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Politics

North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told the United Nations on Saturday that U.S. President Donald Trump had made “our rockets’ visit to the entire U.S. mainland inevitable” by calling North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “rocket man”.

“Through such a prolonged and arduous struggle, now we are finally only a few steps away from the final gate of completion of the state nuclear force,” Ri told the annual gathering of world leaders for the United Nations General Assembly.

“It is only a forlorn hope to consider any chance that the DPRK (North Korea) would be shaken an inch or change its stance due to the harsher sanctions by the hostile forces,” he said. reuters.com
Russia's foreign minister has likened the war of words between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un to a kindergarten fight between children.

The North Korean leader earlier labelled Mr Trump "mentally deranged" and a "dotard" after Mr Trump threatened to destroy his country.

Mr Trump responded with a tweet calling Kim Jong-un "a madman" who "will be tested like never before!"

Moscow's Sergei Lavrov said a pause was needed, "to calm down the hotheads".

"Yes, it's unacceptable to silently watch North Korea's nuclear military adventures but it is also unacceptable to unleash war on the Korean Peninsula," he said. bbc.com
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on Thursday that the social media company will turn over to Congress thousands of ads believed to have been bought by Russian agents attempting to influence last year’s presidential election.

Facebook officials said earlier this month that more than 3,000 ads were uncovered that ran between 2015 and 2017 and appeared to have come from a Russian entity that aimed to influence the election.

The move Thursday comes amid growing pressure on the social network from members of Congress, who pushed it to release the ads.

Facebook has already handed over the ads to federal authorities investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

"Facebook’s mission is all about giving people a voice and bringing people closer together,” Zuckerberg said Thursday in an address streamed on Facebook. daytondailynews.com
A defector from North Korea has described the shocking brutality she witnessed from inside Kim Jong-un’s regime.

Hee Yeon Lim described how the North Korean leader ordered executions of anyone who dared to cross him and alleged that he picks teenage girls to become his sex slaves.

The daughter of an army colonel, Hee Yeon, 26, lived a privileged life in North Korean capital Pyongyang, where she was exposed to Jong-un’s reign of terror.

Describing one occasion she saw 11 musicians brutally executed for making a pornographic video, she told: “We were ordered to leave our classes by security men and made to travel to ­Pyongyang.

There is a sports ground there, a kind of stadium.

“The musicians were brought out, tied up, hooded and apparently gagged, so they could not make a noise, not beg for mercy or scream. yahoo.com
China rebuked U.S. President Donald Trump Wednesday after he threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if necessary, a warning that may have undermined the chances of peace but also gave Beijing an easy opportunity to seize the moral high ground.

Beijing has consistently blamed not just Pyongyang but also Washington for what it sees as its hostile policies toward the regime.

It argues that U.S. hostility has helped to pushed North Korea’s rulers into a corner and talk of total destruction only reinforces that narrative.

“Trump threatens DPRK with ‘total destruction’, while China calls for peaceful settlement,” the online English-language edition of the People’s Daily newspaper headlined an op-ed, referring to the county’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“Trump’s political chest-thumping is unhelpful, and it will only push the DPRK to pursue even riskier policies, because the survival of the regime is at stake,” it wrote.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang was more restrained, but nevertheless conveyed a similar message. thestar.com
Spanish national police have stormed ministries and buildings belonging to Catalonia's regional government to put a stop to the region's independence referendum.

The Guardia Civil, which acts with the authority of Madrid's interior ministry, is searching for evidence regarding the planned 1 October referendum on Catalan independence, which Spain's Constitutional Court has declared illegal.

In the early hours of the morning armed officers arrived at various Catalan ministries, including the economy department, foreign affairs department, and social affairs department, Spanish media reports.

At least twelve Catalan officials are said to have been arrested, including the chief aide to Catalonia's deputy prime minister, Josep Maria Jové.

The arrests come as the mayors of Catalan towns who back the referendum were yesterday questioned by state prosecutors.

Pro-independence crowds have formed outside the regional ministries in support of the provincial government and in protest against the raids and searches. independent.co.uk
New research helps to explain why the belief in election fraud is common in the United States, even though research has failed to find convincing evidence that it is a problem.

The study, published in the scientific journal Political Research Quarterly, found evidence that conspiratorial thinking and motivated partisan reasoning both have a strong influence on the belief in election-related conspiracy theories.

“My coauthor, Joseph Parent, came to me with the idea of studying conspiracy theories,” said Joseph E. Uscinski of the University of Miami.

“When we got into it, there had been little systematic analysis of why people believed conspiracy theories, and what the consequences of those beliefs were.

I have remained interested in the topic because it is a fun one to study most importantly, but also because it is so relevant to our current politics.”

The researchers used a survey of 1,230 Americans, conducted before and after the 2012 presidential election, to examine why some people believed widespread fraud had swung the outcome. psypost.org
Taiwan has suspended refined oil and LNG exports to North Korea, as well as clothing and textile imports, to comply with United Nations resolutions, a largely symbolic move by the island to show it is a responsible member of the international community.

Self-ruled Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations, due to Beijing’s position that it is simply a Chinese province and so not able to have its own official diplomatic ties with anyone.

But proudly democratic Taiwan likes to show that it follows international norms, despite its lack of U.N. membership.

On Sept. 11, the United Nations Security Council unanimously stepped up sanctions against North Korea over its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, imposing a ban on the isolated nation’s textile exports and capping imports of crude oil.

To complement the UN measures, Taiwan said it would suspend liquefied natural gas, crude oil, and refined oil product exports to North Korea with effect from Tuesday, the economics ministry said in a statement. reuters.com