North Korea Fires Short-range Ballistic Missile

This photo provided by the North Korean government shows what it says is an artillery drill at an undisclosed location in North Korea, Thursday, March 9, 2023. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP) (Uncredited/KCNA via KNS)
This photo provided by the North Korean government shows what it says is an artillery drill at an undisclosed location in North Korea, Thursday, March 9, 2023. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP) (Uncredited/KCNA via KNS)
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North Korea Fires Short-range Ballistic Missile

This photo provided by the North Korean government shows what it says is an artillery drill at an undisclosed location in North Korea, Thursday, March 9, 2023. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP) (Uncredited/KCNA via KNS)
This photo provided by the North Korean government shows what it says is an artillery drill at an undisclosed location in North Korea, Thursday, March 9, 2023. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP) (Uncredited/KCNA via KNS)

North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile towards the sea off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula on Sunday, according to South Korea and Japan, the latest in a barrage of weapons tests from the nuclear-armed state.

The missile, launched from the Dongchang-ri site on the west coast around 11:05 a.m. (0205 GMT), flew some 800 km (500 miles) before hitting a target, according to a South Korean military statement. Japan's Defense Ministry said the missile flew as high as 50 km (30 miles).

Seoul has condemned the recent ballistic missile launches by the North as a "clear violation" of a UN Security Council resolution.

Soon after the launch, South Korea's Ministry of National Defense said the US deployed a B-1B strategic bomber to a joint air drill, which Seoul and Washington say they are holding to strengthen extended deterrence.

The launches have also prompted criticism from Tokyo and Washington.

"North Korea's behavior threatens international peace and security, and is unacceptable," Japan's state minister of defense, Toshiro Ino, told a news conference, adding Japan had protested strongly via North Korea's embassy in Beijing.

The US Indo-Pacific Command said Sunday's launch does not pose an immediate threat to US personnel or its allies. But the recent missile launches highlight the destabilizing impact of Pyongyang's unlawful weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs, Reuters quoted it as saying in a statement.

The North on Thursday fired a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) into the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan, hours before South Korea's president flew to Tokyo for a summit that discussed ways to counter the North.

Pyongyang said Thursday's ICBM launch was a warning against the US-South Korea military drills, state media KCNA reported.

South Korean and American forces kicked off the 11-day drills, dubbed "Freedom Shield 23", a week ago on a scale not seen since 2017.



Iran Top Court Overturns Rapper Toomaj Salehi’s Death Sentence, Lawyer Says

People hold placards bearing portraits of Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi, who is arrested in Iran, and portraits of children (L), who were killed during the protests in Iran, during a rally in support of Iranian women in Istanbul, on November 26, 2022. (AFP)
People hold placards bearing portraits of Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi, who is arrested in Iran, and portraits of children (L), who were killed during the protests in Iran, during a rally in support of Iranian women in Istanbul, on November 26, 2022. (AFP)
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Iran Top Court Overturns Rapper Toomaj Salehi’s Death Sentence, Lawyer Says

People hold placards bearing portraits of Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi, who is arrested in Iran, and portraits of children (L), who were killed during the protests in Iran, during a rally in support of Iranian women in Istanbul, on November 26, 2022. (AFP)
People hold placards bearing portraits of Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi, who is arrested in Iran, and portraits of children (L), who were killed during the protests in Iran, during a rally in support of Iranian women in Istanbul, on November 26, 2022. (AFP)

Iran's supreme court has overturned Iranian rapper Toomaj Salehi's death sentence on charges linked to the country's 2022-23 period of unrest, his lawyer wrote in a post on the X social media platform on Saturday.

"The death sentence of #Toomaj_Salehi was overturned and based on the appeal decision ...of the Supreme Court, the case will be referred to (another) branch for consideration," attorney Amir Raisian wrote on X.

There was no immediate official confirmation of the ruling.

Salehi's songs supported protests sparked by the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, a young Kurdish Iranian woman arrested for allegedly wearing an "improper" hijab.