Roy likes politics. Knowledge is power, Roy constantly says, so he spends nearly all day gathering information and writing articles about the latest events around the globe. He likes history and studying about war techniques, this is why he finds writing his articles a piece of cake. Another hobby of his is horse – riding.
Last month, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Republican chairman, Senator Bob Corker, accused President Trump of setting the US “on a path to World War Three”.
Speaking at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada, Gen. John Hyten said: “We think about these things a lot. When you have this responsibility, how do you not think about it?”
As for the legality of a strike, Gen. Hyten said that he had studied US laws of armed conflict for many years which stipulates key criteria the president must consider:
While Senators and expert witnesses agree the US president has full authority to defend the nation, commentators have pointed out that because there is no all-encompassing definition of “imminent attack”, the president is not given an entirely free hand.
Gen. John Hyten also said: “I provide advice to the president, he will tell me what to do.
“And if it’s illegal, guess what’s going to happen? I’m going to say: <<Mr. President, that’s illegal>>. And guess what he’s going to do? He’s going to say, <<What would be legal?>> And we’ll come up with options, of a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that’s the way it works.”
He added: “If you execute an unlawful order, you will go to jail. You could go to jail for the rest of your life.”
President Trump has not publicly commented on Gen. John Hyten’s remarks.
Troops in armored vehicles have been out in the streets of the capital Harare since November 14.
After soldiers overran the headquarters of the ZBC broadcaster, Maj. Gen. Sibusiso Moyo went on air to say the military wished to “assure the nation that his Excellency the president… and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed”.
“We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes… that are causing social and economic suffering in the country,” the general said.
“As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy.”
The statement also said that citizens should remain calm and limit unnecessary movement. The military assures the Zimbabwean judiciary that its independence is guaranteed. Security services should “co-operate for the good of our country” and any provocation would “be met with an appropriate response”. And all leave for the defense forces is canceled and personnel should return to barracks immediately.
It is not clear who is leading the military action.
Army chief Gen. Constantino Chiwenga, who visited China last week, said on November 13 the army was prepared to act to end purges within Zanu-PF.
Some staff at ZBC were manhandled when the soldiers moved in, sources told Reuters.
A government source told Reuters that Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo had been detained.
Ignatius Chombo is a leading member of a faction of Zanu-PF led by Grace Mugabe.
Zanu-PF had accused Gen. Constantino Chiwenga of “treasonable conduct” after he issued his warning that the army might intervene.
Robert Mugabe fired Emmerson Mnangagwa last week, amid a row over succession.
Emmerson Mnangagwa had previously been seen as a potential heir to the president, but First Lady Grace Mugabe had since become the clear front-runner.
Last month, Grace Mugabe accused allies of Emmerson Mnangagwa of planning a coup.
The rivalry between Grace Mugabe and Emmerson Mnangagwa split Zanu-PF.
Gen. Constantino Chiwenga is a close ally of Emmerson Mnangagwa and both are veterans of the 1970s war which ended white minority rule.
The leader of the war veterans, Chris Mutsvangwa, welcomed the military move, telling Reuters: “This is a correction of a state that was careening off the cliff.
“It’s the end of a very painful and sad chapter in the history of a young nation, in which a dictator, as he became old, surrendered his court to a gang of thieves around his wife.”
According to a statement from South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, the North Korean soldier made it across by passing through the Joint Security Area (JSA) at Panmunjom, which is the only portion of the DMZ where both forces stand face-to-face.
“He crossed from a North Korea post towards our Freedom House [a building on the South Korean side of the border],” the statement said.
The soldier was hit in the arm and shoulder by gunfire, it added.
According to South Korean media this is only the third defection across the JSA since the end of the Cold War. The last time a soldier crossed was in 2007, and before that in 1998.
The number of North Koreans defecting to the South in the first two-thirds of this year dropped by 13% compared with 2016.
According to South Korean officials, from January to August 2017, 780 North Koreans escaped to South Korea.
The fall is believed to be a result of tighter government surveillance and reinforced border security by both North Korea and China.
The majority of the defectors flee via China, which has the longest border with North Korea that is easier to cross than the heavily protected Demilitarized Zone.
South Korea says more than 30,000 North Koreans have defected to the South since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
No details of the alleged plot against Saad al-Hariri have been made public.
Uncertainty surrounds Saad al-Hariri’s circumstances, amid rumors he was being held in Riyadh.
