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May 15, 2018

North Korea Threatens to Withdraw From Planned Summit Over Continued Joint US-South Korea Military Drills

It's possible that North Korea's pint-sized potentate was #Triggered by Trump bragging about getting the hostages back without paying $150 billion dollars (as Obama did with Iran), and maybe this is attempt to show that he's a Big Boy too.

North Korea canceled a high-level meeting Wednesday with South Korea and threatened also to call off a historic summit planned next month with the United States due to ongoing military exercises between the South and the U.S., South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.

The two Koreas were set to hold a meeting later Wednesday at a border truce village to discuss setting up military and Red Cross talks aimed at reducing border tension and restarting reunions between families separated by the Korean War.

But hours before the meeting was to take place, Pyongyang canceled the meeting and also questioned whether next month's talks between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump would happen, Yonhap reported, citing North Korea's Korean Central News Agency.

In news you probably already know, North Korea does seem to be closing down its nuclear testing site. But there's a big caveat I have on this.

Over the years peaceful gestures made by the North Korean regime with respect to its nuclear program have not been particularly reliable. As recently as 2012, Pyongyang pledged to place a moratorium on nuclear and missile testing in exchange for food aid. So the promises made by Kim Jong-un to South Korean president Moon Jae-in last month to initiate concrete steps toward denuclearization arenít exactly carved in stone.

But one step that was discussed, the closure and demolition of North Koreaís nuclear testing site at Punggye-ri appears to be fully under way, according to satellite photographs. Here's a report from The Guardian:

The pictures, taken on 7 May, are "the first definitive evidence that dismantlement of the test site was already well underway", according to a blog post by 38 North, a website run by former US diplomats.

The Punggye-ri site in the northeast of the country was used for all of the North's six nuclear tests and lies deep within mountains. Kim pledged to close the complex after his historic meeting with South Korean president Moon Jae-in, saying North Korea no longer needed the site...

Is that good news? Well, I don't think so. Because that testing site was likely no longer usable anyway due to the fact that repeated nuclear blasts under the earth caused much of it to collapse.

A study by Chinese geologists shows the mountain above North Korea's main nuclear test site has collapsed under the stress of the explosions, rendering it unsafe for further testing and necessitating monitoring for any leaking radiation.

The findings by the scientists at the University of Science and Technology of China may shed new light on North Korean President Kim Jong Unís announcement that his country was ceasing its testing program.

I think North Korea is still North Korea and will remain North Korea until there comes a revolution or coup and a lot of blood-letting.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 05:29 PM

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