As you’re out there dealing with your Trump-loving relatives over the New Year’s Weekend, here’s a question you can ask them.

Why won’t Trump say anything negative about his soulmate, Vlad, when there’s evidence the Russians helped Kim Jong-Un’s regime improve their bomb technology?

According to a Newsweek report, some of the more advanced missile technology recently put on display for the wider world by North Korea was acquired by the Hermit Kingdom  with the help of Russia, according to new documents acquired by The Washington Post from one of the top Soviet-era missile manufacturers.

But the greatest evidence of this Russian-North Korean collaboration is reportedly the similarities observed between features in missiles recently tested by Pyongyang and Soviet-era designs. In June 2016, for example, North Korea tested the Hwasong-10, or Musudan, an intermediate-range ballistic missile, which apparently had distinct similarities to the R-27 Zyb, or Ripple, manufactured by the Makeyev Rocket Design Bureau––including using the same engine. Subsequently, in August 2016, North Korea tested a submarine-launched missile that also had similar features to the Ripple––the Pukguksong-1. Joshua Pollack, an analyst at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, told The Washington Post both of these North Korean missiles are “generally regarded as derived from the designs of the Makeyev Bureau’s R-27.”

2017 has been a great year for “The Little Rocket Man” and his missile-makers. They tested their most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile yet in late November, which reached an altitude of 2,800 miles (over 10 times higher than the International Space Station) and traveled for 50 minutes before crashing into the Sea of Japan. The more advanced missile technology Pyongyang has put on display over the course of the year could be a sign it has more access to Soviet-era designs and blueprints than previously thought, according to The Washington Post report.

As Trump continues to shake his tiny fist at North Korea while China pumps oil to their communist ally against UN sanctions and Russia tells us how we should and should not speak to the diminutive madman (Un, not Trump), America continues to shed its image as a major mover on the international scene.

Happy New Year. Hope it’s not the last one.

By Langston Hews, Staff Writer

Always intensely subjective, passionate, keenly sensitive to beauty and possessed of an unfaltering musical sense, Langston Hews has given us a 'first book' that marks the opening of a career well worth watching.

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