Author Topic: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally  (Read 11583 times)

Offline Battle

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Re: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally
« Reply #30 on: April 25, 2019, 11:00:31 am »
Thursday, 25th April 2019
North Korea Issued $2 Million Bill for Warmbier's Detention Care
by Anna Fifield

One mo' time...  Who's In Control?

(BEIJING) — North Korea issued a $2 million bill for the hospital care of comatose American Otto Warmbier, insisting that a U.S. official sign a pledge to pay it before being allowed to fly the University of Virginia student from Pyongyang in 2017.

The presentation of the invoice - not previously disclosed by U.S. or North Korean officials - was extraordinarily brazen even for a regime known for its aggressive tactics.

But the main U.S. envoy sent to retrieve Warmbier signed an agreement to pay the medical bill on instructions passed down from President Donald Trump, according to two people familiar with the situation. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

The bill went to the Treasury Department, where it remained - unpaid - throughout 2017, the people said. However, it is unclear whether the Trump administration later paid the bill, or whether it came up during preparations for Trump's two summits with Kim Jong Un.

The White House declined to comment. "We do not comment on hostage negotiations, which is why they have been so successful during this administration," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders wrote in an email.

Warmbier, who was a 21, fell into a coma for unknown reasons the night he was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor in March 2016.

He was convicted on charges stemming from pulling down a propaganda sign in a Pyongyang hotel in the early hours of Jan. 1, 2016 - an infraction that would be minor in almost any other country, but in North Korea it was considered a "hostile act against the state."
Fred Warmbier, Otto's father, said he had never been told about the hospital bill, but said it sounded like a "ransom" for his late son.

After his sentencing, the North Koreans held onto the comatose student for another 15 months, not even telling American officials until June of 2017 that he had been unconscious all that time. News of his condition sparked a frantic effort led by Joseph Yun, the State Department's point man on North Korea at the time, to get Warmbier home.

Yun and an emergency medicine doctor, Michael Flueckiger, traveled to Pyongyang on a medical evacuation plane. They were taken to the Friendship Hospital in the diplomatic district, a clinic where only foreigners are treated, and found Warmbier lying in a room marked "intensive care unit," unresponsive and with a feeding tube in his nose.

Flueckiger examined Warmbier and asked the two North Korean doctors, who bore a thick pile of charts, questions about the lab work, scans and X-rays they had done.

Afterward, they went to a meeting room where the talks to free Warmbier began.

"I didn't realize what a negotiation it was going to be to secure his release," said Flueckiger, who is medical director of Phoenix Air Group, an aviation company based in Cartersville, Georgia, that specializes in medical evacuations.

North Korean officials asked the doctor to write a report about his findings. "It was my impression that if I did not give them a document that I could sign off on, that would cause problems," Flueckiger said in an interview.

But the American said he did not have to lie in his report. Whatever had happened to put Warmbier into that state, it was "evident" that he had received "really good care" in the hospital, he said. The doctors had done "state-of-the-art resuscitation" to revive Warmbier after he suffered a catastrophic cardiovascular collapse, and it was "remarkable" that he had no bedsores, Flueckiger said.

"Would I have lied to get him out of there? Maybe I would have," he said. "But I didn't have to answer that question."

Yun, however, was faced with a more difficult predicament.

The North Korean officials handed him a bill for $2 million, insisting he sign an agreement to pay it before they would allow him to take Warmbier home, according to the two people familiar with the situation.
Yun called the then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and told him about the bill. Tillerson called Trump. They instructed their envoy to sign the piece of paper agreeing that he would pay the $2 million, the two people said.

Flueckiger discussed the medical aspects of Warmbier's evacuation, but said he was not authorized to discuss the diplomatic negotiations.

A State Department spokesman and Yun, who retired in early 2018, both declined to comment. Tillerson, the Treasury Department and North Korea's envoy responsible for U.S. affairs, based at its U.N. mission in New York, did not respond to a request for comment.

Warmbier's brain damage and then death at North Korea's hands caused widespread shock in the United States, but the news that North Korea expected the government to pay for his care has caused further backlash.

"This is outrageous. They killed a perfectly healthy and happy college student and then had the audacity to expect the U.S. government to pay for his care," said Greg Scarlatoiu, executive director of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea.

Having signed the documentation and secured Warmbier's release, Yun and Flueckiger flew to Cincinnati to return the young man to his parents. Otto Warmbier died six days later, but the cause of his severe brain damage has never been ascertained.

Fred Warmbier accused North Korea of beating and torturing him in detention, although doctors who examined him at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said there was no evidence of that. His parents requested that an autopsy not be performed.

North Korea has insisted Warmbier became sick after eating pork and spinach, but has also said that he had a severe allergic reaction to the sedatives they gave him.

The director of North Korea's Friendship Hospital said the family's accusations that Warmbier died as a result of torture were a "total distortion of the truth."

