KOREA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

KOREA

Mar 11 10:54

US Intel May Be Behind Attack on North Korean Embassy in Spain - Reports

US intelligence agencies may have been behind the February attack on the North Korean Embassy in Madrid, during which a group of unidentified people broke into the mission, blocked the diplomats and seized computers, El Confidencial reported on Sunday, citing sources.

According to El Confidencial newspaper, Spain's National Police and the foreign intelligence unit of the National Intelligence Centre (CNI) are examining all possible versions of what happened. Nevertheless, the sources told the newspaper that the theory that the US intelligence agencies, which could have been acting together with other foreign counterparts, were involved in the attack, was gaining momentum.

Mar 11 10:35

Intelligence Contractors Make Second Attempt In One Week To Provoke Tensions With North Korea

A March 8, 2019 report from National Public Radio (NPR) follows another by NBC News with sensational and misleading claims that satellite imagery released by private corporations with contractual ties to government defense and intelligence agencies show imminent preparations by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to engage in missile testing or the launch of a satellite from their facilities in Sanumdong, North Korea. An examination of the photos provided shows absolutely no indication of such activity.

Mar 11 10:12

WOMAN ACCUSED OF ASSASSINATING KIM JONG UN'S BROTHER HAS BEEN FREED

Following the decision in Siti's case (the two women are facing separate cases though they are jointly on trial), a lawyer for Huong also requested an acquittal. The trial has been suspended until Thursday to allow time for the Malaysian attorney general to make a decision.

After her release, Siti, clad in a black traditional Malay dress and headscarf, was rushed to the Indonesian embassy, where she gave a brief statement to the media.

"I feel so happy. I did not expect that today I would be released,” she said, adding that she had been treated well in prison.

The two women told authorities that they thought they had been hired to participate in a reality TV show prank, and that they didn't realize what they had been tricked into doing until it was too late.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Remote assassinations have to be done in a way which completely exonerates the real perpetrators, and have to go precisely to plan.

That is what failed here; and that makes this moment one of the most clumsily-created political assassinations in North Korea's history.

This kind of remote political assassination, to consolidate one's power, as Kim Jung Un has pretty obviously had done, are considered a big, fat, hairy no-no in the 21st century, save for the assassination of Adnan Khashoggi and The Clinton Body Count

Mar 11 09:58

'NK wants sanctions relief due to food shortage'

North Korea is keen to have sanctions eased, as the country faces a dire food shortage, a former U.K. ambassador to North Korea said.

After a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi last month failed to produce an agreement, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho told reporters that Pyongyang had asked for sanctions relating to the people's livelihoods to be eased.

North Korea has asked the U.N. for food aid, stating it is facing a production shortfall of 1.4 million tons of food this year.

Last year, North Korea's food production fell to its lowest in more than a decade, according to a recent U.N. report.

"The North Korean economy is in deep trouble," said John Everard, who served as U.K. ambassador to Pyongyang from 2006 to 2008.

Mar 11 07:44

US-North Korea tensions approach boiling point

The Trump administration — which canceled two large-scale spring war games between the United States and South Korea in an effort to move along nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea — is now grappling with reports that Pyongyang is preparing to launch a missile soon.

The reports follow President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's failure to reach an agreement at their summit last month. North Korea's account for the failure differs from Trump's, a fact that has increased tensions between the countries.

Experts warn that tensions could rise before negotiations move forward.

"I worry a little bit that this could get worse before it gets better because both sides want to try to figure out how to get the other side back to the table," said Victor Cha, a former official in charge of Korea relations in the George W. Bush administration. "And they may say pressure is the way to do that.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Let me ask a hypothetical question. What if North Korea wants to launch an ordinary, benign, non-military satellite? Any response by the US would be seen as an over-reaction and escalation in the eyes of the world?

Mar 09 10:59

Pyongyang slams new joint military exercises between S. Korea, US

North Korea on Thursday attacked ongoing joint military exercises between Seoul and Washington as an “open challenge” to moves towards peace on the Korean peninsula. The US and South Korea agreed on Sunday to replace two major war games that take place every spring – the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle drills – with a shorter Dong Maeng or Alliance exercise which kicked off this week, AFP reports.

Mar 08 10:06

Full obedience or tougher sanctions: US says N. Korea’s ‘step-by-step’ denuclearization unacceptable

The US administration will not accept any gradual denuclearization of North Korea, a senior State Department official said, just as John Bolton threatened Pyongyang with tougher sanctions, following the unproductive Hanoi summit.

After threatening to ramp up “crushing economic sanctions,” National Security Advisor John Bolton urged Kim Jong-un to ditch any idea of a step-by-step denuclearization of his country.

“The North Koreans, obviously, would like to give up as little of their nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and ballistic missile programs as they could, in exchange for a very broad sanctions relief,” Bolton told Fox News on Thursday, stressing that Donald Trump “wasn't buying” such an approach during the negotiations at the Hanoi summit last week.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mar 08 08:55

US soldiers wish for masks as air pollution smothers South Korea

With much of South Korea smothered in record levels of fine dust, the streets are full of people wearing masks as protection from the punishing air pollution.

Most American soldiers don’t have that option — at least when they’re in uniform. The Air Force permits masks when pollution hits a certain level.

Army regulations bar soldiers from wearing the masks, which cover noses and mouths, unless they have a certified medical condition that merits an exception.

That has caused concern among many soldiers and their loved ones as much of South Korea has endured several days of dense pollution that irritates eyes and makes breathing difficult.

“I feel like my husband should be able to wear a mask. I really don’t like that,” Army wife Alexandra Jackson said as she waited for dinner at the Yongsan Garrison food court.

Mar 08 08:50

Full obedience or tougher sanctions: US says N. Korea’s ‘step-by-step’ denuclearization unacceptable

The US administration will not accept any gradual denuclearization of North Korea, a senior State Department official said, just as John Bolton threatened Pyongyang with tougher sanctions, following the unproductive Hanoi summit.

After threatening to ramp up “crushing economic sanctions,” National Security Advisor John Bolton urged Kim Jong-un to ditch any idea of a step-by-step denuclearization of his country.

“The North Koreans, obviously, would like to give up as little of their nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and ballistic missile programs as they could, in exchange for a very broad sanctions relief,” Bolton told Fox News on Thursday, stressing that Donald Trump “wasn't buying” such an approach during the negotiations at the Hanoi summit last week.

Mar 08 08:22

Trump disappointed by activity at North Korea missile sites

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he’s a “little disappointed” by reports of new activity at a North Korean missile research center and long-range rocket site and that time will tell if U.S. diplomacy with the reclusive country will be successful.

South Korea’s military said it is carefully monitoring North Korean nuclear and missile facilities after the country’s spy agency told lawmakers that new activity was detected at a research center where the North is believed to build long-range missiles targeting the U.S. mainland.

Mar 08 08:22

Why North Korea’s restored rocket site isn’t cause for worry — yet

North Korea is rebuilding a satellite launch site it promised to entirely dismantle, and may have increased activity at a major missile factory — both actions that are likely meant to be warning signs to the United States and South Korea.

Should these moves be a precursor to even more aggressive actions by Pyongyang, or anger President Donald Trump, then the US and North Korea could end up moving away from diplomacy and back on the path to war.

South Korean intelligence and respected analysts this week revealed commercial satellite imagery that shows that North Koreans have been rebuilding an engine test stand and launch pad at a space launch facility at Sohae since at least February 16, and that it’s likely now back at a normal operating level. That’s a big deal, since Pyongyang promised Seoul last September that it would “permanently dismantle” the site and started to take it down last year.

