“The United States and South Korea and North Korea are engaging in tit for tat, with swords drawn and bows bent, and there have been storm clouds gathering. We urge all sides to no longer engage in mutual provocation and threats, whether through words or deeds, and don’t push the situation to the point where it can’t be turned around and gets out of hand.” That was China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, warning that tensions on the Korean Peninsula could spin out of control.

+ “Threats and bluster are part of a familiar and long-running game of brinksmanship between Washington and Pyongyang, but this time, it has been made more dangerous by two volatile new players.” From the LA Times, North Korea: A potential train wreck in motion

+ The Afghan defense ministry says 36 militants were killed after the “mother of all bombs” was targeted at a tunnel complex used by ISIS. “I have grown up in the war, and I have heard different kinds of explosions through 30 years: suicide attacks, earthquakes different kinds of blasts. I have never heard anything like this.”

+ “What I do is authorize my military.” The bomb is big. But, as The New Yorker’s Robin Wright explains, so is the way its use was authorized.