05242016Tue
Last update: Tue, 24 May 2016 02pm

South East Asia

World - South East Asia

North Korea's Kim hails 'successful' submarine missile test SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un hailed a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) test as an "eye-opening success", state media said Sunday, declaring Pyongyang has the ability to strike Seoul and the US whenever it pleases.Saturday's launch came amid growing concern that Pyongyang is preparing a fifth nuclear test.But it was followed just hours later by a North Korean offer to impose a unilateral moratorium on nuclear testing if the United States suspends annual military drills with South Korea.The US and Britain denounced the SLBM test as a violation of UN Security Council resolutions and called on the North to refrain from further moves that could destabilise the region.The North's state-run KCNA news agency said the test, personally monitored by Kim, confirmed the reliability of the country's underwater launching system.It also cited the young leader as saying Pyongyang was now capable of "hitting the heads of the South Korean puppet forces ...

World - South East Asia

China targets 2020 Mars mission launch BEIJING: China plans to send a rover to Mars to explore the Red Planet, a top space official announced on Friday, in the latest step of its ambitious space programme.Authorities approved the mission in January, said National Space Administration director Xu Dazhe told a press conference in Beijing, according to a transcript.The aim was to launch around 2020, he said, calling the timing "a challenge" that would be "a giant leap" for the country's space ...

World - South East Asia

Austria presidential vote set to punish ruling parties VIENNA: Austria's presidential ballot on Sunday is expected to highlight the decline in the country's two traditional parties, which for the first time since 1945 look unlikely to produce a winning candidate.Although the role is mainly symbolic, the ballot is a key indicator of the parties' standing ahead of the general election in 2018."Like elsewhere in Europe, we are witnessing the downfall of the traditional parties," political expert Peter Hajek told AFP."They have failed to ...

World - South East Asia

Chemical blast rocks eastern Chinese city SHANGHAI: A warehouse storing chemicals and fuel exploded and caught fire in the eastern Chinese city of Jingjiang on Friday, the local government and media reports said, but the blaze was under control with no casualties.The blast recalled huge explosions caused by improper storage of chemicals in the northern city of Tianjin last August, when at least 165 people were killed and fears were raised of toxic contamination.The latest accident was at the premises of ...

World - South East Asia

One killed, 8 injured as South Korea train derails SEOUL: A South Korean passenger train that took a curved section of track at three times the recommended speed derailed Friday, killing an engineer and injuring eight people, police and rail officials said.According to the national rail operator, KORAIL, the locomotive and four of the train's seven carriages jumped the tracks near Yulchon station, some 330 kilometres (200 miles) south of Seoul.The train was carrying 27 people, including two locomotive engineers, one of whom was ...

World - South East Asia

North Korea offers to send 'abducted' defectors' parents to South SEOUL: North Korea said Thursday it wanted to set up a meeting -- in Seoul if necessary -- between a dozen recent defectors and their parents to prove Pyongyang's claim that the former were abducted by South Korea.Twelve women working as staff in a North Korean restaurant in China arrived in the South, along with their manager, earlier this month.Seoul said they came voluntarily, while the North insists they were tricked into defecting by South ...

World - South East Asia

Australia PM sets up July 2 election SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Tuesday said he intends to call national elections after the budget is delivered next month, with July 2 his expected date.The country has repeatedly changed prime ministers since 2010, with Turnbull wresting power from his Liberal Party colleague Tony Abbott in September in a bid to revive flagging popularity.The conservative leader had last month threatened to hold early general elections unless the Senate agreed to pass deadlocked legislation ...