World View: North Korea Threatens 'Final Destruction' of South Korea

This morning's key headlines from

  • North Korea threatens 'final destruction' of South Korea
  • Russia warns of 'mutual destruction' in Syria
  • The Post Office goes into the clothing business
  • British women convert to Islam in droves

North Korea threatens 'final destruction' of South Korea

S. Korean activists demonstrate behind an effigy of Kim Jong-un in Seoul on Feb 13
S. Korean activists demonstrate behind an effigy of Kim Jong-un in Seoul on Feb 13

North Korea has frequently threatened war with South Korea in the past, but now that a young, immature new leader, Kim Jong-un, is in place, the threats are becoming more intense. Apparently the recent successful test of nuclear weapons has made Kim even more belligerent.

At a U.N. Conference on Disarmament meeting held in Geneva on Tuesday, North Korea's diplomat Jon Yong-ryong said:

"As the saying goes, a new-born puppy knows no fear of a tiger. South Korea's erratic behavior would only herald its final destruction."

I guess this statement was politically correct at a "disarmament" conference.

Apparently this threat was so extreme, even by United Nations standards, that other diplomats expressed shock. Spanish Ambassador Javier Gil Catalina said the comment left him stupefied and appeared to be a breach of international law.

"In the 30 years of my career I've never heard anything like it and it seems to me that we are not speaking about something that is even admissible, we are speaking about a threat of the use of force that is prohibited by Article 2.4 of the United Nations charter."

According to one analyst, "They would not use the term 'final destruction' if it wasn't for nuclear arms." Reuters and Yonhap (Seoul)

Russia warns of 'mutual destruction' in Syria

Russia has reversed itself, and is now willing to meeting with leaders of the forces in opposition to the regime of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad. Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, said on Wednesday that Moscow was working to encourage dialogue between the rebels and the regime of president Bashar al-Assad:

"Neither side can allow itself to bet on a military settlement as this is a path to nowhere, a path to mutual destruction.

There are signs of positive tendencies, signs of tendencies for dialogue both from the side of the government and the opposition.

It is important that they do not come out with any conditions for each other, and say that I am going to talk to this person but not that one. ...

[The diplomacy was aimed at] creating the conditions for the start of direct dialogue" between the regime and opposition."

Since the conflict began in March 2011, 70,000 people have been killed, and close to a million people have been displaced from their homes. Al-Jazeera

The Post Office goes into the clothing business

The United States Postal Service announced that it's going into the clothing business, and plans to launch a new product line of apparel and accessories until the brand name, "Rain Heat & Snow," based on the USPS creed, "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." According to the USPS,

"This agreement will put the Postal Service on the cutting edge of functional fashion. The main focus will be to produce Rain Heat & Snow apparel and accessories using technology to create ‘smart apparel’ — also known as wearable electronics."

The goal is to sell this product in premier department and specialty stores, starting in 2014. U.S. Postal Service

British women convert to Islam in droves

The Muslim population in England and Wales has increased by 80 percent since 2001 according to a British government census. With 2.7 million known adherents, Islam has become Britain's second-largest religion, after Christianity. Immigration accounts for most of the increase, but there are over 100,00 converts from other religions as well. Reasons why young British women convert to Islam include the desire to please Muslim fiancés and husbands, but others see Islam as a safe haven within a society that denigrates the female form in newspapers and magazines and celebrates a pub/club culture where regular nights out with "mates" getting "sloshed." Tony Blair’s sister-in-law Lauren Booth converted to Islam, and says that she finally felt "what Muslims feel when they are in true prayer: A bolt of sweet harmony, a shudder of joy in which I was grateful for everything I have (my children) and secure in the certainty that I need nothing more (along with prayer) to be utterly content." Arab News

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