President Macron said on November 9 he had had informal contact with Saad al-Hariri, without giving details, while the French foreign minister said France believed Saad al-Hariri was able to move freely.
On November 5, Saad al-Hariri said in a TV broadcast that he was resigning because of the unspecified threat to his life.
In the video statement, Saad al-Hariri also attacked Hezbollah, which is politically and militarily powerful in Lebanon, and Iran.
There are fears Lebanon could become embroiled in a wider regional confrontation between major Sunni power Saudi Arabia and Shia-dominated Iran.
President Macron is a keen supporter of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, which both the Saudis and the Trump administration have heavily criticized.
Before going to Saudi Arabia, Emmanuel Macron said that he had heard “very harsh opinions” on Iran from Saudi Arabia, which did not match his own view.
“It is important to speak with everyone,” the president added.
However, an official communiqué from his office following the visit did not say Iran was among the matters discussed, Le Monde reported.
Tensions between Saudi Arabia, Iran and Lebanon have soared since Saad al-Hariri announced his resignation.
On November 9, Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies told their citizens in Lebanon to leave the country immediately. The move came after Saudi Arabia accused Iran of “direct military aggression”, saying it supplied a missile which it says was fired by Hezbollah at Riyadh from Yemen on November 5.
Iran has dismissed Saudi Arabia’s allegations as “false and dangerous”.
Houthi-aligned media reported that the rebels had fired a Burkan H2 ballistic missile at King Khaled International Airport, which is about 530 miles from the Yemeni border and 7 miles north-east of Riyadh, on November 4.
Saudi media reported that missile defenses intercepted the missile in flight, but that some missile fragments fell inside the airport area. No casualties were reported.
Human Rights Watch said the launch of an indiscriminate missile at a predominantly civilian airport was an apparent war crime.
On November 7, the official Saudi Press Agency (SAP) reported that in his telephone call with Prince Mohammed, Boris Johnson had “expressed his condemnation of launching a ballistic missile by Houthi coup militias” and affirmed “Britain’s stand with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in confronting security threats”.
“For his part, the crown prince stressed that the involvement of the Iranian regime in supplying its Houthi militias with missiles is considered a direct military aggression by the Iranian regime and may be considered an act of war against the kingdom,” it added.
On November 6, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told CNN that Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement, an Iranian proxy, was also involved.
“It was an Iranian missile launched by Hezbollah from territory occupied by the Houthis in Yemen,” he said.
During his visit to South Korea, President Donald Trump has urged North Korea to “come to the table” and discuss giving up its nuclear weapons.
Striking a different tone from previous fiery rhetoric, the president said he “hoped to God” he did not have to use the US military against North Korea.
Donald Trump was speaking at a press conference with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in in Seoul, as part of his tour of Asia.
The president has previously threatened “fire and fury” against North Korea.
Donald Trump is on a five-nation tour of Asia, where Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions have been high on his agenda.
At a press conference, Presidents Trump and Moon reiterated their call for Pyongyang to denuclearize, with Donald Trump saying it “makes sense for North Korea to come to the table”, and to “do the right thing, not only for North Korea but for humanity all over the world”.
The two leaders also called on China and Russia to put pressure on North Korea, and said they were lifting the limit on South Korean missile payloads, which they had agreed to do in September.
President Trump also said that South Korea would be ordering “billions of dollars” in military equipment from the US, which he said would reduce their trade deficit.
It was unclear if a deal was already struck, but Moon Jae-in said they had agreed to “begin consultations on acquisitions” that would enhance South Korea’s defense capabilities.
President Trump had earlier tweeted that “massive military and energy order” from Japan were also happening, and claimed on November 6 that Japan could shoot down North Korea’s missiles with US equipment.
Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe said earlier that he was considering it.
Though the President Trump will only spend about 24 hours in South Korea, it is perhaps the most symbolic stop in his Asian tour.
His visit is designed to bolster the military alliance that has long protected South Korea, and strength in unity is the message they want to send to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un just across the border.
However, the two presidents also have their differences. President Trump has previously accused Moon Jae-in’s government of trying to appease North Korea.
Donald Trump has also previously criticized the free trade agreement between the US and South Korea, and has made clear he wants to re-negotiate its terms.
During the press conference, President Trump said the deal had been “quite unsuccessful” for the US, and that the two countries were going to “pursue a much better deal”.
Protests against Donald Trump, as well as counter-rallies welcoming him, have been held in Seoul and elsewhere.
