Posts tagged United States
The top U.S. commander in the Pacific region says he’s worried that North Korea’s continued missile tests are helping establish them as something that’s normal.
Speaking during a news conference at The Pentagon on Tuesday, Admiral Sam Locklear, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, said he was concerned that the international community was becoming “numb” to them.
The planned expansion of the U.S. missile defense shield to guard against potential threats from North Korea and other nations will cost $5.8 billion over the coming years, according to an estimate released this week.
The estimate was made by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in response to a question from Jeff Sessions, a Republican senator for Alabama and a member of the Senate Subcommittee on Strategic Forces. They examine the cost of the system over the last few years and its likely cost over the coming five years. More >
The United States and several other nations have written to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) over North Korea’s failure to notify it of missile launches.
Over the past couple of weeks, short and medium-range missile have been fired by North Korea into the sea to the east of the country on a handful of occasions. Each launch took place without a standard warning to air and ship traffic.
A U.S. interceptor missile system designed to deter and defend against missiles from North Korea and other nations will take a step forward this week when the U.S. Missile Defense Agency kicks off work on environmental impact statements on four proposed sites.
On Wednesday, the MDA is expected to publish a notice informing residents in nearby neighborhoods of the start of a 60-day comment period that begins the process. The entire study is expected to take about two years and are intended to assess the environmental impact that the proposed missile defense bases will have to local land, water, air quality and other factors. More >
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) put out a call Tuesday for projects aimed at human rights and democracy in North Korea.
DRL will fund winning proposals with grants of up to $350,000 per organization and groups have until May 13, 2014, to complete and submit their proposals.
Proposals can cover a broad range of areas, but the DRL advised they should “include activities that support recommendations from the recently released report from the Commission of Inquiry on North Korea and/or DPRK’s Universal Periodic Review.” More >
Speaking during a public hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee in Washington, James Clapper said the two countries were working more closely together on intelligence matters.
“The Japanese are emerging as great partners,” said Clapper. More >
The United Nations Human Rights agency said it is following with concern news coming out of Pyongyang that Jang Song Thaek was executed this week.
“This underscores the arbitrary nature of the system in the DPRK and the absence of transparency and due process which is required for the rule of law,” said Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, in a briefing in Geneva.
In Washington, the U.S. State Department said the execution illustrated “the values of the regime, their low regard for human life, what’s probably one of the worst human rights records in the world.”
Here are clips of the two briefings:
Kim Jong Il made a surprise appearance on the season premiere edition of Fox TV’s “The Simpsons” on Sunday night. And so did “the Internet he banned.”
The episode, which marked the beginning of the 23rd season of the hit animated show, features a former CIA agent called Wayne. Played by Kiefer Sutherland, Wayne becomes a security guard at the nuclear power plant and eventually saves Homer’s life.
It’s right at the end of the show that he reveals he was “in a North Korean prison being forced to write a musical about Kim Jong Il with a car battery hooked up to my nipples.”
The musical, called “Being Short is no Hindrance to Greatness,” included a song that spelled out the name of the Dear Leader. The song started out with some quite cutting lines but then lost a little imagination and faded out:
“K is for Korea just the north part, I is for the Internet he bans.
M is for the millions that are missing, J is for our human-tasting jam.
O is for oh boy we love our leader, N is for the best Korea north.
G is for gee-whiz we love our leader …”