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South Korea conducts live fire exercise near North border

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SEOUL — South Korea conducted a large-scale live fire exercise Monday on the East Sea, where North Korea has been upping tensions with a series of missile and rocket launches supervised by leader Kim Jong-Un.

The drill including K-9 self- propelled artillery units and 130mm multiple rocket launchers was held in the coastal county of Goseong, which borders the North.

The aim of the exercise was to role play “the scenario of a possible North Korean maritime provocation”, South Korean Defence Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-Gyun told reporters.

It comes during an extended period of elevated military tensions on the Korean peninsula, triggered by Pyongyang`s fourth nuclear test on January 6.

Over the past month, Kim Jong-Un has personally monitored numerous rocket and missile launches into the East Sea, including the North`s first test of a medium-range ballistic missile for two years.

Late last month, Kim watched what state media called the country`s largest-ever long-range artillery drill, involving multiple batteries of heavy-calibre units pounding an offshore island from a beach about 120 kilometres (75 miles) North of Goseong.

Monday`s South Korean drill was focused on “mastering more efficient and accurate firing procedures at sea against enemy targets”, the defence ministry spokesman said.

The North`s fourth nuclear test in January saw the UN Security Council — backed by Pyongyang`s main ally China — impose its harshest sanctions to date over the North`s nuclear weapons programme.

AFP

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Health

Sleeping in on weekends may help live longer

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Sleep deprivation has been found to have numerous negative effects on a person’s health. But the new study has shown that sleeping more on the weekend might help ease health problems associated with not getting enough during the week, and even reduce the risk of an early death.

The study, published in Journal of Sleep Research by scientists from Sweden and the United States, suggested that the negative effects of a few nights of short sleep could be counteracted by staying in bed over the weekend.

The from the Stress Research Institute (SRI) at Stockholm University and the Karolinska Institute discovered that people below 65 years old who slept less than five hours on weekends had a higher risk of early death after examining medical and lifestyle data from more than 43,000 adults, following them for a period of 13 years.

For people who slept for less than five hours throughout the week but slept longer on the weekends for about nine hours, there was no increase in mortality risk. But, for people who consistently slept for less than five hours through the whole week, the mortality risk is higher.

Torbjorn Akerstedt, one of the authors of the research and a clinical neuroscience professor from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said that the findings were consistent with previous studies on the link between sleep duration and mortality.

However, those previous studies only focused on sleep during weekdays.

“The results imply that short sleep is not a risk factor for mortality if it is combined with a medium or long weekend sleep,” the researchers wrote in the study.

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