BAGRAM, Afghanistan – The top U.S. military officer said Sunday the Pentagon had bolstered its missile defenses and taken other steps because he can’t take the chance that North Korea won’t soon engage in some military action.
Heightened tensions with North Korea led the United States to postpone congressional testimony by the chief U.S. commander in South Korea and delay an intercontinental ballistic missile test from a West Coast base.
U.S. Gen Martin Dempsey, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman who just wrapped up a visit to Afghanistan, was asked in an Associated Press interview whether he foresees North Korea taking military action soon.
No, but I can’t take the chance that it won’t, he said, explaining why the Pentagon has strengthened missile defenses to combat the potential threat.
Dempsey said the U.S. has been preparing for further provocations or action, considering the risk that they may choose to do something on one of two nationally important anniversaries in April – the birth of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung and the creation of the North Korean army.
Dress designer Lilly Pulitzer dies
Lilly Pulitzer, a Palm Beach socialite turned designer whose tropical print dresses became a sensation in the 1960s and later a fashion classic, died Sunday. She was 81.
Pulitzer, who married into the famous newspaper family, got her start in fashion by spilling orange juice on her clothes. A rich housewife with time to spare and a husband who owned orange groves, she opened a juice stand in 1959 and asked her seamstress to make dresses in colorful prints that would camouflage fruit stains.
The company’s dresses, developed with the help of partner Laura Robbins, a former fashion editor, soon caught on.
Bush faith adviser David Kuo, 44, dead
A conservative Christian who helped lead President George W. Bush’s faith-based initiative but then criticized the effort has died.
David Kuo was 44 when he died Friday in Charlotte, N.C. His wife, Kimberly, told the Washington Post that he had suffered from brain cancer for the past decade.
Kuo had been a policy adviser to Republican Sen. John Ashcroft and a speechwriter for conservative Republicans Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson and for Republican Sen. Bob Dole. He joined the Bush administration in 2001 as deputy of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
Egyptians attack Christian marchers
A mob threw rocks and fired birdshot Sunday at several hundred Christians marching in a protest against Egypt’s Islamist government after the funeral of four Christians killed in sectarian clashes over the weekend.
The Christians were chanting slogans against Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, just as several thousand did earlier during the funeral service nearby in the Coptic Orthodox cathedral in Cairo.
The attacking mob, described by witnesses as residents of the area, forced the marchers to take shelter inside the sprawling cathedral complex. They also showered the protesters with rocks from the roofs of nearby buildings, according to witness Ibrahim el-Shareef.