News Daily: South Korea missile drill and interest rates

Hello. Here's your morning briefing:

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images

North Korea missile test: South simulates attack on neighbour

South Korea has responded to North Korea's latest nuclear test by carrying out a drill simulating an attack on its neighbour. Ballistic missiles were launched from planes and the ground. Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council is meeting later to discuss its response to North Korea's latest move.

The US isn't holding back in its rhetoric, either, with Defence Secretary James Mattis warning of a "massive military response" if Pyongyang attacks its territories.

North Korea, which has consistently defied UN sanctions to develop nuclear weapons, said on Sunday that it had tested a hydrogen bomb small enough to fit into a long-range missile.

Analysis: How should Trump handle North Korea?

Dr John Nilsson-Wright, Cambridge University

President Trump's bellicose sabre-rattling may be a negotiating ploy, intended to alarm Pyongyang sufficiently to deter it from further provocations, or to encourage an increasingly irritated Chinese leadership to impose decisive and punitive economic pressure on the North, most immediately through a suspension of critical crude oil supplies. Yet if this is the intention, it does not appear to be working.

Read the full article

Get our morning briefing in your inbox each weekday

Interest rates 'won't go up before 2019'

The Bank of England's base rate has been 0.25% since August last year and before that it was 0.5% for more than seven years. Last week, one of the Bank's monetary policy committee members suggested the rate might start rising in the near future to curb inflation. But a snapshot survey by the BBC suggests most economists don't expect this to happen until 2019 at the earliest, while Brexit negotiations continue.

Coastal communities 'among worst off'

Ten of England and Wales's worst 20 council areas - in terms of residents' health - are in coastal towns, a report for the BBC has found. The work, by the Social Market Foundation, also suggests the economic gap between these and other parts of the country has widened, with "pockets of deprivation" forming. The communities minister Jake Berry has announced £40m in funding for projects in coastal areas.

Camera sees through human body

Until now, medics have had to use X-rays and other expensive scans to track medical tools as they work their way through people's bodies. But scientists at Edinburgh University and Heriot-Watt University have developed a camera that can see all the way through a human being. One researcher said this had "immense potential" to help patients and develop "minimally invasive approaches to treating disease".

What the papers say

The escalating situation over North Korea's missile programme is the lead story in several newspapers. The Financial Times reports that US President Donald Trump is leaving open the option of military action against its rival, while the Times concentrates on the words of US Defence Secretary James Mattis, who says his country has "many military options" if attacked. The Daily Telegraph carries a stark headline: "US warns it is ready to annihilate N Korea." Meanwhile, the Daily Mail says households who overfill their bins face fines of up to £2,500. And the Sun focuses on reports that footballer Wayne Rooney fears his marriage is over.

Daily digest

Drag-racing accident Twelve hurt as car sprays burning fuel over spectators in Australia

Prison disorder Trouble flares again at HMP Birmingham

Fast feud McDonald's restaurants face first UK strikes

Bridge's royal approval Queen to open £1.35bn Queensferry Crossing over the Forth

If you watch one thing today

'I'm 27 and preparing for Alzheimer's'

If you listen to one thing today

Machiavelli: Master of Power

If you read one thing today

The murky world of Facebook raffles

Today's lookahead

18:30 Candidates to replace Paul Nuttall as UKIP's leader take part in hustings in London.

19:45 World Cup qualifying games are played, with England hosting Slovakia, Northern Ireland hosting the Czech Republic and Scotland hosting Malta.

On this day

1957 The Wolfenden report, sponsored by the UK government, suggests homosexual behaviour between consenting male adults should no longer be a criminal offence.

From elsewhere

A tour of Houston's largest emergency shelter (New Yorker)

Newcastle remembers Martin Luther King's visit (Guardian)

Fear and seething on the underground (London Evening Standard)

The world's 20 happiest countries (Daily Telegraph)

Related Topics