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    North Korea Tag

    The West has done everything they could to prevent an all out war with North Korea by slapping the communist kingdom with sanctions after sanctions. Now it appears that sanctions have started to work since the military happy country has cut back on its military exercises mainly due to the sanctions on oil imports.

    North Korea and South Korea held high-level talks for the first time in two years. The outcome led to a major breakthrough: North Korea will send athletes to compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics next month located in South Korea. The two countries have also agreed to hold meetings to ease military tensions.

    When I saw the tweeted outrage from the perpetually outraged about the Center for Disease Control (CDC)'s upcoming panel on the "Public Health Response to a Nuclear Detonation," I rolled my eyes and thought "here they go again." After all, earlier this week, North Korea's Kim Jong Un threatened the U. S. with a nuclear strike on our "entire" mainland.  No one really knows how crazy Un is.  Unlike his grandfather and father before him, he's never known a time when his family wasn't ruling over North Korea with an iron fist.

    North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un threatened the U.S. with a nuclear strike, bragging that North Korean had the capability to deliver a nuclear warhead to the entire U.S. mainland. What's more, he suggested it could be done on a moment's notice, as the "button" was on his desk. It was posturing in the very present tense, as there is no indication North Korea has that capability today, even though it has the components: Nuclear bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

    Just before Christmas, Legal Insurrection noted reports that North Korea was loading potentially deadly anthrax bacteria onto intercontinental ballistic missiles as part of a biological weapons test program. The stated goal is to eventually deliver a payload of deadly pathogens to the United States. The challenge facing the North Koreans is that the heat generated from the missiles launch, flight, and strike is deadly to the lifeforms on board.

    There have been some interesting developments related to North Korea this week. The U.S. military is conducting a series of drills with South Korea's military.  The training is intended to boost tunnel-warfare capabilities.
    Hundreds of troops from the U.S. and South Korea conducted a joint training exercise dubbed “Warrior Strike” last week, South Korean military sources told the country’s Yonhap News Agency.

    The United Nations Security Council unanimously has imposed new sanctions on North Korea. Yes, unanimously, which means North Korea's allies China and Russia even voted yes. From Bloomberg:
    Specifically, the new resolution cuts deliveries of products including diesel and kerosene by almost 90 percent, to the equivalent of 500,000 barrels per year starting Jan. 1. In September, the council had already demanded imports to be cut to 2 million barrels from 4.5 million barrels. The new resolution would also cap crude imports at current levels of about 4 million barrels annually.

    As we all know, it's hard to receive information from North Korea, which leads experts to view photos that include dictator Kim Jong Un's most inner circle. That circle once included Vice Marshall Hwang Pyong So, once viewed as the hermit kingdom's "second most powerful figure." Reuters reported Hwang as missing in November, as South Korea's National Intelligence Service said the dictator had him "'punished' for having an 'impure' attitude" about Kim.

    On Wednesday, North Korea conducted a missile test for the first time since September. It was later revealed that this test included an intercontinental ballistic missile (IBM) called a Hwasong-15 that could reach the U.S. mainland. From The Wall Street Journal:
    Hours after the launch, dictator Kim Jong Un declared that Pyongyang had “finally realized the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force,” according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency. North Korea said the missile was fired from a mobile launch system, and that Mr. Kim personally oversaw the test.

    South Korean authorities have announced that North Korea shot a ballistic missile towards Japan. This is the first launch since the communist kingdom shot one in September. From Fox News:
    South Korea's Yonhap News Agency, which first reported the launch, said the missile "flew eastward from the vicinity of Pyongyang" toward the Sea of Japan, according to South Korean military officials. The missile launch happened around 3 a.m. in North Korea. South Korea’s military had reportedly staged a “precision strike” missile exercise in response.

    There has been a fascinating developments in relations between North Korea and China over the past week. Just before Thanksgiving, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un appeared to have snubbed China by not agreeing to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s diplomatic envoy.
    Song Tao, head of the Communist Party’s international department, wrapped up his four-day trip to North Korea on Monday, the first visit by a senior Chinese official since 2015.
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