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Checking Global Tensions As Conflict Inches Closer47:47Download

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War watch. We look at rising tensions and the U.S. presence in Syria, Afghanistan and on the Korean peninsula.

U.S. Army soldiers work on a tank during a military exercise in Paju, South Korea. (Ahn Young-joon/AP)
U.S. Army soldiers work on a tank during a military exercise in Paju, South Korea. (Ahn Young-joon/AP)

Lots of bravado on display with North Korea this weekend. Big talk.  Big guns. North Korea parading missiles that could one day reach the United States with nuclear weapons. Vice President Mike Pence on the Korean peninsula, at the DMZ, saying don’t test us. This president bombs. Headlines saying “Slow motion Cuban missile crisis.” After the Syria strike and the Afghanistan bombing, are we tempting war with North Korea? This hour On Point, are we on war watch? — Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Missy Ryan, Pentagon, military issues and national security reporter for the Washington Post. (@missy_ryan)

David Kang, director of the Korean Studies Institute at the University of Southern California, where he is also a professor of international relations, business and East Asian languages. (@daveckang)

Jim Stavridis, dean of the The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Former Supreme Allied Commander for NATO. Thirty-year U.S. Naval veteran. (@stavridisj)

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: As tensions with North Korea flare, Trump spends quiet weekend at Mar-a-Lago — "Just hours before North Korea fired a failed ballistic missile, President Trump spent his morning enjoying the blue, breezy weather here on Florida’s eastern coast Saturday, zipping around the greens of his private golf club."

The Wall Street Journal: McMaster Warns North Korea’s Behavior ‘Can’t Continue’ -- "Officials said the missile North Korea tested was probably a medium-range missile, not an inter-continental ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S. It failed about four to five seconds after launch. A U.S. official said that if Pyongyang had attempted a nuclear test, 'then other actions would have been taken from the U.S.' Officials didn’t say what those actions would have been."

New York Times: As Atrocities Mount in Syria, Justice Seems Out of Reach — "Three tons of captured Syrian government documents, providing a chilling and extensive catalog of the state’s war crimes, are held by a single organization in Europe. A Syrian police photographer fled with pictures of more than 6,000 dead at the hands of the state, many of them tortured. The smartphone alone has broken war’s barriers: Records of crimes are now so graphic, so immediate, so overwhelming."

This program aired on April 17, 2017.

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