North Korea threatens nuclear “sacred war”

Harsh words sparked by planned US military exercises.

According to North Korea's state-run news agency KCNA, the authoritarian regime will use its "nuclear deterrent" in response to joint US-South Korean war games scheduled to take place this weekend.

Tensions in the region have been rising since the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan in March. Pyongyang denies involvement, but an international investigation found that the sinking was caused by a North Korean torpedo.

Relations between Pyongyang and Seoul had been warming tentatively throughout the past decade, but in 2008 the election of the conservative Lee-Myung bak as president of the South led to a more hardline stance against the North. The BBC's correspondent in Seoul says that while this latest stand-off is unlikely to lead to war, it will cause concern, not least in China:

China has been urging the US and South Korea to tread very carefully. It does not want to see tensions to rise further, and there have been clear signals from Beijing that it does not think that this sort of war game being held off the coast of the Korean Peninsula at this moment is a good idea.

China's real worry is that North Korea is already very isolated, it is being squeezed diplomatically and economically; and if it is squeezed too hard, it might live up to some of these words.

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Tory Brexiter Daniel Hannan: Leave campaign never promised "radical decline" in immigration

The voters might not agree...

BBC Newsnight on Twitter

It was the Leave campaign's pledge to reduce EU immigration that won it the referendum. But Daniel Hannan struck a rather different tone on last night's Newsnight. "It means free movement of labour," the Conservative MEP said of the post-Brexit model he envisaged. An exasperated Evan Davis replied: “I’m sorry we’ve just been through three months of agony on the issue of immigration. The public have been led to believe that what they have voted for is an end to free movement." 

Hannan protested that EU migrants would lose "legal entitlements to live in other countries, to vote in other countries and to claim welfare and to have the same university tuition". But Davis wasn't backing down. "Why didn't you say this in the campaign? Why didn't you say in the campaign that you were wanting a scheme where we have free movement of labour? Come on, that's completely at odds with what the public think they have just voted for." 

Hannan concluded: "We never said there was going to be some radical decline ... we want a measure of control". Your Mole suspects many voters assumed otherwise. If immigration is barely changed, Hannan and others will soon be burned by the very fires they stoked. 

I'm a mole, innit.