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North Korea tests another nuclear-capable underwater attack drone



North Korea has conducted another test of a nuclear-capable underwater attack drone, according to state media.

The country tested the so-called Haeil-2 more than a week after it disclosed a new underwater drone system dubbed Haeil-1, which translates to “tsunami” in Korean, and is designed to undertake sneak attacks in enemy waters.

Analysts are sceptical about whether the underwater vehicle is ready for deployment but say North Korea is eager to display its diverse weaponry against the United States and South Korea, which have been conducting large-scale military exercises in recent weeks.

The latest test took place from April 4 to April 7, state media KCNA reported on Saturday.

“The underwater nuclear attack drone Haeil-2 … cruised 1,000km [621 miles] of simulated underwater distance,” the agency said, adding that the test warhead was also detonated. 

“The test perfectly proved the reliability of the underwater strategic weapon system and its fatal attack ability,” the report said.

North Korea carried out a record number of weapons tests in 2022 and has maintained its military momentum this year, claiming it needs to bolster its defences because the US-South Korean drills, which this week included at least one US nuclear-capable B-52 strategic bomber, are rehearsals for invasion.

On March 23, North Korea claimed it tested an underwater nuclear attack drone able to unleash a “radioactive tsunami“. On that occasion, state media said the drone cruised underwater for 59 hours and 12 minutes before detonation.

Satellite imagery has also indicated a high level of activity at North Korea’s main nuclear complex after leader Kim Jong Un ordered the production of weapons-grade nuclear material be ramped up.

Last year, North Korea declared itself an “irreversible” nuclear power, while Kim has told the North Korean military to intensify drills in preparation for a “real war“.

Denuclearisation talks have been stalled since the second high-profile summit between Kim and then-US President Donald Trump collapsed in 2019.

Pyongyang is banned from testing ballistic missiles under United Nations resolutions and is also subject to international sanctions over its weapons programmes.

(Al Jazeera)


19 killed in southwest China landslide




A landslide at a mine in Leshan, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, killed 19 people early on Sunday morning, foreign media reported.

Rocks and mud from the landslide buried living quarters and production facilities belonging to local mining company Jinkaiyuan Mining Co.Ltd.

More than 180 rescue workers, who were sent to the site immediately following the landslide, have completed search and rescue operations. 

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Joe Biden ‘fine’ after fall on stage in Colorado




President Joe Biden is “fine” after tripping and falling over at an event in Colorado, White House officials say.

He stumbled on a sandbag while handing out diplomas at a graduation ceremony for the US Air Force Academy.

Mr Biden, who is the nation’s oldest serving president at 80, was helped back onto his feet and appeared to be unhurt after Thursday’s fall.

“I got sandbagged!” the president joked to reporters as he arrived back at the White House that evening.

He had been standing for about an hour and a half to shake hands with each of the 921 graduating cadets.

Footage shows Mr Biden appearing to point at one of two sandbags used to prop up his teleprompter as he was helped up by an Air Force official and two members of his Secret Service detail.

He was seen walking back to his seat unassisted and later jogging back to his motorcade when the ceremony ended.

“There was a sandbag on stage while he was shaking hands,” White House communications director Ben LaBolt wrote on Twitter. “He’s fine.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Mr Biden had boarded the plane flashing “a big smile”, although one reporter noted that he did not take questions before the flight.

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Elon Musk becomes the world’s richest man again




Elon Musk has reclaimed his position as the world’s wealthiest person.

That’s according to a Bloomberg Billionaires tally, which estimated the Tesla (TSLA) CEO’s net worth is now about $192 billion, compared to LVMH (LVMHF) CEO Bernard Arnault’s $187 billion.

The two centibillionaires, a term used to refer to people with fortunes of more than $100 billion, have been neck-and-neck for the top spot for months.

This week, Arnault’s wealth slid after a drop in LVMH’s stock Wednesday, according to Bloomberg calculations.

Arnault surpassed Musk in December, as his wealth climbed due to a boom in luxury goods sales that helped drive up LVMH’s stock price. LVMH, one of the world’s biggest conglomerates, is home to brands including Louis Vuitton, Dior and Celine.

Musk, meanwhile, has enjoyed a meteoric rise up the world’s rich lists in recent years as his fortunes are directly linked to those of Tesla, the electric automaker. His biggest asset is the company’s stock, of which he owns about 13%, according to Bloomberg.

Outside of Tesla, Musk is also CEO of SpaceX, the space exploration firm, and the owner of social network Twitter (TWTR).

LVMH’s shares are up 19.7% this year, while Tesla’s have risen 65.6% in the year to date.


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