N.Korea Holds Live Artillery Drills, as Tensions Mount
North Korean state media says leader Kim Jong Un has overseen a live artillery drill near a sensitive sea border area, as Pyongyang continues to stir up tension on the Korean peninsula.
The Korean Central News Agency says Mr. Kim watched as the artillery units pounded what it called the "imaginary targets of the enemy" on two islands in the Yellow Sea. The Thursday report did not specify when the drill took place.
North Korea has threatened a nuclear war against the United States and made a series of threats against the South after the United Nations last week imposed sanctions for its latest nuclear test.
It is not believed to have the capacity to attack the U.S. with a nuclear weapon. But there is fear it may attack areas near the disputed border, which has been the site of several deadly clashes in recent years.
China Congratulates, Criticizes Vatican on New Pope
China sent a message of both congratulations and criticism to the Vatican on Thursday following the election of a new Roman Catholic pope.
The Chinese government does not have diplomatic relations with Vatican. The two sides have regularly clashed over authority of China's estimated eight to 12 million Catholics.
Foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said any improvement in relations depends on whether the Vatican cuts ties with Taiwan and stops what she called "interference" in China's affairs.
She also congratulated Pope Francis on his election, saying Beijing hopes he is able to take a "practical and flexible" attitude toward China.
Beijing does not allow the Vatican to appoint its own bishops, an issue that has angered the church. Chinese leaders regard Vatican policy as interference in the country's internal affairs.