As sabre-rattling continues between Washington and Pyongyang, Seoul is bracing for an October shockers from its nuclear active neighbour.
On Thursday, North Korea claimed that 4.7 million of its citizens had volunteered to join or re-enlist in the military since the country’s leader threatened to "tame” President Trump “with fire" last week.
Meanwhile, preparing for the horrors that await, the U.S. has now agreed to begin regularly deploying its ‘strategic assets’ to the Korean Peninsula.
The South Korean government said that the decision was made as North Korea’s testing of long-range missiles and nuclear weapons puts the region on high alert.
The announcement was made by the chief of South Korea’s National Security Office, Chung Eui-young after his meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and leaders of other political parties.
Chung told the political leaders that, "The U.S. has pledged to expand the rotational deployment of its strategic assets near the Korean Peninsula.”
According to the Yonhap News Agency, Chung’s discussion with political leaders revolved around whether there was "any crack" in terms of trust between the security allies.
He said, “[The deployment] will begin as early as late this year, and this will help us expand our defense capabilities.”
Further, during their meeting at the annual United Nations General Assembly last week, officials said Moon and President Trump agreed on the additional deployments.
While neither sides have specified the nature of these strategic assets, experts believe the terminology usually refers to stealth planes, long-range bombers and ballistic-missile submarines.
While the U.S. Pacific Command has not made any official comments, a ruling party spokesman in Seoul reportedly said that the U.S. has made its pledge in writing.
Meanwhile, with the anniversary of the founding of the North Korean communist party and China’s all-important Communist Party Congress lined up next month, South Korea is said to be expecting more provocative acts by North Korea in October.
South Korean lawmakers have been wondering whether fault lines might emerge in US-South Korean military ties as tensions on the Korean Peninsula grow, but have been reassured that the US actually plans to increase the number of its “strategic” military assets in their region by the end of the year.
“The US has pledged to expand the rotational deployment of its strategic assets near the Korean Peninsula,” Chung Eiu-young, chief of South Korea’s National Security Office, told lawmakers Wednesday, according to Yonhap.
A document has been signed by US personnel stating the US would make good on its promise, the South Korean news agency said.
The "strategic" assets would comprise an aircraft carrier, nuclear Ohio-class submarines, B-2 Spirit stealth bombers, and F-22 Raptors, the US military’s de facto air superiority fighter, reports Chosun, a South Korean newspaper. Each Ohio-class sub carries 20 D-5 Trident ballistic missiles; one Trident can carry up to 12 nuclear warheads.
Each B-2, meanwhile, can pack 16 nukes in its bomb bay in addition to "bunker busters," a signal to North Korea that underground caves cannot be considered secure hiding places.
Two squadrons of US F-35s have already deployed to both South Korea and Japan. And in February, supersonic B-1B Lancer bombers, by treaty not nuclear-capable, arrived at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. At least a dozen F-22s have been stationed in Japan since 2016.
Bringing some of those chess pieces directly to the Korean Peninsula would signal a more assertive US posture toward Pyongyang.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) efforts to combat chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) threats facing Americans are “inadequate,” the department’s acting secretary told lawmakers Wednesday.
In written testimony prepared for a Senate panel hearing on threats to the American homeland, Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke revealed, “The Department’s current approach to addressing CBRN matters is inadequate. For nearly a decade, DHS has looked at reorganizing internally to better counter these dangers.”
DHS is reportedly taking action to address its shortcomings in dealing with CBRN issues.
“I want to emphasize that we are overhauling homeland security to cope with changes in the threat landscape,” testified Secretary Duke.
“As we continue this overhaul, it is clear that the authorities, structures, and accountability measures developed for DHS over 15 years ago are no longer sufficient,” she added.
Choosing not to elaborate further in a public setting, Secretary Duke only said that terrorist groups are showing a “renewed” interest in weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), telling Senators:
Things are dire in Puerto Rico. We haven’t heard much directly from people there since Hurricane Maria took out power for the entire island, but what we do know is that the situation is desperate. This is a shocking, real-life glimpse into what it’s really like when the S hits the fan.
I saw a post from a friend of a friend who has family in Puerto Rico. I don’t have permission to share names, but here’s what she said:
“My family has lost everything. My uncle with stage 4 cancer is in so much pain and stuck in the hospital. However conditions in the island are far worse than we imagined and my greatest fear has been made reality. The chaos has begun. The mosquitos have multiplied like the plague. Dead livestock are all over the island including in whatever fresh water supplies they have.
My family has been robbed and have lost whatever little they had left. The gang members are robbing people at gun point and the island is in desperation. People are shooting each other at gas stations to get fuel.
