North Korea destroyed the liaison office with the South; Beijing imposed coronavirus restrictions; France backs away from chokehold ban

North Korea destroyed the liaison office with the South; Beijing imposed coronavirus restrictions; France backs away from chokehold ban

By
The World staff

A smoke rises from Kaesong Industrial Complex in this picture taken from the south in Paju, South Korea, June 16, 2020.

Credit:

Yonhap via Reuters

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Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

In a dramatic escalation of tensions, North Korea blew up the liaison office used to improve relations with South Korea on Tuesday. Surveillance video released by South Korea’s Ministry of Defence showed the building, located in the border town of Kaesong, in a large explosion that appeared to bring down the four-story structure. The office, which effectively served as a de facto embassy for the two countries, has been closed since January due to the novel coronavirus.

The destruction of the office adds to tensions that have been rising over recent weeks, as North Korea has threatened to cut ties with the South for what it says is retaliation over propaganda leaflets critical of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that have been sent over the border by human rights activists. The liaison office between the North and the South was established in 2018 as part of a series of projects aimed at reducing tensions.

What The World is following

In a move to stop a flare-up of new coronavirus cases, Beijing has imposed restrictions on public transport and banned high-risk people, such as those in close contact with others who have tested positive for COVID-19, from leaving the city. The new outbreak in China’s capital, where more than 100 cases have been reported since Thursday, has been traced to a large wholesale food center in the southwest of the city. 

Three Indian soldiers were killed today in a confrontation with Chinese troops in the disputed border region of Kashmir. They are the first casualties in decades to result from a clash between India and China in the disputed border region. The two nuclear powers have been locked in a standoff for weeks over boundary disputes.

France is now backing away from an ban on police use of chokeholds announced last week. France reversed course on the ban after officers voiced concerns that the move would threaten their lives. France had announced the ban after weeks of protests following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, which for many recalled the similar death of Adama Traoré in police custody in France in 2016.

From The WorldWhy many in public health support anti-racism protests — with some precautions amid coronavirus

Visitors look at a memorial at the site of the arrest of George Floyd, who died while in police custody, in Minneapolis, June 14, 2020.

Credit:

Eric Miller/Reuters 

Many health care workers say the coronavirus pandemic and systemic racism are intertwined. So when protests erupted across the globe in response to George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, many health professionals understood the public outcry, despite the risks of being in large crowds.

When ‘oh, fudge’ won’t do: Researchers find benefits to swearing

Researchers at the Swear Lab at Keele University in the UK have studied the benefits of swearing. 

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iStockphoto

When you stub your toe, there’s nothing like letting out a string of expletives. But it turns out, there’s more to this release than you might think. Researchers have found that swearing can actually increase a person’s pain tolerance — and no, you can’t substitute in a PG equivalent like “Oh fudge!” Only the real thing will do.

Morning meme

What should replace recently toppled statues in the US, Britain and elsewhere? One suggestion that gained some viral traction on social media recently — air dancers.

Retweet if we should temporarily replace all racist monuments with air dancers while we build new non-racist monuments! pic.twitter.com/ln6xkLeO93

— Jack (@GayLaVie) June 10, 2020In case you missed itListen: Public health consequences of protests during a pandemic

People wearing masks and holding signs kneel during a Black Lives Matter protest in Trafalgar Square in London, Britain, June 5, 2020.

Credit:

Toby Melville/Reuters

Thousands have taken to the streets around the world to protest police brutality and systemic racism. But many public health experts are not as distressed about these large demonstrations as one might think. And, as the US targets the International Criminal Court with sanctions, the court makes a breakthrough in Sudan. Also, a team of psychology researchers in the UK has found that swearing can increase a person’s pain tolerance.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

North Korea stops answering daily calls with South; Past epidemics underscore importance of mental health

North Korea stops answering daily calls with South; Past epidemics underscore importance of mental health

By
The World staff

Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un attends a wreath-laying ceremony in Hanoi, Vietnam, March 2019.

