North Koreans take part in an event marking the 20th anniversary of the election of former leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang. Photo: Jon Chol Jin / AP

"I've been covering North Korea on and off since the 1980s, and this five-day trip has left me more alarmed than ever about the risks of a catastrophic confrontation," N.Y. Times columnist Nick Kristof writes from Pyongyang:

  • "Officials offered no apology [for leaving U.V.a student Otto Warmbier in a coma] and gave no ground, reflecting a hard line toward the United States that I found everywhere on this visit; [senior Foreign Ministry official Choe Kang-il] derided President Trump as 'a crazy man,' 'a thug' and 'a pathetic man with a big mouth.'"
  • Why it matters: "Far more than when I previously visited, North Korea is galvanizing its people to expect a nuclear war with the United States."
  • "High school students march in the streets in military uniform every day to denounce America. Posters and billboards along the public roads show missiles destroying the U.S. Capitol and shredding the American flag."
  • "[I]mages of missiles are everywhere — in a kindergarten playground, at a dolphin show, on state television."
  • "This military mobilization is accompanied by the ubiquitous assumption that North Korea could not only survive a nuclear conflict, but also win it."
  • The whole column is worthy of your time.

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