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North Korea regrets Guterres’ ‘deplorable attitude’ towards missile launch

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This Sunday, North Korea’s foreign minister criticized the “deplorable attitude” of UN Secretary-General António Guterres in condemning Pyongyang’s recent ICBM launch, state news agency KCNA reported.

“I deeply regret that the UN Secretary General acted in a truly deplorable way in ignoring the purpose and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and his own mission to maintain impartiality, objectivity and fairness in all matters,” the head said. representative of North Korean diplomacy Choi Song-hee, who accused António Guterres of being a “US puppet”.

Choi Song-hui recalled that Pyongyang “recently asked the UN Secretary-General to consider the issue of the Korean Peninsula impartially and objectively,” emphasizing North Korea’s “self-defense” policy, “in an alarming security environment in the region due to dangerous military cooperation between the United States and their vassal forces.”

“However, the UN Secretary General blamed North Korea, not the United States,” the minister said.

North Korea on Friday launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off the northern island of Hokkaido, according to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who deemed the launch “completely unacceptable.”

On the same day, the UN Secretary General urged North Korea to “immediately refrain” from any further “provocations” in response to the launch, reiterating his call for Pyongyang to return to the negotiating table.

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The US also reacted on Friday by announcing the convening of the UN Security Council and expressing its intention to ask China, an ally of the North Korean regime, to help rein in Pyongyang using its influence.

The UN Security Council announced on Saturday that it would meet on Monday to discuss the situation.

In response to the launch of a North Korean ICBM, South Korean and US militaries responded with guided bombing tests from F-35 fighter jets and conducted other combined air maneuvers over the East Sea, two operations that simulate preemptive attacks but also punitive operations against the North Koreans, the report said. in Pyongyang.

The North Korean launch came from the Sunan area, home to Pyongyang International Airport, the site chosen by the regime to launch other ICBMs in February, March and the 3rd, although two of those launches failed.

The launch joins a record 30 rounds fired by Pyongyang in early November in response to air maneuvers by Seoul and Washington, including the first such missile launched in November from the Sea of ​​Japan.

Tensions on the peninsula are now reaching unprecedented levels due to North Korea’s weapons tests, allied maneuvers and the possibility that, according to data collected by satellites, the Kim Jong-un regime is ready to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017.

The North Korean president promised on Friday that he would use the atomic bomb in the event of a nuclear attack on his country.

Pyongyang “will decisively respond to nuclear weapons with nuclear weapons, and to total confrontation with total confrontation,” the head of state, quoted by the KCNA, said in a comment while monitoring the launch of the Hwaseong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). demanded “acceleration of nuclear deterrence” in the face of a “dangerous situation” on the peninsula.

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The “new Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile”, defined as “a decisive milestone in the strengthening of nuclear forces”, flew 999.2 kilometers before crashing into the waters of the Sea of ​​​​Japan, according to the KCNA.

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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.

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Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

See also  War in Ukraine: Zelensky called the battle for Severodonetsk one of the most brutal in European history

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization

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“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

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At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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