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North Korea

North Korea Threatens "Merciless Military Strike," Kim Jong-Un's Nephew Speaks Out

KCNA (North Korea), YONHAP (South Korea), YLEISRADIO (Finland)

Worldcrunch

North Korea announced Friday that it would launch a "merciless military strike" on South Korea, if the country allows anti-North activists to disseminate propaganda leaflets in the communist country next week.

Yonhap news agency, citing the North's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), quoted the warning statement by the North's Western Front Command of the Korean People's Army: "The moment a minor movement for the scattering is captured in Imjim Pavilion and in its vicinity, merciless military strike by the Western Front will be put into practice without warning."

Yonhap is reporting that South Korea's Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin has in turn declared that any attacks would be met with retaliatory fire.

"If such provocation takes place, the South is fully prepared to take out the source of the attack," Kim said.

South Korean activists regularly send over balloons carrying leaflets criticizing the communist regime.

The announcement is likely to strain relations between the two nations, despite continuing reforms in the communist country by Kim Jong-un.

The grandson of the late former leader Kim Jong-il and nephew of current leader Kim Jong-un gave a rare interview to Finnish television station Yleisradio this week.

Kim Han-sol, 17, was speaking to former Under-Secretary-General Elisabeth Rehn in Mostar, Bosnia, where he studies at the United World College (UWC).

After his birth in Pyongyang in 1995, he spent most of his childhood in Macau and China, leading an "isolated" life. He never met his grandfather or his uncle.

His father Kim Jong-nam is thought to have fallen out of favor with the communist regime in 2001 after he was caught attempting to enter Japan with a fake passport, supposedly in order to visit Disneyland Tokyo.

In the interview, he said he wanted to "make things better" for the people in North Korea and he plans on working for humanitarian projects. You can watch the interview in English below:

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Ideas

Joshimath, The Sinking Indian City Has Also Become A Hotbed Of Government Censorship

The Indian authorities' decision to hide factual reports on the land subsidence in Joshimath only furthers a sense of paranoia.

Photo of people standing next to a cracked road in Joshimath, India

Cracked road in Joshimath

@IndianCongressO via Twitter
Rohan Banerjee*

MUMBAI — Midway through the movie Don’t Look Up (2021), the outspoken PhD candidate Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) is bundled into a car, a bag over her head. The White House, we are told, wants her “off the grid”. She is taken to a warehouse – the sort of place where CIA and FBI agents seem to spend an inordinate amount of time in Hollywood movies – and charged with violating national security secrets.

The Hobson’s choice offered to her is to either face prosecution or suspend “all public media appearances and incendiary language relating to Comet Dibiasky”, an interstellar object on a collision course with earth. Exasperated, she acquiesces to the gag order.

Don’t Look Upis a satirical take on the collective apathy towards climate change; only, the slow burn of fossil fuel is replaced by the more imminent threat of a comet crashing into our planet. As a couple of scientists try to warn humanity about its potential extinction, they discover a media, an administration, and indeed, a society that is not just unwilling to face the truth but would even deny it.

This premise and the caricatured characters border on the farcical, with plot devices designed to produce absurd scenarios that would be inconceivable in the real world we inhabit. After all, would any government dealing with a natural disaster, issue an edict prohibiting researchers and scientists from talking about the event? Surely not. Right?

On January 11, the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), one of the centers of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), issued a preliminary report on the land subsidence issue occurring in Joshimath, the mountainside city in the Himalayas.

The word ‘subsidence’ entered the public lexicon at the turn of the year as disturbing images of cracked roads and tilted buildings began to emanate from Joshimath.

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