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Seoul: North Korea launches 2 short-range ballistic missiles

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Seoul North Korea launches 2 short-range ballistic missiles

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s military said North Korea conducted its second weapons test in less than a week Wednesday, firing two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast in a move observers said could be aimed at boosting pressure on the United States as the rivals struggle to set up fresh nuclear talks.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the missiles were launched from Wonsan, a city the North pushes as a vacation destination but that it also uses as a regular launch site.

It said both missiles were believed to have flown about 250 kilometers (155 miles) at a maximum altitude of 30 kilometers (19 miles), and that the South Korean and U.S. militaries were trying to gather more details.

The test, which would be yet another North Korean violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, comes as the country’s negotiations with the U.S. over its nuclear weapons program are at a stalemate and as Pyongyang has expressed anger over planned U.S.-South Korean military drills.

“The North’s repeated missile launches are not helpful to efforts to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and we urge (North Korea) to stop this kind of behavior,” the South Korean statement said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that the launches were “no threat to Japanese national security.”

Last Thursday, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles that Seoul officials said flew 600 kilometers (370 miles) and as high as 50 kilometers (30 miles) before landing in the sea.

North Korea’s state media said those tests were supervised by leader Kim Jong Un and were designed to deliver a “solemn warning” to South Korea over its purchase of high-tech U.S.-made fighter jets and the planned military drills, which Pyongyang calls an invasion rehearsal.

Even though North Korea is banned by the U.N. from using ballistic technology in any weapons launches, it’s unlikely that the nation, already under 11 rounds of U.N. sanctions, will be hit with more punitive measures. Past sanctions were imposed only when the North conducted long-range ballistic launches.

Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told reporters Wednesday that the most recently launched weapons did not reach Japan’s exclusive economic zone and that officials were still analyzing details, including the flight distance and trajectory.

“It is extremely regrettable that North Korea continues firing the missiles that violate the U.N. resolutions,” Iwaya said.

Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman from the Chinese foreign ministry, said that China noted the launches and the responses of all sides, and that the “political settlement on the (Korean) Peninsula is currently in a critical stage.” China is North Korea’s most important economic and diplomatic ally.

“We hope that all parties concerned will cherish the hard-won alleviations and jointly make positive efforts to promote denuclearization and realize lasting peace on the peninsula and in the region,” Hua told reporters at a daily news briefing.

Observers say a low altitude flight by the missiles indicate North Korea may have been testing their ability to avoid being intercepted.

Earlier last week, Kim visited a newly built submarine and expressed his satisfaction with its weapons system. North Korea said its deployment was “near at hand.”

In a private briefing to lawmakers Wednesday, South Korean military intelligence officers said they’ve determined that the submarine likely has three launch tubes for missiles, according to Lee Hye-hoon, head of parliament’s intelligence committee. If confirmed, it would be North Korea’s first operational submarine with missile launch tubes, some experts said.

North Korea acquiring the ability to launch missiles from submarines would be an alarming development because such missiles are harder to detect in advance. Experts say the submarine North Korea used to test-fire missiles in recent years should be regarded as a test platform with a single launch tube. They say other North Korean submarines only have torpedo launch tubes.

Wednesday’s launches came hours after a senior U.S. official said President Donald Trump sent Kim mementos from his brief visit to an inter-Korean border town late last month.

The official said a top staffer from the National Security Council hand-delivered photographs from the leaders’ June meeting at the Korean Demilitarized Zone to a North Korean official last week. The Trump administration official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

The DMZ meeting was the third summit between Trump and Kim. At their second meeting, in Vietnam in February, Trump rejected Kim’s demand for widespread sanctions relief in return for dismantling the North’s main nuclear complex, a partial disarmament step.

During the DMZ meeting, Trump and Kim agreed to resume nuclear diplomacy in coming weeks, but there hasn’t been any known meeting between the countries.

Speaking to reporters accompanying him to an Asian security forum in Thailand, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he’s “very hopeful” for a quick resumption in the nuclear talks.