Mar 07 14:55

"ARTIFICIAL" MAGNITUDE 2.1 EARTHQUAKE DETECTED IN NORTH KOREA

This doesn't look good...

Two days after reports about North Korea rebuilding a long-range missile test site surfaced in Western media, the Korea Times reported Thursday that a 2.1-magnitude earthquake has been detected in North Korea.

Most alarmingly, the Korean Meteorological Administration said the quake was the result of "artificial" seismic activity, presumably the result of an explosion inside a mine.

"The epicenter is measured to be near the land surface," one official reportedly said.

Mar 07 11:16

Pyongyang slams new joint military exercises between S. Korea, US

North Korea on Thursday attacked ongoing joint military exercises between Seoul and Washington as an “open challenge” to moves towards peace on the Korean peninsula. The US and South Korea agreed on Sunday to replace two major war games that take place every spring – the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle drills – with a shorter Dong Maeng or Alliance exercise which kicked off this week, AFP reports. The move was designed to further ease tensions with the North following the detente since early 2018. The new flare-up comes just days after the US and North Korean leaders held their second summit.

Mar 06 07:46

North Korea rebuilds rocket launch site after Trump-Kim summit, satellite images show

New satellite images indicate North Korea started rapidly rebuilding a rocket launch site just days after a summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un failed to achieve a breakthrough on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

The Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the think tank that obtained and analyzed the images, said it spotted the activity at the Sohae (Tongchang-ri) launch facility. It's located in the northwestern part of North Korea.

The Trump-Kim summit ended abruptly on February 28 after the two leaders could not agree on how to scale down Pyongyang's nuclear program. Kim wanted sanctions relief for dismantling parts of its nuclear facilities. Trump wasn't willing to give it.

Mar 05 10:06

The Trump – Kim Summit in Hanoi – Was Trump forced to Walk?

Yes, Mr. Trump had to walk. As he didn’t get his way, he had the audacity to get up and walk out of a meeting with Kim Jong-un, the President of the DPRK, of North Korea. As arrogant as it behooves the king of a failing and crumbling empire. But did he walk by his own will? Or was he, the most “powerful man in the world”, coerced by his handlers, represented by former CIA boss, Mike Pompeo, to abandon the denuclearization negotiations, i.e. no concessions on killer sanctions, or as Kim Jong-un said, “we would like to see the five sanctions (out of eleven) lifted, those that most harm our people and their economic well-being.”

Therefore, Pyongyang was ready to permanently shut down the Yongbyon nuclear complex, an important nuclear research center for DPRK. Kim Jong-un was also ready to invite international observers to witness the dismantling process, and he was ready to stop medium range missile testing – all for giving his people, the North Koreans a ‘breather’ – a better life.

Mar 05 09:31

Kremlin expects date of N. Korean leader’s visit to Russia will be confirmed soon – spokesman

Russia expects that the exact date of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s visit will be agreed on in the near future, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said. “There is no clarity now. The contacts have been ongoing through diplomatic channels,” Peskov said.

Mar 05 09:19

Trump implements de facto ‘freeze for freeze’ with North Korea as nuke talks stall

The United States and South Korea have agreed to cancel annual spring joint military exercises in support of President Trump’s effort to persuade North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to give up his nuclear and ballistic missile arsenals.

The move had been rumored for weeks but was confirmed by the Pentagon late Saturday in the form of a readout of a phone call between Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and his South Korean counterpart Jeong Kyeong-doo.

“The Secretary and Minister reviewed and approved the Alliance decisions recommended by the Commander of U.S. Forces Korea and the Republic of Korea Joint Chiefs of Staff,” said the statement. “Following close coordination, both sides decided to conclude the KEY RESOLVE and FOAL EAGLE series of exercises.”

Instead the U.S. and South Korean military forces will maintain readiness to defend the South against the North with “newly-designed Command Post exercises and revised field training programs,” the Pentagon said.

Mar 05 09:19

APNewsBreak: South Korea sends World Cup bid plan to North

South Korea's soccer leadership has sent a proposal to North Korea to jointly bid for the 2023 Women's World Cup and is awaiting a response.

Combining to stage the FIFA showpiece could be a significant move toward building peace on the Korean Peninsula, which remains technically at war because the 1950-53 conflict ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.

The neighbors have been encouraged to bid by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, with the decision due to be taken in March 2020 by the governing body's ruling council.

Chung Mong-gyu, the president of South Korea's soccer association who sits on the FIFA Council, is pursuing the bid after gaining the initial support of his government.

Mar 05 09:18

U.S.-North Korea Nuclear Talks Must Resume Quickly, Says Worried South

Troubled by the failure of the U.S. and North Korea to reach a deal on sanctions relief in exchange for Pyongyang’s disarmament, South Korea is pressing the two sides to return to negotiations to prevent the diplomatic detente from unraveling.

Officials in Seoul worry that, unless Washington and Pyongyang re-engage sooner rather than later, the rapprochement that began last year risks losing steam, and that North Korea may opt to exit the talks.

Mar 05 09:17

Kim Jong-un back in Pyongyang after Vietnam trip

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is back in Pyongyang after concluding his first official state visit to Vietnam and holding his second summit with US President Donald Trump in Hanoi, state media reported on Tuesday.
According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Kim`s armoured train arrived at the Pyongyang train station at 3 a.m. on Tuesday. He was received by senior officials and an honour guard of the North Korean Army, Efe news reported

Mar 04 12:09

Why the Hanoi Summit Failed

The Hanoi Summit between North Korea leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump did not advance the national security of any of the countries in East Asia, the United States, or the world. The puzzle is why two leaders would travel so far and leave emptyhanded.

Mar 04 10:08

As Trump and Kim Met, North Korean Hackers Hit Over 100 Targets in U.S. and Ally Nations

North Korean hackers who have targeted American and European businesses for 18 months kept up their attacks last week even as President Trump was meeting with North Korea’s leader in Hanoi.

The attacks, which include efforts to hack into banks, utilities and oil and gas companies, began in 2017, according to researchers at the cybersecurity company McAfee, a time when tensions between North Korea and the United States were flaring. But even though both sides have toned down their fiery threats and begun nuclear disarmament talks, the attacks persist.

Mar 03 09:22

North Korean leader rethinking denuclearization talks with US: Top official

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is no longer interested in discussing denuclearization plans with US President Donald Trump after their talks fell apart abruptly Thursday, a senior Pyongyang official has warned.

“I have a feeling that Chairman Kim may have lost the will (to continue) North Korea-US dealings," Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui told South Korea’s Yonhap news agency Friday. "It's my personal feeling."

“I think about whether [we] should continue talks," she added, questioning the need to continue them after Trump said Thursday that he had to walk away from the meeting with Kim in Hanoi.

The American president said Pyongyang was ready to make concessions but not in areas that Washington had hoped for. He also claimed that Kim insisted on removing all US sanctions as a per-requisite to denuclearization.

Mar 03 08:38

Trump Sabotages North Korea Summit to Appease the Hawks

The US-North Korea Summit in Hanoi has ended in failure just as all previous attempts at peace have ended in failure. This is by design. Washington has refused to incrementally lift the sanctions on the DPRK because sanctions are Washington’s way of prosecuting an economic war against an enemy who, for the last six and a half decades, has been the target of US hostility. In case you hadn’t noticed, US policy towards North Korea is regime change, the same as it is towards Iran, Cuba, Russia, Venezuela and any other country that doesn’t accept Washington’s moral superiority and divine right to rule the world. Economic strangulation (sanctions) is just one way that Washington cracks down on the dissidents and imposes its will with an iron fist. But don’t kid yourself, this isn’t about nuclear weapons, in fact, the Trump administration hasn’t even bothered to assemble a team of weapons inspectors to investigate probable nuclear sites. Why?

