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Russia: N Korea rocket launch a "blow to regional security"

Russia has condemned North Korea's launch of a long-range missile calling it a serious blow to security in the region, AFP reports.

"It is obvious that such actions lead to a serious aggravation of the situation on the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia on the whole...(and) inflict serious damage to the security of the countries of the region, first and foremost North Korea itself," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

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Taiwan: 23 dead as search for quake survivors continues

More people have been pulled alive from a collapsed apartment block in Taiwan, as rescuers continue the search for 120 people still thought to be trapped in the rubble.

At least 23 people are known to have died in the earthquake, which struck at around 4am on Saturday morning.

The search continues for the 120 people still thought to be buried beneath the rubble. Credit: Reuters

Weather: Rain becoming showery with winds easing

It will be wet and windy in the north as rain moves eastwards, with further hill snow for some, and gales in places.

Temperatures should be around average for the time of year. Credit: Met Office

The rain will become showery later with winds easing a little. Elsewhere there will be sunny spells and showers.

The showers will be heaviest and most persistent in the west where some more persistent rain is expected later with gales developing here as well.

Temperatures should be around average for the time of year, perhaps a little above, with highs of 10 Celsius (50F).

S Korea and US to discuss missile-defence system

North Korea launched a long-range rocket earlier on Sunday morning. Credit: Reuters/Yonhap

South Korea and the United States will begin discussions on deploying an advanced missile-defence system to Seoul in response to North Korea's recent ballistic missile tests.

US military officials said the sophisticated system called Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) was needed in South Korea, to counter the growing threat of North Korea's weapons capabilities.

North Korea launched a long-range rocket earlier on Sunday carrying what it has called a satellite. South Korea, other countries and the US denounced the launch as a missile test.

Warnings issued as Storm Imogen approaches UK

Some very large waves are likely to affect many coasts on Monday. Credit: Peter Byrne / PA Wire/PA Images

Several areas of Britain are set to be battered by 80mph winds and heavy rain on Monday as Storm Imogen sweeps in.

The Met Office has issued amber warnings of wind for much of the south west and a yellow warning stretching from southern Wales to the Thames Estuary as the storm arrives from the English Channel.

An area of very strong winds is likely to extend east across southwest England and parts of central southern England on Monday morning.

Gusts of 60-70 mph are likely widely, with 80 mph gusts in exposed coastal areas, particularly Cornwall and North Devon.

– Met Office

Imogen could bring down trees and power lines and cause havoc with the morning commute.

High winds and thundery downpours are expected throughout the day with the potential to cause problems into the evening rush hour.

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China expresses 'regret' over N Korea rocket launch

Beijing called on all sides to act cautiously to maintain stability in the region. Credit: Reuters/Kyodo

China's Foreign Ministry has expressed 'regret' at a long-range rocket launch by North Korea.

Beijing called on all sides to act cautiously and refrain from taking steps that might further raise tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: "China expresses regret that North Korea, in spite of the pervasive opposition of the international community, insisted on using ballistic missile technology to carry out a launch."

She added that dialogue is the only way to ensure lasting peace and stability in the region.

N Korea's state TV: Rocket launch 'complete success'

North Korea's state television said the rocket launch was a 'complete success'. Credit: North Korean State TV

North Korea's state television said a long-range rocket launch on Sunday, ordered by leader Kim Jong-Un to put a satellite into space, was a "complete success".

The announcer said the satellite, called 'Kwangmyongsong-4', is orbiting the earth every 94 minutes and the North would continue to launch satellites in future.

The rocket was fired from a launch pad on North Korea's west coast between 9.30am and 9.35am local time on a southern trajectory over the East China Sea.

Debris from the rocket crashed back to earth around 155 miles off the south-west coast of the Korean Peninsula around 14 minutes after take-off.

Meanwhile United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the launch and urged Pyongyang to "halt its provocative actions."

It is deeply deplorable that (North Korea) has conducted a launch using ballistic missile technology in violation of relevant Security Council resolutions on 6 February 2016 despite the united plea of the international community against such an act.

– UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
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