The Korean Central News Agency released the following report on Saturday:
A relevant institution of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea recently put in custody U.S. citizen Merrill Edward Newman who committed hostile acts against the DPRK after entering the country under the guise of a tourist.
After entering the DPRK as a member of tourists’ group in October he perpetrated acts of infringing upon the dignity and sovereignty of the DPRK and slandering its socialist system, quite contrary to the purpose of tour.
American held by N. Korea apologizes for ‘hostile acts’; US renews calls to free him
Nicholas Wright / Palo Alto Weekly via AP, file
Merrill Newman, a retired finance executive and Red Cross volunteer, in Palo Alto, Calif. in 2005.
By NBC News staff and wire services
North Korea on Saturday released video showing detained U.S. citizen Merrill E. Newman reading an apology for “hostile acts” against the state – a move that prompted new calls from the U.S. for his release.
A statement published by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said that during a recent visit to the country, the 85-year-old war veteran attempted to meet with any surviving soldiers he had trained during the Korean War to fight North Korea, admitted he was “a criminal” who was involved in the killing of civilians during the 1950-53 Korean War, and was carrying an e-book criticizing North Korea.
Newman “masterminded espionage and subversive activities against the DPRK and in this course he was involved in killings of service personnel of the Korean People’s Army and innocent civilians,” KCNA said. “He admitted all his crimes and made an apology for them.”
DPRK is short for the North’s official name: the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
North Korea is technically still at war with the South and the United States, as a truce — not a peace treaty — was signed to end the Korean conflict.
In a separate dispatch, KCNA carried what it said was a statement of apology by Newman, made after being detained.
“During the Korean War, I have been guilty of a long list of indelible crimes against DPRK government and Korean people as adviser of the Kuwol Unit of the U.N. Korea 6th Partisan Regiment part of the Intelligence Bureau of the Far East Command,” it said.
The unit appears to refer to one of the special operations units of partisan, or irregular, fighters acting against the North.
There was no direct word from Newman, and his alleged apology, which was dated Nov. 9, couldn’t be independently confirmed. Pyongyang has been accused of previously coercing statements from detainees.
Hours after the release of the “apology,” Obama administration officials appealed for his release.
“Given Mr. Newman’s advanced age and health conditions, we urge the DPRK to release Mr. Newman so he may return home and reunite with his family,” said a U.S. State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity. The official said North Korea had permitted representatives of the Swedish Embassy consular access to Newman on Saturday, but provide no detail about his condition.
Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, likewise called on Pyongyang to free Newman.
Some experts said the fact that North Korea broadcast the statement from Newman is likely a prelude to his release.
Steven Weber, professor of political science at UC Berkeley, told NBC News on Saturday that he expects Newman will be released within a few days and that his detention was a “publicity stunt” by an attention-hungry North Korean regime. Weber said the U.S. should expect more stunts like this in the near future, especially with American delegates presently focused on a short-term deal with Iran over its nuclear program.
This file photo, released by North Korean Central News Agency on September 10, 2010, shows North Korean farmers working in the fields flooded by torrential rains after a typhoon at Sukchon county in South Pyonan province. Poor weather makes it harder for the communist state to feed its 24-million-strong population as it lacks advanced agricultural technology and infrastructure
MultiProvinces, [Provinces of Gapyeong and Pocheon]
A series of rainstorms over South Korea Sunday left two people dead and knocked down parts of the security fence on the border with North Korea, officials said. A repair crew had to string barbed wire along the two downed sections of fence, which measured 30 (98.4 feet) and 192 meters (630 feet) in length. Damage to the border fence is not unusual during the rainy season on the Korean Peninsula and permanent repairs will be made when the weather dries out, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency said. Drier weather will be welcome in the soggy areas north of Seoul. Yonhap said up to 272 millimeters (10.7 inches) of rain fell in Gyeonggi Province fell over the weekend, and Yeoncheon County picked up 100 millimeters (3.9 inches) in one hour early Sunday. The rains caused landslides and flash floods. Two people died when they were swept away by rushing water in two separate incidents in Gapyeong and Pocheon.
