White House: All quiet on the 38th parallel -- still

Pushing back against reporting in an article by the Washington Free Beacon, the White House reiterated on Monday that North Korea has not altered its military posture since its steep uptick in belligerent rhetoric last week.

In a Monday press briefing, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters that North Korea's rhetoric has been all bark and no bite. "Despite the harsh rhetoric we are hearing from Pyongyang, we are not seeing changes to the North Korean military posture such as large-scale mobilizations and positioning of forces," Carney said. "We are vigilant and we are monitoring the Korean situation very diligently."

While Carney's statement about the lack of troop movements was duly noted, noticeably absent from the briefing was any mention of the country's anti-aircraft, artillery, or missile systems. Then, hours after the briefing, the conservative Washington Free Beacon cited anonymous officials discussing a mobilization of missile forces.

North Korea, meanwhile, is mobilizing missile forces, including road-mobile short- and medium-range missiles, according to officials familiar with satellite imagery of missile bases.

The missile activity is believed to be North Korea's response to the ongoing U.S.-South Korean military exercises that last week included highly publicized flights by two B-2 strategic nuclear bombers near North Korean territory as part of annual military exercises.

In a post-briefing follow-up about the movement of missile systems with National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden, the White House reiterated that all was quiet in North Korea.

"Jay mentioned a couple examples, but his broad point was that we are not seeing changes to the North Korean military posture," she told Foreign Policy.

By contrast, the U.S. military moved a Navy destroyer to the coast of the Korean peninsula today with the capability of intercepting missiles. A day earlier, the Pentagon sent two F-22 stealth fighter jets to Seoul. 

The Free Beacon article did not display the satellite imagery relevant to its report.


China's lamest Facebook clone yet

Earlier today, tech guru Kai-Fu Lee, one of China's most popular microbloggers, announced to his more than 35 million followers that Facebook and Twitter had become available in mainland China. The post asked readers to click on the image of Facebook, to which Lee (who's Taiwanese) responded, "I'm in [Taiwan's capital] Taipei...Happy April Fool's Day!" The post was forwarded more than 40,000 times; Josh Chin of the Wall Street Journal translated some of the comments it elicited, many of them angry.

It's true, Twitter and Facebook remain inaccessible in China without censorship circumvention tools. The popular Chinese social networking site resembles Facebook, but for those on the other side who want a taste of the real thing, may I suggest

I just found this site today, and it's the baldest Facebook rip-off I've seen to date. The site, which claims to be "powered by Facebook Chinese web 2.0," seems to basically be a landing page with advertisements. Lianpu, the word for face makeup used in operas, is the Chinese word Facebook uses (when I Googled it in Chinese, the real Facebook is the first hit).

According to the web information company Alexa, is China's 101,266th most popular website; it gets nearly 94 percent of its search-engine driven traffic from users who search for the seemingly meaningless set of numbers '1273894945.'

And there you have it.