Three separate but noteworthy bits of news have come drifting out of North Korea today that aren't related but somehow come together like flotsam curling and twisting together in the breeze to become one singular mass of trash.
First and most importantly, a drone suspected of being sent from North Korea took a number of photos of a new US missile defense site located in South Korea before it crashed near the demilitarized zone between the two countries.
From the Washington Post:
The drone, according to the report, was found last week just days after North Korea test-fired a salvo of anti-ship missiles. The test, reportedly overseen by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, marked the latest escalation following a series of weapon trials in recent months that have steadily ratcheted up tensions in the region.
Apparently the military analyzed the camera's 64-gigabyte memory chip and claimed it had been spying on the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), an anti-ballistic missile defense system designed to intercept and shoot down short, medium, and intermediate range ballistic missiles with a hit-to-kill approach. It has a 100 percent mission success rate.
In the same 24 hours, Otto Warmbier, that student who was accused of attempting to steal a propaganda poster from his hotel room while visiting North Korea (he was found guilty of “subversion” and “hostile policy,” and was sentenced to a 15-year prison term in March 2016), was medically evacuated from the country in a coma, according to the State Department.
In case you were wondering, Warmbier's evacuation had nothing to do with former NBA player Dennis Rodman’s latest visit to North Korea; coincidentally, Rodman landed on the same day as Warmbier’s release.
From the New York Times:
Mr. Rodman declined to say whether he had spoken about the trip with Mr. Trump, who four years ago endorsed Mr. Rodman’s visiting North Korea.
“Well, I’m pretty sure he’s pretty much happy with the fact that I’m over here trying to accomplish something that we both need,” Mr. Rodman said, as reported by The A.P.
Because he can't go on these trips without a sponsor, this go-around, Rodman is backed by PotCoin.com, a peer-to-peer digital cryptocurrency that aims to become the standard form of payment for the legalized cannabis industry. (No, North Korea is not a stoner’s paradise.)