"The American doctors who came . . . to help Warmbier's repatriation acknowledged that his health indicators were all normal and submitted a letter of assurance to our hospital that they shared the diagnostic result of the doctors of our hospital," state media quoted the unnamed hospital director as saying in October last year.

Fred and Cindy Warmbier sued North Korea over their son's death and in December were awarded $501 million dollars in damages - money that the Kim regime will never pay. But Judge Beryl Howell, of the United States District Court in the District of Columbia, said that it was "appropriate to punish and deter North Korea" for the "torture, hostage taking and extrajudicial killing of Otto Warmbier."

The Warmbiers have blamed Kim for their son's death, but Trump has said that he believes the North Korean leader did not know about the student's treatment.

"I don't believe he would have allowed that to happen," Trump said in Hanoi in February after his second summit with Kim. Trump said that he spoke to Kim about the death of Warmbier and that Kim "feels badly about it."
"He tells me he didn't know about it, and I take him at his word," Trump said in February.

North Korea has taken Americans as hostages before, and this is not the first time Pyongyang has threatened huge hospital bills for American citizens it had detained.

Kenneth Bae, a Christian missionary and diabetic who was held in North Korea for almost two years, said he was told he would be charged 600 euros a day for his care at the Friendship Hospital. The bill for his first stint in hospital while in detention came to 101,000 euros - about $120,000 at the time, Bae wrote in his memoir, "Not Forgotten."

By the end of his detention in November 2014, after another spell in hospital, Bae calculated the North Koreans would be charging him $300,000. In the end, he was released without paying any of it.

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« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 01:38:48 pm by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Re: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally
« Reply #31 on: May 18, 2019, 04:09:47 am »
Saturday, 18th May 2019
North Korea requests U.N. chief to address ship seizure by 'gangster' U.S.

by Ju-min Park

(SEOUL) - North Korea has requested United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to deal with the "illegal" seizure of one of its cargo ships by the United States, state media said on Saturday.

"This act of dispossession has clearly indicated that the United States is indeed a gangster country that does not care at all about international laws," the North Korean ambassador to the United Nations said in a letter sent to Guterres dated Friday, according to North Korea's KCNA news agency.

Pyongyang's protest to the United Nations over the seizure comes amid mounting tensions since a second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump, aimed at bringing about the denuclearization of the North, broke down in Hanoi in February.

The letter also called for "urgent measures" by Guterres and claimed that Washington infringed the North's sovereignty and violated U.N. charters.

With the denuclearisation talks stalled, North Korea went ahead with more weapons tests this month. The tests were seen as a protest by Kim after Trump rejected his calls for sanctions relief at the Hanoi summit.
North Korea has said the ship seizure violated the spirit of the summit and demanded the return of the vessel without delay.

The U.S. Justice Department said the North Korean cargo ship, known as the "Wise Honest", was seized and impounded to American Samoa.

The vessel was accused of illicit coal shipments in violation of sanctions and was first detained by Indonesia in April 2018.

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Re: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally
« Reply #32 on: May 28, 2019, 02:19:54 pm »
All together now...

China criticized a State Department official's recent statement suggesting that the U.S needed a different approach toward Beijing's global rise because it represented a society that isn't "Caucasian."

Addressing the Future Security Forum last week in Washington, State Department Policy Planning Director Kiron Skinner discussed the administration's outlook on the unique "long-term threat" presented by China, which is "a fight with a really different civilization."

She said the decades long Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union "was a fight within the Western family."

On the other hand, after noting how China presented an economic challenge as well as a military one, Skinner said "it's also striking that it's the first time that we will have a great power competitor that is not Caucasian."

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« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 02:36:26 pm by Battle »

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Re: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally
« Reply #33 on: August 17, 2019, 09:09:01 am »
Saturday, 17th August 2019
Who's In Control, Dotard?
by Kim Tong-Hyung

(SEOUL, South Korea) — North Korea said Saturday that leader Kim Jong Un supervised another test-firing of an unspecified new weapon, seen as an attempt to pressure Washington and Seoul over slow nuclear negotiations and their joint military exercises.

Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA, said that following Friday’s launches, Kim expressed “great satisfaction” over his military’s “mysterious and amazing success rates” in recent testing activity and vowed to build up “invincible military capabilities no one dare provoke.”

The report did not mention any specific comment about the United States or South Korea.

The launches were North Korea’s sixth round of tests since late July that revealed developments of a new rocket artillery system and two separate short-range mobile ballistic missile systems that experts say would expand its ability to strike targets throughout South Korea, including U.S. bases there.

KCNA did not describe what Friday’s weapons were or how they performed, but said that the tests were successful and strengthened the military’s confidence in the reliability of the system.

North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper published photos that showed what appeared to be a missile soaring from a launcher installed on a vehicle and striking what appeared to be a coastal target.

Kim is seen jubilantly raising his fist while celebrating with military officials.

