38 Bangla Post 17 March - 23 March, 2017
North Korea warNs of ‘merciless striKes’ North Korea warned the United States on Tuesday of "merciless" attacks if an aircraft carrier strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson, which is joining South Korean forces for exercises, infringes on its sovereignty or dignity. North Korea, which has alarmed its neighbours with two nuclear tests and a string of missile launches since last year, said the arrival of the US strike group was part of a "reckless scheme" to attack it. "If they infringe on the DPRK's sovereignty and dignity even a bit, its army will launch merciless ultra-precision strikes from ground, air, sea and underwater," the North's state news agency KCNA said. North Korea's oﬃcial name is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. "On March 11 alone, many enemy carrier-based aircraft ﬂew along a course near territorial air and waters of the DPRK to stage drills of dropping bombs and making surprise attacks on the ground targets of its army," KCNA said. A US Navy spokesman said the Carl Vinson was on a regular, scheduled deployment to the region during which it would take part in exercises with the forces of ally South Korea. Last week, North Korea ﬁred four ballistic missiles into the sea oﬀ Japan in response to annual US-South Korea military drills, which the North sees as preparation for war. The murder in Malaysia last month of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's estranged halfbrother has added to a sense of urgency to eﬀorts to handle North Korea. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is due to make his ﬁrst visit to South Korea on Friday. Last week, the US ambassador to the United Nations said President Donald Trump's administration was re-evaluating its North Korea strategy and "all options are on the table". Chinese opposition Compounding regional tension, China is vehemently opposed to the deployment in South Korea of an advanced US anti-missile system. The United States and South
Korea say the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense antimissile system is for defense against North Korea, but China fears its powerful radar can probe deep into its territory and compromise its security. The United States began to deploy the system a week ago, a day after North Korea launched its latest four missile tests. South Korean and US troops began the large-scale joint
drills, which are billed as defensive in nature, on Mar 1. The exercise last year involved about 17,000 American troops and more than 300,000 South Koreans. South Korea has said this year's exercise would be of a similar scale. The United States has also started to deploy "Gray Eagle" attack drones to South Korea, a US military spokesman said on Monday. China says the exercises do
nothing to ease tension. Last week, it called on North Korea to stop its weapons tests and for South Korea and the United States to stop their drills. A state-run Chinese newspaper said the USS Carl Vinson was taking part in a simulation of a preemptive strike against North Korea's nuclear and missile facilities. The drills sent the North "an explicit radical threat", to
which it could not be expected to remain indiﬀerent, the inﬂuential Global Times said. North and South Korea were "equally hysterical", it said. "The US and South Korea often accuse China of being uncooperative, but the reality is they are uncooperative over China's mediation," it said, referring to complaints that China does not do enough to rein in old ally North Korea.
EU court allows headscarf ban Employers may bar staff from wearing visible religious symbols, the European Union's top court ruled on Tuesday in its first decision on the issue of women wearing Islamic headscarves at work. On the eve of a Dutch election in which Muslim immigration has been a key issue and a bellwether for attitudes to migration and refugee policies across Europe, the Court of Justice (ECJ) gave a
joined judgment in the cases of two women, in France and Belgium, who were dismissed for refusing to remove headscarves. "An internal rule of an undertaking which prohibits the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign does not constitute direct discrimination," the Court said in a statement. "However, in the absence of such a rule, the willing-
ness of an employer to take account of the wishes of a customer no longer to have the employer's services provided by a worker
wearing an Islamic headscarf cannot be considered an occupational requirement that could rule out discrimination."
CIA can now launch drone strikes President Donald Trump has given the Central Intelligence Agency new authority to conduct drone attacks against suspected militants, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing US officials. The move would be a change from the policy of former President Barack Obama's administration of limiting the CIA's paramilitary role, the newspaper reported. The White House, the US Department of Defense and the CIA did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Obama had sought to influence global guidelines for the use of drone strikes as other nations began pursuing their own drone programs. The United States was the first to use unmanned aircraft fitted with missiles to kill militant suspects in the years after the Sep 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington. Strikes by missile-armed Predator and Reaper drones against oversea
targets began under former President George W Bush and were expanded by Obama. Critics of the targeted killing program question whether the strikes create more militants than they kill. They cite the spread of jihadist organisations and militant attacks throughout the world as evidence that targeted killings may be exacerbating the problem. In July, the US government accepted responsibility for inadvertently killing up to 116 civilians in strikes in countries where America is not at war.