(2PM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)
While the liberal blogosphere and mainstream media obsessed about Julian Assange (He’s just like us bloggers and reporters, only way sexier!), and devoted any left-over time to DADT (1100 Americans might have to change careers!), meanwhile in the cold hard world that mostly doesn’t give a fuck about symbolic issues…
An unofficial US envoy visiting North Korea has warned that the situation on the peninsula is a “tinderbox”. The envoy, Bill Richardson, made the comments after talks with officials in Pyongyang, whom he asked to exercise “extreme restraint”.
He said he had urged them to let South Korea go ahead with planned live-firing exercises on an island which was shelled by the North last month.
North Korea has warned it will launch “unpredictable self-defensive strikes” if the drill goes ahead on the island of Yeonpyeong, which lies close to the disputed inter-Korean western maritime border.
And just in case you think the worst that can happen right now is another big pile of dead Asians (and who really gives a fuck about them?) while Americans keep right on shopping for Christmas, Los Angeles and New York have been deploying a relatively unfamiliar acronym with a strangely up-close-and-personal quality about it.
“We’re working with surrounding states and counties on regional plans that address the threat of an IND (improvised nuclear device),” says Kelly McKinney, New York City’s Deputy Commissioner for Planning and Preparedness from the Office of Emergency Management.
“Shelter in place. That’s the single biggest message,” says Jonathan Fielding, L.A. County health director. “That’s the best way to save lives and prevent radiation-related illnesses. It runs counter to your basic instinct to get away and reunite with family members. If their kids are in school or in day care, that’s where they should stay,” he says.
“Don’t bother to dial 911,” says John Fernandes, director of L.A. County’s division of emergency management. “Most likely you’re not going to have 911. The cell towers are going down.”
Kim Kyung-ji began sixth-period math class Wednesday afternoon by giving her middle school students three-ply, nonwoven face masks, to use during the simulated air strike by North Korea. Kim told all 30 youngsters to wrap the masks around their ears. She instructed them to move quickly – staying low to the ground, if possible – when the siren went off.
As part of the largest South Korean civil defense drill in 35 years, a dozen fighter jets flew low over major cities Seoul and Busan, staging a mock attack.
Speculation about what North Korea may do relies on a very poorly sourced narrative about Kim Jong-Il transferring power to his son Kim Jong-Un.
Burrowing into the rhetoric has provided clues that Kim Jong Il has decided it’s time to deal with a variety of foreign policy issues before the transfer of power.
North Korea’s Kim Jong Il may be using recent military incidents and the unveiling of a new nuclear facility to accelerate the transfer of power to his 26-year-old son and secure his own legacy by getting a peace treaty that cements North Korea’s legitimacy, according to senior U.S. officials who closely follow the Hermit Kingdom.
These senior officials, who spoke with NBC News earlier this month, say there’s always the possibility of a more dangerous turn in this belligerence, even with this week’s announcement of a renewal of six-party talks.
The 26-year-old Kim Jong-Un has been promoted to the rank of four-star general, and similarly…
On 10 October 2010, alongside his father the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un attended the ruling Workers’ Party’s 65th anniversary celebration. This was seen as fully confirming his position as the next leader of the Workers’ Party. Unprecedented international press access was granted to the event, further indicating the importance of Kim Jong-un’s presence.
But it also isn’t impossible that Kim Jong-Un’s rapid promotion has been accelerated by what passes for sane or at least partially independent forces within the WPK and the North Korean Army, in response to an equally rapid decline in the stability of current boss Kim Jong-Il.
In response to the rumors regarding Kim’s health and supposed loss of power, in April 2009, North Korea released a video showing Kim visiting factories and other places around the country between November and December 2008. In July 2009, it was reported that Kim may be suffering from pancreatic cancer. In 2010, documents released by Wikileaks stated that Kim suffers from epilepsy.
So now we’re confronted with an epileptic nuclear dictator who was never much less than half crazy on the best day he ever had, and he’s probably dying of a very fast and very painful form of cancer.
Could he possibly be crazy enough to push the nuclear button, which may (or may not!) be connected to some well-concealed INDs in Tokyo and Los Angeles and New York?