N Korea threat­ens Ja­pan, US with nu­clear ex­tinc­tion

The Mercury - - INTERNATIONAL -

SEOUL: A North Korean state agency threat­ened yes­ter­day to use nu­clear weapons to “sink” Ja­pan and re­duce the US to “ashes and dark­ness” for sup­port­ing a UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion and sanc­tions over its lat­est nu­clear test.

The Korea Asia-Pa­cific Peace Com­mit­tee, which han­dles the North’s ex­ter­nal ties and pro­pa­ganda, also called for the break-up of the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, which it called “a tool of evil” made up of “money-bribed” coun­tries that move at the or­der of the US.

“The four is­lands of the ar­chi­pel­ago should be sunken into the sea by the nu­clear bomb of Juche. Ja­pan is no longer needed to ex­ist near us,” the com­mit­tee said in a state­ment car­ried by the North’s of­fi­cial KCNA news agency.

Juche is the North’s rul­ing ide­ol­ogy that mixes Marx­ism and an ex­treme form of go-it-alone na­tion­al­ism preached by state founder Kim Il Sung, the grand­fa­ther of the cur­rent leader, Kim Jong Un.

Re­gional ten­sion has risen markedly since the North con­ducted its sixth, and by far its most pow­er­ful, nu­clear test on Septem­ber 3, fol­low­ing a se­ries of mis­sile tests, in­clud­ing one that flew over Ja­pan.

The 15-mem­ber Se­cu­rity Coun­cil voted unan­i­mously on a US-drafted res­o­lu­tion and a new round of sanc­tions on Mon­day in re­sponse, ban­ning North Korea’s tex­tile ex­ports and cap­ping fuel sup­plies. Reuters MEX­ICO CITY: Caribbean na­tions need faster ac­cess to cap­i­tal to in­vest in pro­tec­tion against the creep­ing ef­fects of cli­mate change, as many strug­gle to re­cover from the dev­as­tat­ing blow of Hur­ri­cane Irma, says the president of the Caribbean De­vel­op­ment Bank.

Dr Wil­liam War­ren Smith said in a tele­phone in­ter­view that the re­gion would push at com­ing UN cli­mate talks for richer coun­tries to play a big­ger role in help­ing the Caribbean bol­ster its de­fences as ris­ing sea lev­els and vi­o­lent storms threat­ened is­land states.

“We be­lieve there’s a re­spon­si­bil­ity of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity gen­er­ally to ad­dress this prob­lem. We feel that small, vul­ner­a­ble states like ours are in great need of the re­sources be­ing trans­ferred to us so we can ad­dress the prob­lem that we face, much of which is not our do­ing,” said Smith, who is Ja­maican.

Hur­ri­canes might be oc­ca­sional events, but sea level rise was “al­most con­tin­u­ous”, he added.

Hur­ri­cane Irma killed more than 60 peo­ple on its ram­page through the Caribbean and the south-east­ern US, with 43 of those deaths in the Caribbean, where homes were de­stroyed and ba­sic ser­vices dev­as­tated.

Sci­en­tists have said warmer air and wa­ter re­sult­ing from cli­mate change may have con­trib­uted to the sever­ity of Irma and Hur­ri­cane Har­vey, which hit Texas on Au­gust 25.

The Bar­ba­dos-based Caribbean De­vel­op­ment Bank has made emer­gency grants and loans to mem­ber coun­tries to help cover im­me­di­ate costs in the wake of Irma.

The Caribbean Catas­tro­phe Risk In­surance Fa­cil­ity (CCRIF) has paid out $30 mil­lion (R395m) so far.

Bri­tish over­seas ter­ri­tory the Turks and Caicos Is­lands will re­ceive about $13.6m from the in­surance scheme, while An­guilla will get some $6.5m. Nearly $6.8m will be fun­nelled to An­tigua and Bar­buda, and St Kitts and Ne­vis will re­ceive $2.3m, ac­cord­ing to the CCRIF.

Op­er­ated and owned by Caribbean coun­tries, the CCRIF al­lows is­land na­tions to pool their pre­mi­ums in a dis­as­ter fund. The first mul­ti­coun­try in­surance scheme of its kind, it was launched by the World Bank in 2007 af­ter Hur­ri­cane Ivan in­flicted bil­lions of dol­lars in losses on the re­gion in 2004.

Caribbean states had to pro­tect them­selves from ris­ing seas and storms with reef re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, hefty sea de­fences of boul­ders, and man­groves that help pro­tect against storm surges, Smith said. Reuters

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