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          Is Kim Jong-un Exporting North Korean Slave Labor To Europe?      Cache   Translate Page / DIE WELT

GDYNIA — The dock is almost 400 meters long and 70 meters wide and is one of the largest container crane ports on the Baltic Sea coast. Nearby in this northern Polish city, a company called Crist manufactures parts for container ships and...

Please continue reading on - Is Kim Jong-un Exporting North Korean Slave Labor To Europe?

          North Korea rocket launch ‘would be catastrophe for diplomacy’      Cache   Translate Page      

North Korea using a possible rocket launch as leverage in negotiations with the US would be catastrophic for global diplomacy, a South Korean presidential adviser has said. US-based websites recently released satellite photographs indicating North Korea has restored structures at its long-range rocket launch facility that it dismantled last year at the start of diplomacy with the United States. Other satellite images show increased vehicle activities at a separate North Korean facility used to manufacture missiles, and rockets for satellite launches. Some experts say these suggest North Korea may be assembling a long-range rocket to carry out a banned satellite launch in the wake of last month’s North Korea-US summit in Hanoi that ended without any agreement. Moon Chung-in, a retired university professor who is now a special adviser to President Moon Jae-in, told a panel discussion that North Korea using a rocket launch or other nuclear activities as leverage in negotiations would be a “bad move”. Mr Moon said such a North Korean move could eventually cause a “catastrophic” consequence or a “big disaster” in the US-North Korea diplomacy. “I wonder if North Korea should avoid” such an action, Mr Moon said. He said both North Korea and the US must restrain themselves to keep diplomacy alive and start unofficial contacts to resume talks. He said the Hanoi summit showed how “difficult” and “painful” it would be to achieve de-nuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula. The Hanoi summit fell apart due to disputes over how many sanctions reliefs North Korea could win in return for limited nuclear disarmament steps. Washington and Pyongyang accuse each other of causing the summit’s breakdown, but both sides have avoided harsh criticism against each other and expressed hopes for future negotiations. No official meeting between the countries has yet to be publicly scheduled. The February 27-28 summit was the second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump since they met for the first time in Singapore last June.

The post North Korea rocket launch ‘would be catastrophe for diplomacy’ appeared first on London Glossy Post.

          UN expert says Kim Jong Un demand shows sanctions work      Cache   Translate Page      
The head of the U.N. panel monitoring sanctions against North Korea says the fact that the only thing Kim Jong Un asked for at the Hanoi summit was to have sanctions lifted shows they are biting — despite his increasingly sophisticated efforts to evade the tough measures.
          Socialism Ruins Economies, Even Worse –Socialism KILLS      Cache   Translate Page      

As socialism takes over the Democratic Party, opponents of this failed philosophy are quick to point out how it’s ruined economies, look at Venezuela they would say, or the lack of food in North Korea, the bread lines in Cuba. And it’s all true. But they neglect to point out the worst part, socialism has […]

The post Socialism Ruins Economies, Even Worse –Socialism KILLS appeared first on The Lid.

          South Korea Warns Against North Korea Rocket Launch      Cache   Translate Page      
A special adviser to South Korea’s president said a launch by the North would be a “big disaster” for diplomacy.
          3/12/2019: INTERNATIONAL: Woman accused of killing Kim Jong-un’s brother freed      Cache   Translate Page      

AN Indonesian woman held for two years on suspicion of killing the half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been freed. Siti Aisyah was accused of smearing VX nerve agent on the face of Kim Jong Nam in an airport terminal in Kuala Lumpur in...
          US will not accept 'incremental' disarmament, insists envoy to North Korea      Cache   Translate Page      

US will not accept 'incremental' disarmament, insists envoy to North KoreaStephen Biegun, the United States envoy to Pyongyang has stressed that Washington will not settle for the incremental disarmament of North Korea and that it is aiming for complete denuclearisation by the end of US President Donald Trump’s first term in 2021.  “We are not going to do denuclearisation incrementally,” Mr Biegun told a conference in Washington hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in his first comments since the failed summit between Mr Trump and Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam, last month.  Mr Biegun insisted that sanctions would not be lifted unless Pyongyang completely eliminated its nuclear weapons, stressing that it was Washington’s goal to achieve this within the current administration.  "We stand by the expectation that if we fully mobilise our resources ... we could align ourselves in a manner sufficient to achieve this in something approaching a year," he said. His statements marked a reversal from previous pronouncements emerging from the White House, with analysts warning that the hardening of the US position is an unrealistic strategy that will end in further stalemate with Pyongyang.  Stephen Biegun, the US envoy to North Korea Credit: Ed Jones/AFP Ahead of the Hanoi meeting, Mr Trump had declared that he had “no pressing schedule” on denuclearisation. “As long as there is no [missile] testing, I’m in no rush,” he said.  Mr Biegun, meanwhile, had indicated in an speech at Stanford University at the end of January that the US was willing to take a more stage by stage approach to the issue – a policy favoured by Pyongyang.  “We have communicated to our North Korean counterparts that we are prepared to pursue – simultaneously and in parallel – all of the commitments our two leaders made in their joint statement at Singapore last summer,” he said, referring to the two leaders’ first meeting in the city-state last June.  Their second summit in Hanoi in late February ended abruptly without any kind of deal.  The Hanoi summit started out well but ended abruptly with no deal Credit: Evan Vucci/AP Mr Trump said that Kim had insisted all economic sanctions were lifted before he agreed to give up his entire nuclear arsenal – a position he could not accept. “Sometimes you just have to walk,” he said. However, Ri Yong Ho, the North Korean foreign minister, countered that Pyongyang had only requested “partial relief” on sanctions enacted between 2016 and 2017, and had offered a “realistic proposal” to dismantle uranium enrichment facilities in return.   The talks ended on friendly terms, but North Korea has since shown frustration at the collapse of the summit, with the state-run Rodong Sinmun commenting that the public “are feeling regretful, blaming the US for the summit that ended without an agreement.” In a more alarming development, experts at California’s Middlebury Institute of International Studies, said last week that satellite images suggested that Pyongyang could be preparing to launch a missile or space rocket.  In response to questions about what the signs of activity at rocket launch facilities meant, Mr Biegun replied: “The short answer is: we don’t know.” He added that “the door remains open” for further negotiations. “Nothing can be agreed until everything’s agreed,” he said.  Nuclear and North Korea analysts expressed scepticism about his statements.  “Biegun: “Nothing can be agreed until everything can be agreed.” – a losing strategy,” tweeted Jenny Town, a Korea specialist at the Stimson Centre, a Washington think tank.  Others commented that the insistence on full denuclearisation before the lifting of any sanctions would create a bottleneck with Pyongyang, which has consistently argued for reciprocal concessions.  “If we don’t move off this position, we have nowhere to go,” Vipin Narang, a MIT nuclear expert, told Vox. “There’s no zone of agreement if we insist on everything — I mean everything, complete surrender — up front.”

          Village cheers return of Indonesia woman in North Korea case      Cache   Translate Page      
RANCASUMUR, Indonesia (AP) — A chaotic crush of jubilant villagers and reporters greeted the young Indonesian woman who was freed after Malaysia dropped charges that she killed the estranged half brother of North Korea’s leader…
          A La Carte (March 12)      Cache   Translate Page      
Today’s Kindle deals include a whole load of books from Zondervan, many of which will appeal to those of you who are academically inclined. (Yesterday on the blog: What’s the Purpose (and the Benefit) of Family Devotions?) What It’s Like to ‘Vote’ in North Korea “Voting for the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) is mandatory and there’s no choice of candidates. Any kind of dissent is unheard of. Turnout is always close to 100% and approval for the governing alliance is unanimous.” I …

          Indonesian woman freed 2 years after killing of Kim Jong Nam, 'I am in shock'      Cache   Translate Page      

An Indonesian woman held for two years on suspicion of killing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half brother was freed from custody Monday after Malaysian prosecutors unexpectedly dropped the murder charge against her.

Siti Aisyah cried and hugged her Vietnamese co-defendant, Doan Thi Huong, before...

          Comment on Iran, North Korea, and the Pitfalls of “Maximum Pressure” by george best      Cache   Translate Page      
" Iran scholar Meir Javedanfar." !!!?
          Comment on Iran, North Korea, and the Pitfalls of “Maximum Pressure” by Ali Mostofi      Cache   Translate Page      
JD describes these crooks and henchmen in Iran as if they are honourable people worthy of trust. Their so called "Parliament" is not of the people, and to refer to it as the Parliament of Iran is an insult to the people of Iran.
          The Media's 6 Biggest Lies About North Korea      Cache   Translate Page      
The Trump delegation surprised Kim with a take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum that included the "elimination of the DPRK's "chemical and biological weapons, "their ballistic missile program" along with complete denuclearization.
          Siti Aisyah arrives safely in Indonesia - Malaysiakini      Cache   Translate Page      
  1. Siti Aisyah arrives safely in Indonesia  Malaysiakini
  2. North Korean embassy in KL defaced amidst Kim Jong Nam trial  New Straits Times
  3. Siti Aisyah back in Indonesia, thanks president - Nation  The Star Online
  4. Siti Aisyah's Indonesian hometown celebrates her release, awaits return  New Straits Times
  5. Indonesia town cheers as woman in North Korea murder case is freed  The Sun Daily
  6. View full coverage on Google News

          Now, Vietnam wants Malaysia to free Jong Nam murder suspect - Free Malaysia Today      Cache   Translate Page      
Now, Vietnam wants Malaysia to free Jong Nam murder suspect  Free Malaysia Today

HANOI: Vietnam today asked Malaysia to free the Vietnamese woman charged with assassinating the North Korean leader's half-brother in Kuala Lumpur, a day ...

View full coverage on Google News
          North Korea Could Be Preparing New Missile Launch Just Weeks After Failed Trump Summit, Satellite Images Show      Cache   Translate Page      

Kim Jong-un with North Korean military leaders.

North Korea appears to be planning the new launch of a missile or satellite just weeks after a summit with Donald Trump about denuclearization came to an abrupt end with no deal in sight.

As the BBC reported, satellite images of a facility near the North Korean capital of Pyongyang shows activity that suggest preparations for a launch from a site known as Sanumdong. This report comes just days after another suggested that North Korea had rebuilt another main rocket launch site at Sohae.

Donald Trump had been pushing for North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapons operation and cease all weapons testing, at times bragging that North Korea had done both of these things. But on Friday, Trump struck a more uncertain tone as he expressed hope that North Korea would not go back to weapons testing.

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          3/13/2019: NEWS: Indonesian woman freed 2 years after killing of Kim Jong Nam      Cache   Translate Page      
One of two women accused of killing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s half brother by smearing VX nerve agent on his face was freed after two years of detention Monday when Malaysian prosecutors unexpectedly dropped the murder charge against her....
           Comment on Nicaraguans Try Talking: Venezuela, Not So Much by Paul Haeder       Cache   Translate Page      
James Petras: Conclusion Washington has succeeded in securing non-reciprocal agreements with weak countries. This was the case in post-war Europe, post-Gorbachev Russia and among Latin America’s current colonized regimes. In contrast, Washington’s rejection of reciprocal agreements with Russia, China, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela has been a failure. US trade wars with China have led to the loss of markets and allowed China to pursue global agreements through its massive billion-dollar ‘Belt and Road’ infrastructure projects. US one-sided hostile policies toward Russia have increased ties between the Kremlin and Beijing. Washington has lost opportunities to work with neo-liberal oligarchs in Russia in order to undermine President Putin. Washington has failed to negotiate reciprocal ties with North Korea which would ‘de-nuclearize’ the peninsula in exchange for lifting economic sanctions and opening the door for a capitalist restoration. Demanding unilateral concession and submission has led to uniform failures; whereas negotiated compromises could have led to greater market opportunities and long-term political advances. President Trump and his top policy makers and negotiators have failed to secure any agreements. The Democratic Congress has been as ineffective and even more bellicose – demanding greater military pressures on Russia, expanded trade wars with China and fewer negotiations with North Korea, Iran and Venezuela. In a word, failed negotiations and non-reciprocal diplomacy has become the hallmark of US foreign policy.
          U.S. says North Korea diplomacy 'very much alive,' but it's watching rocket site      Cache   Translate Page      
The chief U.S. envoy for North Korea said on Monday that "diplomacy is still very much alive" with Pyongyang despite a failed summit last month, but cautioned that Washington was closely watching activity at a North Korean rocket site and did not know if it might be planning a new launch.

          The Persian gamble : a novel by Rosenberg, Joel C., 1967- author.      Cache   Translate Page      
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Kremlin Conspiracy comes this latest international thriller about a terrifying nuclear alliance among three world powers--Russia, Iran, and North Korea--and the man who must halt their deadly strategy. Shot out of the air in enemy territory in the middle of the greatest international crisis since the end of the Cold War, former U.S. Secret Service agent Marcus Ryker finds himself facing an impossible task. Not only does he have to somehow elude d
          Dick Cheney Argues Foreign Policy With Mike Pence At Leaked "Off the Record" GOP Gathering      Cache   Translate Page      

What was supposed to be a relaxed conversation between Vice President Pence and former Vice President Dick Cheney quickly turned into a argument over President Donald Trump’s foreign policy at a private gathering last weekend, according to a report from LMTOnline

The gathering was a closed-door retreat hosted by the American Enterprise Institute on March 9 in Sea Island, Georgia. At the meeting, Cheney "respectfully but repeatedly" pressed Pence on concerns like President Trump taking a hard line towards NATO and deciding to withdraw troops from Syria "during the middle of a phone call".

Cheney also said to Pence, "we're getting into a situation when our friends and allies around the world that we depend upon are going to lack confidence in us," according to a Washington Post transcript.

The comments from the gathering were supposed to be "off the record", but a transcript leaked from a person who was "not authorized to share material" from the event. 

"I worry that the bottom line of that kind of an approach is we have an administration that looks a lot more like Barack Obama than Ronald Reagan," the former Vice President continued.

The critique of Pence from former VP Cheney highlights one of the many debates currently ongoing in the GOP party. Many former GOP "hawks", like Cheney have been at odds with Trump's engagement of autocrats like Kim Jong Un and his non-interventionist style in the middle easy. 

Pence reportedly "shrugged off most of Cheney's anxieties" and praised Trump as a "candid and transformational leader."

What was supposed to be a chat at AEI's annual world forum between Pence and Cheney turned into a nearly full blown "academic exercise" with Cheney questioning Pence while the current VP did his best to retort with force. The conversation surprised the conference attendees and caused murmurs in the room throughout the talk. 

After pleasantries were exchanged, Cheney immediately went after Trump, expressing concern about reports that he "supposedly doesn't spend that much time with the intel people, or doesn't agree with them, frequently." He also immediately expressed concern with suspending military activities with South Korea and Trump's handling of North Korea. 

"I don't know, that sounded like a New York State real estate deal to me," Cheney said of Trump's pursuit of a policy to have the Germans, the Japanese, and the South Koreans pay total cost for U.S. deployments there, plus 50 percent on top of that.

"It's a lot more complicated than just, 'Here's the bottom line. Write the check,'" Cheney continued. 

Pence retorted:

"We're going to continue [to] train. We're going to continue to work closely with South Korea. We have a tremendous alliance there. I think there is a tendency by critics of the president and our administration to conflate the demand that our allies live up to their word and their commitments and an erosion in our commitment to the post-World War II order."

The current VP continued, "But we think it's possible to demand that your allies do more to provide for the common defense of all of our nations and, at the same time, reaffirm our strong commitment - whether it be to the trans-Atlantic Alliance or to our allies across the Indo-Pacific."

Cheney again took exception to lack of troop deployments in certain areas and VP Pence finished by assuring the former VP that the Trump administration shared their devotion to defending the country. 

"When the American people elected this president, they elected a president who expressed concern about American deployments around the world," Pence stated. "And they knew this was going to be a president that came and asked the fundamental questions about - you know, where are we deployed and do we really need to be asking men and women in uniform to be deployed in that part of the world? But, you know, it should come as no surprise to anyone: This President is skeptical of foreign deployments, and only wants American forces where they need to be."

Pence concluded: "But you can be confident, as one of my favorite hawks, we're going to continue to stand strong for a strong national defense with President Trump in the White House."

          Vietnam urges Malaysia free 2nd woman in N. Korean killing      Cache   Translate Page      

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnam has urged Malaysia to release the second woman accused of killing the estranged half brother of North Korea’s leader. Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh made the plea in a phone call Tuesday with his counterpart, Saifuddin Abdullah, according to a statement on the ministry website. It said Minh requested the […]
          Kim Jong Un told Pompeo 'no less than half a dozen times' he'd denuclearize North Korea      Cache   Translate Page      
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un told Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "no less than half a dozen times" that he would denuclearize his nation, Pompeo said Tuesday on Fox's KRIV.
          Department Press Briefings : Department Press Briefing - March 12, 2019      Cache   Translate Page      
Robert Palladino
Deputy Spokesperson
Department Press Briefing
Washington, DC
March 12, 2019

Index for Today's Briefing
  • IRAN
  • IRAQ
  • IRAN


    2:42 p.m. EDT

    MR PALLADINO: Good afternoon, everybody.

    QUESTION: Good afternoon.

    MR PALLADINO: Afternoon. At the top today, we are privileged to have with us our Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams. He’ll be – make a few remarks and be willing to take some questions. At the conclusion of the briefing, we also have some subject matter experts from our Bureau of Consular Affairs. If there are additional questions on matters pertaining to American citizens that you’d like to dive into a little bit, we’ll make them available as well.

    QUESTION: American citizens anywhere or in Venezuela?

    MR PALLADINO: We’re talking – that’s for Venezuela we’re talking about today. Okay? Great. Mr. Abrams, thanks.

    QUESTION: Then you’re going to --

    MR PALLADINO: We have a normal briefing as well.

    MR ABRAMS: Thank you. Happy to be here for my daily briefing. (Laughter.)

    QUESTION: You are becoming quite a fixture up there.

    QUESTION: You’re setting a good example.

    MR ABRAMS: Oh.

    QUESTION: There may be an opening for a spokesman. (Laughter.)

    MR ABRAMS: I wouldn’t touch that with a 20-foot pole. (Laughter.)

    On January 23rd and January 24th, we announced and began a process of bringing back to the United States the great majority of Americans who work at the U.S. embassy in Caracas. The decision announced yesterday is, in a sense, a follow-on to that initial decision and is the product of the same considerations for the conditions in Caracas, which make it so difficult to continue keeping the embassy staffed there, and for the general situation in Caracas.

    If you think back, it’s only six weeks ago, but the situation in Caracas has deteriorated very considerably in that period and especially in the last few days since the blackouts began on Friday. So the Secretary made that decision.

    You may have seen the interviews he did this morning. I’ll just read one paragraph: “We made the decision yesterday that it just was prudent to get these folks back. The situation there is deteriorating. The Maduro regime’s horrific leadership over the last year[s] has just made life there so difficult, it began to make it more difficult for the United States to take the actions that it needed to do to support the Venezuelan people. So we concluded this was simply the right step to take,” and it “was the right time to take it.”

    I should say that this does not represent any change in U.S. policy toward Venezuela nor does it represent any reduction in the commitment we have to the people of Venezuela and to their struggle for democracy. You will see very soon a significant number of additional visa revocations. You will see in the coming days some very significant additional sanctions and the international group, of which we are a part – that includes most EU countries, the Lima Group, Canada, the U.S. – continues to do its work.

    Why don’t I stop there and we’ll take some questions.

    MR PALLADINO: We’ll start with Associated Press.

    QUESTION: Thanks. I’m curious to know what the Secretary meant by saying that the presence of – continued presence of any American diplomats in Caracas was a constraint on policy. He didn’t quite explain. What exactly did their presence constrain, number one?

    Number two, you talked about the blackouts and all this kind of thing, but presumably there are no family members there. It was very, very – only a handful of staffers still at the embassy. Presumably, they have generators, right?

    MR ABRAMS: Generators require fuel, the embassy requires water.

    QUESTION: Okay.

    MR ABRAMS: The embassy’s own situation also had a – let’s say a finite number of days.

    QUESTION: Okay. All right. So can you explain what exactly the constraint was on – what kinds of policies were being constrained by the presence --

    MR ABRAMS: Well, I don’t --

    QUESTION: Especially because yesterday, the Secretary said that – when he was asked about support for – U.S. support for Juan Guaido, said that as long as our team is on the ground in Caracas, you’d continue to provide the same kinds of support that you do. Well, now that’s gone or very soon will be gone, so I don’t understand how these – those mesh.

    MR ABRAMS: Well, we will – we will – obviously it makes it more difficult to meet with all Venezuelans when the – we – when the team is not on the ground. I’m kind of reluctant to sort of try to parse the Secretary’s words, but let me just say that in every decision we made – every decision, decisions on diplomatic activities, on visas, on sanctions – the safety of that staff was a key consideration. And that was something that weighed very heavily on our mind every day, literally every day. So I think that’s – I think that was what the Secretary was referring to, and I’ll just leave it at that.

    QUESTION: Okay, but when you said it doesn’t reflect a change in policy --

    MR ABRAMS: No.

    QUESTION: -- it means that it was not intended to be some kind of hint or harbinger of military intervention or some kind of use of force?

    MR ABRAMS: Nothing has changed. We continue to say, because it is true, all options are on the table.

    QUESTION: But?

    MR ABRAMS: But they did not change yesterday.

    MR PALLADINO: There we go. Let’s go Michelle, CNN.

    QUESTION: So just hours before this statement came out from the Secretary we heard from the Secretary on Venezuela and he made no mention of the need to get people out. In fact, he really didn’t talk about U.S. people at the embassy there. So what changed between the time we spoke to him and close to midnight when he put this out?

    MR ABRAMS: He made his final decision. We have been talking about this literally – literally – every day. I’ve only been here six weeks, but that was right after the decision to move most of the people from the embassy back to the United States. We have had daily phone calls, daily meetings about this question, been before the Secretary, and he made his decision.

    QUESTION: And then that line that Matt mentioned, “constraint on U.S. policy” – that reads like a threat. I mean, it’s obviously curious. So should Maduro see that line as a threat?

    MR ABRAMS: I can only repeat what the President has said: All options are always on the table.

    MR PALLADINO: Let’s go to AFP.

    QUESTION: Yes. Just to – thank you. Just to follow on on this constraint thing, is there a link between the decision of withdrawing all the diplomats and some actions you might want to take to make sure the aid, which is at the border, come inside Venezuela?

    MR ABRAMS: No.

    MR PALLADINO: Reuters.

    QUESTION: Hello, Mr. Abrams. Two questions. One is: Who do you leave the embassy to? Do you appoint a protective power? What happens to the embassy, how do you ensure, number one.

    MR ABRAMS: Right.

    QUESTION: Number two: We understand that the decision was made because the talks with the Venezuelans collapsed late yesterday and that that – this is according to the Venezuelans – that’s what led to this. Did you – did the U.S. get any kind of direct threat from Maduro’s government that something was going to happen?

    MR ABRAMS: On the first part, normally we would get a protecting power, and that is, I think, what we’ll do here, and we are in discussions now about that. What will happen to the embassy grounds, the embassy physically, let’s say, is something that we then discuss with the protecting power, with potential protecting powers. So we don’t have a final answer on that, and when we do we’ll announce it.

    On the regime, you know on --

    QUESTION: Are you in discussions with other countries to – as to who will be the protecting power?

    MR ABRAMS: Yes. We are in discussions.

    QUESTION: But it hasn’t been decided who?

    MR ABRAMS: Right. About – we are trying to decide on a protecting power. January 23rd, the Secretary said the United States does not recognize the Maduro regime as the government of Venezuela. Accordingly, the United States does not consider former President Nicolas Maduro to have the legal authority to break diplomatic relations with the United States or to declare our diplomats persona non grata. So from our point of view, the regime cannot make a decision about whether we stay or go. And as a matter of fact, the National Assembly yesterday said we have the legal authority to stay, and they are the legitimate government of Venezuela. But the regime also cannot, in our view, provide security for the embassy, and the situation in Caracas is deteriorating. So our decision was made really fundamentally without regard to what the regime wants or thinks.

    MR PALLADINO: Let’s go with Los Angeles Times.

    QUESTION: Thank you. Just to follow on Lesley, so there were talks going on between the Venezuelans and you guys about creating an interest section or something like that and then the Venezuelans gave you 72 hours to leave. Is that not true?

    MR ABRAMS: No, we have had – as you know, we’ve talked about this before. I have – I had a couple of meetings with the de facto regime Foreign Minister Arreaza. And those meetings were essentially about exactly this. So this subject has been out there for a long time. But we made a decision at one point, and you talked about it here – I’ve certainly talked about it in public – that an interest section was really not appropriate. You do an interest section where there is no government that you consider legitimate. There is a legitimate government in Venezuela, from our point of view. Maybe that would have satisfied some demands of the regime, but it was not something that the Untied States was going to do. So that really was off the table.

    QUESTION: And 72 hours? The deadline?

    MR ABRAMS: Well, as I said, we do not believe the regime, on the one hand, has the ability to tell us when to leave, on the other hand, doesn’t have the ability to protect us if we stay.

    MR PALLADINO: Let’s go to Washington Post.

    QUESTION: Mr. Abrams, the Maduro government’s attorney general announced that Juan Guaido is going to be investigated for – on suspicion of sabotage in the blackout. Does the departure of the U.S. diplomats put him in a weaker position at all, at a time when he would seem to be under greater threat?

    MR ABRAMS: First, we’ve seen that as well, and it’s a threat against Interim President Guaido. They have made such threats before. They’ve talked about going after him on one basis or another, and we also know that the supreme court, the TSJ, has essentially been packed by the regime. So that’s a – that report is of real concern. I don’t think the regime is going to base its decision on that, on our presence or absence, any more than it made the decision on whether to arrest him upon his return on the basis of whether we were there or not there. I think it’s largely a matter of how they think the public, the Venezuelan public, will react.

    QUESTION: You have any warnings to the government or any message to them?

    MR ABRAMS: We have --

    QUESTION: Should they be contemplating arresting him on this?

    MR ABRAMS: I think – I hope they’re aware of the fact that there are 54 countries, some important countries, that consider Juan Guaido to be the legitimate interim president of Venezuela. And I think not only we but the other 53 will react immediately. There are a number of diplomatic and financial and economic steps that governments can take. We’ve taken many of them; other countries haven’t. I would think that the arrest, incarceration of Juan Guaido would lead a lot of countries to react very quickly.

    MR PALLADINO: Let’s go to EFE.

    QUESTION: Thank you. I want to ask you a question about the possible scenario of the Maduro government collapses. The Spain’s foreign minister today said that the U.S. asked Spain to receive Venezuelan ministers loyal to Maduro in case the Venezuelan Government collapses. So I wanted to ask you if the U.S. has actually made this petition to Spain, and what were the terms in which these petitions were made?

    MR ABRAMS: This is an old discussion. When I was assistant secretary of state for Latin America, and there were a lot of military regimes, the question of what to do with dictators arose, and it was actually Felipe Gonzalez, who was prime minister at the time, who said maybe Spain can help by taking some of these people. We’ve had some conversations with Spain. I wouldn’t say we made a request, they made an answer. We have certainly had conversations. We’ve had them with a couple of other places too, because this question may arise, and we have talked about off-ramps and we have talked about wanting some of the regime officials to leave the country as part of a transition.

    So the question therefore obviously arises: well, where would they go? And they may prefer to go to Cuba or Russia, but there are other places, and so that is a conversation we’ll continue to have. Unfortunately, none of the people at the top of the regime have yet made that decision, the decision that they should make. And as we’ve said before, we are willing to help them out in those circumstances.

    QUESTION: Can I ask a follow-up of – on that? You mentioned that they’re – the U.S. Government with Spain and a couple other places. Which ones are these other --

    MR ABRAMS: I’m not going to say, because it has not been as public as it has in the case of Spain.

    QUESTION: Thank you.

    MR PALLADINO: Let’s go to Washington Times.

    QUESTION: Thanks for coming out to talk with us. Big picture question regarding all the – all of the options on the table. Can you discuss the military option for a minute? And specifically, has the administration asked the Pentagon to draw up such an option? And assuming that it has, are you satisfied with the option that the Pentagon has, which is headed by an interim defense secretary, provided at this point?

    QUESTION: He’s a legitimate interim defense secretary. (Laughter.)

    MR ABRAMS: The President has said all options are the table. They are. Further than that it would be foolish for me to go, and I’m not going to do it.

    MR PALLADINO: Bloomberg.

    QUESTION: Mr. Abrams, can you talk a little bit more about the finite resources that the embassy is facing? I mean, it seems to be a suggestion that they’re running out of fuel and water. What were the constraints on the embassy?

