Just How Backwards Is North Korea?

As President Obama travels to South Korea, matters of the state will be on hand. But what about the people living in North Korea? Their treatment is at once frightening and bizarre. 

What's the Latest Development?

As President Obama travels to South Korea, matters of the state will be on the agenda. So we shine the spotlight on the plight of the people living in the North. Shin Dong-hyuk is the only person who is known to have been escaped a North Korea prison camp after being born there. "Shin grew up literally not understanding concepts such as love, trust or kindness. His life consisted of beatings, hunger and labor." At the age of 14, when he watched his mother and brother executed, he reported feeling no pain or regret. 

What's the Big Idea?

In 2005, the United Nations declared that all nations have the 'responsibility to protect' civilians who are abused by their own government. Yet North Korean labor camps have existed twice as long as Soviet gulags and 12 times as long as Nazi concentration camps? Victor Cha, a Georgetown University professor, says the next US president is likely to face a major crisis in North Korea, perhaps resulting in reunification with the South. When that happens, 'what is likely to be revealed is one of the worst human rights disasters in modern times,' says Cha. 

Photo credit: shutterstock.com

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Keep reading Show less

Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
Politics & Current Affairs
  • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
  • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
  • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
Keep reading Show less

Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
  • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
  • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
Keep reading Show less