″(Kim) said everyone should remember that it is the (ruling) party’s core plan and unwavering determination to build a powerful force strong enough to discourage any forces from daring to provoke us and to leave any opponent defenseless against our Juche weapons of absolute power even in situations of physical clashes,” KCNA said, referring to the North’s national ideology of self-reliance.

In a separate statement on Saturday, KCNA berated the ongoing U.S.-South Korea military drills as an invasion rehearsal that compels North Korea to constantly develop “powerful physical means and their deployment for an actual war.”

The United States has downsized its major military exercises with South Korea and halted dispatches of strategic assets such as long-range bombers and aircraft carriers to the region since the first summit between Kim and President Donald Trump last year.

But North Korea says even the smaller drills violate agreements between the leaders.

South Korea’s military said earlier that two projectiles launched from the North’s eastern coast flew about 230 kilometers (143 miles) before landing in waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan.

The U.S. and South Korean militaries were analyzing the launches but didn’t immediately say whether the weapons were ballistic missiles or rocket artillery.

Experts say Trump’s repeated downplaying of the North’s recent launches allow the country more room to intensify its testing activity and advance its short-range weaponry while it seeks to build leverage ahead of nuclear negotiations with Washington, which could resume after the end of the military drills later this month.

The U.S. envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, will visit Japan and South Korea early next week for talks on how to “further strengthen coordination on the final, fully verified denuclearization” of North Korea, the U.S. State Department said.

North Korea has ignored South Korean calls for dialogue recently and is seen as trying to force Seoul to make stronger efforts to coax major concessions from Washington on its behalf.

Hours before the latest launches, an unidentified North Korean government spokesperson used unusually blunt language to criticize South Korean President Moon Jae-in for continuing to hold military exercises with the U.S. and over his rosy comments on inter-Korean diplomacy, and said Pyongyang has no current plans to talk with Seoul.

Moon said in a televised speech on Thursday that momentum for dialogue remains alive despite the series of “worrying actions taken by North Korea recently” and called for Pyongyang to choose “economic prosperity over its nuclear program.”

The spokesperson also criticized South Korea’s recent acquisition of advanced U.S.-made fighter jets and said it would be “senseless” for Moon to believe that inter-Korean dialogue will automatically begin after the end of the U.S.-South Korean drills.

The North had recently said it would talk only with Washington and not Seoul, and that inter-Korean dialogue won’t resume unless the South offers a “plausible excuse” on why it keeps hosting military drills with the United States.

Seoul’s Unification Ministry, which deals with inter-Korean affairs, criticized the North Korean statement, saying it wouldn’t help efforts to improve relations.

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Re: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally
« Reply #34 on: October 01, 2019, 12:56:10 am »
Tuesday, 1st October 2019
by Associated Press

(BEIJING, China) — Trucks carrying weapons including a nuclear missile designed to evade U.S. defenses rumbled through Beijing on Tuesday as the Communist Party celebrated its 70th anniversary in power with a military parade that showcased its emergence as an increasingly ambitious global power.

The military showed off China’s most advanced weapons, some being shown for the first time, as rows of soldiers marched in lockstep past President Xi Jinping and other leaders in Tiananmen Square, the country’s symbolic political heart.

Thousands of spectators waved Chinese flags and fighter jets flew low overhead.

“No force can shake the status of our great motherland, and no force can stop the progress of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation,” Xi, wearing a gray Mao jacket, said in a nationally televised speech.

As he spoke, anti-government protesters in Hong Kong gathered for the latest in a series of demonstrations that have challenged Beijing ahead of this year’s highest-profile political event.

The largest group took over a broad thoroughfare in central Hong Kong and chanted slogans against the Communist Party.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam attended the Beijing parade, accompanied by dozens of Hong Kong officials and dignitaries in a show of unity with the ruling party.

Xi was joined on the Tiananmen rostrum by Premier Li Keqiang, former Presidents Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin and other leaders.

The event commemorates the anniversary of the Oct. 1, 1949, founding of the People’s Republic of China by then-leader Mao Zedong following a civil war.

Invoking Mao’s memory, Xi made his speech Tuesday on the same spot as the former leader’s 1949 declaration.

Xi rode in an open-topped limousine past dozens of rows of truck-mounted missiles, armored personnel carriers and other military gear.

Soldiers in helmets and combat gear shouted, “Hello, leader!” and “Serve the people!” Xi replied,

“Hello, comrades.”

A formation of fighter jets trailing colored smoke and led by a plane with a radar dish flew low over the capital as Xi waved to the pilots from the ground.

The event highlighted rapidly developing Chinese weapons technology, paid for by a three-decade old economic boom that supported a 400% increase in military spending over the past decade.

Foreign analysts say it is close to matching the United States, Russia and Europe in missiles, drones and some other fields.

The People’s Liberation Army, the world’s biggest military with 2 million men and women in uniform, also is working on fighter planes, the first Chinese-built aircraft carrier and a new generation of nuclear-powered submarines.

Tuesday’s parade “aims to show the outside world China’s confidence” and ability to protect its “overseas interests,” said Yue Gang, a retired army colonel and military commentator.