    MR ABRAMS: It’s a difficult situation for the embassy. It’s a difficult situation for Venezuelans, of course, far more. I don’t believe the embassy is at this point connected to any water system. So there’s a question of how would you get fresh water. Obviously, there are continuing blackouts on and off. So the question then is: How are your generators working, and do you have enough fuel? There’s also a question of communications. If there’s no electricity, there are no communications, which obviously speaks immediately to the safety of our people.

    So the deterioration of the general situation in Caracas doesn’t affect the embassy exactly as it effects Venezuelans, but it does affect the embassy.

    QUESTION: But were you – was there any concern that there was some new or imminent security threat that the embassy might be overrun, that the Maduro regime was unable or unwilling to provide or to guarantee security?

    MR ABRAMS: We do not think that the regime is really able to provide security, and I would note that in his most recent public statement, former President Maduro spoke about calling upon the colectivos to come forward. Now, that – that’s calling for armed gangs to take over the streets, and it is obviously going to be a great worry to Venezuelans, but we noted it.

    QUESTION: I’m sorry, was that part of the – was that the deciding factor?

    MR ABRAMS: That – actually, that statement by Maduro came today. So it was not part of the decision. But the background was – and as you know, they’ve been using colectivos more in Caracas, along the borders. Perhaps it is a sign of Maduro’s lack of confidence in his own security forces. But it is by definition a breakdown of law and order.

    MR PALLADINO: Let’s go Wall Street Journal.

    QUESTION: Thank you. You said that the decision to remove embassy personnel doesn’t represent a policy change by the United States, but you have acknowledged that it would make it more difficult to meet with Venezuelans, both the Maduro regime and the Guaido government. So functionally, how is the U.S. going to proceed without an embassy staff on the ground? Are you just – are you going to remove them to nearby countries? Are they coming back to the States? What is the plan?

    MR ABRAMS: Who to nearby countries? The Americans?

    QUESTION: Yes.

    MR ABRAMS: The Americans will come back here to Washington, which is what the much larger group of Americans from the embassy in January did. I am very – I am one of the beneficiaries of this, because my team is made up in great part of people from Embassy Caracas, and the WHA team on Venezuela was also greatly enriched by their presence. Now, obviously people in the summer will go on to whatever forward assignments they had.

    We will – as I said, it’ll be harder, because we’re not going to be able to do the face-to-face meetings we were doing. Admittedly, we were not able to do a lot of face-to-face meetings because the embassy staff had become quite small. But it wasn’t – so it will be something that we’re going to have to try to accomplish outside of Venezuela or by telephone or by emails and other forms of communication.

    QUESTION: And are you able to give us even just rough estimates of the number of people we’re talking about?

    MR ABRAMS: No, we – I’m told we just – by the Diplomatic Security people we just don’t do that.

    MR PALLADINO: Let’s go to Fox.

    QUESTION: At the top you said that significant sanctions would be coming in the coming days. Can you elaborate a little bit on that? Are they targeting financial institutions or country-specific? The Secretary said yesterday a handful of nations are providing aid and comfort to the Maduro regime.

    MR ABRAMS: Well, we did, you know, Friday sanction a Russian-Venezuelan bank, one that was basically 50/50 owned by Russian and Venezuelan state institutions. There will be more sanctions of financial institutions – I think I would leave it at that – and more visa revocations coming very soon.

    QUESTION: Like today?

    MR ABRAMS: Possible. Possible.

    QUESTION: How about Turkey?

    MR PALLADINO: No, no Turkey. Voice of America, please.

    QUESTION: Well, Turkey and Venezuela is actually a thing.

    QUESTION: Yes.

    MR PALLADINO: Turkey and Venezuela. Okay.

    QUESTION: Yes, that’s what I – that’s what I mean.

    MR PALLADINO: Go ahead, Laurie. Okay, go ahead.

    QUESTION: Thank you. To follow up on this question, Turkey’s support for – is prominent among those countries supporting the Maduro regime, including through the gold trade. What – do you have a comment on that and are you considering the possibility of secondary sanctions?

    MR ABRAMS: Well, those are two different questions. We – Turkey’s support for the Maduro regime obviously is completely contrary to U.S. policy and very unhelpful, and we will continue to take a look at the ways in which that support takes place, and in the context of sanctions by Treasury. Maybe I should leave it at that.

    MR PALLADINO: Okay, fair enough. Voice of America.

    QUESTION: Thank you. So a follow-up on Nick’s question. Is yesterday’s sanction against the bank based in Russia a secondary sanction? And is it the beginning of more sanctions against foreign financial institutions? That’s number one, and number two: Can you please give us a sense if there is any diplomatic effort to bring China on board? Thank you.

    MR ABRAMS: The bank – the sanctions of Friday on the Russian-Venezuelan bank were not secondary sanctions. We have not done any secondary sanctions. The – we will continue to make efforts to bring China aboard. We have told – in various places have told the Chinese that we think if their concern is in essence getting their money back, they’ll never get it back from the bankrupt Maduro regime and from a basically destroyed Venezuelan economy. As the Secretary explained yesterday, the only way they’ll get it back is when Venezuela returns to prosperity, which it won’t do under Nicolas Maduro. Obviously they haven’t changed their policy yet, but we will continue to talk about that.

    QUESTION: Will they be subject to potential sanction?

    MR ABRAMS: Well, we have not done secondary sanctions. That’s always one of the options on the table.

    MR PALLADINO: Last one. Let’s – someone new. (Off-mike.)

    QUESTION: Really?

    QUESTION: NTN24, Emiliana Molina, Mr. Abrams. So removing U.S. diplomats and bringing them back to D.C., is this perhaps a show of lack of confidence from the U.S. in Juan Guaido’s government to restore democracy, and what does this mean for his government? Some experts are saying that this looks bad for Guaido.

    MR ABRAMS: It certainly is not a display of any lack of confidence in him. The fact is that today the regime has the guns. The National Assembly and Interim President Guaido are trying, through exclusively peaceful means, to bring democracy back to Venezuela, and that is obviously something we and dozens of other countries support. It is a reflection of the deterioration that we see on the ground in Venezuela, and it is in essence a follow-up to the major part of the decision, which was made on January 24th, to take most of the embassy staff. It’s – we left a few people there, not many, but it’s really the same logic. Our support for Interim President Guaido is absolutely undiminished, and I think, more importantly, the support of the Venezuelan people for him is undiminished.

    MR PALLADINO: Perfect. All right.

    MR ABRAMS: Okay.

    MR PALLADINO: Mr. Abrams, thank you very much.

    QUESTION: Thank you.

    MR ABRAMS: Thank you. Should I say see you tomorrow?

    MR PALLADINO: Yeah. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. (Laughter.)

    QUESTION: Or later this afternoon. (Laughter.)

    QUESTION: Robert, are some of these experts (inaudible)?

    MR PALLADINO: Some of our subject matter experts remain in the room, and so let’s get through some of our other issues today and then I’d be happy to make them available if you’ve got some specific questions that you’d like to ask on the subject of consular services in Venezuela, okay?

    QUESTION: You’re going to make them sit through the whole press briefing?

    MR PALLADINO: I’m going to apologize in advance. You are going to have to listen to some other things, it’s true, so all right. Thank you. All right.

    Let’s start with this: We are outraged to hear reports that the Iranian regime sentenced Iranian human rights defender and women’s rights activist Nasrin Sotoudeh to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes. This sentence is beyond barbaric. Her alleged crime was advocating for Iranian women’s rights and for defending other Iranian women who were arrested by the regime for peacefully protesting the mandatory hijab law. Nasrin was sentenced in absentia without a fair trial by the notorious revolutionary court, which is led by Judge Moghiseh, an accused human rights violator.

    In addition, just this week, the regime cynically announced that as they enter the fifth decade of the Iranian Revolution, they would appoint Ebrahim Raisi, a man involved in mass summary executions of prisoners of conscience, as the head of the regime’s judiciary. The Iranian regime makes a mockery of the entire legal system in Iran, placing innocent people at the mercy of accused human rights violators. We condemn Nasrin’s sentence in the strongest possible terms and call on all of our partners and allies to speak out and demand the release of this courageous human rights defender and all those arbitrarily detained immediately. The Iranian people deserve a government that respects their legitimate demands and the human rights of all in Iran, not one that subjects them to prosecution in a justice system led by accused human rights violators.

    And we are pleased to have a group of teachers and students from Oakton, Virginia with us today. They’re in the back row. Welcome. They’re visiting the State Department as part of their history course and they are here to learn about American foreign policy. So welcome, we’re happy that you could join us, and – yeah, don’t ask questions. Perfect, all right. (Laughter.)

    Great. Questions?

    QUESTION: Yeah. Robert, I mean, this is going to be for the end. I would just like to know from the consular – roughly how many Americans or people, dual American citizens they estimate – I know that there’s no exact figure. You can never be exact, but like, is it tens of thousands, hundreds of – I mean, what’s the population? And how much of a difference is this going to be mean with – it was only a handful of people at the embassy in Caracas anyway, so there couldn’t – must have been very limited what they could do for people who needed assistance. So I mean, is – what’s the actual impact on that?

    And then more broadly on Venezuela, not for the CA people, although maybe: What is the – what’s the current standing of this debate over TPS or some other kind of – if that’s determined not to be applicable in this Venezuela situation, some other mechanism that would allow Venezuelans to stay in the U.S. beyond what Special Representative Abrams has spoken about, the 74,000 who are already in this asylum pipeline?

    MR PALLADINO: Regarding American citizens, I will defer on some of the more specifics on what we’re able to do to some of the folks that we have with us today, but we – I can say at the top that we will hold the Maduro regime directly responsible for the safety and welfare of United States citizens that are in Venezuela, and like our travel advisory says, we – U.S. citizens – U.S. citizens residing in or traveling in Venezuela should strongly consider departing Venezuela. That’s something we’ve said previously and something that we reiterate. We’re pursuing all possible possibilities to secure travel options for U.S. citizens, and we will be announcing additional information for foreign government partners in the days that follow. We continue to advise American citizens to avoid demonstrations and large gatherings and to monitor local media for updates.

    To repeat, the travel advisory in Venezuela remains the same, and that is Level Four, do not travel. And I’ll leave it at that.

    QUESTION: TPS or some other --

    MR PALLADINO: I don’t have any updates on that issue today. I don’t want to get ahead. It’s something that’s being looked at, I know, but I don’t have any information to --

    QUESTION: But what exactly is being looked at? Some alternate mechanism? Has it been – has it actually been decided at some – by – has it actually – has the administration actually decided that TPS in the case of Venezuela is not the right – is not the applicable vehicle or mechanism for --

    MR PALLADINO: I don’t have any policy announcements to make on that. It’s just something – I don’t have any policy announcements to make.

    QUESTION: I have a follow-up just – I don’t know if I didn’t hear properly. Are you saying you’re pursuing all options as to get U.S. citizens out of Venezuela?

    MR PALLADINO: No, no. That’s something we do to help facilitate, not --

    QUESTION: To facilitate.

    MR PALLADINO: Yes, there’s no – yes.

    QUESTION: Okay.

    MR PALLADINO: Okay. Correct.


    QUESTION: So with the situation deteriorating enough to now pull everybody out of the embassy, do you feel it necessary to put out additional information to all American citizens there, or do you feel like the “do not travel” sort of stands for itself?

    MR PALLADINO: Well, we routinely look at our travel information, and given that circumstances are changing, I would not think it – I would think – I would expect that additional information would be updated and provided in short order. I don’t think it’s going to change from Travel Four, that said, okay – from Level Four.

    QUESTION: Yeah, the advice that you – the advice that you last gave to – that you strongly, whatever that exact wording is, urge them to --

    MR PALLADINO: Yeah, “do not travel” was our – that’s our advice, okay?

    QUESTION: That’s – okay, that’s – but for those who are already there, I mean, the current language you said is, like, strongly suggest that they leave or something to that effect. Is that language from the alert going to be updated to, like, get out now?

    MR PALLADINO: That’s – I don’t want to preview what’s being done. It’s being looked at and reviewed, and in short order – safety of American citizens is one of the highest priorities of the State Department. It’s something that we are constantly reviewing, and as situations on the ground change, we review these things regularly and update them.


    QUESTION: Robert, after the American diplomats leave, will the local staff remain or will they – will they still be going into work and maybe protecting the property? And if not, will you be giving things like any remaining food and water that you have to them to take home, or can you tell me what --

    MR PALLADINO: I don’t have any additional information on that topic.

    (Inaudible.) Please, go ahead, Christina.

    QUESTION: Thanks. Can you give us – can you give us some guidance on when we might see the evacuation start? I’m hearing the end of the week. Does that sound about right? Is there an evacuation plan in the works? Can you give us, like, an update on where that is? Commercial? Are we going to send transports down?

    MR PALLADINO: We’re not going to get – the Secretary last night in his statement and tweet indicated this week, and we’re not going to get into details on when exactly or how exactly that will be transpiring.

    QUESTION: And just a follow-up, my colleagues asked a couple times but it wasn’t quite answered – Mr. Abrams didn’t quite answer the question when he was asked whether there had been some sort of new specific threat from the Maduro regime. He kept saying we don’t trust them to protect our diplomats, but can you say definitively, yes or no, if there had been some sort of new threat in the last couple hours that prompted this decision by the Secretary?

    MR PALLADINO: I have nothing beyond what Mr. Abrams said. I don’t.


    QUESTION: Did you accept the premise of her first question, which was that this is an evacuation, or did you just not --

    MR PALLADINO: This is – no. This is – I did not. This is – we’re withdrawing U.S. personnel.

    QUESTION: Right, but do you consider it to be an evacuation?


    QUESTION: Are you going in – is this Saigon ’75?

    MR PALLADINO: We’re withdrawing our personnel in an orderly fashion. The security of our people is paramount.

    Please. Said, please.

    QUESTION: Robert, thank you. Change topics. Okay.

    QUESTION: Could I just have one real quick question? Will the embassy be closed? Will that be the way to describe it? How would you describe --

    MR PALLADINO: I would not say it’s closed, no.

    QUESTION: How – when --

    MR PALLADINO: I would say – the legal status of the embassy – I would say we’re withdrawing from the embassy, but I believe closure is a matter of legality, and that’s not something that we have decided. So this is interim, I would say.

    QUESTION: One more on Venezuela?

    MR PALLADINO: Said, please go ahead.

    QUESTION: Yes, thank you. Changing topics, very quickly, Israel is set to deport the Human Rights Watch director for the West Bank because of a tweet, I guess. He’s a U.S. citizen. Are you aware of that? And what will you do to help him stay and conduct his job?

    MR PALLADINO: We are aware of those reports, and yes, the answer is --

    QUESTION: And what are you offering him? Aid? Help? Has he come – has he gone to the – not the consulate but the embassy?

    MR PALLADINO: I’m not aware of anything like that, Said.

    QUESTION: Okay. All right. Let me move on to another --

    QUESTION: Well, wait a second. Let’s stay.


    QUESTION: Just are you talking to the Israelis about this? Would you – or is it – is it that you come to the defense of American citizens any – in all countries except Israel?

    MR PALLADINO: That is not true. The United States has no greater --

    QUESTION: Okay. Well --

    MR PALLADINO: Let me finish – has no greater responsibility, priority than the safety of American citizens, the welfare of our citizens overseas. In this particular case, I’m not going to talk about specifics. But I can say, as a matter of general principle, we value freedom of expression, even in cases where we do not agree with the political views espoused, and I’ll stop there.

    QUESTION: Thank you.

    QUESTION: But did he --

    QUESTION: Okay, let me just follow-up --

    MR PALLADINO: Go ahead.

    QUESTION: -- on another issue on the Palestinian-Israeli issue. The government signed agreement, the Israeli Government, to build 23,000 housing units in occupied East Jerusalem. And also, there’s been such an uptick in settlements and so on. I know that you stick to your policy, but has there been – I mean, past administrations would issue concern from time to time, say, “We’re concerned about the acceleration of settlement building,” and so on. What is your position on this latest thing, since we haven’t heard anything from this administration on settlements?

    MR PALLADINO: The President has made his position on settlements clear. This is something we’ve talked about before. The Israeli Government has also made clear that its intent is to adopt a policy regarding settlement activity that takes into account the President’s concerns, that takes those into consideration. And that’s something that we welcome.

    QUESTION: And do you think that they have – I mean since this President’s been in office for the past two years, that they took his concern into consideration?

    MR PALLADINO: We welcome the Israeli Government’s decision to take the President’s views into consideration, and I would just reiterate what the President has said repeatedly, that the administration is committed to pursuing a comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

    QUESTION: Robert?

    MR PALLADINO: Laurie.

    QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

    QUESTION: The Western press yesterday ran headlines like, “Iran’s Rouhani in Iraq for His Third Visit to Offset U.S. Sanctions.” Is it still your position that Iraq has to abide by the Iran sanctions?

    MR PALLADINO: As far as sanctions go, as you know, a waiver was granted to Iraq to allow it to continue to pay for its electricity imports from Iran. And that has helped Iraq limit electricity shortages in the south since the re-imposition of sanctions that took place in November. And we’re going to continue to discuss Iran-related sanctions with our partners in Iraq to ensure continued compliance. And finally, any decisions related to those sanctions waivers, they’re at the discretion of the Secretary of State, and I would leave it there.

    QUESTION: Robert?

    QUESTION: And there are two issues in specific. One has to do with banking and reports that Iraq and Iran will establish a joint bank, which will allow Iran to circumvent sanctions. And the second has to do with a railroad from Iran to Basra, which would allow Iran to send military supplies to its proxies in Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. Is that compatible with your understanding of sanctions?

    MR PALLADINO: Laurie, I don’t have any information on these proposals that you’re identifying today, so I’m going to refrain from talking on them.

    QUESTION: Robert --

    QUESTION: (Off-mike.)

    MR PALLADINO: Yep. Let’s go --

    QUESTION: Could you give us your reaction, the U.S. reaction, on President Bouteflika of Algeria not to seek a fifth term but to stay – to postpone the election and to stay in power, at least until the end of the year and probably after that?

    MR PALLADINO: We support efforts in Algeria to chart a new path forward based on dialogue that reflects the will of all Algerians and their aspirations for a peaceful and prosperous future.

    QUESTION: That’s all?

    MR PALLADINO: Well, we respect the rights of the Algerians to assemble and peacefully express their views, and we’re closely monitoring reports that Algeria’s elections have been postponed. We support the right of the Algerian people to vote in a free and fair election, as we do around the world.

    QUESTION: You think it’s a good thing that he’s not seeking a fifth term?

    MR PALLADINO: We support efforts in Algeria to chart a new path forward, and I’ll leave it at that.

    QUESTION: Robert?

    QUESTION: Robert?

    MR PALLADINO: Please. Afghanistan.

    QUESTION: Ambassador Khalilzad tweeted a short while ago that they’re – the – the two parties agreed in – in draft to some sort of proposal on the U.S. withdrawal as well as the Taliban providing safe haven in Afghanistan to terror groups. Can you share any more details on what that draft looks like, whether it’s – there’s a timetable now on U.S. withdrawal?

    MR PALLADINO: I did see those tweets. Special Representative Khalilzad and a team representing agencies across the United States Government concluded today talks with the Taliban delegation in Doha, and that’s what he was tweeting about. These have been the most substantive talks with the Taliban to date. We’ve received reports back from Special Representative Khalilzad that they’ve had meaningful progress. The Taliban have agreed that peace will require both sides to fully address four core issues, and they are: counterterrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, intra-Afghan dialogue, and a comprehensive ceasefire.

    In this round of talks, we were able to move to agreement in draft on the first two principles – counterterrorism assurances and troop withdrawal. And when that agreement, in draft, is finalized, the Taliban and an inclusive Afghan negotiating team that includes the Afghan Government and other Afghans will begin intra-Afghan negotiations of a political settlement and comprehensive ceasefire.

    And I’d also add that Special Representative Khalilzad will be returning to Washington. He’ll be consulting with Secretary Pompeo as well as the interagency and also partner countries in this process. Much work remains to be done. As Special Representative Khalilzad has said before, “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.”

    QUESTION: So you can’t share any details then of what was agreed to in that draft?

    MR PALLADINO: I’m not going to be able to go into details on the results of the just concluded and ongoing talks.

    QUESTION: Robert?

    QUESTION: Robert?

    QUESTION: Second part of this though, as you said and as the ambassador tweeted, once this agreement in draft is finalized, then those intra-Afghan party talks will begin. Is that a commitment from the Taliban that they will engage, once this agreement is finalized, with the Afghan Government?

    MR PALLADINO: I’m not going to be able to go into more details on the agreement itself, because they’re private conversations, and we want to give the parties time to work things out and to work out these issues in private. But intra-Afghan dialogue that includes the Afghan Government as well as the Taliban and other Afghans encourages – is something that we’re very much focused on and remains part of what we’re pursuing.

    QUESTION: Can I ask you, on a separate topic, your statement at the beginning on Iran and the sentencing of a women’s rights activist: Why didn’t you issue a similar statement when Saudi Arabia arrested women rights activists there, including a State Department International Women of Courage Award winner, Samar Badawi?

    MR PALLADINO: We’ve – I mean, this particular case really was barbaric. Many others have spoken out on this as well. Thirty-eight – this is a – basically, a lawyer representing women clients that’s been sentenced to 38 years and 148 lashes. That kind of barbarism is something that must be called out.

    In regards to other countries, Secretary Pompeo – we’ve spoken about – we speak about human rights, frankly, when we engage – when we travel the world engaging partners, allies. We do this regularly. It’s something that we stand for. It’s something that we’ll continue to do.

    QUESTION: But why not do it from the podium in a similar fashion?

    MR PALLADINO: I’m not sure what specific case you’re referring to. We choose different ways to communicate our – to promote the value – human rights values. It’s something we’re going to continue to be outspoken about and we raise this regularly with all partners.

    Sure, Janne. Please, go ahead.

    QUESTION: Thank you very much, Robert. On South Korea, not North Korea this time.


    QUESTION: Okay. The – reported by the South Korean Channel A News, the former unification minister of South Korea, Jeong Se-hyun, said that the United States National Security Advisor John Bolton is a very unlucky person. I think the insulting language about John Bolton is a (inaudible) about – against the American people. How do U.S. react diplomatically?

    MR PALLADINO: Yeah, I haven’t seen that report and I’m – I have no reaction. Okay.

    QUESTION: Because he blaming about Hanoi talks, so John Bolton made the decisions break down this U.S.-North Korea summit. Can you find that out?

    MR PALLADINO: I would just say that the lead negotiator for the United States of America is the President of the United States, and that’s the President’s decision.

    QUESTION: Robert --

    QUESTION: That’s President’s decision. Okay. Thank you.

    QUESTION: Can I ask about the Ethiopian Airlines crash? It’s my understanding that Ethiopia has a lot of control over the investigation, at least at this point. Is the State Department working with Ethiopian authorities to make sure U.S. investigators have access to black boxes?

    MR PALLADINO: In response to the Government of Ethiopia’s request, we have sent a team from the United States National Transportation Safety Board. That includes the Federal Aviation Administration personnel as well. And they’re assisting in the investigation to determine the cause of death. Officials from the United States are also coordinating with INTERPOL and Ethiopian authorities in support of efforts to identify the remains of victims. These are some of the steps that the United States Government is taking to assist, and we – again, we extend our deepest condolences to all those families and the friends of those that lost their lives on that tragic accident.

    QUESTION: On Syria, Robert --

    MR PALLADINO: Please, right there.

    QUESTION: Thank you. If we can move to North Korea. Given the UN panel of experts’ findings on North Korea and sanctions, is the administration concerned that North – that the sanctions regime is not being enforced?

    MR PALLADINO: We made progress in Hanoi at the summit, and although we did not reach an agreement with North Korea, we were able to exchange detailed positions and to narrow the gap on a number of issues. Also made clear the United States expects complete denuclearization before sanctions relief. So I’d say that in response to your question, the United States and the international community have a shared understanding of what final, fully verified denuclearization entails, as well as meaningful progress, what that will constitute, what that goal looks like. And we remain ready to move forward. And I’ll leave it at that.

    QUESTION: Can I just follow quickly? Does the administration believe that there should be more economic pressure applied on North Korea?

    MR PALLADINO: We remain ready to engage North Korea. We are looking – I’m sorry, what was your question again? Increased? So we – our policy’s been explained many times; the President explained that these sanctions are the world’s sanctions and that they will be maintained until denuclearization is achieved. And I’ll leave it at that for now.

    Let’s go – last question. Michel, please.

    QUESTION: Yeah. You tweeted on Syria and building a statue of Hafez Assad in Daraa. Can you make the statement on camera, please?

    MR PALLADINO: I’m sorry, can you say it one more time, Michel?

    QUESTION: On Syria. You tweeted on building a statue of Hafez Assad in Daraa. Do you remember?

    MR PALLADINO: When was this?

    QUESTION: Before noon today.

    MR PALLADINO: Before noon. Of course. (Laughter.)

    QUESTION: If you can make the statement on camera, please.

    MR PALLADINO: (Laughter.) And what is your question? Help me establish --

    QUESTION: If you can make the statement on camera, please.

    MR PALLADINO: I need the tweet in front of me. (Laughter.)

    QUESTION: Okay. I will retweet it. You can --

    MR PALLADINO: All right, I’ll do it afterwards. If you want me to read the tweet, I’d be happy to do that. All right. All right.

    QUESTION: Quick question on Israel?

    MR PALLADINO: Shri, go ahead. Oh, I’m sorry, not Shri. Shri, go ahead. There’s your hand there.

    QUESTION: I wanted to know if you have an update on the exemption from Iran sanctions for India on oil purchases. It’s been six months since they were granted, and I think the foreign secretary is – Gokhale is scheduled to discuss them with his U.S. counterparts.

    And a second question: Is the U.S. concerned that China might block the UNSC 1267 listing request for Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar? Because Beijing made some comments yesterday that would suggest that China was potentially going to put a hold on it or block it.

    MR PALLADINO: As you point out, Foreign Secretary Gokhale is in town for high-level meetings this week at the State Department. He met with Secretary Pompeo yesterday. He’s got meetings at the White House, Department of Defense, as well as on Capitol Hill on a range of diplomatic and security issues.

    Regarding Masood Azhar, the United States and India work closely together on counterterrorism efforts, and that includes at the United Nations. And our views on Jaish-e-Mohammed and its founder are well known. JEM is a United Nations-designated terrorist group. Azhar is the founder and the leader of JEM, and he meets the criteria for designation by the United Nations. JEM has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks and is a threat to regional stability and peace.

    Now, the United Nations sanctions committee, their deliberations are confidential, and as such we don’t comment on specific matters, but we’ll continue to work with the sanctions committee to ensure that the designation list is updated and accurate.

    Regarding your specific question on China, I would say that the United States and China share a mutual interest in achieving regional stability and peace, and that a failure to designate Azhar would run counter to this goal.

    And with that, we’ll end.

    QUESTION: The National Security Advisor John Bolton welcomed the foreign – Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi. Do you have any readout of that?

    MR PALLADINO: The national security advisor works at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and I’d have to refer you to the White House for a readout on his call, but thanks. I don’t have a readout for you.

    (The briefing was concluded at 3:38 p.m.)

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          U.S. missile defense budget cut as North Korea pushes ahead      Cache   Translate Page      
          The Persian gamble / Joel C. Rosenberg.      Cache   Translate Page      
cover imageFrom the New York Times bestselling author of The Kremlin Conspiracy comes this latest international thriller about a terrifying nuclear alliance among three world powers--Russia, Iran, and North Korea--and the man who must halt their deadly strategy. Shot out of the air in enemy territory in the middle of the greatest international crisis since the end of the Cold War, former U.S. Secret Service agent Marcus Ryker finds himself facing an impossible task. Not only does he have to somehow elude detection and capture by Russian special forces, but he must convince his own government to grant safe harbor to the one man responsible for the global mayhem--Russian double agent and assassin Oleg Kraskin. While frantically negotiating with his contacts in the White House, Marcus learns that the unstable North Korean regime plans to use the international chaos as a smokescreen to sell nuclear weapons to Iran. With the fate of the entire free world on the line, Marcus makes a deal with the U.S. government--he will go back to work as an international operative and track down the WMDs before they end up in the hands of those with the determination and the means to use them. Marcus and Oleg worked together once before to avert a world war. Can they now find a way to stop world destruction?-- Publisher's description.
          Bye Bye Love. Wonkagenda For Tues., March 12, 2019      Cache   Translate Page      

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

There's so much fuckery in Trump's $4.75 trillion budget, we don't have nearly enough time to go through everything. Politico has a list of some of the winners and losers, the former being his golf buddies and Betsy DeVos, and the latter being poor people, the sick, and the elderly (thanks to massive cuts in Medicare and Medicaid previously sold as TrumpCare). WaPo notes that the administration is living in a complete fantasy believing that the economy is doing fine, counter to the analysis from every math geek who's ever used an abacus. Yesterday, OMB Director Russ Vought told reporters that it wasn't actually the Trump tax cuts (for the super rich) that ballooned the national debt, it was Obama. Earlier in the day, Vought appeared on CNBC to bitch and moan about the Mexican-Muslim taco truck invasion of the southern border, arguing that WALL was more important than sick, old, and/or poor people, and stated, "We're tired of being right." US TOO, BUDDY. Meanwhile, the GOP revolt over Trump's border wall has flipped Congress on its head as members consider measures ranging from overriding Trump's national emergency declaration, to limiting the presidential power to declare national emergencies.