President Trump will be going to China, Vietnam and the Philippines in the coming week.
Analysts see the unprecedented move as an attempt to cement the power of the heir to the throne.
Prince Mansour was the son of Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, a former intelligence chief who was crown prince between January and April 2015, when he was pushed aside by Prince Mohammed’s father, King Salman.
The late prince served as a consultant to his father’s royal court and in April 2017 was among 8 young royals appointed deputy governors.
An interior ministry statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency said Prince Mansour and seven provincial officials had boarded a helicopter on November 6 to tour a number of coastal projects west of the city of Abha.
The statement also said: “While returning in the evening of the same day, contact with the plane was lost in the vicinity of the Reda reserve.
“The authorities are currently searching for survivors as the wreckage has been found.”
Later, state news channel al-Ikhbariya announced the death of Prince Mansour.
Correspondents say Saad al-Hariri’s sudden departure plunges Lebanon into a new political crisis and raises fears that it may be at the forefront of the regional rivalry between Shia power Iran and Sunni stronghold Saudi Arabia.
Following the statement on November 4, Iranian politicians lined up to denounce Saad al-Hariri’s assertions.
Hussein Sheikh al-Islam, adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Kahmenei, said: “Hariri’s resignation was done with planning by [President] Donald Trump and Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.”
Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi, quoted by the official Irna news agency, said Saad al-Hariri’s departure was aimed at creating tension in Lebanon and the region.
Bahram Qasemi said Saad al-Hariri had repeated “unrealistic and unfounded accusations” and had aligned himself with “those who want ill for the region”, singling out Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US.
Saad al-Hariri, whose family is close to Saudi Arabia, has been prime minister since December 2016, after previously holding the position between 2009 and 2011.
His father, Rafik al-Hariri was killed by a bomb in 2005 in an attack widely blamed on the Iran-backed Shia movement Hezbollah, which wields considerable power in Lebanon.
The Houthi-run Saba News in Yemen said the missile had been a Burkan H2.
The rebel group is believed to have access to a stockpile of Scud ballistic missiles and home-grown variants. Saudi forces have previously brought them down with Patriot surface-to-air missiles bought from the US.
In May, a day before President Donald Trump was due to arrive in Riyadh for a visit, the Houthis fired a missile towards the city, but it was shot down 120 miles from the capital.
Yemen has been devastated by a war between forces loyal to the internationally recognized government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those allied to the Houthi rebel movement.
Saudi Arabia is leading a campaign to defeat the Houthis, and is the biggest power in an international air coalition that has bombed the rebel group since 2015.
On November 1, a suspected strike by the Saudi-led coalition killed at least 26 people at a hotel and market in northern Yemen, medics and local officials said.
The coalition, which rights groups say has bombed schools, hospitals, markets and residential areas, said it struck a “legitimate military target”.
The charges filed against Sayfullo Saipov are federal, which means the government can override New York state’s ban on capital punishment.
Sayfullo Saipov appeared in court in a wheelchair 24 hours after mowing down cyclists and pedestrians on a bike lane in Lower Manhattan on October 31.
Six people died at the scene and two more in hospital. Twelve people were injured, four of whom remain in critical condition.
Prosecutors say Sayfullo Saipov spoke freely to them, waiving his right to avoid self-incrimination while in custody.
According to federal court papers, the suspect said the attack was planned two months ago, and he carried out a trial run with a rental truck last month. He intentionally chose Halloween because he believed there would be more people in the streets. Sayfullo Saipov originally planned to target the Brooklyn Bridge as well and he wanted to display ISIS flags on the truck, but decided not to draw attention to himself.
Sayfullo Saipov was inspired by 90 propaganda videos found on his phone – in particular, one in which ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi asks what Muslims are doing to avenge deaths in Iraq.
He is also accused of providing material support and resources to ISIS.
Sayfullo Saipov, the man accused of killing 8 people in Lower Manhattan by driving a truck down a cycle lane, was inspired by ISIS, police say.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller said that notes in Arabic claiming the attack on behalf of ISIS were recovered from the scene of the attack in New York.
Sayfullo Saipov, a 29-year-old Uzbek immigrant, was shot and injured by police.
The suspect is in hospital and under arrest.
John Miller said: “Based on the investigation overnight, it appears that Mr. Saipov had been planning this for a number of weeks.
“He did this in the name of ISIS, and along with the other items recovered at the scene was some notes that further indicate that.
