Geopolitical News from the modern world

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Ottobre 2017 - page 2

Beijing’s opposition to unilateral sanctions as US targets North Korean diplomat in China


Beijing has repeated its opposition to unilateral sanctions on Pyongyang after Washington took rare action against a China-based North Korean diplomat accused of human rights abuses. The US sanctions on Ku Sung-sop, North Korea’s consul general in Shenyang, come as the United States presses China to put more pressure on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile programmes. In an unusual step against a foreign diplomat in China, the US Treasury Department announced on Thursday that it had frozen Ku’s US assets and banned him from conducting any transactions with US citizens. It said Ku had been involved in the forced repatriation of North Korean asylum seekers. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang did not say whether China would comply with the decision, adding that Beijing has maintained normal communication with Pyongyang. “China opposes any nation imposing unilateral sanctions,” Geng said. “China upholds the United Nations Security Council resolutions on North Korea.” Wang Sheng, a professor of Korean affairs at Jilin University, said China was unlikely to expel the North Korean diplomat but might discuss the issue as part of preparations for US President Donald Trump’s trip to China next month. The US Treasury Department said Washington was concerned that the North Korean military, which operates as a secret police force, was punishing all forms of dissent. “Further, the military operates outside North Korea to hunt down asylum seekers, and brutally detains and forcibly returns North Korean citizens,” it said. Tensions have risen on the Korean peninsula with Pyongyang’s repeated missile and nuclear tests.

Washington is expected to call for tougher action against Pyongyang when Trump visits China next month.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said on Friday that the US was committed to a “diplomatic solution” for North Korea.

Xi Jinping’s strong army


China’s military should take solid steps toward a strong army as socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, said Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Xi made the remarks when meeting senior military officers in Beijing Thursday.

Xi, also Chinese president and chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), urged the army to remain true to its original aspiration and keep its mission firmly in mind. He asked the army to learn and implement the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress, following the road of building a strong army with Chinese characteristics and promoting the modernization of national defense and the army. “We should strive to fully transform the people’s armed forces into a world-class military by the mid-21st century,” Xi said. The President asked the members of the CMC, newly chosen at the first plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee, to be keenly aware of the trust bestowed by the Party and people and the expectations of all servicemen and women and spare no effort in their work. Senior officers, as the backbone of the campaign to build a strong army, should be loyal and obedient to the Party, be good and smart at combat and endeavor to reform, Xi said.

They should be efficient in commanding their forces, strict in discipline and set an example by performing their duty with spirit and diligence, he said. The armed forces should improve political education and combat training and push forwards all projects of the 13th five-year plan of military development, he said.

Military reform projects should not be delayed and the armed forces should be placed under strict discipline.

The armed forces are also urged to plan future work according to the guidelines of the 19th CPC National Congress.

Renewed Saudi-Iraq ties ‘to rival Iran’s influence’


A recent warming of ties between Saudi Arabia and Iraq could signal a move away from Iran’s influence over Baghdad, analysts say, but with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Saudi Arabia and Iraq inaugurated a coordination committee and signed a number of agreements. The developments come after years of tension between Saudi Arabia and Iraq. In a statement addressing the inauguration of the committee, King Salman of Saudi Arabia said the body presents the two countries with a “historic opportunity to build an effective partnership to achieve common aspirations”. As part of the agreements, Saudi Arabia will open a consulate in Iraq, relaunch airline flights between the two countries, open the border, and jointly develop ports and highways. The two nations also agreed to allow Saudi investment in Iraq, study a trade exchange area, and review customs cooperation agreements.

Experts fear North Korea could wipe out U.S. in one strike


After creating a widespread fear psychosis related to a nuclear and a biological war being plotted by North Korea, now a completely different kind of fear has emerged from the reclusive nation. Experts have now revealed that an electromagnetic pulse attack by Pyongyang could be so devastating that it could wipe out 90 percent of the U.S. population. Experts warned the U.S. Congress on Wednesday that North Korea could wipe out America’s electricity and food supplies, and destroy its entire population with an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. EMPs, that are transported via warheads above the earth’s atmosphere, release rapid and invisible bursts of electromagnetic energy that could jam an entire continent’s entire power grid, phone lines, and internet. A congressional report titled ‘North Korea Nuclear EMP Attack: An Existential Threat’ stated that since EMPs spread in a radius of hundreds or even thousands of kilometres, such attack wouldn’t require as much accuracy to hit a target than other weapons such as intercontinental ballistic missiles. The congressional report added, “After massive intelligence failures grossly underestimating North Korea’s long-range missile capabilities, number of nuclear weapons, warhead miniaturization, and proximity to an H-Bomb, the biggest North Korean threat to the U.S. remains unacknowledged nuclear EMP attack”. The report warned finally that North Korea could launch an EMP attack on the U.S. “by launching a short-range missile off a freighter or submarine or by lofting a warhead to 30 kilometres burst height by balloon, or an EMP attack might be made by a North Korean satellite, right now. “The former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich has repeatedly warned that the U.S. was unprepared for such an attack”.

