Important English Vocabulary from “The Economist”-(Day-11)

Important English Vocabulary from “The Economist”-(Day-11):

Dear Readers, to score good marks in English Section first and for most thing is you need to develop your reading skills, while reading a passage you need to highlight the tough words in it and you should know the correct meaning for those words. This will help you understand the passage clearly and also you can learn more new words, it means also you can develop your vocabulary. To help you in this part we have provided a passage along with meaning, synonyms and usages of hard words in the passage, make use of it.

How to avoid nuclear war with North Korea

IT IS odd that North Korea causes so much trouble. It is not exactly a superpower. Its economy is only a fiftieth as big as that of its democratic capitalist cousin, South Korea. Americans spend twice its total GDP on their pets. Yet Kim Jong Un’s backward little dictatorship has grabbed the attention of the whole world, and even of America’s president, with its nuclear brinkmanship. On July 28th it tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit Los Angeles. Before long, it will be able to mount nuclear warheads on such missiles, as it already can on missiles aimed at South Korea and Japan. In charge of this terrifying arsenal is a man who was brought up as a demigod and cares nothing for human life—witness the innocents beaten to death with hammers in his gigantic gulag. Last week his foreign ministry vowed that if the regime’s “supreme dignity” is threatened, it will “pre-emptively annihilate” the countries that threaten it, with all means “including the nuclear ones”. Only a fool could fail to be alarmed.

What another Korean war might look like

Yet the most serious danger is not that one side will suddenly try to devastate the other. It is that both sides will miscalculate, and that a spiral of escalation will lead to a catastrophe that no one wants. Our briefing this week lays out, step by step, one way that America and North Korea might blunder into a nuclear war. It also lists some of the likely consequences. These include: for North Korea, the destruction of its regime and the death of hundreds of thousands of people. For South Korea, the destruction of Seoul, a city of 10m within easy range of 1,000 of the North’s conventional artillery pieces. For America, the possibility of a nuclear attack on one of its garrisons in East Asia, or even on an American city. And don’t forget the danger of an armed confrontation between America and China, the North’s neighbour and grudging ally. It seems distasteful to mention the economic effects of another Korean war, but they would of course be awful, too.

President Donald Trump has vowed to stop North Korea from perfecting a nuclear warhead that could threaten the American mainland, tweeting that “it won’t happen!” Some pundits suggest shooting down future test missiles on the launchpad or, improbably, in the air. Others suggest using force to overthrow the regime or pre-emptive strikes to destroy Mr Kim’s nuclear arsenal before he has a chance to use it.


Yet it is just this sort of military action that risks a ruinous escalation. Mr Kim’s bombs and missile-launchers are scattered and well hidden. America’s armed forces, for all their might, cannot reliably neutralise the North Korean nuclear threat before Mr Kim has a chance to retaliate. The task would be difficult even if the Pentagon had good intelligence about North Korea; it does not. The only justification for a pre-emptive strike would be to prevent an imminent nuclear attack on America or one of its allies.


Can Mr Kim be cajoled or bribed into giving up his nuclear ambitions? It is worth trying, but has little chance of success. In 1994 President Bill Clinton secured a deal whereby Kim Jong Il (the current despot’s father) agreed to stop producing the raw material for nuclear bombs in return for a huge injection of aid. Kim took the money and technical help, but immediately started cheating. Another deal in 2005 failed, for the same reason. The younger Kim, like his father, sees nuclear weapons as the only way to guarantee the survival of his regime. It is hard to imagine circumstances in which he would voluntarily give up what he calls his “treasured sword of justice”.

If military action is reckless and diplomacy insufficient, the only remaining option is to deter and contain Mr Kim. Mr Trump should make clear—in a scripted speech, not a tweet or via his secretary of state—that America is not about to start a war, nuclear or conventional. However, he should reaffirm that a nuclear attack by North Korea on America or one of its allies will immediately be matched. Mr Kim cares about his own skin. He enjoys the life of a dissolute deity, living in a palace and with the power to kill or bed any of his subjects. If he were to unleash a nuclear weapon, he would lose his luxuries and his life. So would his cronies. That means they can be deterred.


