About a week has passed since the verbal skirmish between Trump and Kim Jong-un, and experts, including the author, have frozen in anticipation of what the next steps will be like, seeing that the statements made by Donald Trump about the DPRK meant a declaration of war, as Ri Yong-ho, North Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated on September 25, 2017 at a press conference in New York.
The issue most actively discussed is what Kim Jong-un meant by “the most stringent countermeasures in history” and “taming by fire”. When he was asked about it, Ri Yong-ho, North Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs, suggested that this would mean testing “an unprecedented scale hydrogen bomb” over the Pacific. After his words, headlinesappeared in the European media that North Korea intends to conduct an above-ground or underwater nuclear test. Ri Yong-ho, however, specifically stressed that he did not know what kind of measures could be taken, because such decisions were taken personally by marshal.
However, on September 30, the South Korean newspaper The Dong-A Ilbo reported that North Korea was moving several intercontinental ballistic missiles, and that this might be a sign of preparations for testing a thermonuclear warhead in the Pacific Ocean. Itsunori Onodera, the Defense Minister of Japan, even “appointed a date” – not long before October 10.
We also note conversations in the American expert community that “there is no evidence that the DPRK has created a real nuclear weapon.” From the author’s point of view, this is a hint at the practical launch with a nuclear charge. Meanwhile, the carrying out by the DPRK of a nuclear explosion in the atmosphere may not be an occasion for war, but it will significantly increase the isolation of the North in the conditions of the existing worldwide radiophobia and increased attention to the environmental consequences of nuclear tests. Let us not forget that one of the red lines that China has drawn is the contamination of Chinese territory as a result of tests or the destruction of North Korean nuclear facilities.
From this point of view, a nuclear test in the atmosphere or underwater would cross all bounds, and irritation by this act could be very great. Even those whose attitude was neutral or benevolent would say “For such thing Kim should be exemplarily punished.” And they would say this harshly: most likely, in response to the new nuclear tests, there would be a new sanction resolution and it would willy-nilly involve the American project of a complete economic blockade, with all the consequences that the author has repeatedly hinted at, recalling the consequences of a similar embargo in 1941.
One can say that Kim Jong-un is either being provoked or someone is attempting to create a situation in which he feels that the situation is so bad that it only remains to “go bang”. In both cases, the calculation is that Kim is making a move, after which he is just the man who is considered to be the initiator of the conflict, and the United States is getting a free hand from the world community, because America turns out to be on the “defensive side” and is on the war-path from the position “we did everything to avoid this situation, but they left us no choice … “.
In this context, the author would really like to make sure that the DPRK officials will show a high level of political wisdom and be able, on the one hand, not to back down, and on the other hand, not fall for provocations by stepping wide into the trap.
As tensions rise on the Korean Peninsula, a new report has estimated that, should North Korea deploy its nuclear arsenal on Seoul and Tokyo, the death toll could be up to 2.1 million, with around 8 million injured.
Over the past few months, the stand-off, with Pyongyang on one side, and the US and its allies on the other, has been escalating, with belligerent rhetoric and provocative military posturing on both sides. Amid these tensions, a study by 38 North – a site on North Korean affairs run by Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies – has revealed the potential consequences of a nuclear strike launched by the North on its neighbors.
The report’s author, Michael J. Zagurek Jr., notes that “history is replete with ‘rational actors’ grossly miscalculating, especially in crisis situations,” and that another nuclear or missile test might trigger a hostile reaction from the United States, prompting a nuclear strike from the North Korean regime.
Estimating that Pyongyang has a nuclear arsenal of 25 warheads, Zagurek calculated what would happen if leader Kim Jong-un decides to launch all of them at Seoul and Tokyo, since both Japan and South Korea are key US allies. Accounting for missile defense systems such as the THAAD, deployed in South Korea, and the Aegis Ashore ABM, due to be installed in Japan, he said that “not all 25 North Korean nuclear missile warheads will detonate on their targets.”
Add 20 more cases and 22 more hospitalizations to San Diego County’s ever-growing hepatitis A outbreak.
Tuesday afternoon the county Health and Human Services Agency raised the number of the outbreak’s confirmed cases to 481 from 461 and hospitalizations to 337 from 315. The death count associated with the outbreak, which started in November 2016, remained at 17 for a second straight week.
For the last two weeks, the health department has reported having more than 40 cases under investigation awaiting confirmation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that they suspect are caused by the same unique strains associated with other outbreak cases.
No information on the number of cases under investigation was available Tuesday. All of those who have died during the outbreak have had underlying medical conditions such as liver disease. Most were also homeless and/or drug users.
The hepatitis A virus is shed in human feces and transmitted when a person accidentally comes in contact with fecal matter. Proper hygiene — hand-washing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom — is sufficient to kill the virus, though alcohol-based hand sanitizer may not be effective. Hepatitis A symptoms include jaundice (yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes), abdominal pain, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.
3 strong eruptions rattle Popocatepetl volcano - Crater closed due to danger of flying ballistic fragments.