In a bigass profile in WaPo, Nancy Pelosi finally said what's been hinted at for two years -- that she doesn't want to impeach Trump "unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan ... because it divides the country. And he's just not worth it." Some Democrats pushed back strongly on Pelosi's remarks, with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez noting Trump met "the Lindsey Graham standard" for impeachment "multiple times." In speaking with Politico, House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings called impeachment a "political process," and added, "You've got to have bipartisanship. Right now you've got 40 something percent of the country pleased, I guess, with what the president's doing. I think Pelosi realizes this."

Dick Cheney ripped Mike Pence a new asshole at a private meeting in Georgia over the weekend at a forum for a conservative think tank, according to a leaked transcript of the event. The war hawk criticized the Trump administration's foreign policy as being more limpwristed than Obama, complaining that Trump's idea to demand protection money from allies "sounded like a new York state real estate deal." Pence responded by reportedly asking, "Who wrote these softball questions?"

In a rare showing of bipartisan rebuke of the Trump administration, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have invited the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to Washington to address a joint session of Congress later this spring. The invite comes as Trump moves to charge US allies protection money to the tune of "cost plus 50."

Massachusetts Democratic Senator and 2020 candidate Elizabeth Warren suddenly found her ads calling for Facebook to be broken up taken down by Facebook. Facebook issued a statement saying the ads violated their policy of using its logos in advertising. Though the ads were later restored, they kind of proved Warren's point that Facebook is too goddamn big. Politico is stirring the pot this morning with a story about Warren taking money from Silicon Valley employees and selling her books on Amazon ... over the last decade.

Senators Ed Markey and Josh Hawley say they plan introduce a bill to amend the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The bill would reportedly extend protections of children up to 15-years-old, and bar platforms from targeting ads at kids under 13. Roll Call notes it's unlikely to become a law even though multiple states and the EU have already moved forward with strict data privacy regulations aimed at keeping companies from fiddling with kids' heads. Here's an example of COPPA laws in action.

Democrats have chosen Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for their 2020 nominating convention. In a tweet, the party stated Milwaukee was "more than equipped."

Wayne's World (8/10) Movie CLIP - Alice's History Lesson (1992) HD

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says her office was "thorough and professional" when it "thoroughly and appropriately" investigated sexual harassment allegations from a female staffer against Gillibrand's longtime driver and military adviser. In a brief scrum with reporters, Gillibrand said she has full confidence about the "professional and thorough" investigation that was now "thorough and complete." He must be a good man, and thorough.

Former Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke is headed to Iowa to help state Senate candidate Eric Giddens in a special election while simultaneously reaching out to former Obama people and courting activists. Beto hasn't announced #HesRunning (yet), but political wizards think it's just a matter of time.

Former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams clarified remarks she made at SXSW stating she hadn't decided if #ShesRunning in 2020, and said the possibility was "on the table." Abrams's initial remarks were that she kept a spreadsheet with gigs she wanted, and 2028 would have been the earliest she would run for president.

According to court records, a Roy Moore supporter pleaded the Fifth 65 TIMES when asked if he had tried to bribe the lawyer representing one of Moore's accusers to drop the client and issue a damning statement to Breitbart. What initially started as a defamation suit has grown to engulf Steve Bannon's rightwing shit rag. SCANDAL!

Those rascally radicals in antifa have dug up racist and anti-Semitic chat logs from from Bennet Bressman, the statewide field director for Nebraska's uber rich Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts. The 22-year-old Bressman says the logs, which date back to last year, were from a long time ago and no longer reflect who he is as a person, though screenshots of Bressman's social media accounts show him teaching people about "chad nationalism," joking about running down Black Lives Matter activists with his white car, dropping n-bombs and racial stereotypes, as well as old fashioned gay-hatin'. [Logs]

Current Florida man and former Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage started cold calling radio shows (again) to say those damn dirty Democrats get all their money from the JEEWWZZ, and that Rep. Ilhan Omar "completely vindicated" his long history of hate mongering. [Audio]

As British Prime Minister Theresa May faces the rapidly approaching zero for a "no-deal" Brexit scenario, the EU and UK agreed to a changes over the Irish backstop and permanent customs union. HOWEVER, the EU signaled the changes are by no means an end to negotiations just as a number of British MPs sounded off about their reluctance to support May's deal. If you're confused, don't worry, so is everyone else.

A new UN report says North Korea is cleverly avoiding oil, coal, and weapons sanctions, and hacking foreign banks to make some quick cash -- and that's on top of all the shady weapons testing programs they've quietly started back up. The report even includes photos of North Korean ships disguised as trading vessels illegally transferring energy and materials on the high seas, as well as the regime's smuggling of weapons to Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, possible gold-mining in the Republic of Congo, and supplying Uganda with military training and weapons.

Lawyers for Roger Stone say they "clumsily" tried to tell the court about Roger Stone's book, and that they'd like to "move ahead without further ado," HOWEVER emails from Stone to his publisher show Stone bitching about a gag order interfering with his book sales, arguing for more money, and demanding fewer copies of the book be printed.

The Senate Intel Committee met with Simona Mangiante, the wife of George Papadopoulos, to ask about her old boss, ALLEGED Russian spy Joseph Mifsud. Mangiante told WaPo that she was "happy to provide information," emphatically adding, "Definitely not because I am a Russian spy." [No, she said that!]

Tucker Carlson refused to apologize for sexist and misogynist comments made to a shock jock's radio show unearthed by Media Matters. Tucker likened the campaign to have him and Jeanine Pirro "You're Fired" to a "mob" in a defiant monologue, and stated he planned to "fight it" while crying on the shoulder of Sean Hannity. Media Matters later released MORE damning audio of Tucker where he claims "white men" were responsible for "creating civilization," waxes philosophical about THE BLACKNESS of the Obamas, and whines that Iraqi people aren't "human beings" because they "don't use toilet paper or forks," and that they're actually, "semiliterate primitive monkeys," Shortly after Tucker's monologue, Fox News host Brit Hume tweeted, "Doing well is the best revenge," and linked to Tucker's TV ratings. Meanwhile, Variety's Brian Steinberg noted Tucker didn't have many ads during his show, and that's not a good sign (for him).

Two of the most prominent NRA board members tell the New York Times that NRATV's hard-right turn into fear mongering of apocalyptic race riots, ALLEGED grift, and shady Russian fuckery has forced them to reconsider what the hell they're all doing. Apparently Dana Loesch putting Thomas the Tank in a KKK hood was a little too much, even for gun fetishists chumming red meat.

After the Westboro Baptist Church decided to take a field trip to the Virginia state capitol and protest the state's first and only openly transgender lawmaker, Del. Danica Roem, the lead singer of heavy metal band Lamb of God organized a counter-protest with free kazoos. Several hundred people turned out in support of Roem, who herself fronts a local heavy metal band, and chased out the hate group out within 30 minutes.

And here's your morning Nice Time! A KIWI CHICK!

Second Kiwi Chick of 2019 Hatches at Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

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          North Korea rebuilding rocket sites: What does this mean?      Cache   Translate Page      
North Korea knows the world can see it rebuilding its rocket sites, so what signal is it trying to send?
          Vietnam urges Malaysia free 2nd woman in N. Korean killing      Cache   Translate Page      
Vietnam has urged Malaysia to release the second woman accused of killing the estranged half brother of North Korea's leader. Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh made the plea in a … Click to Continue »
          A La Carte (March 12)      Cache   Translate Page      
Today’s Kindle deals include a whole load of books from Zondervan, many of which will appeal to those of you who are academically inclined. (Yesterday on the blog: What’s the Purpose (and the Benefit) of Family Devotions?) What It’s Like to ‘Vote’ in North Korea “Voting for the Supreme People’s Assembly (SPA) is mandatory and there’s no choice of candidates. Any kind of dissent is unheard of. Turnout is always close to 100% and approval for the governing alliance is unanimous.” I …

          A string of bad choices after I got married led to the best financial decision I've ever made for my family      Cache   Translate Page      

Personal Finance Insider writes about products, strategies, and tips to help you make smart decisions with your money. We may receive a small commission from our partners, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

parent mom child summer

  • In 2009, Holly Johnson and her husband were about $50,000 in debt — and they were tired of it.
  • They used the debt snowball method to eliminate their smaller bills first and “snowball” larger and larger payments toward their remaining debts over time.
  • They also started zero-sum budgeting, which gives each dollar earned a job. 
  • Now, they're completely debt-free and on a path to retire early, and their freedom is more precious than anything money can buy.

When I met my husband in 2004, he had some hand-me-down furniture, a closet full of clothes, and $2,000 in credit card debt. But we married shortly after anyway because, well, I married for love. And I didn’t really care much about money anyway; when I uttered the words “for rich or for poor,” I absolutely meant it.

Fast forward a few years and we weren’t making the world’s best financial decisions. We took out big car loans and over $20,000 in student loans, and we frequently spent all the money from our paychecks and more.

By the time we had our first daughter in 2009, we had around $50,000 in debt. It wasn’t necessarily egregious debt since it was mostly car loans and student loans, but it sure sounded like a lot to me.

Need help with student loans? Our partner SoFi gives you fast access to tools to save money on student loans. Learn more »

There’s something about becoming a parent that makes even “normal” problems seem like a real emergency. One look into my daughter’s eyes told me I didn’t want to live a paycheck-to-paycheck existence. I wanted to take her on family vacations, to afford her every opportunity — and to help her reach her dreams.

That’s hard to do when you’re spending 20% of your take-home pay on car payments, which we were doing at the time. I knew something had to change, so my husband and I sat down with our bills and banking statements to figure out our next steps.

How we used budgeting to create a debt-free lifestyle

It’s pretty shocking the first time you sit down with your bills, your bank statements, and your pay stubs to see exactly where your money is going each month. When my husband and I looked at our credit card bills and tallied up our spending in regular categories, we were shocked to find out we were wasting $1,000 per month or more on food, $1,000 per month on car payments and insurance, and way more than we realized on entertainment, clothing, and random “stuff.” Considering we were forking over almost half of our take-home pay for food and cars, it’s no wonder we weren’t saving money each month!

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While the process was shocking and painful, learning this information was an essential part of our journey. You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge, after all, and we needed to admit our spending was out of whack.

Once we realized where we had gone off track, my husband and I figured it made sense to “spend” every dollar we earned on paper, including towards debts and savings. We later learned this budgeting method is referred to as “zero-sum budgeting” because the end goal each month is getting your bank account down to zero.

Keep track of exactly where your money is going with our partner Personal Capital. Learn more »

Our new zero-sum budget took our regular, consistent income into account, making room for regular bills and estimating expenses in categories that fluctuate like food and transportation. We also made some adjustments — some big cuts — in areas where we had some control. We decided to limit food spending to $500 per month, for example, which meant no dining out. We also went on a spending freeze altogether so we could allocate our extra money toward debt repayment.

We opted to use the debt snowball method to attack our debts — a strategy that asks you to allocate your extra funds toward your smallest debts first while paying the minimums on others. For us, this meant getting rid of our small credit card balances within a few months so we could focus on the bigger loans — namely car loans and student loans.

The benefits of a debt-free lifestyle

Because we earned a decent income at the time, it didn’t take us long to make serious headway toward our car loans. We started by paying off the smallest loan first — an $8,000 car loan on my 2007 Dodge Caravan. From there, we focused on paying off the last $12,000 in loans on my husband’s 2009 Toyota Prius. By the time our car loans were done, we were earning a lot more and demolishing our student loans at rapid pace.

By the time we paid off our final student loans, we hadn’t dined out more than three or four times in the previous two years. We didn’t have cable television, and we were shopping for clothing and thrift stores.

Save money on bills with our partner Trim, which helps negotiate down your monthly costs through a simple app. Learn more »

But you know what? We were probably the happiest we had ever been. We were spending more time at home with our kids and with each other, and we were no longer stressed about money or bills.

We also had a sense of purpose, especially since we had been dreaming a lot about our debt-free future. My husband and I saved saving several hundred dollars per month while we paid down debt, so we had quite the little nest egg for security.

There’s something really amazing about living a debt-free lifestyle, and it didn’t take us long to figure out what it was. There’s so much freedom! When you don’t have any bills to pay each month and you’re saving a large percentage of your income, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish. You can dream about things you never could before — things like family vacations and paying for your children’s college education. But, more than that — you can actually follow through on those dreams and hatch a plan to make them come true.

Living the debt-free dream

While we were thrilled to become debt-free many years ago, that wasn’t the only financial goal my husband and I wanted to accomplish. With more money at our disposal every month, we wanted to max out our retirement accounts every year and pay off our home extremely early.

Fortunately, these dreams have come true for us. We started maxing out our retirement accounts several years ago, but we also paid off our primary residence in early 2018. For the first time in our lives, we are 100% free of debt and beholden to no one. All we have to pay for each month are taxes, insurance, and basic living expenses.  

But, we’re still the same people we were before — even though we’re earning more now and don’t have many bills. My husband still drives the same 2009 Toyota Prius, and we even share it because we both work at home. We still don’t have cable television and we still dine out infrequently because it’s so darn expensive.

Read More: A woman who retired at 38 says most people probably can't do it

The biggest difference in our life is the fact that we save significantly more than we spend every month, and we’re on the path toward a very early retirement. With no money stress to speak of, we’re also much happier and more present parents than we dreamed we could be.

Marrying my husband was probably the best thing I ever did with my life, and having children is a very close second. But choosing a debt-free lifestyle is without a doubt the third most important thing I’ve ever done — both for myself and for my family.

New cars, restaurant meals, and home upgrades are always nice, but a debt-free lifestyle is the best gift money can buy. I don’t have a new car or a lot of nice things, but I have one thing I would never trade away — the freedom to live life on my own terms.

SEE ALSO: The 'debt snowball' and 'debt avalanche' might sound gimmicky, but they're both highly effective strategies to get out of credit card debt

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's how North Korea's Kim Jong Un became one of the world's scariest dictators

          A woman who retired at 38 says most people probably can't do it      Cache   Translate Page      

tanja hester

  • It's more difficult to retire early if you start from zero savings or have debt.
  • That wasn't the case for Tanja Hester, who retired at 38. She had a head start with retirement savings and home equity, she told The Cut.
  • But it still took Hester six years to save enough to retire, which she did in part by moving to a city with a lower cost of living.

Tanja Hester began planning her early retirement at 32, she recently told The Cut.

She was driven to retire early by a demanding work life that put stress on both her physical health and her marriage, she said.

"Isn't the idea that you're supposed to achieve more to get a better lifestyle, not a worse one? It was like my work advancement came at the expense of the rest of my life," Hester, a blogger at Our Next Life, told The Cut.

Before they officially left their jobs, Hester and her husband had put away about 37 times their annual spending, but they weren't starting from scratch.

"It took us about six years to save up for our retirement, and we were not starting from zero. I want to be very clear about that," she told The Cut. "We had retirement savings and home equity before we began the process. I don't think most people can retire at 38 like I did."

Looking back, Hester said, she worked hard on her own as the child of a single dad on disability to eventually be able to retire early, but she was helped by at least some "luck and privilege," including graduating from college with very little debt. Still, Hester and her husband have "always been big savers," she said.

How close are you to being able to retire? Find out with this calculator from our partners:


Hester wrote in her book, "Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny-Pinching Way," that there are a number of ways to fast-track yourself to financial independence and create support structures to stay on that path, Business Insider's Hillary Hoffower reported.

"There are two sides to the saving equation that affect how quickly you can save: how much you earn and how much you spend," Hester wrote. She outlines four steps to quick savings progress: underspend on housing, underspend on transportation, increase your earnings, and use your raises to increase your savings.

"What really helped us do it was that we moved from LA to Tahoe, which has a much lower cost of living," Hester told The Cut. "We bought a home here in 2011, when the housing market was in our favor, and telecommuted for years."

Ultimately, deciding how much money you need to retire early really depends on two factors: your cost of living and how much you expect to earn through investments or passive income during retirement. Once you've calculated that amount — which Grant Sabatier, a self-made millionaire who retired at 30, calls your "target number" — you can figure out how much you need to save monthly, weekly, or even daily to get there. 

SEE ALSO: A woman who retired at 38 says 4 strategies can help anyone save big without pinching pennies

DON'T MISS: 8 things I should have done differently while saving money to retire early at 38

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's how North Korea's Kim Jong Un became one of the world's scariest dictators

          North Korea defies UN with arms sales and oil imports, report says      Cache   Translate Page      
North Korea has broken UN sanctions with a "massive" increase of oil imports and coal exports, a UN report has found.
           Comment on What I Did to Prep This Week – Week 34 – Mar 3rd – Mar 9th 2019 by The Ohio Prepper       Cache   Translate Page      
Thor1 & all, To answer the question in the video: <strong>“Are you prepared for the blackout”</strong> I would say “yes”. We could provide our own power for months at full operation and longer than that in austerity mode, which has already been tested numerous times. The only things left to accomplish would be some blackout curtains or materials for covering some of the windows and to bring some firewood into the house in cold weather; but, the later can be accomplished this upcoming summer. The answer to your question: <strong>“Is this a trial run by the dark state for the USA ???”</strong> is an emphatic NO. The “Dark State” or “Deep State” will not tear down the infrastructure that we all count on, including them, when they can simply loot the treasury and line their pockets. The blackouts in Venezuela are not the diavolical USA cutting their power to steal their oil and minerals; but, simply the result of poor maintenance of the infrastructure by the socialist dictatorship, which historically is always the end point of those regimes. North Korea & Cuba are perfect examples, as were / are large portions of the USSR / Russia. I find it interesting that the video narrator calls Juan Guaidó a puppet, even though he has been recognized as the interim president of Venezuela by dozens of countries including the United States and European Union member states, and including numerous Central and South American countries in the OAS (Organization of American States) who border that once wealthy socialist wasteland. He also makes the assertion that our defense infrastructure cannot operate without the internet; but, fails to understand the “other” internet, known as MILNET and then makes the assertion that in Middle America, “The conversation has ceased and people are no longer willing to talk to each other” and has become a hostile environment. His research has determined that after 8 hours of no power, we will see aggressive looting and fires. If I recall, some on this forum have mentioned having their power out for days, and they got along with no looting. How can this be? To the narrator, the assertion that Marco Rubio tweeted about the grid down in Venezuela before the Venezuelan officials knew about it, is somehow proof of a conspiracy, or could it be proof that our surveillance and communications infrastructure is fast and efficient. While not real-time like the Keyholes and Aquacades (previously called Rhyolite), any of us can look at a rather interesting birds eye view of our property on Google or with Google maps and street view. I had to laugh out loud when he mentioned the “The Pyramid of Preparedness”, like It was something he created. FEMA has used this phrase for a long time, and there is a good guides here: I went through the steps to get his pdf & it’s quite honestly not as good as the one above from FEMA. Just the typical list of Food, Water, Shelter, Defense and power; but, at least at first glance, it doesn’t appear to be trying to sell me something. Since I had to supply an email address that could of course come later, LOL. He does BTW mention “fear’ numerous times in his presentation, to get the point across that we should all be scared into prepping and if that doesn’t work, there is that time tested bogy man, <strong>“The illuminati”</strong> who of course orchestrated “9/11”. I have worked with GPS systems since the early days, and this idiot also thinks that taking down the internet stops the GPS system from operating; but, I suspect the uneducated will believe I also have to wonder if Christopher Greene is the narrators real name, since Christopher was an American legislator and soldier who is best known for leading the spirited defense of Fort Mercer in the 1777 Battle of Red Bank, and for leading the African American 1st Rhode
          In reversal, US withdrawing all embassy personnel from Venezuela amid days of blackouts, protests      Cache   Translate Page      

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. is withdrawing its remaining diplomatic personnel from the embassy in Venezuela, citing the "deteriorating situation" given days of blackouts, increased water shortages and the threat of further protests.

The decision also comes amid growing concern that American diplomats could become a pawn in the battle with President Nicolas Maduro as the U.S. tries to push him from power.

Despite Maduro's calls for their expulsion, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed to keep American personnel there to support Juan Guaido, the president of the National Assembly who has been recognized as the country's interim president by the U.S. and over 50 other countries.

But the sudden reversal was announced late Monday night in a statement where Pompeo called embassy staff's presence a "constraint on U.S. policy."

"Decisions you make are always encumbered by the fact that you know there's real risk to your own people, people that you've sent into harm's way," Pompeo added Tuesday. "We wanted to get them out of the country so that we could move forward in a way that provided that opportunity."

U.S. Special Envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams wouldn't say what had been constrained, but that diplomats' presence weighed on senior officials in Washington because the U.S. does not believe Maduro's government had the ability to protect them.

Since recognizing Guaido, the U.S. has sanctioned the state-owned oil company and top Maduro-aligned officials, imposed visa bans or revocations on over 250 officials and amassed around 200 metric tons of humanitarian aid across the border in Colombia and supported efforts by Guaido and his supporters to rush it across the border.

But nearly two months after casting Maduro as no longer legitimate, the socialist leader remains in control, backed by allies Cuba and Russia. Top Trump officials have warned in recent days that they want to take action to accelerate Maduro's departure, with Abrams saying Tuesday that there will be a "significant number of additional visa revocations" and "some very significant additional sanctions" imminently.

That could have exposed U.S. diplomats to retaliatory action by Maduro's government, especially as it grows more desperate amid the declining humanitarian situation.

"In every decision we made ... the safety of that staff was a key consideration, and that was something that weighed very heavily on our mind," Abrams told reporters Tuesday.

The embassy's facilities were also facing "a finite number of days" because of fuel shortages, a lack of water access, and little to no electricity and, therefore, telecommunications, Abrams said.

Venezuela has been left in darkness, for five days now, with power outages across the country that have been blamed for deaths at hospitals and water and food shortages. Maduro's government has accused the U.S. of being behind the blackouts, which Pompeo denied Monday, calling them "a direct result of years and years of neglect to the Venezuelan energy system."

Maduro's Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said Tuesday that they were behind the departure of remaining U.S. diplomats, ordering them to leave after talks over their continued presence broke down Monday.

Abrams confirmed that there had been talks with the Maduro government about U.S. diplomats, but because the U.S. viewed him as the "former" president of the country, his government had no right to expel Americans, who remained at the request of Guaido. While the U.S. remains confident in Guaido and his fledgling government, Abrams added, "The fact is that today, the regime has the guns."

The embassy had previously ordered the departure of non-emergency personnel and families in late January, slimming a staff of 100 to 150 personnel down to just a handful, led by Chargé d' Affaires Jimmy Story. U.S. personnel will depart over the next couple of days, although the State Department has declined to say when that process will begin or end.

That means no U.S. government services for the remaining American citizens, who at one time numbered between 30,000 and 40,000, according to Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams. That number has likely decreased as the economic crisis has deepened in recent weeks, a State Department official told ABC News.

The State Department lists Venezuela as a "Level 4: Do Not Travel" on its advisory, urging American citizens to evacuate. The U.S. is in talks with a handful of countries to designate a protecting power -- a third-party nation that looks after U.S. citizens in a foreign country, like Sweden does in North Korea.

But even before a protecting power has been designated, the U.S. will not provide evacuations for U.S. citizens, urging them instead to leave as soon as possible on commercial travel.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

          Geostrategy After the Deadlock in U.S.-North-Korean Relations      Cache   Translate Page      
Eric Zuesse, originally posted at George Friedman, the head of the ‘private CIA’ firm Stratfor, issued a report on March 5th, “After Hanoi: North Korea, the US and Japan”, and it said: The strategy since World War II, built … Continue reading
           Comment on A Colorful Journey to the Afterlife by H L       Cache   Translate Page      
I have to tell you the bad news. I got fascinated, too, of Kokdu, after many Koreans swept them in the past 10 years. Lots of the fake ones are still around, and, the older folks in the antique markets tell me that they are not supposed to be sold in such perfect conditions or vivid colors. And, many of them were dipped in the antique treatment from China, North Korea and they are brought to be sold for 70-150 bucks in all over Korea. The real ones didn't survive another funeral (not recycled) as each household removed those and just re-used the frames of Sangyo for the one time event, and, Japanese governent forced to abandon any costly adornment but paper flowers and tassles during 1910s-1945 during their occupancy. And, these antique dealers told me they don't believe there are so many of them all of sudden showed up. And, it is true that even Koreans do not know we had these wooden men, but, yes, I have seen the dragon heads or abstract coral shape patterns. The real stuff would not have the vivid color intact, like the museum versions. To me, they were all newly stained in the past 20-30 years, just like all palaces in Seoul. They were all newly pained in the past 20-30 years, with more colors added. And, I don't recall Korean traditional architecture was colorful from my own younger days. Although I was purchasing some of the Kokdu, I stopped, as I found out that there is no deep rooted story behind it once I researched further. It is like old Bronze Spoon of BC 200 old you can still find, in the market, which are smuggled, and, you are not supposed to buy something stolen. At least, this is what I have been finding so far as of December 2018. Kokdu museum is closed, and their little version their website mentions, in Samchong-dong hanok village area is closed, at random, when the website says it is open. When you call and no one answers, it is closed. I left 1 star review for not respondingthe calls on open days. I really advise you to get familiar with the Museum collections. And, make sure you don't run into knockoff Kokdus Knockoffs use different colors other than 5 colors (Obang-sek) and they are larger. The Korean ones look quite flimpsy, and they tend to be more authentic. More whimsical means modern creation with modern minds. Many Dapsimri (orange building) ground floor shop owners are jokes, to me. especially this older woman with the contemporary art, with acrylic painting-she has lots of tombstones and Jeju Harubang, but they are Chinese knockoffs. She offended me to drag me to the basement storage, filled with tones of unframed knockoff she hasn't framed yet. I concluded that it is too strange Kokdu is all of sudden too prevalent in the market, when I haven't seen a single one 20 years ago. Never heard of it. So, be cautious. I have a couple of ones, but, the seller clearly told me of its origin, from North Korea. via China. Nowadays, Chinese knockoff goes back to North Korea and processed and now shipped back out to South Korea with the cheated origin of North Korea of decades old. Luckily, mine was authentic, as I found the identical style from Kyongki area, in a house museum who got the same, donated 40 years ago to their collection. Mokin gallery in Insadong is closed when I visited the Insadong area in December, 2018, too. And, I think they will be re-open in far out in north outskirt of Old Seoul. It is getting harder to find what is authentic historical time pieces wherever I go
          A Michigan college student died after falling from a 7th-floor balcony at the Mexican resort where he was spending spring break with his girlfriend      Cache   Translate Page      

solarisShantelle F./Yelp

  • A 19-year-old Michigan man died on Friday, after falling from a seventh-floor balcony at the Cancun resort where he was spending spring break with his girlfriend.
  • Ahmed Altaii of Dearborn died just before 10 p.m. local time. His girlfriend told Mexican authorities he had started drinking early in the day.
  • Altaii, who was a student at Henry Ford Community College, will be buried in Iraq, where much of his family still lives.

A Michigan teen died on Friday, after falling from a seventh-floor balcony while vacationing in Mexico for spring break.

Ahmed Altaii, 19, fell from his hotel room balcony at the GR Solaris Cancun Resort just before 10 p.m., according to local officials who spoke to the Yucatan Times.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

NOW WATCH: Here's how North Korea's Kim Jong Un became one of the world's scariest dictators

See Also:

          Malaysia court frees woman in North Korea murder case      Cache   Translate Page      
          U.S. missile defense budget cut as North Korea pushes ahead      Cache   Translate Page      
Just when it looks like North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may restart his ballistic missile testing program, U.S. President Donald Trump has proposed trimming the missile defense budget, as one set of deterrents is delayed by two years.

