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North Korea releases video of “new” submarine-launched missile test

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SEOUL — North Korea has released video footage of a purportedly new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test, three days after it claimed it had successfully tested its first hydrogen bomb.

South Korean media, however, suggested the footage broadcast by state Korean Central TV was an edited compilation of the North’s third SLBM test, conducted last month in the Sea of Japan, and a different ballistic missile test from 2014.

The undated footage shows leader Kim Jong-un, on board a military vessel in a winter coat and a fedora hat, looking on as a missile is launched vertically from underwater and ignites in mid-air.

The video then cuts to a rocket flying through the clouds, suggesting the missile was able to reach such altitudes.

However, South Korean media said the images of a rocket rising through the clouds was in fact taken from footage of a SCUD missile test broadcast in 2014.

North Korea first announced in May that it had conducted a successful SLBM test, a claim accompanied by pictures of Mr Kim pointing at the missile as it blasted out of the water at a 45-degree angle.

A second SLBM test was carried out off the south-eastern port of Wonsan in November but this was apparently a failure as only debris from its casing was seen in the sea and no traces of the flight were detected.

South Korean military officials say the North is continuing to actively pursue the development of SLBMs, which would take its nuclear threat to a new level.

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AFP

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Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wins presidency

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MALE — Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has beaten incumbent Abdulla Yameen according to provisional results, the country’s Elections Commission says.

Results released by the Elections Commission showed Mr Solih securing 133,808 votes (58.3 percent) compared to the 95,526 for incumbent Abdulla Yameen. The voter turnout was over 88 per cent out of the 262,000-strong electorate.

The Maldives government has acknowledged the opposition’s victory after the vote on Sunday, a surprise defeat for President Abdulla Yameen who was widely expected to win.

There were no other candidates.

Mr Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Mr Yameen, but struggled for visibility with the electorate, with local media fearful of falling afoul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.

“I call on Yameen to respect the will of the people and bring about a peaceful, smooth transfer of power,” Solih said on television, shortly after interim results from the country’s election commission.

“We have won this election with a comfortable majority,” Solih said.

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