To contain Mr Kim, America and its allies should apply pressure that cannot be misconstrued as a declaration of war. They should ramp up economic sanctions not only against the North Korean regime but also against the Chinese companies that trade with it or handle its money. America should formally extend its nuclear guarantee to South Korea and Japan, and boost the missile defences that protect both countries. This would help ensure that they do not build nuclear weapons of their own. America should convince the South Koreans, who will suffer greatly if war breaks out, that it will not act without consulting them. China is fed up with the Kim regime, but fears that if it were to collapse, a reunified Korea would mean American troops on China’s border. Mr Trump’s team should guarantee that this will not happen, and try to persuade China that in the long run it is better off with a united, prosperous neighbour than a poor, violent and unpredictable one.

Everyone stay calm

All the options for dealing with the North are bad. Although America should not recognise it as a legitimate nuclear power, it must base its policy on the reality that it is already an illegitimate one. Mr Kim may gamble that his nukes give him the freedom to behave more provocatively, perhaps sponsoring terrorism in the South. He may also sell weapons to other cruel regimes or terrorist groups. The world must do what it can to thwart such plots, though some will doubtless succeed.


It is worth recalling that America has been here before. When Stalin and Mao were building their first atom bombs, some in the West urged pre-emptive strikes to stop them. Happily, cooler heads prevailed. Since then, the logic of deterrence has ensured that these terrible weapons have never been used. Some day, perhaps by coup or popular uprising, North Koreans will be rid of their repulsive ruler, and the peninsula will reunite as a democracy, like Germany. Until then, the world must keep calm and contain Mr Kim.

Source: The Economist

1). Brinkmanship  (Noun)

Definition: the art or practice of pursuing a dangerous policy to the limits of safety before stopping, especially in politics.

Usage: In any game of brinkmanship, it is possible that one side will collapse suddenly.

2). Arsenal (Noun)

Definition: a place where weapons and military equipment are stored or made.

Synonyms: armoury, arms depot, arms cache, ordnance depot
Usage: The mutineers broke into the arsenal.

3). Demigod (Noun)

Definition: a being with partial or lesser divine status, such as a minor deity, the offspring of a god and a mortal, or a mortal raised to divine rank.

Usage: Some Roman emperors claimed descent from demigods such as Hercules.

4). Gulag (Noun)

Definition: a system of labour camps maintained in the Soviet Union from 1930 to 1955 in which many people died.

5).  Vowed (Verb)

Definition: solemnly promise to do a specified thing.

Synonyms: swear, swear/state under oath, swear on the Bible, take an oath
Usage: The rebels vowed to continue fighting.

6). Regime (Noun)

Definition: a government, especially an authoritarian one.

Synonyms: government, authorities, system of government, rule
Usage: The military regime controls very carefully what is written.

7). Annihilate (Verb)

Definition: destroy utterly; obliterate.

Synonyms: destroy, wipe out, obliterate, wipe off the face of the earth
Usage: This was an attempt to annihilate an entire people.

8). Devastate (Verb)

Definition: destroy or ruin.

Synonyms: destroy, ruin, leave in ruins, wreck, lay waste
Usage: The city was devastated by a huge earthquake.

9). Escalation  (Noun)

Definition: a rapid increase; a rise.

Synonyms: rapid increase, hike, growth
Usage: An escalation in oil prices.

10). Catastrophe  (Noun)

Definition: an event causing great and usually sudden damage or suffering; a disaster.

Synonyms: disaster, calamity, cataclysm, crisis, holocaust, ruin
Usage: The bush fires were the latest in a growing list of catastrophes.

11). Conventional (Adj)

Definition: based on or in accordance with what is generally done or believed.

Synonyms: normal, standard, regular, ordinary, usual, traditional
Usage: A conventional morality had dictated behaviour.

12). Artillery (Noun)

Definition: large-calibre guns used in warfare on land.

Synonyms: (big) guns, ordnance, cannon(s), cannonry
Usage: Tanks and heavy artillery.