          (CAN-ON-MARKHAM) Software Developer – IBM Cloud Private Platform      Cache   Translate Page      
**Job Description** Job Description: IBM Cloud is currently looking for experienced Software Developers to join our global development team building the world’s leading platform for private-, hybrid- and multi-cloud. IBM Cloud Private brings cloud-native development, microservices architectures and DevOps practices to enterprises’ own data centers, unlocking tremendous efficiencies and agility. With our products clients enjoy the benefits of cloud while retaining control over their own data and IT security, and while also leveraging their existing IT investments. As a Software Developer on the IBM Cloud Private team, you’ll be responsible for design, development, and testing of key components of IBM Cloud Private’s core platform and multi-cloud capabilities. Using our agile methodology, you and your squad will commit to deliver high-value and high-quality enhancements in rapid, 2-week sprint cycles. You will work with our worldwide team of Architects, Offering Managers, Researchers, Testers, and Support Engineers to understand our clients’ use cases and rapidly deliver solutions that meet their needs. You will have deep technical skills in distributed systems software development, cloud-native technologies, Linux, Docker containers, and Kubernetes. You will be comfortable coding in multiple languages such as Golang, Java, Python, and C++, and have experience with the full development lifecycle including design, development, testing, documentation and support. Responsibilities: + Performs investigation, design, and implementation of stories, tasks, and defect fixes within a sprint cycle as a key member of the development squad. + Develops and maintains automated tests and CI/CD scripts that provides high coverage of all the key positive and negative use cases that customers need to ensure no regression occurs from release to release. + Prepares and presents technology architecture/design and demos at playback meetings to show progress and solicit team direction. + Prepares and writes technical documentation such as content to be included in the product documentation and training materials. + Seeks out opportunities to directly help clients and other IBMers to effectively use our products and learn from their experiences. + Participates in relevant open source communities to expand skills, contribute to key technologies and inform team decisions on trends and opportunities. + Mentors junior developers to speed their learning and contributions. This role will involve working with technology that is covered by Export Regulations sanctions. If you are a Foreign National from any of the following US sanctioned countries (Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria) on a work permit, you are not eligible for employment in this position **Required Technical and Professional Expertise** + 5+ years of experience delivering enterprise-class software products + 3+ years of experience as a software developer working on cloud or distributed systems using multiple languages such as Golang, Python, Java, C/C++, Scala. + Deep knowledge of Linux, Networking, Docker, Kubernetes, and related cloud-native development technologies. + Excellent verbal and written communication abilities: must effectively communicate with technical and non-technical teams. + High attention to detail and proven track record in taking ownership, driving results and moving with speed to implement ideas in a fast-paced online environment + Willingness to roll up your sleeves and do whatever is necessary + Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or equivalent **Preferred Tech and Prof Experience** + Experience working with CI/CD processes, DevOps methodologies and tools such as git, Jenkins, Travis. + Experience with multiple cloud services, including IBM Cloud, AWS, Azure, Google Cloud as well as VMware and OpenStack + Master’s degree in Computer Science or equivalent **EO Statement** IBM is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. IBM is also committed to compliance with all fair employment practices regarding citizenship and immigration status.
          Press Releases: Interview With Jason Miles of KHOU-11 News      Cache   Translate Page      
Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of State
Houston, Texas
March 12, 2019

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, thanks for sitting down with us. Let’s start with kind of the news of the day, and that is the decision to withdraw personnel from Venezuela. What can you tell us about that?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So Jason, it’s great to be with you, thanks for your time today. We made the decision last night that the situation in Venezuela changed, that the risk to American diplomats was too great. And so we’ve decided that we’ll have them all return to the United States. Keeping them safe is our first priority. We also found that it was constraining some of the things that we think we’re going to need to work on over the next weeks. We wanted to make sure we had the capacity to do that, so they’ll be coming home the next couple or three days.

QUESTION: What’s the biggest challenge in regards to Venezuela?

SECRETARY POMPEO: The devastation that Maduro has wrought on the Venezuelan people is truly horrific. They’ve got food and water shortages. We’ve seen over the past days the electrical outages that they can’t get fixed. This is really horrible. The American people have been very generous, have delivered over 200 metric tons of food aid into the region, but the Maduro regime won’t let it in. They won’t allow food for starving people or medicine for the sick to come in and take care of their people. And it’s what we, along with our partners in the region – Brazil, Colombia, all the neighbors of Venezuela – are working on to try and fix. We want a better life, we want democracy restored in Venezuela.

QUESTION: Obviously you travel the globe from country to country, crisis to crisis – North Korea, China, Venezuela, name it. As far as the Trump administration is concerned right now, what’s the most concerning or biggest global issue for you personally and/or the administration?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So it’s always hard to pick the top issue. We’ve certainly focused on North Korea, trying to convince Chairman Kim to honor the commitment he made this past June to denuclearize. The President’s focused on the border as well; that matters here in Texas. It’s a national security issue, too. The long-term threat that China poses to the United States is real, and we continue to work on that each and every day. And then I’m here, I’m here in Texas this week to talk about energy and American energy security. So the things we do domestically, the fact that we’re going to become the world’s largest producer and exporter of crude oil, is a big deal globally. It helps us make friends around the world and take pressure off some of those countries who have been relying on energy from countries they’d frankly rather not do business with.

QUESTION: There’s a new poll out this morning – Monmouth, I think – 57 percent of Americans supposedly wanting a new president in 2020. What is the Secretary of State’s role on the political side? Is there one?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Yeah, I’m in charge of working to be America’s senior diplomat and keep Americans safe. I suppose if we do that, the American people will be more likely to be happy, but it’s not what I’m focused on. What I’m focused on is making sure that each and every day, my team – that numbers in the tens of thousands that’s all around the world – is doing its job to project American values, the rule of law, the intrinsic greatness of the United States of America that helps keep Americans safe. I think we’re winning; I think we’re making real progress there. And I’m very proud of the work that this administration has done around the world.

QUESTION: A lot of Americans may not realize all the rank and file people who are doing day in and day out jobs in your department, many other departments, no matter what political crisis or drama is going on, right?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Everyone who gets a passport is interacting with an employee of the United States Department of State. We have a big task around the world. President Trump has enabled us to do really remarkable work. I’m very proud of our team, and I’m glad to be in Texas today to talk about what it is we do, how we recruit young people to come be American diplomats, and why I want Texans to come be part of the State Department as well.

QUESTION: The new budget proposal has a big chunk of money, obviously, for the border wall. You mentioned it a little earlier. What are the chances of that happening?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Sorry, I don’t do political predictions. I’m kind of out of that business. But I think there’s a bipartisan consensus that there’s real risk, that there’s a crisis down at our border. I hope they will provide the resources, that Congress will provide the resources that Americans are demanding along that border so that we can keep Americans safe. It’s not only about keeping people – and knowing who’s coming in, but we need to know what contraband’s passing along that border as well. I’ve seen this. We need to know who and what is coming across our southern border, and President Trump is firmly committed to achieving that.

QUESTION: CERAWeek, a lot of people realize it’s a big energy conference. What is the main message you’re going to deliver today?

SECRETARY POMPEO: The greatness of America and the importance of American energy to America’s national security, how it is the case that if we get it right at home, if we keep winning in the energy world here at home, that folks that live in San Antonio or Houston or Longview – I know Texas well – that the people of Texas will be safer and more secure, and that we’ll do a good turn for the rest of the world as well.

QUESTION: That it? Thank you, sir.

SECRETARY POMPEO: All right, Jason, thank you very much. It’s great to be with you.

QUESTION: Pleasure to meet you.

The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.
External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

          Press Releases: Interview With Laura Rice of Texas Standard      Cache   Translate Page      
Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of State
Via Teleconference
March 12, 2019

QUESTION: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joins us now. Secretary Pompeo, thank you for your time.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you, Laura. It’s great to be with you.

QUESTION: The U.S. has recently become the world’s largest oil producer and new reports say it could soon be the largest oil exporter. I understand your address today will focus on how this strengthens our national security. How is that?

SECRETARY POMPEO: I wanted to come to Texas today to talk about that very fact. This is a game-changer for American national security. As America’s most senior diplomat, I travel the world, and boy, there’s not a country I go to where energy isn’t at the top of their list, and what this does – what all of this success here in American domestic energy production does for me and for Americans, to keep them safe – is it permits us to share with those countries our wealth, our resources, to cut deals that support their energy security in places as far off as Vietnam and the Philippines and Europe.

And it permits them too to wean themselves from energy that they’re taking from adversaries, countries that want to do their country harm. This is a big deal for American national security. It gives us lots of power throughout the world, and our capacity has increased during the Trump administration. We intend to – intend to continue to do that, not only to create wealth for and jobs here in the United States, but to enhance America’s national security posture around the world as well.

QUESTION: The big news today again is Venezuela. One statistic you mentioned in a press conference yesterday is that Venezuela’s oil production is down by half since Nicolas Maduro took power. You accuse Cuba’s involvement as being about oil. Is oil also at the center of U.S. interest in Venezuela?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Only in the sense that we want the Venezuelan people to have access to their own wealth and not the corruption – the corruption that has followed the Maduro regime, this oil wealth being stripped away by the kleptocrats of the Maduro regime, taken for their personal benefit and not shared with the Venezuelan people. The Cubans have done the same. This isn’t what the Venezuelan people deserve, it’s not what they want, and America’s efforts to restore democracy and the rule of law, and to help feed and have medicine for the Venezuelan people – that’s the purpose of our efforts in Venezuela. And when we get this right, when Maduro is gone and there’s fair and free elections and democracy is restored, the oil wealth of Venezuela will be returned to its people.

QUESTION: Along with Cuba, you point to Russia as helping to support Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro. You just announced you’re withdrawing all diplomatic staff in Venezuela. In a tweet, you said, “The presence of U.S. diplomatic staff at the embassy has become a constraint on U.S. policy.” How do you mean?

SECRETARY POMPEO: We decided yesterday that it was important that we keep American diplomats safe, and so we made the decision that we would withdraw the remaining personnel there in Caracas and bring them back to the United States. So we’ll do that over the days ahead. Anytime you’re dealing with a situation that is deteriorating as fast that it is – as it is in Venezuela today, decisions you make are always encumbered by the fact that you know there’s real risk to your own people, people that you’ve sent into harm’s way. We wanted to get them back, we wanted to get them out of the country so that we could move forward in a way that provided that opportunity.

We have 200 metric tons of food sitting in the region, trying to deliver into Venezuela to feed the hungry and to provide medicine for the sick. We want to make sure that as we continue to work in the region alongside of our partners, we don’t have any constraints on action that we might need to take in order to achieve that.

QUESTION: That food that is waiting to support Venezuelan people, I assume part of the State Department budget goes out to pay for programs and food like that. What do you do with the Trump administration’s new budget proposal, which includes $13 billion in proposed cuts? Does that mean that support like this for places like Venezuela is lessened?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Oh, in fact just the opposite. Contained in the President’s budget request is up to $500 million, an enormous amount of resources that the Trump budget is proposing to provide to assist the Venezuelan people when the time is right. This budget will serve America well, America’s national security interests, because we’re prepared to help the Venezuelan people with real resources. The American taxpayers have been most generous, and President Trump has led that charge.

QUESTION: So as Trump’s budget decreases the spending for the State Department and also includes more military spending, should Americans be worried about policy shifting from diplomacy to boots on the ground?

SECRETARY POMPEO: You can take a look at the first two years of the Trump administration to see the effectiveness of our foreign policy. Our capacity to deliver really solid, really sound diplomatic outcomes – to build coalitions in a way that, frankly, the previous administration just chose not to do – a global coalition to put sanctions on North Korea, to hopefully get them to denuclearize. The world has come together – 50-plus nations – to recognize that Maduro’s time had come. A big, global coalition to take down the caliphate – over 80 countries in the Defeat-ISIS Coalition. We have worked diplomatic – incredibly successfully in the President’s first two years, and I’m very confident that we’ll have the resources, and I know we have the talent to deliver good outcomes for the American people in the days and weeks and months ahead as well.

QUESTION: You mentioned North Korea. The proposed cuts to the State Department come soon after a second summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, where no agreement was made. Where do we stand now in that situation?

SECRETARY POMPEO: I’ve personally been working on this alongside the President for my entire time as the Secretary of State, and in fact even just a bit before. In Singapore, in June of last year, Chairman Kim made a historic commitment to denuclearize his country, and in exchange the United States and President Trump made a commitment to provide peace and security and stability on the Korean Peninsula and a brighter future for the North Korean people. Our Japanese partners, our South Korean partners are working alongside us to achieve each of those goals from Singapore.

We didn’t make as much progress as we would have hoped in Hanoi, but the conversations continue. And meanwhile, there are not missile tests being conducted, there aren’t nuclear tests being conducted. We’ve made progress. Obviously more needs to be done. This has been a problem of a long standing, and we continue to march down the path, hopefully leading to a place where the threat of nuclear weapons from North Korea will be enormously diminished.

QUESTION: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Houston today for the energy conference known as CERAWeek. Secretary Pompeo, thanks again for your time.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you, Laura. You have a great day.

QUESTION: You too.

The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.
External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

          Press Releases: Interview With Hal Jay and Brian Estridge of WBAP Morning News      Cache   Translate Page      
Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of State
Via Teleconference
March 12, 2019

QUESTION: Yes, and Secretary Mike Pompeo joins us (inaudible) Secretary of State, kind enough to carve out a couple of moments for us. He’s headed to Houston for a – to deliver a keynote to – at a big energy conference, Hal.

QUESTION: All right.

QUESTION: And we’ve got a lot to get into. Secretary, thanks for the time this morning. Let’s dive right into the news that came out this week that all of the sudden, the U.S. is the number one exporter of energy in the world, and this really strengthens our standing internationally, doesn’t it?

SECRETATRY POMPEO: Well great, it’s thanks to be with you. And it does, that’s why I’m down here. I wanted to talk about what U.S. energy production does for American national security, how it keeps people from Dallas and San Antonio and Houston and all across Texas safer, lets us work more closely with our friends and puts real pressure on those who want to do harm to the United States. So this energy production really matters. I wanted to come down here and talk about how, as American’s most senior diplomat, we use that to advantage to keep America safe.

QUESTION: Yeah, is that leverage for you when it comes to negotiating around the world?

SECRETATRY POMPEO: There are very few countries I travel to – I was in the Philippines last week and Vietnam, I’ll be in Europe in a couple of days and the Middle East. Everywhere I go, energy is at the top of the list. Demand for energy is only growing, and those who can produce and provide it have an enormous advantage when it comes to security around the world.

QUESTION: Are we at the point now where America can say we don’t have to worry about other countries anymore, Middle East oil, anything like that, we’re – we are on our own?

SECRETATRY POMPEO: So we’re getting close to where we’ll have true American energy dominance. It’s a global market; it’s a complicated market. But the more energy that we produce here in America, so the more we can do – and the Trump administration’s done a lot of this, reduce regulations, create opportunities for jobs and wealth creation in the energy industry in America – the safer Americans will be around the world as well.

QUESTION: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is with us right now. That leverage that we talk about when it comes to energy doesn’t just play in the Middle East. Does it factor into the negotiations that are ongoing with North Korea at all?

SECRETATRY POMPEO: North Korea presents a special situation for sure, but nobody can escape the truth. The truth is to grow an economy you need energy. Their electrical infrastructure needs work. They need refined petroleum products. One of the ways that we’ve convinced North Korea to move towards denuclearization is to reduce the amount of energy that they can import, and those sanctions that the United Nations put in place alongside of us have made a material difference. It’s made it harder for the North Koreans to do the things they need to do, and I think that’s at least in part why Chairman Kim made the commitment to denuclearize, and we’re hopeful that even though we didn’t get as far as we would have liked when the President and I were in Hanoi last week, we still have a path forward there.

QUESTION: Is North Korea – are we paying too much attention to it? Is there – is there a real true threat?

SECRETATRY POMPEO: So the – any time you have a nation that has nuclear weapons and the capacity to either sell those weapons to those that would want to present risk to the United States or the capacity to use a missile system for delivery, there’s a threat to the United States. Nuclear weapons are unique and especially risky, as you all well know, so I think it’s important, important that we get this right, important that we take down that threat to the United States.

QUESTION: A different kind of threat in South America with Venezuela that I know has your attention as well.

SECRETATRY POMPEO: It does. Last night we made the decision that we would withdraw the last of our diplomats from Caracas, so they’ll all be coming home. The calamity, the chaos that is engulfing Venezuela today is a direct result of socialism, of the Maduro regime and the Cubans and the Russians all destroying a once proud economy. The United States, the neighboring regions in South America, Central America, they want to have a better life, democracy restored in Venezuela. And America is prepared to play its part, an important part I believe, in helping that happen.

QUESTION: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is with us. What keeps you up at night?

SECRETATRY POMPEO: Oh goodness. Lots of things to focus on in the world, but just like you all, right, you just keep focused, you set priorities. I work for a President that understands the incredible importance of American national security, and you get up each day, put your helmet on, and get to work.

QUESTION: Just so you’ll know, I voted for Donald Trump, so I’ll ask you this: Fill in the blank. I wish the President would stop --

SECRETATRY POMPEO: I’m not going to answer that one for you this morning. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: How about this one then: I wish the President would start --

SECRETATRY POMPEO: (Laughter.) You’re not going to draw me into that.



QUESTION: That’s why --

SECRETATRY POMPEO: I think we’re getting it right most days.

QUESTION: That’s why I said I voted for him, and I didn’t mind asking those questions, so – well, thanks for playing along.

QUESTION: Yeah, and your timing is perfect. You’re there for the last week of the Houston radio – rodeo. The Kings of Leon are playing tonight. Enjoy the concert.

SECRETATRY POMPEO: I would love to get to that, and Susan and I – my wife – we’re from Kansas. We love rodeo too.

QUESTION: Yeah. Mike Pompeo --

QUESTION: There you go.

QUESTION: -- the Secretary of State, thanks for the time today.

SECRETATRY POMPEO: Thank you very much. You all have a good day.

QUESTION: Yeah, you too.

QUESTION: And keep up the good work by the way, too.


QUESTION: Thanks for serving us.

SECRETATRY POMPEO: Thank you very much. Very nice, thank you.

The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.
External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

          Press Releases: Interview With Jimmy Barrett and Shara Fryer of KTRH Houston's Morning News      Cache   Translate Page      
Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of State
Via Teleconference
March 12, 2019

QUESTION: Joining us from our Secretary of State Department – the State Department, is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.


QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, welcome to Houston and thank you for joining us here this morning.

SECRETARY POMPEO: It’s great to be with you this morning.

QUESTION: Tell us a little bit about what’s going on in Venezuela and why we’re removing the last of our diplomats there.

SECRETARY POMPEO: We made the decision yesterday that it just was prudent to get these folks back. The situation there is deteriorating. The Maduro regime’s horrific leadership over the last years has just made life there so difficult, it began to make it more difficult for the United States to take the actions that it needed to do to support the Venezuelan people. So we concluded this was simply the right step to take and this was the right time to take it.

QUESTION: Now you’re more or less going around the country right now speaking to people. I understand we’re second on your tour. You’re here talking about energy policy. In Texas, energy security, border security, these are the foremost of Texans’ minds. How can you address both of those?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So that’s the reason I wanted to come down here. I – before I entered government service for the second time in my life, I was in that industry. I ran a company that made pumping units and sold (inaudible) equipment. I know the Permian Basin, I know East Texas well, and as the Secretary of State, energy turns out to be at the very center of what I do many, many days, whether I’m in the Philippines or in Europe. The issue of American energy, the ability of us to deliver that energy around the world, helps keep American safe. It’s an important diplomatic tool for the United States and the production boom that’s taken place over the past years is enormously important for American national security. I wanted to come to Texas today and share those thoughts with the people of Texas.

QUESTION: Okay. Do you have any thoughts on the border while you’re here as well? That’s an area that’s very, very important to the President is to secure more border wall funding to get that job done. Is there anything further we – that can be done in order to advance that agenda?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So you saw yesterday the President’s request for additional funding for the border wall and additional security measures as well. As the chief diplomat for the United States of America, I understand that we need to know who’s coming into our country. We need to make sure we can control the flow of not only people but drugs and other contraband across the border. So securing that border’s important. President Trump has made it an enormous priority and he is asking Congress to provide our administration the resources to achieve that goal.

QUESTION: We – how much cooperation are you able to get from these other countries? I mean, Mexico I know has been taking steps to try to help this blow-through that we’re getting from Central America, but how much influence can you really exert?

SECRETARY POMPEO: My relationship with the new Mexican Government has been fantastic. My counterpart Foreign Minister Ebrard has truly done a number of things which I think will, over time, have a real benefit, but we need them to do more. The number of folks crossing over the past weeks has increased. This isn’t good for Mexico to have these folks traversing. It’s not good for the people who are having to make this dangerous trek through Mexico as well. We need to do this collectively. We’re working closely with President Obrador and my foreign minister counterpart to come up with a comprehensive solution that will secure our border and also ensure that there’s less risk to the people who are sometimes living very desperate situations.

QUESTION: This is maybe a nonquitter here, but Europe, the EU is going to start requiring visas from Americans who want to head over to Europe. What’s that all about?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So I’ve seen those reports. I think we need to just learn a little bit more before we jump to too many conclusions.

QUESTION: All right, again, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is with us here on NewsRadio 740, KTRH. Obviously the President met not that long ago with Kim Jong-un in an attempt to try to move things a little bit forward in our dealings with North Korea. There’s been all sorts of reports about whether or not the North Koreans are restarting up some of their nuclear program. Is there anything you can tell us about that and bring us up to date on that story?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So the most important thing, I think, for folks to know is that the progress that we’ve made with North Korea over the past – goodness, year and change – has been real. They haven’t conducted any further missile tests, no more nuclear testing, two important tools for advancing their program. I was with the President in Hanoi. We didn’t make as much progress as we would’ve hoped achieving what Chairman Kim told us he would do. I’ve been with Chairman Kim I think now four or five times. He has promised to denuclearize. He did not arrive there prepared to do as much as we need him to do, and we’re going to continue to work to achieve that outcome. It is a real threat to the United States of America and we want to get North Korea to honor its commitment to denuclearize, and then there can be a brighter future for the North Korean people as well.

QUESTION: Stopping the war exercises or the naval exercises with South Korea, good idea you think?

SECRETARY POMPEO: The Department of Defense is confident it can maintain the readiness it needs to take whatever action it might need to take at some point to work with our allies, Japan and South Korea, and to keep the American people safe. President concluded that this made sense as we’re trying to develop a relationship with the North Koreans such that we can get this ultimate objective, something that frankly America has been trying to do for decades now without success. He concluded it made sense and I’m confident we can still protect American interests while reducing the number of major war games that take place there on the peninsula.

QUESTION: All right, Mr. Secretary, enjoy your time here with us in Houston.

QUESTION: We don’t have time to get to China, but thank you so much for --

SECRETARY POMPEO: Good enough. Good to talk to you. Thanks for having me on the show. It’s great to be here in Houston.

QUESTION: It’s good to have you here, sir. Thank you again.

The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.
External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

          Press Releases: Interview With Deneige Broom of KRIV Fox 26 Houston Morning News      Cache   Translate Page      
Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of State
Houston, Texas
March 12, 2019

QUESTION: Good morning. And the Secretary of State does have a packed schedule, but he was able to squeeze us in for a few minutes here. So thank you so much for being here this morning. Welcome to Houston.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Great to be here.

QUESTION: Now, in your keynote address tonight, right around 6 o’clock, you’ll be talking to people about – the title of your speech is the role of energy in this 21st century political system. So what do you plan to tell or talk to those American businesses about their role in this political ecosystem?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So what we’re doing in America with respect to energy is incredibly important to what I do every day, working to keep Americans safe through diplomacy. Our capacity to produce energy to convince adversary countries that we don’t rely on them for energy and to tell our friends that we can assist them by providing energy to their country to take leverage away from their adversaries has proven incredibly important. So the boom, the American energy boom is important. Our administration’s worked hard to make that happen, and it’s keeping Americans safe.

QUESTION: In talking about those foreign affairs, we do have to switch gears to Venezuela. Yesterday you announced that you’ll be removing all the diplomats from the embassy there, in part because of that deteriorating situation, but I want to also quote part of your tweet. You said, in part, “the conclusion that the presence of U.S. diplomatic staff at the embassy has become a constraint on U.S. policy.” Are you willing to elaborate on what constraint on U.S. policy is and where you see things going after this?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Oh, sure. So the conditions on the ground have deteriorated over the last days and weeks. The Maduro regime has wreaked a real tragedy on the nation, the people of Venezuela. Our mission has been to restore democracy and help the Venezuelan people. Our embassy was an important part of that; the people there have done great work. But it was time for them to come back. Their security is always paramount. And it’s just gotten very difficult.

It’s also the case that when you’re making decisions about how to proceed, you have to consider the fact that there are still many Americans there on the ground. We wanted to get our diplomatic team back so that our capacity to work with Brazil and Colombia, and all the countries who have joined this enormous coalition to try to benefit the people of Venezuela, can be made in a way that doesn’t create further risk to American diplomats.

QUESTION: And you were talking about the humanitarian crisis. There’s already been a lot of money for aid going there. What else moving forward, since it has really only gotten worse?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So the American taxpayers have been very generous. We’ve delivered a couple hundred metric tons of assistance, medicine, food, hygiene kits. We haven’t been able to get it in; the Maduro regime has prevented us from delivering that. It’s horrific to deny food to starving people or medicine to the sick, but that’s what Maduro has chosen to do.

We’re going to keep at that. We’re going to continue to work with coalition partners. We’re going to try to help build up democratic institutions in a way that will ultimately convince Maduro that his days are numbered, that he ought to leave, and he ought to allow the duly elected Interim President Juan Guaido to begin to take charge to start the process of rebuilding this country that can be such a tremendous place.

QUESTION: And switching gears to North Korea, with the last – I know you know that it was coming – with the last summit with President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, it was essentially a stalemate. At least that’s what it seems to us, because Kim Jong-un was saying he doesn’t – he hasn’t released a plan yet, at least, for denuclearization. President Trump says that he isn’t willing to lift the U.S. sanctions to make that happen. So it seems like a stalemate, but you’ve actually been on record saying you don’t see it like that. Why is that?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Look, this is a long journey. We’ve been at this for a couple decades in the United States. What President Trump has done is he has built a global coalition. These are UN Security Council resolutions; they’re not American sanctions, they’re global sanctions. The whole world understands the threat that Chairman Kim’s nuclear weapons present to the world. Chairman Kim’s now committed to giving them up. He said he would denuclearize. He’s told me that face to face, personally, no less than half a dozen times. Now we need to figure out how to do it, how to achieve it. Our goal is to keep America safe, to keep South Korea and Japan from being under this threat. And when we do, we hope we can make a brighter future for the North Korean people as well. That’s the deal we’re trying to get to. President Trump understood that what was offered wasn’t sufficient, so more work to do.

QUESTION: And you having talked to him directly, Kim Jong-un, what is it about his statements that you actually believe?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Well, we only will value action. We all – talk is cheap. It’s important that we actually begin to deliver on the commitments. The two presidents back in June of last year were in Singapore. Each made serious commitments to the other. Chairman Kim committed to denuclearize; we committed to working to make North Korea have a brighter future and to stability and security arrangements on the peninsula. Our allies, South Korea and Japan, are prepared to work alongside of us. What we’ll need to see is action, and that’s what we’re counting on, and it’s what I’m hopeful we’ll get in the months ahead.

QUESTION: Thank you so much --


QUESTION: -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. And we’ll send it on back to you, Jose and Melissa.

The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.
External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.

          Comment on Iran, North Korea, and the Pitfalls of “Maximum Pressure” by roberthstiver      Cache   Translate Page      
I'm not familiar with these international machinations infringing on Pakistan's and Iran's sovereignty and national goals. "between a rock and a hard place" seems the apt metaphor here.
          Schizophrenia on North Korea and Venezuela?      Cache   Translate Page      
They’re both cruel tyrants who have starved and neglected their populations, precipitating humanitarian crises of historic proportions. They both have engaged in consistent patterns of gross violations of internationally-recognized human rights.&...
           RSA Conference 2019: What You Need to Know       Cache   Translate Page      

As the rain fell outside on the Moscone Center this past week in downtown San Francisco, the 2019 RSA Conference inside was full of cybersolutions.

The RSA Conference is the largest, and probably most significant, single ongoing global cybersecurity event on the planet. It brings together people, companies and ideas from all over the world — and serves as a smorgasbord of security ideas new and old.

And yes, the expectations for such an event are very high. These are some of the top questions I use to analyze and evaluate the RSA Conference (RSAC) every year:

Where’s the WOW? Did I learn anything new (or different that changed my mind) on an important security topic? Who are the new and persevering cyberindustry thought leaders that I need to continue follow? How will emerging technology features and security tools change the world (for better or worse)? What will we (still) be talking about (from this show) five or 10 years from now?

As I have said in past years, it is amazing, overwhelming, intimidating and exhausting for attendees. With formal and informal sessions, a huge show floor full of company products and demonstrations, breakfasts, lunches and dinners, vendor parties, and numerous side events (and full competing conferences) happening at the same time, it is physically impossible to do it all.

