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North Korea Ominously Warns Manhattan Residents of Impending Threat Even More Harmful than Salt and Oversized Soft Drinks

nork-collage-WashingtonPost

The website is a strange choice for making such a claim, given that it also carries reports about such topics as rabbit farming and domestically made school backpacks.

SEOUL — North Korea claimed Sunday that it could wipe out Manhattan by sending a hydrogen bomb on a ballistic missile to the heart of New York City, the latest in a string of brazen threats.

“Our hydrogen bomb is much bigger than the one developed by the Soviet Union.”

Although there are many reasons to believe that Kim Jong Un’s regime is exaggerating its technical capabilities, the near-daily drumbeat of boasts and warnings from North Korea underlines its anger at efforts to thwart its ambitions.

“Our hydrogen bomb is much bigger than the one developed by the Soviet Union,” DPRK Today, a state-run outlet, reported Sunday. DPRK stands for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, North Korea’s official name.

“If this H-bomb were to be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile and fall on Manhattan in New York City, all the people there would be killed immediately and the city would burn down to ashes,” the report said, citing a nuclear scientist named Cho Hyong Il.

“The H-bomb developed by the Soviet Union in the past was able to smash windows of buildings 1,000 kms away and the heat was strong enough to cause third-degree burns 100 kms away.”

The website is a strange choice for making such a claim, given that it also carries reports about such topics as rabbit farming and domestically made school backpacks.

North Korea’s newly developed hydrogen bomb “surpasses our imagination,” Cho is quoted as saying.

“The H-bomb developed by the Soviet Union in the past was able to smash windows of buildings 1,000 kms away and the heat was strong enough to cause third-degree burns 100 kms away,” the report continued. (A thousand kilometers is about 625 miles; 100 kilometers, about 62.5 miles.)

[Read the full story here, at the The Washington Post]

Kim in January ordered North Korea’s fourth nuclear test and claimed that it was a hydrogen bomb, not a simple atomic one. But most experts are skeptical of the claim, saying the seismic waves caused by the blast were similar to those produced by the North’s three previous tests.

Then in February, Kim oversaw the launch of what North Korea said was a rocket that put a satellite into orbit, a move widely considered part of a long-range-ballistic-missile program. Read the rest of this entry »

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This Day in History: Ron Evans Space Walk, Dec 17, 1972, One Hour, 7 Minutes, 18 Seconds

spacewalk

December 17, 1972 — Apollo 17 astronaut Ron Evans takes a spacewalk outside the command module during the trans-Earth coast  to home. He is retrieving film cassettes, a mapping camera, and panoramic camera. The total time for his EVA was one hour, seven minutes, 18 seconds.


Street Fight: Congress Renames Road by Chinese Embassy After Jailed Dissident

Workers prepare the Nobel Peace Prize laureate exhibition 'I Have No Enemies' for Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo

Beijing is not amused by the “provocative action,” as Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo “has been convicted in accordance with the law”

For TIMEHannah Beech reports: Alert the post office. The official address for the Chinese embassy in Washington is to be changed to 1 Liu Xiaobo Plaza. On June 24, the House Appropriations Committee voted to rename 3505 International Place, a strip of asphalt that runs in front of the Chinese mission in northwest D.C., after the jailed Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

The bid for the new Chinese embassy mailing address was tacked on as an amendment to the 2015 State Department spending bill. The road in front of the Chinese embassy is federally owned, giving Congress some latitude in deciding its fate. (The D.C. Council will also consider the resolution.) Fourteen bipartisan Congressmen, led by Virginia Republican Frank Wolf, shepherded the provision, which calls for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to institute the name change. A street sign adorned with Liu’s name is planned.In 2009, the veteran activist and writer was sentenced to 11 years in prison for inciting subversion against the Chinese state. Liu, 58, helped draft Charter 08, a pro-democracy petition that called on Beijing to abandon one-party rule and uphold basic human rights. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman in Beijing labeled the road-renaming movement a “provocative action,” noting that Liu “has been convicted in accordance with the law.” Read the rest of this entry »


A true moral giant and a dogmatic leftist creep

By Jeff Jacoby

It was only upon reading his obituary this month that I first learned of Nguyen Chi Thien. He was a courageous Vietnamese dissident who had spent nearly 30 years in prison for his opposition to communist repression, cruelty, and lies. Much of Nguyen’s opposition was expressed in poetry, most famously “Flowers from Hell,” a collection of poems he memorized behind bars, and only put down on paper after being released from prison in 1977.

