North Korea, South Korea, Kim Jong discussed on Morning Edition


Russia is not the only country making threats of nuclear strikes. North Korea is telling a story about its recent missile tests. It is conducted 7 rounds of tests in the past couple of weeks, and the government now says those launches all simulated attacks on South Korea using tactical nuclear weapons. North Korea also restated its position that it's not interested in dialog with the United States or South Korea. NPR's Anthony Kuhn is in Seoul and joins us now hi Anthony. Hi, Leila. So tell us more about what North Korea had to say about its recent tests. So North Korea, North Korea, state media reported Monday that all 7 of these recent tests involve nuclear capable, short-range intermediate range and submarine launch ballistic missiles, and the test simulated wartime attacks on South Korean ports, airports, and command facilities, and leader Kim Jong-un personally oversaw some of the launches. What state media reported about the intentions were that the drills were supposed to show the effectiveness and readiness of the north's tactical nuclear forces, and also send a warning to the U.S. and South Korea at a time when the U.S. has been ramping up its own military exercises with South Korea and Japan. And when did North Korea get tactical nuclear weapons and what does it change? Experts believe that North Korea probably decided to get tactical nukes in 2019 after a failed summit in Hanoi between then president Trump and Kim Jong-un and that Kim publicly announced his intention to get these weapons in January of 2021. Now E Ho leong, who is a researcher at the Korea institute for defense analyses, argues that these weapons are not new, what North Korea is trying to do is deploy them in new ways so that they can avoid being detected or intercepted by the U.S. and South Korea. Here's what she said. She says, I think the variety of launches betray North Korean military units fear of Kim Jong-un, whose demanding that the military come up with solutions and tactics. She adds that these tests are a result of that fear and in a way betray their vulnerabilities. So basically, she's skeptical that the north's tactical nuclear forces are as effective as Pyongyang claims. But do North Korea's tactical nukes make nuclear war more likely? Arguably, yes, North Korea recently updated its nuclear doctrine and wrote that doctrine into law and Lee argues that these tests E argues that these tests were meant to show that the military can enforce that law, the law says that North Korea can use its nukes preemptively. That is, it can launch them not because it's been attacked, but simply because it's losing in a conventional war. And previously, Kim Jong-un has been the only one with the authority to launch nukes, but now Kim apparently intends to delegate authority to use tactical nukes to frontline military commanders so that they can win on the battlefield and even if Kim is killed in a decapitation strike, North Korea can still retaliate. At this point is North Korea's nuclear arsenal complete. I know, experts have been saying for some time that North Korea's plan was first to develop tactical nukes, then progressed to upgrading intercontinental ballistic missiles, ICBMs, and ICBMs and nuclear tests, nuclear tests. In other words, they want to show first that they can hit U.S. Military bases in South Korea, Japan and Guam, and then show that they can hit the U.S. mainland soul in Washington have been watching for signs of these tests and a logical time to do them would probably be after China's Communist Party Congress in late October. NPR's Anthony Kuhn joining us from Seoul. Thank you. Thank you, laila. Los Angeles is roiling in scandal as the city council president nori Martinez stepped down after being caught making racist remarks in a leaked recording. Yeah, someone recorded her conversation in which she was discussing redistricting with two other council members Kevin de Leon and Gil se dio, they were talking about how to keep a strong Latino presence on the LA city council. Now some people are calling for all three members to resign. For more, we're joined by KQED's Saul Gonzalez in Los Angeles in just a warning. We're going to be discussing the racist things that Martinez said. Hi Saul. Hi. Okay, so just so just tell us exactly what was said and what happened in these recordings. Okay, let me make this really simple. There's a lot was said. In audio obtained by the LA times, then council president Nouri Martinez compared the adopted black son of a white city council colleague to a changi to that Spanish for little monkey. And she uses this phrase little short dark people. That's an apparent reference to oaxacan immigrants. She also calls the LA county DA as being, quote, with the blacks. Now, council members, Kevin de Leon, and Gil Seville, were also part of this conversation in which the group discussed redistricting and Latino representation on the council, and there was a very prominent LA county labor leader also present. And so a lot of this racism directed at black people, how has the black community reacting? Well, many of the black community are reacting with just anger and despondency and sadness to these comments. Here's how Irma hall would a black labor activist in LA told me how she felt we spoke at a church in south Los Angeles where black religious and civil rights leaders had gathered. Her. Angry, disappointed, I won't say the rest, because I'm in the house of God, but I'm very disappointed. Betrayed, some are also expressing concerns about how genuine some Latino leaders have been when they've talked about forming black brown alliances around common issues like economic justice and police reform. In the past, there have been tensions between these communities over such issues as immigration and jobs. And there have been instances of Latino gangs targeting black residents in some neighborhoods. And the black community has this long-term anxiety about really their place in Los Angeles. They've seen their size, the size of their population shrink relative to other communities. They're now under 10% of LA's population. While of course, the Latino population has boomed over the last generation or two and Latinos now account for roughly half of LA's population. Yeah, in the comments, we're also made during a conversation about redistricting and Latino political power, so can you give us some context about the political dynamics here? Well, you know it all orbits around political clout, right? Where district lines are drawn, is that's incredibly important to different racial and ethnic groups who want to make sure that they can elect a person who represents their interest and their communities and experiences at city hall. Now people in favor of coalition building, they don't want that redistricting to become a zero sum game between black people and Latinos in LA, although the council members who were captured on tape seemed to be talking in just those terms, mainly protecting the position in cloud of Latinos at city hall. KQED salt, Gonzalez in Los

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