Three South Koreans were confirmed dead or missing after heavy rains pounded the Korean peninsula, leaving hundreds homeless as the downpours left a trail of destruction in the two Koreas, officials said Monday. The South’s disaster management office said 122 houses were flooded or partly destroyed, leaving 263 people homeless. A 57-year-old man was found dead after being swept away in a flooded stream in the northern border city of Pocheon, it said. In Hongcheon, east of Seoul, a 85-year-old man was killed in a landslide, while a 34-year-old man went missing on a flooded road in Gapyeong, the office said. Weathermen said up to 321 mm (13 inches) of rain battered Seoul and northern border areas for three days until Monday. Torrential rains knocked down two sections of the barbed wire fence along the border with North Korea, one of them 192 metres long, the South’s defence ministry said. The North’s Korean Central News Agency reported Saturday that two people were killed and hundreds left homeless. Updated figures have not been given. Poor weather makes it harder for the communist state to feed its 24-million-strong population as it lacks advanced agricultural technology and infrastructure.
Hundreds homeless as torrential rains hit Korean peninsula
Seoul: Three South Koreans were confirmed dead or missing after heavy rains pounded the Korean peninsula, leaving hundreds homeless as the downpours left a trail of destruction in the two Koreas, officials said on Monday.
The South’s disaster management office said 122 houses were flooded or partly destroyed, leaving 263 people homeless.
A 57-year-old man was found dead after being swept away in a flooded stream in the northern border city of Pocheon, it said.
In Hongcheon, east of Seoul, a 85-year-old man was killed in a landslide, while a 34-year-old man went missing on a flooded road in Gapyeong, the office said.
A shipment of weapons system components hidden in sugar containers was intercepted on its way from Cuba to North Korea after being searched on suspicion of drugs. NBC’s Mark Potter reports.
By Ian Johnston and F. Brinley Bruton, NBC News
A North Korean cargo ship was stopped near the Panama Canal and searched on suspicion of drugs, but it was carrying something sweeter — the apparent parts of a surface-to-air missile system, hidden inside containers of brown sugar.
The State Department said any shipment of arms or related material aboard the freighter would violate at least three U.N. resolutions.
The ship was on its way home from Cuba. Panamanian authorities said the captain of the ship tried to kill himself after officials boarded it Monday and began searching the containers that were supposed to contain the sugar.
The captain of the North Korean ship Chong Chon Gang tried to kill himself as the vessel was searched, according to Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli.
Independent defense analysts and U.S. officials said Tuesday that the equipment appeared to be a radar control system for surface-to-air missiles, and that the behavior of the crew suggested the equipment was being shipped covertly.
But Gordon Chang, the author of “Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World,” said it didn’t matter what was in the cargo hold.
“What’s important is that the North Koreans were able to smuggle dangerous equipment into our hemisphere,” he said.
Panama said it seized the ship on suspicion of drugs as it headed for the Panama Canal. Reuters reported that Panama had also detained 35 members of the crew.
“The Panama Canal is a canal of peace, not of war,” he said.
A State Department spokesman said that the United States supported Panama’s decision to seize the ship and offered Washington’s help if Panama needs it.
Staff at IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, a respected military affairs magazine, said the picture appeared to show a radar system for surface-to-air missiles — specifically an RSN-75 Fan Song fire-control radar system for a family of missiles known as SA-2.
North Korea on Sunday blamed the United States for escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula and called for “real actions” if Washington wants peace.
“The US can never cover up its true colours as the chief culprit escalating the tensions on the peninsula in a planned and deliberate way,” the North’s ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said in a commentary.
“If the US truly wants peace and security on the peninsula, it should take real actions to stop arms buildup and war rackets of threatening and blackmailing the other party, not just uttering words,” it said, according to an English-language text relayed by the KCNA news agency.
The commentary came two days after North Korea’s UN ambassador Sin Son-Ho appealed for an end to UN and US sanctions against Pyongyang.
“The most pressing issue in northeast Asia today is the hostile relations between the DPRK (North Korea) and the US which can lead to another war at any moment,” he said.
AP, DOJ clash over seriousness of leak that prompted phone records seizure
Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder calls on a reporter during a news conference at the Justice Department on Tuesday.
