Thought for the day

"It is incredible that this must be said, but the obvious seems to escape politicized academics, so we must state the obvious: Genocide is deliberate; it is premeditated. There is no genocide without premeditation. The murders are not unfortunate coincidences. This is why it is called "mass MURDER" and not "mass MANSLAUGHTER." -- A.E. Samaan

North Korea has said it has no plans to sell arms to Russia, calling the idea a “conspiracy theory” after US officials claimed that a deal is in the works involving “millions” of artillery shells and rockets.

Pyongyang’s Ministry of Defense released a statement on Wednesday responding to the claims, saying that while it does not accept United Nations penalties prohibiting all arms sales by North Korea, it also has no intention of transferring weapons to Russia.

South Korea on Tuesday warned North Korea that using its nuclear weapons would put it on a “path of self-destruction,” in unusually harsh language that came days after North Korea legislated a new law that would allow it to use its nuclear weapons preemptively.

North Korea will likely be infuriated by the South Korean rhetoric as Seoul typically shuns such strong words to avoid raising tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

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North Korea has adopted a new doctrine that would see the country "automatically and immediately" use nuclear weapons in the event it felt that its Chairman Kim Jong Un had died as the result of assassination. 

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Kim Jong Un had declared he is ready to launch preventive nuclear strikes in a new law passed this week, state media said on Friday.

Such 'preventative' strikes could be made even in the face of conventional attacks against the isolated country, the law states.

The move effectively eliminates the possibility of denuclearisation talks, with the dictator saying the country's status as a nuclear state was now 'irreversible'.

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Kim Jong Un had declared he is ready to launch preventive nuclear strikes in a new law passed this week, state media said on Friday.

Such 'preventative' strikes could be made even in the face of conventional attacks against the isolated country, the law states.

The move effectively eliminates the possibility of denuclearisation talks, with the dictator saying the country's status as a nuclear state was now 'irreversible'.

North Korea has passed a law declaring itself to be a nuclear weapons state, according to state news agency KCNA.

The country's leader Kim Jong-un called the decision "irreversible" and ruled out the possibility of any talks on denuclearisation, it said.

The law also enshrines the country's right to use a pre-emptive nuclear strike to protect itself.

Despite crippling sanctions, Pyongyang has conducted six nuclear tests between 2006 and 2017.

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Japan and China Are Bracing As ‘Super Strong’ Typhoon Approaches (Video)

Typhoon Hinnamnor is expected to hit East Asia this week. The typhoon, so far, the strongest global storm this year, has ground travel to a halt in Japan, China, and South Korea. China’s eastern cities and North Korea suspended ferry services, while Japan and Taiwan canceled flights.

A newly declassified intelligence report is alleging that Russia is buying millions of artillery shells and rockets from North Korea, in what US officials say is the latest sign of desperation amid depleting Russian munitions after six months of war in Ukraine.

The United States, South Korea and Japan have vowed to “maximize” their response to North Korea’s next nuclear test, according to a senior security official in Seoul, amid repeated predictions that Pyongyang is preparing for another trial. 

Speaking to reporters following a high-level meeting between Seoul, Washington and Tokyo on Thursday, South Korea's top security adviser Kim Sung-han said another North Korean nuclear test would prompt a stern reaction from the three allies.

Seoul is circulating the idea of normalizing Washington-Pyongyang ties even before North Korea takes a potential step toward denuclearization, but experts said the notion is likely to be rejected by the U.S. as well as North Korea.

As denuclearization is increasingly seen as an unlikely outcome amid stalled diplomacy and North Korea's preparation for what would be its seventh nuclear test, Seoul is considering a push toward normalization seen as an effort to engage Pyongyang.

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