Credit:

Jorge Silva/Reuters/Pool/File Photo

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Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

North Korean officials did not answer a routine daily call to the liaison office with South Korea or calls on military hotlines this morning. The move is seen as a first step toward shutting down contact with Seoul. Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, threatened last week to close the office unless South Korean groups were stopped from sending pro-democracy leaflets into the North. In an effort to salvage ties, South Korean officials pledged to legislate a ban on the leaflets.

The daily calls between North and South Korea were established in 2018 to reduce tensions after peace talks. The two countries remain technically at war because the 1950-1953 Korean War ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty.

What The World is following

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he and US President Donald Trump agreed on “some issues” on the conflict in Libya during a phone call yesterday. Turkey and the US support the UN-backed government of Fayez al Sarraj. In recent weeks, Sarraj’s troops have pushed back an assault on the capital of Tripoli by renegade commander Khalifa Haftar, who is backed by Russia and US allies, France, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Today, mourners in Houston, Texas, bury George Floyd, a black man killed in police custody whose death has sparked global protests over systemic racism and police violence. In London, Mayor Sadiq Khan has called for a review of all statues in the city for ties to slavery.

Also a new study of satellite images shows a surge in traffic to hospitals in Wuhan, China, in August, coinciding with a spike in online searches for “cough” and “diarrhea” — suggesting the coronavirus may have been spreading in the city far earlier than reported.

America’s BLM protests find solidarity in South Korea

Protesters in Seoul, South Korea, rallied in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement on June 6, 2020. 

Credit:

Jason Strother/The World 

Calls for racial justice in the US are compelling some South Koreans to point out xenophobia in their own country and reexamine decades-old tensions between black and Korean communities. Over the weekend, around 100 demonstrators walked through downtown Seoul in protest of the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in what was perhaps the first public showing of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the nation.

Past epidemics underscore importance of mental health amid COVID-19

Women wearing masks to prevent contracting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) ride a subway train in Seoul, South Korea, on June 12, 2015.

Credit:

Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji 

Calls for racial justice in the US are compelling some South Koreans to point out xenophobia in their own country and reexamine decades-old tensions between black and Korean communities. Over the weekend, around 100 demonstrators walked through downtown Seoul in protest of the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in what was perhaps the first public showing of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the nation.

Discussion: Reporting on the 2020 Latino vote amid the pandemic

Young Latinos could swing the outcome of the election — if they cast their ballots. That’s because approximately every 30 seconds, a young Latino turns 18 and becomes eligible to vote. For the past four months, The World’s “Every 30 Seconds” project has been following the stories of eight young Latino voters in different corners of the US.

Join The World’s Daisy Contreras for a conversation with three of the eight Every 30 Seconds journalists — Naomi Prioleau of WUNC in Chapel Hill, Max Rivlin-Nadler of KPBS in San Diego and Martha Dalton of WABE in Atlanta — focusing on their experiences reaching out to young Latinos for a yearlong reporting project and the lessons they’ve learned on reporting during the pandemic.

You can watch the Facebook Live Q&A on The World’s Facebook page Wednesday, June 10 at 12pm ET. Ask your questions during the live event or email us at [email protected].

Morning Meme

Someone found it! Thousands have searched but after more than a decade, someone actually found Forest Fenn’s buried treasure — worth more than an estimated $1 million — somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.

NEW: A bronze chest filled with gold, jewels, and other valuables worth more than $1 million and hidden a decade ago somewhere in the Rocky Mountain wilderness has finally been found. https://t.co/AzvKoMwjbd

— The Denver Post (@denverpost) June 7, 2020In case you missed itListen: Global protests against racial discrimination continue to spread

A man observes the base of the statue of Edward Colston, a slave trader in the 17th century, after protesters pulled it down and pushed into the docks, following the death of George Floyd, Bristol, Britain, June 8, 2020.

Credit:

Matthew Childs/Reuters

Protests against racial discrimination and social injustice continue across the globe. At a rally last weekend in Bristol, England, activists pulled down the statue of a 17th-century slave trader and dumped it in the harbor. And, the notion of putting the US military into the streets to quell unrest is a bridge too far for many people, including many military leaders. Also, As East African countries such as Uganda begin easing lockdowns, borders remain a big concern. Truck drivers crossing borders between Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania have contributed to the spread of COVID-19.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.