By Michael Isikoff
National Investigative Correspondent, NBC News
Justice Department and Associated Press officials clashed Tuesday over leaked classified information that led the government to seize AP phone records, with Attorney General Eric Holder saying it “put the American people at risk” and the news organization’s chief executive insisting it delayed publishing its story until it was assured “national security concerns had passed.”
The day of back-and-forth public sallies came as new details emerged about negotiations between the AP and U.S. officials over the unauthorized release of classified information on a foiled bomb plot in Yemen, information that apparently triggered the investigation.
“This was a very, very serious leak,” Holder said at a news conference. “I’ve been a prosecutor since 1976 – and I have to say that this is among, if not the most serious, in the top two or three most serious leaks that I’ve ever seen. It put the American people at risk – and that is not hyperbole.”
Holder defended the secret subpoena for about two months of AP phone records on 20 separate telephone lines without prior notice as a necessary step, saying that trying to find the source of the leak “required very aggressive action.”
Holder’s comments and a letter from Deputy Attorney General James Cole defending the seizure of the AP records – without notifying the news organization until last week – drew a stern response from AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt. He blasted the action as “overbroad under the law,” saying that “more than 100 journalists work in the locations served by those telephones.”
“Rather than talk to us in advance, they seized these phone records in secret, saying that notifying us would compromise their investigation,” Pruitt said in a statement late Tuesday. “They offer no explanation of this, however.
DOJ’s secret subpoena of AP phone records broader than initially revealed
Information has emerged in the Justice Department seizure of Associated Press phone records as well as the news that reporter for Fox News is now a target of a leak investigation concerning North Korea. NBC’s Michael Isikoff reports.
By Michael Isikoff
National Investigative Correspondent, NBC News
The Justice Department’s secret subpoena for AP phone records included the seizure of records for five reporters’ cellphones and three home phones as well as two fax lines, a lawyer for the news organization tells NBC News.
David Schulz, the chief lawyer for the AP, said the subpoenas also covered the records for 21 phone lines in five AP office lines — including one for a dead phone line at office in Washington that had been shut down six years ago. The phone lines at four other offices – where 100 reporters worked — were also covered by the subpoenas, Schulz said.
Although AP had given general information about the subpoenas last week, it provided new details Monday about the number of cell and home phone records as it considers possible legal action against the Justice Department.
Yes, we’ve all seen scary post-apocalyptic films like Mad Max, or TV shows like Jericho. A real collapse, however, will be quite different from such dramas. And beyond that, there’s a good chance the future will be better.
From where I now live, you could draw a 25 mile arc which would include competent people of almost any imaginable specialty: The guys who know how to build and repair refrigerators, machines of all types, cars and roads and houses and windows and computers and a thousand other things.
So, I’m not overly worried about the dollar going to zero – as long as these guys have two critical things:
They must be able to communicate with each other.
They must be left alone, with no one telling them “you can’t do that without our permission.”
If either one of these two things are missing, we’re screwed, but as long as we have them, we’ll be okay. Sure, there will be some bad days, a few tragedies, and a surfeit of terror from the fear factories (that is, the mainstream media), but in general, we productive people will be okay.
I knew men who ran a business through the Great Depression, in precisely my specialties (contracting and engineering). We discussed the difficulties they faced and how they coped with them. They worked through the depression end to end, and did some pretty impressive projects – with absolutely no credit available anywhere.
They paid for things creatively – in sections, with barter, and on trust – but they also got the job done, from the beginning of the depression to the end.
Our period of difficulty (which most of us presume will be coming somehow or another) will be different from the Great Depression, but so long as we retain the two items mentioned above – and I will tell you precisely how we can keep them below – we’ll get through it.
The Bad Stuff
Okay, so if we have a complete dollar collapse, what can we expect? Here are a few thoughts:
Fear. Scaring the populace will be the first and essential tool of the rulers. Government relies far more on legitimacy than on force, so the rulers will be very keen on using their number one tool to keep people clustering around them for safety. That’s a primary strategy for them.
Welfare riots. This is possible, and even probable in some places, presuming that government checks either stop, or no longer matter due to massive inflation. However, we all know which areas are likely to be hit and we can avoid them. (If you’re in one, do something about it now.) And, as horrifying as such a thing may be (and should be!), Americans, Canadians and a serious number of Europeans do have guns, and will eventually shoot rioters as they are beating down their neighbor’s door.
