Japan: PM NKorea May Be Capable of Sarin-Loaded Missiles

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Tension has risen since the US Navy fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airfield last week in response to a deadly gas attack, raising concerns about US President Donald Trump's plans for North Korea, which has conducted missile and nuclear tests in defiance of United Nations and unilateral sanctions.

"There is a possibility that North Korea already has a capability to put sarin on warheads to strike the ground", he said. The North Korean government condemned the US for sending "huge nuclear strategic assets" to the peninsula.

The dollar nursed losses on Friday, on track for a losing week as continuing tensions in North Korea underpinned the perceived safe-haven Japanese currency. Sarin is a deadly nerve agent that was recently used in the 2017 Syrian gas attack.

While Mr Abe raised concerns over Pyongyang's chemical weapon capabilities, analysts say fresh activity has been monitored at North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test site in recent days.

In a special report to parliament's foreign affairs committee, South Korea's top diplomat Yun Byung-se said new sanctions against the North may include measures which have been held in reserve or ones that until now couldn't win support from China.

Afghanistan: US Bomb Killed 36 IS Militants
USA officials say intelligence suggests Islamic State is based overwhelmingly in Nangarhar and neighboring Kunar province. ISIS-K refers to ISIS-Khorasan, an ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan that mainly operates in the eastern part of the country.

Japan has taken a few steps this week to reassure the public about its effort to protect the public.

The Foreign Ministry updated Tuesday its travel advisory for South Korea, calling on people visiting or living in the country to pay attention to information about the situation in North Korea.

Japan's chief secretary to the cabinet Yoshihide Suga told a news conference it was always collecting and analysing information about North Korea's moves but would not discuss details. But recently, Abe's ruling party has proposed that Japan should bolster its missile defense, including upgrading the capability to shoot down an enemy missile and acquiring the capacity to attack the base it was sacked from.

On Wednesday, Abe said that should "various unforeseen circumstances" arise, Japan would ask the U.S.to help rescue Japanese whom North Korea abducted in decades past.

The Saturday anniversary may provide the world with a look at some of that arsenal.