Mar 03 08:30

Trump first suggested North Korea wasn’t responsible for Otto Warmbier’s death. Now he’s walking it back.

President Donald Trump can be shamed into (kind of) walking back comments that reflect kindly on known tyrants — all it takes is resounding criticism that overshadows any of his related accomplishments.

After receiving widespread negative coverage of comments he made earlier this week appearing to absolve North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in the death of Otto Warmbier, a US student who died after being imprisoned in North Korea for over a year, Trump said Friday he was “misinterpreted.”

At a summit between the US and North Korea earlier this week, Trump was asked by reporters if he had confronted Kim about Warmbier’s death. The president confirmed that he did ask about the young American’s mysterious death in 2017, and said he believed Kim “felt badly,” but claimed to have known nothing about it at the time.

Mar 03 08:29

North Korea's Kim Jong Un leaves Vietnam after summit breakdown

Smiling and holding up his clasped hands in a victorious pose, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Saturday boarded his private train at the Vietnam-China border for a 60-plus-hour ride home, ending a trip to Vietnam that saw a summit breakdown with President Donald Trump.

He spent his last day in Hanoi laying large red-and-yellow wreaths at a war memorial and at the mausoleum of national hero Ho Chi Minh, surrounded by Vietnamese soldiers in crisp white uniforms and his own entourage of top North Korean officials. At the border, he got out of his armoured limousine and clasped his hands, waving to a crowd of people cheering his departure.

Mar 03 08:28

Is Trump Giving Up on a Nuclear-Free North Korea?

Donald Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un collapsed not because the parties couldn’t agree on how North Korea would get rid of its nuclear weapons altogether, but over something far more modest: the price for preventing Pyongyang’s arsenal from becoming even deadlier.

Administration officials insisted that the aim in Vietnam this week was “the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea,” and that’s true in the long term. But for the time being, they actually seem to be negotiating the conditions under which the United States can live with a nuclear-armed North Korea. It’s quite a comedown for Trump, who once boasted that his personal diplomatic touch had prompted Kim to start “de-nuking the whole place.”

Mar 02 20:12

US & South Korea agree to scrap major military drills to foster denuclearization – Seoul

Washington and Seoul will no longer be conducting large-scale Foal Eagle and Key Resolve war games, the South Korean defense ministry said Sunday. It comes several days after US President Trump complained about the drills' cost.

The cancellation of the annual wargames, initially scheduled to kick off in spring, was announced by the South Korean military, as it made public the details of a call between Acting US defense chief Patrick Shanahan and his South Korean counterpart, Jeong Kyeong-doo, Yonhap reported.

Mar 02 08:05

President Trump Exaggerated North Korea's Summit Demands, Officials Say

President Donald Trump said he walked away from his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un because Kim demanded the U.S. lift all of its sanctions, a claim that North Korea’s delegation called a rare news conference in the middle of the night to deny.

So who’s telling the truth? In this case, it seems that the North Koreans are. And it’s a demand they have been pushing for weeks in lower-level talks.

Trump’s much-anticipated meeting with Kim, held in the Vietnamese capital Wednesday and Thursday, ended abruptly and without the two leaders signing any agreements. Trump spoke with reporters soon after the talks broke down and said the dispute over sanctions was the deal breaker.

“Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that,” he said. “We had to walk away from that.”

Mar 02 08:05

North Korea disputes Trump's account of summit breakdown

North Korea is disputing President Donald Trump's account of why the summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un collapsed.

North Korea's foreign minister said that the North demanded only partial sanctions relief in exchange for shuttering its main nuclear complex, and that the discussions collapsed after the U.S. demanded further disarmament steps.

Ri Yong Ho's comments during an abruptly scheduled news conference in Hanoi on Friday contradicted the explanation by Trump, who hours earlier had told reporters that the North had demanded a full removal of sanctions in exchange for shuttering the Yongbyon nuclear facility.

Mar 01 09:51

‘Time to end the nuclear threat’: Graham hints at war hours after Trump-Kim summit stalls

Sen. Lindsey Graham is already saber-rattling at North Korea less than a day after President Donald Trump and leader Kim Jong-un ended their summit amicably without a signed agreement. Graham, it seems, doesn’t handle peace well.

While the South Carolina Republican applauded Trump for walking away from the negotiating table rather than agreeing to anything less than "complete denuclearization" from the DPRK, Graham didn't seem to grasp the concept of incremental progress, or improved diplomatic relations, resorting to threats and dusting off Trump's own puerile name-calling from over a year ago.

Mar 01 09:47

North Korean Summit Reactions: Even Pelosi Is Happy That Trump Walked Away

After President Donald Trump abruptly ended his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi because the Kim would not agree to denuclearization before sanctions were removed — and the reaction thus far has been mixed.

The leaders were meeting for their second summit to work toward denuclearization and a more peaceful relationship in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Trump had made clear he was willing to remove economic and other sanctions for meaningful progress. But the summit ended when Trump had enough of Kim’s demands that the lifting of all sanctions occur first without any meaningful commitment on North Korea’s part to denuclearize.

Mar 01 09:35

South Korea to work with U.S. and North Korea after failed nuclear talks

South Korea will work with the United States and North Korea to ensure they reach agreement on denuclearization, the South’s president said on Friday, a day after talks between the U.S. and North Korean leaders collapsed over sanctions.

Mar 01 09:32

Cole Supports Trump Walking Away from N. Korean Summit

President Trump walking away from the summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un made a big splash this week. Congressman Tom Cole supports the President’s decision not to take a proposed deal with North Korea.

“I commend President Trump and his diplomatic team for their performance at the recent summit between the U.S. and North Korea,” said Cole. “Clearly progress has been made on a number of critical areas. However, when a deal couldn’t be reached with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, President Trump was wise to walk away but commit to continue working on the issues.

Mar 01 09:18

The warning signs were clear: Trump's North Korea summit was doomed from the start

What happens when you hold a summit without doing your homework, and after ignoring warnings from your own intelligence chiefs that Kim Jong Un would never give up his nuclear weapons?

Your summit falls apart, as President Donald Trump's did early Thursday morning. The outcome suggests that the biggest mistake made by the president and his top advisers was agreeing to the meeting with the North Korean leader in the first place.

After last year's meeting in Singapore, which at times appeared more like a buddy movie than a serious nuclear disarmament negotiation, Trump was widely criticized for saying "there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

To be fair, there isn't a nuclear threat from North Korea ... unless the US tries to invade or regime change.

Mar 01 09:17

Pelosi on North Korea talks: 'I'm glad that the president walked away'

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi argued on Thursday that Kim Jong Un was "a big winner" in the latest negotiations between President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader since he once again had the opportunity to "sit face to face" with the President of the United States, but she said that Trump did the right thing by ultimately walking away from the talks.

The President has been in Hanoi, Vietnam, for a summit that ended with no joint agreement between the US and North Korea after Kim insisted all US sanctions be lifted on his country.

"What we want is denuclearization," Pelosi said at her weekly news conference, referring to the US goal of getting North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons. "They didn't agree to it in the first meeting. They didn't agree to it in the second meeting. They wanted lifting sanctions without denuclearization. I'm glad that the President walked away from that."

Mar 01 08:53

‘Some sort of fantasy’: Mysterious group declares itself N. Korean ‘government-in-exile’

A shadowy group known as the Cheollima Civil Defense (CCD) has declared itself North Korea’s “government-in-exile” while decrying the government of Kim Jong-un as an “immoral and illegitimate regime.”