The poems were published after he audaciously handed off the manuscript to British diplomats at their embassy in Hanoi, the AP obituary recalled. As he walked out of the embassy, “security agents were awaiting him, and he was promptly sent back to prison.” He spent the next 12 years in Hoa Lo, the notorious Hanoi Hilton. While he was in captivity, “Flowers from Hell” was published; it earned the International Poetry Award in 1985. By the time he emigrated to the United States in 1995, his poems had achieved wide renown. His stanzas “became as familiar as songs,” wrote Anh Do in The Los Angeles Times, and “continue to move the Vietnamese immigrant generation — and their sons and daughters.”

By coincidence, the same newspaper page that carried Nguyen’s obituary also ran amuch longer story about Eric Hobsbawm, the famous British historian who died on Oct. 1 of pneumonia at age 95. The two men could hardly have been less alike.

Nguyen defied communist totalitarianism, sacrificing his freedom in defense of the truth. He refused to pretend that there could be anything noble or uplifiting — let alone ideal — about a revolutionary movement that pursued its ends through mass slaughter and enslavement. Like so many other dissidents, from Andrei Sakharov to Liu Xiaobo, he was a champion of liberty, sustaining hope and keeping conscience alive in the teeth of regime that persecutes decent men for their decency.

Hobsbawm, on the other hand, was a lifelong Marxist, a card-carrying member of the Communist Party from his teens until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Long after it was evident to even true believers that the Bolshevik Revolution had unleashed a nightmare of blood, Hobsbawm went on defending, minimizing, and excusing the crimes of communism.

Interviewed on the BBC in 1994, he was asked whether he would have shunned the Communist Party had he known in 1934 that Stalin was butchering innocent human beings by the millions. “Probably not,” he answered — after all, at the time he believed he was signing up for world revolution. Taken aback by such indifference to carnage, the interviewer pressed the point. Was Hobsbawm saying that if a communist paradise had actually been created, “the loss of 15, 20 million people might have been justified?”Hobsbawm’s answer: “Yes.”

Imagine that Hobsbawm had fallen in love with Nazism as a youth and spent the rest of his career whitewashing Hitler’s atrocities. Suppose he’d refused for decades to let his Nazi Party membership lapse, and argued that the Holocaust would have been an acceptable price to pay for the realization of a true Thousand-Year Reich. It is inconceivable that he would have been hailed as a brilliant thinker or basked in acclaim; no self-respecting university would have hired him to teach; politicians and pundits would not have lined up to shower him with accolades during his life and tributes after his death.

Yet Hobsbawm was fawned over, lionized in the media, made a tenured professor at a prestigious university, invited to lecture around the world. He was heaped with glories, including the Order of the Companions of Honour — one of Britain’s highest civilian awards — and the lucrative Balzan Prize, worth 1 million Swiss francs. His death was given huge play in the British media — the BBC aired an hour-long tribute and the Guardian led its front page with the news — and political leaders waxed fulsome. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair called him “a giant … a tireless agitator for a better world.”

Such adoration is sickening. Unrepentant communists merit repugnance, not reverence. Compared with a true moral giant like Nguyen Chi Thien, Hobsbawm was nothing but a dogmatic leftist creep, and the toadies who worshiped him were worse.

Nguyen knew all about such toadies, as a few tart lines from his 1964 poem, “Today, May 19th” — written about Ho Chi Minh — make clear:

Let the hacks with their prostituted pens

Comb his beard, pat his head, caress his arse!

… The hell with him!

 

The Boston Globe