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North Korea Says It Successfully Tested Long-Range Missiles

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SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea says it successfully test fired what it described as newly developed long-range cruise missiles over the weekend, its first known testing activity in months, underscoring how it continues to expand its military capabilities amid a stalemate in nuclear negotiations with the United States.

The Korean Central News Agency said Monday the cruise missiles, which had been under development for two years, successfully hit targets 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) away during flight tests on Saturday and Sunday.

The North hailed its new missiles as a “strategic weapon of great significance” that meets leader Kim Jong Un’s call to strengthen the country’s military might, implying that they were being developed with an intent to arm them with nuclear warheads.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the military was analyzing the North Korean launches based on U.S. and South Korean intelligence.

Kim during a congress of the ruling Workers’ Party in January doubled down on his pledge to bolster his nuclear deterrent in the face of U.S. sanctions and pressure and issued a long wish list of new sophisticated assets, including longer-range intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear-powered submarines, spy satellites and tactical nuclear weapons. Kim also said then that his national defense scientists were developing “intermediate-range cruise missiles with the most powerful warheads in the world.”

North Korea’s weapons tests are meant to build a nuclear and missile program that can stand up to what it claims as U.S. and South Korean hostility, but they are also considered by outside analysts as ways to make its political demands clear to leaders in Washington and Seoul.

The North’s resumption of testing activity is likely an attempt at pressuring the Biden administration over the diplomatic freeze after Kim failed to leverage his arsenal for economic benefits during the the presidency of Donald Trump.

North Korea ended a yearlong pause in ballistic tests in March by firing two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, continuing a tradition of testing new U.S. administrations with weapons demonstrations aimed at measuring Washington’s response and wresting concessions.

But there hadn’t been any known test launches for months after that as Kim focused national efforts on fending off the coronavirus and salvaging his economy.

KCNA said the missiles tested over the weekend traveled for 126 minutes “along an oval and pattern-8 flight orbits” above North Korean land and waters before hitting their targets.

“The test launches showed that the technical indices such as the thrust power of the newly developed turbine-blast engine, the missiles’ navigation control and the end guided hit accuracy by the combined guided mode met the requirements of designs. In all, the efficiency and practicality of the weapon system operation was confirmed to be excellent,” it said.

It appeared that Kim wasn’t in attendance to observe the tests. KCNA said Kim’s top military official, Pak Jong Chon, observed the test-firings and called for the country’s defense scientists to go “all out to increase” the North’s military capabilities.

Kim’s powerful sister last month hinted that North Korea was ready to resume weapons testing while issuing a statement berating the United States and South Korea for continuing their joint military exercises, which she said was the “most vivid expression of U.S. hostile policy.”

She then said the North would boost its pre-emptive strike capabilities while another senior official threatened unspecified countermeasures that would leave the allies facing a “security crisis.”

The allies say the drills are defensive in nature, but they have canceled or downsized them in recent years to create space for diplomacy or in response to COVID-19.

Talks between the United States and North Korea have stalled since the collapse of a summit between Trump and Kim in 2019, when the Americans rejected the North’s demand for major sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities. Kim’s government has so far rejected the Biden administration’s overtures for dialogue, demanding that Washington abandon its “hostile” policies first.

The latest tests came after Kim threw an unusual parade in capital Pyongyang last week that was a marked departure from past militaristic displays, showcasing anti-virus workers in hazmat suits and civil defense organizations involved in industrial work and rebuilding communities destroyed by floods instead of missiles and other provocative weaponry.

Experts said that the parade was focused on domestic unity as Kim now faces perhaps his toughest test with North Korea wrestling with U.S.-led economic sanctions over its nuclear weapons, pandemic border closures that are causing further strain to its broken economy, and food shortages worsened by floods in recent summers.

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Court Jails Footballer, 1 Other Over Cybercrime

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Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin has sentenced one-year imprisonment on one of the players of Ibrafix Football Club, Ilorin, Bamidele Saoban, for offences bordering on love scam.

Bamidele, 25, was jailed alongside one Adaraloye Ezekiel for similar offence.

The duo were prosecuted on separate charges by the Ilorin zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The defendants pleaded guilty when the charges were read to them.

Following their pleas, counsel to the EFCC, Rashidat Alao, led witnesses in evidence to review the facts of the cases.

The witnesses narrated how actionable intelligence led to the arrest of Bamidele and Adaraloye, telling the court that the duo specialised in “Yahoo-Yahoo business”.

Alao urged the court to convict the defendants since there was no contrary evidence to disprove the prosecution’s claims against them.

Delivering his judgment, Justice Oyinloye said the court was convinced that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt .

The judge sentenced Bamidele to a term of one year imprisonment with option of fine of N150,000 and Adaraloye to six months Imprisonment with option of fine of N250,000.

Culled from the Leadership News Nigeria

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Wife of Abia Governor visits lady allegedly raped by Policemen, assures of justice

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The Wife of the Governor of Abia State, Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu has visited the student of Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, whose alleged rape by policemen attached to the Rapid Response Squad in Aba sparked off protests by students of the institution today and assured that her Foundation, Vicar Hope, will foot her medical bills as well as ensure justice is done in the matter.

Mrs Ikpeazu who had earlier called and spoken with the victim, was represented by Dr Suzzy Nwachukwu, a medical personnel attached to the Office of the Wife of the Governor, in the visit to the medical facility where the victim was receiving treatment in Aba, condemned the action of perpetrators of the heinous crime and vowed to ensure that the matter was not swept under the carpet.

