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“Today marks the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump tweeting that his “Nuclear Button” is “much bigger & more powerful” than Kim Jong-un’s. That was in response to the North Korean leader warning in his 2018 New Year’s address that the United States should be aware that “the nuclear button is on my office desk all the time.”
It’s almost hard to remember now that the prospect of nuclear conflict between the United States and North Korea seemed very real and imminent a year ago. At the dawning of this new year, we’re in a much different place. In his 2019 New Year’s address, Kim affirmed that he is “ready to meet the US president again anytime,” to which Trump responded, “I also look forward to meeting with Chairman Kim who realizes so well that North Korea possesses great economic potential!”
On the other hand, maybe things haven’t changed so much. A New York Times headline today suggests that Trump and Kim are “back at square 1.” After all, despite the historic meeting in June between the two leaders in Singapore, North Korea has not dismantled its nuclear program. In fact, analysts believe it is still building weapons and expanding facilities related to the program. Negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang have been intermittent and tense, with few signs of any potential for a breakthrough on either the nuclear issue or on North Korea’s main aim: a peace treaty formally ending the 1950–53 Korean War. Kim’s speech this year wasn’t all sunshine. It also included the threat, which Trump seems to have decided to gloss over, that if the U.S. continues to “unilaterally enforce something upon us and persists in imposing sanctions and pressure against our Republic, we may be compelled to find a new way for defending the sovereignty of the country and the supreme interests of the state and for achieving peace and stability of the Korean peninsula.” He didn’t elaborate on what this “new way” might be, but it’s consistent with North Korea’s long history of vague and empty threats of violence.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"THE CAPTURE of the last territory controlled by the Islamic State on Saturday was far from a final victory over the movement, as U.S. commanders and diplomats were careful to emphasize."
"How a Gay Teen, an Internet Nazi, and a Late-Night Rendezvous Turned to Tragedy. When self-loathing meets the new age of online extremism."
"Benjamin Netanyahu ignored the intelligence operations of Beijing and Moscow for too long. Now, the Israeli government is finally paying attention, but it could be too late."
"Former Nick Jr. kids are now reckoning with this all-grown-up intrepid explorer, whose obstacles are a lot bigger than Swiper the Fox. And that is a hard pill to swallow."
"At the end of last week, the three-month Treasury bills' yield rose above the yield for 10-year Treasuries for the first time since 2007, prompting warnings that the U.S. is headed for recession later this year or in early 2020."
"A team of researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology attempted to answer some questions about voting with the help of artificial intelligence (AI)."
"The experts I spoke with all said that the internet had changed the way conspiracies spread, but conspiracies, both dangerous and petty, have always been with us."
"Pop culture today is obsessed with the battle between good and evil. Traditional folktales never were. What changed?"
"Trustful parents allow their children as much freedom as reasonably possible to make their own decisions. They trust their children’s instincts, judgments, and ability to learn from mistakes."
"Arugulagate. In 2007, Barack Obama was in Iowa, speaking as a presidential hopeful to a group of farmers who were worried about the stagnation of their crop prices while America’s grocery bills continued to rise."
"To say that information exists in and of itself is akin to speaking of spin without the top, of ripples without water, of a dance without the dancer, or of the Cheshire Cat’s grin without the cat."
"Ted Cruz replaces the Democrats’ muddled manifesto with a clear and unequivocal exploration of the hatred of Jews and its particular evils."