North Korea says Trump insult ensures attack on US mainland

Ri Yong Ho, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. (UN Photo)
Updated 24 September 2017
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North Korea says Trump insult ensures attack on US mainland

UNITED NATIONS: North Korea’s foreign minister told world leaders Saturday that US President Donald Trump’s insult calling leader Kim Jong Un “rocket man” makes “our rocket’s visit to the entire US mainland inevitable all the more.”
Ri Yong Ho called the American president “a mentally deranged person full of megalomania and complacency” with his finger on the “nuclear button.” And he said Trump’s “reckless and violent words” had provoked “the supreme dignity” of North Korea and “rendered this sacred UN arena tainted.”
Ri’s highly anticipated speech to the General Assembly’s annual ministerial meeting fueled the fiery rhetoric between the US president and North Korea’s young leader.
Trump threatened in his speech to the 193-member world body on Tuesday to “totally destroy” the North if provoked. Kim, in an unusual direct statement to the world, responded pledging to take “highest-level” action against the United States.
“None other than Trump himself is on a suicide mission,” Ri told the assembly Saturday. “In case innocent lives of the US are lost because of this suicide attack, Trump will be held totally responsible.”
Ri suggested to reporters Friday in New York that his country could conduct an atmospheric hydrogen bomb test to fulfill Kim’s vow to take action. But he did not make any mention of such a test Saturday.
He did say that North Korea’s recent successful “ICBM-mountable H-bomb test” was part of the effort to complete the country’s nuclear force.
“Our national nuclear force is, to all intents and purposes, a war deterrent for putting an end to nuclear threat of the US and for preventing its military invasion,” Ri said, “and our ultimate goal is to establish the balance of power with the US“
The foreign minister’s opening remarks reflected the deep anger in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea — the country’s official name — at Trump’s derisive nickname for Kim who is revered by many people in the North.
Ri said that during his eight months in power, Trump had turned the White House “into a noisy marketing place” and now he has tried to turn the United Nations “into a gangsters’ nest where money is respected and bloodshed is the order of the day.”
The North Korean minister called Trump a “gambler who grew old using threats, frauds and all other schemes to acquire a patch of land” and said he is even derided by the American people as “Commander in Grief,” “Lyin King,” and “President Evil.”
“Due to his lacking of basic common knowledge and proper sentiment, he tried to insult the supreme dignity of my country by referring it to a rocket,” Ri said. “By doing so, however, he committed an irreversible mistake of making our rockets’ visit to the entire US mainland inevitable all the more.”


Greek Prime Minister heads to Odysseus’ home at end of bailout journey

Updated 21 August 2018
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Greek Prime Minister heads to Odysseus’ home at end of bailout journey

ATHENS: Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras headed to the Greek island of Ithaca on Tuesday in a gesture laden with classical symbolism as the country emerges from nine years of crisis and international financial bailouts.
The island was home to Odysseus, who found his way home from the Trojan war after a 10-year voyage lost at sea, recounted in Homer’s epic poem.
Tsipras is due to give a state address from the island, a day after Greece ended its third bailout deal with international creditors who have bankrolled the country in return for tough reforms and austerity monitored by their inspectors since 2010.
“We are not saying that all problems have been solved because we exited the bailout, we will not celebrate,” deputy economy minister Alexis Haritsis told state tv ERT. “But it is a significant day and it is a success to manage to get out of a tough surveillance.”
Former Prime Minister George Papandreou, who applied for the first bailout from Greece’s euro zone partners and the International Monetary Fund in April 2010, also drew on the Odyssey analogy at the time.
“We are on a difficult path, a new odyssey for Greece and for the Greek nation,” Papandreou said at the time. “But we know the way to Ithaca, and we have charted the waters in our quest.”
Austerity and political turmoil followed, shrinking the economy by a quarter, pushing a third of the population into poverty and forcing the migration of thousands abroad.
Another two bailouts followed in 2012 and 2015. In all, the €288 billion ($330 billion) Greece has borrowed is the largest bailout in history, saddling the country with debt the equivalent of 180 percent of its annual economic output.
In the coming years, Greece will have to maintain primary budget surpluses — excluding debt repayments — and further cuts in pensions may be made in 2019.
One newspaper also referred to the long voyage of Odysseus. “Even after Ithaca we will still be rowing,” the daily Ethnos said on its front page.