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North Korea Beats The Drum of Battle

North Korean President Kim Jong-un looks like he wants a war, meaning that this weekend’s provocative posturing is much more worrisome than in the past.

Taunting Trump, Pyongyang today showed off a “Franken Missile” — a new type of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) that hadn’t been seen before.

Get smart fast: In the past, North Korea has aligned their displays of army force with significant dates. In 2014, hours after the United States, Japan, and South Korea held a summit to discuss North Korea’s nuclear weapons capability, the nation tested two midrange missiles for the first time in 5 years. They tested a Taepo Dong 2, its longest-range and most provocative missile, as the U.S. celebrated Independence Day in 2006.

North Korea Taunts President Trump With Launch Attempt

 

The media’s battle drums began at the start of this tense weekend of geopolitical risk:

  • The Guardian: “On Saturday morning in Pyongyang, army vehicles and tens of thousands of soldiers filled Kim Il-sung Square as a band played rousing army music.”
  • The lead of BBC News is the stark “North Korea ‘ready for nuclear attack'”: “The comments came as North Korea marked the 105th anniversary of the birth of its founding president, Kim Il-sung. ‘We are prepared to respond to an all-out war with an all-out war,’ said Choe Ryong-hae, believed to be the country’s second most powerful official.”
  • An expert on North Korean weapons said the new hardware appeared to be far more advanced than expected.”
  • WSJ’s Jonathan Cheng In Seoul: “The weaponry on show, which appeared to include a newly-modified intercontinental ballistic missile and two types of large launchers with never-before-seen missile canisters, is likely to trigger fresh concerns about the speed with which Pyongyang’s missile program has advanced.”
  • Pulling Back The Camera:World power whiplash: U.S. President reverses views on China, Russia,” by AP’s Josh Lederman: “Once hard on China and soft on Russia, President Trump rapidly reversed course in the last weeks, concluding there’s more business to be done with Beijing than with Moscow.”
  • Why It Matters: “Donald Trump’s evolving views have brought the United States back into alignment with former President Obama’s pattern of ‘great power’ politics.”

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