“He appears to have followed almost exactly to a ‘T’ the instructions that ISIS has put out in its social media channels before, with instructions to their followers on how to carry out such an attack.”
One of the notes said “the Islamic State would endure forever”, the deputy commissioner added.
“There is a hollow space, which measures about 60 to 100 metres in length, at the bottom of Mount Mantap in the Punggye-ri site,” Nam Jae-cheol was quoted by South Korean news agency Yonhap as saying.
“Should another nuke test occur, there is the possibility of a collapse,” he warned.
The Punggye-ri test site, situated in mountainous terrain in the north-east of North Korea, is thought to be Pyongyang’s main nuclear facility and the only active nuclear testing site in the world.
Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper reported on October 27 that Chinese geologists warned North Korean officials after the September test that additional tests there could lead to a massive collapse and a leak of radioactive waste.
Meanwhile, North Korea’s main newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, has said the country has a sovereign right to launch satellites.
The statement comes amid speculation that North Korea might soon launch a satellite – widely seen as a test of the country’s ballistic missile technology.
The US and South Korea have conducted a joint military exercise, flying two strategic bombers over the Korean peninsula.
The B-1B combat bombers were joined by two South Korean F-15K fighter jets, and carried out air-to-ground missile drills off South Korean waters.
The move comes amid heightened tensions with North Korea over its nuclear program.
North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test, and launched two missiles over Japan, in recent months.
The bombers took off from the US Pacific territory of Guam on October 10, before entering South Korean airspace and conducting firing exercises over the East Sea and Yellow Sea, South Korea’s military said.
The training was part of a program of “extended deterrence” against North Korea, it added.
The US said Japan’s air force also took part in the drill.
According to the White House, President Donald Trump met top officials from his national security team on Tuesday night for a briefing on ways to respond to threats from North Korea.
President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have exchanged heated rhetoric in recent weeks.
In aspeech at the UN last month, President Trump accused Kim Jong-un of being “on a suicide mission” – while the North Korean leader responded by vowing to “tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire”.
On October 11, a South Korean lawmaker said North Korean hackers had reportedly stolen a large cache of military documents from his country, including a plan to assassinate Kim Jong-un, and wartime contingency plans drawn up by the US and South Korea.
The South Korean defense ministry refused to comment about the allegation, while North Korea denied the claim.
According to new reports, North Korean hackers have stolen a large cache of military documents from South Korea, including a plan to assassinate the country’s leader Kim Jong-un.
South Korean lawmaker Rhee Cheol-hee said the information was from his country’s defense ministry.
The compromised documents include wartime contingency plans drawn up by the United States and South Korea.
The documents also include reports to the allies’ senior commanders.
The South Korean defense ministry has so far refused to comment about the allegation.
Plans for South Korea’s special forces were reportedly accessed, along with information on significant power plants and military facilities in the South.
Rhee Cheol-hee belongs to South Korea’s ruling party, and sits on its parliament’s defense committee. He said some 235 Gb of military documents had been stolen from the Defense Integrated Data Centre, and that 80% of them have yet to be identified.
The hack took place in September 2016. In May 2017, South Korea said a large amount of data had been stolen and that North Korea may have instigated the cyber attack – but gave no details of what was taken.
According to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, Seoul has been subject to a barrage of cyber attacks by its North Korea in recent years, with many targeting government websites and facilities.
North Korea is believed to have specially-trained hackers based overseas, including in China.
Pyonyang has accused South Korea of “fabricating” the claims.
News that North Korea is likely to have accessed the Seoul-Washington plans for all-out war in the Koreas will do nothing to soothe tensions between the US and North Korea.
The US and North Korea have been at verbal loggerheads over Pyongyang’s nuclear activities, with the US pressing for a halt to missile tests and the North vowing to continue them.
North Korea recently claimed to have successfully tested a miniaturized hydrogen bomb, which could be loaded onto a long-range missile.
In a speech at the UN last month, President Donald Trump threatened to destroy North Korea if it menaced the US or its allies, and said its leader “is on a suicide mission”.
Kim Jong-un responded with a rare statement, vowing to “tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire”.
President Trump’s latest comment took the form of a cryptic tweet at the weekend, where he warned that “only one thing will work” in dealing with North Korea, after years of talks had proved fruitless. The president did not elaborate further.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said that the US is in “direct contact” with North Korea.