Supply chain disruptions. Since the big corporations are so tightly associated with governments, they will not likely adapt as quickly as small companies do. They may lock-up while waiting for instructions. This is why stores of key commodities (like food) and communication will be necessary.
War. This is the traditional distraction from disappointments and government failures. Syria seems to be the leading candidate at the moment, or perhaps North Korea or some other distant monster will fit the bill.
No credit. As scary as this seems to some people, the reality won’t be nearly as debilitating as imagined (except for the mega-corps); people will adapt and go back to a 19th century way of buying and selling. Adjustment will be required, but farmers will still need to sell their food, and they will find ways for productive people to pay them.
Lack of currency. Dollars will fail in this scenario (along with Euros, Pounds, etc.), but there will be not be a debilitating lack of currency, for two reasons: 1) Lots of people have silver and gold, which are always good. 2) We have Bitcoin, which is good currency world-wide.
Shuttered fire departments. The rulers won’t close too many police stations, since they want to retain their image as saviors and because they need people to fear them, but fire departments and other things may be let go. (The scarier things first.) But again, so long as we can communicate and adapt, we can just arrange for necessary services in different ways. Remember, most of us are blowing 20-30 hours per week on TV – we have WAY more free time than we think we do.
The Future Will Be Better if We Take Care of THESE TWO BIG RISKS
There are very simple solutions to our two crucial issues. But remember, simple isn’t always easy. Here are the solutions:
They must be able to communicate with each other.
This one is actually easy. The solution is mesh networks. (You can find a nice PDF primer here.) These are local networks, built with simple wifi devices. These, combined with a few longer links, can create a very nice communications network. You won’t be able to use it for videos, but it will work well for basic communications. (Though you really should keep a small electric generator and some gas.)
They must be left alone, with no one telling them “you can’t do that without our permission.”
The solution to this one is very simple: Do it anyway. Whatever you think of your local government, I very much doubt that you think they have a right to starve you – which is what failing to act in your own survival comes out to. If it’s moral, do it. Stop waiting for permission.
So, while the big collapse (assuming that it does come) will be terrifying to inveterate TV watchers, the reality will be far less apocalyptic than promised… assuming that we productive people act like producers.
And as producers, we have so much more choice than the others. Indeed, in one way, we could see the collapse as an opportunity to start fresh. The future will be better if we ultimately say so.
[Editor's Note: Paul Rosenberg is the author of FreemansPerspective.com, a collection of insights on topics ranging from Internet privacy to economic freedom, the purpose of life to alternative currencies. Join our free e-letter list to receive other articles like this one... and immediately get a report that explains in a unique way how the US Government got into the mess it's in, the dangers that creates for us, and how to protect ourselves from it.]
Electromagnetic pulse weapons that can paralyze a country in a nanosecond are already in the possession of several states. By 2015, North Korea is likely to acquire one. If you are not sweating, check your pulse.
A nuclear weapon explodes 300 km above Nebraska, the geographical centre of the United States. The blast is far too high to kill people by heat or radioactivity. But it does something far worse – it sends the world’s most advanced country into the Stone Age.
This isn’t science fiction. The technology for launching this version of Armageddon exists and is ridiculously low tech. Even an ordinary, low-yield nuclear bomb exploded in the upper atmosphere by terrorists, with help from dysfunctional nuclear powers such as North Korea or Pakistan, would unleash a deadly electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that will take only a nanosecond to knock out an entire country’s electrical grid.
That means every microchip will be fried and all electronic systems will fail. The result would be “fundamental collapse” as the United States EMP Commission describes it. All phones and mobiles will stop functioning, the transport system would come to a halt, the banking system, airports, food and fuel distribution systems would collapse. The fabric of modern society would be ripped apart.
The day after Boston
If the Boston bombings have proved anything it is that low tech warfare can bring a high-tech nation to its knees. Two Chechen brothers, not very well-equipped or professionally trained but nevertheless motivated by Islamic zeal, forced an entire city to close down.
