Korea Carries Out Missile Test
The Communist dynasty
After performing five nuclear and several missile launched, North Korea was denounced by western countries with demands that it abandon its nuclear program. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, on a tour of Asian allies, said US policy to curb North Korean nuclear ambitions has been a failure and a new, more aggressive approach, is called for. If the North Koreans achieve the capacity to hit the US or part of it (Hawaii) with nuclear warheads, the United States would react aggressively, and Tillerson did not rule out armed conflict.
The Great Leader
North Korea is probably the world’s most closed country, ruled over by the volatile Kim Jong-un, who succeeded his father Kim Jong-il, who in turn succeeded his father, Kim Il-sung, the founder of North Korea. Due to this isolation, little is known about this country except that it has suffered through periodic famines that killed hundreds of thousands of people in the early 2000s and that access to social media is strictly prohibited. This in contrast to its prosperous southern brothers in South Korea, considered one of the world’s economic success stories and recently dubbed one of the Asian tigers, with Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Kim Jong-un is considered to have a volatile nature and has recently purged and executed many of his political rivals including his uncle and half-brother. He clearly sees the acquisition of nuclear weapons as vital to his regime’s survival. With an equally volatile counterpart in the White House, things are likely to get dangerous before too long.
King of Rock and Roll Dies
Perhaps the single most important individual for the development of modern rock’ n’roll, Chuck Berry, died in his home town of St. Louis, Missouri. He was 90. Tributes have been pouring in from contemporary musical giants who bestow on Berry a slew of accolades attesting to his importance. John Lennon once famously said, “if you had to try and give rock’ n’roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry.”
Using an electric guitar, still a novice for many, with deftness and ceremony, Berry appealed to a younger generation born just after the war that was growing up in the stifling 1950s with songs that talked about possibilities, getting on the road, defying the rules set out by their parents’ generation. In Britain, young musicians, such as Keith Richards and Eric Clapton, immediately revered Chuck Berry and other black musicians, and were unaware of the racial animus in the US that would make such reverence awkward or impossible.
Angela and Donald: A Match Not Made in Heaven
Angela Merkel’s visit to Washington last week was marred by a petulant performance on the part of US president Donald Trump who among other questionable assertions, said Germany owed millions to the US for its protection under the NATO military alliance. Merkel has been chancellor of Germany for 11 years, and almost all her views on how the world should be run clash with Trump’s America First outlook. She believes wholeheartedly in the European Union project and free trade, whereas Trump cheered Brexit and has shown great hostility to multi-lateral trade agreements, promising to renegotiate deals like NAFTA which he says served to harm US interests.
This week has also pitted Trump against the US’s strongest ally in the world after saying that the GCHQ, the United Kingdom’s spy agency, had bugged his Trump Tower offices without presenting any evidence. The British flatly denied it and still Trump refused to back down from his absurd claims that the Obama administration was spying on him. The US, already seen with great suspicion by a good deal of the world, cannot afford to alienate its two closest allies, Germany and Britain. Someone should tell Trump that.