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France Press review

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French weekly magazines review 10 September 2017

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French weekly magazines DR

Questions loom about what to do with North Korea's crazy dictator, as the showdown over Pyongyang's nuclear programme swells into the world's worst crisis in years.


The weeklies voice grave concerns at Chinese and Russian resistance to Washington's diplomatic offensive to get the UN Security Council to vote on Monday to impose tougher sanctions against North Korea.

Left leaning Marianne publishes a photograph of Pyongyang strongman Kim Jong-un standing in front of what the publication describes as his latest big "military toy".

According to the weekly, watching Kim's army chiefs explain the deadly range of the ballistic and nuclear arsenal pushes one to assimilate the apparent headlong rush of the Pyongyang regime to the whims and caprices of Stanley Kubrick's comic picture Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

The 1964 movie is about what could happen if the wrong person pushed the wrong button - based on conventional wisdom at the time that communists were conspiring to pollute the "precious bod".

But according to Marianne, the hydrogen bomb tested on September 3, by North Korea at its Punnyye-ri base is far from being a laughing matter as it is the sixth nuclear test since the launching of Pyongyang's nuclear development programme in 2006.

And for Marianne, scary point about the tested Hwason-12 Inter-continental ballistic missile is that it is capable of hitting targets within a range of 3000 kms.

The French new observer l'Obs reports from South Korea's capital Seoul where tensions are at fever pitch, with the population divided about Seoul's response to Kim Jong-un's provocations.

According to the left-leaning weekly, after 70 years of tensions the left-leaning administration in power in Seoul is intimidated by their northern neighbour at a moment when the long-pursued dream of peace looks impossible.

L’Obs also presents the facts and figures of North Korea's military build-up which is causing a trauma in the South with Seoul incapable of matching Pyongyang's 1.2 million-strong army, equiped with 3500 tanks, 530 fighter jets, 20 submarines and stocks of up to 5000 tons of chemical weapons.

According to l'Obs Kim Jong-un's nuclear escalation is achieving his “ultimate project”, drive the Americans out of South Korea and reunify the Peninsula under his control.

The devil lives in Pyongyang holds l'Express, adding that the regime there is trying in an “apocalyptic tug of war” to impose its rhythm on Washington and Beijing.

Le Point warns that this is one of those periods in world history when the tiniest issue can trigger a war.

According to the right-wing magazine, it will be a grave error to minimize the threats by the world’s “rotten fruit" to wipe out sworn enemies South Korea, Japan and the United States, from the face of the earth.

Furthermore, Le Point claims that Kim has become untouchable, as he sits on the back of his nuclear arsenal and that is “upsetting the moral of the markets”.

Marianne concludes with a warning about the unexpected danger emerging just when the world felt that nuclear weapons were in the hands of people too reasonable to use them.

According to the weekly, now there is “Pyongyang's bad guy” capable of dropping a nuclear bomb on a densely- populated country without blinking, and a "crazy-looking" American President, ready to charge like a bull, at the least provocation.