Pressure cooker bombs are cheap; flying stolen aircraft into skyscrapers is free (other than the cost of flight training) and sending a bunch of raiders into a modern metropolis (as the Pakistanis did in Mumbai) takes only a few thousand dollars. But at the end of the standoff, the terrorists always lose and often die. No modern state has ever buckled under terror.
Terrorists and terrorist states, therefore, want something that will give them more bang for the buck. It makes you wonder, what next?
Your worst nightmare
The Russians were the first to understand the implications of EMP as a weapon. Soviet physicist Andrei Sakharov proposed using this principle in a bomb in the 1950s. On October 22, 1962, during one of their ABM tests, the Russians detonated a 300 kiloton hydrogen warhead (20 times more powerful than Hiroshima) at an altitude of 300 km over Kazakhstan.
The blast deliberately targeted two cable lines. The first one was the 550 km East-West telephone line – all the fuses in the line which was 7.5 m above the ground were destroyed. The second, the 1,000 km Aqmola-Almaty power line, carried electricity from a power station in the city of Karaganda. It was a lead-shielded cable protected against mechanical damage by spiral-wound steel tape, and was buried at a depth of 90 cm. This cable succumbed completely to the EMP within seconds of the blast, overheating and setting the power station on fire.
The United States military realised EMP’s potential as a weapon the same year, in the Starfish Prime test of a much larger 1.44 megaton warhead at a height of 400 km over the Pacific Ocean. The pulse knocked out street lights and damaged telephones in Hawaii. Four days after the explosion the UK satellite Ariel was unable to generate sufficient electricity to function properly.
People are more vulnerable today because virtually everything now runs on microchips, which are a million times more vulnerable to a power surge than the thermonic valves used in electronics in 1962. Today most people around the world are unable to function normally without access to mobile phones and computers.
In a recent New York Times article the newspaper’s senior science writer, William J. Broad, takes a dig at Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s obsession with the possibility of a “nightmarish of doomsday scenarios: a nuclear blast high above the United States that would instantly throw the United States in a dark age.”
The phenomenon that Gingrich refers to is an electromagnetic pulse (EMP), one side effect of a nuclear explosion. EMPs can destroy or disrupt virtually anything electrical, from computers to power grids. As the Times points out, Gingrich has used this potential threat to advocate bombing Iran and North Korea. “I favor taking out the Iranian and North Korean missiles on their sites,” he told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in 2009. Gingrich has also talked up the EMP “threat” on the campaign trail.
Broad dismisses EMPs as “a poorly understood phenomenon of the nuclear age” and quotes Missile Defense Agency spokesman Richard Lehner poo-pooing the damage from an EMP attack as “pretty theoretical.”
While the Times is correct in dismissing any Iranian or North Korean threat—neither country has missiles capable of reaching the U.S., Iran doesn’t have nuclear weapons, and both have never demonstrated a desire to commit national suicide—what Broad does not mention is that the effects of EMP are hardly “poorly understood”: the U.S. has an “E-bomb” in its arsenal.
More than that, the Pentagon considered using it during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Asked directly if the U.S. was considering using an EMP weapon, then
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld answered, “You never know.”
The U.S. has known about the effects of EMPs since 1958, when a series of nuclear tests in the Pacific knocked out streetlights in Hawaii and radio reception in Australia for 18 hours. In large enough doses, EMPs can fry every electrical circuit in range, many of them permanently. One would essentially go from the 21st century to the 19th century in a few nanoseconds.
The U.S. began researching how to use EMPs as weapons shortly after the Pacific tests, and, while the details are classified, the Livermore and Los Alamos national labs have apparently come up with a working version of an “E-bomb.”
The principle is simple enough: a tube filled with explosives, wrapped with copper wire, encased in a metal shell. The copper wire is used to create a powerful magnetic field and when the explosives are fired, they compress the magnetic field to produce a powerful burst of electromagnetic energy called the “Compton effect.”
A large enough device can generate up to two billion watts, about what Hoover Dam turns out in a day.
The weapon is attached to a cruise missile. Any piloted craft would run the risk of frying its own electronics, because EMP waves can bounce off objects, like the ground, and be reflected back at the attack craft.
Britain’s Matra Bae Dynamics has produced an artillery shell that generates an EMP wave and is capable of knocking out electrical systems for several square miles.
