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Pentagon

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  • Vice President Mike Pence has made an unannounced visit to the Demilitarized Zone separating South and North Korea, following North Korea’s attempted missile launch and a massive military parade celebrating the birthday of the country’s founder on Saturday. Pence’s visit comes at a time when tension between the United States and North Korea is quickly ratcheting up. A U.S. armada, including an aircraft carrier and multiple warships, has been deployed to the Korean Peninsula. Last week, NBC News reported the Trump administration is prepared to launch a preemptive attack on North Korea if it proceeds toward a nuclear weapons test. Hours before Pence arrived in South Korea, North Korea attempted to test launch a new ballistic missile, but the test failed as the missile blew up almost immediately.

  • As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, in Russia to talk about the war in Syria and other issues, we spend the hour with the longtime investigative journalist Allan Nairn. For decades, Nairn has covered the impact of U.S. foreign policy across the globe in East Timor, Guatemala, El Salvador, Indonesia and other countries. Democracy Now! spoke to Nairn on Monday, discussing the escalation of U.S. military operations across the Middle East, as well as the unique danger Trump poses both abroad and at home. We began by asking Allan Nairn about last week’s U.S. attack on a Syrian air base.

  • President Trump will be meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday at his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago. Ahead of the meeting, Trump said in an interview with the Financial Times he would be willing to take unilateral action against North Korea over its nuclear weapons program. Trump said, "If China is not going to solve North Korea, we will." His warnings come after the U.S. and the South Korean militaries staged weeks-long training drills throughout March, while North Korea launched rocket engine and missile tests. For more, we speak with world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author Noam Chomsky.

  • Over the first 75 days of the Trump administration, the White House has taken multiple steps to escalate the possibility of a U.S. war with Iran. Trump included Iran on both his first and second Muslim travel bans. As a candidate, Trump also threatened to dismantle the landmark Iran nuclear agreement. For more on U.S.-Iranian relations, we speak with world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author Noam Chomsky.

  • Details are emerging about U.S.-led coalition airstrikes that are believed to have killed over 200 people in a single day in Iraq. The U.S.-led coalition has admitted launching airstrikes on March 17 targeting a crowded neighborhood in Mosul. They are among the deadliest U.S. airstrikes in the region since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. According to some reports, one of these strikes destroyed houses where hundreds of people were taking refuge amid the city’s heavy fighting. Up to 80 civilians, including women and children, may have died in one house’s basement alone. This bombing is just one of an onslaught of U.S.-led coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria that has killed as many as 1,000 civilians in March alone, according to the journalistic project Airwars. For more, we speak with Chris Woods, founder of Airwars, a nonprofit group that monitors civilian deaths from international airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.

  • On Thursday, a U.S. Reaper drone struck a gathering in a rebel-held village in Aleppo province, killing as many as 49 people. Monitoring groups say most of the dead were civilians who had gathered at a mosque to pray, while the Pentagon claims the gathering was a meeting of al-Qaeda members. The next day, 42 Somali refugees were gunned down by a helicopter gunship near the Yemen coast. Somalia accused Saudi Arabia of carrying out the strike. Eyewitness accounts suggest a U.S.-made Apache helicopter was used to carry out the deadly strike. For more, we speak with Samuel Oakford, investigative reporter for the journalistic project Airwars, who reports that the number of civilian casualties in U.S. airstrikes has been escalating since Donald Trump took office two months ago.

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