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Palestinians clash with Israeli forces during a raid in Nablus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, February 22, 2023.

REUTERS/Raneen Sawafta

Hard Numbers: Deadly raid in Nablus, EU asylum applications soar, North Koreans go hungry, old phone = nouveau riche

11: At least 11 people died and scores were injured on Wednesday after Israeli security forces conducted a rare daytime raid in the West Bank city of Nablus. Israel was targeting members of a Palestinian militant group known as the Lion’s Den, which Israel blames for a string of shootings against troops and Israeli settlements amid recent rising tensions in the region. On Thursday, Palestinian militants retaliated by firing rockets at southern Israel, and the Israeli military launched air strikes in the Gaza Strip in response.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and daughter Kim Ju Ae attend a military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea.

North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) via REUTERS.

What We're Watching: Parade in Pyongyang, Lula in DC, China balloon capabilities

North Korea shows off ICBMs and ... a 10-year-old girl

North Korea's supreme leader made a big splash to mark the 75th anniversary of the army on Thursday by showing off his shiny new toys and — maybe — his heir. At a huge military parade in Pyongyang, Kim Jong Un beamed as he saluted a whopping 11 nuclear-armed ICBMs capable of reaching the US mainland, the largest number the regime has ever assembled in public, just two months after he demanded an "exponential increase" in the country's arsenal of nukes. Because each projectile has multiple nuclear warheads, a flurry could overwhelm US air defenses. What's more, the army also displayed a mockup of a new solid-fueled ICBM, which theoretically would be easier and faster to launch. But what really caught the attention of North Korea watchers was the presence beside the supreme leader of Kim Ju Ae, his 10-year-old daughter. The young girl, believed to be Kim's second child, met North Korea's top brass on Wednesday and has been seen five times alongside her dad in just two months, fueling speculation that Kim might someday pick her as his successor. That would be a tectonic shift for North Korea, not because of her age — after all, her father grew up around generals — but due to the country's deeply patriarchal society. Still, what matters more than gender is being a Kim, and right now the country's second most powerful person is Kim Yo Jong, the supreme leader's famously feisty sister.

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North Korean fireworks coming

As their relations with the US have soured, China and Russia have grown more reluctant to help the US and South Korea manage their North Korea problem. This has created more space for the North to develop and show off the weapons capabilities that the nation’s rogue regime deems essential to its survival.

Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un recently called for an “exponential increase” in North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. In response to the heightened threat, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has said that US guarantees of protection may no longer be enough for his country and that it may need to acquire nukes of its own, although he has recently walked back some of those statements.

What could go wrong? We asked Eurasia Group expert Jeremy Chan what to expect this year on the Korean Peninsula.

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North Korea on a nuclear rampage, says IAEA chief
North Korea On A Nuclear Rampage, Says IAEA Chief | GZERO World

North Korea on a nuclear rampage, says IAEA chief

North Korea was definitely the original gangster of nuclear proliferation. But now it freaks us out more about the size of its atomic arsenal than the fact it has nukes.

The North Koreans are not backing down, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi tells Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

Grossi recently visited South Korea, where he discussed the North's plans to acquire more nuclear weapons. He says that although North Korea kicked out IAEA inspectors in 2009, he has a pretty good idea of what Pyongyang is up to.

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A Worldwide Threat Assessment

As we noted in the Wednesday edition, the US intelligence community has released its latest Worldwide Threat Assessment. Much of the media focus this week has fallen on President Trump's criticism of the US intel chiefs, but let's begin with the report itself. Here are its key findings:

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