To succeed with North Korea, U.S. must stand with the South

To succeed with North Korea, U.S. must stand with the South

North Korea has been remarkably successful in using its negotiations to divide U.S. alliances in Northeast Asia, raising the stakes for South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s White House visit today.

The backdrop: After a vibrant North-South summit at Panmunjom in April, Pyongyang has pivoted to shovel abuse onto its neighbor. The North canceled a promised meeting, assailed South Korea’s participation in military exercises, refused to invite South Korean reporters to the closure of its nuclear test site and demanded repatriation of North Koreans. Kim Jong-un is hoping Moon and Trump will blame each other for its bad behavior.

Pence: North Korea will end like Libya only if Kim ‘doesn’t make a deal’

Pence: North Korea will end like Libya only if Kim ‘doesn’t make a deal’

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Maurice Watson called out President Trump’s vulgar comments on Haiti and African countries during his sermon.”,”descriptionText”:”With Vice President Pence sitting in the front pew, Rev. Maurice Watson called out President Trump’s vulgar comments on Haiti and African countries during his sermon.”},{“title”:”Pence takes flattery to new heights”,”duration”:”02:06″,”sourceName”:”CNN”,”sourceLink”:”http://www.cnn.com”,”videoCMSUrl”:”/video/data/3.0/video/politics/2017/12/21/mike-pence-flatters-donald-trump-moos-pkg-erin.cnn/index.xml”,”videoId”:”politics/2017/12/21/mike-pence-flatters-donald-trump-moos-pkg-erin.cnn”,”videoImage”:”//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/171221200436-trump-pence-moos-12-21-large-169.jpg”,”videoUrl”:”/videos/politics/2017/12/21/mike-pence-flatters-donald-trump-moos-pkg-erin.cnn/video/playlists/donald-trumps-potential-vice-president/”,”description”:”Watch Vice President Pence flatter, fawn over and butter up President Trump. 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North Carolina man rams car into restaurant, killing 2 family members, police say

North Carolina man rams car into restaurant, killing 2 family members, police say

Gaston County Sheriff Alan Cloninger held back tears as he confirmed her death at a news conference later Sunday.

“Tragic loss of life,” he said. “All I’d ask are for the people to keep the family in your prayers, and also the sheriff’s office, because we’re suffering a little bit right now.”

It was Katelyn who had organized the lunch, the pastor said — a way to “just have a good time with her dad” and the rest of the family.

Katelyn’s fiancé, Alex Burns, a police officer, was sitting next to her at the table, Rammell said. He and his parents, who were also eating with them, were uninjured.

Those injured are Self’s wife, Diane, who was in critical but stable condition, and Self’s son, Josh, a Gaston County police officer. He was also in critical but stable condition. The 13-year-old daughter of Josh and Amanda Self was released from the hospital, officials said.

Police don’t yet have a motive for the crash.

In the past couple of months, Self had stopped working, and divulged to friends and family that he felt like he was sliding deeper and deeper into depression, Rammell said. Self had asked Rammell to take away his guns from him, the pastor said, which he did.

In the last few days, “it went from bad to really bad,” Rammell added. He said he had spoken with Self on Saturday afternoon and texted with him and feared he might commit suicide, but was unsure how to help him.

“At the end of the day, we were all unable to help our friend,” he said, “and the result was his mental health carried him to an act that the Roger Self we all knew would have, without a doubt, called insane and evil.”

What you need to know about North Korea dismantling its nuclear test site

What you need to know about North Korea dismantling its nuclear test site

North Korea has vowed this week to dismantle their nuclear testing facility at Punggye-ri in front of the world’s media, the latest sign of goodwill in the rapidly developing detente on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korean news agency KCNA previously announced that foreign media would be invited to cover the event to show the process in a “transparent manner.”

Though in the last week there have been some heated threats from North Korean officials to pull out of the upcoming June 12 summit with President Donald Trump, it appears that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is still going ahead with closing down his nuclear testing facility.

Kim announced in April that he no longer needed to conduct nuclear tests because the country had achieved its “nuclear weaponization.”

Location

The nuclear testing site near the village of Punggye-ri in the northeast of the country has been the site of all six North Korean underground nuclear tests from 2006 until the most recent one on Sept. 3, 2017.

The facility is built into the granite base of Mount Mantap, roughly 100 miles from North Korea’s border with China and Mount Paektu, an active volcano and the country’s sacred mountain.

This April 20, 2018, satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the nuclear test site in Punggye-ri, North Korea. Foreign journalists will journey into the mountains of North Korea this week to observe the closing of the country’s nuclear test siThe Associated Press
This April 20, 2018, satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe shows the nuclear test site in Punggye-ri, North Korea. Foreign journalists will journey into the mountains of North Korea this week to observe the closing of the country’s nuclear test si

Condition of the site

The hydrogen bomb that North Korea tested in September 2017 was estimated to be at least 10 times more powerful than the one the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, at the end of World War II in 1945. Upon detonation it yielded a 6.3-magnitude earthquake followed by a smaller 4.6-magnitude earthquake followed several minutes later. Both the U.S. Geological Survey and the China Earthquake Networks Center described the second event as a possible “collapse” of the site. Two aftershocks were detected in the area as late as December 2017 in a region without a history of natural seismic activity.

Until this week, the true condition of the site was unclear because of the restricted access to Punngye-ri. Any analysis had to be done via satellite photographs.

In April, a Chinese academic study by researchers at the University of Science and Technology of China suggested that “near vertical on-site collapse toward the nuclear test center” occurred after the initial blast and that the event may have rendered the site unstable for further tests. The study called for monitoring for potential radiation leakage.

PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in meet in the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018.
SLIDESHOW: North and South Korea unite at historic summit

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According to South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s spokesperson Yoon Young-chan, however, Kim told Moon at their April 27 inter-Korean Summit that the site had new tunnels that were “in very good condition.”

Analysts at the U.S.-based North Korea-monitoring website 38 North appeared to back up Kim’s claim in a April 30 report saying they see evidence that “the two mountainous areas accessible by the South and West Portals remain viable, and could support future underground nuclear testing if there were to be a political decision to do so.”

What we may see this week

On May 12, North Korean state media said the dismantlement process will involve “collapsing all of its tunnels with explosions, blocking its entrances, and removing all observation facilities, research buildings and security posts.”

This satellite image released and notated by Airbus Defense & Space and 38 North on March 30, 2018, shows the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea.AP
This satellite image released and notated by Airbus Defense & Space and 38 North on March 30, 2018, shows the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in North Korea.

Two 38 North reported last week that in the beginning of May the North Koreans began taking down buildings and infrastructure around the testing facility and appear to have built an observation platform for the visiting media this week.

Can the process be reversed?

If the political winds change once more, the collapsed tunnels could easily be re-excavated.

Ankit Panda of Asia-Pacific affairs magazine The Diplomat reported that a U.S. intelligence assessment determined it would take mere “weeks to months” for Pyongyang to reverse course.

PARKWAY NORTH CRASH: Several people injured in crash on Parkway North

PARKWAY NORTH CRASH: Several people injured in crash on Parkway North

    0

Several people were taken to hospitals after a crash on the Parkway North early Sunday. 

The crash happened around 3:30 a.m. near the Camp Horne Road exit in the northbound lanes, according to police.

Channel 11 is hearing several cars were involved and possibly a motorcycle.

State police are handling the investigation into the cause of the crash.

Stay with Channel 11 News and WPXI.com for updates.


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