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North Korea Will No Longer Pursue Reconciliation With South Because Of Hostility, Kim Jong Un Says

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Seoul, South Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has stated that reconciliation with South Korea will no longer be pursued. He has also proposed amending the North’s constitution to erase the concept of shared statehood between the war-torn countries, according to official media.

The historic decision to abandon a decades-long pursuit of peaceful unification based on a shared sense of national homogeneity between the two Koreas comes amid heightened tensions, with Kim’s weapons development and the South’s military exercises with the US intensifying in a tit-for-tat.

Some experts believe Kim is attempting to weaken South Korea’s voice in regional security matters while also communicating more clearly that he intends to deal directly with the United States over the nuclear standoff, which has worsened due to disagreements over the stringent US-led sanctions imposed on his expanding nuclear weapons program.

Declaring the South as a permanent adversary rather than a potential reconciliation partner could also help to improve the credibility of Kim’s escalatory nuclear doctrine, which allows the military to launch preemptive nuclear attacks on adversaries if it believes Pyongyang’s leadership is under threat.

north korea

Kim Jong Un says North Korea will no longer pursue reconciliation with South Korea due to hostility.

The North Korean moves come as Kim has been actively strengthening his ties with Moscow and Beijing in an attempt to break out of diplomatic isolation and gain leverage by uniting against Washington.

North Korea also eliminated major government offices in charge of managing relations with South Korea during a meeting of the country’s rubber-stamp parliament on Monday, according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.

According to the Supreme People’s Assembly, the two Koreas are in a “acute confrontation” and it would be a mistake for the North to view the South as a diplomatic partner.

“The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, the National Economic Cooperation Bureau and the (Diamond Mountain) International Tourism Administration, tools which existed for (North-South) dialogue, negotiations and cooperation, are abolished,” the legislative body said in a statement.

Kim blamed South Korea and the US for increasing tensions in the region. He cited increased joint military exercises, deployment of strategic military assets, and trilateral security cooperation with Japan as contributing to the Korean Peninsula becoming a dangerous war zone, according to KCNA.

north korea

Kim Jong Un says North Korea will no longer pursue reconciliation with South Korea due to hostility.

Kim branded the South as “top-class stooges” of outside powers who prioritize confrontation, making reconciliation and peaceful reunification impossible for the North.

He urged the assembly to amend the North’s constitution to designate South Korea as its “primary foe and invariable principal enemy.” According to Kim, the new constitution should state that if another conflict breaks out on the Korean Peninsula, North Korea will pursue “occupying, subjugating and reclaiming” South Korea as part of its territory.

He also ordered the elimination of previous emblems of inter-Korean reconciliation to “completely eliminate such concepts as’reunification,”reconciliation,’ and ‘fellow countrymen’ from the national history of our republic.”

He explicitly demanded the dismantling of cross-border railway portions and the removal of a monument in Pyongyang commemorating the goal of reunification, which Kim regarded as an eyesore.

“It is the final conclusion drawn from the bitter history of the inter-Korean relations that we cannot go along the road of national restoration and reunification together,” he went on to say.

During a Cabinet meeting in Seoul, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol stated that Kim’s remarks demonstrate the Pyongyang government’s “anti-national and anti-historical” nature. Yoon said that

The South maintained a strong defense posture and threatened the North “multiple times hard” if it provoked it.

“(The North)’s fake peace tactic that threatened us to choose between ‘war’ and ‘peace’ no longer works,” Yoon said in a statement.

In his statement to the assembly, Kim repeated that the North has no intention of starting a conflict unilaterally, but neither does it intend to prevent one. Citing his increasing military nuclear program, Kim stated that a nuclear battle on the Korean Peninsula would end South Korea’s existence and cause “unimaginable disaster and defeat to the United States.”

north korea

Kim Jong Un says North Korea will no longer pursue reconciliation with South Korea due to hostility.

Kim had made similar statements during a year-end governing party conference, stating ties between the Koreas have become “fixed into the relations between two states hostile to each other.” During a recent political conference, the North Korean leader referred to South Korea as their “principal enemy” and warned to destroy it if provoked.