“Although China has made great improvements in its military equipment, China should not relax vigilance and needs to continue to make efforts,” Yue said.

One closely-watched weapon unveiled Tuesday was the Dongfeng-17, a glider capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

Foreign analysts say is designed to maneuver at high speed to evade anti-missile defenses.

Another missile displayed, the Dongfeng-41, is believed to have a range of up to 15,000 kilometers (9,400 miles), which would make it world’s longest-range military missile.

Analysts say it may be able to carry as many as 10 warheads to hit separate targets.

The party’s emphasis on missiles and other long-range weapons reflects Beijing’s desire to displace the United States as the region’s dominant force and enforce claims to Taiwan, the South China Sea and other disputed territories.

The PLA had the world’s second-highest military spending at an estimated $250 billion last year, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

The United States, with a force of 1.3 million people, led in spending at $650 billion, or more than 2½ times China’s level.

China has about 280 nuclear warheads, compared with 6,450 for the United States and 6,850 for Russia, according to SIPRI.

Beijing says it wants a “minimum credible nuclear deterrent” but won’t be the first to use atomic weapons in a conflict.

China can “reach potential adversaries across the globe,” the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency said in a report in January.

Tuesday’s celebration comes as Xi’s government faces economic and political challenges, but the ruling party’s hold on power appears to be secure three decades after it crushed pro-democracy protests centered on Tiananmen Square.

Beijing is trying to shore up cooling economic growth and prevent politically dangerous job losses amid a tariff war with Washington over trade and technology, a dispute that has battered Chinese exporters.

Xi promised in a speech Monday to stick to official commitments to let Hong Kong manage its own affairs despite the unrest in the territory.

Paramilitary policy maintained a strong presence Tuesday in Shenzhen, the mainland city that abuts Hong Kong.

Dozens of armored personnel carriers and other vehicles of the People’s Armed Police were parked outside a stadium as authorities prepared for an evening fireworks display.

Also Tuesday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un praised his country’s decades-long ties with Beijing in a congratulatory message to Xi and said Pyongyang would stand by China in “defending and glorifying socialism,” according to the North’s official news agency.

The two leaders have met five times amid pressure on Pyongyang to renounced nuclear weapons development.

Xi, the son of a commander in Mao’s guerrilla army, has emerged as China’s most powerful leader in decades after using a marathon anti-corruption drive to neutralize potential rivals.

The party removed presidential term limits last year, rolling back efforts to create a consensus-based system and prevent autocratic one-man rule.

In his speech Monday, Xi reminded Taiwan, the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its own territory, of the ruling party’s pledge to unite it with the mainland, by force if necessary.

Beijing is using China’s status as the world’s second-biggest economy as leverage to isolate Taiwan politically.

China has pressured foreign retailers, airlines and other companies to identify the island and the mainland as one country on their websites.

In its latest diplomatic coup, Beijing persuaded the Solomon Islands last month to break diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

Taiwan’s unification with the mainland is “an inevitable trend” and  "no force can ever stop it,” Xi said.

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Re: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally
« Reply #35 on: November 18, 2019, 09:24:40 am »
Monday, 18th November 2019
North Korea says no more talks with U.S.
by Joyce Lee and Sangmi Cha

(SEOUL, South Korea) - North Korea said on Monday it was not interested in meaningless talks with the United States just so acting-President Donald Trump had something to boast about, urging an end to what it called a policy of hostility if the United States wanted dialogue.

The comment by senior North Korean official Kim Kye Gwan, who is a former vice foreign minister, came after Trump on the weekend called on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" and hinted at another meeting.

Kim, in a statement carried by the state KCNA news agency, said he had seen the November 17th Twitter post by Trump signaling another summit but added that little had improved despite three meetings between the two leaders since June last year.

"We are no longer interested in such talks that bring nothing to us," he said.

"As we have got nothing in return, we will no longer gift the U.S. president with something he can boast of, but get compensation for the successes that acting-President Trump is proud of as his administrative achievements," Kim said.

Trump and North Korean leader Kim met for the first time in a landmark summit in Singapore in June last year, to push forward negotiations the United States hopes will lead to North Korea's dismantling of its nuclear and missile programs, in exchange for the lifting of punishing international sanctions.

The talks have made no significant progress since a second summit between acting-President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un collapsed in Vietnam in February, even though the two leaders agreed in June, at a third meeting, to reopen negotiations.

In April, Kim set a year-end deadline for the United States to show more flexibility, raising concern North Korea could resume nuclear and long-range missile testing, which it has suspended since 2017.

Kim Kye Gwan said the United States must make a decisive move to abandon its hostile policy if it genuinely wanted dialogue.

He did not elaborate.

