Is the Nuclear Threat Over?

The two biggest liars in the entire world met yesterday and all of our worries are supposed to be over now.  North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a nuclear-armed tyrant who runs a police state met President Trump for the first time and moments after Trump felt obliged to introduce Kim Jong Un to the press.  North Korea is one of the world’s most repressive media environments, and it actually ranked 180 out of 180 countries on Reporters Without Borders’ 2018 World Press Freedom Index.  The United States was ranked 45th in the index but Reporters Without Borders said press freedoms ratings in the U.S. has steadily declined under Trump.  Trump is no longer calling Kim ‘Little Rocket Man’ and he actually praised Kim Jong Un for being strong, funny, smart and a great negotiator.  The dreamlike encounter between the President of the United States and the supreme leader of the world’s most repressive state ended with mounting questions about what actually had been achieved, who had won most, and what will happen next.  Trump and Kim both got what they wanted from a propaganda bonanza punctuated by multiple photo-ops that will help cement the political legitimacy of both men in their vastly different contexts back home.  Since the North Koreans are known for breaking their promises and the only thing to come out of these meetings yesterday was promises of denuclearization, I actually do not feel any safer this morning.

They sat down for a working lunch which could be called a smorgasbord and for starters, they had a choice between a prawn cocktail with avocado salad, green mango kerabu (a Malay rice dish that is often called is the queen of salads) with honey lime dressing & fresh octopus or a Korean stuffed cucumber.  Their main course allowed them indulge in a beef short rib confit (meat cooked slowly in its own fat), served with potato dauphinois (a French dish of sliced potatoes baked in milk) and steam broccoli, with red wine sauce on the side, or sweet and sour crispy pork with Yangzhou Fried Rice with homemade chili sauce, or a Korean soy braised cod fish with Radish, Asian Vegetables.  Finally the desert featured a dark chocolate tartlet ganache (a whipped filling of chocolate and cream), vanilla ice cream with cherry coulis (thick sauce made from a puréed and strained fruit), or tropezienne a pastry dessert consisting of a filled brioche (fluffy tart).  Kim Jong-un said that he wants North Koreans to eat DOG for stamina food.  In some Asian countries, particularly China, Japan, Korea and Thailand, jellyfish are eaten as a food for special occasions.

Stocks crept higher at Wednesday’s open as telecom and entertainment stocks continued to respond to Tuesday’s U.S. district court ruling allowing AT&T and Time Warner to merge which went against Trump’s desires, because he has a hatred for CNN.  The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates for the second time this year at 2:00 p.m. ET today.  Central bank policymakers suggested the path of future rate hikes could be slightly steeper over the next few years than previously thought.  While it usually takes at least 12 months for any increase or decrease in interest rates to be felt in a widespread economic way, the market’s response to a change (or news of a potential change) is often more immediate.  The stock market is not expected to plummet over this news, but when you get a market that’s facing several challenges, it’s vulnerable, and anything can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.  The stock market can be looked at like you are riding on a Ferris wheel, as one minute you could be on top of the world, and the next minute you’re down, but you are always looking to get back up again.

Cyclical stocks tend to mirror the economy, as their sales move in tandem with the economy.  Prices for eggplant vary depending on the type and season, but eggplant prices are slightly higher this week.  The average price per pound went up from a $1.30 last week to a $138 this week.  Nogales, Arizona to Coachella, California are seeing steady supplies and the quality remains fair due to the heat wave in Mexico.  Eggplant is a warm-season crop that does not tolerate frost and it requires a long growing season of at least 80 days before it can be a transplanted crop.

The latest space news from yesterday reports that a powerful dust storm has darkened the skies over NASA’s Opportunity Mission on Mars.  This robotic rover was only meant to operate on Mars for 90 Martian days (or sols), which works out to be just a little over 90 Earth days.  However, since it made its landing on January 25th, 2004, it has remained in operation for 14 years, 4 months, and 18 days, thus exceeding its operating plan by a factor of 50!  A few weeks ago, NASA received disturbing news that potentially posed a threat for the little rover that just will not quit, about a Martian storm that was blowing in over rover’s position.  Luckily, NASA has since made contact with the rover, which is an encouraging sign.

Written for Daily Addictions by rogershipp prompt Plummet, for FOWC with Fandango – Mirror, for curiouscat99 Ragtag Community Marching together to inspire one another RDP #13 : Smorgasbord, for Teresa’s Haunted Wordsmith Three Things Challenge, 13 June 2018 where the three prompt words are “eggplant, jellyfish and space” and for Tales From the Mind of Kristian Word Prompt Introduce.

12 thoughts on “Is the Nuclear Threat Over?

    1. Thanks, I struggled with some of the prompts, and going from the Trump – Kim meeting to their lunch was easy, but jellyfish was a bit of a stretch. I thought I found a good segue to the stock market and then I fudged in eggplant and went on to space. It was not a very well planned out post.

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