Despite a recent lack of progress in nuclear diplomacy, both Trump and Kim have said they have maintained good relations with each other. After last Thursday’s missile launches, Trump tried to downplay the significance of the tests, saying that “short-range” was the most important detail. He said North Korea fired “standard” missiles that many countries possess.

South Korea’s military said the flight data of the weapon launched last week showed similarities to the Russian-made Iskander, a short-range, nuclear-capable missile. A North Korean version could likely reach all of South Korea — and the 28,500 U.S. forces stationed there — and would be extremely hard to intercept.

Before last week’s launches, North Korea last fired missiles into the sea in early May, and experts said those were also Iskander-like missiles. During Wednesday’s briefing, the South Korean military intelligence officers said that an analysis of North Korea-dispatched photos showed that the North fired four missiles on two days, according to Lee, the lawmaker. South Korea earlier said the North fired a total of three missiles at the time.

After entering talks with Washington, North Korea has suspended nuclear and long-range missile tests, and Trump has said that is proof that his North Korea policy is working well and has eased the danger of a war with the North.

___

Associated Press journalists Zeke Miller in Washington, Matthew Lee in Bangkok and Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.

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Democrats

Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib: The anti-Semitic intellectual terrorists in Congress

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Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib The anti-Semitic intellectual terrorists in Congress

The constitutional republic that our founding fathers envisioned was as close to being perfect as any man-made system in history. But its effectiveness was predicated on the idea that Americans would be active participants in governing. It takes sober, cognizant American voters to hold our representatives accountable. We must be aware of who we put in office and what they’re doing for – or against – the people and the nation.

But that’s not happening enough in America when it comes to Congress, at least not to the degree that it should. Instead, we have tribal warfare going on between the two major political parties which enables people to sit back and stop paying attention. All they know is they’re going to vote blue or red. Many have no idea who they’re actually voting for when they go to the ballot. They simply look for the letters (D) or (R) next to a candidate’s name.

If there’s anywhere that this practice needs to be reversed immediately, it’s in Michigan’s 13th District and Minnesota’s 5th District. These are the places that voted for Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar. It’s understandable as they’re reliable Democratic strongholds, but at the very least they need to get people who don’t hate America to run as Democrats against them. Getting them to vote for the Republicans would be nice, but even sane Democrats are better than these two clowns.

Their latest foray into the realm of complete disregard for the truth happened today at a press conference in which the dynamic duo systematically dismantled reality. Their lies were so thick and so obvious, it’s the type of publicity the representatives themselves hope their constituents don’t hear. Their targets weren’t their home districts that they’re serving so poorly. Their target were the rest of the nation and the nation of Israel. They want their hatred to be known as long as it doesn’t hurt them in 2020.

It’s time to make their constituents aware of the blind hatred and unhinged rhetoric coming from these two Congresswomen’s mouths.

Commentaries like this need to reach the masses, particularly the Congressional districts that voted for these representatives. This is why we push so hard for financial contributions to this site. Getting messages like this in front of the right people is imperative if we’re going to keep our republic. Your donations directly contribute to educating the people who need to hear this the most.

The best way to categorize people like Omar and Tlaib is as “intellectual terrorists.” That is in no way a jab at their religious beliefs; the phrase can be used against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, David Axelrod, Saikat Chakrabarti, Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg, or anyone who essentially firebombs the truth for the sake of promoting their political agenda and pressing a false narrative.

Terrorism is defined as “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.” The left is always talking about words being violent. If so, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are clearly terrorizing America.

Here are some reactions to their tirade:

 

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Democrats

The Democrats’ Israel test: Do they side with common sense or radical anti-Semitism?

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The Democrats Israel test Do they side with common sense or radical anti-Semitism

Every few weeks, there’s a new test for the Democratic Party that is forced to the forefront by someone in “The Squad” – Representatives Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Ayanna Pressley. One or more of them does or says something unhinged, then all eyes turn to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi as well as major Democratic candidates for president to see if they’re on the side of the radical progressives who have become the face of the party.

