• News Update 10/21/2021
▶ STRONG WINDS POTENTIALLY DELAY NURI LAUNCH


Today's planned launch of South Korea's first homegrown rocket is set to be delayed.

According to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute, lift off, which was scheduled for 4 p.m. this afternoon, could be pushed back by two hours due to weather conditions.

The Korea Meteorological Administration says strong winds are forecast to hit Goheung where the Naro Space Center is located.

But if the launch goes as planned, it will be deemed successful if the rocket puts its 1.5 ton dummy cargo into orbit, with an altitude of 700 kilometers.

And this will be determined within 16 minutes.

South Korea aims to become the world's seventh country to launch a rocket that has the independent capability of placing an over 1-ton satellite into orbit, following in the footsteps of Russia, the U.S., France, China, Japan and India.

▶ US CONDEMNS N. KOREA MISSILE TEST, URGES DIALOGUE

The United States says its time to engage in a sustained dialogue with North Korea in order to achieve the total denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Washington was willing to meet North Korean officials without preconditions.

She also condemned Pyongyang's latest missile test as the security council met to discuss the issue.

The BBC's David Willis has more details.

[Reporter]
North Korea has launched a series of missiles in recent weeks.

And the reported test of a missile fired from a submarine is seen as a further sign of its desire to acquire the sort of sea-based nuclear capability that could pose a considerable threat to U.S. allies in the region.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un met three times with U.S. President Donald Trump, but those talks failed to yield an end to Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

▶ EU MEMBERS CALL FOR END TO DESTABILIZING ACTS

In a separate statement before the emergency meeting, the European Union on the council -- Ireland, France and Estonia -- said Monday's reported test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile "underlines the continued enhancement" of the North's nuclear and ballistic program.

The EU members also urged North Korea to respond positively to the repeated offers by South Korea and the U.S. for dialogue saying "there is no other way to achieve peace, security and stability on the Korean Peninsula."

▶ KDCA: NEW CORONAVIRUS CASES DROP BELOW 1,500

Local health authorities have reported a decline in new COVID-19 cases, continuing a downward trend since the fourth wave of the pandemic peaked in late September.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said 1,441 new cases were confirmed in the last 24 hours.

Thursday's tally was down 130 from the previous day.

Officials attributed the decline in new infections to the accelerating rate of COVID-19 vaccinations.

More than 67 percent of South Korea's 52 million population has been fully vaccinated.

The country is expected to hit the target of 70 percent fully vaccinated by the end of this month.

▶ S. KOREA ENFORCES TOUGHER ANTI-STALKING LAW

An anti-stalking law has taken effect, enabling the punishment of perpetrators with up to three years in prison.

It is the first South Korean law that has been enacted specifically targeting stalking.

Previously, the act was classified in the Criminal Code as a misdemeanor subject to less than 100,000 won in fines.







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