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North Korea Tests Intercontinental Ballistic Missile

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On Thursday, North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The launch was the 12th missile launch the country has conducted so far this year.

The missile landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone, about 100 miles off its coast. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida condemned the launch, calling it “reckless” and “unacceptable.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, “Initial flight data suggested the missile had soared higher and longer than North Korea’s last intercontinental ballistic missile test in November 2017—a launch that demonstrated that Kim Jong Un’s regime, for the first time, had the capability to strike the U.S. mainland.”

“The missile was launched at 2:34 p.m. local time from the Sunan area, located on the outskirts of Pyongyang, hitting an altitude of more than 3,700 miles and traveling more than 680 miles,” the outlet added.

The Biden administration condemned the missile launch in a statement from White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

“The United States strongly condemns the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) for its test of a long-range ballistic missile… This launch is a brazen violation of multiple UN Security Council resolutions and needlessly raises tensions and risks destabilizing the security situation in the region. This action demonstrates that the DPRK continues to prioritize its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs over the well-being of its people,” the statement said.

“We urge all countries to hold the DPRK accountable for such violations and call on the DPRK to come to the table for serious negotiations,” the statement added. “The door has not closed on diplomacy, but Pyongyang must immediately cease its destabilizing actions. The United States will take all necessary measures to ensure the security of the American homeland and Republic of Korea and Japanese allies.”

The United States has not held formal negotiations since former President Trump’s administration, when North Korea temporarily ceased missile launches.

“The U.S. and North Korea haven’t held formal negotiations in more than two years. The Biden administration, which strongly condemned the latest launch, faces greater challenges today to punish the Kim regime. In 2017, China and Russia agreed to additional United Nations Security Council sanctions following North Korean ICBM and nuclear tests. Support from Beijing or Moscow looks far less certain now,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Before Thursday, North Korea hadn’t conducted a full-range ICBM launch or nuclear test in more than four years. Mr. Kim had issued a self-imposed moratorium on such major provocations as Pyongyang shifted to diplomacy. But two nuclear summits with then-President Donald Trump failed to deliver a denuclearization deal.”

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International

Biden Admin Announces Eased Restrictions On Cuba

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Joe Biden

On Monday, the Biden administration announced that it is easing restrictions on Cuba in order to help support the Cuban people.

“The Cuban people are confronting an unprecedented humanitarian crisis — and our policy will continue to focus on empowering the Cuban people to help them create a future free from repression and economic suffering,” the State Department said.

The Biden administration’s changes include reduced restrictions on travel, along with removing “the current limit on family remittances of $1,000 per quarter per sender-receiver pair and will authorize donative (i.e., non-family) remittances, which will support independent Cuban entrepreneurs.”

The move received backlash as many argued that reduced restrictions on Cuba will only benefit the Cuban dictatorship. According to Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the decision marks another policy failure by President Biden.

“Biden’s plan to prop up the Cuban dictatorship represents yet another failure when it comes to standing for freedom in our hemisphere,” DeSantis wrote on Twitter.

“Money from ‘tourism’ will go into the pockets of the Cuban regime – and will help fortify the government against those seeking freedom in Cuba,” he added.

The news comes a week after DeSantis announced that November 7 will now be Victims of Communism Day in Florida.

“Today, I established November 7th as Victims of Communism Day to honor those who have suffered under communism and remind people of the destruction communism has caused worldwide, including a death toll exceeding 100 million,” DeSantis wrote on Twitter. “In Florida, we will tell the truth about communism.”

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Report: Ukraine Sunk Russian Warship By Using US Intel

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Ukraine sunk the Russian warship Moskva last month using United States intelligence, according to a new report from NBC News.

“A guided missile cruiser carrying a crew of 510, the Moskva was the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet,” NBC News reported. “It sank on April 14 after being struck by two Ukrainian Neptune anti-ship missiles, U.S. officials said. Moscow said the vessel sank after a fire. The Moskva was the largest Russian warship sunk in combat since World War II. American officials said there were significant Russian casualties, but they don’t know how many.”

“The attack happened after Ukrainian forces asked the Americans about a ship sailing in the Black Sea south of Odesa, U.S. officials told NBC News,” the outlet added. “The U.S. identified it as the Moskva, officials said, and helped confirm its location, after which the Ukrainians targeted the ship.”

The news comes the day after a report from The New York Times revealed that the United States has provided Ukraine with intelligence on Russian military units that has enabled the country to kill multiple Russian generals.

“The targeting help is part of a classified effort by the Biden administration to provide real-time battlefield intelligence to Ukraine,” The New York Times reported. “That intelligence also includes anticipated Russian troop movements gleaned from recent American assessments of Moscow’s secret battle plan for the fighting in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, the officials said. Officials declined to specify how many generals had been killed as a result of U.S. assistance.”

“The United States has focused on providing the location and other details about the Russian military’s mobile headquarters, which relocate frequently,” the outlet added. “Ukrainian officials have combined that geographic information with their own intelligence — including intercepted communications that alert the Ukrainian military to the presence of senior Russian officers — to conduct artillery strikes and other attacks that have killed Russian officers.”

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