The assembly stated that the North Korean government would take “practical measures” to carry out the decision to eliminate the agencies in charge of dialogue and cooperation with the South.

Since its formation in 1961, the National Committee for Peaceful Reunification has been North Korea’s primary institution in charge of inter-Korean issues.

During a brief period of reconciliation in the 2000s, the Koreas established the National Economic Cooperation Bureau and the Diamond Mountain International Tourism Administration to oversee collaborative economic and tourism projects.

Such projects, including a jointly operated factory park in the North Korean border town of Kaesong and South Korean visits to the North’s Diamond Mountain resort, have been stalled for years as relations between the adversaries deteriorated due to North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

These activities are now prohibited under U.N. Security Council resolutions against the North, which have tightened since 2016 as Kim has increased his nuclear and missile testing.

Kim has vowed to enhance his nuclear weapons and has cut off nearly all cooperation with the South. Since the beginning of 2022, he has increased the frequency of his weapons exhibitions, taking advantage of Russia’s war on Ukraine to boost his military capabilities.

There is also rising international worry about a purported arms cooperation agreement between North Korea and Russia. According to the United States and South Korea, North Korea has provided Russia with weapons such as artillery and missiles to aid in its struggle in Ukraine.

SOURCE: (AP)

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Putin Says Russia Has No Intention Of Putting Nuclear Weapons In Space, Denying US Claims

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MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Moscow has no plans to put nuclear weapons in space, asserting that the country has just acquired space capabilities equivalent to those of the United States.

Putin’s warning comes after the White House confirmed last week that Russia had received a “troubling” anti-satellite weapon capability, albeit such a weapon is not currently operational. White House national security spokesperson John Kirby stated that it would violate the international Outer Space Treaty but declined to comment on whether the weapon is nuclear-capable.

putin

Putin Says Russia Has No Intention Of Putting Nuclear Weapons In Space, Denying US Claims

The deployment of “nuclear weapons or other types of weapons of mass destruction” in orbit as well as the stationing of “weapons in outer space in any other manner” are both prohibited by the convention, which more than 130 nations have signed, including Russia. The White House stated that it would seek to engage the Russians directly on the issues.

“Our position is quite clear and transparent: we have always been and remain categorically opposed to the deployment of nuclear weapons in space,” Putin said in a statement. “Just the opposite, we are urging everyone to adhere to all the agreements that exist in this sphere.”

During a meeting with his defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, Putin stated that Russia has only achieved space capabilities that “other nations, including the United States, have.”

putin

Putin Says Russia Has No Intention Of Putting Nuclear Weapons In Space, Denying US Claims

“And they know it,” he added.

“We haven’t deployed any nuclear weapons in space or any elements of them to use against satellites or to create fields where satellites can’t work efficiently,” Shoigu said in an interview.

Shoigu claimed that the White House may have concocted assertions about a new Russian space capacity to pressure Congress to back Ukrainian aid and to convince Moscow to resume nuclear arms control talks, which Russia has postponed due to tensions with the U.S. over Ukraine.

putin

Putin Says Russia Has No Intention Of Putting Nuclear Weapons In Space, Denying US Claims

Putin did not rule out future discussions with the United States, but he restated his belief that Washington’s determination to Russia’s defeat in Ukraine makes them impossible at the moment.

“The U.S. and the West, for one thing, are calling for Russia’s strategic defeat, while, on the other hand, they would like to have a dialogue on strategic stability, pretending that those things aren’t connected,” Mr Putin said. “It won’t work.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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Popular Parent Blogger Ruby Franke Sentenced To Consecutive Prison Terms For 4 Counts Of Aggravated Child Abuse

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Ruby Franke, a mother and renowned web personality who pled guilty to four counts of aggravated child abuse last year, was sentenced to four consecutive sentences of one to fifteen years in a Utah jail on Tuesday.

