While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 8

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un looks on during the test-fire of an inter-continental ballistic missile in a photo released by North Korea's state news agency ion July, 4 2017.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un looks on during the test-fire of an inter-continental ballistic missile in a photo released by North Korea's state news agency ion July, 4 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

North Korea rails against new sanctions, says US is 'frantic' about missile tests

Stung by onerous new sanctions from the United Nations Security Council, North Korea on Monday (Aug 7) threatened retaliation "thousands of times" and hinted at a possible attack on the United States.

In its first major response to the sanctions drafted by the United States and adopted  on Saturday, North Korea said it would never relinquish its missile and nuclear arsenals and called the penalties a panicky US-led response to its growing military might.

The North Korean response, in statements from its official news agency, foreign minister and UN mission, suggested that the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, was doubling down on his goal of developing a nuclear-armed missile that could hit the continental United States.


United States can talk to North Korea if it halts tests, says US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

 US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a door open for dialogue with North Korea on Monday (Aug 7), saying Washington was willing to talk to Pyongyang if it ended a series of recent missile test launches.

Tillerson's comments, made at a regional security forum in Manila, were the latest US attempt to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear and missile program after months of tough talk from US President Donald Trump.

The United Nations Security Council on Saturday (Aug 5) imposed its toughest round of sanctions yet against Pyongyang over its two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July.


Minnesota governor calls mosque attack a 'criminal act of terrorism'

The governor of Minnesota denounced an attack on a mosque the previous day as a "terrible, dastardly, cowardly" act of terrorism.

"It's an act of terrorism, a criminal act of terrorism," the governor, Mark Dayton, said Sunday (Aug 6) during a visit to the mosque, Dar Al-Farooq, in Bloomington. "I hope and pray that the perpetrator will be caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law."

The explosion, which the FBI said was caused by an improvised explosive device, rocked the mosque early Saturday just as congregants began to gather for prayers. No one was injured, but the building sustained minor damage close to the site of the explosion.


US President Donald Trump says he is 'working hard' at his New Jersey golf club, launches tweetstorm

Three days into a two-week golf getaway at his New Jersey country club, President Donald Trump assured Americans via Twitter Monday (Aug 7) that he remains focused on managing the country.

"Working hard from New Jersey while White House goes through long planned renovation," Trump said as part of a long batch of tweets mostly aimed at bashing critics.

"Going to New York next week for more meetings," he added.


Football: Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk hands in transfer request

Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk confirmed on Monday (Aug 7) that he had handed in a transfer request and expressed disappointment at the Premier League club's refusal to listen to offers for him.

The highly rated Dutch international is wanted by several Premier League clubs, including Liverpool, who were forced to make a public apology after being accused of making an illegal approach for the player earlier in the transfer window.

Van Dijk, who is also a target for Chelsea, said he handed in the request after being informed by Southampton that he would be fined two weeks wages. "I will be appealing what I feel to be an unjustified sanction and their inability to follow the correct disciplinary protocol in due course," he said in a statement.