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[CNN] CNN 2016-03-12

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[Homework]CNN 2016-03-12

South Korea and US had been allies since the Korean War in the early 1950s, and North Korea has remained their rival. Every year the US and South Korea joined forces in military drills. The exercises to practise defensive moves against North Korea in case war on the peninsula ever breaks out again. But the drills have angered North Korea. And every year while they are going on, the country makes threatening statements against South Korea and the US.

This year, North Korea's military is threatening a preemptive nuclear strike. Tensions in the region are higher than usual. And the military exercises are the largest ones ever. 300,000 South Korean troops, 17,000 Americans all involved in 8 weeks of drills which will take place on land, sea and air. Now South Korea's Defense Ministry says they have increased the surveilance on the North, trying to see if there are any signs of imminent attack. They say, at this point, that there is no movement.


Tensions are always high at the time of the year because all these drills between US and South Korea. Pyongyang sees them as a draft rehearsal for an invasion. Washignton and South say they are defensive in nature. But this year, it is even more tense than normal. Considerthe year we had so far. In January, North Korea carried out a nuclear test. In February, North Korea carried out a satellite launch which most countries thought as a missile test. And then just last week, the UN passed unprecedented sanctions againt North Korea. On Friday Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, said he wanted his nuclear weapons at the ready should he want to use them at a moment notice.


And that is expected to calm down any time soon, these military drills go on until the end of April.


We are moving on to a part of the eastern Mediterranean called the Lavant. Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Isreal, Gordan are all here. And they have all been experiencing a drought for the last 18 years. Scientists in NASA recently studied tree rings in the region. They say that thick rings indicate years when there was plenty of water, thin rings show years when there wasn't. And after analyzing that and other data, researchers concluded that the region's current draught is the worst one it's seen in 900 years.

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