“My charges are just,” Franke stated during the sentencing. “They offer safety to my family, accountability to the public, and they did show mercy to me.”

franke

Popular Parent Blogger Ruby Franke Sentenced To Consecutive Prison Terms For 4 Counts Of Aggravated Child Abuse

Franke, 42, had documented the mistreatment of her children on her now-defunct YouTube channel “8 Passengers.” She was arrested in August when her 12-year-old son fled and urged a neighbour to contact police.

Franke was initially charged with six counts but pled not guilty to two of them as part of a plea arrangement to testify against her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, who was also charged with aggravated child abuse but reached a plea agreement, according to prosecutors.

franke

Popular Parent Blogger Ruby Franke Sentenced To Consecutive Prison Terms For 4 Counts Of Aggravated Child Abuse

According to court filings, the abuse included:

  • Depriving Franke’s children of food and drink.
  • Kicking her son while wearing boots.
  • Denying him oxygen.

According to court documents, Franke informed her children that the penalties were necessary to teach them obedience and repentance. It was also alleged that she “intentionally or knowingly inflicted and allowed another adult to inflict serious physical injuries.”

“For the past four years, I’ve chosen to follow counsel and guidance that has led me into a dark delusion,” Franke told CNN. “My distorted version of reality went largely unchecked as I would isolate from anyone who challenged me.”

franke

Popular Parent Blogger Ruby Franke Sentenced To Consecutive Prison Terms For 4 Counts Of Aggravated Child Abuse

Hildebrandt was sentenced on Tuesday and received the same terms. The judge stated they each have 30 days to submit an appeal.

“One of the reasons I didn’t go to trial…” “I didn’t want them to emotionally relive the experience, which would have been harmful to them,” Hildebrandt told the court. “My hope and prayer is that they will heal and move forward to have beautiful lives.”

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Welcome To The ‘Hotel California’ Case: The Trial Over Handwritten Lyrics To An Eagles Classic

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NEW YORK — In the mid-1970s, the Eagles worked on a mysterious new song.

Don Henley, with the help of band co-founder Glenn Frey, wrote down ideas on a lined yellow pad about “a dark desert highway” and “a lovely place” with a luxury surface and frightening undertones. And something on ice, like caviar, Taittinger, or pink champagne?

The hit “Hotel California” became one of rock’s most memorable. Nearly a half-century later, those scribbled pages of lyrics-in-the-making have become the focus of an unusual criminal prosecution, which begins Wednesday.

Glenn Horowitz, a rare book dealer, Craig Inciardi, a former Rock and Roll Hall of Fame curator, and Edward Kosinski, a memorabilia seller, are accused of conspiring to own and sell manuscripts for “Hotel California” and other Eagles classics without permission.

The three have pled not guilty, and their lawyers have stated that the men did not commit any crimes with the materials they obtained from a writer who had worked with the Eagles. However, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office claims the defendants conspired to conceal the documents’ disputed ownership, even knowing Henley claimed the pages were stolen.

Clashes over precious items are frequent, but criminal trials like these are uncommon. Many disagreements are addressed privately through lawsuits or agreements to return items.

“If you can avoid prosecution by handing over the thing, most people just hand it over,” said Travis McDade, a University of Illinois law professor who specialises in unusual document disputes.

Of course, the Eagle’s texts stand apart in other ways.

eagles

Welcome To The ‘Hotel California’ Case: The Trial Over Handwritten Lyrics To An Eagles Classic

The prosecutors’ primary witness is Henley, who is set to testify between Eagles tour stops. The non-jury trial could provide insight into the band’s creative process and life on the fast track to ’70s glory.

Over 80 pages of draft lyrics from the hit 1976 album “Hotel California” are at stake, including the words to the chart-topping, Grammy-winning title track. It boasts one of classic rock’s most recognisable riffs, best-known solos, and most oft-quoted — maybe overquoted — lines: “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

Henley said the song is about “the dark underbelly of the American dream.”