Mrs Ikpeazu further directed that the lady be moved to another medical facility within the state for better care and warned those who are still allegedly threatening her to prepare for the full weight of the law.

Meanwhile the state government has called on the commissioner of police, Mrs Janet Agbede to expeditiously investigate allegations of harassment of students and other citizens by security agents in the state. This was disclosed to newsmen by the Commisisoner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, who informed that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has directed the police authorities to ensure full investigation and prosecution of officers who are engaged in harassing law abiding citizens to serve as deterrent to others.

According to him, Governor Ikpeazu is actively monitoring the situation with the alleged harassment and rape of Abiapoly students with a view to ensuring the protection of all law abiding citizens.

Culled from the Sun News Nigeria

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How MASSOB Leader, Uwazuruike Ejected Me From His House For Refusing To Date Him—Female Tenant Cries Out

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Okpala also claimed the MASSOB leader seized her belongings and kept them in one of his stores

A female tenant, Loveth Okpala has accused the leader of the Movement of the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Ralph Uwazuruike of ejecting her from his house after declining to meet him at an unusual place for an unknown reason.

Okpala also claimed the MASSOB leader seized her belongings and kept them in one of his stores after he had instructed his caretaker, identified as Mr Okey to lock her room.
Uwazuruike’s tenant explained that trouble started when she went out during the weekend and left her air conditioner on.

She said her landlord got to know about it, locked her room, and demanded a fine before he would open it. She said her landlord had agreed to open her room after she begged him but he later requested to see her for no reason again.

Ms Okpala, residing at Uwazuruike Close, Works Layout, Bala Suya, Owerri, Imo State, revealed this to SaharaReporters on Wednesday adding that the MASSOB leader also lied that she had not paid her rent.

“My name is Loveth Okpala. I’m a tenant in Mr Ralph Uwazuruike’s house. There was a clash between my landlord and me because I left my air conditioner on when I was not around. Nobody was around. He found out and I pleaded with him that it wasn’t intentional. I told him that I left my key with one of my friends. It was my friend that left my room without switching off the AC. She said when there was a blackout, she forgot to switch off the AC before she went out. So, I begged him.

“This whole issue happened on Sunday, so when I came back, I realised the AC cable had been cut and my room locked. So, I went to see the caretaker and begged him. The caretaker said I should go and beg my landlord, Mr Uwazuruike, not him. The caretaker, Mr Okey advised me to get my landlord’s number, call and beg him.

“Immediately, I called him and introduced myself that I was the girl whose AC was left on while away and that my room had been locked. He just hung up on me. The caretaker advised me again to send a message to him on WhatsApp, that he might be busy. I did and he replied that I was going to pay a fine.

“I begged him that I didn’t have money and that he should just forgive me. He blocked me for a while on WhatsApp. I had to go and sleep at my friend’s place around Port Harcourt Road that Sunday night. When I discovered he had unblocked me, I pleaded with him again. He replied that I should tell Mr Okey to open my room for me,” Ms Okpala said.

She thought the storm was over.

But Uwazuruike on Monday asked that they should meet but she ignored it. She disclosed that the MASSOB leader wanted to pick her up but she told him about the sit-at-home order of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the state (which has already been reviewed by IPOB).”

She continued, “He chatted me up again on Monday asking if he could invite me. I said but there was no movement because of the sit-at-home order. He said there was movement, that he could come and pick me up with his car. He said I should meet him at the Bala Suya area to pick me up. I said I couldn’t come there and asked if we could make it Tuesday.

“I got to my lodge on Tuesday and the caretaker said Mr. Uwazuruike had not ordered him to open my room. He called him in my presence and he said he should open the door for me. He chatted with me again to remind me of the meeting but because I was tired and not interested, I ignored him.

“I went downstairs after that and stayed with another friend and before I went upstairs again to my room, it had been locked with another key. I went straight to the caretaker and he said the landlord asked him to lock my room again because I had not paid my rent.

“I was shocked and told him that how would I be staying in their apartment without paying and they would not talk all this while. The rent had been paid eight months earlier. I even reminded him of how I paid and gave the receipt to him. When he started an argument. I told him I would go to the bank the next day to see what happened when he was saying he didn’t get my payment. I paid on the 22nd February, 2021.

“He didn’t allow me to sleep in my room that night again so I went to sleep downstairs with a friend. The next morning when I was preparing to go to the bank, Mr Okey came with another man and he asked me to follow him to my room upstairs. Getting there, he opened with their key and told me that Mr Uwazuruike said I should leave. He said he didn’t want to see me again and anybody that harboured me would be sent out, too.”

Ms Okpala who could not control her tears when speaking to SaharaReporters said she had not had access to her rented room and her belongings since then. She lamented that Uwazuruike threatened that she should accept whatever happened to her if she stepped into his compound again.

“I was asking questions. How? Where is it done? You are sending me out for what? You said I hadn’t paid, and I told you I would go to the bank, and next thing you’re asking me to move out. Is it all because he wanted me to go out with him and I refused? He collected my key from me, opened the door, and started moving my things out.

“Mr Okey said that Mr Uwazuruike ordered that even if I had paid my rent, he didn’t want to see me again in his house and that he would give me the balance of my rent. Everybody in the compound advised me to quickly get to the bank and get the statement which was proof of my payment and I quickly dashed out to do so.

“To make the matter worse, I received a call on the way from Mr Okey that Mr Uwazuruike said I should never step my foot in that house again. He said I will have myself to blame for anything that happens to me if I come into that house. My belongings are kept in a store in his house,” she said while sobbing.

Culled from the Sahara Reporters

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