HC Wake-Up Call: Bolton on North Korean Launch Site, NASA to Conduct First All-Female Spacewalk & Americans Will Soon Need to Take Extra Step to Travel to Europe

Good morning, Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

John Bolton Refuses to Comment on Images of North Korean Launch Site

National Security Adviser John Bolton refused to comment on new commercial satellite images that appear to show a rapid rebuilding of North Korea’s main site for long-range satellite launches and missile-engine testing.

During an interview Sunday on ABC’s This Week, Bolton told co-anchor Martha Raddatz that he’d “rather not get into the specifics on that.”

“The United States government — I’ll just put it this way — spends a lot of resources and efforts so we don't have to rely on commercial satellite imagery. We've seen a lot in North Korea. We watch it constantly. ... There's a lot of activity all the time in North Korea, but I'm not going to speculate on what that particular commercial satellite picture shows,” Bolton said.

According to The Huffington Post, Center for Strategic International Studies’ (CSIS) Beyond Parallel published the photos Tuesday in a report saying the facility, which had been inactive since August, was rapidly being rebuilt. Beyond Parallel published additional images Saturday.

The photos had been taken on March 2nd, two days after President Donald Trump’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un abruptly ended after not reaching an agreement on denuclearization.

Trump did tell reporters, however, that Kim did commit to not conducting nuclear or ballistic missile tests.

When asked about the images Wednesday, the president said it was “too early to see” if North Korea is breaking a promise by rebuilding the launch site.

“I would be very disappointed if that were happening. It’s a very early report,” Trump said. “But I would be very, very disappointed in Chairman Kim. And I don’t think I will be, but we’ll see what happens. We’ll take a look. It’ll ultimately get solved.”

When asked what the consequences would be if the U.S. saw another test launch, Bolton said, “As the president said, he’d be pretty disappointed if Kim Jong Un went ahead and did something like that. The president said repeatedly that he feels the absence of nuclear tests, the absence of ballistic missile launches is a positive sign. He’s used that really as part of his effort to persuade Kim Jong Un that he has to go for what the president called the big deal, complete denuclearization.”

When asked if these images caused concerns for Bolton, he pivoted to say that Trump wouldn’t repeat the mistakes of past administrations that made the mistake of “assuming that the North Koreans would automatically comply when they undertake obligations.”

Bolton pointed back to several instances where North Korea broke its promise to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

“They never seem to get around to it though. So that's one reason why we pay particular attention to what North Korea is doing all the time. We see exactly what they’re doing now. We see it unblinkingly, and we don't have any illusions about what their capabilities are,” Bolton added.

Bolton did tell Raddatz that Trump is “open to a third summit” with Kim but that nothing has been scheduled. He added that he will be speaking with his South Korean counterpart Monday morning, and suspects the images will be brought up.

NASA to Conduct First All-Female Spacewalk During Women’s History Month

It looks like there will be “one giant leap” for womankind this Women’s History Month as NASA plans to conduct its first-ever all-female spacewalk this month.

According to The Huffington Post, astronauts Anne McClain and Christina Koch will embark on a spacewalk from the International Space Station (ISS) on March 29th. The spacewalk, which is part of Expedition 59, will last approximately seven hours, according to NASA’s website.

The two female astronauts will have assistance from an all-female crew, too, with Mary Lawrence serving as Flight Director and Jackie Kagey will be the lead spacewalk flight controller, CNN reports. Flight controller Kristen Facciol of the Canadian Space Agency will be assisting the team from the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

“The March 29 spacewalk will be the first with only women,” NASA spokeswoman Kathryn Hambleton said, acknowledging that “assignments and schedules could always change.”

Facciol had tweeted her excitement about the spacewalk, writing, “I just found out that I’ll be on console providing support for the FIRST ALL FEMALE SPACEWALK with @AstroAnnimal and @Astro_Christina and I can not contain my excitement!!!!”

McClain is in space for the first time, and is currently on the International Space Station as part of Expedition 58. Koch will be taking her first spaceflight and is set to leave Earth on March 14 to join Expeditions 59 and 60, CNN reports.

McClain, Koch and Kagey were all members of the 2013 astronaut class, which NASA told HuffPost was 50-percent female.  

Americans Will Soon Need to Take Extra Step to Travel to Europe

Americans that are used to flying to Europe with just their plane ticket and passport in hand will soon have to face a small hurdle to travel to several European countries when a new travel security system is enacted in 2021.

Before you panic, it just means that you have to fill out a little more paperwork and pay a small fee to travel to your European destination.

The soon-to-be-implemented European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) will charge €7, or about $8, for visitors from “visa-free” countries to complete the required application online. Approval will be valid for three years.

The new security measure is designed “to strengthen security checks on those persons who travel visa-free to the EU,” according to a fact sheet from the European Commission.

The application is expected to take only about 10 minutes to complete and the European Commission expects approximately 95 percent of applicants to be approved within minutes, The Huffington Post reports.

The new system is similar to the U.S. Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), which requires visitors from 38 countries, including Australia and the United Kingdom, to seek approval prior to their trip and to pay a $14 fee.

The United States is one of more than 60 countries whose citizens do not need a visa to go to the European Union. U.S. citizens with a valid U.S. passport can visit Schengen countries and stay for up to 90 days without a visa, according to the State Department.

But soon, Americans will need to apply through ETIAS if they want to visit the Schengen area, which is comprised of 26 countries, including France, Germany and Spain, but not Britain.

However, recent reports have lead to some confusion online, as some news outlets have referred to ETIAS as a “visa.”

But the European Commission had made it clear that this is not a visa, and officials have confirmed to The Washington Post that Americans will not need a visa to travel to Europe.

What to look out for...

Lyft is offering discounted rides for the rest of the month for Women’s History Month.