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The Republican party's top White House hopefuls gather tonight in Cleveland, Ohio for the first debate ahead of this year's primaries. Real estate tycoon Donald Trump, who has made racist remarks about Mexicans and insulted former Republican nominee John McCain, is dominating the media circus — and leading in the polls, ahead of former Florida Governor and presidential brother-and-son Jeb Bush. The debate is limited to the top 10 candidates in the current poll rankings, out of 17 declared candidates. Read more from the Plain Dealer.

ABOUT THE SOURCE: The Plain Dealer is the leading daily in the state of Ohio, founded in 1842.

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Geopolitics

North Korea And Nukes: Why The World Is Obliged To Try To Negotiate

How to handle a nuclear armed pariah state is not a simple question.

North Korea And Nukes: Why The World Is Obliged To Try To Negotiate

North Korea's missile launch during a news program at the Yongsan Railway Station in Seoul

Alexander Gillespie

The recent claim by Kim Jong Un that North Korea plans to develop the world’s most powerful nuclear force may well have been more bravado than credible threat. But that doesn’t mean it can be ignored.

The best guess is that North Korea now has sufficient fissile material to build 45 to 55 nuclear weapons, three decades after beginning its program. The warheads would mostly have yields of around 10 to 20 kilotons, similar to the 15 kiloton bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.

But North Korea has the capacity to make devices ten times bigger. Its missile delivery systems are also advancing in leaps and bounds. The technological advance is matched in rhetoric and increasingly reckless acts, including test-firing missiles over Japan in violation of all international norms, provoking terror and risking accidental war.

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