• iStock/Thinkstock(SEOUL) -- Despite the fiery rhetoric coming from both President Donald Trump and North Korean officials, as well as concerns over the country’s recent advances in missile technology, experts maintain that nuclear war is not what Kim Jong-Un wants. Rather, experts say what Kim is searching for can be summed up in one word: survival.“This is not a man who wants to go to war with the United States,” Jonathan Pollack, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who focuses on Northeast Asian studies, told ABC News.“[The North Koreans] were not going to strike first because they know the risks if they did launch some kind of missile attack," Pollack said, adding that those risks include Trump deciding to put North Korea "out of business."While statements were being hurled back and forth by both Trump and Kim last week, Scott Snyder, a senior fellow for Korea studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, told ABC News that "what we know of Kim Jong-Un is that he wants to survive."Steve Ganyard, an ABC News aviation contributor and retired Marine Corps colonel, agreed: "Kim Jong-Un is a rational man, so the whole goal is regime survival."“He's learned the lesson of Saddam [Hussein] and Muammar [Gaddafi]," Ganyard said. "He's never going to give up his nukes, so I think at some point we go back to Cold War-style deterrence and containment the way we did with the Soviet Union successfully," Ganyard added.That would bring relations with the U.S. back to the status quo, but not change things much on the ground in North Korea."It will remain a standoff unless we can ratchet up the economic sanctions to the point that it begins to cripple the North Korean economy," Ganyard said.Pollack went further, saying that in addition to simply surviving as the country's leader, Kim “wants to be validated.”“He presides over one of the most misbegotten regimes in the world that has an economy one fortieth the size of South Korea's,” Pollack said of Kim. “He is trying to claim that he is now on a level playing field with the most powerful state in the world, so he does this through an over-commitment to military programs."
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  • Mark Reinstein/Corbis Via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday that ISIS has committed genocide."ISIS is clearly responsible for genocide against Yezidis, Christians, and Shiia Muslims," Tillerson told reporters gathered in the State Department's Treaty Room, adding that his statement should "remove any ambiguity from previous statements or reports by the State Department."
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  • Twitter/@mahatmat(FREETOWN, Sierra Leone) -- At least 312 people have been killed and 700 others are missing in the wake of heavy flooding and mudslides in Sierra Leone, a Red Cross spokesperson told ABC News. An estimated 3,000 people had their homes swept away in the disaster, and those numbers could still rise, the Red Cross said.A hillside on the outskirts of Sierra Leone's capital Freetown collapsed Monday morning after a night of heavy rain, sweeping away houses and turning roads into rivers. Many people were asleep at the time of the landslide, which happened around 6:30 a.m. local time, and aid organizations fear that many may still be trapped in their homes.“In places, entire communities seem to have been washed away and whatever is left is covered in mud,” Abdul Nasir, program coordinator for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said in a statement.The Red Cross said that its volunteers have rescued 71 people from the mud and rubble so far.#SierraLeoneMudSlide update: #RedCross volunteers helped free 71 ppl from mud & debris. Situation remains grim. More announcements to come. pic.twitter.com/eWuoAfDVCq
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(SEOUL) -- Kim Jong Un was briefed by a North Korean general on the country's plan to launch missiles toward Guam, according to South Korea's largest news agency, but the combative leader appeared to pause the heated rhetoric, saying he would watch "stupid American behavior for a bit longer.""Dear Supreme Leader has spent a long time to review the plan to attack Guam by surrounding it and conferred with the leaders present," reads a translated statement by Yonhap, attributed to KCNA, the state news agency of North Korea.The war planning came during the leader's visit on Monday to the the headquarters of Strategy Division of the North Korea's People's Army where he reportedly met with General Kim Rak Gyom. While there, Kim warned soldiers to stand ready to strike "at all times," according to the Yonhap report.The order to his army was reportedly followed by more bluster but also a call for the U.S. to ease tensions."Dear Supreme Leader said that the Americans' reckless military confrontational behavior has ended up the U.S. trapping themselves with their own hands and are spending pathetic fate by weary minutes and seconds and that Dear Supreme Leader will watch such stupid American behavior for a bit longer,” KCNA said, according to Yonhap."The United States, which was the first to bring numerous strategic nuclear equipment near us, should first make the right decision and show through actions if they wish to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula and prevent a dangerous military clash," Kim was quoted as saying.When the preparation for battle was complete, Kim decided to take a photo with his soldiers."Dear Supreme Leader took a commemorative photo with the soldiers, who welcomed the Dear Supreme Leader with utmost excitement, to whom the Dear Supreme Leader responded by waving at them," KCNA reported.Pyongyang's saber rattling comes a week after the North Korean army declared it would complete an assault to launch four intermediate ballistic missiles near Guam by mid-August. And it's one day after the U.N. passed sanctions to devastate the region; China on Tuesday announced it would phase out supplying North Korea with crucial coal imports.Kim's rhetoric on Monday came shortly after Secretary of Defense James Mattis harshly warned North Korea of considering any sort of aggression against the U.S."If they shoot at the United States, I'm assuming they've hit the United States. ... If they do that, then it's game on," he said.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
