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Suga urged to take up abduction issue at summit with Biden

The Japan Times

Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers have urged Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to take up the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea decades ago when he holds talks with U.S. President Joe Biden later this month. Eriko Yamatani, chairwoman of the LDP Headquarters for North Korean Abductions, met with Suga on Friday and handed him a resolution including the request. Suga said he will make efforts to gain U.S. cooperation on the abduction issue at the summit meeting, planned for April 16 at the White House. The resolution said a direct approach by Biden to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be effective in bringing abduction victims back to Japan. It urged Suga to ask Biden to put great value on North Korean issues, including the abduction problem, in his administration's strategy toward China, which has close ties with North Korea. The resolution also called for continued economic sanctions against North Korea and stricter crackdowns on ship-to-ship cargo transfers to smuggle supplies to the reclusive state.


Move over, Deep Nostalgia, this AI app can make Kim Jong-un sing I Will Survive

#artificialintelligence

If you've ever wanted to know what it might be like to see Kim Jong-un let loose at karaoke, your wish has been granted, thanks to an app that lets users turn photographs of anyone – or anything remotely resembling a face – into uncanny AI-powered videos of them lip syncing famous songs. The app is called Wombo AI, and while the future of artificial intelligence and the ability to make fake videos of real people strikes fear into the hearts of many experts, some say that Wombo could help by raising awareness of "deepfakes". Wombo CEO Ben-Zion Benkhin said he came up with the idea "while smoking a joint with my roommate on the roof". The app launched in Canada in February and has since been downloaded on Apple's App store and Google Play more than 2m times. There are 15 songs users can choose from, including Michael Jackson's Thriller and the more recent Gunther's Ding Dong Song.


North Korea calls Biden 'fool of low IQ' over Kim criticism

FOX News

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea has labeled Joe Biden a "fool of low IQ" and an "imbecile bereft of elementary quality as a human being" after the Democratic presidential hopeful during a recent speech called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a tyrant. Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency on Wednesday accused Biden of insulting the country's supreme leadership and committing an "intolerable and serious politically-motivated provocation" against the North. Biden during a campaign launch in Philadelphia on Saturday accused President Donald Trump of cozying up to "dictators and tyrants" like Kim and Russian President Vladimir Putin.


G7 pushes North Korea to continue denuclearization talks with U.S.

The Japan Times

DINARD, FRANCE - Foreign ministers of Group of Seven nations on Saturday pushed North Korea to continue denuclearization negotiations with the United States while vowing to maintain pressure on Pyongyang to encourage it to give up its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. In a communique issued after a two-day meeting in Dinard, western France, the ministers also expressed serious concern about the situation in the East and South China seas -- a veiled criticism of China's militarization of outposts in disputed areas of the South China Sea and its attempts to undermine Japan's control of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. The Senkakus are administered by Japan, but claimed by China and Taiwa, which call them the Diaoyu and Tiaoyutai, respectively. During the meeting, some G7 members touched on China's expanding global ambitions through its signature Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure project, a Japanese official said. But the communique makes no reference to the initiative in an apparent effort to demonstrate unity among the group.


Toward a more peaceful world: Using technology to aid nonproliferation Thomson Reuters

#artificialintelligence

On the heels of United States President Donald Trump's historic de-nuclearization summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, non-proliferation is once again a timely topic. Since the dawn of the nuclear age, keeping tabs on who has military-grade nuclear capabilities and materials has been a vital – and difficult – task. Thankfully, it's also one that may be getting easier, thanks to leaps forward in fields like data analysis, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Last month, Thomson Reuters Labs was invited to present at a workshop called "Applications of Innovative Tools and Technologies for Nonproliferation and Disarmament" held in Krems, Austria, for diplomats representing their countries at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other international organizations. The diplomatic workshop was preceded by a day-long session for technical participants at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation.


Divide and conquer? North Korean 'charm offensive' likely to exacerbate fissures in U.S. alliance

The Japan Times

Maybe not, but North Korea's "charm offensive" and leader Kim Jong Un's invitation to South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit Pyongyang "in the near future" will exacerbate existing fissures in Washington's alliance with Seoul as Pyongyang seeks to further chip away at the relationship.


How Trump can destroy Kim Jong Un's nukes without blowing up the world

#artificialintelligence

In the long view of history, North Korea getting a nuclear-tipped intercontinental missile in 2017 is the rough equivalent of an army showing up for World War II riding horses and shooting muskets. Nukes are so last century. War is changing, driven by cyberweapons, artificial intelligence (AI) and robots. Weapons of mass destruction are dumb, soon to be whipped by smart weapons of pinpoint disruption--which nations can use without risking annihilation of the human race. If the U.S. is innovative and forward-thinking, it can develop technology that ensures no ill-behaving government could ever get a nuke off the ground.