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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)


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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Inside Copernicus, Where All The Data Of Climate Change Gets Captured And Crunched

As COP28 heats up, a close-up look at the massive European earth observatory program 25 years after its creation, with its disturbing monthly reports of a planet that has gotten hotter than ever.

A photo of Sentinel-2 floating above Earth

Sentinel-2 orbiting Earth

Laura Berny

PARIS — The monthly Copernicus bulletin has become a regular news event.

In early August, amid summer heatwaves around the Northern Hemisphere, Copernicus — the Earth Observation component of the European Union's space program — sent out a press release confirming July as the hottest month ever recorded. The news had the effect of a (climatic) bomb. Since then, alarming heat records have kept coming, including the news at the beginning of November, when Copernicus Climate Change Service deputy director Samantha Burgess declared 2023 to be the warmest year on record ”with near certainty.”

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Approaching the dangerous threshold set by the Paris Agreement, the global temperature has never been so high: 1.43°C (2.57°F) higher than the pre-industrial average of 1850-1900 and 0.10°C (0.18°F) higher than the average of 2016 (warmest year so far). Burgess, a marine geochemistry researcher who previously served as chief advisor for oceans for the UK government, knows that the the climate data gathered by Copernicus is largely driving the negotiations currently underway at COP28 in Dubai.

She confirmed for Les Echos that December is also expected to be warmer than the global average due to additional heat in sea surfaces, though there is still more data to collect. “Are the tipping points going to be crossed in 2023,?" she asked. "Or is it just a very warm year part of the long-term warming trend varying from one year to the next?”

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