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North Korea threatens US against military exercise with South Korea

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PYONGYANG — North Korea has threatened on Saturday to counter the US if the United States holds joint military exercises with South Korea, and said it would not beg for talks with Washington.

“If the US finally holds joint military exercises while keeping sanctions on the DPRK, the DPRK will counter the U.S. by its own mode of counteraction and the US will be made to own all responsibilities for the ensuing consequences,” North Korea’s official KCNA news agency said in its commentary, saying the drills would harm reconciliation efforts on the peninsula.

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It further said the military drills between the US and South Korea would harm reconciliation efforts and the North shall be ‘forced’ to counter the US.

The joint military exercises between the US and South Korea are set to begin in April.

Tensions have remained high since the latest sanctions were put into place.

The North Korean spokesperson said, “It would neither beg for dialogue nor evade the military option claimed by the US”.

US President Donald Trump had announced on February 23 that ‘heaviest sanctions ever’ placed on North Korea.

With Reuters Inputs

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17 dead after duck boat capsizes in Missouri

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MISSOURI — At least 17 people, including nine people from the same family, have been killed after an amphibious tour boat carrying 31 people capsized on Table Rock Lake near Branson town in Missouri, USA.

The ‘Ride the Ducks’ boat tipped over when strong winds and large waves swept through the area, as a result killing the driver as well, media reported.

Authorities, in their initial assessment, blamed thunderstorms and winds that approached hurricane strength.

Rescue authorities fished out the bodies from the lake and the age range of the deceased varies from one year to 70 years.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Branson at around 6:30 p.m on (Friday local time), about 30 minutes before the boat capsized.

There were several reports of trees falling down and structural damage, with winds reaching a high of 63 mph.

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Missouri Governor Michael Parson said that nine members of a family were killed in the tragedy. He also met with first responders, survivors and the victims of the families killed in the mishap.

He stated that there was a forecast of severe storms for southeast Missouri on Friday, while also issuing a warning to residents to take preventive actions and follow weather bulletin reports.

Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said that the boat was at the bottom of the lake and is likely to be recovered by Monday.

US President Donald Trump expressed his condolences to those killed in the tragedy.

He tweeted, “My deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those involved in the terrible boat accident which just took place in Missouri. Such a tragedy, such a great loss. May God be with you all!”

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