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North Korea conducts two powerful missile tests

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SEOUL — North Korea has conducted two tests of a powerful new medium-range missile, with at least one launch ending in failure but the other flying a distance of 400 kilometers, South Korea’s Defence Ministry said.

Both tests were believed to be of a much-hyped, intermediate-range Musudan missile capable of reaching US bases as far away as Guam.

The first test shortly before 6:00am (local time) was deemed to have failed, but the ministry in Seoul said the second Musudan — fired from the same east coast location two hours later — had flown 400 kilometres into the East Sea (Sea of Japan).

“South Korea and the United States are conducting further analysis,” the ministry said in a statement that stopped short of labelling the second test a success.

After four failed Musudan launches earlier this year, a successful test would mark a major step forward for a weapons program that ultimately aspires to develop a proven nuclear strike capability against the US mainland.

The US State Department strongly condemned the launches, saying they represented clear violations of UN resolutions banning North Korea from any use of ballistic missile technology.

South Korea’s presidential office said it would hold a national security meeting later on Wednesday to discuss the North’s latest missile launches.

The Musudan has an estimated range of anywhere between 2,500 and 4,000 kilometres.

Wednesday’s effort came with military tensions still running high following Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch a month later that saw the UN Security Council impose its toughest sanctions to date on the North.

The lower range covers the whole of South Korea and Japan, while the upper range would include US military bases on Guam.

First unveiled as an indigenous missile at a military parade in Pyongyang in October 2010, the Musudan has never been successfully flight-tested.

Agencies

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Govt to present its policies and programmes Monday

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KATHMANDU — The government is preparing to present its policies and programs for the fiscal year 2018/19 at the Federal Parliament on Monday.

According to Joint Spokesperson at the Federal Parliament Secretariat Keshav Aryal, all preparations are over for the release of the government policies and programs to be made by the President Bidya Devi Bhandari from New Baneshwor-based Federal Parliament Building at 4:00 pm Monday.

President Bhandari would unveil the government policies and programs for the first time in the joint meeting of the Federal Parliament after the promulgation of the new constitution.

As per the constitution, the President can address any of the House meeting or the joint meeting of the Federal Parliaments and summon the lawmakers for their presence.

Vice President, top leaders of different political parties, high-ranking government officials, chiefs of the constitutional bodies, chiefs of the security bodies and chiefs of the diplomatic missions in Nepal are invited for the program.

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