s last test of their Pukguksong-1 submarine-launched ballistic missile in August 2016. The images emerged after Trump warned North Korea that the US military was “locked and loaded” as Pyongyang accused the U.S. leader of driving the Korean peninsula to the brink of nuclear war.

KN-11 SLBM Technical specifications (Photo: Getty)

The Pentagon said the United States and South Korea would proceed as planned with a joint military exercise in 10 days, an action sure to further antagonise North Korea. North Korean watcher Joseph Bermudez of 38North, which monitors military activity in the Stalinist country, has spotted changes on the boat and the facility it is docked in.

He said: “Recent commercial satellite imagery reveals several developments suggesting that North Korea may be accelerating the development of the sea-based leg of its nuclear forces. Since the July report, netting or tarps have been suspended above both the fore and aft decks of the submarine obscuring any activity taking place beneath them. The only other time this was seen was during May-July 2016 and prior to the failed July 9, 2016 Pukguksong-1 test.

GORAE-class submarine in dockyard (Photo: Getty)

Long-range ballistic missiles (ICBM), and their submarine-housed counterparts (SLBM), are rockets which can carry nuclear bombs and would be capable of striking the west coast of the US including cities such as Los Angeles and Seattle. However, North Korea is not believed to have developed the technical capacity to mount a nuclear warhead on an SLBM.

A successful ICBM test launch marks a significant step forward for secretive Pyongyang’s weapons capability. ICBMs have a minimum range of about 3,418 miles, but some are designed to travel 6,214 miles or further. California is roughly 5,592 miles from North Korea.

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Man injures several people with knife in Munich, a perpetrator still at large

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An unidentified man attacked several people with a knife at the Rosennheimer Platz in Munchen, Germany. The perpetrator is on the run. According to local media reports, nobody was seriously injured in the attack.

The police asked residents to stay away from the scene.

“We are looking for the perpetrator with all available police forces,” the officials said. “Residents should not leave their houses.”

According to police data, ta perpetratoris a 40-year-old man last seen wearing gray pants and a green training jacket.

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Israel Will Never Allow Iran’s Bases in Syria

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The Israeli Prime minister met with the Russian defense minister to discuss the situation in Syria, as well as the Iran nuclear deal in light of the US decision not to certify the agreement. Israel would not allow Iran’s permanent military presence in Syria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said during talks with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, adding that Tehran “must understand this.”

Commenting on the agenda of his meeting with Shoigu, the Israeli prime minister said that the talks were dedicated to “above all, Iran’s attempts to establish military bases in Syria.”

Netanyahu earlier stated Israel “will act to prevent Iran from establishing permanent military bases in Syria for its air, sea and ground forces.”
The Russian Defense Ministry is yet to comment on Israel’s concerns over Iran’s actions in Syria. Commeting on the negotiations, the Russian deputy defense minister has said that Shoigu and Netanyahu had “expressed confidence that the meetings held on the Israeli soil will give an additional impetus to the development of Russian-Israeli cooperation.”

Israel has been long opposing Iran’s and Lebanon-based Hezbollah’s presence in Syria. Iran has been providing support to the Syrian government in its fight against various terrorist groups, including Daesh, and acts alongside Russia and Turkey as one of the guarantor states of the ceasefire in Syria. Tehran has repeatedly refuted media reports claiming that its military had conducted independent operations in Syria.

During his September meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of building sites in Syria and Lebanon to produce missiles allegedly aiming to eradicate Israel. When asked to comment on the statement, the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow has “no information that someone is preparing an attack on Israel.”

Iran Nuclear Deal

The Israeli prime minister and the Russian defense minister have also discussed the US president’s decision not to certify the Iran nuclear deal. Netanyahu has reiterated Tel Aviv’s stance, warning of Iran potentially acquiring nuclear weapons if the deal isn’t changed. During his UNGA speech in September, Netanyahu has again addressed the threat Israel believes Iran poses to its security. According to him, the nuclear deal with Iran must be changed or canceled entirely.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly voiced support for Israel’s stance on the nuclear agreement, calling it a “bad deal for Israel.”

On October 16, Trump suggested that Washington might unilaterally exit the agreement despite Rex Tillerson’s earlier comments, saying that the United States will try to negotiate the agreement, which is, according to him, in the best interests of his country.

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