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Offline Curtis Metcalf

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Re: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally
« Reply #36 on: November 18, 2019, 10:40:15 am »
Wait, so basically Kim Jong Un told Trump to piss off?  ;D
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

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Re: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally
« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2019, 08:30:53 am »
Wednesday, 20th November 2019
China signs defence agreement with South Korea as US angers Seoul with demand for $5bn troop payment

by Julian Ryall

The defence ministers of South Korea and China have agreed to develop their security ties to ensure stability in north-east Asia, the latest indication that Washington’s long-standing alliances in the region are fraying.

On the sidelines of regional security talks in Bangkok on Sunday, Jeong Kyeong-doo, the South Korean minister of defence, and his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, agreed to set up more military hotlines and to push ahead with a visit by Mr Jeong to China next year to “foster bilateral exchanges and cooperation in defence”, South Korea’s defence ministry said. 

Seoul’s announcement coincided with growing resentment at the $5 billion (£3.9bn) annual fee that Washington is demanding to keep 28,500 US troops in South Korea.

That figure is a sharp increase from the $923 million that Seoul paid this year, which was an 8 per cent increase on the previous year.

An editorial in Monday’s edition of The Korea Times warned that the security alliance between the two countries “may fall apart due to Washington’s blatantly excessive demands”.
Mr Trump has previously threatened to withdraw US troops if his demands are not met, with the editorial accusing the president of regarding the Korea-US mutual defence treaty “as a property deal to make money”.

The vast majority of Koreans agree, with a recent survey by the Korea Institute for National Reunification showing that 96 per cent of people are opposed to Seoul paying more for the US military presence.

There is also irritation at the pressure that Washington is applying to the South to make Seoul sign an extension to a three-way agreement on sharing military information with the US and Japan.

The General Security of Military Information Agreement is due to expire at midnight on November 23 and South Korea insists that it will only agree to an extension if Japan cancels restrictions on exports of chemicals critical to the South’s microchip industry.

Japan is widely believed to have imposed the restrictions as the latest incident in its troubled relationship with South Korea, which includes the issue of compensation for labourers put to work during Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

The two nations' defence ministers held discussions with Mark Esper, the US defence secretary, at the weekend but hopes that a breakthrough might materialise came to nothing.

Just days before an agreement designed to protect the allies from North Korean belligerence runs out, Tokyo and Seoul merely reiterated their long-held positions.

The US demanded in July that Japan pay $8 billion a year to keep 54,000 US military personnel in the country, Foreign Policy reported late last week.

Tokyo currently contributes $2 billion a year to US military costs in Japan.

“This kind of demand, not only the exorbitant number, but the way it is being done, could trigger anti-Americanism”, Bruce Klinger, an analyst at the Heritage Foundation think tank, told Foreign Policy.

“If you weaken alliances, and potentially decrease deterrence and US troop presence, that benefits North Korea, China and Russia, who see the potential for reduced US influence and support for our allies”.

Daniel Pinkston, a professor of international relations at the Seoul campus of Troy University, was more blunt in his assessment.

“It’s just extortion”, he told The Telegraph.

“It’s little more than a mob boss going around and demanding protection money. The numbers that the US is demanding are politically impossible for Seoul and Tokyo to swallow and that is just fuelling resentment."

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Re: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally
« Reply #38 on: December 05, 2019, 08:44:51 pm »
Thursday, 5th December 2019
North Korea to resume calling trump "Dotard"

(SEOUL, South Korea) — North Korea threatened Thursday to resume insults of U.S. President Donald Trump and consider him a “dotard” if he keeps using provocative language, such as referring to its leader as “rocket man.”

Choe Son Hui, the first vice foreign minister, issued the warning via state media days after Trump spoke of possible military action toward the North and revived his “rocket man” nickname for North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un.

The comments came as prospects dim for a resumption of nuclear diplomacy between the two countries.

In recent months, North Korea has hinted at lifting its moratorium on nuclear and long-range missile tests if the Trump administration fails to make substantial concessions in nuclear diplomacy before the end of the year.

Choe said Trump’s remarks “prompted the waves of hatred of our people against the U.S.” because they showed “no courtesy when referring to the supreme leadership of dignity” of North Korea.

She said North Korea will respond with its own harsh language if Trump again uses similar phrases and shows that he is intentionally provoking North Korea.

“If any language and expressions stoking the atmosphere of confrontation are used once again ... that must really be diagnosed as the relapse of the dotage of a dotard,” Choe said.

On Wednesday, the North’s military chief, Pak Jong Chon, also warned that the use of force against the North would cause a “horrible” consequence for the U.S.

He said North Korea would take unspecified “prompt corresponding actions at any level” if the U.S. takes any military action.

During a visit to London on Tuesday, Trump said his relationship with Kim was “really good” but also called for him to follow up on a commitment to denuclearize.

“We have the most powerful military we ever had, and we are by far the most powerful country in the world and hopefully we don’t have to use it. But if we do, we will use it,” Trump said.

Kim, Trump added, “likes sending rockets up, doesn’t he? That’s why I call him rocket man.”

In 2017, Trump and Kim traded threats of destruction as North Korea carried out a slew of high-profile weapons tests aimed at acquiring an ability to launch nuclear strikes on the U.S. mainland.

