A toxic mix: The Olympics, Rocket Man and the dotard – The San Diego Union-Tribune

The gold, silver and bronze medals for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, were unveiled earlier this week. The outer edges are ringed with letters in the Korean alphabet, forming diagonal ridges across the face to resemble a tree trunk. They hang from a teal and pale red ribbon made from the traditional Korean fabric of Gapsa and embroidered with Hangeul patterns.

They’re beautiful and stylish and exquisite, and largely an afterthought right now. Two other elements from the periodic table are on people’s minds as the XXIIIth Winter Games rapidly approach:

Plutonium and hydrogen.

Type “PyeongChang” into Google Earth, and the globe will spin around to Asia and zoom into the Korean peninsula, to a mountainous region east of Seoul in Gangwon Province. Less than 50 miles to the north is the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone bordering North Korea. Just north of that are missile installations. A few weeks ago, Gangwon Province was the site of joint bombing exercises by U.S. and South Korean jets that simulated North Korean targets.


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