North Korea And Syria Show Disdain For International Law, Human Rights

North Korea Conducts Live-Fire Drills
Despite cautions from the US and South Korea, North Korea conducted a live-fire drill near the South’s maritime border, a move which elicited a vow from Seoul that a “strong” response would be taken if any shells fall on its side of the disputed boundary.

“If any shell lands on our side of the border, South Korea will respond strongly” South Korea’s ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok said, according to the Yonhap news agency.

A State Department spokesman said the US was monitoring the situation and urged Pyongyang to “exercise restraint and refrain from actions that raise tensions.”

North Korea has conducted nuclear tests in 2006, 2009, and 2013 in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Barbarism And Chemical Weapons Used In Syria
Jacob Siegel has a chilling account of just how barbaric one radical Islamist group in Syria has become, including crucifying enemies in the open air, which is “an indication that, despite years of public hand-wringing in the West over Syria’s bloody and rapid decline, the country is continuing to plummet into new depths of the abyss.”

Siegel writes that the crucifixions are more disturbing to the Muslim residents of Raqqa because they are sent “as a message about what happens to those that ISIS judges against. Any one individual victim’s death is final. But the image of bodies hanging on crosses in the center of town serves as ongoing reminder about ISIS’s power and a warning.”

The brutal crucifixions have raised eyes on social media, but what is certain to raise concern in Western capitals are reports that Syria is continuing to use chemical weapons in violations of prior promises to halt their use.

According to London’s Telegraph newspaper, which conducted independent soil samples from the scene of three recent attacks, the results “show sizeable and unambiguous traces of chlorine and ammonia present at the site of all three attacks. The use in war of ‘asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases’ – both of which can be produced by chlorine and ammonia – is banned by the Geneva Protocol, of which Syria is a signatory.”

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a British chemical weapons expert involved in the testing, said: “We have unequivocally proved that the regime has used chlorine and ammonia against its own civilians in the last two to three weeks.”
US Withdraw From Leadership Role Would Have Damaging Consequences
Simon Serfaty writes in The National Interest about the role of the US on the global stage and the danger posed to all nations if we withdraw.
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