It was streamed over 220 million times and received 136,000 radio airplay in the United States alone last year, according to entertainment data company Luminate. Over the years, the “Hotel California” album has sold 26 million copies nationwide, trailing only the Eagles’ greatest hits album and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

The pages also contain lyrics to songs like “Life in the Fast Lane” and “New Kid in Town.” Eagles manager Irving Azoff has described the manuscripts as “irreplaceable pieces of musical history.”

Horowitz, Inciardi, and Kosinski are accused of conspiracy to possess stolen property, among other offences.

They are not charged with actually stealing documents. Nor is anyone else, but prosecutors must still prove that the documents were taken. The defence claims that is not true.

Much is dependent on the Eagles’ connections with Ed Sanders, a writer who also co-founded the 1960s counterculture rock band the Fugs. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he worked on an authorised Eagles biography, which was never published.

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Welcome To The ‘Hotel California’ Case: The Trial Over Handwritten Lyrics To An Eagles Classic

Sanders is not charged in this case. He received a phone message requesting a comment.

He sold the pages to Horowitz, who then sold them to Inciardi and Kosinski.

Horowitz has handled large rare book and archive deals and has previously been involved in ownership disputes. One featured papers related to Margaret Mitchell, the author of “Gone With the Wind.” It was settled.

Inciardi worked on several notable exhibitions for Cleveland’s Rock Hall of Fame. Kosinski is a principal of Gotta Have It! Collectables, infamous for auctioning celebrities’ personal belongings, including Madonna’s latex underpants, which she unsuccessfully tried to prevent from being sold.

According to court documents filed by Kosinski’s lawyers, Henley informed a grand jury that he never delivered the lyrics to the biographer. However, defence attorneys have indicated they want to investigate Henley’s memory of the events.

“We believe that Mr. Henley voluntarily provided the lyrics to Mr. Sanders,” attorney Scott Edelman stated in court last week.

Sanders told Horowitz in 2005 that while working on the Eagles book, he was sent whatever papers he wanted from Henley’s residence in Malibu, California, according to the indictment.

Then, in 2012, Kosinski’s business auctioned off several pages. Henley’s lawyers came knocking. According to the indictment, Horowitz, Inciardi, and Sanders began bouncing around various accounts of the manuscripts’ provenance.

Sanders discovered the pages dumped in a backstage dressing area in one story. In others, he obtained them from a stage assistant or while collecting “a lot of material related to the Eagles from different people.” In another, he got them from Frey — an account that “would make this go away once and for all,” Horowitz said in 2017. Frey had died a year ago.

“He merely needs gentle handling and reassurance that he’s not going to the can,” Horowitz emailed Inciardi during a 2012 interaction about getting Sanders’ “‘explanation’ shaped into a communication” to auctioneers, the indictment states.

According to the indictment, Sanders offered or signed off on some of the various justifications, but what he said verbally is unclear. However, he appears to have disputed at least the dressing-room tale.

eagles

Welcome To The ‘Hotel California’ Case: The Trial Over Handwritten Lyrics To An Eagles Classic

Kosinski sent one explanation, approved by Sanders, to Henley’s counsel. According to the prosecution, Kosinski also told Sotheby’s auction company that the musician had “no claim” to the records and requested that possible bidders remain unaware of Henley’s objections.

Sotheby’s listed the song “Hotel California” lyrics in a 2016 auction but deleted them after learning of the ownership dispute. Sotheby’s is not charged in the case and has declined to comment.

According to court documents, Henley paid $8,500 for some draft lyrics from Gotta Have It! in 2012, when he began submitting police reports.

Henley’s defence counsel argues he hired starstruck prosecutors to take up his cause rather than pursuing a civil suit himself.

The DA’s office collaborated extensively with Henley’s legal team, and an investigator even wished for backstage passes to an Eagles concert — until a prosecutor declared it was “completely inappropriate,” according to Kosinki’s lawyers in court papers.

Prosecutors dismissed inquiries about their motivations as “a conspiracy theory rather than a legal defence.”

Last year, they stated in court documents, “It is the defendants, not the prosecutors, who are on trial.”

SOURCE – (AP)

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