North Korea have responded to the United Nations Security Council’s sanctions imposed on the isolated nation by firing several short range projectiles into the sea.
The South Korean defence ministry has not yet established whether missiles or artillery were fired. Further escalating tensions between the two countries the South Korean president, Park Geun-hye vowed to end Pyongyang’s tyranny. The United States urged South Korea to refrain from taking provocative action that may aggravate tensions.
North Korean media reported today that the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, had ordered the military to prepare to use its nuclear armoury at short notice, in response to what he perceives as a “growing threat” from his enemies. North Korea was universally condemned earlier in this year after it announced it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. US experts have suggested the test was in fact a failure.
Donald Tusk warns refugees to stay away from Europe
The president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, has warned “illegal economic migrants” who are fleeing Syria and surrounding nations to stay away from European countries. After meeting Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Mr Tusk said Greece was no longer willing to be a transit country. “Do not risk your lives and your money. It is all for nothing,” Mr Tusk told would-be migrants. Thousands fleeing the war-torn Middle East continue to enter Greece, intending to continue towards Germany and Scandinavia, but are being stopped at the north-western border by Macedonian security forces.
Russian action ‘putting Syrian ceasefire at risk’
The UN is optimistic that a truce between the Syrian Government and rebel forces is holding, though the US and Britain have complained that Russian aircraft continue to attack rebel positions in support of the Government forces. A spokesman for the British Government called on European Community leaders “to make very clear to President Putin that we need this ceasefire to hold”. The agreed truce between the two sides, backed by opposing superpowers, began last weekend, though it excludes areas controlled by Islamic State and the al-Nusra Front. Peace talks are set to resume between the Syrian factions on March 9.
Oscar Pistorius murder appeal denied
South Africa’s Constitutional Court has dashed the hopes of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, denying his appeal against a murder conviction for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Mr Pistorius was convicted of manslaughter but that was upgraded, on appeal in December, to a finding of murder. A spokesman for the National Prosecution Authority said that the application was rejected because there was “no prospect of success”. Mr Pistorius will be sentenced in April. – Compiled from web sources by Ben Rochlin
Screengrab of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un from the Korean Central News Agency propaganda feed.