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U.S., South Korea hold talks to soothe North Korea tensions

in ASIA/POLITICS by

After North Korea threatened to pull out of the high-level talks between Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, which are scheduled to be held on June 12 in Singapore – U.S. and South Korea huddled up to discuss the future course of action. Today, the South Korean President Moon Jae In and Trump reportedly held discussions to ensure that the North Korea-U.S. summit remains on track. South Korea’s presidential office said in a statement that Jae In and Trump spoke over the phone for about 20 minutes, reportedly exchanging their views on North Korea’s recent reactions. The presidential official said, “The two leaders will work closely and unwaveringly for the successful hosting of the North Korea-U.S. summit set on June 12, including the upcoming South Korea-U.S. summit.” On Tuesday, Jae In and Trump are set to meet in Washington – in a meeting that was planned to be a prelude to the historic summit that is scheduled to be held between North Korea and the U.S.North Korea has showed a dramatic change in tone. Putting weeks of Korean diplomacy in jeopardy, North Korea thrashed Seoul, calling it “ignorant and incompetent.”

North Korea offers to give up nukes if US vows not to attack

in ASIA/POLITICS by

After making a very public promise to end his nuclear weapons program during his recent successful inter-Korean summit with the South Korean President Moon Jae In – now, the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un is revealed to have said that his proclamation comes with certain conditions. A South Korean government spokesman has revealed that the North Korean leader told Moon Jae In when they met that he would abandon his nuclear weapons if the United States would agree to formally end the Korean War and promise that it would not invade his country. Further, officials in Seoul also revealed that Kim Jong Un had also vowed to invite experts and journalists from South Korea and the United States to watch the shutdown of his the only known underground nuclear test site in North Korea, next month.

The announcement came as a faith-building gesture by the North Korean leader, ahead of a summit meeting with Trump. Further, the South Korean leader also spoke with the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, to relay Kim’s willingness to also open dialogue with Tokyo, which has also felt threatened by the North’s nuclear weapons and missile development. Young-chan added that North Korea’s promise to invite outsiders to Punggye-ri reflected “Mr. Kim’s determination to actively and pre-emptively deal with the process of verifying denuclearization.”

Libya and US sign security cooperation deal

in AFRICA/DEFENCE by

The US and Libya’s Government of National Accord signed a security cooperation agreement, which includes a memorandum of intent for airport security and a letter of agreement to support Libyan policing, prisons and justice sector development. The agreement provide technical assistance in the field of criminal justice through training as well as the installation of a system to verify the authenticity of travel documents at airports and Libyan borders.

Japan: the US Ambassador and his wife meet abductees’ family members

in ASIA by

The U.S. Ambassador to Japan on Tuesday met the families of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea agents decades ago to train its spies, just a week before Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to raise the emotional issue at a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump. In an apparent nod to Japan’s concerns, U.S. Ambassador William Hagerty and his wife met abductees’ family members, including Sakie Yokota, whose daughter Megumi was snatched from a beach as a teenager 40 years ago. Hagerty told them their plight had not been forgotten, pledging to convey their stories to Trump ahead of his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. “I know that this issue is high on the list of priorities for both President Trump and Prime Minister Abe,” he told reporters. 

China and its retaliation against the US

in ASIA/ECONOMY by

A drawback in purchases – or a fire-sale – of US Treasuries could devastate the global economy if China presses the red button. Tariffs will hurt, certainly. The biggest trade powers engaged in a protectionist tit-for-tat will end badly for the entire global economy. But Cui’s not-so-veiled threat is something bigger. There, in June 1997, then-Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto was giving a rather dry speech about economic cooperation. That was until the question-and-answer period, when he suggested Tokyo might sell Treasuries holdings if Washington didn’t reduce dollar-yen volatility. “Several times in the past we have been tempted to sell large lots of US Treasuries,” he said. The issue flared up anew in August 2011. Beijing was unhappy with then-US President Barack Obama’s perceived closeness to Taiwan. That had policy wags mulling creative ways to get the White House’s attention, including using Beijing’s vast dollar holdings as leverage. “Now is the time,” the state-run People’s Daily argued in an editorial on the topic, “for China to use its financial weapon to teach the US a lesson.” 

China: zero-sum mindset risks opening a Pandora’s box

in ASIA/ECONOMY by

The trade war between USA and China dominate Asians’ media. The fear of this war manipulates stock exchanges. At the moment the end of this unharmed conflict it’s far to the end. we’ll see in the next days.

U.S. Strikes Qaeda Target in Southern Libya, Expanding Shadow War There

in USA by

BENGHAZI, Libya — The United States military carried out its first ever drone strike against Qaeda militants in southern Libya this weekend, signaling a possibly significant expansion of the American counterterrorism campaign in the North African nation. The attack on Saturday that the military’s Africa Command said had killed two militants — later identified by a spokeswoman as belonging to Al Qaeda’s branch in northwestern Africa — took place in the country’s southwest, a notorious haven for a deadly mix of Al Qaeda and other extremist groups that also operate in the Sahel region of Niger, Chad, Mali and Algeria.

U.S., EU to expel more than 100 Russian diplomats over UK nerve attack

in USA by

LONDON/WASHINGTON – The United States said on Monday it would expel 60 Russian diplomats, joining governments across Europe in punishing the Kremlin for a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain that they have blamed on Moscow. It was the strongest action that U.S. President Donald Trump had taken against Russia since coming to office. British Prime Minister Theresa May, welcoming the show of solidarity, said 18 countries had announced plans to expel Russian officials. Those included 14 European Union countries. In total, Monday’s announcements affected more than 100 Russian diplomats – the biggest Western expulsion of Russian diplomats since the height of the Cold War.

Mexico and the United States agree that weapons do not go south nor drugs north

in AMERICAS by

MEXICO CITY – The Secretary of Homeland Security of the United States, Kirstjen Nielsen, indicated that the US government and the Department of Homeland Security in particular, is committed to a strong and healthy relationship with Mexico. Mexico, he said, is one of the most important business partners of the American Union, and the United States is a very important commercial partner for Mexico. The alliance, Nielsen emphasized, is important for the two countries, not just for security and prosperity, “as it was in the past, it is now, and will continue to be the same from now on”. The US official stressed that “we all want drugs not to go north. We want weapons and money does not continue to flow”.

Bolton: N. Korea wants to buy time to develop nukes

in ASIA by

John Bolton, the incoming U.S. national security adviser, said North Korea is offering negotiations with the United States in order to buy time to develop its nuclear weapons. “I think we have to look at what North Korea’s motivation is here. I think they’re very worried that they’ve got a different president in the White House than Barack Obama. They’re worried about the pressure that the president’s already put on” Bolton said in an interview.

“They’ve got a fairly limited number of things they need to do in North Korea to make their nuclear warheads actually deliverable on targets in the United States. So they want to try and slow roll the negotiations to buy more time. This is something they’ve done consistently over the last 25 years” he added. Taking months to prepare for the meeting would “simply play into the North Korean playbook” Bolton concluded.

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