He also said Washington was “probing” the possibility of talks with Pyongyang, “so stay tuned”.
During a trip to China, Rex Tillerson said: “We have lines of communications to Pyongyang.
“We’re not in a dark situation.”
In recent months, North Korea and the US have engaged in heated rhetoric, but it was not previously known they had lines of communication.
President Donald Trump has threatened to annihilate North Korea, saying Kim Jong-un, “is on a suicide mission”, which led the North Korean leader to release a statement vowing to “tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire”.
On September 30, North Korea continued the rhetoric, releasing a statement calling President Trump an “old psychopath” bent on the “suicidal act of inviting a nuclear disaster that will reduce America to a sea of flames”.
The war of words comes against a backdrop of repeated missile tests and North Korea’s claim that, on September 3, it successfully tested a miniaturized hydrogen bomb which could be loaded on to a long-range missile.
The tests were internationally condemned, with the UN bringing in sanctions against the secretive country in an attempt to force it to stop its weapons program.
Rex Tillerson is in China meeting with President Xi Jinping and other officials, hoping to encourage them to implement the sanctions.
China this week told North Korean businesses operating in its territory to close down. However, China remains keen to see negotiations with North Korea.
President Trump said last month that “talking is not the answer”.
However, there were reports of so-called back channels between the two administrations.
According to the Associated Press, the US and North Korea had been engaged in quiet discussions for months, with “diplomatic contact… occurring regularly” between the US envoy for North Korea policy and “a senior North Korean diplomat at the country’s UN mission”.
Rex Tillerson has also previously hinted there are channels available between the two countries, AP added.
More widely known is the role Sweden plays in negotiating with North Korea on Washington’s behalf.
In August, Ulv Hanssen from the Swedish Institute of International Affairs told Reuters Sweden could step in again because it was trusted by both US and North Korea.
“Sweden has done so on numerous occasions before, especially in relation to imprisoned Americans,” he said.
The Swedish Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the speculation.
Otto Warmbier’s parents have shared horrific details of his condition when he arrived home from North Korea.
In an interview with Fox and Friends, Fred and Cindy Warmbier said that the North Koreans were “terrorists” who had “systematically tortured” their son.
Otto Warmbier was jailed in Pyongyang in 2016 for stealing a hotel sign.
The American student was released on medical grounds in June 2017 but arrived home seriously ill and died days later.
North Korea has always denied mistreating Otto Warmbier. According to North Korean officials, he contracted botulism while in prison but US doctors found no trace of this.
In their first interview since their son’s death, Fred and Cindy Warmbier told Fox News that they “felt it was time to tell the truth about the condition that Otto was in”.
American doctors had previously described Otto Warmbier as being in a state of “unresponsive wakefulness”, but his parents said calling this a coma was “unfair”.
Fred Warmbier said when they saw his son he was “moving around, and jerking violently, making these howling and inhuman sounds”.
His head was shaved, he was blind and deaf, his arms and legs were “totally deformed” and he had a huge scar on his foot, he said. It “looked like someone had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged his bottom teeth”.
Fred Warmbier said: “Otto was systematically tortured and intentionally injured by Kim and his regime. This was no accident.”
He also said Otto had been abandoned by his family, his country and the world and that the government had given them no information about his death.
Cindy Warmbier said North Korea sent him home because “they didn’t want him to die on their soil”.
The family refused a post-mortem examination because they thought Otto had suffered enough and “I wasn’t going to let him out of my sight,” she said.
Cindy Warmbier also pleaded with people not to go to North Korea, saying it was “playing into” Pyongyang’s propaganda. US citizens are now banned from travelling to North Korea.
However, the Cincinnati Enquirer, a local newspaper has disputed the allegations made by Otto Warmbier’s parents.
The newspaper said it had obtained a copy of a coroner’s report on Otto Warmbier, based on an external examination, which revealed several small scars but nothing which indicated torture.
The Cincinnati Enquirer quoted the Hamilton County coroner as saying Otto Warmbier’s teeth were “natural and in good repair” and that he appeared to have died from brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen.
President Donald Trump, who is known to watch Fox and Friends, tweeted that it had been “a great interview”, and that “Otto was tortured beyond belief by North Korea”.
The president’s comment is likely to stoke the escalating tensions between North Korea and the US, which have exchanged allegations and threats at an unprecedented rate in recent weeks.
On September 24, US warplanes flew close to North Korea’s coast in a show of force.
