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Shizuo Kambayashi

The North Korean nuclear threat, which had been unfolding over years and even over presidencies, now hits ominous milestones by the week.

  • In what Kim Jong-un had taunted was an Independence Day "gift," the regime on July 4 launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach Alaska.
  • By the end of the month, he was gloating about a test that could reach California (per the N.Y. Times), or even Denver or Chicago (per the Wall Street Journal).
  • Then came yesterday's WashPost scoop that North Korea has "produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles, crossing a key threshold on the path to becoming a full-fledged nuclear power."

It's the big idea of Tom Friedman's book last year about the "age of accelerations": that Moore's Law, about the rate of doubling in computer power, now applies to basically everything.

Shortly after the Post's huge story, Trump poured on accelerant with remarks that were a quick coda to a statement on the opioid crisis that he delivered at his Summer White House at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J..

A reporter asked if he had any comment on the reports about North Korea's nuclear capabilities. He sure did:

"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening beyond a normal state. And as I said, they will be met with fire, fury, and, frankly, power, the likes of which this world has never seen before."

Be smart: Of all the dumb things North Korea says, the idea of threatening Guam is one of the dumber.

An all-around wise man points out: "Makes no sense. Attacking anywhere is a suicide mission for the regime. U.S. retaliation would be devastating and complete. Most Korea experts would tell you that if they are going to take their one shot, it will be at a more populated and emotionally connected target."

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Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest — triggering widespread power outages and flooding.

Why it matters: The strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Saudi dissident claims MBS said he could get "poison ring" to kill king

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attending the Saudi Green Initiative Forum, via video link, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday. Photo: Royal Court of Saudi Arabia/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A former senior Saudi intelligence official who worked with the U.S. on counterterrorism alleged to "60 Minutes" in an interview broadcast Sunday that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed in 2014 killing the kingdom's then-monarch.

Why it matters: The claim by the exiled Saad al-Jabri, whom Saudi authorities describe as "a discredited former government official," that the crown prince, known as "MBS," allegedly said he could obtain a "ring from Russia" to carry out the attack, is one of several serious but unproven allegations he made on the CBS show.

“You blew it”: GOP activist turns on corporations over vaccine mandates

The chairman of the American Conservative Union said on "Axios on HBO" he accepts "Joe Biden is my president, and I want him to succeed," but predicted Republicans retake the House and Senate in 2022 — with greater than 50% odds Donald Trump runs in 2024.

The big picture: In a joint interview with his wife, Mercedes, Matt Schlapp also refused to share their vaccination status. And he told corporate America "you blew it" by embracing vaccine mandates and liberal social stances that have alienated GOP voters and politicians.