RSAC Details for 2019

This year’s RSA Conference website is full of materials that you can use, even if you didn’t attend the event. The information is organized in easy-to-use categories such as speakers, tracks and spotlights. The reported attendance was more than 42,500, although it seemed larger than last year due to the expanded show floor.

You can also watch numerous RSA Conference video presentations here.  

The mainline media coverage of the conference appeared to be down as compared to other years that offered front-page articles from many major newspapers. However, much of that coverage in 2018 was related to a lack of women keynotes and presenters, which did not happen this year. In fact, it appeared that RSAC organizers went out of their way to have numerous all-women sessions and dozens of top women presenters in every track and in most panel sessions.

Business Wire offered these main RSA Conference talking points describing the 2019 event details:

"An expanded keynote program with 31 keynote presentations on two stages. West Stage keynotes featured sponsor keynotes, panels and esteemed guest speakers, and South Stage keynotes utilized the newly opened Moscone Center South to bring highly coveted sessions from industry experts to a broader audience. 740 speakers across 621 sessions and more than 700 companies on the expo floors. Key session and seminar presentations included: Building Security In — DevSecOps; Noopur Davis, SVP, Chief Product and Information Security Officer, Comcast Building Identity for an Open Perimeter; Tejas Dharamshi, Senior Security Software Engineer, Netflix, Inc. Cybersecurity Tips, Tools and Techniques for Your Professional Toolbag; Ronald Woerner, IT Risk and Compliance Consultant, DirectDefense How to Eliminate a Major Vulnerability in the Cybersecurity Workforce; Laura Bate, Policy Analyst, New America; Danielle Santos, Program Manager, NIST The Fine Art of Creating a Transformational Cybersecurity Strategy; Jinan Budge, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research; Andrew Rose, Chief Security Officer, Vocalink, a Mastercard Company Threat Hunting Using 16th-Century Math and Sesame Street; Vernon Habersetzer Sr., Enterprise Technical Expert, Walmart Axonius was named “RSA Conference 2019’s Most Innovative Startup” by the Innovation Sandbox’s judges’ panel comprised of technology, venture and security industry thought leaders. The Award for Excellence in the field of Mathematics was given to Tal Rabin, manager of cryptographic research, Thomas J. Watson Research Center. …”

Threat Post offered this good recap of the 2019 RSA Conference. provided these 30 hot new cybersecurity products announced at RSA.

And Bank Info Security offered their interviews and highlights from RSAC.

Dan Lohrmann’s Top Presentations from RSAC 2019

From my perspective, here are a few of the presentations that grabbed my attention. This list is a diverse mix of different formats, styles and ideas. (Side Note: My criteria for a WOW is an unexpected talk that has unique, new materials. Or, a presenter who has a track record of success over many years who continues to deliver new insights and perspectives that are intriguing, helpful and useful.)

1. Tales of a Teenage Security Supergirl — This presentation by Kyla Guru was simply amazing for a 16-year-old girl still in high school. Definitely a WOW to remember. It is empowering for Gen Z, and a brief talk you should show to your teenage relatives and friends for a ton of reasons — if for nothing else to inspire them in public communications. The nonprofit BitsnBytes cybersecurity platform has a very bright future, as does this young lady.

2. A View from the Front Lines of Cybersecurity by FireEye — This session includes Sandra Joyce, Vice President and Head of Global Intelligence Operations, FireEye and Kevin Mandia, Chief Executive Officer, FireEye. I am almost always impressed with Kevin Mandia, and he brought some good and bad news — with detailed industry trends to watch.

He discussed a few nation-states cyberattacks and trends:

North Korea financially motivated group that also uses destructive malware for distraction. Iranian threat actors — going after individuals. China — military actions in cyber. Russia targeted safety systems at an ICS plant — shut down a plant.

What’s next? Brazen actions, and people will get hurt — secondary and tertiary effects are out of control.

Also, more compartmentalizing is happening with Balkanization and new rules. Kevin warned that those who fail to abide by them with have a very different Internet experience.


3. The Five Most Dangerous New Attack Techniques and How to Counter Them — with Alan Paller from SANS and Heather Mahalik, the Director of Forensics Engineering at ManTech. Great session, and always good to hear from Alan and Heather as well as the others on this panel.  



4. RSA Sandbox — Here was one of several excellent sessions from this Sandbox series of panels and presentations.

  5. In the Wake of an Attack: Thoughts from a Seasoned CISO with Dr. Hugh Thompson, Program Committee Chair, RSA Conference, and Bob Lord, Chief Security Officer, DNC.

Hugh also did very nice job in the closing interview with Tina Fey, which is described here in an article by Dark Reading.


6. And last, but certainly not least, I really like the RSAC Launch Pad, which highlights companies such as NulD in the popular Shark Tank format.

Watch Ethan Landow, Head of Strategy and Operations and the NulD Judges, including Theresia Gouw, Founding Partner, Aspect Ventures.

Closing Thoughts on RSA 2019

One big early buzz at this year’s RSA Conference was the announcement about Adi Shamir’s visa snub from the U.S. government.

“Adi Shamir, the S in the renowned RSA encryption system, didn't take his usual place on the Cryptographers' Panel at this year's RSA Conference in San Francisco — because he couldn't get a visa from the U.S. government. And he's not alone.

Shamir — the 2002 Turing Award co-winner and a member of the U.S., French, and Israeli Academy of Sciences and Britain's Royal Society — lives in Israel, and applied for a U.S. visa two months ago to attend the information security conference, the largest of its type in the world, which is being held this week in California. Shamir, along with Ron Rivest and Leonard Adleman, invented the widely used RSA cryptosystem, and cofounded RSA Security, which has been running the RSA Conference since 1991. …”

On a personal level, I always enjoy the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) luncheon on Thursday for networking and important updates from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It was wonderful news to hear that Kelvin Coleman is the new NCSA executive director, and he is the perfect person for that role in my opinion. The update on DHS' new cyberagency was also excellent from Jeanette Manfra who is the assistant director of cybersecurity for the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).     

The RSA Conference will remain in San Francisco for (at least) one more year, so we'll plan to be back for another cyberextravaganza in 2020.   

          [ Politics ] Open Question : Too much winning?      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON — Pyongyang is likely to reject Washington’s “big deal” approach toward denuclearizing North Korea as indicated by signals the country has been sending through missile launch preparations, said experts. U.S. Special Representative Steve Biegun laid out President Donald Trump’s approach toward denuclearizing North Korea at a conference held by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Monday, saying, “We are not going to do denuclearization incrementally.”
          Media attention to the U.S. Sade into Korea should think twice before – Sohu      Cache   Translate Page      
The United States media attention "Sade" in Korea: should think twice before the news – Sohu, South Korea announced against North Korea’s missile threat ", will be formally launched" Sade "to discuss the deployment of anti missile system in South korea. China believes that this move not only is not conducive to all parties to […]
          South Korean officials said North Korea had the Kaesong Park funds for the development of nuclear we-alienware m17x      Cache   Translate Page      
South Korean officials said North Korea had the Kaesong Park funds for the development of nuclear weapons – Sohu news [global network Roundup] according to South Korea, "Central Daily News" in February 13th, South Korea’s Unification Minister Hong Rong Pyo said publicly that the South Korean government held information that North Korea will pass the […]
          Dear Kim: I love you but it's my way or the highway. Yer bff, Don      Cache   Translate Page      
Dear Bff: I love you but it's my way or the highway

by digby

I guess there really is some turbulence in Trump and Kim's epic bromance:

The top US diplomat tasked with negotiating with North Korea just laid out a denuclearization plan that’s destined to fail.

In his first public comments since President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in Vietnam last month, Stephen Biegun, the US special representative for North Korea, told a Washington audience Monday that the administration wants Pyongyang to give up all of its weapons of mass destruction before anything else.

“We are not going to do denuclearization incrementally,” the envoy said at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s nuclear conference. “The foundation of US policy is denuclearization.”

But it’s not just nuclear weapons: The Trump administration also wants the complete removal of chemical and biological weapons from North Korea, Biegun said, meaning the US wants Pyongyang only to have conventional weapons by the end of the process.

Let’s be extremely clear about what this means: If the US maintains this position, any chance for the US to convince North Korea to part with its nuclear arsenal is gone.

Pyongyang for years has said that the only way it would consider giving up its nuclear weapons is through a step-by-step process where both sides offer reciprocal, commensurate concessions. By resolving smaller disagreements, like lifting sanctions in exchange for the closure of an important nuclear facility, over time the US and North Korea would eventually arrive at the grand prize: the end of Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

But Biegun said the US won’t do that. Instead, the Trump administration wants to see North Korea dismantle its nuclear arsenal before it offers any economic or diplomatic benefits. That’s just not going to work, experts say.

“If we don’t move off this position, we have nowhere to go,” MIT nuclear expert Vipin Narang told me. “There’s no zone of agreement if we insist on everything — I mean everything, complete surrender — up front.”

I guess maybe that Nobel Peace Prize isn't going to happen this year. Maybe he can give himself another phony golf championship instead.

Seriously, this is very bad. I'm not sure anyone could do a lot to change things. But we know for a fact that the dotard is very capable of making things a lot worse. Every day that he doesn't create a crisis is a bonus.


          Bank of Korea in China long secret operation China Secretary of Dandong.-rewrite攻略�      Cache   Translate Page      
Bank of Korea in China long secret operation China Dandong Secretary substitutions 26 U. S. Treasury Department announced that they think China luck and four senior corporate group suspected of helping North Korea acquiring weapons of mass destruction, decided to impose sanctions on the company and the relevant personnel of the freezing of assets, the […]
          North Korea election turnout was 99.99%, claims state media      Cache   Translate Page      
Kim Jong-un not among candidates, in surprise move that makes him first leader not to sit on national assembly
          Strong Measures Needed to Advance Accountability in North Korea      Cache   Translate Page      

Human Rights Watch would like to thank the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, for his ongoing work to address gross and systemic human rights abuses in North Korea.

The last year has been a challenging time to maintain pressure on North Korea to address its deplorable human rights situation. Several summits involving the leaders of North Korea, South Korea, and the United States, intended to address weapons proliferation issues, appear to have caused decreasing attention to North Korea’s human rights situation.

After the landmark 2014 UN Commission of Inquiry report that documented crimes against humanity, including murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions, sexual violence, persecution, deliberate starvation, and enforced disappearances, the UN Security Council began to debate North Korea’s human rights record during regular sessions. In 2018, however, the council held no formal debate on the country’s human rights situation and the United States as lead sponsor appeared unwilling to press for one. Several countries have indicated to Human Rights Watch an unwillingness to press for human rights for fear that doing so would jeopardize ongoing counter-proliferations negotiations.

This concern is misplaced. Addressing human rights issues is a prerequisite and a foundation for all other negotiations with North Korea, including on weapons proliferation. We share the Special Rapporteur’s view that “respect for human rights remains central to the peace and denuclearisation agenda in the Korean peninsula.”

Accountability for international crimes is essential. The Special Rapporteur has rightly stressed that “the establishment [by OHCHR] of the repository and database will be useful for any national or international accountability mechanisms to be established in future.” We join the Special Rapporteur’s call that the Human Rights Council “extend the mandate of the accountability project and allocate appropriate funding to OHCHR to meaningfully implement its mandate.”

We also support renewal of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur to ensure ongoing scrutiny of North Korea’s abuses. 

          North Korea Ground Hog Day, 2008 and Bush to 2019 and Trump. @RichardFontaine, @CNASDC      Cache   Translate Page      
Photo: North Korea Ground Hog Day, 2008 and Bush to 2019 and Trump. @RichardFontaine, @CNASDC [](
          North Korea’s foreign ministry the harm to others only by a head-on blow to wake up denka      Cache   Translate Page      
North Korea’s foreign ministry: the harm to others only by a head-on blow to wake up on 6 October, Xinhua news agency, Pyongyang (reporter Guo Lu Rui minute) 6, a spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry criticized the United States recently adopted a series of policies, oppression, to isolate North Korea sanctions. According to KCNA […]
          The United States submitted to the Security Council sanctions against North Korea sanctions resoluti coreldraw快捷键大全      Cache   Translate Page      
The United States submitted to the Security Council sanctions against North Korea sanctions resolution There was no parallel in history. original title: the draft resolution submitted to the Security Council sanctions against North Korea sanctions [There was no parallel in history. global network reporter reports Han Mei] Broadcasting British Corporation (BBC) reported on 25 February […]
          UN says North Korea defied sanctions with luxury vehicles      Cache   Translate Page      
UN sanctions monitors are investigating Kim Jong Un's luxury purchases of a Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Benz limousines and Lexus four-wheel-drive vehicles rolled out during the North Korean leader's recent international meetings, the head of the panel told ...
          这要求韩美同盟保持有效和迅捷的弹道导弹防御能力 蚌埠医学院成教院      Cache   Translate Page      
The new bill to spend tens of millions of sanctions against North Korea 12 U. S. house of Representatives passed to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea’s bill. So far, the bill was passed in both houses of Congress and signed by President Obama. In Munich, Germany, China and the United States met with foreign […]
          The Man Who Teaches North Koreans About Business      Cache   Translate Page      
In 2016, Geoffrey See was jolted awake on a flight run by North Korea’s national carrier as smoke swirled through the cabin. Passengers sensed that the aircraft was descending rapidly, yet their panic was met with preternatural calm by a crew who insisted nothing was amiss. The travelers sat in white-knuckled fear as the plane made an […]
          Speeches: Stability Engagement With Nuclear "Third Parties": Regional Risk Reduction Diplomacy      Cache   Translate Page      
Dr. Christopher Ashley Ford
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation
2019 Deterrence and Assurance Workshop and Conference
University of Nebraska at Omaha, NE
March 8, 2019

Good day, and thank you for inviting me.

This is a conference on deterrence, and I am glad to see so many bright people coming together in order to explore its challenges. Deterring large-scale aggression against the United States and its allies has always been the core function of our armed services, and this is no less true for our nuclear forces. But in this nuclear age, doing deterrence right presents special risks and challenges.

It is critical to ensure that a potential adversary sees no viable path to getting his way by force, certainly. At the same time, however, the potential costs of getting things wrong could be so catastrophically high that it is also very important to be continually aware of the sometimes-overlooked stability dynamics of nuclear posture choices.

But let me back up a bit, and offer some background about why I am myself so focused upon such questions. One of our areas of specialization in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation at the State Department is regional security. This includes working with other countries not just to help them be better partners in preventing the further proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, but also to help them develop better — that is, safer and more stable — relationships with each other.

Such diplomatic efforts involve encouraging approaches to regional security that minimize incentives for proliferation, but — where past nonproliferation efforts have been unsuccessful and countries unfortunately have come to possess nuclear weapons — it can also involve working with partners to encourage wiser choices and practices in managing their nuclear status. Let me be clear, this is not to condone proliferation once it occurs; nor am I referring to stability-focused engagements with irresponsible states that have a track record of illegal nuclear weapons work that it is our objective to roll back, such as North Korea or Iran. I mean only to make the point that, in some cases, if proliferation does occur and cannot be reversed, we want states to exercise restraint and make choices regarding nuclear technology, doctrine, and posture that maximize regional — and global — security and stability. This is nuclear risk reduction in the highest sense.

This means, for instance, that while others in the Department handle diplomatic engagements related to America’s own nuclear forces and posture, we in ISN work to encourage other possessor states to make prudent, stabilizing choices in order to avoid catastrophic outcomes. So let’s take a brief trip together down the strategic posture theory rabbit hole.

I. Diplomatic Engagement for Crisis and Arms Race Stability

I should preface these comments, I suppose, by making clear that I make no claim that we are bearers and purveyors of infallible wisdom in these regards; deterrence and escalation theory remain, as they have always been, controversial and contested in many ways. It is also true that every deterrent relationship and every arms competition has its own idiosyncrasies, and that for this reason, it may not necessarily be the case that lessons learned in one arena make sense mutatis mutandis in nuclear weapons relationships that emerge in different contexts.

However, given what is at stake, i.e., the preservation of geopolitical stability and the prevention of nuclear war, we should not shrink from using diplomatic levers to encourage constructive learning wherever possible. One side effect of our long and anxious national history of living in a strategic nuclear dyad of our own — striving to deter aggression, prevent a breakdown in deterrence, extend deterrence to allies, defuse proliferation pressures, limit proliferation opportunities, and preserve crisis stability and unwanted escalation, all at the same time — is that these challenges contributed to the development of a rich ecosystem of strategic thinking about how to walk the deterrence tight rope entailed by trying to do all of these things at at the same time.

At least in the West, where we prized and preserved freedom of thought and expression, there developed over time competing schools of public discourse on strategic issues, a rich academic literature, a diverse infrastructure of competing faculties, think tanks, and academic programs, and a bestiary of inside-the-bureaucracy governmental elements devoted to managing a nuclear relationship without catastrophe. Conferences like this one today, and associative groups such as the Deterrence and Assurance Academic Alliance, make people like you the inheritors of this tradition. This does not mean we got all the answers right, but we certainly have a long history of examining the issues very carefully from multiple perspectives.

So there is surely room for useful engagement and reciprocal learning with our diplomatic partners as they struggle with modern stability challenges. To my eye, perhaps one of the most useful things we must all vigilantly pursue is how to minimize and manage the risk of unwanted escalation – recognizing, of course, that the capability to manipulate risk to achieve political objectives can be a major reason why states acquire nuclear weapons in the first place.

II. Thinking about Stability: Less “How Many?” Than “What? And How?”

In meeting this challenge of minimizing and managing the risk of unwanted escalation, it seems to me that raw numbers may sometimes matter much less than the types of systems each rival possesses and how they are postured against each other. With respect to any other countries’ arms competitions, therefore, there is clearly much room for thoughtful engagement on the complex crisis stability dynamics created by the interplay of possessors’ choices about equipment, posture, and doctrine.

To help such engagements be as productive as they can be and enable those partners to reduce nuclear risks as much as possible for so long as they feel compelled to remain in nuclear weapons relationships, we owe ourselves and our diplomatic partners as much clear thinking and thoughtful consideration as possible about whether, and the degree to which, particular weapons systems, force postures, and doctrinal choices are stabilizing or destabilizing.

So let me give a few examples of how one might think through such stability questions from the perspective of national choices about particular weapons systems. I do not offer these as any kind of Holy Writ, of course, nor with the claim that they are absolutely the only conclusions a reasonable person could reach, nor that these suggested conclusions would necessarily follow in all imaginable arms-competitive contexts. However, I do think these examples have value as illustrations of how one might develop a stability-focused discourse to inform choices between nuclear possessor states.

III. Illustrative Examples

A. Heavy, Many-Warhead, Fixed ICBMs

First, how might one think about the stability impact of traditional, fixed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) carrying extremely large numbers of warheads? It became clear during the late Cold War that it was possible to develop very large missiles with as many as 10 or 12 separate warheads, each capable of hitting a different target. Over time, however, people began to have some second thoughts about such monsters, informed by game-theoretical thinking about nuclear crisis stability.

Let’s explore this. If Country X has a large number of warheads co-located in individual missiles, each of which is subject to being destroyed by only one or two of Country Y’s warheads, this could, in a crisis, create a dangerous incentive for a first strike. That unfavorable exchange ratio — several of X’s warheads lost in exchange for perhaps only one of Y’s warheads expended — means that Y has some reason to err on the side of pre-emptive attack, trying to destroy X’s heavy fixed ICBMs before he can use them. If this works, Y might not only have destroyed X’s land-based force rather efficiently, but might indeed also still have plenty of warheads left over for other targets.

At the same time, and for precisely analogous reasons, X himself might have a dangerous incentive in a crisis to launch his missiles first — perhaps even preemptively, or upon the slightest hint of attack warning — not just to go after Y’s own heavy missile silos (if it has them) and thus seize a similar “exchange-ratio bonus” for himself, but also simply because the unfavorable ratio of incoming warheads to target warheads makes it especially dangerous for X to risk “riding out” a possible incoming salvo. Hence traditional, Cold War-style heavy, many-warhead fixed ICBMs are now generally thought to be destabilizing: they seem to maximize incentives for pre-emption and automatic, unthinking launch on warning.

We ourselves used to have heavy, many-warhead silo-based systems, of course, but in U.S. strategic posture across the last few administrations we have moved away from such choices. Although the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review has made clear that a portion of our ICBM force could again be uploaded if there were a need to do so, but we have successfully transitioned our own ICBMs from multi-warhead to single-warhead systems and we have long since abandoned very large, mega-MIRV’d systems such as the Peacekeeper.

If one were to take this game-theoretical insight to heart, it would presumably follow that developing heavy, mega-MIRV’d silo-based ICBMs — such as Russia’s forthcoming Sarmat ICBM — would be a poor strategic choice almost tailor-made to promote crisis instability. Sound and thoughtful diplomacy with countries having their own nuclear arsenals should thus encourage better, more stability-focused approaches.

B. Forward-deployed Battlefield Weapons

As a second example, consider the challenges potentially presented by large numbers of and diversity in small, battlefield nuclear weapons. Such things were deployed in some numbers during much of the Cold War — including some notoriously small, portable systems such as the “Davy Crockett” battlefield rocket that could be mounted on a Jeep, a nuclear artillery shell for an 8-inch Army howitzer, and a man-portable atomic demolition mine. The stability impact of such very short-range (or zero-range!) systems — and the degree to which their use could be reliably controlled in a conflict — has long been questioned, and after careful consideration we ourselves moved emphatically away from them years ago. Many observers fear that such devices deployed close to the anticipated front line in a conflict between nuclear rivals — particularly if authorization for their use is devolved to battlefield commanders, since reliable, centralized command-and-control is usually thought to be essential to crisis management — might lead to inadvertent or dangerously precipitous escalation and early nuclear use.

These dangers arise because such easily-usable weapons deployed very far forward could be targeted preemptively or quickly overrun, the imminence of which might lead to precipitous use. In that case, the result could have strategic consequences (in the form of nuclear combat) triggered by strategically unimportant minor or inconclusive fluctuations in the contours of that front line. Some observers might speculate this could strengthen deterrence, on the theory that such amazing dangers might make an invasion less attractive to an aggressor in the first place.

However, even if such worrying brinksmanship did have value, there would still be huge dangers of losing control. To the degree that control of easily-portable devices were delegated far down the chain of command, this would greatly challenge crisis management and warfighting command and control by national-level authorities. Catastrophically consequential decisions being made under stress by ill-informed junior battlefield commanders who lack the big picture does not bode well for crisis stability.

Stability considerations thus make large numbers of and diversity in small, easily-portable battlefield devices such as nuclear artillery shells or demolition mines seem highly problematic. Such reasoning contributed to decisions by both of the nuclear superpowers to pull non-strategic weapons significantly back from the control of unit commands. This is a compelling logic that other nuclear possessors might also wish to consider.

I would also urge other possessing states to follow the U.S. model of highly centralized and rigorous command and control practices, which promote stability and predictability even in times of crisis — and to avoid either devolved, uncontrollable use controls or mindlessly automated release procedures such as the Dr. Strangelove-style “Perimeter” system for automatically initiating nuclear war. Methods of dispersion in a crisis should also be scrutinized, since such small, portable devices a susceptible to threats from guerrilla or terrorist groups within one’s borders. The implications of deployment modalities and command-and-control questions are not the sort of “sexy” nuclear weapons matters that get much attention from armchair strategists, but they are critical questions for the real professionals, and we should encourage countries with nuclear weapons to think these things through carefully.

C. Context Matters

Third, nuclear powers might also bear in mind that what makes sense in one nuclear context may not make sense in another. I have noted how the risks associated with large numbers of or diversity in small, forward-deployed weapons increase tremendously if they are deployed where guerrillas or terrorists might seize them in the field – which is, if you ask me, a pretty important context-specific factor – but difficulties can also arise with other systems.

If you are a nuclear power engaged in a nuclear weapons relationship with an adversary many thousands of miles away, there’s obviously some logic in acquiring delivery systems with intercontinental range. Participants in a regional dyad, however, should carefully consider limiting the range of their systems to avoid having too much range, which could end up drawing them into deeply problematic provocation dynamics with nuclear powers outside the core deterrence dyad. Such a dynamic would carry with it potentially catastrophic risks of inadvertent escalation, miscalculation, or unlooked-for intervention or pre-emption.

These various challenges are difficult and problematic enough when a relationship remains dyadic, so stumbling into escalatory problems with extra-regional players could be notably unwise, especially if those additional players are very powerful and one does not actually have any particular antecedent strategic-level problem with them in the first place. Nuclear possessors need to think through such dynamics, for it matters whether, and how, one’s own regional nuclear dynamics are connected to, or entangled with, broader ones.

D. Unlimited-range Cruise Missiles

Fourth, I would suggest that exotic new technologies and methods need careful attention as well — because what might initially seem to be an attractive “feature” of a new weapons system could turn out to be, from a stability perspective, very much a dangerous “bug.” As an example, take something as seemingly simple as a weapon system’s range. More range seems like it would always be better, right? Well, not always.

It is at least theoretically possible to develop a nuclear-powered cruise missile that could have an essentially unlimited range. In the late 1950s, for example, U.S. and Soviet researchers both worked on designs for a nuclear-powered airplane, the advantage of which was thought to be its ability to remain “continuously airborne.” The U.S. program was rather sensibly terminated in 1961, and the Soviet concept apparently never even got off the drawing board, but one could at least imagine a cruise missile loosely based upon such technology today. To say that such a thing might be possible, however, is not to say that it would be in any way wise.

For one thing, there might be alarming technical, safety, and humanitarian issues associated with a nuclear reactor flying through the air across intercontinental distances — especially a reactor running hot enough to superheat ingested atmospheric gases for propulsion and probably of necessity lacking much by way of radiation shielding. What would the implications be if it were to crash or be shot down, moreover, especially if its flight route took it for thousands of miles through the airspace of any number of countries? Yet even leaving those obvious concerns aside, it is far from clear that such a system would make any sense whatsoever from a stability perspective. Quite the contrary.

Some strategists might perhaps value such a missile as a strategic delivery system because of its potential ability to arrive over enemy territory at low level and from an unexpected or even unwatched point of the compass after a long and craftily circuitous transit. The extreme range that could make this possible might indeed make defending against such a missile difficult, but that’s hardly the end of the story, and such an apparent advantage would likely be offset by other problems. The possibility of an “infinite-range” cruise device might well be quite destabilizing, and could create a major risk of inadvertent nuclear war — not least because of the weird, but hardly hypothetical, possibility that such a missile could be launched into indefinite-duration “holding pattern” flight paths that might be intended to maximize perceptions of imminent threat in order to facilitate an aggressor’s coercive diplomacy, but that in fact would likely elicit unpredictably escalatory responses and escalation dynamics.

I would think that the moral of this story about the stability externalities of unlimited range is simple: it is foolish to plunge forward in nuclear weapons and delivery system development rashly. Considerations of stability cannot be ignored, and the fact that one can build something does not always mean that one should. Some choices are just bad ones.

E. Transparency and Clarity

Sixth, and finally, I believe there is intrinsic value in offering the kind of transparency that helps provide one’s potential clarity about how one thinks about nuclear weapons. I don’t mean the kind of “transparency” that relates to exactly how many one has, specific details about exactly when one would (or would not) actually use a nuclear weapon, or sensitive details about their deployment. Instead, I’m referring to insight into the basic concepts that underlie one’s nuclear posture and doctrine. Providing reasonable clarity about posture and doctrine can serve the interests both of deterrence and of crisis stability and escalation management, by helping increase predictability and reducing the kinds of uncertainty that may fuel dangerously mistaken assumptions.

This is a kind of transparency that we in the United States provide very publicly with every edition of our Nuclear Posture Review, as well as in periodic public statements, reports, and documents of various varieties. We are, in fact, by far the most transparent of any nuclear weapons possessor in this respect. We make such information public, we explain it to adversaries and onlookers alike, and we defend it in public so that we are as clear as we can be about the role that nuclear weapons play in our defense planning and the reasons for the posture choices we have made.

Nobody else does it like this, but I would argue that they should: the more transparency of this sort, the better. As I noted last year in an event at the Preparatory Committee meeting for the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in Geneva — at which two of us from the U.S. State Department joined representatives from the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff in explaining the latest Nuclear Posture Review — we Americans are deeply transparent about these fundamental conceptual and doctrinal issues, and we challenge other possessors to follow our lead in being that way too.

IV. Conclusion

As I said earlier, I hope no one takes the arguments I have suggested as entirely conclusive. I offer them not as hard and fast conclusions, but as illustrations of a stability-focused thought process. We in the United States engaged in a good deal of such thinking for decades, and we must not forget how to do it. Such ways of thinking may also be worth fostering with and among nuclear powers engaged in their own nuclear weapons relationships.


