Analysis: North Korea’s Kim speaks softly, shows off new military might

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SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea’s unprecedented nighttime military parade on Saturday showcased an unusually broad array of new weapons, from a show-stopping “monster” ballistic missile to previously unseen battle tanks.

FILE PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reacts as he attends a parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, in this image released by North Korea’s Central News Agency on October 10, 2020. KCNA via REUTERS

The hardware, likely still in varying stages of development, offered leader Kim Jong Un a chance to show the world his cutting-edge military power while adding practical capabilities to the North Korea’s already formidable nuclear and conventional forces, experts said.

Kim is walking a fine line, seeking to increase pressure on the United States to ease sanctions while not destroying rapport with U.S. President Donald Trump or Pyongyang’s partners in China.

“Kim Jong Un’s speech was not threatening to the United States, instead labelling North Korea’s nuclear forces as self-defensive,” said Bruce Klingner, a retired CIA North Korea analyst now at the Heritage Foundation. “The clear message was that, counter to U.S. claims, the North Korean nuclear threat has not been solved.”

Video from the parade suggested a huge intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) potentially more lethal either because of multiple warheads or a bigger payload, larger missile carriers, a next-generation submarine-launched missile, and advances in conventional weaponry, military analysts said.

MULTIPLE WARHEADS?

The star of Saturday’s show was a massive, previously unseen ICBM carried on an equally huge “transporter-erector-launcher” (TEL) vehicle with 11 axles.

Estimated to be 25 to 26 metres (82 to 85 feet) long and 2.5 to 2.9 metres (8 to 9.5 feet) in diameter, the unidentified missile would be the largest road-mobile ICBM in the world, military analysts said.

Given that

Uber engineer speaks out against company’s $186M campaign, says it’ll hurt drivers

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As Uber has poured tens of millions of dollars into a California ballot measure to avoid classifying its drivers as employees, one engineer from inside the ride-hailing company spoke out against this campaign on Tuesday. In an op-ed published by TechCrunch, Kurt Nelson said Uber doesn’t have drivers’ interests in mind.

“Uber works because it’s cheap and it’s quick,” Nelson wrote. “But it’s become clear to me that this is only possible because countless drivers are spending their personal time sitting in their cars, waiting to pick up a ride, completely unpaid. Workers are subsidizing the product with their free labor.”


Nelson is one of only a handful of gig economy company employees to speak out against Proposition 22. It’s been historically rare to see tech workers criticize their employers’ positions. But that’s starting to change. Google employees organized walk-outs in 2018 over the company’s handling of sexual harassment allegations and Facebook employees staged a virtual protest in June after the company refused to take down inflammatory posts by President Donald Trump.


Nelson said he’s been a software engineer at Uber for two years, writing code for the company’s Android app. But when he was in college, he drove for the ride-hailing company Lyft. He said that experience gave him insight into what it’s like to be a driver and how difficult it can be when workers don’t have benefits.

Uber, Lyft and other gig economy companies currently classify their drivers as independent contractors, which means the workers pay for their own expenses, such as gas, car maintenance and insurance. Drivers also don’t have labor benefits like minimum wage, health insurance or paid sick leave. If they were to be classified as employees, many of those costs would then fall onto the companies.

In an effort to give gig workers

Uber engineer speaks out on company’s $186M campaign, says it’ll hurt drivers

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uber-7897

Uber and Lyft drivers have held several protests in California demanding to be classified as employees.


James Martin/CNET

As Uber has poured tens of millions of dollars into a California ballot measure to avoid classifying its drivers as employees, one engineer from inside the ride-hailing company spoke out against this campaign on Tuesday. In an op-ed published by TechCrunch, Kurt Nelson said Uber doesn’t have drivers’ interests in mind.

“Uber works because it’s cheap and it’s quick,” Nelson wrote. “But it’s become clear to me that this is only possible because countless drivers are spending their personal time sitting in their cars, waiting to pick up a ride, completely unpaid. Workers are subsidizing the product with their free labor.”

Nelson is one of only a handful of gig economy company employees to speak out against Proposition 22. It’s been historically rare to see tech workers criticize their employers’ positions. But that’s starting to change. Google employees organized walk-outs in 2018 over the company’s handling of sexual harassment allegations and Facebook employees staged a virtual protest in June after the company refused to take down inflammatory posts by President Donald Trump.

Nelson said he’s been a software engineer at Uber for two years, writing code for the company’s Android app. But when he was in college, he drove for the ride-hailing company Lyft. He said that experience gave him insight into what it’s like to be a driver and how difficult it can be when workers don’t have benefits.

Uber, Lyft and other gig economy companies currently classify their drivers as independent contractors, which means the workers pay for their own expenses, such as gas, car maintenance and insurance. Drivers also don’t have labor benefits