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  • Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Amid heightening rhetoric over an attack on the U.S. island territory of Guam, Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters Monday that his department will know “within moments” where a North Korean missile is headed, were it to be launched."We'll know if it's going towards Guam within moments," he said, adding later, "We know swiftly after it's launched where it's going to land."Mattis also cautioned that “we'll take it out” if the missile is located heading to the U.S. territory off the coast of Philippines.However, Mattis said that President Donald Trump would be the one to decide America’s response if the missile is found to have been launched into Guam's surroundings waters."Well, then it becomes an issue that we take up however the president chooses," he responded.Mattis chose stronger words for the hostile North Korean regime during the press gaggle Monday in comparison to his words last week during an event in California.Mattis said that if North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s army fired a missile at the U.S, it would “escalate into war very quickly,” and that if it hit U.S. cities, it would be “game on.” But the retired U.S. Marine Corps general stressed that the Defense Department will do its “best to make sure it doesn’t hit the U.S.”When asked to clarify his comments on an escalation of war, Mattis said, "War is up to the president, perhaps up to Congress. The bottom line is that we will defend the country from an attack. For us, that's war. That's a war-time situation."Mattis also pointed out that making the decision to go to war can’t be done in “advance,” given a “host of things going on,” especially since there are “allies that [they] have to consult with.”Mattis' strong statement comes as Yonhap reports that KNCA, North Korea's state news agency, reported that "Dear Supreme Leader said today that the Americans' reckless military confrontational behavior has ended up the U.S. trapping themselves with their own hands and are spending pathetic fate by weary minutes and seconds and that Dear Supreme Leader will watch such stupid American behavior for a bit longer.”On August 10, Mattis told reporters that a potential nuclear incident "would be catastrophic" and warned that the “tragedy of war is well-known.” Mattis looked to be opting for a more diplomatic route during the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) event in California, saying that he wanted to “stay right here now” in the “American effort [that] is diplomatically led.”"It’s [North Korea's] aligning the United Nations in very serious sanctions, and I would just tell you that it did not happen by accident," Mattis said, of the 15-0 unanimous U.N. Security Council vote to impose economic sanctions on North Korea and stop its missile production.However, Mattis changed his tune on Monday, saying “welcome to reality” for the young troops who would be going into a wartime situation, adding that this doesn’t mean war is being declared yet.Mattis referenced the political satire Dr. Strangelove, a film that satirized the Cold War fears of a nuclear conflict between the Soviet Union and the U.S., saying he’s not trying to “do things like that.”Mattis released a harsher statement immediately following Trump’s initial “fire and fury” comments last week and North Korea’s threat to send four intermediate range missiles to Guam. The war veteran said “it must be noted that the combined allied militaries now possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive...capabilities on Earth,” adding that any arms race would be “grossly overmatched by ours.”Mattis has continuously warned North Korea of “the consequences” the rogue nation could bear in
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  • Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images(BERLIN) -- The violence in Charlottesville this weekend was “absolutely repulsive,” a spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday, as other German politicians condemned the neo-Nazi sympathies on display in the Virginia city and President Donald Trump’s response."The scenes at the right-wing extremist march were absolutely repulsive – the racism, anti-Semitism and hate on display were in their most naked and evil form," the spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said, according to a statement from the German chancellor’s office. He said what happened there was “diametrically opposed to the political goals of the chancellor and the entire German government."The entire German government “stands in solidarity with those who peacefully stand up to aggressive, right-extremist positions,” Seibert said. He added that Merkel’s “thoughts are with the family and friends of the woman who died as well as with the other victims, who we hope will completely recover.”Several leading politicians condemned the violence, and a couple called out President Trump for not immediately condemning the neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and other white nationalists who marched and clashed with counterprotesters in Charlottesville on Friday and Saturday.“What happened in the U.S. is Nazi terror, that’s the only way to describe it and to call it,” Martin Schulz, the head of the Social Democratic Party and a candidate for chancellor, said Monday. “It’s shocking that the president of the United States of America has remained silent about this kind of terror, or makes comments that would allow those who committed these acts of violence there to feel encouraged.”Another member of Schulz’s party, German Ministry of Justice Heiko Maas, echoed that criticism.“His half-hearted dithering on the right-wing extremist violence is fatal,” Maas tweeted. “All democrats should find unambiguous words to stand up against racism. Those who can't demonstrate a definitive stand must reckon with the fact that they are empowering neo-Nazis.”Trump on Saturday blamed “many sides” for the violence, which killed one woman and injured at least 19 others. Monday, after two days of criticism for his failure to call out white nationalists by name, he specifically denounced “the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.”Germany has strict laws against displaying Nazi symbols and slogans. Even suggesting support for Nazi ideas is taboo.Anti-immigrant sentiment in the country, however, has led to the rise of the right-wing, populist Alternative für Deutschland Party. But support for the party has reportedly slipped in recent months, after an AfD politician criticized Germany’s tradition of taking responsibility for the Holocaust and other crimes of the Nazi era.
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