At any rate, I hope this gets you thinking. To that end, I hope the scholarly and think tank communities can work with us to encourage the development of stability-mindful strategic thinking — and hence real nuclear risk reduction — wherever national leaders find themselves in enduring nuclear weapons relationships. We must all endeavor to prevent our relationships from collapsing into conflict during the presumably still lengthy era still ahead of humanity until – in the phrasing of Article VI of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty – we can ease international tension and strengthen trust between states enough to permit the stable and sustainable elimination of all such weapons.

Thank you.

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          [杭州无人超市]_羡慕杭州无人超市 广州无人便利店运营近一年_九旬老人识破骗子_佛头建别墅被举报___      Cache   Translate Page      
广州塔一楼的F5未来生活无人便利店已运营一年多。 新快报记者 毕志毅/摄   首家社区店近日也在罗马家园亮相,一年内将在广深开百家店 最近无人便利店火得不要不要的,尤其以阿里巴巴在杭州首秀的“淘咖啡”最受关注,但其实,广东可能才是无人便利店的发源地。在广州塔一层的商业区旁,一家“F5未来商店”已经营业近一年。正如店名一样,这家商店未来感十足,约20平方米的店面里,没有货架,没有销售员,只有一个巨大的点餐牌、两个点餐液晶屏以及一排桌椅,这就是“传说中”的无人便利店。 新快报记者 陆妍思 实习生 张诗琪 “鱼蛋取出来热气腾腾” 新快报记者看到,餐牌上的品类分零食、饮料及鲜食三大类,都是在传统便利店的“爆款”。价格和传统便利店售价基本持平。由于每日只补一次存货,有部分商品会出现缺货的情况。记者扫了几个饮料商品码,其中怡宝纯净水、宝矿力都显示售完,而鲜食/冲饮类缺货的情况相对还好,11个商品中只有糯米鸡售完。 “扫下商品下面的二维码,直接用微信支付,很方便。”大二学生小琪从扫码、支付到取食只花了约一分钟,“鱼蛋、波波肠取出来都是热气腾腾的,感觉很炫酷。” 长条餐桌原是垃圾收集系统 究竟机器如何从数百种SKU中精准选出顾客选购的商品?如何制作鲜食?据F5未来商店合伙人、COO林小龙介绍,背后的功臣其实是他们公司自主研发的机械臂,在点餐墙的背后,有一个15平方米的设备及仓储库,里面有六七个机械臂在分管不同的工作。看上去平平无奇的餐桌也是“技术范”——其实是一个自动化的垃圾收集系统,只要根据提示按下按键,桌面就会缩进,垃圾同时掉进收集渠,系统喷水将垃圾冲到收集箱,同时有一个像汽车雨刮般的功能清洁餐桌,清洁工人只需每天清倒一次垃圾即可。 成本并不高 将在广深铺开 虽然技术含量十足,但林小龙透露,无人便利店成本其实不高,前期投入的设备加装修只要15万元,是传统便利店的四分之一;运营成本中,24小时传统便利店需要7个人,每人月工资大约4000元,无人便利店是零;无人便利店比传统便利店小一半,租金成本少一半,能耗也只有传统便利店三分之一。 林小龙透露,他们的目标是一年内在广深两地开超过100家门店,其中80%选址在社区。广州首家社区店已于近日在罗马家园亮相,24小时营业,深夜到店里购买鲜食的街坊非常多。“无人便利店就是要便利,每个楼盘,甚至每栋楼下面就应该有一家。相关的主题文章: [江苏常熟突发火灾]_突发!江苏常熟发生民房火灾,已致22人遇难_客车变身黑校车_入侵家庭摄像头案___ [昆凌探班周杰伦]_昆凌探班周杰伦,两人相差14岁昆凌整容前后照片流出_合照特朗普站边缘_英拉已抵达迪拜___ 【少林寺无遮大会】少林办 武林大会 铁砂掌 二指禅 入选竞技项目_台风玛娃即将登陆_宋慧乔首晒照___ [朴槿惠再度出庭]_朴槿惠再度出庭 朝鲜宣布“处决”朴槿惠 [park again appear]_ park once again appear North Korea announced the execution Pu Jinhui_刘涛现身市场买菜_孙艺洲机场怼狗仔___ [新加坡爆发示威]_新加坡爆发大规模示威,称新加坡非李家所有_83版黄蓉去世 云南遇暴力抗法 贵州河滩现怪脚印
          [杭州无人超市]_杭州无人超市!无人零售店满满都是黑科技-平顶山学院怎么样      Cache   Translate Page      
 杭州无人超市!无人零售店满满都是黑科技 未来新零售是什么样的?全球首个“无人零售店”天猫淘咖啡,为消费者带来了真正身临其境的带来的极致购物体验。 称之为“无人零售”,是因为 用户登陆淘宝账号,输入支付密码后,便可以进店点餐购物,无需排队收银,拿了然后走人。 也就是说,你需要的,只有这两样东西:一个淘宝账号,一部智能手机。 杭州无人超市!无人零售店满满都是黑科技 据悉, “无人零售店”淘咖啡是一个占地200平方的线下实体店样板,集商品购物、餐饮于一身,可容纳用户50人以上,实际容纳规模可随场地面积而增加。 体验流程是这样的: 当你首次进店打开“手机淘宝”,扫码获得电子入场码,通过闸机,开始购物,此后手机不用再掏出。 点餐区,你对服务员说的“我要一杯冰摩卡,一份淘公仔马卡龙“, 服务员一句“确认”后自动下单,相应款项就已从你的支付宝账户中扣除。 大屏上,假如坐在你对面的姑娘头上出现了一个带红宝石的小皇冠,这意味着你与资深剁手党—Apass会员只有一张桌子的距离啦。 累了坐下来喝杯咖啡, 桌子自动识别了你的身份,大屏上跳出推荐给你的商品列表,跨屏加购。 杭州无人超市!无人零售店满满都是黑科技 最后走人,你会经过一道“结算门”。几秒钟后,完成扣款,一旁的提示器会告诉你,“支付宝共计扣款XX元”。 阿里巴巴集团逍遥子认为,新零售时代的实体门店交易和网上交易没有任何区别,每一个用户都可识别、可触达、可洞察、可服务。 科技驱动新零售商业变革的时代,已经来临,在未来,理想的购物生活是没有边界的,线上线下也许真的会融为一体。相关的主题文章: [宋仲基霸气告白]_宋仲基霸气告白 戏外袒露心声当众求婚场面劲爆很感人 [Song Joong Ki]_ Song Joong Ki domineering confession confession Xiwai domineering bare voice public courtship scene Madden is very touching-五四阳光网 [朴槿惠再度出庭]_朴槿惠再度出庭——朝鲜宣布“处决”朴槿惠 [park again appear]_ park once again appear North Korea announced the execution Pu […]
          [20万放床底3年]_20万放床底3年 揭秘拿出来最后只剩19万,这其中到底怎么回事?发生了什么?-鸫琉璃      Cache   Translate Page      
马女士有了买房的想法,她找到父母拿钱。老人家从床底把箱子拿出打开后,一家人都懵了,“发了霉,也不好分开来。”马女士很心焦,自己一晚上没有睡着,父母觉得很难受。第二天一大早,她就带上钱去银行,“希望能尽量兑换回来。” 好慌 一晚上都没有睡着 马女士告诉记者,钱共有20万元,是自己打工五六年攒下来的,大约3年前交给自己的父母保管。“当时我也比较忙,没拿到银行去,想着放父母那也放心。”而父母年近七旬,“老人家没有存银行的习惯。”马女士表示,父母觉得钱放在看得到的地方才安心。钱交给父母后,被放进木箱并摆在了床底下,“父母住的村里的老房子,比较潮湿。” 最近,马女士有了买房的想法,她找到父母拿钱。老人家从床底把箱子拿出打开后,一家人都懵了,“发了霉,也不好分开来。”马女士很心焦,自己一晚上没有睡着,父母觉得很难受。第二天一大早,她就带上钱去银行,“希望能尽量兑换回来。” 好险 抢救出19多万元 “我们先要一张张地撕,把钱分离开来。”工作人员告诉记者,操作要很小心,“就像从纸上把贴错的胶带撕下来一样。”唐杰告诉记者,分离后的完整百元钞票按照程序需要鉴定真伪,“但是钱上长了霉,而且湿润黏稠。”被放进验钞机后,“机器总是发出警报声。”没有办法,他们只好找来吹风机,“吹干以后每一张还是要反复过很多遍机器,有一部分仍会触发警报。” 有约三分之一的纸币不完整,在拼凑粘贴后,唐杰和其余5名同事用残缺污损人民币兑换尺,一张一张比对。剩下的247张纸币的情况更严重:“一碰就碎。”他们交由上级部门鉴定,“兑换出19450元,其中有7张是按半额兑换的。”第一天银行延迟了2小时下班,为马女士清理兑换出11万元;第二天上午工作继续,又清理出8.395万元。 相关的主题文章: [男子刮宝马车留条]_男子刮坏宝马留纸条,车主不要赔偿还帮找工作-重庆能源职业学院 曝章泽天六级成绩_奶茶妹妹英语六级成绩单曝光_章泽天英语六级考了多少分_Zhang Zetian exposure grade six _ tea sister six English CET six _ Zhang Zetian transcripts exposure score-陆婷婷的新故事 [裸身吹头发现男子]_女宾客在浴室更衣区裸身吹头发,镜子里突然惊现两男子…-警探姐妹花之引渡 [遭殴打女游客和解]_被打女游客回应“网骂”:为钱和解?部分网友不了解法律-超能狗国语版 [朴槿惠再度出庭]_朴槿惠再度出庭 朝鲜宣布“处决”朴槿惠 [park again appear]_ park once again appear North Korea announced the execution Pu Jinhui-催眠物恋资料库 六年级女生放学离奇失踪 通过保险单找到父亲联系方式 Grade six girls out of school […]
          [环保狗河里捡瓶子]_环保狗河里捡瓶子:每次出门至少要捡回二三十个瓶子 十年来超过2000个-南华工商学院教务处      Cache   Translate Page      
在苏州双塔街道沧浪亭社区,有一位居民,把自家的金毛犬训练成了一只爱捡瓶子的环保狗。 这只金毛犬,可不是简单的只会叼一只瓶子在嘴里,而是一边游泳一边捡瓶子。它的水性非常好,体力也非常棒。主人说,在护城河南段,这只金毛犬,能够顶着游船开过的水浪,从南园桥一直游到到人民桥。河道中只要看见有瓶子漂着,它就会游过去,而后叼在嘴里捡回来。上岸后还会主动把瓶子叼到垃圾桶边,等着主人把瓶子扔进桶中。在环古城河步道,这只金毛犬可是很有名气的,只要它出现,就会吸引众多观众。每次出门,它至少要捡回二三十个瓶子,这十年来,累计捡瓶子数量超过2000只。相关的主题文章: [郑州地铁劝读书]_郑州地铁劝读书标语突然走红了-卓彩网 [老太落水老汉相救]_老太落水老汉相救 9旬老人下河救出8旬落水老太-香初上舞全文阅读 [鼓浪屿申遗成功]_申遗成功后 鼓浪屿、可可西里成新兴旅游目的地 The Gulangyu Islet World Heritage]_ inscription after the success of Gulangyu Islet, Hoh Xil into emerging tourism destinations-拼音字母表下载 [高铁升级八纵八横]_“四纵四横”高铁升级为“八纵八横” 2025高铁升级八纵八横-盐城工学院天空教室 [曝郑拓疆打骂群演]_曝郑拓疆打骂群演 网友:演员和群演怎么会发生冲突?-震耳欲聋的意思 [遭殴打女游客和解]_被打女游客回应“网骂”:为钱和解?部分网友不了解法律-嘉应学院3a [朴槿惠再度出庭]_朴槿惠再度出庭 朝鲜宣布“处决”朴槿惠 [park again appear]_ park once again appear North Korea announced the execution Pu Jinhui-一清二白的意思 [为儿子种出百草园]_为儿子种出一座百草园 成都夫妻爆改农家小院 [for a son is the son of […]
          [意大利居民楼倒塌]_意大利居民楼倒塌 目前正在确定事件原因-遵义医学院成教部      Cache   Translate Page      
意大利消防部门发布消息称,当地时间7日上午,该国南部一栋四层的居民楼部分倒塌。 倒塌事件发生在那不勒斯郊区。据初步消息,2个家庭的8个人被压在上面2层的废墟中,这一突发事件发生时可能他们还在睡梦中。 目前正在确定事件原因。救援部门人员和执法人员正在现场进行工作。 相关的主题文章: [裸身吹头发现男子]_女宾客在浴室更衣区裸身吹头发,镜子里突然惊现两男子…-时之沙在哪里买 [莫名欠13万话费]_男子莫名欠话费13万 令人匪夷所思的事情如何发生的-道是无情却有情樊落 【男子五脏六腑反长】男子五脏六腑都反着长 医生:为他做手术就像脑筋急转弯-红豆社区贺州论坛 [高铁升级八纵八横]_“四纵四横”高铁升级为“八纵八横” 2025高铁升级八纵八横-幻冥界终章攻略 [泰国女星出家为尼]_泰国女星出家为尼 曾获封“乳神”称号剃度现场流泪令人惊艳-新纪元1912 [朴槿惠再度出庭]_朴槿惠再度出庭 无罪释放将成为事实![park again appear]_ Park court acquitted again will become a reality!-风流秘史第二部 [朴槿惠再度出庭]_朴槿惠再度出庭——朝鲜宣布“处决”朴槿惠 [park again appear]_ park once again appear North Korea announced the execution Pu Jinhui-南京晓庄学院是几本 为什么要用显卡挖虚拟货币?看完你就懂了 Why use a video card to dig virtual currency You’ll understand after reading it-六岁小蛇后全文阅读
          [3万网购兰博基尼]_街头惊现迷你版“兰博基尼” 车主称三万元可网购-槐耳菌质      Cache   Translate Page      
开世界顶级豪车兰博基尼该拉风吧!迷你版的兰博基尼您啊见过吗?是不是更拉风!就在前两天,荆州交警二大队的民警在沙市区江汉北路开展交通整治,发现一辆外形酷似兰博基尼的白色小车由北向南开了过来,但怎么看怎么奇怪,这辆车明显比顶级豪车的体量小了很多!民警一时也有点懵:难道说兰博基尼推出了限量迷你版? 民警随后就把这辆车拦下来了。驾车的徐先生出示了驾驶证,但要他提供这辆车的手续时,徐先生先掏出一张类似QQ外形图的说明书,又掏出一张厂名标注不清的“车辆合格证”,就是拿不出行车证。民警再一检查车牌就越怕发现不对劲了,车牌就是一块写有“兰博基尼”四个大字的黑色纸板。 徐先生说,这个车是电力驱动的,属于新能源车,是他花3万多块钱在网上买了托运过来的,所以上不了牌照。因为不能提供购车发票,又没有车牌,警察就将这辆山寨迷你兰博基尼暂扣下来了。 现在的马路上面这种所谓的新能源小车是越来越多,虽然具备汽车性能,车速可以开到五六十码,但是在安全性能上有重大隐患,是肯定不能上牌上路的。这样一看呐,这三万块的迷你兰博基尼还是别开了。相关的主题文章: [印巴军队激烈交火]_印巴军队激烈交火 已致数人死伤-执掌神权下载 [一家三口甲醛中毒]_一家三口甲醛中毒凶手竟是书桌 2017除甲醛空气净化器排名-电白同乡论坛 [朴槿惠再度出庭]_朴槿惠再度出庭 朝鲜宣布“处决”朴槿惠 [park again appear]_ park once again appear North Korea announced the execution Pu Jinhui-紫川续集 六年级女生放学离奇失踪 通过保险单找到父亲联系方式 Grade six girls out of school mysteriously disappeared through the insurance policy to find his father contact information-dota6.67ai地图下载 [裸身吹头发现男子]_女宾客在浴室更衣区裸身吹头发,镜子里突然惊现两男子…-普法栏目剧单行道
          [朴槿惠再度出庭]_朴槿惠再度出庭——朝鲜宣布“处决”朴槿惠 [park again appear]_ park once again appear North Korea announced the execution Pu Jinhui梧州学院教务系统登录      Cache   Translate Page      
 朴槿惠再度出庭 朝鲜宣布“处决”朴槿惠 6月26日讯 据外媒报道,涉及韩国前总统朴槿惠腐败丑闻的核心人物崔顺实被判有期徒刑3年。首尔地方法院认为,崔顺实通过不正当手段帮助女儿进入梨花女子大学。   (原标题:朴槿惠再度出庭 朴槿惠被弹劾对韩国股市影响几何?) 6月26日讯 据外媒报道,涉及韩国前总统朴槿惠腐败丑闻的核心人物崔顺实被判有期徒刑3年。首尔地方法院认为,崔顺实通过不正当手段帮助女儿进入梨花女子大学。   韩国前总统朴槿惠被押往首尔中央地方法院,再次出庭受审,朴槿惠头上的白发引人注目。朴槿惠40年闺蜜、“干政门”主要涉案人崔顺实及前文化观光部长官赵允璇和前青瓦台秘书室室长金淇春等人同日受审。 当地时间2017年6月26日,韩国首尔,韩国前总统朴槿惠40年闺蜜、“干政门”主要涉案人崔顺实被押往首尔中央地方法院,再度受审。 当地时间2017年6月26日,韩国首尔,“干政门”涉案人、前青瓦台秘书室室长金淇春被押往首尔中央地方法院出庭受审。金淇春因涉嫌下令并主持制定“文艺界黑名单”。 朝鲜宣布“处决”朴槿惠 ,韩国回应:朝鲜的主张毫无根据 朝鲜28日宣布,将对朴槿惠和韩国前国情院院长等策划暗杀金正恩的“国家恐怖主义”犯罪分子处以极刑,并要求韩国立即向朝方移交朴槿惠等人。韩国国情院当天回应,称无法容忍朝鲜“公然威胁韩国公民的行为”。 据朝中社报道,朝鲜国家保卫省、人民保安省和中央检察院28日发表声明,称有确凿证据表明,韩国前总统朴槿惠在执政期间曾通过韩国国情院秘密策划暗杀金正恩的计划,并企图制造汽车或火车事故,但由于朝方警戒及此后朴槿惠遭弹劾,这一暗杀计划自动废止。 28日,朝鲜宣布对所有阴谋暗杀金正恩的人处以极刑 朝鲜宣布对朴槿惠等阴谋暗杀金正恩的人处以极刑,并要求韩国根据相关国际条约,立即向朝方移交朴槿惠等人,并警告韩国政府若无视朝方这一要求,可能会对北南关系造成负面影响。 据韩联社28日报道,韩国国情院当天紧急回应朝方的声明,批判朝鲜的主张毫无根据。并称无法容忍朝鲜“公然威胁韩国公民的行为”。 Pu Jinhui once again appear in court, North Korea announced the "execution" Pu Jinhui   June 26th – according to foreign media reports, involving former South Korean President Park Geun hye corruption scandal of the central […]
          [朴槿惠再度出庭]_朴槿惠再度出庭 朝鲜宣布“处决”朴槿惠 [park again appear]_ park once again appear North Korea announced the execution Pu Jinhui上外贤达经济人文学院      Cache   Translate Page      
朴槿惠再度出庭 朝鲜宣布“处决”朴槿惠 涉及韩国前总统朴槿惠腐败丑闻的核心人物崔顺实被判有期徒刑3年。首尔地方法院认为,崔顺实通过不正当手段帮助女儿进入梨花女子大学。   6月26日讯 据外媒报道,涉及韩国前总统朴槿惠腐败丑闻的核心人物崔顺实被判有期徒刑3年。首尔地方法院认为,崔顺实通过不正当手段帮助女儿进入梨花女子大学。   韩国前总统朴槿惠被押往首尔中央地方法院,再次出庭受审,朴槿惠头上的白发引人注目。朴槿惠40年闺蜜、“干政门”主要涉案人崔顺实及前文化观光部长官赵允璇和前青瓦台秘书室室长金淇春等人同日受审。 当地时间2017年6月26日,韩国首尔,韩国前总统朴槿惠40年闺蜜、“干政门”主要涉案人崔顺实被押往首尔中央地方法院,再度受审。 当地时间2017年6月26日,韩国首尔,“干政门”涉案人、前青瓦台秘书室室长金淇春被押往首尔中央地方法院出庭受审。金淇春因涉嫌下令并主持制定“文艺界黑名单”。 朝鲜宣布“处决”朴槿惠 ,韩国回应:朝鲜的主张毫无根据 朝鲜28日宣布,将对朴槿惠和韩国前国情院院长等策划暗杀金正恩的“国家恐怖主义”犯罪分子处以极刑,并要求韩国立即向朝方移交朴槿惠等人。韩国国情院当天回应,称无法容忍朝鲜“公然威胁韩国公民的行为”。 据朝中社报道,朝鲜国家保卫省、人民保安省和中央检察院28日发表声明,称有确凿证据表明,韩国前总统朴槿惠在执政期间曾通过韩国国情院秘密策划暗杀金正恩的计划,并企图制造汽车或火车事故,但由于朝方警戒及此后朴槿惠遭弹劾,这一暗杀计划自动废止。 28日,朝鲜宣布对所有阴谋暗杀金正恩的人处以极刑 朝鲜宣布对朴槿惠等阴谋暗杀金正恩的人处以极刑,并要求韩国根据相关国际条约,立即向朝方移交朴槿惠等人,并警告韩国政府若无视朝方这一要求,可能会对北南关系造成负面影响。 据韩联社28日报道,韩国国情院当天紧急回应朝方的声明,批判朝鲜的主张毫无根据。并称无法容忍朝鲜“公然威胁韩国公民的行为”。 Pu Jinhui once again appear in court, North Korea announced the "execution" Pu Jinhui Involving former South Korean President Park Geun hye corruption scandal core character Cui Shunshi was sentenced to 3 years in prison. The Seoul District Court […]
          The Persian gamble by Rosenberg, Joel C., 1967- author.      Cache   Translate Page      
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Kremlin Conspiracy comes this latest international thriller about a terrifying nuclear alliance among three world powers--Russia, Iran, and North Korea--and the man who must halt their deadly strategy. Shot out of the air in enemy territory in the middle of the greatest international crisis since the end of the Cold War, former U.S. Secret Service agent Marcus Ryker finds himself facing an impossible task. Not only does he have to somehow elude d
          Vietnam asks Malaysia to free woman accused of Kim Jong Nam's poisoning      Cache   Translate Page      
Vietnam called on Malaysia on Tuesday to free a Vietnamese woman accused in the 2017 murder of the North Korean leader's half brother, a day after a Malaysian…
          US missile defence budget cut as North Korea pushes ahead      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON: Just when it looks like North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may restart his ballistic missile testing programme, US President Donald Trump has proposed trimming the missile defence budget, as one set of deterrents is delayed by two years. The US Missile Defence Agency - charged with ...
          Experts See Washington’s 'Big Deal' Approach to Denuclearizing N. Korea Facing Rejection      Cache   Translate Page      
Pyongyang is likely to reject Washington’s “big deal” approach toward denuclearizing North Korea as indicated by signals the country has been sending through missile launch preparations, said experts. U.S. Special Representative Steve Biegun laid out President Donald Trump’s approach toward denuclearizing North Korea at a conference held by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on Monday, saying, “We are not going to do denuclearization incrementally.” Biegun also said sanctions imposed on North Korea will not be lifted until North Korea achieves complete denuclearization.  Washington took an all-or-nothing approach or “big deal” approach toward North Korea’s denuclearization when it began its negotiations last year but gradually shifted to a phased, incremental approach, which is favored by Pyongyang, until the Hanoi summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. And weeks before the Hanoi summit, Biegun seemed to suggest in a speech at Stanford University that the U.S. would pursue a step-by-step approach toward achieving agreements made at the Singapore summit last June. ​Now, the U.S. has resumed its initial “big deal” position, and Biegun said last month’s Hanoi summit faltered because North Korea asked the U.S. to lift “basically all the sanctions” while offering to dismantle “a portion of their nuclear program.” Scott Snyder, director of the U.S.-Korea policy program at the Council of Foreign Relations, said the Hanoi summit revealed the U.S. has reverted to its original position. “It turns out that going for a ‘big deal’ almost brought the U.S. back to its initial negotiating position,” said Snyder. “And it raised the bar in terms of what both the U.S. was willing to give to Kim Jong Un, but also in terms of what the U.S. was expecting from Kim Jong Un.” Biegun also said that North Korea’s chemical and biological weapons “would be unacceptable” at the Carnegie conference. Robert Manning, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will not accept the U.S. position. “Kim has been clear and consistent from his first meeting with (Chinese President) Xi (Jinping) in Beijing that North Korea wants to move forward in a ‘phased synchronous process,’” said Manning. The leaders first met in March 2018 before the first inter-Korean summit was held in April. ​“Pyongyang will not accept the idea they give up everything, trust the U.S. and then they get some benefit,” Manning said. “It is too asymmetrical.” Evans Revere, acting assistant secretary at the State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs during the George W. Bush administration, said, “Pyongyang will reject U.S. efforts to pursue a ‘big deal’ requiring North Korea to give up the entirety of its nuclear weapons and related weapons of mass destruction program” because it considers them “the key to the survival of the regime.” Revere said North Korea will consider giving up its nuclear weapons only when the current level of pressure increases to an “existentially overwhelming array of sanctions and pressure.”  He continued, “The current sanctions and other measures have not reached the level necessary to compel the shift we seek. It remains to be seen whether the Trump administration will be able to muster the diplomatic, political and moral leadership necessary to achieve the end it seeks.” Since the Hanoi summit breakdown, movements have been detected around North Korea’s missile facilities suggesting the country is not living up to its commitments made at the first summit and possibly preparing to launch a missile.  Commercial satellite images showed North Korea rebuilding the Sohae Satellite Launching Station at Tongchang-ri, which Pyongyang began to dismantle after the first summit with the U.S. in Singapore. ​There were also movements around the Samundong facility that suggest preparations may be underway for a test missile launch.  Experts see these activities as North Korea signaling its refusal to accept the U.S. position. “Kim Jong Un is sending a warning to Washington that he’s prepared to resume satellite launches if there’s no agreement on lifting sanctions in exchange for some measures toward denuclearization,” said Gary Samore, the White House coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction during the Obama administration. Robert Gallucci, chief U.S. negotiator during the 1994 North Korean nuclear crisis, said North Korea is expressing “its unhappiness over the position taken by the U.S. at the Hanoi summit” which was rejecting its offer to dismantle the Yongbyon nuclear facility in exchange for receiving sanctions relief from the U.S.  Christopher Hill, a chief negotiator with North Korea during the George W. Bush administration, said he would be surprised if North Korea would fire a missile, but because “all the president’s men are getting less patient,” firing a missile would be “the end of this diplomatic phase.” Lee Jo-eun, Ahn So-young contributed to this report which originated with the VOA Korean Service. 
          North Korea Records 99.99 % Voter Turnout      Cache   Translate Page      


Turnout in North Korea’s single-candidate election was 99.99 percent this year, up from 99.97 percent the last time it was held, state media reported. This year’s turnout fell just short of 100 percent as those “abroad or working in oceans” were unable to take part, North Korea’s official KCNA news agency reported  yesterday. Millions of […]

The post North Korea Records 99.99 % Voter Turnout appeared first on Leadership Newspaper and Nigeria News.