CCD released a statement Friday, declaring their government, which they have dubbed ‘Free Joseon,’ as “the sole legitimate representative of the Korean people of the north.” A video of a woman dressed in a traditional black and white hanbok with her face blurred out reading out the group’s manifesto was also released.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Here we go ...

Feb 28 22:44

Embarrassment for Trump as North Korean foreign minister holds a surprise press conference to blame the president for the collapse of the Vietnam nuclear summit because HE asked for too much

'Basically they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn’t do that,' Trump asserted.

In a long statement delivered to the press in Korean, and a translator read aloud in English for Americans watching over lunch, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho contradicted Trump hours later at a midnight news conference.

He said the country asked for 'partial sanctions' relief in areas the authoritarian country claims are harming North Korean citizens and affecting their livelihoods. In return, Pyongyang offered to 'permanently' close its Plutonium and Uranium facilities in the Yongbyon region in the presence of U.S. inspectors.

He said North Korea asked the U.S. to lift sanctions corresponding with five United Nations resolutions adopted between 2016 and 2017. Ri claimed that his proposal was the 'biggest' offer North Korea could make based on the 'current level of confidence' between the country and the United States.

Feb 28 12:08

Embarrassment for Trump as North Korean foreign minister holds surprise press conference to blame the president for the collapse of the Vietnam nuclear summit because HE asked for too much 

North Korean officials made a rare appearance on Thursday after President Trump departed Vietnam to publicly dispute aspects of his claims about the breakdown in talks. Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho said the country asked for 'partial sanctions' relief, primarily in the areas harming North Korean citizens and affecting their livelihoods. In return, Pyongyang offered to 'permanently' close its plutonium and uranium facilities in the Yongbyon region in the presence of U.S. inspectors. He said North Korea asked the U.S. to lift sanctions corresponding with five United Nations resolutions adopted between 2016 and 2017. Trump said that North Korea was 'not ready' to meet the United States' conditions. Ri said talks broke down 'when it became crystal clear that the US is not ready to accept our proposal,' according to a Bloomberg. The U.S.

Feb 28 10:37

Scott Adams: Cohen, North Korea, and Coffee

Press claimed North Korea deal would be to distract from Cohen
The press, enemy of the people, made a deal impossible
Press influence is malign…or malignant
ANY deal would have been MSM-framed as a coverup failure
Chairman Kim is going home with improving relations
Time is on President Trump’s side
Walking away early…but politely, respectfully
Michael Cohen testimony, hours and hours of claims
Reporters don’t understand finance
Cohen was hired and worked 10 years for citizen Trump
There wasn’t ANY evidence President Trump was racist…
…till Charlottesville? Does that sound likely?
President has been painted as hands-off, doesn’t read key reports,
How can lead us? NO clue what’s happening!
Therefore, Dems claimed…we MUST impeach!
NOW he’s being painted as 100% hands-on, knows everything
He is aware of every single meeting, involved, aware of ALL!

Feb 28 09:44

Donald Trump LIVE: ‘We had to walk away’ Donald Trump reveals EXACTLY WHY talks collapsed

DONALD Trump has revealed what exactly led to the collapse of talks on denuclearisation during his summit with Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The US President told reporters after summit talks were cut short: "Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, but we couldn't do that. We had to walk away from it.” Donald Trump added: ""He wants to denuclearise but wants to just do areas that are less important than the areas that we want. We know every inch of that country, and we have to get what we have to get."

Feb 28 08:48

Trump Says Did Not Sign Any Agreement With North Korea's Kim

President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo speak at a press briefing in Hanoi following the summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (Excerpt.) (Source: Bloomberg)

Feb 28 01:51

TRUMP - KIM SUMMIT CUT SHORT

No agreement reached as Trump-Kim summit cut short
US and North Korea leaders leave their meeting in Vietnam's Hanoi early and cancel a planned signing ceremony.

Vietnam's Hanoi has hosted the second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The two leaders held a landmark summit in Singapore last year, the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader.

On Wednesday, they kicked off their Hanoi summit with a brief one-on-one conversation and a social dinner, before the launch of formal talks on Thursday.

Here are all the latest updates as of:
Thursday, February 28: >>>

Feb 27 11:46

Scott Adams: CNN Opening Capone’s Vault (Cohen Testimony), Climate Hijinx

Actual CNN headline today:
“Watch Trump try to pull off the ultimate distraction”
His purpose in pursuing NK denuclearization…is distraction?
CNN Fake News Don Lemon reads BOMBSHELL Cohen statement
Congressional Rep Matt Gaetz tweets about Cohen
Dirtiest trick I’ve ever seen…also kinda relevant
Tweet focused the countries attention on Cohen’s lying
Charlottesville Hoax Update
Joel Pollak calls Chris Cuomo a liar, 2,000 retweets
We’re saying it’s a CNN fake news story, loudly
This is the dog that doesn’t bark
NO pushback from CNN, no disputing what we’ve said
Chairman Kim and President Trump’s chemistry
President Trump’s “focused charisma” is very strong
Their personal connection seems genuine to me
History will eventually see President Trump was first to understand
Our NK problem was the lack of INTERPERSONAL relationships

Feb 27 11:21

US Bill Calls for Formal End to Korean War

Nearly two dozen Democratic members of the US House of Representatives introduced a resolution Tuesday calling for a formal end to the Korean War, which has been technically ongoing since 1950. However, the measure also allows for the continued stationing of US Forces Korea in South Korea.

"Historic engagement between South and North Korea has created a once-in-a-generation opportunity to formally end this war," House Armed Services Committee member Ro Khanna (D-CA), said in a statement. "President Trump must not squander this rare chance for peace. He should work hand in hand with our ally, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, to bring the war to a close and advance toward the denuclearization of the peninsula."

Feb 27 09:21

Nuclear Weapons: Who Has What at a Glance

At the dawn of the nuclear age, the United States hoped to maintain a monopoly on its new weapon, but the secrets and the technology for making nuclear weapons soon spread. The United States conducted its first nuclear test explosion in July 1945 and dropped two atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Just four years later, the Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear test explosion. The United Kingdom (1952), France (1960), and China (1964) followed. Seeking to prevent the nuclear weapon ranks from expanding further, the United States and other like-minded states negotiated the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1968 and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996.

Feb 27 08:39

Why Are Democrats Trying to Torpedo the Korea Peace Talks?

South Koreans are learning the hard truths expressed in the protest music of Phil Ochs from the darkest days of the Cold War. “When it comes to times like Korea, there’s no one more red, white, and blue” than the American liberal, he sang in one of his most biting verses.

Decades later, with the two Koreas on the brink of ending a war that ripped their country apart and triggered the massive US military intervention of 1950, the liberals and Democrats who earned Ochs’s derision may be undermining the best chance for peace on the peninsula in a generation.

As US diplomats prepare for the second summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un next week in Hanoi, senior Democrats in the House and Senate, joined by a few Republicans, have been sounding alarm bells, warning that South Korean President Moon Jae-in is moving too fast in reconciling with North Korea by seeking a premature lifting of sanctions on the nuclear-armed state.

Feb 27 07:52

Trump-Kim summit: Fact checking Donald Trump's claims about North Korea

To hear President Donald Trump tell it, the thawing of relations with North Korea represents a historic breakthrough in American diplomacy.

But experts observing the president’s second summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un this week see ICBM-sized caveats in the progress Trump has made with a hermit kingdom that has vexed the United States since the early days of the Cold War.

"The Trump administration has over-hyped its claims of success with North Korea," said Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation and a former CIA deputy division chief. “We’ve achieved no success on denuclearization."