Speaking as he left New York after the UN General Assembly, Ri Yong-ho said his country had the right to shoot down US warplanes even if they were not in North Korea’s airspace.
On September 25, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the US had “not declared war against North Korea and frankly the suggestion of that is absurd”.
Pentagon spokesman Col. Robert Manning reacted by saying: “If North Korea does not stop their provocative actions, you know, we will make sure that we provide options to the president to deal with North Korea.”
South Korea – technically at war with North Korea since the 1950s – called for “astuteness and steadfastness” in responding to what it describes as continued provocations by Pyongyang.
Speaking in New York, South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha called for the prevention of any “further escalation of tensions, or any kind of accidental military clashes in the region which can quickly spiral out of control”.
South Korea’s intelligence service said North Korea was readjusting the position of its military aircraft and strengthening its coastal defenses, according to the South’s news agency Yonhap.
Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesman for UN Secretary General António Guterres, said that “fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings” and that “the only solution for this is a political solution”.
China’s ambassador to the UN, Liu Jieyi, told Reuters: “We want things to calm down.
“It’s getting too dangerous and it’s in nobody’s interest.”
Despite weeks of tension, experts have played down the risk of direct conflict.
North Korea has continued to carry out nuclear and ballistic missile tests in recent weeks, in defiance of successive rounds of UN sanctions.
Pyongyang says nuclear capabilities are its only deterrent against an outside world seeking to destroy it.
After North Korea’s latest and most powerful nuclear test earlier this month, the UN Security Council approved new sanctions on the country.
The US has expanded its travel ban to include people from North Korea, Venezuela and Chad.
According to the White House, the new restrictions follow a review of information sharing by foreign governments.
President Donald Trump issued a presidential proclamation on September 24.
He said in a post on Twitter: “Making America safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet.”
The restrictions on Venezuelans apply only to government officials and their family members.
The three new countries join five others from President Trump’s original travel ban: Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia. However, the new proclamation removed restrictions that were placed on Sudan.
President Trump’s original ban was highly controversial, as it affected six majority-Muslim countries, and was widely labeled a “Muslim ban”.
The travel ban was subject to a range of legal challenges and several large-scale protests, and is due to be considered by the US Supreme Court in October, having been partly reinstated in July.
The American Civil Liberties Union rights group said the addition of the new countries “doesn’t obfuscate the real fact that the administration’s order is still a Muslim ban”.
It is not yet clear how President Trump’s new proclamation, which changes several key elements, will affect that legal challenge.
The addition of North Korea and Venezuela now means not all nations on the list are majority-Muslim.
The criteria for the new ban list is now based on vetting procedures and co-operation, and the restrictions have now been “tailored” on a country-by-country basis. The White House said North Korea did not co-operate with the US government “in any respect” and failed all requirements – and so all travel to the US by its citizens has been banned. Chad, while an important counter-terrorism partner, did not share terrorism-related and other public information the US required – business and tourist visas for its nationals are suspended. Only “certain Venezuelan government officials and their immediate family members” have been banned – its government has recently been hit with economic sanctions by the US, who now say it does not co-operate “in verifying whether its citizens pose national security or public-safety threats” and does not receive deported nationals willingly.
Most of the restrictions come in the form of suspension of B-1 and B-2 business and tourist visas, and they do not appear to be time-limited in the way that President Trump’s former executive order was.
In a fact sheet accompanying President Trump’s proclamation, the White House said that while Iraq also falls short of the required criteria, the country was not included in the new restrictions “because of the close co-operative relationship between the United States” and their part in fighting so-called Islamic State.
The restrictions come into effect on October 18, but will not apply to those already in possession of a valid visa, the White House said.
The Pentagon has said that US bombers have flown close to North Korea’s east coast to demonstrate the military options available to defeat any threat.
It said the flight was the farthest north of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas that any US fighter jet or bomber had flown in the 21st Century.
Tensions have risen recently over North Korea’s nuclear program.
At the UN, North Korea’s foreign minister Ri Yong-ho said President Donald Trump was on a “suicide mission”.
Ri Yong-ho’s comments to the General Assembly mimicked President Trump’s remarks at the UN on September 20, when he called North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a “rocket man on a suicide mission”.
The North Korean foreign minister added that “insults” by President Trump – who was, he said, “mentally deranged and full of megalomania” – were an “irreversible mistake making it inevitable” that North Korean rockets would hit the US mainland.
