North Korea has launched a record number of missile tests in 2022, far outnumbering previous recorded years at a total of 90 missiles fired – compared to 2021’s 8 missiles. Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jung Un has ordered an ‘exponential’ increase in the size of the country’s nuclear arsenal in the new year, in response to what he has called increased U.S. hostility. This was announced at a 6-day meeting to announce new state objectives, which included the launch of North Korea’s first military reconnaissance satellite.
China’s sudden relaxation of its pandemic curbs has seen a mounting surge of cases in the country, even as it reopens its economy and both in- and outbound travel. Based on UK agency Airfinity’s forecasts, the country will see 3.7 million cases daily for January in 2023. Countries including the US, India, South Korea, Spain, and Israel have announced tighter rules for travellers inbound from China. Elsewhere, the US has reported that the new XBB.1.5 strain might potentially cause a surge in the country, thanks to the variant’s resistance to antibodies. A chief concern of health officials worldwide is further mutations of the virus.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has started large-scale production on next generation 3-nanometer chips, which will be used in the future Apple devices like the iPhone. The chips are more powerful, yet consume less energy compared to the current 5nm chips, while increasing logic density. This puts the Taiwanese MNC behind Samsung, while ahead of Intel in the area of 3nm chip production.