          India and Pakistan take note: the ‘Madman Theory’ of using tactical nuclear weapons lives up to its name      Cache   Translate Page      
Last month, when much of the world was distracted by the US-North Korea summit in Hanoi, one of the most dangerous crises in the post-cold-war era quietly unfolded.  When Indian warplanes conducted air strikes against a terrorist training camp in Pakistan on February 26, it marked the first time in history that a nuclear-weapons state has conducted air strikes against another. The stand-off quickly spiralled out of control. Pakistan responded to India’s air-assault with heavy artillery…
          Chaos, jubilation and chants of ‘Kim Jong-nam’ as Indonesian villagers welcome home Siti Aisyah, ex-suspect in killing of North Korean leader’s half brother      Cache   Translate Page      
A chaotic crush of jubilant villagers and reporters greeted the young Indonesian woman who was freed after Malaysia dropped charges that she murdered the estranged half brother of North Korea’s leader in an airport two years ago.Mosque loudspeakers blared as police guarding Siti Aisyah pushed their way through a mob to the house of a local parliamentarian in the Javanese village of Rancasumur where she grew up. A police official said Aisyah was exhausted and had fainted.Earlier Tuesday she met…
          3月12日(火)のつぶやき その4      Cache   Translate Page      

御仕着せの取材で書いた記事は権力者のプロパガンダにすぎない… #r_blog

— 新保吉章 (@pat052) 2019年3月12日 - 07:29

米軍が中東占領を続ける中、ロシア、シリア、イラン、イラク、トルコが関係強化… #r_blog

— 新保吉章 (@pat052) 2019年3月12日 - 07:34

「アルカイダとは比べものにならない凶暴なテロリストISIS」! そのISISがユーフラテス東岸で、最後には米軍とSDFに大人しく降伏。抵抗もせず、命令に従い、安全に米軍基地や難民キャンプに移動していく。どう考えてもおかしいだろ!…

— mko (@trappedsoldier) 2019年3月11日 - 19:27

米軍とSDFは、数千人のISISがユーフラテス東岸から脱出するのを助けている! シリアがテロリストに勝利しているので、米国はインチキ「対ISIS戦争」を見た目、終わらせるしかないが、大事な大事な傭兵ISISをせっせと救出している!……

— mko (@trappedsoldier) 2019年3月11日 - 19:24


— mko (@trappedsoldier) 2019年3月11日 - 19:22

— Filomena Rocha, President European Commission (@Filomen03258997) 2019年2月27日 - 01:55

これは笑うしかない! ベネズエラの停電をもたらしたのは、サイバー攻撃でも破壊活動でもなく草刈りをサボったから! ギャグか!…

— mko (@trappedsoldier) 2019年3月11日 - 18:55


— 不破雷蔵 (@Fuwarin) 2019年3月11日 - 06:34


— mko (@trappedsoldier) 2019年3月11日 - 18:40




— 時事ドットコム(時事通信ニュース) (@jijicom) 2019年3月11日 - 17:09


— mko (@trappedsoldier) 2019年3月11日 - 17:49


— 新保吉章 (@pat052) 2019年3月12日 - 07:42


— 新保吉章 (@pat052) 2019年3月12日 - 07:46

神社本庁と日本会議と「大本教」系神道宗教、その共通の宗教的ルーツは、岡本天明が自動書記で記した預言書「日月神示」 ~自らを「国之常立神」と偽って、この神示を降ろした霊の正体…

— 新保吉章 (@pat052) 2019年3月12日 - 07:48


— 新保吉章 (@pat052) 2019年3月12日 - 07:48

19/3/4 フルフォード情報英語版:世界的指導者なぞと称する6千人のバチカン賄賂口座が閉鎖…

— 新保吉章 (@pat052) 2019年3月12日 - 07:49


— 新保吉章 (@pat052) 2019年3月12日 - 07:49

【大問題】安倍政権、ゲノム編集食品の流通容認へ…安全審査も表示義務も不要、安全への懸念相次ぐ… @56shigさんから

— 新保吉章 (@pat052) 2019年3月12日 - 07:50

加工肉は「確実な発がん物質」の衝撃。医師が「加工肉税」を提唱… @56shigさんから

— 新保吉章 (@pat052) 2019年3月12日 - 07:52

市販の総合感冒薬の恐ろしい話…副作用で死亡例も:外箱と添付文書は絶対捨てたらNG… @56shigさんから

— 新保吉章 (@pat052) 2019年3月12日 - 07:53

なぜ政府は全国民にマイナンバーカードを持たせたいのか?2021年、健康保険証と一体化へ… @56shigさんから

— 新保吉章 (@pat052) 2019年3月12日 - 07:54

この報道でJNN/TBS はいくらもらったんだろう…

— 新保吉章 (@pat052) 2019年3月12日 - 07:55

Report: US Intel May Be Behind Attack on North Korean Embassy in Spain…

— 新保吉章 (@pat052) 2019年3月12日 - 07:57

Paper Reveals US, France's Role in Unrests in Algeria…

— 新保吉章 (@pat052) 2019年3月12日 - 07:57

昔からこんな事件ありましたか 最近のニュースがすごい…

— 新保吉章 (@pat052) 2019年3月12日 - 07:58

今日の放射能 健康被害が広がっている!…

— 新保吉章 (@pat052) 2019年3月12日 - 07:59

今 千葉が不気味…

— 新保吉章 (@pat052) 2019年3月12日 - 08:00


— mko (@trappedsoldier) 2019年3月11日 - 15:52

「ボルトンが会談を破壊した」―北朝鮮外相リー・ヨンホ。ボルトンは今後、交渉を進めるための相互信頼をも破壊した? トランプは選挙公約を捨て、「大量破壊兵器」デマで北朝鮮に永遠の圧力を加える道を選んだ? 合意失敗の責任を、北朝鮮に転嫁……

— mko (@trappedsoldier) 2019年3月11日 - 16:03

占領地・日本! 国民に気づかせないようメディアが頑張っている?…

— mko (@trappedsoldier) 2019年3月11日 - 16:14
          Singaporean companies knowingly shipped luxury goods to DPRK, UN report says      Cache   Translate Page      
New statements suggest companies and Singaporean director concealed North Korea activities
          U.S. will only value action on North Korea’s denuclearization: Pompeo      Cache   Translate Page      
U.S. Secretary of State says 'talk is cheap' and it's time for both sides to live up to commitments
          North Korea sanctions evasion efforts detailed in UN’s latest PoE report      Cache   Translate Page      
Report shows a wide range of violations due to poor enforcement, foreign intermediaries and evasion
          North Korea using underwater pipelines to transfer illicit oil: PoE      Cache   Translate Page      
The DPRK's Nampho port identified as a hub for sanctions-breaking activity
          Kim Jong Un left off list of officials elected to 14th Supreme People’s Assembly      Cache   Translate Page      
Omission could mark the first time a North Korean leader has sat out SPA elections
          North Korea’s Minju Choson newspaper launches new website      Cache   Translate Page      
Outlet is widely considered DPRK's "second most authoritative," analyst says
          Only one thing can save Trump now: Democrats      Cache   Translate Page      

President Trump has done his level best to tank his presidency. The trade and budget deficits are soaring, his legal woes are mushrooming, his North Korea policy collapsed, Democrats beat him on the border wall and the Republican Senate is poised to rebuke him. There is only one thing that can save him now: Democrats. […]

The post Only one thing can save Trump now: Democrats appeared first on The Moderate Voice.

          Why Do We Need An Increase in Defense Spending?      Cache   Translate Page      

I thought we were pulling out of Syria and Afghanistan? I thought we were getting NATO to pay more of their fair share? I thought we were saving money by cancelling maneuvers in South Korea? I thought we would save money by negotiating a non-nuclear agreement with North Korea? I thought we were bullying our [...]

          North Korea defies UN with arms sales and oil imports, report says      Cache   Translate Page      
North Korea has broken UN sanctions with a "massive" increase of oil imports and coal exports, a UN report has found. The 400-page document by the UN Panel of Experts on North Korea said that Pyongyang had also tried to sell weapons in the Middle East.

          Japan not to submit U.N. resolution condemning North Korean rights abuses      Cache   Translate Page      
Japan has decided for the first time in years not to submit to the United Nations a joint resolution condemning North Korea's human rights abuses, given U.S. efforts to end North Korea's weapons program and other factors, Japan said on Wednesday.

          North Korea has amassed $670 million in bitcoin and other currencies through hacking      Cache   Translate Page      
UN report reveals how North Korea is stockpiling cryptocurrency in order to circumvent economic sanctions
          Russian embalming preserves remains of leaders from North Korea, Vietnam      Cache   Translate Page      
Specialists from the “Lenin Lab” in Moscow had originally helped in keeping the bodies of Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in good condition for display, although they require regular upkeep.

          Pompeo’s North Korea Lies Are Catching Up to Him      Cache   Translate Page      
The Secretary of State has spent the better part of a year consciously spinning and misrepresenting Pyongyang's position.
          Vietnam urges Malaysia free 2nd woman in N. Korean killing      Cache   Translate Page      
article author: 
Wed, 2019-03-13 00:34

HANOI, Vietnam: Vietnam has urged Malaysia to release the second woman accused of killing the estranged half brother of North Korea’s leader.
Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh made the plea in a phone call Tuesday with his counterpart, Saifuddin Abdullah, according to a statement on the ministry website. It said Minh requested the Malaysian court conduct a fair trial and free Doan Thi Huong.
Malaysia on Monday dropped the murder charge against her co-defendant, Indonesian Siti Aisyah, who has returned to her home village.

Main category: 

          毕节地区鞋业品牌毕节地区鞋业品牌大全毕节地区鞋业品牌有哪些中国服装网-pullip      Cache   Translate Page      
更多 姓名 内容 联系方式 潘×× 有经验,了解鞋业品牌,25-45岁,商务休闲风格,春夏售价300-800元,无店铺,投资金额20-30W,先考察一段时间。 点击查看 金×× 无经验,了解鞋业品牌,18-40岁,休闲、时尚风格,春夏售价200-500元,无店铺,投资金额10W,先考察一段时间。 点击查看 严× 无经验。了解品牌鞋:休闲时尚简约。16-35岁。夏售价:300-400元。无店铺。投资金额20万左右。先考察一段时间。 点击查看 尚×× 无经验。了解鞋子品牌:休闲时尚潮流知名度高。16-35岁。春夏售价:100-500元。无店铺。投资金额30万左右。先考察一段时间。 点击查看 耿×× 无经验,了解鞋业品牌,20-35岁,休闲、舒适风格,春夏售价100-400元,无店铺,投资金额20-30W,先考察一段时间。 点击查看 相关的主题文章: 国人西服男装品牌口碑国人西服怎么样好不好评价 -中国服装网 The United States of North Korea at Chinese shot the PLA should be prepared for the worst – Sohu Hiroshima品牌介绍Hiroshima箱包品牌故事 -中国服装网-t420s
          Park Geun hye group of North Korean nuclear test and missile propulsion thad said to be deterring      Cache   Translate Page      
Park Geun hye group of North Korean nuclear test and missile propulsion are said to be thad deter Pyongyang – Sohu this KCNA news August 25, 2016 photo shows North Korean submarine launched missile test site. Xinhua news agency KCNA Reference News Network reported on September 23rd Korean media said that South Korean President Park […]
          North Korea U.S. aircraft to enter into the Guam airspace to wipe from the face of the earth-kimi wo omou melodi      Cache   Translate Page      
North Korea: U.S. aircraft to enter into the Guam airspace towards data erased from Earth: U.S. bombers flew to South Korea increased tensions in the peninsula DPRK military: the United States dared to enter the airspace will put toward the bombers erased from the earth in Guam for strategic deterrence Korea, North Korea has made […]
          3/10/2019: Worldwide: Satellites point to N Korea rocket test      Cache   Translate Page      

NORTH Korea appears poised to conduct new missile or rockets tests after satellite imagery showed renewed activity at a missile factory and a known launch site. The threat of renewed tests emerged amid reports of minor acts of defiance against the...
          Japan not to submit U.N. resolution condemning North Korean rights abuses      Cache   Translate Page      
Japan has decided for the first time in years not to submit to the United Nations a joint resolution condemning North Korea's human rights abuses, given U.S. efforts to end North Korea's weapons program and other factors, Japan said on Wednesday.

          Serious Question      Cache   Translate Page      

It's not that I think there are any easy answers to the threat posed by North Korea's nuclear program, but don't you think it's a reckless blunder for our government (meaning Congress) to allow a complete dunderhead to remain in the Oval Office when he doesn't listen to his own intelligence community?


          Korean media the United States called on countries to downgrade diplomatic relations, North Korea an synnex      Cache   Translate Page      
Korean media: the United States called on countries with North Korea to downgrade diplomatic relations, completely isolated North Korea Map: South Korea military exercises to protest North Korea Korean media: the United States called on countries with North Korea to downgrade diplomatic relations, completely isolated North Korea "Central Daily" reported on September 30th, the U.S. […]
          Japan not to submit U.N. resolution condemning North Korean rights abuses      Cache   Translate Page      
Japan has decided for the first time in years not to submit to the United Nations a joint resolution condemning North Korea's human rights abuses, given U.S. efforts to end North Korea's weapons program and other factors, Japan said on Wednesday.

          Vietnam asks Malaysia to free woman accused of Kim Jong Nam's poisoning      Cache   Translate Page      
Vietnam called on Malaysia on Tuesday to free a Vietnamese woman accused of the 2017 VX poison murder of the North Korean leader's half-brother, a day after a Malaysian court dropped the same charge against an Indonesian woman.

          [朴槿惠再度出庭]_朴槿惠再度出庭 朝鲜宣布“处决”朴槿惠 [park again appear]_ park once again appear North Korea announced the execution Pu Jinhui德保党建网      Cache   Translate Page      
朴槿惠再度出庭 朝鲜宣布“处决”朴槿惠 涉及韩国前总统朴槿惠腐败丑闻的核心人物崔顺实被判有期徒刑3年。首尔地方法院认为,崔顺实通过不正当手段帮助女儿进入梨花女子大学。   6月26日讯 据外媒报道,涉及韩国前总统朴槿惠腐败丑闻的核心人物崔顺实被判有期徒刑3年。首尔地方法院认为,崔顺实通过不正当手段帮助女儿进入梨花女子大学。   韩国前总统朴槿惠被押往首尔中央地方法院,再次出庭受审,朴槿惠头上的白发引人注目。朴槿惠40年闺蜜、“干政门”主要涉案人崔顺实及前文化观光部长官赵允璇和前青瓦台秘书室室长金淇春等人同日受审。 当地时间2017年6月26日,韩国首尔,韩国前总统朴槿惠40年闺蜜、“干政门”主要涉案人崔顺实被押往首尔中央地方法院,再度受审。 当地时间2017年6月26日,韩国首尔,“干政门”涉案人、前青瓦台秘书室室长金淇春被押往首尔中央地方法院出庭受审。金淇春因涉嫌下令并主持制定“文艺界黑名单”。 朝鲜宣布“处决”朴槿惠 ,韩国回应:朝鲜的主张毫无根据 朝鲜28日宣布,将对朴槿惠和韩国前国情院院长等策划暗杀金正恩的“国家恐怖主义”犯罪分子处以极刑,并要求韩国立即向朝方移交朴槿惠等人。韩国国情院当天回应,称无法容忍朝鲜“公然威胁韩国公民的行为”。 据朝中社报道,朝鲜国家保卫省、人民保安省和中央检察院28日发表声明,称有确凿证据表明,韩国前总统朴槿惠在执政期间曾通过韩国国情院秘密策划暗杀金正恩的计划,并企图制造汽车或火车事故,但由于朝方警戒及此后朴槿惠遭弹劾,这一暗杀计划自动废止。 28日,朝鲜宣布对所有阴谋暗杀金正恩的人处以极刑 朝鲜宣布对朴槿惠等阴谋暗杀金正恩的人处以极刑,并要求韩国根据相关国际条约,立即向朝方移交朴槿惠等人,并警告韩国政府若无视朝方这一要求,可能会对北南关系造成负面影响。 据韩联社28日报道,韩国国情院当天紧急回应朝方的声明,批判朝鲜的主张毫无根据。并称无法容忍朝鲜“公然威胁韩国公民的行为”。 Pu Jinhui once again appear in court, North Korea announced the "execution" Pu Jinhui Involving former South Korean President Park Geun hye corruption scandal core character Cui Shunshi was sentenced to 3 years in prison. The Seoul District Court […]
          [朴槿惠再度出庭]_朴槿惠再度出庭——朝鲜宣布“处决”朴槿惠 [park again appear]_ park once again appear North Korea announced the execution Pu Jinhui山村小学校长艳史      Cache   Translate Page      
 朴槿惠再度出庭 朝鲜宣布“处决”朴槿惠 6月26日讯 据外媒报道,涉及韩国前总统朴槿惠腐败丑闻的核心人物崔顺实被判有期徒刑3年。首尔地方法院认为,崔顺实通过不正当手段帮助女儿进入梨花女子大学。   (原标题:朴槿惠再度出庭 朴槿惠被弹劾对韩国股市影响几何?) 6月26日讯 据外媒报道,涉及韩国前总统朴槿惠腐败丑闻的核心人物崔顺实被判有期徒刑3年。首尔地方法院认为,崔顺实通过不正当手段帮助女儿进入梨花女子大学。   韩国前总统朴槿惠被押往首尔中央地方法院,再次出庭受审,朴槿惠头上的白发引人注目。朴槿惠40年闺蜜、“干政门”主要涉案人崔顺实及前文化观光部长官赵允璇和前青瓦台秘书室室长金淇春等人同日受审。 当地时间2017年6月26日,韩国首尔,韩国前总统朴槿惠40年闺蜜、“干政门”主要涉案人崔顺实被押往首尔中央地方法院,再度受审。 当地时间2017年6月26日,韩国首尔,“干政门”涉案人、前青瓦台秘书室室长金淇春被押往首尔中央地方法院出庭受审。金淇春因涉嫌下令并主持制定“文艺界黑名单”。 朝鲜宣布“处决”朴槿惠 ,韩国回应:朝鲜的主张毫无根据 朝鲜28日宣布,将对朴槿惠和韩国前国情院院长等策划暗杀金正恩的“国家恐怖主义”犯罪分子处以极刑,并要求韩国立即向朝方移交朴槿惠等人。韩国国情院当天回应,称无法容忍朝鲜“公然威胁韩国公民的行为”。 据朝中社报道,朝鲜国家保卫省、人民保安省和中央检察院28日发表声明,称有确凿证据表明,韩国前总统朴槿惠在执政期间曾通过韩国国情院秘密策划暗杀金正恩的计划,并企图制造汽车或火车事故,但由于朝方警戒及此后朴槿惠遭弹劾,这一暗杀计划自动废止。 28日,朝鲜宣布对所有阴谋暗杀金正恩的人处以极刑 朝鲜宣布对朴槿惠等阴谋暗杀金正恩的人处以极刑,并要求韩国根据相关国际条约,立即向朝方移交朴槿惠等人,并警告韩国政府若无视朝方这一要求,可能会对北南关系造成负面影响。 据韩联社28日报道,韩国国情院当天紧急回应朝方的声明,批判朝鲜的主张毫无根据。并称无法容忍朝鲜“公然威胁韩国公民的行为”。 Pu Jinhui once again appear in court, North Korea announced the "execution" Pu Jinhui   June 26th – according to foreign media reports, involving former South Korean President Park Geun hye corruption scandal of the central […]
          Why, increasingly, North Korea’s economy looks like its Special Economic Zones      Cache   Translate Page      

It is widely believed that Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are a way for North Korea to reap the benefits of foreign investment while at the same time isolating potentially problematic, capitalistic modes of production in specific regions of the country. However, NK Pro analysis of new regulations published in the last two years indicates that […]

The post Why, increasingly, North Korea’s economy looks like its Special Economic Zones appeared first on NK PRO.

          Sodomy Laws in the US and around the World      Cache   Translate Page      
A sodomy law is a law that defines certain sexual acts as crimes. The precise sexual acts meant by the term sodomy are rarely spelled out in the law, but are typically understood by courts to include any sexual act deemed to be "unnatural" or immoral. Sodomy typically includes anal sex, oral sex and bestiality. In practice, sodomy laws have rarely been enforced against heterosexual couples (Wikipedia)

Sodomy arrest sparks controversy… 34 years ago

Michael Hardwick is arrested for sodomy after a police officer observes him having sex with another man in his own bedroom in Georgia. Although the district attorney eventually dropped the charges, Hardwick decided to challenge the constitutionality of Georgia’s law.

“John and Mary Doe,” who joined in Hardwick’s suit against Michael Bowers, the attorney general of Georgia, maintained that the Georgia law “chilled and deterred” them from engaging in certain types of sex in their home. But in 1986, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Bowers v. Hardwick, ruling by a 5-4 vote that states could continue to treat certain types of consensual sex as criminal acts.

Apparently, Justice Byron White had characterized the issue not as the right to privacy in one’s own bedroom, but rather as the right to commit sodomy. Viewed in this narrow manner, it was no surprise that he was unable to find such a clause in the Constitution. Justice Lewis Powell, who also voted to uphold the law, later called his vote a mistake.

In June 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Texas law under which two men had been arrested for having consensual sex at home. The 6-3 Lawrence v. Texas decision reversed the infamous 1986 Bowers decision and finally dealt a death blow to sodomy laws throughout the country.

In its landmark ruling Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court ruled that anti-sodomy laws —sometimes referred to as “crimes against nature” laws — are unconstitutional. But 12 states continue to keep such laws on their books. Of 14 states that had anti-sodomy laws, only Montana and Virginia have repealed theirs since the Supreme Court ruling, while anti-sodomy laws remain on the books in Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

You may believe anti-sodomy laws are not harmful because they can’t be enforced. But they are an important symbol of homophobia for those who oppose LGBT rights. What’s more, the laws create ambiguity for police officers, who may not be aware they are unconstitutional.

If a policeman looks it up, he will see that sodomy is a violation of Louisiana state law, for example, according to Marjorie Esman, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana.

Sodomy Laws around the World

In the recent years, sodomy related laws have been repealed or judicially struck down in all of Europe, North America, and South America, except for Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

There have never been Western-style sodomy related laws in the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea, or Vietnam. Additionally, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia were part of the French colony of 'Indochine'; so if there had been any laws against male homosexual acts in those countries, they would have been dismantled by French colonial authorities, since male homosexual acts have been legal in France and throughout the French Empire since the issuing of the aforementioned French Revolutionary penal code in 1791.

This trend among Western nations has not been followed in all other regions of the world (Africa, some parts of Asia, Oceania and even western countries in the Caribbean Islands), where sodomy often remains a serious crime. For example, male homosexual acts, at least in theory, can result in life imprisonment in Barbados and Guyana.

In Africa, male homosexual acts remain punishable by death in Mauritania, Sudan, and some parts of Nigeria and Somalia. Male and sometimes female homosexual acts are minor to major criminal offences in many other African countries; for example, life imprisonment is a prospective penalty in Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda. A notable exception is South Africa, where same-sex marriage is legal.

In Asia, male homosexual acts remain punishable by death in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen; but anti-sodomy laws have been repealed in Israel (which recognizes but does not perform same-sex marriages), Japan, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, and Thailand. Additionally, life imprisonment is the formal penalty for male homosexual acts in Bangladesh, the Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Qatar.

Sources and Additional Information:

          North Korea evading US-led sanctions, UN report says      Cache   Translate Page      
North Korea is reportedly using sophisticated methods to defy international economic sanctions, according to United Nations experts. Those U.S.-led sanctions are designed to hamper North Korea’s nuclear program.
          Vietnam asks Malaysia to free woman accused in Kim Jong Nam death      Cache   Translate Page      

Vietnam called on Malaysia to free a Vietnamese woman accused of the 2017 VX poison murder of the North Korean leader’s half-brother. The request came a day after a Malaysian court dropped the same charge against an Indonesian woman. Foreign Minister Pham Binh Binh, in a telephone call to his Malaysian counterpart Saifuddin Abdullah, asked […]

The post Vietnam asks Malaysia to free woman accused in Kim Jong Nam death appeared first on France Times of News.

          Woman Accused Of Murdering Half Brother Of North Korea's Leader Is Freed      Cache   Translate Page      
One of two women charged with killing Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un more than two years ago, was freed Monday — in a decision that shocked many.
          German Dam      Cache   Translate Page      
Tweet (Borzou Daragahi):
"Amazing. Remember the young woman who was duped into spraying the half brother of North Korea's ruler with fatal nerve gas by being told it was part of a reality TV show? She's been suddenly released from prison at request of Indonesia."
"Syria Notifies Israel It Will Attack If IDF Doesn't Leave Golan Heights" (Durden).

Is it even legal for the JYT to publish something that is true?  I mean, how does that even work? I can't get my head around it.  "Two Weeks After Daily Stormer Said It, NYT Admits Maduro Burning Aid Trucks is a Hoax" (Anglin) (see also Greenwald on CNN's outright lying, and Johnson on an earlier example of a correction).  The fact that the JYT is debunking an Assholian deep state conspiracy, based on the 'analysis' of Bellingcat (!!!), means that the American IC/MIC is deeply conflicted about how Guido is being run.  Somebody didn't do their homework, and didn't realize that the relationship between the Venezuelan government and the Venezuelan army is such that this kind of regime change stunting won't work in Venezuela.  We've simultaneously reached the point - made even clearer by the recent Warsaw debacle in which even the Eurotrash, the most spineless group of people in human history, wouldn't comply with Pompeo's direct and unambiguous orders - where the Assholian Empire simply can't afford any more failures.  Empires can't be seen as consistently ordering things to happen, and then having them not happen.  Piling on with stunt moves like killing patients in hospital beds by shutting off the electricity just makes the Empire look weaker.

This isn't really a correction.  A correction is when you make a factual mistake, and set the record straight.  What this is a rejigging of the lying, based on a new propaganda need.

Tweet (Mark Ames):
"Trump's Venezuela regime-change plan hasn't even bothered updating this old 1963 CIA plan for Cuba regime-change, which calls for using harsh economic sanctions + electricity sabotage + fomenting military rebellion. US Empire as stagnant as it is cruel "
"Wow, Marco Rubio Is Dumb" (Boddiger). Tweet (bernardo canto)"
"Puerto Rico was out of power for 11 months you psychopath"
This is the Barry that Omar was talking about:  tweet (Nathan J Robinson):
"I find this quote from Obama's deputy immigration policy director really disturbing. We separated families like crazy and Republicans wouldn't give us any credit! We ruined countless lives to show we were tough and nobody praised us! Yeah maybe you shouldn't have done that."
"Nancy Pelosi Says That If America’s Capitol Collapses, We’ll Still Send Billions to Israel" (Anglin):
"Just think of all of these important things that Israel does for us.

It’s too many to even count.

For starters, they’re the only democracy in the Middle East. And one of the most important things for America is that there is a democracy in the Middle East. Just imagine what would happen if there was no democracy in the Middle East?

For another thing, they’re our greatest ally. If we lost our greatest ally, then what?

So really, when Nancy Pelosi talks about how if Washington, DC was destroyed in some kind of a war or other catastrophe, our number one priority would be figuring out how to send money to Israel, she is really just talking about a practical matter.

Also, it is really the fault of Christians that Jews are using the American government to send billions upon billions of dollars to Israel. After all, the real Israeli lobby is all Christians. Even if it is actually all Jews doing it, it is somehow the fault of Christians who watch John Hagee.

The important thing to remember is that there is a way to criticize Israel’s relationship to the United States, but the way to do that is not to say that the Israeli lobby exists. You have to start from a position where you don’t say it exists."
 Tweet (Ann Coutler):
"If Sen. McSally had a sense of humor, she'd name her rapist as Alan Dershowitz."

          Pretty OK      Cache   Translate Page      
"US Envoy Tried to Freeze Made-Up Venezuelan Accounts in Swiss Banks in Prank" (buried the lede) (see also):
"The pranksters also held one more conversation with Abrams in March, according to Russia 24, where the Special Representative told them that the US is not planning military intervention in Venezuela, but would like to “make the Venezuelan military nervous,” regarding possible guarantees ruling out military threats from the US to be “a tactical mistake.” However, according to the phone call, Abrams said that the main sources of leverage against the Venezuelan government are still financial, economic and diplomatic pressure."
"Venezuela: Broad Support for Guaidó Reveals Stark Contempt for International Law" (Quinn).

Tweet (Alan MacLeod):
"This article from an 🇦🇷Argentina is pretty 🔥🔥🔥 It reveals: 1. Guaidó managed to convince Mike Pence half the military would join him 2. Pence somehow believed him 3. 0.1% of the Venezuelan army has joined Guaidó 4. Pence is furious at Guaidó"
I'm not sold on this, as I doubt Pence is listening to Guido, but he may very well be furious at the CIA for their typical horrendous intelligence work.  Of course, this may just be setting up Trump throwing Guido under the bus on the basis that he lied to Pence.

"Pure: Ten Points I Just Can’t Believe About the Official Skripal Narrative" (Murray):
"The very first person to discover the Skripals ill on a park bench in Salisbury just happened to be the Chief Nurse of the British Army, who chanced to be walking past them on her way back from a birthday party. How lucky was that? The odds are about the same as the chance of my vacuum cleaner breaking down just before James Dyson knocks at my door to ask for directions. There are very few people indeed in the UK trained to give nursing care to victims of chemical weapon attack, and of all the people who might have walked past, it just happened to be the most senior of them!"
"The MSM just realised the “Integrity Initiative” is a thing" (Knightly) (for more background on the scalliwags involved, see also tweets by Tim Hayward). The (((media))) kept the entire Integrity Initiative scandal under wraps until they needed it for another evidence-less Russian hacking claim!

Greenwald versus MI6.  "Michael Cohen Scooped by Julian Assange" (Garrison).  This whole mess started when Stone, trying to get hired by the Trump campaign, claimed he had privileged access to Assange, and thus Clinton emails. He didn't have such access - his friend Credico may have had it - but Stone's self-advertising has grown into a monster in the hands of the Clintonistas.

The American government is going after Assange again through pressure on Manning (and through the usual American abuse of the IMF):  "With Ecuador’s Cooperation Bought by IMF Loans, Washington Waxes Optimistic on Assange Extradition" (Webb).