Feb 27 07:50

“A bad deal for the United States”: top South Korean official rejects tentative Trump-Kim pact

A proposed outline of a deal that President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may sign during their Vietnam summit this week would be “a bad deal for the United States.”

That’s not the view of a cynical expert, or a Democrat. It’s the view of a top national security adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Trump and Kim are in Hanoi to discuss how to strike a deal to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear program. Negotiators are currently working with an outline of a deal first described to Vox by three knowledgeable sources on Tuesday, where the US would lift some sanctions on North Korea in exchange for a commitment from Kim to stop nuclear-fuel production at a key nuclear facility.

Feb 27 07:50

President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un meet in Vietnam

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are meeting for a two-day summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 27 and 28. The two leaders will discuss a potential deal aimed at ending North Korea’s nuclear program.

This is the second time Trump and Kim have met — they first met in Singapore last June but have made very little progress in negotiating an end to North Korea’s nuclear program since then.

Trump’s 2018 meeting with Kim represented a dramatic shift in US diplomatic strategy when he agreed to sit down face to face with the North Korean leader to kick off nuclear negotiations, instead of reserving such a high-profile meeting for the end of the negotiation process when a deal had already been struck.

Feb 25 08:40

Kim Jong Un impersonator deported from Vietnam ahead of summit

A Kim Jong Un impersonator was hauled from his hotel Monday ahead of his planned deportation from Vietnam before the real North Korean leader meets US President Donald Trump in Hanoi later this week.
Howard X arrived in town with Trump impersonator Russell White last week, staging a fake summit on the steps of Hanoi's Opera House amid a swarm of press and hired security guards.

Feb 25 08:34

North Korean Media Criticizes US Dems Ahead of Second Summit

North Korea’s state media issued a report ahead of this week’s Trump-Kim summit criticizing US Democrats and other “skeptics” of the peace process, saying they are missing an historic opportunity and urging President Trump to ignore them.

The report warned that opponents are chilling the atmosphere ahead of the summit, and would ultimately bear responsibility if the summit failed in any way, adding this would expose Americans to “security threats.”

Largely echoing Trump’s comments in favor of the peace talks, US analysts suggested that the state media report was primarily an attempt to further sell Trump on the process, and make him less likely to walk away for fear of it looking like a vindication for his political opponents.

Feb 24 08:38

North Korea confirms leader Kim Jong Un is on train to Vietnam for summit with Trump

North Korea confirmed Saturday that leader Kim Jong Un is on a train to Vietnam for his second summit with President Donald Trump.

Russia's TASS news agency, quoting a North Korean source, reported earlier that Kim's train was leaving from Pyongyang for the journey across China to Vietnam.

A similar green and yellow train was seen crossing a bridge from North Korea into the Chinese border city of Dandong, according to the Associated Press.

Kim and Trump are set to hold their summit on Feb. 27-28.

Feb 24 08:11

Trump: US troops withdrawal from South Korea ‘not on table’ in Hanoi meeting with Kim

US President Donald Trump has ruled out reducing the number of American troops in South Korea as part of a deal to be discussed during his upcoming summit with North Korea leader Kim Jong-un.

"No, it's not. That is not one of the things on the table," Trump said at a White House event on Friday when asked if he would consider pulling some of the 28,500 troops from South Korea.

Trump and Kim are scheduled to meet in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on February 27 and 28.

Feb 24 08:11

Trump aides worry he may get outmaneuvered in summit with Kim

US President Donald Trump’s aides worry that he may get outfoxed in the scheduled summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

That is why figures such as national security adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Defense Secretary James Mattis have distanced themselves from the talks, Politico reported.

“There is not optimism in the administration,” said Ian Bremmer, founder and president of the Eurasia Group. “Pompeo is deeply skeptical that we are going to get anything of substance on denuclearization from Kim Jong Un, and Pompeo believes the North Koreans are just playing for time.”

Feb 23 08:10

North Korea's Kim begins long train trip to Vietnam for summit with Trump: report

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un set off by train for Vietnam on Saturday, for his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump next week, media reported, and hours later, two witnesses saw a train crossing into China from North Korea.

Feb 23 08:10

North Korea's Kim: I don't want my children to bear burden of nuclear arms - report

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told the U.S. secretary of state he did not want his children to live with the burden of nuclear weapons, a former CIA officer involved in high-level diplomacy over the North’s weapons was quoted as saying on Saturday.

Feb 22 08:45

It’s clearer than ever that the US’s North Korea policy is in total chaos

The Trump administration just walked back its approach to North Korea — less than a week before the president is set to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam.

During a background call with reporters about the upcoming meeting, a senior administration official with knowledge of the negotiation’s status made two statements that contradict Washington’s previous stances on its effort to rid Pyongyang of its nuclear arsenal.

First, the official said, “I don’t know if North Korea has made the choice to denuclearize.” That’s a major statement, as the administration has consistently claimed that Kim agreed to dismantle his nuclear program when he met with President Donald Trump last year in Singapore.

Feb 21 07:51

N. Korea’s US envoy, delegation arrive in Hanoi ahead of Trump-Kim summit

Pyongyang’s special representative for the US, Kim Hyok-chol, arrived in Hanoi on Wednesday with a North Korean delegation, ahead of a summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un next week, AFP reported. “A team of North Koreans arrived on a flight from Beijing,” a source at the airport said. Kim Hyok-chol was seen walking into a government guesthouse where other North Korean officials in town for pre-summit preparations were staying over the weekend.

Feb 21 07:43

North Korea's Kim replaces key diplomats ahead of Trump summit

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has shuffled some of his top advisers and diplomats ahead of next week's meeting with President Trump in Vietnam, Reuters reported Wednesday.

The news outlet reported that Kim has swapped out a number of veteran negotiators, including some who served his father and grandfather, with younger counsel.

One of the most notable changes is Kim's appointment of Kim Hyok Chol to lead working-level talks with U.S. nuclear envoy Stephen Biegun, Reuters reported. Kim Hyok Chol was expelled as ambassador to Spain in 2017 and has since worked at North Korea's State Affairs Commission, according to the report.

Kim Hyok Chol replaces Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui, who led talks ahead of Trump and Kim's first meeting last June.

Trump is set to travel to Hanoi, Vietnam, for a summit with Kim on Feb. 27 and 28.

Feb 20 11:59

Asia’s Most Radical Left-Wing Economic System Faces Harsh Reality

South Korea has untaken one of the most radical left-wing economic systems out there: a steep increase in minimum wage nationwide. But now, the country must face the dire consequences of that decision and the harsh reality that the regulations are destroying their economy.

South Korea is home to one of the world’s boldest left-wing economic programs. President Moon Jae-in’s flagship economic policy, “income-led growth,” has led to dramatic increases in minimum wages since he took office in 2017. Those increases are now driving a terrifying rise in unemployment, just as a slump in global trade is already buffeting Korea. The nation is now staring an economic crisis in the face.

According to the Wall Stree Journal, it isn’t just South Korea, but they seem to be the worst stranglers of their own economy.

Feb 20 11:24

Trump in 'no rush' to denuclearize North Korea

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that there was “no rush” to denuclearize North Korea, whose leader, Kim Jong Un, he’s meeting next week.

“I have no pressing time schedule,” Trump said of removing nuclear weapons from the North, adding he would “like to see, ultimately, denuclearization, of North Korea” and that he thought “we will see that, ultimately.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Trump just blinked.

Feb 19 08:41

Ex-diplomat says North Korean leader won't give up nukes

A former North Korean diplomat says leader Kim Jong Un has no intention of giving up his nuclear weapons and sees his upcoming second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump as a chance to cement his country's status as a nuclear weapons state.

