A powerful typhoon early yesterday slammed into South Korea, killing at least one person and disrupting power to 57,000 households before turning toward North Korea, authorities said.
Typhoon Lingling struck Jeju Island and southern port cities overnight, knocking out power and damaging buildings as it moved north at 49kph, the South Korean Ministry of the Interior and Safety said in a statement.
A 75-year-old woman was killed after being blown over by strong winds in Boryeong, a city 140km southwest of Seoul, and at least two other people were injured, it said.
More than 230 flights were canceled and power outages were reported in tens of thousands of homes, authorities said, while public parks and zoos were closed for the weekend due to heavy rain and strong winds.
The storm, which was packing wind speeds of up to 125kph, was projected to pass by the capital, Seoul, and reach North Korea by about 6pm, a ministry official told reporters.
The eye of the typhoon was expected to pass over the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, according to a tracking map the Korea Meteorological Administration posted on its Web site.
Officials from the agency warned of the possibility of landslides and flooding, advising the public to stay indoors.
On Friday in Pyongyang, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presided over an emergency meeting to discuss “urgent emergency measures to cope with the typhoon,” state media reported yesterday.
Kim convened the meeting and said that “dangerous circumstances” caused by the typhoon were “imminent,” but that many in positions of authority were ill-prepared, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
Senior North Korean officials “remain unchanged in their attitude and helpless against the typhoon, unaware of its seriousness and seized with easygoing sentiment,” KCNA quoted Kim as saying, adding that he called for full emergency measures.
Efforts to minimize the damage from the typhoon in North Korea would be an “enormous struggle,” Kim was quoted as saying, adding that the nation’s military should “remain loyal to its sacred duty” of ensuring citizens’ safety.
KCNA said in a separate statement that government officials and the armed forces were preparing to “urgently dispatch forces to damaged areas by using various kinds of alarm and communications means, and secure relief goods and building equipment and materials and mobilize transport.”
The impoverished and isolated North is vulnerable to natural disasters, especially floods, due in part to deforestation and poor infrastructure.
At least 138 North Koreans were known to have died after torrential rain triggered major floods in 2016, the UN said at the time.
More than 160 people were killed by a massive rainstorm in the summer of 2012.
POINT-BLANK RANGE: Reporters and camera people from several outlets say police officers in Minneapolis had fired tear gas and rubber bullets directly at them Multiple journalists on the ground in Minnesota said they were teargassed and subject to other attacks by police on Saturday evening, a day after the widely condemned arrest of a CNN reporter live on air. Los Angeles Times journalist Molly Hennessy-Fiske, who was reporting outside the Fifth Precinct in Minneapolis, said she was with a group of about a dozen journalists when the Minnesota State Patrol “fired tear gas canisters on us at point blank range.” “I was saying: ‘Where do we go?’ They did not tell us where to go. They didn’t direct us. They just fired on us,” she said
For nearly a decade, the UN Security Council has been frequently paralyzed by Russia’s obstinacy over the Syrian crisis. Today, however, it is the US-China rivalry that has infected a growing array of issues, according to officials and diplomats. As recently as 2017, an understanding between Washington and Beijing allowed the UN on three occasions — involving separate sets of economic sanctions — to project international unity in the face of the North Korean nuclear threat. Three years later, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a ferocious competition erupt between the UN’s two main contributors, prompting UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on May
HISTORIC FLIGHT: The astronauts named their capsule ‘Endeavour,’ after the space shuttle on which they both flew, while Elon Musk said he was overcome with emotion Two veteran NASA astronauts headed for the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday after Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Saturday became the first commercial company to launch a rocket carrying humans into orbit, ushering in a new era in space travel. SpaceX’s two-stage Falcon 9 rocket with astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley aboard blasted off flawlessly in a cloud of bright orange flames and smoke from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, for a 19-hour voyage to the space station. “Let’s light this candle,” Hurley, the mission commander, told SpaceX mission control in Hawthorne, California, before liftoff at 3:22pm from NASA’s
INDIA Pride to be preserved The nation would not let its “pride be hurt” in its latest border flare-ups with China, but is determined to settle the dispute through talks, Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh said in a television interview late on Saturday. “Situations arise with China. It has happened before,” Singh said, adding that the government was striving to make sure “tension does not escalate.” The government has turned down US President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate, he said. IRAN Speaker says talks futile Newly elected Parliament Speaker Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf yesterday said that any negotiations with the US would be “futile.” The nation’s