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South Korea conducts live fire exercise near North border

Gorkha Post

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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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Tourist arrivals jumped 73.5 percent in July

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KATHMANDU — Tourist arrivals to Nepal jumped 73.5 percent in the month of July, according to statistics released by Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).

The NTB said that this increment is because of a sharp increase in the number of travellers from countries like India, China, the US and the UK. The growth in the numbers has also been attributed to Indian pilgrims visiting Mount Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet, via Nepal.

The statistics show that Nepal received a whopping 73,285 international tourists in July—a time of the year that is considered to be an off-season for tourists due to the monsoons. With July’s figures, the number of foreign tourists visiting Nepal in the first seven months (January–July) of 2018 reached 593,299, which is an increase of 18 percent as compared to the same period last year.

Total 18,385 Indian tourists visited Nepal via air transport, which is up 80.4 percent compared to the same period last year.

After India, Nepal received the highest number of visitors from China. The Chinese tourist numbers have more than doubled to 13,123 in the month of July. This is a 125.4 percent growth in comparison to the arrivals in the same month last year.

Overall arrivals from SAARC countries registered a growth of 66 percent, in comparison to the same month last year. However, arrivals from Bangladesh declined by nine percent. Arrivals from rest of the Asian countries have also recorded a robust growth of 86.2 percent.

Visitors from Japan and South Korea to Nepal also increased by 36 percent and 21.9 percent respectively.

Likewise, an overall increase of 54.1 percent in July has been recorded from European source markets. However, arrivals from Austria declined by 72.6 percent.

The number of visitors from the US and Canada have also grown by 79.6 percent and 73.3 percent respectively.

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