Thae Yong Ho, who defected to South Korea in 2016, said in a news conference in Seoul on Tuesday that next week's meeting in Vietnam will be a failure if Trump can't get Kim to declare he will abandon all of his nuclear facilities and weapons and return North Korea to the nuclear non-proliferation agreement.

Thae worked as a minster at the North Korean Embassy in London before fleeing to South Korea. He is the highest-level North Korean diplomat to defect to the South.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Kim Jong Un would be an idiot to give up his nukes. That is the only thing preventing a US invasion.

Feb 19 08:40

Vietnam memorial to North Korea pilots marks bygone alliance

In a rice field in northern Vietnam, 14 headstones are an enduring symbol of the wartime friendship of Vietnam and North Korea.

They mark the original burial ground of North Korean pilots who died while secretly fighting alongside Vietnamese comrades against U.S. Air Force and Navy planes during the Vietnam War.

The role of North Korea is a footnote in the sweeping history of that conflict, one that speaks mostly of the fraternal relations of two nations that separately fought bruising armed conflicts against the United States in the context of the Cold War.

Decades later, the communist nations' friendship is apparent as Vietnam gets ready to host a summit of the North Korean and U.S. leaders later this month.

Feb 19 07:08

Trump, Kim and the war that 'ended' six decades ago

Song Jin-won was in middle school when the Korean War broke out in 1950.
***
As United States President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un prepare to meet in Vietnam for high-stakes and complex nuclear negotiations, war veterans, including Song, hope the summit will also act as a big step towards officially ending the Korean War.

The two Koreas are technically still at war as the hostilities stopped in 1953 with a truce signed by the US, representing United Nations forces, and the militaries of North Korea and China. The armistice agreement - adhered to but not signed by South Korea, whose leaders at the time rejected the idea of a ceasefire that left the peninsula divided - fell short of a peace treaty that has governed the conflict ever since.

In April, Kim became the first North Korean leader to cross the border since the end of the fighting decades ago for talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-In.

>>>

Feb 18 07:55

North Korea faces 'historic turning point', says state media ahead of summit

North Korea is facing a "significant, historic turning point", state media said on Monday (Feb 18), ahead of a highly-anticipated second summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un.

The meeting between the two leaders - which will be the second time the pair have come together following their Singapore summit in June - is scheduled for Hanoi, Vietnam on Feb 27-28.

Attention has been focused on whether the US team will offer to lift some economic sanctions on North Korea, in return for Pyongyang taking concrete steps toward denuclearisation.

"It is time for us to tighten our shoe strings and run fast, looking for a higher goal as we face this decisive moment," the Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in an editorial.

Feb 18 07:54

US Blocks North Korean Air Traffic Revival Ahead of Trump-Kim summit

The United States has blocked efforts by a UN agency to improve civil aviation in North Korea at a time when Pyongyang is trying to reopen part of its airspace to foreign flights, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The US move is part of a negotiating tactic to maintain sanctions pressure on North Korea, one of the sources said, ahead of the second summit between President Donald Trump and leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam in late February.

Washington is seeking concrete commitments from Pyongyang at the summit to abandon its nuclear and missile programmes.

Feb 17 08:46

Trump dangles declaration of peace with North Korea

Negotiators for President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are discussing a possible deal for their upcoming summit that would include a declaration ending the Korean War in return for verifiable steps to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear program, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Feb 17 08:46

Trump bets on North Korea to break his losing streak

The president is quickly turning his sights toward a second nuclear summit with North Korea that could reset a political narrative of domestic frustration.

Feb 16 09:47

North Korea and South Korea plan joint march, unified teams for Tokyo 2020

North Korea and South Korea are interested in a joint march at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics as well as fielding some unified teams in different sports, the president of the International Olympic Committee said on Friday.

South and North Korean officials met with the IOC in Lausanne, buoyed by the role the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics played in easing tensions between the two countries.

The two nations had marched together at the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang for the first time since the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. They had also fielded a unified women's ice hockey team.

"Following the bilateral conversations we had yesterday, we are taking note that both are very much interested in having some joined actions in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 with a joined march and some unified teams in different sports," IOC President Thomas Bach said at the start of the meeting.

Feb 16 09:20

North Korea STRONGLY Defends Venezuela From Imperialist Forces

North Korea’s ambassador to the UN, Kim Song, expressed his solidarity with the Venezuelan people in the face of attempts to overthrow Nicolás Maduro’s government, the country’s Foreign Ministry said after Kim Song’s meeting with Vice Minister of Venezuela Félix Plasencia.

“In this interventionist context aimed at overthrowing the constitutional government of President Nicolás Maduro, Ambassador Kim Song expressed his solidarity with the Venezuelan people and expressed the will of his government to continue to strengthen the ties of cooperation and fraternity between both nations,” said the statement, posted on the website of the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry.

During the meeting, the Venezuelan diplomat informed the North Korean ambassador about the “latest political events in the Caribbean country, motivated by the campaign of international disrepute.”

Feb 16 07:47

Russians Told To "Prepare For Worst Outcome" As US Prepares New Sanctions

A bipartisan team of US senators is preparing to hit Russia with additional sanctions over its 2016 US election interference and military operations in Syria and Ukraine.

Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are spearheading the measure, called the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act, which includes a wide range of financial penalties targeting Russia's energy complex, financial industry and "political figures, oligarchs, and family members and other persons that facilitate illicit and corrupt activities, directly or indirectly, on behalf of Vladimir Putin," reported The Independent.

Threats of the sanctions rocked Russian stock and government bond markets at the end of the week, and the country's debt insurance costs jumped alongside FX volatility.

Moscow has responded to the prospect of new sanctions with anger.

A former minister told Russians to prepare for the worst outcome; the Kremlin accused the US of “racketeering.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Demonization of a country, compounded with severe financial sanctions against it, are nearly always the prelude to an American-created war, and that is precisely what I am seeing, getting played out, here, with Russia.

Feb 15 09:36

Pompeo: US aims to 'get as far down the road as we can' with N.Korea

The United States aims to "get as far down the road as we can" ahead of a summit with North Korea in Vietnam this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday.

Pompeo said he was sending his team back to Asia in the coming days for further discussions around all issues discussed at a groundbreaking Singapore summit last June between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Feb 15 08:35

Trump Says He’ll Meet With North Korea's Kim Jong Un in Vietnam on Feb. 27-28

President Trump confirmed Tuesday night that he plans to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in Vietnam on Feb. 27 and 28. “If I had not been elected President of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea with potentially millions of people killed,” Trump said during his State of the Union address. “Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one. And Chairman Kim and I will meet again on February 27 and 28 in Vietnam.” The president first made the announcement to a group of television reporters shortly before his address, where sources said he was expected to publicly announce the date of the second U.S.-North Korea summit. “It’s happening. He said he was going to announce it tonight,” a source was quoted as telling Politico. Yonhap News Agency also reported on the planned dates for the upcoming summit.

Feb 15 08:35

North Korea exploring sanctions-proof energy technologies

Power-strapped North Korea is exploring two ambitious alternative energy sources — tidal power and coal-based synthetic fuels — that could greatly improve living standards and reduce its reliance on oil imports and vulnerability to sanctions.

Finding a lasting energy source that isn’t vulnerable to sanctions has long been a top priority for North Korean officials. Leader Kim Jong Un used his New Year’s address last month to call on the country to “radically increase the production of electricity” and singled out the coal-mining industry as a “primary front in developing the self-supporting economy.” For the longer-term, he stressed the importance of atomic, wind and tidal power.

