FILE - This combination of photos show North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on April 15, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington on April 29, 2017. Threatening language between the U.S. and North Korea is flaring. After Trump vowed to respond with “fire and fury” if Pyongyang continued to threaten the U.S., the North’s military said it is finalizing a plan to fire four midrange missiles to hit waters near the strategic U.S. territory of Guam. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Files)
North Korean leader Kim Jong un (left) and U.S. President Donald Trump have been trading threats. AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Arms control expert: No good military option with North Korea



As the United States and North Korea trade fresh threats of military force, non-proliferation experts are  increasingly concerned about conversation boiling over into a military confrontation that would bring what they believe would be "unmitigated disaster".

The National spoke to Alexandra Bell, the Senior Policy Director at the Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation to evaluate the situation. Ms Bell, who until January was the Director for Strategic Outreach in the Office of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security at the Department of State, expressed alarm over the harsh language traded between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un and urged a swift return to the negotiating table.

JK: How dangerous is the escalatory rhetoric between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un?

AB: It’s incredibly dangerous, since either side misinterpreting or misunderstanding provocative statements could have serious consequences.  In the past, U.S. leaders have ignored North Korea’s rhetorical bait and worked through proper diplomatic channels.  That is no longer the case.

JK: In that context, how serious are the military threats we are hearing from Mr Trump and from the North Korean leadership in respect to Guam?

AB: The threats themselves might be for show, but a conflict between the United States and North Korea would be devastating. As a matter of posturing, leaders can deliver harsh statements in public to set a tone for forthcoming formal talks.  In this case, it might simply be the style of the leaders in question.

JK: What are the risks of a military confrontation today? How would it play out?

AB: There is no good military option.  While the recent focus has been on North Korea’s nuclear program, they are suspected to have chemical and biological weapons programs.  They can also launch thousands and thousands of conventional artillery shells on Seoul in a matter of minutes.  The civilian casualties would be astronomical.  Add to that the tens of thousands of American troops on the Korean border and in Japan that would be in harm’s way.

Put simply, a war with North Korea would be an unmitigated disaster.

JK: How did we get here? Could this have been averted?

AB: The North Koreans have been driving towards a nuclear weapons capability since the early 1990’s.  That progress was halted by an agreement called the Agreed Framework for about eight years.  Problems arose with that agreement and instead of the parties trying to fix those problems, the agreement was allowed to collapse.

The bottom line is that North Korea continued insistence in developing nuclear and missile capabilities is a threat to international security.  The United States working with allies and partners should refrain from inflammatory rhetoric and look for a way back to the negotiating table.

_________________

Read more

_________________

JK: President Trump has blamed previous administrations' mistakes in getting here, is that a fair assessment?

AB: The Clinton Administration confronted North Korea’s nuclear ambitions head on and were able to achieve the Agreed Framework.  The problems that began to arise with the agreement were then the Bush Administration’s to handle.  The Bush Administration chose not to defend or repair the deal, so it collapsed.  The North Koreans tested their first nuclear weapon in 2006 towards the end of the Bush presidency.

The Obama Administration made some efforts to return to negotiations, but did not succeed.  They did, however, inform the incoming Trump Administration that North Korea should be a top priority.  As of yet, the United States does not even have an Ambassador in Seoul.

JK: How can we climb down from this escalation?

AB: First, both sides should stop issuing inflammatory statements.  Second, the United States should work with allies and partners to create the conditions where North Korea can come back to the negotiating table.  The initial focus of such talks should be an immediate freeze on North Korea’s nuclear and missile testing programs.  Once achieved, larger discussions can ensue.

JK: Where do you see China’s role?

AB: China is completely critical to solving this situation, but we need to work together with them in formal diplomatic settings.

World Food Day

Celebrated on October 16, to coincide with the founding date of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, World Food Day aims to tackle issues such as hunger, food security, food waste and the environmental impact of food production.

Gulf Under 19s final

Dubai College A 50-12 Dubai College B

25-MAN SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Daniel Akpeyi
Defenders: Olaoluwa Aina, Abdullahi Shehu, Chidozie Awaziem, William Ekong, Leon Balogun, Kenneth Omeruo, Jamilu Collins, Semi Ajayi 
Midfielders: John Obi Mikel, Wilfred Ndidi, Oghenekaro Etebo, John Ogu
Forwards: Ahmed Musa, Victor Osimhen, Moses Simon, Henry Onyekuru, Odion Ighalo, Alexander Iwobi, Samuel Kalu, Paul Onuachu, Kelechi Iheanacho, Samuel Chukwueze 

On Standby: Theophilus Afelokhai, Bryan Idowu, Ikouwem Utin, Mikel Agu, Junior Ajayi, Valentine Ozornwafor

How to avoid getting scammed
  • Never click on links provided via app or SMS, even if they seem to come from authorised senders at first glance
  • Always double-check the authenticity of websites
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) for all your working and personal services
  • Only use official links published by the respective entity
  • Double-check the web addresses to reduce exposure to fake sites created with domain names containing spelling errors
RACE CARD

6.30pm Maiden (TB) Dh82.500 (Dirt) 1,400m

7.05pm Handicap (TB) Dh87,500 (D) 1,400m

7.40pm Handicap (TB) Dh92,500 (Turf) 2,410m

8.15pm Handicap (TB) Dh105,000 (D) 1,900m

8.50pm UAE 2000 Guineas Trial (TB) Conditions Dh183,650 (D) 1,600m

9.25pm Dubai Trophy (TB) Conditions Dh183,650 (T) 1,200m

10pm Handicap (TB) Dh102,500 (T) 1,400m

WHAT IS A BLACK HOLE?

1. Black holes are objects whose gravity is so strong not even light can escape their pull

2. They can be created when massive stars collapse under their own weight

3. Large black holes can also be formed when smaller ones collide and merge

4. The biggest black holes lurk at the centre of many galaxies, including our own

5. Astronomers believe that when the universe was very young, black holes affected how galaxies formed

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

The specs: 2018 Opel Mokka X

Price, as tested: Dh84,000

Engine: 1.4L, four-cylinder turbo

Transmission: Six-speed auto

Power: 142hp at 4,900rpm

Torque: 200Nm at 1,850rpm

Fuel economy, combined: 6.5L / 100km

The specs

Engine: Dual synchronous electric motors
Power: 646hp
Torque: 830Nm
Transmission: Two-speed auto (rear axle); single-speed auto (front)
Price: From Dh552,311; Dh660,408 (as tested)
On sale: now