They’re telling us to rescue them and get them out of the island because they are scared for their lives. We’re talking about 3.5 million people on an island, with no food, no drinking water, no electricity, homes are gone. Family if you have the means to get your people out, do it. This is just the first week. Imagine the days and weeks to come. These are bad people doing bad things to our most vulnerable.
Imagine a few weeks with no resources and the most vulnerable become desperate. What are you capable of doing if your children are sick and hungry? We have to help.”
I decided to vet what I could, and I believe this horrible story is absolutely true. I confirmed that there is very little food, no fresh water, 97% are still without power, limited cell signals have stymied communications, and hospitals are struggling to keep people alive. There is no 911. Help is not on the way. If you have no cash, you can’t buy anything. As people get more desperate, violence increases.
Never doubt that such an event could happen to any of us, no matter how carefully we prepare. Your best-laid plans could be swept away by a storm, flood, or fire. The immediate support most people have grown to expect might not be on the way.
Here’s what I learned.
Many homes were completely destroyed.
In the town of Catano, more than 60% of the residents are homeless due to the storm. At the shelter in Catano, the bathrooms flooded and sewage backed up into the building. There is food, but no water. It’s hot, dark, and the stench is overwhelming. There is more than one person at the shelter who is diabetic, and there is no ice for their insulin. (source)
The homes that are still standing were horribly damaged. “Even in homes that remain standing on the island, water damage and power outages have destroyed most belongings, medicine, and food.” (source)
There is hardly any potable water.
Nearly half the people in Puerto Rico are without potable drinking water. The tap water that is restored has to be boiled and filtered, and others are finding water where they can. You can expect a health crisis soon due to waterborne illnesses. When I researched my book about water preparedness, I learned that waterborne illness is one of the deadliest threats post-disaster. Although FEMA has delivered 6.5 million liters of water, on an island with 3.4 million people, it isn’t enough.
Isabel Rullán is the co-founder and managing director of a non-profit group called ConPRmetidos. She is very concerned about the water situation. She said that even if people were able to acquire water “they may not have the power or means to boil or purify it.”
She added that the problem went beyond access to drinking water — it was becoming a real public health concern.
Compounding that issue was hospitals lacking diesel and being unable to take new patients, she said.
“There’s so much contamination right now, there’s so many areas that are flooded and have oil, garbage in the water, there’s debris everywhere,” she said by phone.
“We’re going to have a lot of people that are potentially and unfortunately going to get sick and may die,” she said. (source)
And speaking of hospitals, 59 of the 69 on the island were, according to the Department of Defense, “operating on unknown status.”
Only 11 of 69 hospitals on Puerto Rico have power or are running on generators, FEMA reports. That means there’s limited access to X-ray machines and other diagnostic and life-saving equipment. Few operating rooms are open, which is scary, considering an influx of patients with storm-related injuries. (source)
A hospital in San Juan reported that two people in intensive care died when the diesel fueling the generator ran out. The children’s hospital has 12 little ones who depend on ventilators to survive, and once they ran out of fuel, they have gotten by on donations. FEMA has delivered diesel fuel to 19 hospitals.
Without sufficient power, X-ray machines, CT scans, and machines for cardiac catheterization do not function, and generators are not powerful enough to make them work. Only one in five operating rooms is functioning. Diesel is hard to find. And with a shortage of fresh water, another concern looms: a possible public health crisis because of unsanitary conditions…
The hospitals have been crippled by floods, damage and shortages of diesel. The governor said that 20 of the island’s hospitals are in working order. The rest are not operational, and health officials are now trying to determine whether it is because they lack generators, fuel or have suffered structural damage. All five of the hospitals in Arecibo, Puerto Rico’s largest city in terms of size, not population, are closed. (source)
There isn’t much food.
Much of the food on the island has spoiled or been contaminated.
In the town of Utuado, Lydia Rivera has started to ration crackers and drink rainwater to keep her two grandchildren alive. “No water, no food,” Rivera told CNN. (source)
The few markets that are open are rationing food with only 10 items per person allowed. People are standing in lines for hours to purchase their 10 items. There’s no way to keep perishables fresh. (source)
And there won’t be food produced anytime soon. 80% of the crops were completely wiped out and it will take a long time to produce more.
"Former Google Employee Engineering His Own A.I. Religion"
"Former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski is emerging from the shadow of a self-driving lawsuit to create a robot god."
14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles
which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that
dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which
had the wound by a sword, and did live.
15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image
of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not
worship the image of the beast should be killed.
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to
receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
Post a Comment