President Trump, the foreign minister said, would “pay dearly” for his speech, in which he also said he would “totally destroy” North Korea if the US was forced to defend itself or its allies.
Donald Trump responded to the speech on Twitter by saying Ri Yong-ho and Kim Jong-un “won’t be around much longer” if they continue their rhetoric.
Shortly before his address, the Pentagon announced that the show of force underscored “the seriousness” with which the US took North Korea’s “reckless” behavior, calling the country’s weapons program a “grave threat”.
“This mission is a demonstration of US resolve and a clear message that the president has many military options to defeat any threat,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
“We are prepared to use the full range of military capabilities to defend the US homeland and our allies.”
US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers from Guam, escorted by Air Force F-15C Eagle fighters from Okinawa, Japan, flew in international airspace, the Pentagon added.
The flight follows a week of heated rhetoric between the leaders of both countries – after President Trump’s comments, Kim Jong-un called him “mentally deranged” and “a dotard”.
Ri Yong-ho did not comment on the Pentagon’s announcement.
North Korea has refused to stop its missile and nuclear tests, despite successive rounds of UN sanctions. The North Korean leaders say nuclear capabilities are its only deterrent against an outside world seeking to destroy it.
After North Korea’s latest and most powerful nuclear test earlier this month, the UN Security Council approved new sanctions on the country.
However, speaking at the UN, Ri Yong-ho repeated that the restrictions would not make the country stop its nuclear development.
Meanwhile, a 3.4-magnitude tremor was detected near North Korea’s nuclear test site on September 23, but experts believe it was a natural earthquake.
The earthquake was recorded at a depth of 0km in North Hamgyong province, home to the Punggye-ri site, South Korea’s meteorological agency said.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) also said it occurred in the nuclear test area, but added that its seismologists assessed it as having a depth of 5km.
South Korea said no specific sound waves generated by artificial earthquakes were detected.
China’s Earthquake Administration said the quake was not a nuclear explosion and had the characteristics of a natural tremor. The agency had initially said it was a “suspected explosion”.
The launch followed a fresh round of UN sanctions and was unanimously condemned by the UN Security Council as “highly provocative”.
The foreign ministry statement, carried by North Korea’s official news agency KCNA, said: “The increased moves of the US and its vassal forces to impose sanctions and pressure on the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] will only increase our pace towards the ultimate completion of the state nuclear force.”
North Korea also said that the goal of the new UN sanctions, approved on September 11, was to “physically exterminate” the country’s people, system and government.
The sanctions are an attempt to starve North Korea of fuel and income for its weapons programs, and restrict oil imports and ban textile exports.
The fresh measures followed the sixth and most powerful nuclear test conducted by North Korea earlier this month.
However, some critics have raised questions over the effectiveness of the restrictions, as North Korea is still able to trade internationally.
North Korea’s commerce with China, its main ally, was partially responsible for an estimated economic growth of 3.9% in 2016, Bloomberg news agency reports.
The issue of North Korea’s weapons program is expected to dominate President Donald Trump’s address at the UN General Assembly and his meetings with the leaders of South Korea and Japan.
President Trump previously warned that “all options” were on the table and that North Korea would face “fire and fury” if it continued to threaten the US.
In a phone call on September 18, President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping committed to “maximizing pressure on North Korea through vigorous enforcement” of UN Security Council resolutions, the White House said.
Russia has also criticized what it describes as “aggressive rhetoric” from the US.
China and Russia only agreed to the new UN sanctions after they were softened by Washington.
As with the last test on 29 August, the missile flew over Japan’s northern Hokkaido island before splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. There were no immediate reports of damage to aircraft or ships.
Sirens sounded across the region and text message alerts were sent out warning people to take cover.
According to observers, it is likely to have been an intermediate range ballistic missile (IRBM) though Japanese officials believe there is still a possibility it was an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
What is so alarming about the new launch is that the US Pacific territory of Guam, which North Korea says it has plans to fire missiles towards, is 3,400km from Pyongyang, putting it within range of the latest missile.
Sanctions on North Korea were tightened this week in response to its sixth nuclear test on 3 September, which reportedly involved a miniaturized hydrogen bomb that could be loaded on to a long-range missile.
After the latest round of sanctions, it is not clear what other course of action is open to the UN Security Council.
Only on September 11, the UN Security Council voted to restrict oil imports and ban textile exports, in an attempt to starve North Korea of fuel and income for its weapons programs.