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Iranian state television says says that Tehran has launched a solid-fueled rocket into space, drawing a rebuke from Washington ahead of the expected resumption of stalled talks over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers. It’s unclear when exactly the rocket was launched, but the announcement came after satellite photos showed preparations at a desert launch pad and Iran acknowledged it planned tests for the satellite-carrying Zuljanah rocket. State-run media claimed that the rocket launch was successful. The news comes after the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, traveled to Tehran in a push to resuscitate stalemated negotiations.
North Korea’s possible decision to deploy tactical nuclear weapons along its border with South Korea that could reach Seoul and U.S. forces stationed in the country in minutes could be a game changer in the standoff between Kim Jong Un and the United States. North Korea already has thousands of conventional weapons aimed at South Korea, but moving short-range nuclear-armed missiles to the border would be the clearest sign yet that Kim is looking to use his nuclear weapons to both threaten South Korea and wrest concessions from outside nuclear negotiators.
Nuclear Russia's pillaging of non-nuclear Ukraine is rattling what's already a destabilizing moment in nuclear nonproliferation efforts. Security experts say the result of Ukraine’s fight against Russia will influence how other countries with nuclear rivals think about their defense. Another factor is how well the U.S. convinces non-nuclear allies they are safe under the existing U.S. umbrella of nuclear and conventional weapons. Some former leaders in Asia have cited the Ukraine conflict as evidence it's time for nations there to think about getting nukes of their own. Current regional leaders have been quick to denounce the idea.
The U.S. and South Korea have launched eight ballistic missiles into the sea in a show of force matching a North Korean display a day earlier that extended a provocative streak in weapons demonstrations. South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday's drill was aimed at demonstrating an ability to respond swiftly and accurately to North Korean attacks. Its launches of eight missiles on Sunday appeared to be a single-day record for North Korea and was its 18th round of missile tests this year. Experts say the weapons displays are a brinksmanship ploy to bring the United States back to their stalled diplomacy from a position of strength and to cement North Korea's status as a nuclear power.