Invariably, these are manufactured choices. They’re not prompted by a pressing issue that was in the spotlight before, but the actions of the freshmen Congresswomen turns them into news. We saw this with AOC’s claims that the world is going to end in 10-12 years if her massive Green New Deal isn’t implemented yesterday. The popularity of the $50-$100 trillion proposal among the Democratic base prompted many in the party to embrace it. But prior to her claims, there had been common sense talks of how to change our energy policy over time in a pragmatic fashion that didn’t include banning air travel or mitigating damage from cow flatulence.

Next, we saw the Democrats blink following clearly anti-Semitic Twitter posts by Omar. At first, it seemed like Pelosi was going to do the right thing as she drafted a resolution condemning any anti-Semitism coming from Congress (though it didn’t name Omar directly) but ended up pushing forward a worthless resolution essentially saying all bigotry from any member of Congress was bad.

The group played their fiddles in unison to bring about the notion that migrant detention facilities are like “concentration camps” while simultaneously panning legislation to improve conditions at these facilities. It was a stark display of contradiction on their part until they made it clear they’re not trying to make conditions better. They’re trying to eliminate the facilities and incarceration of migrants altogether. Again, the Democrats were stuck looking torn over how to handle The Squad, agreeing with them in principle but legislating against them.

Today’s manufactured crisis within the party pertains to Israel. Last week, Tlaib and Omar were blocked from their trip to the Middle Eastern nation because their intentions were to incite anti-Israel groups with varying degrees of attachments to both the BDS movement and terrorist organizations themselves. To try to paint Israel as purely racist, Tlaib bluffed by cordially requesting to see her 90-year-old grandmother who lives in the West Bank. To her dismay, the request was quickly approved. She backtracked after her bluff was called.

Democrats in the House have a choice: Acknowledge that Israel is right to block this particular trip or follow The Squad in promoting the idea that Israel hates Muslims. These are two very distinct narratives that offer no middle ground. Keep in mind, they could have traveled with a huge Congressional delegation earlier in the month, but chose not to. Instead, they had an agenda and an itinerary presented to Israel that made it clear their intentions were to exacerbate problems and fuel anti-Israel tension. They even announced in their itinerary that they were traveling to “Palestine,” not Israel.

This is standard operating procedure for The Squad: Create an issue that drives a wedge between sensible Democrats and the radical progressives. They’re taking names, or to be more specific, their handlers at the Justice Democrats are taking names. Who is going to support the radical progressive agendas of extreme climate change “solutions,” full-blown open borders, and complete detachment from Israel as an ally?

It is crystal clear who is setting the Democrats’ agenda. As The Squad keeps pushing the party further to the left with each manufactured issue they present, will Democrats have the guts to stand up and tell their puppetmasters to back off?

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Democrats

Ilhan Omar compares Israel blocking entry to South African apartheid

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Ilhan Omar compares Israel blocking entry to South African apartheid

Anti-Semitic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar did what she normally does. She played the race card, or more specifically, the Islamophobia card against Israel. To do this, she compared Israel’s blocking of her and Representative Rashida Tlaib to the apartheid blocking of a black Congressman by South Africa 44-years ago.

There are several holes in this narrative. First, her claims that only she and Tlaib were blocked because they are Muslim and the rest of those traveling with them were not blocked is a bald-faced lie that takes advantage of how the block was reported. The news was that the two Congresswomen were blocked, but in reality the trip itself was denied by the Israeli government. That means everyone traveling with them, not just the two Congresswomen, were not allowed entry based on the itinerary they presented to the Israeli government.

Second, this trip, which they claimed was to “Palestine” and included an itinerary that had them exclusively visiting anti-Israel factions, was singled out. None of the potential travelers were blocked from entry, as Israel demonstrated this morning when they allowed Tlaib to enter to see her 90-year-old grandmother in the West Bank. But Tlaib, of course, declined her own request because it was a bluff, a political stunt.

Third, the Representatives’ continued attacks on Israel as well as their support for BDS and Hamas is demonstrably a threat to the nation of Israel. This is unambiguous and has not even been denied by the Congresswomen because they know it to be true. In fact, they’re proud of their opposition to Israel’s right to exist.

If you can find a time when Ilhan Omar isn’t being disingenuous or blatantly lying, it’s only because she isn’t speaking at that moment. Her hatred for Israel and America are clear. She must be voted out in 2020.

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