Trump said he would rain “fire and fury” on North Korea and derided Kim as “little rocket man,” while Kim questioned Trump’s sanity and said he would “tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire.”

The two leaders have avoided such words and developed better relations after North Korea entered nuclear negotiations with the U.S. last year.

Trump even said he and Kim “fell in love.”

Kim and Trump have met three times, starting with a summit in Singapore in June 2018.

But their nuclear diplomacy has remained largely deadlocked since their second meeting in Vietnam in February ended without any deal due to disputes over U.S.-led sanctions on North Korea.

Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien said Thursday night in Washington the U.S. remains hopeful that a deal can be reached with North Korea.

“Kim Jong Un has promised to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. We hope that he sticks to that promise, and we’re going to keep at the negotiations and keep at the diplomacy as long as we think that there’s hope there. And we do,” O’Brien said Thursday night on Fox News Channel’s “Special Report with Bret Baier.”

“I don’t want to say we’re optimistic, but we have some hope that the Koreans will come to the table ... and we can get a deal.”

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Re: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally
« Reply #39 on: December 07, 2019, 12:25:24 pm »
Saturday, 7th December 2019
North Korea's U.N. envoy says denuclearization off negotiating table with United States
by Michelle Nichols, David Brunnstrom and Tim Ahmann

(UNITED NATIONS, USA) - North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations said on Saturday that denuclearization is off the negotiating table with the United States and lengthy talks with Washington are not needed.

Ambassador Kim Song's comment appeared to go further than North Korea's earlier warning that discussions related to its nuclear weapons program, the central focus of U.S. engagement with North Korea in the past two years, might have to be taken off the table given Washington's refusal to offer concessions.

Kim said in a statement that the "sustained and substantial dialogue" sought by the United States was a "time-saving trick" to suit its domestic political agenda, a reference to U.S. President Donald Trump's 2020 reelection bid.

"We do not need to have lengthy talks with the U.S. now and denuclearization is already gone out of the negotiating table," he said in the statement made available to Reuters.

Tensions have risen ahead of a year-end deadline set by North Korea, which has called on the United States to change its policy of demanding Pyongyang's unilateral denuclearization and demanded relief from punishing sanctions.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has warned he could take an unspecified "new path" next year, raising fears this could mean a return to the nuclear bomb and long-range missile testing suspended since 2017.

Trump and Kim Jong Un have met three times since June 2018, but talks have made little progress and recent days have seen a return to the highly charged rhetoric that raised fears of war two years ago.

In 2017, the two leaders famously engaged in a war of words, with Trump calling Kim Jong Un "Rocket Man" and North Korea slamming the U.S. president, now 73, as a "dotard";D

On Tuesday, Trump once again called Kim "Rocket Man" and said the United States reserved the right to use military force against North Korea.

Pyongyang said any repeat of such language would represent "the relapse of the dotage of a dotard."

On Friday, Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a half-hour phone discussion on ways to maintain diplomacy with North Korea, South Korea said.

It said the two leaders agreed that the situation has become "severe" and that "dialogue momentum should be maintained to achieve prompt results from denuclearization negotiations."

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Re: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally
« Reply #40 on: December 07, 2019, 08:58:16 pm »
Saturday, 7th December 2019
North Korea carries out 'very significant' test at satellite launch site
by Josh Smith & Himani Sarkar

(SEOUL, South Korea) - North Korea has carried out a "very significant" test at its Sohae satellite launch site, state media KCNA reported on Sunday.

The report did not specify what was tested, but the site has previously been used to launch rockets into space.

KCNA said the test results would be used for upgrading the country's strategic status.

The reported test comes as North Korea has warned it could take a "new path" amid stalled denuclearization talks with the United States.

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Re: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally
« Reply #41 on: December 09, 2019, 04:12:02 am »
Monday, 9th December 2019
Meet the world's youngest Prime Minister, Sanna Marin
by Reuters

The transport minister was picked by her Social Democratic party after its leader, Antti Rinne, quit as Prime Minister.

She will be sworn in this week.

She will lead a centre-left coalition with four other parties, all headed by women, three of whom are under 35.

Mr Rinne stepped down after losing the confidence of a coalition member over his handling of a postal strike.

When she takes office, Ms. Marin will be the world's youngest sitting prime minister.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is 39, while Ukrainian premier Oleksiy Honcharuk is 35.

Media reports say Sanna Marin was raised in a "rainbow family", living in a rented apartment with her mother and her mother's female partner.

She told the Menaiset website (in Finnish) in 2015 that as a child she felt "invisible" because she was unable to talk openly about her family.

But she said her mother had always been supportive and made her believe she could do anything she wanted.

She was the first person in her family to go to university.
Ms Marin rose quickly through the ranks of the Social Democrats, heading the city administration in Tampere at the age of 27 and becoming an MP in 2015.

She has been transport and communications minister since June and has a 22-month-old daughter.