The idea behind the “E-bomb” is that it would blind and disable any military force, but not inflict casualties (except if you are wearing a pacemaker or have electrical implants). “The electromagnetic pulse generator is emerging as one of the strongest contenders…to find effective weapons to defeat an enemy without causing loss of life,” writes David Fulghum, an EMP expert.
But EMP waves would also paralyze ambulances, hospitals, power plants and water pumping systems, a specific violation of the Geneva Conventions. Article 54, for instance, explicitly forbids rendering “useless” any “drinking water installations.”
There are ways to shield devices from EMPs, but they are expensive. So-called Faraday Cages intercept EMPs and redirect them into the ground, much like lightening rod.
While the exact details of the U.S. “E-bomb” are classified, its existence is hardly a secret. Nor is the U.S. the only nation currently researching the uses of EMPs. Any country with a nuclear weapon—Great Britain, France, Russia, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea—is undoubtedly aware of its capabilities.
The fact that the effects of EMPs are well known, and that the U.S.—and apparently a number of other nations—has weaponized the phenomena, make it all the more curious that the Times treated the issue so lightly and failed to mention the U.S. program. Indeed, Broad says, “many scientists consider it yesteryear’s concern.”
William Radasky and Peter Vincent Pry rebut Yousaf M. Butt’s charge that the EMP threat is “overblown.” They point out that the EMP Commission report was a collaborative effort between “the Intelligence Community…the military services…the National Nuclear Security Administration laboratories…the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security,” all of which concluded that the nation is unprepared for an EMP attack.
An EMP is a high-intensity burst of electromagnetic energy caused by the rapid acceleration of charged particles. An EMP can change the magnetic field in the earth’s atmosphere to disrupt electronic devices by a pulse flowing through electricity transmission lines, overloading and damaging transmission distribution centers. According to Heritage’s James Carafano, in the event of an EMP, “communications would collapse, transportation would halt, and electrical power would simply be nonexistent.”
Butt charges that terrorists have access only to low-yield weapons and that such a weapon “would be restricted to only a small region of the country.” This premise is wrong on three counts:
If terrorists do obtain a nuclear weapon, it will likely not be a one-kiloton weapon but a far more sophisticated one from Russia or a rogue state;
The “brain drain” from Russia enabled North Korea to make (and potentially test) “Super-EMP” low-yield nuclear weapons that can generate very powerful EMP fields over wide geographic areas; and
Even a low-yield weapon could knock out the entire Eastern seaboard if detonated from a higher altitude than the 40-kilometer level needed for peak EMP field results
Americans love to be entertained, and we love to watch other people’s lives unfold in chaos, scandal and violence. We love narratives about conquering evil with overwhelming firepower. We love scripts and adventures, and swashbuckling gun battles, underdogs, dead bad guys and heroic gunfighters. We love to suspend disbelief and open ourselves to fantasy.
Lately the mainline media narrative offered up by the big few media companies has given us a lot to take in. Just a couple of weeks ago, North Korea was targeting us with nukes, then on we went to the terrible Boston bombings and ensuing manhunt. The prevailing message is that Americans are increasingly being targeted for political reasons, we are insecure and vulnerable in a dangerous world … so get used to it.
By keeping ideas like these at the forefront of our consciousness, and constantly switching up the narrative to add more bogeymen, more intrigue, more detail, and more potential for disaster, our mainline media directs our collective conversation and steals our attention away from whatever it does not wish for us to discuss. It fills the role of 24-hour culture-creator and idea-nanny, forever plotting the course for our social anxieties, ensuring that we are never without big, big concerns.
The real events and interests in our lives seem to have little connection with, or impact on, the events taking place in the mainline media narrative. Yet, this ongoing story certainly does have a real effect on our lives. The narrative instructs us, and speaks at us, while our interests and desires have zero effect on the direction the narrative takes.
It works this way to dis-empower the individual, so that the collective can be more easily molded by those with the intent to exploit us.
With all this high production media security theater how do we know what’s real and what is not? How do we know what genuinely affects our lives and what does not?
After last week’s tense drama over the Boston bombings, a few key truths about life in America have emerged so far.