Since further development of atomic energy is unlikely anytime soon, the power-scarce country is developing technology to “gasify” coal into substitute motor fuels. It also is looking into using huge sea barriers with electricity-generating turbines to harness the power of the ocean’s tides.

Feb 13 09:54

U.S. lawmakers tout U.S.-Japan-South Korea alliance as Seoul, Tokyo feud

U.S. Republicans and Democrats joined together on Tuesday to tout the long alliance between Japan, South Korea and the United States, hoping to reinforce the trilateral relationship amid an intensifying feud between Tokyo and Seoul.

Members of the House of Representatives and Senate from both parties introduced resolutions in the two chambers affirming Congress’ strong support for ties between the three countries and the critical importance of cooperation.

Relations between Japan and South Korea have chilled recently due to disputes over their wartime history, including Japan’s 1910-1945 colonization of the Korean peninsula, as well as allegations of provocations by each country’s military.

Feb 13 08:23

North Korea may choose to follow Vietnam's economic model as it looks to open up

As North Korea signals a willingness to open up its highly centralized, socialist economy, Vietnam's model of development is being widely suggested as a blueprint for Pyongyang to emulate.

Hanoi's ability to retain one-party rule, strict censorship, minimal dissent and a top-down system of control after integrating into the global economy is an attractive prospect for North Korea, according to analysts. If Pyongyang were to ever transition into a market economy, it will likely continue to prioritize regime stability — loosening restrictions on areas such as currency and migration could be politically destabilizing for Kim Jong Un's rule.

Feb 12 11:44

North Korea may have more nukes, but threat reduced: study

North Korea has continued to produce bomb fuel while in denuclearization talks with the United States and may have produced enough in the past year to add as many as seven nuclear weapons to its arsenal, according to a study released just weeks before a planned second summit between the North Korean leader and U.S. President Donald Trump.

However, the country's freeze in nuclear and missile testing since 2017 mean that North Korea's weapons program probably poses less of a threat than it did at the end of that year, the report by Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation found.

Feb 12 07:50

Tod Lindberg: “Trump Is Serious About Diplomacy with North Korea”

The new tack was made clear in a detailed speech given at Stanford last week by Stephen E. Biegun, the U.S. special envoy to North Korea. Mr. Biegun firmly reiterated the administration’s objective: “the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea.

This approach compares favorably with the one the Obama administration took toward Iran, never demanding an end to nuclear programs and settling for a deal that came nowhere close. When Mr. Trump ditched the Iran deal before engaging North Korea, he signaled his commitment to stricter terms in his talks with Mr. Kim. Mr. Trump’s critics assume the administration will settle for cosmetic changes rather than denuclearization, but its actions and its unified message lay down a very different marker.

Feb 11 07:58

Thinking the unthinkable: A Japan-Korea clash

Any scenario pre-supposing a war between Japan and Korea appears unthinkable. But while a kinetic clash between the democratic neighbors is by no means inevitable or likely, it is not unthinkable.

Current relations are at a nadir. In late December, Tokyo claimed that a South Korean destroyer locked its tracking radar on a patrol aircraft of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force in the Sea of Japan, which, incidentally, Koreans call the East Sea; in international forums, Seoul is pushing for the name to be changed.

Seoul strongly denied that its destroyer did that, and complained that the Japanese aircraft flew dangerously low while interfering with an ongoing search and rescue operation. Both sides sought to buttress their positions with multi-lingual videos posted on YouTube.

Feb 11 07:43

South Korean officials agree to increase payment for presence of US troops after Trump push

South Korean officials on Sunday signed off on an agreement that would increase the nation's contribution to cover the cost of keeping U.S. troops on the Korean Peninsula.

The Associated Press reported that Seoul agreed to provide $924 million in 2019, an increase from $830 million in recent years. The agreement comes after President Trump criticized the cost of keeping troops on the Korean Peninsula, and called for South Korea to contribute more.

The new agreement still requires approval from South Korea's parliament, the AP noted. Unlike past cost-sharing deals, which lasted multiple years, the new agreement would only be for one year, forcing negotiators to hammer out a new pact in the coming months, it added.

Feb 11 07:26

U.S. and North Korea plan meeting ahead of second summit

The United States and North Korea will meet again this month in an unidentified Asian country ahead of their leaders' planned second summit in Vietnam in late February, South Korean officials said Sunday.

The U.S. special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, visited Pyongyang last week to work out details of the Feb. 27-28 summit in Hanoi between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

After being briefed by Biegun about his discussions in North Korea, South Korea's presidential office said that the U.S. and North Korea used Biegun's trip as a chance to explain what concrete steps they want from each other.

South Korea's national security adviser Chung Eui-yong, who met Biegun, reported that U.S.-North Korea diplomacy "is working well," presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said. He said a follow-up U.S.-North Korea meeting ahead of the summit will take place in a third country in Asia in the week that begins Feb. 17.

Feb 10 09:04

Schiff questions if North Korea tried to 'flatter' Trump

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) questioned on Saturday if North Korea had tried to influence President Trump by flattering him ahead of a second summit set for later this month.

"All countries do psychological profiles of other foreign leaders to determine how they can be manipulated. North Korea may have determined that if they flatter Trump, they can achieve normalization of relations and easing of sanctions without denuclearization," Schiff tweeted Saturday. "That’s dangerous."

Feb 09 14:10

KEEPING UP WITH THE KIMS

NORTH KOREA’S LEADER HAS CHARMED TRUMP, XI AND MOON. BUT ARE THEY ALL JUST KEEPING UP WITH THE KIMS?

When Kim Jong-un delivered his annual New Year’s address last month, the scene was unrecognisable from his first speech as leader of North Korea six years prior. Gone were the Maoist suit and lapel pin featuring the images of his father, previous ruler Kim Jong-il, and grandfather Kim Il-sung, who founded the country.

In their place was a suit and tie that would be at home in any office in London or New York. Rather than sheltering behind a podium in an austere auditorium, his voice faltering intermittently as it had before, Kim sat composed in an armchair in a wood-panelled office.
***
Kim’s 30-minute address focused heavily on the economy, but he found time to say that North Korea was willing to continue denuclearisation talks with the United States – and to warn that the hermit kingdom would take a “new path” if Washington did not ease its pressure against it.

>>>

(*VIDEO at source)

Feb 09 11:09

Scott Adams: The News is Becoming Friendlier to President Trump Lately

Border budget negotiators report they might approve 2Billion
Tell us what the EXPERTS say we need, and what it costs
Is what you’re approving…what the experts say is needed?
Nobody cares about “percentages of crime”, when they’re a victim
I’ve been robbed but it’s okay. I’m in a low crime area
Annexing Mexico into America, should we?
The cartels are running the country to a large degree
“Turnaround Groups” for stabilization of failing countries?
UN controlled, a country applies to them for assistance
A neutral organization of turnaround specialists goes in
Limited time, they do a government reorganization
NO outside military presence imposing new government
Mike Cernovich and the New Green Deal
Mike says the New Green Deal is brilliant
They’re big ideas that we have no idea how to accomplish
The fact that it’s impossible is what focuses energy

Feb 09 09:45

North Korea nuclear talks: Hanoi to host Trump summit with Kim

US President Donald Trump says his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be held in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi.

The two men will meet on 27-28 February for talks expected to focus on persuading the communist state to give up its nuclear weapons programme.

Modern relations with Vietnam are seen as a model for US ties with the North.

A US envoy held "very productive" talks with the North to prepare for the new summit, Mr Trump said.