There are unlikely to be any major policy changes, as the coalition agreed a programme when it took office.

However, Ms Marin, who won the vote for prime minister by a narrow margin, made it clear it would not be business as usual.

"We have a lot of work to do to rebuild trust," she told reporters.

She brushed away questions about her age, saying:

"I have never thought about my age or gender. I think of the reasons I got into politics and those things for which we have won the trust of the electorate."

Ms Marin will be the third female prime minister in the Nordic country.

The Social Democrats emerged as the largest party in elections held in April, and so can appoint the prime minister who leads the coalition government.

Mr Rinne stepped down after a plan to cut wages for hundreds of postal workers led to widespread strikes. Coalition member, the Centre Party, said it had lost confidence in him.

However, he will stay on as leader of the Social Democrats.

Meanwhile, the Centre Party said Katri Kulmuni would be named as finance minister.

The 32-year-old took over as its leader in September.

The other three leaders were ministers in Mr Rinne's government and are expected to continue in their posts - the Left Alliance's Li Andersson as education minister; Green leader Maria Ohisalo as interior minister; and Anna-Maja Henriksson of the Swedish People's Party as justice minister.

Finland currently holds the European Union's rotating presidency, and MPs are likely to approve the new government ahead of the EU summit in Brussels on 12th of December.

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Re: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally
« Reply #42 on: December 09, 2019, 05:37:32 am »
Monday, 8th December 2019
North Korea calls Trump ‘thoughtless and sneaky old man' over tweets
by Associated Press

(SEOUL, South Korea) – North Korea insulted U.S. President Donald Trump again on Monday, calling him a “thoughtless and sneaky old man” after he tweeted that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wouldn’t want to abandon a special relationship between the two leaders and affect the American presidential election by resuming hostile acts.

A senior North Korean official, former nuclear negotiator Kim Yong Chol, said in a statement that his country wouldn’t cave in to U.S. pressure because it has nothing to lose and accused the Trump administration of attempting to buy time ahead of an end-of-year deadline set by Kim Jong Un for Washington to salvage nuclear talks.

Nuclear negotiations faltered after a February summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un in Vietnam broke down when the U.S. side rejected North Korean demands for broad sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities.

Kim has said North Korea will seek a “new way” if the U.S. maintains its sanctions and pressure, and issued the deadline for the Trump administration to offer mutually acceptable terms for a deal.

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Re: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally
« Reply #43 on: December 17, 2019, 09:09:03 am »
Tuesday, 17th December 2019
United States-led pressure fractures as China, Russia push for North Korea sanctions relief
by Josh Smith

(SEOUL, South Korea) - A proposal by China and Russia to ease U.N. sanctions on North Korea increases pressure on the United States and signals what is the likely end of unified efforts to persuade Pyongyang to give up its growing nuclear and missile arsenal.

On Monday China and Russia proposed that the United Nations Security Council lift a ban on North Korea exporting statues, seafood and textiles, and ease restrictions on infrastructure projects and North Koreans working overseas, according to a draft resolution seen by Reuters.

The plan comes at a crucial moment - just weeks before the deadline set by North Korea for Washington to offer more concessions - and highlights deepening divisions over how to engage with North Korea.

Russia and China, which both wield veto power on the Security Council, were key votes in imposing the sanctions in recent years under the “maximum pressure” campaign championed by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.

The United States says it would be premature for the U.N. to consider lifting sanctions right now and has called for North Korea to return to the negotiating table.

Since North Korea and the United States established a detente in 2018, however, both Moscow and Beijing have increasingly voiced support for easing sanctions.

Now, the official proposal represents a new level of public pressure on the United States, analysts said.

Last week, China’s ambassador to the U.N. said a major cause of the deadlock and rising tensions was a failure to respond to “positive steps” taken by North Korea toward denuclearisation.

“The Russia-China initiative at UNSC is likely coordinated with Pyongyang as the proposal reflects North Korea’s demands to be rewarded for the concessions it has already taken,” said Artyom Lukin, a professor at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok.

“Pyongyang’s recent threats of escalatory action are now backed by the Sino-Russian diplomatic offensive.”

China and Russia are effectively undercutting the United States’ current strategy on North Korea, he said.

“Pyongyang has again demonstrated its unrivalled capacity to exploit rivalry between great powers.”

China hopes the U.N. Security Council forms a consensus on the draft resolution, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Tuesday, urging North Korean and the United States to keep talking.

South Korea, which is a close U.S. ally but which has also expressed willingness to ease some sanctions as part of a deal with North Korea, said on Tuesday sanctions could only be eased through a consensus among Security Council members and called for diplomatic efforts to be focused on resuming talks.

Other analysts noted Beijing and Moscow have shown increasing unity on the issue of security on the Korean peninsula.

Sanctions relief is crucial for both China’s Northeast Area Revitalization Plan as well as Russia’s economic interests in the Russian Far East, said Anthony Rinna, a specialist in Korea-Russia relations at Sino-NK, a website that analyses the region.