13). Garrisons  (Noun)

Definition: a group of troops stationed in a fortress or town to defend it.

Synonyms: armed force, force, military detachment, military unit
Usage: The entire garrison was mustered on the parade ground.

14). Confrontation (Noun)

Definition: a hostile or argumentative situation or meeting between opposing parties.

Synonyms: conflict, clash, brush, fight, battle
Usage: A peaceful protest turned into a violent confrontation with police.

15). Grudging (Adj)

Definition: given or allowed only reluctantly or resentfully.

Synonyms: reluctant, unwilling, disinclined, forced, half-hearted
Usage: She offered a grudging apology.

16). Ally  (Noun)

Definition: a state formally cooperating with another for a military or other purpose.

Usage: Debate continued among NATO allies.

17). Awful (Adj)

Definition: very bad or unpleasant.

Synonyms: very unpleasant, disgusting, nasty, terrible, dreadful, ghastly.
Usage: The place smelled awful.

18).  Pundits (Noun)

Definition: an expert in a particular subject or field who is frequently called upon to give their opinions to the public.

Synonyms: expert, authority, adviser, member of a think tank
Usage: A leading pundit predicts a further interest-rate cut this year.

19). Ruinous (Adj)

Definition: disastrous or destructive.

Synonyms: disastrous, devastating, catastrophic, calamitous
Usage: The spectre of a ruinous trade war loomed.

20). Retaliate (Verb)

Definition: make an attack in return for a similar attack.

Synonyms: fight back, hit back, react
Usage: The blow stung and she retaliated immediately.

21). Cajole (Verb)

Definition: persuade (someone) to do something by sustained coaxing or flattery.

Synonyms: talk into, persuade, wheedle
Usage: He had been cajoled into escorting Nadia to a concert.

22). Bribed (Verb)

Definition: dishonestly persuade (someone) to act in one’s favour by a gift of money or other inducement.

Synonyms: buy off, pay off, corrupt
Usage: They attempted to bribe opponents into losing.

23). Reckless (Adj)

Definition: heedless of danger or the consequences of one’s actions; rash or impetuous.

Synonyms: careless, thoughtless
Usage: He was angry with himself and that made him reckless.

24). Deter (Verb)

Definition: discourage (someone) from doing something by instilling doubt or fear of the consequences.

Synonyms: put off, discourage, scare off
Usage: Only a health problem would deter him from seeking re-election.

25). Reaffirm (Verb)

Definition: state again strongly.

Usage: The prime minister reaffirmed his commitment to the agreement.

26). Deity (Verb)

Definition: a god or goddess (in a polytheistic religion).

Synonyms: god, goddess, divine being, celestial being, supreme being, divinity
Usage: A deity of ancient Greece.

27). Crony (Noun) plural noun: cronies

Definition: a close friend or companion.

Usage: He went gambling with his cronies.

28). Deterred (Verb)

Definition: discourage (someone) from doing something by instilling doubt or fear of the consequences.

Synonyms: put off, discourage, scare off
Usage: Only a health problem would deter him from seeking re-election.

29). Misconstrue (Verb)

Definition: interpret (a person’s words or actions) wrongly.

Synonyms: misunderstand, misinterpret, put a wrong interpretation on

Usage: My advice was deliberately misconstrued.

30). Persuade (Verb)

Definition: induce (someone) to do something through reasoning or argument.

Synonyms: prevail on, talk someone into, coax, convince, make
Usage: It wasn’t easy, but I persuaded him to do the right thing.

31). Nukes (Noun)

Definition: A nuclear weapon.

32). Provocative (Adj)

Definition: causing anger or another strong reaction, especially deliberately.

Synonyms: annoying, irritating, exasperating, infuriating
Usage: He was making provocative remarks guaranteed to drive her into a fury.

33). Thwart (Verb)

Definition: prevent (someone) from accomplishing something.

Usage: he never did anything to thwart his father.

34). Deterrence (Noun)

Definition: the action of discouraging an action or event through instilling doubt or fear of the consequences.

Usage: Nuclear missiles remain the main deterrence against possible aggression.

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