North Korea: North Korean fired another short range missile today from western North Korea into the Sea of Japan. A South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman said it was the first time that Pyongyang fired a missile from Chagang province, which borders China. The launch location is 60 kilometers away from the Chinese border.
The spokesman said North Korea has an underground launch facility in the location.
Comment: South Korea press reported that Monday's launch was 18th time that the North has launched missiles or rockets this year. South Korea has counted a total of 108 projectiles fired in the 18 episodes.
North Korea's inventory of missiles and rockets is large, but its firing of 108 missiles in eight months is highly unusual.
India-Japan: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed Monday to elevate bilateral relations to what they call a "Special Strategic and Global Partnership." Japan promised to extend 3.5 trillion yen (over $33.5 billion) in public and private investment and financing to India over five years for development.
"With Prime Minister Modi's visit to Japan, we are determined to cooperate and further strengthen the 'Strategic and Global Partnership' between Japan and India," Abe said at a joint news conference with Modi. Abe and Modi directed their officials to "further accelerate" negotiations for a civil nuclear pact, which would allow Japan to export nuclear-related technology to India, "with a view to concluding the agreement at an early date."
The two leaders decided to "seek ways to intensify" a security consultative framework, currently involving the countries' vice foreign and defense ministers, to a ministerial level, the declaration said.
In economic cooperation, Abe expressed his intention to grow Japanese investment and financing. He promised a 50 billion yen (over $482 million) loan for a public-private partnership infrastructure project and to double Japanese investment in India within five years, according to the joint statement after their summit in Tokyo.
Prime Minister Abe also expressed Japan's readiness to provide financial, technical and operational support to introduce the Shinkansen system to India. (Note: The Modi government plans to build a high-speed rail network between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in western India.)
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