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Behind the curtain: U.S. concerned about conditions in North Korea

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The United States and the rest of the world are keeping a wary eye on Kim Jong Un’s North Korea, and there is much to be concerned about recently. According to a Friday article on the Wall Street Journal, satellite imagery has disclosed that North Korea has launched two new warships that appear to be capable of landing helicopters and firing anti-submarine weaponry. The original report on this naval build-up was written by expert Joseph S. Bermudez, very knowledgeable in North Korean studies and satellite imagery, and he sees this news as a wake-up call for the world.

The United Nations has repeatedly put sanctions on the secretive country because of their forbidden nuclear testing program. It was thought that the conventional army of North Korea was in decline due to their inability to keep up with their wealthier rivals, the U.S. and South Korea. This latest discovery of newly-launched warships with advanced capabilities is in direct contrast to our pre-conceived ideas about Kim Jong Un and his otherwise backwards, oppressive country.

Fox News explains why the United States military is very concerned with other reports coming out of North Korea describing an almost-non-existence level of healthcare there. Besides just a humanitarian concern for the North Korean people, these reports also represent a genuine reason for experts to monitor the possibility of a global pandemic. Disease does not have respect for boundaries and borders.

The U.S. Army has actually established an initiative for that very purpose with South Korea called JUPITR. (Joint United States Forces Korea Portal and Integrated Threat Recognition) The military would like to soon activate the same program around the world to stay on top of potential world health hazards. They are also seeking ways to protect troops who are stationed in South Korea’s four bases and other dangerous, remote parts of the world.

The program has several angles that it uses to monitor natural bio-threats or even threats related to biological warfare. Of course, there are other very scientific parts of JUPITR that help the U.S. and South Korea assess the threat posed on the other side of the border. However, the most interesting one involves social media. The military experts even look at how many times the word “vomit” is used on Facebook! There are also calculations of how much Pepto-Bismol is sold at local Wal-Marts. The thought occurs that maybe basketball star Dennis Rodman is actually a secret agent for JUPITR.

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