International

Kim visits factory that produced

tires for missile truck

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un thanked workers during a visit to a factory that built the tires for a huge vehicle used to transport a new intercontinental ballistic missile that was test-launched this week, the country’s media reported Sunday.

The launch of the Hwasong-15 ICBM in violation of international sanctions was celebrated Friday with a massive public rally and fireworks in capital Pyongyang.

At the tire factory, Kim complimented workers for manufacturing the large-size tires for the 9-axle missile truck without relying on imported equipment and called for efforts to raise production to “satisfy the daily-increasing needs in developing the country’s economy and beefing up national defense capabilities,” the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said Saturday.

Kim in September tasked the Amnokgang Tire Factory to make the tires for the “great event in November,” the agency reported.

South Korea’s military believes that the latest missile, which flew 950 kilometers (600 miles) before splashing down in waters near Japan, is potentially capable of striking targets as far as 13,000 kilometers (8,100 miles), which would put Washington within reach.

‘Blurry image’ was fishing vessel,

not missing Argentine sub

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) — The blurry sonar image of an object deep in the South Atlantic was a sunken fishing vessel not an Argentine submarine that went missing on Nov. 15 with 44 crew members, the country’s navy said Saturday, ending hopes that the sub had been located.

Rescuers had sent an unmanned Russian submersible to review the 60-meter-long object located at 477 meters (1,565 feet) below sea level.

The missing submarine, the ARA San Juan, was roughly that length — 66 meters — and officials said the image was “unclear.” They sent the submersible to “visually verify” if it was indeed the San Juan.

“It was confirmed that it wasn’t the submarine’s shell” but a sunken fishing vessel, Argentine navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said later Saturday.

The navy “regrets that without a rigorous analysis expectations were generated in the families and society, which must now face another frustration,” Balbi said.

Before Balbi’s announcement, authorities had said that if the image did not reveal any new clues, the search would focus on other signals of interest detected in parts of the South Atlantic where the vessel was last heard from.

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