Feb 08 08:47

North Korea pushing flag at center of new loyalty campaign

North Korea is stepping up a new loyalty campaign as leader Kim Jong Un prepares for his second summit with President Donald Trump.

The campaign began last month with the introduction of a song in praise of the nation's flag.

A video now being aired on state-run television to promote the song — called "Our National Flag" — shows repeated images of the flag being raised at international sports competitions and being formed by a sea of people holding up colored lengths of cloth at a parade and rally on Kim Il Sung Square. Other images show recent improvements in the economy and standard of living, a reflection of a current government policy shift that focuses on development and prosperity.

The video is a departure from the tone of the propaganda that dominated just two years ago, when tensions with Washington were escalating and the focus was on North Korea's successful missile tests.

Feb 06 10:54

North Korea's nuclear missiles are 'intact' and being shielded at airports, UN panel of experts warns

Kim Jong-un's still has nuclear missiles and the weapons' programme is being hidden using airports as a cover, UN experts have warned.

North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes remain intact and Pyongyang is using airports and other facilities to shield its weapons from possible US military strikes, according to a UN panel of experts.

The panel said in a report today that sanctions against North Korea were 'ineffective,' with Pyongyang still able to acquire illegal shipments of oil products, sell banned coal and violate an arms embargo.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Your daily dose of booga booga.

Feb 06 08:32

2nd North Korea Nuclear Summit Will Take Place In Vietnam This Month, Trump Says

A second nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is scheduled for the end of the month in Vietnam. President Trump made the announcement during Tuesday's State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress.

The summit, planned for Feb. 27-28, will attempt to further refine an agreement that came out of the first summit in June. In that agreement, the U.S. said it would normalize relations with North Korea in exchange for "denuclearization of the Korean peninsula." But progress on the plan has been slow since then, as each country wants the other to be the first to make concessions.

"North Korea has said normalization must start before denuclearization, while the U.S. maintains that the North must hand over its nuclear weapons before any normalization can begin," NPR reported in November.

Feb 05 13:03

Trump: No Plans to Withdraw US Troops From South Korea

In June, President Trump announced the end of military exercises with South Korea, saying they were “provocative,” and said he hoped at some point to withdraw all 28,500 US troops from South Korea. This was just three months after threatening to withdraw troops from South Korea over a trade dispute.

Over the weekend, however, President Trump told interviewers that he has absolutely no plans to ever withdraw US troops from South Korea. He did say it was “very expensive” to keep troops there, which is in keeping with Trump’s demands for South Korea to pay even more for the troops.

All the other talk of withdrawing troops from South Korea? That never happened, according to Trump. He’s insisting that not only are there no plans, but that he’s “never even discussed removing them,” despite all the times he publicly discussed removing them.

Feb 05 10:31

North Korea protecting nuclear missiles, UN monitors say, ahead of summit talks

North Korea is working to ensure its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities cannot be destroyed by military strikes, U.N. monitors said ahead of a meeting between U.S. and North Korean officials to prepare a second denuclearization summit.

The U.S. special envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, will meet his North Korean counterpart on Wednesday in Pyongyang to prepare for a summit later this month between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.

Feb 04 10:48

Bipartisan House group introduces bills to stall Syria, South Korea troop withdrawals

A bipartisan group of eight House lawmakers on Wednesday introduced two bills to make it more difficult for the Trump administration to withdraw troops from Syria and South Korea.

The bills, introduced by freshman Reps. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.), and Van Taylor (R-Texas), would limit the funds the administration may use to pull troops from the countries.

Democrat Reps. Andy Kim (N.J.), Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), and Max Rose (N.Y.), also back the bills, as do Republican Reps. Mike Gallagher (Wis.), Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), and Will Hurd (Texas). Kim, Gallagher and Stefanik all serve on the House Armed Services Committee.

The first bill, titled the “Responsible Withdrawal From Syria Act,” prohibits the use of Pentagon funds to draw down active duty troop presence in Syria below 1,500.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These are symbolic only. Without Trump's signature, they have no effect.

Feb 01 10:11

Top US envoy on North Korea: 'We are not going to invade North Korea'

The State Department's top envoy on North Korea said Thursday that the US is not looking to invade that nation and seemed to strongly signal that the US would be willing to formally end the Korean War.

"President Trump is ready to end this war," Steve Biegun said at Stanford. "It is over, it is done. We are not going to invade North Korea. We are not seeking to topple the North Korean regime."

"I am absolutely convinced, and more importantly the President of the United States is convinced, that it's time to move past 70 years of war and hostility in the Korean peninsula. There's no reason for this conflict to persist any longer," Biegun added.

Jan 31 11:09

Trump delivers astonishing insult to his 'naive' top intelligence chiefs as he tells them to 'go back to SCHOOL' after they contradicted him on Iran, North Korea and ISIS

President Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested his intelligence chiefs should 'go back to school' and lectured their 'naive' assessments on Iran after they sharply contradicted his foreign policy claims, particularly on North Korea and ISIS.

The president's response to his chiefs testimony before the Senate a day earlier was an unprecedented Twitter dressing down of America's top intelligence officials, where he called them 'extremely passive and naive,' said they were flat out 'wrong' on Iran, and suggested 'Intelligence should go back to school!.'

He railed against FBI directory Christopher Wray, CIA director Gina Haspel, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, who painted a different picture of America's relationship with its foreign partners when they testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

Jan 31 09:33

Trump just admitted North Korea might keep its nuclear weapons

For months, President Donald Trump and top administration officials have maintained that they struck an agreement with North Korea last June to end its nuclear program.

But after US intelligence officials on Tuesday openly contradicted that, stating that North Korea likely won’t give up its arsenal, Trump seems to be walking that back just a bit.

“Decent chance of denuclearization,” he tweeted on Wednesday. “Time will tell what will happen with North Korea.”

A “decent chance.” That, folks, is what people in the political world call “moving the goalposts.”

That’s a far cry from the comments Trump made in June — just hours after meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for the first time — in which the president stated that there was “no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”

Now he’s admitting not only that the threat remains, but also that it’s not guaranteed to go away anytime soon.

Jan 28 09:15

Sanctions, Peace Deal On Cards For New US-North Korea Summit

North Korea watchers believe that Kim's primary goal is relief from international sanctions and doubt he will suddenly give up his nuclear arsenal, which his dynastic regime has built for decades even through famine.

Jan 28 09:15

Why a military spat between Japan and South Korea could snowball into crisis

Japan and South Korea are engaged in a heated military dispute that analysts say could damage the already tenuous geopolitical situation in northeast Asia if the two sides do not reach a resolution.

The spat began December 20 after an encounter between a Japanese plane, which Tokyo said was collecting intelligence, and a South Korean destroyer, which Seoul said was on a humanitarian mission.

Both sides disagree on what happened next -- the Japanese said the South Koreans targeted their aircraft with missile-targeting radar, while the South Koreans said the Japanese plane was flying dangerously low and that the radar "was not intended to trace any Japanese-controlled aircraft."
The disagreement has quickly escalated, bringing to the fore historical disputes previously on the back-burner and -- in turn -- threatening the region's stability.

Jan 27 16:11

South Korea rules pre-installed phone bloatware must be deletable

New guidelines will require the industry to allow smartphone users the option to delete unnecessary pre-loaded applications, to rectify unreasonable practices and reduce inconvenience.

Jan 27 08:45

US, North Korea Positions Over Denuclearization Seem To Be Getting Closer - Morgulov

US and North Korean positions on denuclearization of the peninsula seem to be drawing closer, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov told reporters.

"It seems to me their [US and North Korean] positions started getting closer," Morgulov said on Friday after talks with US diplomats in Washington.

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