“Recently the Chinese government has stated that sanctions relief for North Korea is imperative, and Beijing has a much higher chance than Moscow of being taken seriously in Washington,” he said.

“Furthermore, sanctions are a part of the joint Sino-Russian action plan for peace on the Korean Peninsula.” 

The call to lift sanctions affecting rail infrastructure and foreign workers, for example, are two areas that are key economic interests for Moscow, Rinna added.

North Korea has set a year-end deadline for Washington to make concessions like easing sanctions. Otherwise, leader Kim Jong Un has said he may be forced to choose an unspecified “new path”.

China and Russia appear concerned about what North Korea’s next steps may be, and the call for sanctions relief is a way to try to avoid a return to the nuclear weapons tests and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launches that led the two countries to join the United States and its allies in imposing the strict sanctions, analysts said.

Moscow generally feels that pressure is the wrong track to take with North Korea, yet if Pyongyang engages in more provocations in the coming year this could be a serious test for both China and Russia’s tolerance of North Korea,” Rinna said.

China, meanwhile, appears to be wielding ever-greater economic clout over North Korea.

A recent report by a South Korean trade association found China’s proportion of the North’s overall external trade rose to 91.8 percent last year, compared with 17.3 percent in 2001.

Thousands of Chinese tourists provide a further, much-needed economic lifeline.

Behind the scenes, there are reports that unofficial trade between China and North Korea has also increased.

“This could give Pyongyang pause if they’re pondering a hardline approach for next year” said Andray Abrahamian, a visiting scholar at George Mason University Korea.

“That said, they traditionally have pushed back hard against supposed Chinese leverage, aware that China is willing to punish North Korea, but not to the point that it causes real instability.”

Daniel DePetris, a fellow at Defense Priorities, a Washington-based think tank, said he hopes Russia and China teaming up could keep Kim restrained for the time being.

“We don’t know what China and Russia’s red-lines are, but it’s reasonably safe to assume another ICBM or nuclear test would force both countries to recalculate its current position,” he said.

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Re: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally
« Reply #44 on: January 23, 2020, 09:25:14 pm »
Friday, 24th January 2020
North Korea names sharp-tongued army figure as foreign minister

by HYUNG-JIN KIM &  Matthew Lee

(SEOUL, South Korea) — North Korea has named a sharp-tongued former army officer with little foreign policy experience as its top diplomat, in a possible indication it will take a harder line with Washington in stalled nuclear negotiations.

Ri Son Gwon’s new title as foreign minister was disclosed Friday in a Korean Central News Agency dispatch that said he attended a reception for foreign diplomats in Pyongyang the previous day.

South Korean and other outside media outlets have recently reported North Korea informed foreign diplomats in Pyongyang of Ri’s job last week.

In his speech at the banquet,

“Comrade Ri Son Gwon said that the Korean people have turned out in the general offensive to break through head-on the barriers to the advance of socialist construction by dint of self-reliance ... and made public the foreign policy stand of the (North Korean) government,” KCNA said.

Ri, an outspoken retired army colonel who previously headed a government body responsible for relations with South Korea, has taken part in numerous inter-Korean military talks over the past 15 years.

But Ri, who is also an alternate member of the ruling Workers’ Party Central Committee, lacks experience in negotiations with the United States and other countries.

In South Korea, he is most known for what were seen as rude remarks to South Korean businessmen visiting Pyongyang in September 2018.

While they were eating naengmyeon, Korean traditional cold noodles, Ri asked them:

“Are naengmyeon going down your throats?” in apparent dissatisfaction with a lack of progress in efforts to promote inter-Korean economic projects, according to South Korean officials and lawmakers.

Many conservatives in South Korea strongly criticized him.

Ri replaced Ri Yong Ho, a career diplomat with broad experiences who had taken part in nuclear negotiations with the United States since early 2018.

It wasn’t immediately known what happened to Ri Yong Ho, whose name was last mentioned in KCNA last August.

Analyst Cheong Seong-Chang at South Korea’s private Sejong Institute said Ri Son Gwon’s appointment signaled North Korea would further harden its stance toward the U.S. and bolster a push to cement its position as a nuclear state.

“From now on, it’s difficult to expect meaningful progress in North Korea-U.S. diplomacy,” Cheong said.

Nuclear talks between the U.S. and North Korea have progressed little since the breakdown of the second summit between the acting-president and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam in February 2019.

Kim recently said North Korea would strengthen its nuclear arsenal and unveil a new “strategic weapon” after the U.S. failed to meet a year-end deadline set by him to make concessions.
A senior State Department official told reporters Wednesday that Washington was aware of Ri Son Gwon’s reported appointment and hopes North Korea will understand the importance of resuming diplomacy.

“There’s nothing to be gained by not talking. It’s only to their benefit, so we encourage them to talk,” the official said on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly to the matter.

“It is slow, patient, steady diplomacy. We’re going to stick with that plan.”


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