1. N. KOREA SAYS KIM SUPERVISED WEAPONS TESTS
North Korea said leader Kim Jong Un supervised test-firings of an unspecified new weapons system, which extended a streak of launches that are seen as an attempt to build leverage ahead of negotiations with the United States while driving a wedge between Washington and Seoul.
The report by North Korean state media came hours after President Donald Trump said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has expressed desire to meet again to start nuclear negotiations after the end of ongoing joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises, and apologized for the flurry of recent short-range ballistic launches that rattled U.S. allies in the region.
Kim expressed “great satisfaction” over the launches, verifying that the new weapon system performs as designed. The official Rodong Sinmun newspaper published several photos that showed Kim watching from an observation post and what appeared to be a missile soaring from a mobile launcher.
North Korea’s fifth round of weapons launches in less than three weeks was seen as a protest of the slow pace of nuclear negotiations and continuance of the U.S.-South Korea military drills the North claims are an invasion rehearsal.
2. DEATH TOLL FROM TYPHOON IN EASTERN CHINA RISES TO 30
The death toll from a major typhoon in eastern China rose to 30 on Sunday, with 18 people missing, as the country braced for more travel disruptions as the storm moved further north up the coast.
State news agency Xinhua said the typhoon damaged more than 173,000 hectares of crops and 34,000 homes in Zhejiang, estimating the economic losses at 14.57 billion yuan.
In Zhejiang, many of the deaths occurred about 130 km north of the coastal city of Wenzhou, where a natural dam collapsed in an area deluged with 160 mm of rain within three hours, causing a landslide.
State media reports showed rescuers wading in waist-high waters to evacuate people from their homes, while the Ministry of Emergency Management said that more than one million people in the financial hub of Shanghai, as well as Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, have been evacuated due to the typhoon.
Typhoon Lekima made landfall early on Saturday in the eastern province of Zhejiang with winds gusting to 187 km per hour, causing travel chaos with thousands of flights canceled and rail operations suspended.
3. CAR BOMB KILLS 3 UN STAFF OUTSIDE MALL IN LIBYA
A bomb-laden vehicle exploded Saturday outside a shopping mall in Libya’s eastern city of Benghazi, killing at least three U.N. staff members.
A spokesman for the United Nations secretary-general said the attack came even as the country’s warring sides said they accepted a cease-fire proposed by the U.N. aimed at halting combat in the capital Tripoli during an upcoming Muslim holiday.
Health officials said the blast took place outside Arkan Mall in the Hawari neighborhood, where people were gathering for shopping a day before the Eid al-Adha holiday begins.
The Benghazi municipal council said the attack targeted a convoy for the U.N. Support Mission in Libya.
The site of the attack is close to offices of the mission in Libya. Two of the dead hailed from Libya and Fuji, and the blast wounded nine people.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, which came just a month after two bomb-laden vehicles went off in Benghazi, the stronghold for the self-styled LNA. The July attack killed at least four people and wounded 33 others.