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    North Korea Tag

    Today, I got a call from a client wanting to update their Business Contingency Plan to address fallout from a nuclear attack. This is not entirely surprising, given the escalation of North Korea's threats against Guam and the United States. The Millennials have long enjoyed a "peace dividend", courtesy of President Ronald Reagan's peace-through-strength policies, that have now been entirely spent. Perhaps realizing this, internet searches on surviving a nuclear attack have exploded in the last 48 hours.

    Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has released his own statement regarding the growing tensions between America and North Korea. Yesterday, President Donald Trump warned the Communist regime that it will face "the fire and fury the world has never seen" if officials do not stop threatening America. North Korea responded with a threat to attack Guam, which houses an American army base. Mattis echoed this sentiment, stating that North Korea's actions will ultimately lead to its end.

    Thousands of North Koreans are fleeing the Communist prison state thanks to an underground Christian network spread across China, reports the British newspaper Daily Express. The 3000-mile long network, run by South Korean and Chinese Christians, also dubbed as the ‘underground railroad’, helps dissidents from the north to escape to freedom into Thailand. Many of these escapees later find a new home in South Korea.

    President Donald Trump has signed a bill that imposes sanctions on Russia for alleged interference in our presidential election and on Iran and North Korea for their missile programs. However, in a signing statement, Trump called the bill "significantly flawed." From ABC News:
    The bill limits the president's ability to lift or waive sanctions against Russia and keeps in place sanctions the Obama administration imposed last year. It also allows the U.S. to deny entry and revoke visas for individuals who have engaged in certain activities, such as selling arms to the Syrian government or abusing human rights.

    President Donald Trump has said that he will sign a bill that will place new sanctions against Russia, North Korea, and Iran. The sanctions against Russia have received the most attention, especially since Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened to retaliate. But the bill has sanctions against North Korea and Iran over nuclear weapons and missiles, which both countries vow to continue working on.

    North Korea fired a ballistic missile that flew into waters east of the Korean Peninsula, according to South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff.
    "We confirm that North Korea has fired an unidentified ballistic missile off its eastern coast towards the East Sea from Banghyun area in Northern Pyong An Province at around 9:40 am (KST) Tuesday morning," a South Korean military official told NBC. "The launch was immediately reported to the President Moon Jae In." Moon ordered a National Security Council meeting after the launch, South Korean state news agency Yonhap reported, citing the Blue House — the South Korean equivalent of the White House.

    College student Otto Warmbier, who spent 17 months imprisoned in North Korea, has died. From Fox News:
    “It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home,” Fred and Cindy Warmbier wrote in a statement. “Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died today at 2:20 pm.” “It would be easy at a moment like this to focus on all that we lost - future time that won't be spent with a warm, engaging, brilliant young man whose curiosity and enthusiasm for life knew no bounds. But we choose to focus on the time we were given to be with this remarkable person. You can tell from the outpouring of emotion from the communities that he touched - Wyoming, Ohio and the University of Virginia to name just two - that the love for Otto went well beyond his immediate family.”

    America recently marked the 40th anniversary of the debut of the blockbuster movie, Star Wars. In 1983, in homage to the movie's popularity, Ronald Reagan's "Strategic Defense Initiative" was rechristened "Star Wars". While the original goal of the program was to build a network of ground-based and space-based systems to shield the country from a massive intercontinental ballistic missile attack, Reagan's successors have scaled back on his original plans substantially. Since President Donald Trump took office, North Korea has launched 9 separate test ballistic missiles, with the goal of developing one that could reach the United States with a nuclear payload.

    Upon taking the oath of office a few days ago, South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, indicated the he is willing to visit the nuclear-armed North.
    Moon, who was declared the winner on Tuesday of the presidential election, said he will "sincerely negotiate" with the United States, South Korea's chief ally, and China, South Korea's top trading partner, over the contentious deployment of the US anti-missile system THAAD.

    Back in March, South Korea's Constitutional Court removed President Park Geun-hye due to numerous scandals that surrounded her. Authorities arrested her three weeks later and authorities claimed she "abused the mighty power and position as President to take bribes from companies and infringed upon the freedom of corporate management and leaked important confidential official information." Well, Park was friendly with the U.S. and agreed with our officials on North Korea. Her ouster led to an opportunity for more liberal officials to rise to power who want to take a softer approach on North Korea. That's exactly what happened. Democratic candidate Moon Jae-in won the election yesterday, which may "mean an overhaul for Seoul's policy on North Korea. He even said that he would "visit rival North Korea under the right conditions."

    Last week, Mary wrote about North Korea detaining a third American, and today we learn that they have detained a fourth American citizen. Fox News reports:
     North Korea announced Sunday that it detained a fourth American citizen over unspecified hostile acts against the country and amid worsening tensions with the U.S. North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency said that Kim Hak Song had worked for the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology before he was held on Saturday.

    Move over, North Korea! Californians who were awake early Wednesday morning were treated to the site of a test launch by the US Air Force of an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile.
    Air Force Global Strike Command spokesman Joe Thomas told AFP from California that the test was routine and not meant to be a show of force in the standoff with North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile program. The Minuteman III missile blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 0702 GMT, the strike command said in a statement.