Distrust Is Higher Than Ever
Distrust of the media and government is at an all-time high, and rightfully so, since they continue to discredit themselves by arrogantly refusing to discuss details about the bombings that are questionable to even novice Internet sleuths. Equally notable, however, is the distrust that Americans are showing for one another these days. Our society is deeply fractured, and for every movement big or small there is an equally motivated group of people working in direct opposition. For every belief out there, there is a corresponding and fanatical anti-belief. The proliferation of values in our world is so diverse that unity in any area is an enigma. Distrust, skepticism and paranoia carry the day.
The Media Narrative Works
The general public’s willingness to believe, identify with and internalize media events like these is also at an all-time high. The ongoing story effectively induces people into a hypnotic state of shock and paralyzing fear. It occupies us completely by gripping our lowest levels of consciousness. This too, is understandable, as Americans are under an increasing amount of stress, while experiencing record poor mental and physical health. Record numbers of people are ‘snapping’ these days. Entertainment is our great escape from the madness in this world, and the unbeatable drama of being at the mercy of evil-doers while having an ever-watchful guardian protect us from all possible harm is too tantalizing to pass up.
What Is Truth?
Truth is more difficult than ever to identify. It looks different to everyone, and it changes from day to day. With so many perspectives on current events, and so many actors and agendas involved, it is impossible for a single truth to gain momentum. A stalemate. The fracturing of trust and truth means that the biggest, loudest and most repeated lies will fill the void and become truth for most.
A US military helicopter has crashed near the North Korean border, a South Korean defence official says, with no reported casualties.
The helicopter, identified by the Yonhap news agency as a UH-60 Black Hawk, came down in Cheolwon county, which touches on the border with North Korea, a defence ministry spokesman told AFP on Tuesday.
The precise cause of the crash was not immediately clear, but the incident occurred during ongoing South Korea-US joint military exercises.
Yonhap quoted emergency rescue workers as saying the 12 service personnel on board the helicopter had survived the crash, which comes at a time of heightened military tensions on the Korean peninsula.
North Korea has condemned the joint exercises as a rehearsal for invasion, and made a series of dire threats of military retaliation.
Musudan-class missiles being displayed during a military parade in Pyongyang
As South Korea and the United States brace for a possible missile launch by North Korea, the communist nation appears to be moving several missiles repeatedly on its east coast in an apparent attempt to interfere with intelligence monitoring, sources familiar with the matter said Thursday.
According to intelligence analysis, the North has moved two Musudan intermediate missiles, which had been concealed in a shed in the eastern port city of Wonsan, in and out of the facility. Four or five wheeled vehicles, suspected to be so-called transporter erector launchers (TEL), were also spotted being moved around in South Hamgyeong Province.
“There are signs the North could fire off Musudan missiles any time soon,” an intelligence source said, asking for anonymity. “But the North has been repeatedly moving its missiles in and out of a shed, which needs close monitoring.”
A North Korea missile launcher has moved into the firing position with rockets facing skyward, Kyodo reports, citing a Japan defense official.
The Japanese government is on high alert, citing indications that Pyongyang might soon launch ballistic missiles at its island neighbor.
Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Thursday morning that so far Tokyo was responding by “gathering a variety of information … with a sense of tension,” according to Kyodo.
Several Patriot Advance Capability-3 missile interceptor units have been deployed in Japan over the last few days to defend key military units and the country’s capital city, Tokyo. One of the units was set up at the Defense Ministry’s headquarters in Ichigaya, in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward.
The Patriots’ deployment followed Japan’s deployment of Aegis destroyers equipped with SM-3 interceptor missiles.
Japan authorized its forces to shoot down anything fired at it from North Korea.
The indication of the new North Korean readiness follows South Korean and US forces’ announcement of an upgrade of their surveillance alert status to the highest possible level before coming into a state of war.
It also comes amid revelations from South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, with a government source saying Pyongyang is preparing multiple launches of shorter-range Scud and Rodong missiles. “There are clear signs that the North could simultaneously fire off Musudan, Scud and Nodong missiles,” an anonymous military source was quoted as saying on Wednesday.
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Due to the social nature of this site, it may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit, to those who have expressed a prior interest in participating in this community for educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
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