China; New CPC leadership for new era


unveiled a new leadership line-up Wednesday to lead the world’s most populous nation toward a great modern socialist country. Xi Jinping was again elected general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, leading its seven-seat Political Bureau Standing Committee. The other six members of the top leadership are Li Keqiang, Li Zhanshu, Wang Yang, Wang Huning, Zhao Leji and Han Zheng. They were elected at the first plenum of the 19th CPC Central Committee following the 19th CPC National Congress, a new historic starting point for the Party to realize its ambitious blueprint for the nation’s great revival. During the twice-a-decade congress which concluded Tuesday, the CPC declared a “new era” of socialism with Chinese characteristics. It enshrined Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era into the CPC Constitution as a new component of the Party’s action guide. “The new leaders have rich experience and a strong sense of responsibility”, he said. “I believe that with the guidance of the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context, they can lead the Party and the nation to blaze new trails, overcome difficulties and accomplish the glorious missions in the new era”.

Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister met Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs in Palermo


Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov met with Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Angelino Alfano within the framework OSCE Mediterranean conference taking place in Palermo, October 24-25, 2017.  Ministers stressed the strategic importance of cooperation in energy field between the two countries and in this regards, referred to the Southern Gas Corridor and TANAP and TAP projects. Angelino Alfano emphasized the significance of TAP project in diversification of gas supplies and ensuring energy security of his country. Touching upon the priorities of his country during OSCE chairmanship in next year, Angelino Alfano reiterated that Italy supports the efforts towards the peaceful settlement of conflict with the mediation of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs. The Italian minister stated that his country will continue to support Azerbaijan’s cooperation with the EU.

US commerce secretary says that Trump and Xi share ‘good personal relationship’


US President Donald Trump has spoken with President Xi Jinping regularly in “cordial” phone conversations since the two sides first met at Trump’s Florida estate in April, with the most recent chat taking place immediately after a key leadership conference in Beijing that solidified Xi’s position. “At the Mar-a-Lago summit back in the spring, President Xi and President Trump began to develop a very good personal relationship and that’s been fostered since then,” US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said at an event in New York. “They speak on the phone quite often and they’re by and large relatively cordial conversations, so at the human level there’s a much better rapport than the prior administration had had with the Chinese leadership”. The close ties with Beijing, which Trump administration officials have publicised, underscore the US leader’s preference for negotiating with power brokers. China’s 19th party congress made Xi the most powerful Chinese leader in decades when his name was added to the party constitution, a move that put him on a level with late paramount leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. The meeting, expected to take place during Trump’s visit to China on November 8-10, is part of a broader Asia trip likely to be dominated by concerns about North Korea’s ballistic and nuclear programmes. China’s state-run news agency Xinhua reported that Xi expressed a desire to work with Trump to “jointly blueprint future development of China-US ties”. The 19th Party Congress provides the opportunity for us to get some things done in the relationship to put us on a good footing deep into the future.



Council Of Europe warns Azerbaijan to free Mammadov


The Council of Europe has notified Azerbaijan that it will take unprecedented legal steps against Baku unless it releases imprisoned political leader Ilqar Mammadov by November 29. Mammadov, an opposition politician and rights activist who heads Azerbaijan’s Republican movement, was arrested in February 2013 and charged with helping organize riots. Western governments and rights groups have decried the charges as politically motivated. He was sentenced to seven years in prison in March 2014. The European Court of Human Rights ruled in May 2014 that his imprisonment was a violation of his rights and was intended to silence or punish him for criticizing the government. The committee on October 25 gave Baku until November 29 to either release Mammadov or it will discuss sending the case back to the rights court for a second ruling.

Taliban fighters attack Afghan army


Afghan officials say Taliban fighters have stormed a security post, killing nine soldiers in a western province. Spokesman for the governor of Farah province Mohammad Naser Mehri said Wednesday the militants stormed a security post killing nine soldiers and wounding four other soldiers. The attack took place Tuesday night in Pusht Road district. The intense, four-hour gun battle included the use of artillery against the army. Mehri says Afghan war planes were deployed and 17 Taliban fighters were killed.Afghan officials say Taliban fighters have stormed a security post, killing nine soldiers in a western province. Spokesman for the governor of Farah province Mohammad Naser Mehri said Wednesday the militants stormed a security post killing nine soldiers and wounding four other soldiers. The attack took place Tuesday night in Pusht Road district. The intense, four-hour gun battle included the use of artillery against the army. Mehri says Afghan war planes were deployed and 17 Taliban fighters were killed.


Saudi Arabia lists two entities and eleven names supporting al-Qaeda, ISIS


As part of the efforts targeting terrorism, Saudi State Security has listed two entities and 11 names of leaders, financiers and supporters of Al Qaeda and ISIS organization. The Saudi State Security listing targeted financiers and facilitators for the terrorist organizations and al-Qaeda group in Yemen. The establishment of the center was an expression of the strong will and determination of the member states to cooperate constructively in the fight against terrorism and it’s financing. The measures reaffirm the keenness of Saudi Arabia and the member States to deepen the partnership with the United States to stop financing of terrorist groups that pose a threat to the security, such as al-Qaeda and ISIS organizations in Yemen. Based on Saudi laws against terrorist crimes and its financing and in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001), sanctions will be imposed on those names, including the freezing of any of their assets within the Kingdom. This is done by expanding and strengthening cooperation to combat the financing of terrorism, facilitating coordination and information sharing, and building the capacity of member states to target terrorist financing networks and activities, which pose a threat to the national security of the States of the Presidency and the member States of the Center. Citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with those names and designated entities.

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