Update: North Korea warned Monday that U.S.-South Korean military exercises, which it called "the most undisguised nuclear war maneuvers," are driving the Korean Peninsula and northeast Asia toward "nuclear disaster." The North Korean ambassador to the United Nations, Ja Song Nam, said in a letter to the U.N. Security Council that the U.S. is using nuclear-propelled aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, nuclear strategic bombers and stealth fighters in the joint exercises that began Wednesday. "It may go over to an actual war," Ja warned of the military drills, "and, consequently, the situation on the Korean Peninsula is again inching to the brink of a nuclear war."
"Involved in the drill were Hwasong artillery units of the KPA Strategic Force tasked to strike the bases of the U.S. imperialist aggressor forces in Japan in contingency," the North's official KCNA news agency said.
"In the hearts of artillerymen ... there was burning desire to mercilessly retaliate against the warmongers going ahead with their joint war exercises," KCNA said.
"He (Kim) ordered the KPA Strategic Force to keep highly alert as required by the grim situation in which an actual war may break out any time, and get fully ready to promptly move, take positions and strike so that it can open fire to annihilate the enemies."
The letter was sent a few hours after North Korea fired four banned ballistic missiles. Ja said the main reason North Korea is equipping itself "with nuclear attack capabilities" and strengthening its nuclear deterrent forces is in self-defense against what he called the U.S. "extreme anti-DPRK hostile policy and nuclear threats and blackmails as well as maneuvers to enforce its nuclear weapons."
The drill was conducted by Hwasong artillery units of its Strategic Force, "tasked to strike the bases of the U.S. imperialist aggression forces in Japan," the Korean Central News Agency (KNCA) said.
AFP clarifies the intent of the test: North Korea says yesterday's missile launch was training exercise for strike on US bases in Japan
The drill was carried out by units of the KPA Strategic Force, state-controlled media outlet KCNA reported. The report didn’t indicate if any of the rockets were ICBMs.
Reuters additionally reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised the ballistic missile launch personally (though scientists and technicians in the nuclear weapons and rocket research fields were among those attending the launch).
The test launches comes just days after an internal White House strategy review on North Korean options reportedly included the possibility of both military force and regime change to counter the country’s nuclear-weapons threat, the WSJ reports, a prospect that has some U.S. allies in the region on edge.
As AP reports, North Korea's latest volley of missile tests has added to pressure on a preoccupied Trump administration to identify how it will counter leader Kim Jong Un's weapons development. North Korea's march toward having a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the U.S. mainland is among the pressing national security priorities President Donald Trump faces. He has vowed it "won't happen" but has yet to articulate a strategy to stop it. A wide array of options are on the table, but aggressive behavior by Pyongyang in response to U.S.-South Korean military drills that began last week could further shrink chances for diplomatic engagement. Upheaval in the administration has added to uncertainty in foreign capitals about how a new president lacking experience in government would handle a security crisis should one unfold.
The United States and Japan have requested a United Nations Security Council meeting on the launches,according to Reuters, which will likely be scheduled for Wednesday, diplomats said. The U.S. military on Monday left open the possibility of additional launch attempts.
"There were four that landed. There may be a higher number of launches that we're not commenting on. But four landed and splashed in the Sea of Japan," Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, told a news briefing.
Condemning the launches as further "provocative behavior," White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters the United States was taking steps to enhance defense against ballistic missiles, including deployment of a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in South Korea. South Korea's acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn said Seoul would swiftly deploy the anti-missile system despite angry objections from China. A U.S. official said the system could be installed far earlier than an original fall target date.
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So far no tweets from Trump on this as the sabre-rattling is getting very loud.
This list names and shames companies and organizations that profit from sexual exploitation. These are mainstream entities that are major contributors to objectionable material like pornography, and may depict actions of prostitution and/or sex trafficking.
Consumers demand to know what chemicals are included in their drinks and food. They also want to know how companies treat their workers. In that same vein, the Dirty Dozen List points out what kind of products and/or services these companies and organizations offer. It empowers the consumer to know what these organizations are doing and call them out for not representing their values.
Does the Dirty Dozen List make a difference?
Verizon had been on the Dirty Dozen List for the last three years. But now, it is only on the “watch” list. It is taking proactive steps to address issues brought out by NCOSE. Verizon officials have informed NCOSE that its FiOS IPTV will arrive to consumers with pornography already blocked as a default. This is a big victory for those who value human dignity! Those who want to access objectionable material will have to jump through some digital hoops to get there. In the past, it was there for all to see as a default setting.
Who is on the list this year?
Comcast defends its stance on profiting from hardcore pornographic material saying it offers various choices to its customers. That’s why it is on the 2017 Dirty Dozen List.
EBSCO is an online library resource. It provides curriculum for K12 schools. NCOSE found links of hardcore pornography intermixed within resources intended for children. EBSCO officials have reached out to NCOSE saying it is working on better algorithms in its material and filtering so the user will be better protected. It remains on the list until it makes the necessary corrections.
NCOSE officials said, “While this is one of the greatest scandals ever covered by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s Dirty Dozen List, we are hopeful that it could become one of the greatest examples of a corporation intentionally changing policies to protect individuals from sexually exploitive content.”
For the second time, Amazon is named on the list. Its Kindle offers content of erotic novels and porn magazines. They are not categorized differently from other material and are readily visible in the “free” section.