Attempted North Korea missile launch fails: South Korea

admin   •   May 31, 2016   •   1773

A North Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva October 2, 2014. REUTERS/DENIS BALIBOUSE/FILE PHOTO

A North Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva October 2, 2014.
REUTERS/DENIS BALIBOUSE/FILE PHOTO

North Korea attempted to fire a missile from its east coast early on Tuesday but the launch appears to have failed, South Korean officials said, in what would be the latest in a string of unsuccessful ballistic missile tests by the isolated country.

The launch attempt took place at around 5:20 a.m. Seoul time (04:20 p.m. EDT), said the officials, who asked not to be identified, without elaborating.

Tension in Northeast Asia has been high since North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test in January and followed that with a satellite launch and test launches of various missiles.

Japan put its military alert on Monday for a possible North Korean ballistic missile launch.

“We have no reports of any damage in Japan. We are gathering and analyzing data. The defense ministry is prepared to respond to any situation,” Japanese Minister of Defence Gen Nakatani told a media briefing.

“North Korea shows no sign of abandoning the development of nuclear missiles and so we will continue to work closely with the U.S. and South Korea in response and maintain a close watch on North Korea,” Nakatani said.

South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency said it appeared North Korea had attempted to launch an intermediate-range Musudan missile. North Korea attempted three test launches of the Musudan in April, all of which failed, U.S. and South Korean officials have said.

Yonhap quoted a South Korean government source as saying the missile was likely to have exploded at about the time it lifted off from a mobile launcher.

The flurry of weapons technology tests this year came in the run-up to the first congress in 36 years of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party early this month, where young leader Kim Jong Un further consolidated his control.

Tuesday’s attempted launch appears to have been its first missile test since then, and experts have said it was unusual to test-fire a missile so soon after a previous failure.

The South Korean military said Pyongyang’s continuous missile launches could stem from Kim’s order in March for further tests of nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles.

“They must’ve been in a rush. Maybe Kim Jong Un was very upset about the failures,” said Lee Choon-geun, senior research fellow at South Korea’s state-run Science and Technology Policy Institute.

REPEATED FAILURES

North Korea has never had a successful launch of the Musudan missile, which theoretically has the range to reach any part of Japan and the U.S. territory of Guam.

North Korea is believed to have roughly 20 to 30 Musudan missiles, according to South Korean media, which officials said were first deployed in around 2007.

“It could have cracks and something wrong with the welding,” Lee said of possible causes for the latest failure. “But deployment before test-firing these to complete development seems unusual.”

The attempted launch took place near the east coast city of Wonson, one of the South Korean officials said, the same area where previous Musudan tests had taken place.

Separately, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported on Tuesday that career diplomat Ri Su Yong, one of North Korea’s highest-profile officials, would visit China on Tuesday.

There was no indication of any link between the latest failed missile launch and Ri’s visit to China.

China is reclusive North Korea’s only major ally but has been angered by Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile tests and signed up to tough UN sanctions against the reclusive country.

Ri was North Korea’s foreign minister until he was named a member of the politburo during the recent Workers’ Party congress.

(Additional reporting by Vincent Lee in SEOUL, Tim Kelly in TOKYO and Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Writing by Tony Munroe; Editing by Paul Tait)

OFWs in South Korea given one-year extension of stay

Marje Pelayo   •   April 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) in South Korea who are under the Employment Permit System (EPS) and whose contract term expires within the period April 13, 2021 to Dec. 31, 2021 are given an extension of stay to one more year.

The policy, which took effect April 13, allows foreign workers to remain in the country given the prevailing condition brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Labor Attaché Maya Valderrama of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Korea in a report to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the said issuance from South Korea’s Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) and the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) is in line with the relevant amendment to the Act on Employment of Foreign Workers.

The issuance provides that the stay and employment period of foreign workers (E-9 and H-2) under the EPS and whose employment period (three years or four years and 10 months) expires from April 13 to December 31, 2021 is extended for one year.

Valderrama said the Korean government expects this measure will resolve the difficulties of workers entering and leaving the country during the pandemic.

This will also help in the manpower shortage of small and medium-sized companies.

Bello thanked the Seoul government for the move that will benefit hundreds of workers in Korea.

“We welcome this unprecedented employment measure extended by the Republic of Korea (ROK) to our EPS workers especially during this time of the pandemic. The preservation of jobs of our OFWs everywhere in the world is our primordial concern, and this development highlights the value of our 15 years of continuing bilateral cooperation on labor with the ROK,” Bello said in a news release on Sunday.

The extension period of stay and employment also applies to EPS workers who have been given a 50-day visa extension by ROK’s authorities, provided that the extended period also falls within the period April 13 to December 31, 2021.

Immigration Bureau nabs 3 South Korea’s fugitives wanted for online scams

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Three of South Korea’s most wanted fugitives were arrested by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) fugitive search unit (FSU) on Tuesday (April 13).

Immigration Commissioner Jaime Morente said the three aliens were arrested in operations conducted in Parañaque City and Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija.

They were identified as Jung Myunghun, 38, allegedly the syndicate’s top leader; Yu Daewoong, 38, and Kang Wesung, 36, also a leader of the group.

Morente said these fugitives are high-profile criminals long sought by Korean authorities and Interpol.

Based on criminal records, since July 2014, the suspects perpetrated online scams by uploading and advertising items on online second-hand markets, duping victims into purchasing products that turned out to be non-existent.

Their passports have also been revoked, making them undocumented aliens.

“Korean authorities uncovered thousands of cases—almost 2,600—wherein victims have been defrauded by the suspects. It is estimated that victims incurred a combined loss of more than 10 billion won, or close to US$9 million, from the syndicate’s racket,” according to the BI.

Morente said the suspects will be deported to face the cases against them in Korea.

“Their names shall likewise remain in our blacklist, which effectively bans their re-entry in the country,” the BI chief said. AAC

DFA calls on North Korea to comply with int’l obligations after ballistic missile launch

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 31, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Following the ballistic missile launch of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on March 25, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has reiterated its call for the country to comply with international laws.

The Foreign Department, in a statement on Friday (March 31), expressed concern over DPRK’s latest ballistic missile launch saying the actions undermine regional peace and stability, not only in the Korean Peninsula, but also in the entire region.

The department said the DPRK should abide by the obligation under the resolutions set by the United Nations Security Council.

Two missiles were launched by North Korea into the sea near Japan on Thursday (March 25). AAC

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