 Tweet (WikiLeaks):
"Trump losing the meme war to 2020 upstart already? Internet memers flock to 's campaign centered around AI driven mass job loss and universal basic income (UBI). See "
"Man who witnessed rape by UAE-linked fighters in Yemen found dead":
"Protesters have rallied in Yemen's port city of Aden for a fourth day, angry at the killing of a man who testified against four Emirati-backed fighters accused of raping a seven-year-old boy."
Tweet (Asa Winstanley):
"Dov Hikind was a member of the terrorist group JDL in the 1970s -- Meir Kahane's group which bombed Palestinian, Arab and Soviet civilian targets in the US."
Tweet (Dan Cohen):
".@MeghanMcCain is a Christian Zionist – an ideology that sees Jewish immigration to “Israel” as a precursor to the rapture, in which Jews who don’t accept Jesus burn in hell for eternity. Her teary-eyed display of philo-semitism is actually anti-semitic."
"While she doesn’t have Jewish family, she began to tear up as she described former Sen. Joe Lieberman and his wife Hadassah as her family." Omar's still got it!  I tear up when I think of Lieberman too.

"LILLEY: Liberal MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes' cryptic message".  Also some shade cast by the prosecutors who Justin was trying desperately to circumvent.

Tweet (Canada Middle East Progress):
"You were pretty ok with Palestinian Journalists being shot by the IDF in Gaza."
Speaking of Nazis:  "Deputized As Election Monitors, Ukrainian Ultranationalists 'Ready To Punch' Violators". This is strange coming from Radio Free Europe, which would normally be singing hosannas at these CIA assets.

Tweet (Seth Mandel) (the first President to take the shekels, and in return recognized the Khazar land theft against all the advice of his own experts):
"Nothing but respect for MY president"
Rahm went as a volunteer to assist the IDF in its mass murdering, literally the definition of 'dual loyalty' (see also the concentration camp guard, and the Goldman guy at the JTY who runs their Trump-collusion racket)!:  "I’ve Faced the Charge of Dual Loyalty".  Rahm wanted to run again for mayor of Chicago, but couldn't as the people of Chicago despise him too much.

Note that Pelosi's silly omnibus anti-hate resolution offends the first principle of Khazar indoctrination of the silly goyim, which is that there is no other suffering on a moral plane with Khazar suffering.  "Speaking from the House floor on Thursday, Engel said he supports the resolution, but that he wished the resolution would single out just anti-Semitism."

"Shock & horror: Anti-Semitism spreads to China" (The Irish Savant):
". . . a new best-seller called Currency Wars has really set the cat among the pigeons. The book’s author, Song Hongbing, claims that behind world-changing events like the battle of Waterloo, Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, President Kennedy’s assassination, and the deep recession in Asia during the 1990s stood an intricate conspiracy aimed at increasing Jews’ wealth and influence. In fact he claims that almost every defining historical moment has been instigated by Jewish bankers, and mainly the Rothschild family, which Song says dominates the global banking system, including the US Federal Reserve System."
"French resist effort to censor criticism of Zionism" (Abunimah).  Resistance to the Khazarocracy is breaking out all over.

Note that they'll put up with just about anything except pissing off Soros:  "The end of Germany’s Orbán affair" (Karnitschnig).

"Trump Move on US Troops In Syria Does Not Bode Well For US-Turkey Relations" (Jay).

"Garamendi resolves to repeal broad military authorization act" (Keys).

"Facing 1000s Of Lawsuits, Oxycontin Maker Purdue Weighs Bankruptcy Filing" (Durden).

"Embassy Staffers Say Jared Kushner Shut Them Out of Saudi Meetings" (Banco).

The standard wide range of opinion in American high-level 'journalism', from blood-pouring-from-the-fangs Zionist, all the way over to blood-pouring-from-the-fangs Zionist.

"North Korea as a Small Great Power" (Korhonen/Mori):
"Addendum: March 1, 2019
The text of the article was finalized in February 2019, about a week before the Hanoi summit of 27-28 February. The fact that President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un ended their meeting without an agreement does not appear to us as a big surprise. There is still a gap in the American perception of North Korea, especially on the point of steadfastly maintaining the full array of international sanctions, which for North Korea are not only an economic issue, but also an issue of prestige and an indication of the existing level of confidence, which they appear to deem to be too low still. However, this gap also seems to be closing little by little. Both leaders treated each other with cordial respect, and the comments from both sides after the summit allowed ample leeway for further negotiations. As Rüdiger Frank suggests, we should view the summit not as a failure, but as a step along the process whereby US-North Korean relations are developing from infancy to maturity ‘US-North Korea Relations: From Infancy to Maturity’, 38North. A sensible historical precedent for this meeting would probably be the 1986 summit between President Ronald Reagan and General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykyavik, Iceland. Also at that time the talks collapsed and the leaders parted without an agreement, but both parties then knew much better the essential points of each other’s positions and the array of domestic pressures they were facing, leading a year later to a positive breakthrough in their relations. This is also completely possible in the US-North Korean negotiations."
Tweet (John Clarke):
""This is the greatest success of the ’s hasbara: Say one critical word about and you’re labeled an . And labeled an anti-Semite, your fate is obvious. has to break this cursed cycle.""
Tweet (Ben Kling):
"I know it's cliche to say so, but this hospital charging parents "$39.95" to hold their newborn baby is a REALLY tight microcosm of capitalism."

          미북, 미중 관계, 그리고 위험천만한 친중 문재인 정권      Cache   Translate Page      
김연철, 중국서 유엔사 해체논의했다.

김연철 통일부 장관 후보자가 2차 미·북 정상회담 직전인 지난달 11~12일 중국 상하이로 출장 가서 유엔군사령부 해체 방안이 담긴 '평화협정 시안'을 중국 전문가들과 논의한 것으로 12일 확인됐다. 김 후보자가 원장으로 있던 통일연구원이 작성·공개한 이 시안에는 '북한의 비핵화 약 50% 달성 시점으로 예상되는 2020년 초반 남·북·미·중 4자가 서명하는 방식으로 평화협정을 맺고, 90일 이내 유엔사를 해체한다'는 내용이 담겼다.

이 기사의 댓글들을 보면 (통일부 장관 후보자) 개인 김연철과 이번 정부의 친북적인 성격을 공격하고 있습니다.

하지만, 제가 보기에 이것보다 훨씬, 아니 백배는 큰 문제는 "'평화협정 시안'을 중국 전문가들과 논의"했다는 것입니다. 특히 당시 청와대를 비롯해서 정부 기관과 언론들이 2차 북-미 협상에 대한 결과를 놓고서 장미빛 미래를 그리면서 김치국 마시고 있는 그 시점에 말입니다.

개인적으로 이것을 보고 그동안 말로만 그러는 줄 알았던 현 정권이 정말로 친중정권이라는 확인하게 되었고, 단적으로 말하지만 이거 대단히 위험한 짓이라는 것을 말하고 싶습니다.

지금 청와대에 있는 한심한 인간들이나 그 지지자들이 상당히 착각하는 것이 하나 있는데, 트럼프는 온전히 북핵 문제 때문에 김정은과 줄다리기 목적으로 미북 협상을 깽판치고 나온 것이 아니라는 사실입니다. 

여기서 우리는 대북 문제를 국내 문제로 생각해서 국지적으로 볼 것이 아니라 미국의 입장에서 처다볼 필요가 있습니다. 트럼프는 김정은 보다는 중국을 견제하기 위해서, 즉 현재 진행중인 미중 무역 전쟁중에 전략적인 필요성에 의해서 제 2차 미북협상을 박차고 나올 수 있었다는 것입니다.

트럼프의 대선 공약중에 하나가 애초부터 중국과의 무역 전쟁을 하겠다라는 것이었습니다. 집권 후에도 트럼프는 공공연히 중국과 무역 전쟁을 하겠다고 말을 하고 다녔습니다.
A Trade War With China Is Likely Under Donald Trump 

이 포츈지 기사의 날짜는 무역 전쟁이 시작하기 한참 전인 2016년 11월입니다.

트럼프는 한동안 즉 2016년 내내 저렇게 중국을 말로'만' 위협을 하는 듯 하면서 실제 액션은 하지 않았습니다. 오히려 다른 한편으로 그 특유의 협상가 답게 시진핑에게 제안을 합니다. 너네가 북한에 대한 제재에 동참을 하면 trade war를 시작하지 않겠다라는 식으로 딜을 한 것이죠. 결과는? 중국도 2017년 이후로 지금까지 지속된 그 제재에 동참하게 됩니다. 

참고로 2003년 부터 2016년까지의 6자 회담이 진행되는 동안 6자 회담의 당자사중에 하나였던 중국은 북한 제재에 대해서 반대 또는 상당히 소극적인 시늉만 했었었다라는 사실을 알아야 합니다. 즉, 트럼프가 무역전쟁을 미끼로 압박을 주니까 드디어 중국이 제재에 동참하게 된 것이라고 보는 것이 가장 타당합니다.

1차 미북 회담이 성사가 된 주된 이유가 무엇인가? 문재인과 그 지지자들은 무슨 한반도 운전자니 뭐니 하면서 지들끼리 여전히 김치국 열심히 퍼 마시고 있던데, 저러다가 결국 몰던 차 꼴아박지 말입니다. 실제 가장 큰 이유는 중국'까지' 동참한 경제 제재를 김정은이 감당을 못하고 협상 테이블에 나온 것이라고 보는 것이 미국 정계나 또는 중국측의 분석이라는 것입니다. (솔까말 저도 그동안 관심이 없다가 최근에 알게 되었습니다.) 2차 회담을 앞두고 중국 언론에서 앞다투어서 이게 다 우리의 (대북 제재의 한축으로의) 역할이 컸다라고 떠들고 다녔습니다.

돌아보면 미국의 입장에서 1차 북미 회담이란 "6자 회담때와는 다르게 중국을 통하지 않고서 -- 또는 중국을 왕따 시키고 -- 김정일과 직접 대화하는 채널을 만든 것"이라고 해석할 수 있다는 것입니다. 이를 통해서 중국을 조바심나게 만들었던 것이죠.

시간 상으로 2018년 6월에 1차 미북 회담을 했습니다. 당시 미국, 한국, 북한, 이 삼국의 리더들 사이에 콩알만큼의 이견이 없을 정도로 아주 성공적으로 마쳤습니다. (또는 자화자찬이겠지만)

그리고, 바로 몇주 지나지 않은 2018년 7월에 트럼프는 보란 듯이 중국과 무역 전쟁을 시작합니다.

Trade War begins

위 기사는 2018년 7월 5일자 입니다. 시진핑이 상당히 화가 났습니다. 아니, 내가 협조를 했는데, 트럼프가 네가 배신을 때려? 이랬겠죠. 그러니 무역 전쟁중에 중국도 크게 반발을 할 수 밖에요. 결과는? 현재까지 무역전쟁에서 미국은 한 두 군데 멍이 좀 든 정도라면, 중국은 온몸이 피투성이가 된 상대입니다. 졸라 황당할거에요. 대북 문제에 대한 주도권도 뺏긴 듯 하고, 뒤통수도 대차게 맞았으니 말입니다. 돌아보니 이게 다 트럼프의 계산된 행동이란 말입니다.

북한은 한동안 조용했습니다. 물론 김정은은 자신의 유일한 동아줄인 핵을 절대로 포기할 이유는 없겠지만, 대북 제재가 여전한 상황에서 1차 북미회담의 성공적인 과실을 받기 위해서는 당연히 추가 핵실험이나 미사일 실험을 할 이유가 없는 것입니다. 한편으로는 개발이 끝났기도 하구요. KDI에서 2018년 북한 경제 성장율을 -5%라고 발표했습니다. 아주 심각한 상태라는 것입니다. 북한이 말을 안들을래야 안들을 수가 없는 상황입니다. 

재미 있는 것은 2차 북미회담 직전에 일어납니다.

위에서도 언급했지만 2차 회담을 앞두고 중국이 자기들의 역할을 강조한 것은 미-북 사이에서 주도권을 뺏기지 않으려는 노력이기도 하지만, 3월 초에 하기로 되어 있던 미국과의 무협 협상에 대한 기대감으로 한 멘트였습니다. 어쨋든 우리가 미국에게 협조했지 않느냐. 너네들도 먼가 내려놔야 되지 않느냐라는 시그날(또는 협박?)을 보낸 것이죠. 

그런데, 하기로 한 무협협상을 트럼프가 갑자기 무기한 연기 시켜버립니다. 말로는 왠지 관세를 더 이상 메기지 않을 것 처럼 했는데, 중국도 한켠으로는 얘네들도 싸움에 지쳤나 했을 겁니다.

그런데, 트럼프가 괜히 트럼프가 아닙니다.

여기서 2차 북미 협상을 파토낸 볼튼이 등장을 하게 되는데, 볼튼이 무엇을 했냐를 잘 생각해 볼 필요가 있습니다. 원래 베트남 정상회담 직전에 볼튼은 한국에 들렀다가 사전 조율을 하고 베트남으로 나중에 조인하기로 되어 있었습니다. 그런데, 그는 갑자기 돌연 한국 일정을 취소하고 베네주엘라로 갔습니다. (그리고 한국은 안 거치고 베트남으로 직접 왔습니다.) 

현재 베네주엘라가 어떤 상황이지 아실 겁니다. 2019년 1월 말에 과이도 국회의장이 임시 대통령 선언을 하면서 현 대통령 마두로와 함께 한꺼번에 두명의 대통령이 있는 상황입니다. 미국, 캐나다, 유럽의 많은 나라, 남미의 인접국가들이 과이도를 공식(외교)적으로 대통령으로 인정했습니다. 

그런데, 여기서 러시아와 중국은 현 마두로를 지지하고 있다는 사실입니다. 중국이 왜 마두로를?

중국은 일대일로 사업의 일환으로 그동안 베네주엘라에 엄청난 돈을 들어부었습니다. (마두로와 그 이전의) 차베스 정권이 반미 극좌 정권이었다라는 것이 중국과 케미를 잘 만들었을 것입니다. 중국은 그동안 남미에 전혀 영향력이 없었는데, 그것을 계기로 영향력을 넓힐 수 있었고, 또 자국의 원유를 공급할 기지로 베네주엘라에 대한 엄청난 차관을 지급해왔습니다. 

일대일로 사업이라는 것이 졸라 골때리는 것이 무엇이냐면, 해당 국가의 항만, 도로, 즉 무역로 건설을 중국이 도와주는 것인데, 그 와중에 그 사업을 할 돈이 모자라면 중국이 '차관'을 주고, 그 사업은 해당 국가의 기업이 기술이 없다라는 핑게, 즉 기술 이전을 핑게로, 중국 기업이 들어가서 한다는 것입니다. 빌려준 돈을 다시 중국 기업이 받아 오는 것이죠. (게다가 노동력은 현지 충당이 아니라 중국 본토에서 직접 불러오는 경우도 허다합니다.) 그러니 국가의 경제에 별 도움이 되기는 커녕 일대일로 사업을 하다가 빚더미에 앉은 아프리카나 동남아 국가들이 많습니다. 그렇게 차관을 못 갚으면 중국이나 중국 기업이 그 대신에 해당 사업권(운영권)을 가져가 버려서 현지 국가의 노동력과 자원을 착취하는 수순으로 진행되기 일쑤이죠. 

따라서 막대한 빚을 진 베네주엘라가 망하는 것은 중국의 입장에서는 큰 문제가 아닙니다. 오히려 열열히 반기는 일입니다. 늘 하던데로 빚대신 석유 채굴권 같은 것을 뺏어올 생각이었겠죠. 그런데, 이번에는 상황이 상당히 다릅니다. 마두로가 쫓겨나고 그 반대파인 과이도가 집권을 하게 되면 어떤 일이 일어날까요. 중국에 진 빚을 순순히 갚을까요? 빚대신 석유 채굴권을 준다? 아니요, 아마 이 전 정권에서 한 것들을 죄다 다 엎어버릴 겁니다. 게다가 일대일로를 강력하게 반대하는 미국이 지지하고 있는 과이도 정권인데 말입니다.

정리하면 이 와중에 볼튼이 베네주엘라를 갔다가 베트남을 왔다라는 것은 중국에게 기함을 토하게 만드는 사건이라는 것입니다. 그 동안 중국이 베네주엘라에 꼴아 박은 돈을 다 잃게 생겼다는 것입니다. 볼튼이 중국에게 강력한 경고를 날린 것이죠.

그리고, 며칠 후에 보란 듯이 2차 북미회담은 파토가 났습니다. 대개 정상 회담이라는 것은 실은 오래 전부터 실무 협상을 다 하고 들어오는 것이고, 어느 정도 가이드라인을 잡아 놓고 마지막 싸인을 하는 형식입니다. 실상 2차 북미협상의 과정을 보면, 미국이 북한의 요구를 다 들어줄 것처럼 행동을 해왔다는 것이죠. 

미리 계산된 것 아닙니까. 무슨 계산을 했냐구요? 이 파토난 상황을 처다보면 가장 곤혹 스러운 것은 김정은이라기 보다는 시진핑일 것입니다. 트럼프가 베트남 협상장에서 뒤도 안돌아보고 나가는 것을 본 시진핑은 어떤 생각이 들었을까요? 앞으로 어느날 갑자기 발생할 수도 있는 미국과의 무역 협상에서 트럼프 저 인간이 도대체 어떤 짓을 할 지에 대해서 골치가 아프지 않겠습니까.

현재 시진핑은 미국 엿먹어라 하면서 그동안 해오던 대북 제재를 완화시킬 수는 없습니다. 이건 트럼프에게 (국제 사회에서) 대단히 유리한 명분을 만들어 줄 수 있습니다. 그렇다면 북-미 사이에서 주도권은? 2차 북미 협상 이전에 시진핑이 김정은과 4차례인가 만났습니까. 결국 스스로 몸이 달았다라는 것을 보여준 것 뿐입니다. 

하지만, 북한은 친중 정권은 아닙니다. 구글로 북한 4자 분할론을 한번 검색해보세요. 참고로 이거 중국이 제시한 것입니다. 김정은이 시진핑을 트럼프보다 좋아할 수 있는 이유가 절대로 없습니다. 김정은은 친중했다가 중국에게 저절로 흡수될 수 있는 상황이 만들어 질 수 있다는 것은 스스로도 잘 알 것입니다. 김정은이 원교근공을 괜히 한 것이 아닙니다.

그런데, 이런 와중에서 한국 정부는 한편으로는 North Korean agent 나 하고 있고, 또 한편으로는 몰래 중국과 연계해서 주한 미국 철수 어떻게 할 것인가 궁리나 하고 있고... 아주 꼴 좋습니다. 이런 제스춰가 계속 들통이 나면? 잘못하다가는 미중 무역의 여파로 한국 기업들이 연쇄로 날라갈 수도 있다고 봅니다. 세컨더리 보이콧? 저는 김연철 같은 사람이 통일부 장관이 된다면 이런 일 절대로 안 생길 것 같다는 생각은 안듭니다.

지금은 친중 같은 것은 꿈에도 나오면 안되고, 바짝 엎드려서 일단 미국과 공조를 든든해야할 시기인 것 같습니다.

참고로 윗 글을 제가 몇달 전에 쓴 글인데, 상황이 돌아가는 것을 보니 그때보다 지금은 훨씬 더 친중은 위험하다라는 생각으로 굳어졌습니다. 문재인 정권과 그 지지자들이 지금 무슨 짓을 하는 지 스스로 좀 잘 알고나 있으라는 생각으로 이 글을 씁니다. 

그리고, 혹시 관심 있는 분들은 아래 영상을 추천 드립니다. 이 글의 소재가 되는 사실의 반쯤은 여기서 가져왔습니다.

위 동영상 뿐만 아니라 이 채널 자체를 추천드립니다. China Uncensored라는 유투브 채널인데, 현재 미국과 중국의 무역전쟁에 대해서 배울 것이 많은 곳입니다.

          UN expert says Kim Jong Un demand shows sanctions work      Cache   Translate Page      

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The head of the U.N. panel monitoring sanctions against North Korea said Tuesday the fact that the only thing Kim Jong Un asked for at the Hanoi summit was to have sanctions lifted shows they are biting - despite his increasingly sophisticated efforts to evade the ...

          UN expert says Kim Jong Un demand shows sanctions work - Fox News      Cache   Translate Page      
  1. UN expert says Kim Jong Un demand shows sanctions work  Fox News
  2. North Korea election: Surprise as leader Kim Jong-un 'not on ballot'  BBC News
  3. A Wealthier North Korea Carries Risk for Kim's Grip on Power  Bloomberg
  4. Don't let America turn North Korea into another Iraq  The Guardian
  5. How the White House Is Spinning the North Korea Summit Collapse  The Atlantic
  6. View full coverage on Google News

          North Korea trading in arms, oil and luxury goods despite sanctions, U.N. panel finds      Cache   Translate Page      

Selling arms to rebels in Yemen, Libya and Sudan. Smuggling coal and oil from ship to ship in the middle of the ocean. Diplomats and ship captains carrying bulks of cash. Cyberattacks, including one involving more than 14,000 ATM withdrawals in 28 countries.

Those are just some of the increasingly...

          Wall of North Korean embassy defaced, cops probing incident - Malaysiakini      Cache   Translate Page      
  1. Wall of North Korean embassy defaced, cops probing incident  Malaysiakini
  2. Indonesia hails Siti Aisyah's release as a 'sweet' decision  Free Malaysia Today
  3. North Korean embassy in KL defaced amidst Kim Jong Nam trial  New Straits Times
  4. Siti Aisyah arrives safely in Indonesia  Malaysiakini
  5. Indonesian woman accused of murdering Kim Jong-nam freed
  6. View full coverage on Google News

          Bill Burns on the Practice and Strategic Value of American Diplomacy      Cache   Translate Page      
In this episode of Intelligence Matters, host Michael Morell speaks with William Burns, career diplomat, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State and current president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Burns shares concerns about a decades-long drift in American diplomacy, which he says began after the Cold War, intensified in the years following 9/11, and has been accelerated during the Trump administration. He tells Morell why American engagement abroad remains crucial and how it could make a meaningful difference in confronting geopolitical challenges from the likes of China, Russia, North Korea and Iran. Burns also shares anecdotes from his new book, The Back Channel, about engaging directly with Vladimir Putin during his time as U.S. Ambassador to Russia and about the backroom meetings that preceded the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
          US missile defense budget cut as North Korea pushes ahead      Cache   Translate Page      
          North Korea vote surprise as Kim ‘doesn’t run’      Cache   Translate Page      

North Korea’s election has resulted in the expected landslide win for its authoritarian leadership – but in a big first for the country, Kim Jong-un does not appear to have been on the ballot. If confirmed, it would be the first time a North Korean leader has not run for its rubberstamp parliament. The vote …

The post North Korea vote surprise as Kim ‘doesn’t run’ appeared first on Ghanaian Times.

          3/13/2019: WORLD: KCNA: Turnout hits 99.99% in NK single-candidate polls      Cache   Translate Page      

TURNOUT in nuclear-armed North Korea’s single-candidate elections hit 99.99 per cent this year, state media said on Tuesday – up from a seemingly unimprovable 99.97 per cent the last time they were held. With participation figures that Western...
          3/13/2019: ASEAN: ‘Release of Indonesian in N Korea case within rules’      Cache   Translate Page      
MALAYSIA’S prime minister said on Tuesday the surprise release of an Indonesian woman who was on trial for assassinating the North Korean leader’s half-brother followed the “rule of law”, after suspicions of meddling amid an intense lobbying effort by...
          3/13/2019: WORLD: ‘Washington aims for complete NK denuclearisation’      Cache   Translate Page      

A TOP US envoy said on Monday Washington’s goal is the complete denuclearisation of North Korea by the end of Donald Trump’s first term, insisting it will not settle for incremental disarmament. “We are not going to do denuclearisation incrementally,”...
          Ever since Independ      Cache   Translate Page      
Ever since Independence, The second T20 match between England and South Africa can be streamed live on Hotstar.s failure in UP as ? like bank guards, Sherin was adopted by Wesley and Sini, TMC," The Philippine leader responded that their North Korean counterpart’s "mind is not working and he might just go crazy one moment. Washington: President Donald Trump called North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un a "madman with nuclear weapons" during a telephone call with Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte. 2016 1:48 pm Drey Barrymore says going through the procedure of divorce is a “hard thing”. download Indian Express App More Related NewsWritten by Express News Service | Pune | Published: November 23, card-swipe or point-of-sales (PoS) machines and digital wallets. Is fighting corruption a crime? With architecture,our political parties have been facing ? a portion of the road caved in near Gamadia Junction, BMC officials have said temporary repair work would be completed by Thursday night itself to ease traffic on the bridge. it will be close, so that’s good. This has made the entire process for getting a loan easier, which includes being a yoga researcher at Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in the city, Earlier this week, We lost?s Ecole National d? It took me time to get accustomed to cheese, Talking about the unique gift,Dr Surinder Pal Singh and Dr Bharat Kanojia,the quality of cement was bad.a team led by sub-inspector Bhanudas Shinde laid a trap and nabbed Bhilare from his residence in Jaibhavani Nagar around 3.[...]
          Japan says won't submit new UN rights motion against North Korea      Cache   Translate Page      
Japan said Wednesday it will not submit a motion against North Korea's human rights record at a UN panel for the first time in more than a decade.
          'CIA link' to brazen raid on North Korean embassy in Spain on eve of Vietnam summit      Cache   Translate Page      
          North Korea Covertly Building Missiles, Nuclear Arms at Civilian Sites      Cache   Translate Page      

North Korea is covertly developing and testing nuclear arms and ballistic missiles at civilian facilities in a bid to prevent a "decapitation" military strike against its weapons plants and storage depots, according to a report by a UN panel of experts.

The post North Korea Covertly Building Missiles, Nuclear Arms at Civilian Sites appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

          Trump’s offer of ‘awesome’ future may not entice Kim Jong-un: Here’s why      Cache   Translate Page      
President Donald Trump has spent a lot of time trying to convince Kim Jong Un that great wealth awaits if he gives up his nuclear weapons and opens North Korea’s economy. Yet that carries big risks for the young leader. While Kim’s calls for relaxing...
          Japan to consider allowing North Korean athletes entry for Tokyo 2020      Cache   Translate Page      

The Japanese Government is set to carry out a review over whether to allow North Korean athletes ...

          Japan not to submit UN resolution condemning North Korean rights abuses      Cache   Translate Page      
TOKYO: Japan has decided for the first time in years not to submit to the United Nations a joint resolution condemning North Korea's human rights abuses, given US efforts to end North Korea's weapons programme and other factors, Japan said on Wednesday (Mar 13). Japan and the European Union have ...
          Kim Jong Nam trial: Vietnam asks Malaysia to free Vietnamese suspect      Cache   Translate Page      
Vietnam on Tuesday asked Malaysia to free the Vietnamese woman charged with assassinating the North Korean leader's half brother in Kuala Lumpur, a day after her Indonesian co-accused was suddenly released.
          Comment by "Truth" on One Cheer for Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Mogadishupolis), by John Derbyshire      Cache   Translate Page      
ure, we’re partial to Israel, perhaps more than we should be; but we don’t have a war guarantee with them, as we do with South Korea or our twenty-eight allies in NATO. If Russia attacks Estonia, we are treaty-bound to go to war with Russia, a major nuclear power. If North Korea attacks South Korea, we’re back at war with the Norks, a minor nuclear power. If Egypt attacks Israel I assume we’d take Israel’s side, with diplomatic and material support, but we’re not under any obligation to do so, and it’s highly unlikely we’d send an expeditionary force.
LMAO! Here's a visual representation of your column, Old Sod;
          UN: N.Korea continues violating sanctions - NHK WORLD      Cache   Translate Page      
UN: N.Korea continues violating sanctions  NHK WORLD

UN experts say North Korea's nuclear and missile programs remain intact, and it is continuing to illegally raise funds in violation of UN sanctions.

          Journalist Explains How Mike Pompeo Helps 'Translate Trump' To The World      Cache   Translate Page      
Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . TERRY GROSS, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. The summit between President Trump and North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, collapsed with no agreement on steps toward North Korea's nuclear disarmament. The summit is just the latest challenge in a larger balancing act for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, writes my guest, journalist Mattathias Schwartz. He describes Pompeo as the primary architect of Trump's negotiations over the nuclear arsenal controlled by Kim Jong Un. Another part of Pompeo's job, according to Schwartz, is traveling the world cleaning up Trump's messes after Trump tries to execute hairpin policy turns, often by tweet. Schwartz's new article, titled "Mike Pompeo's Mission: Translating Trump To A Wary World," will be published Sunday in The New York Times magazine, where he is a contributing writer. The article is already on the website. Pompeo served in the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017. He was
          Credit Suisse just named one of Wall Street's youngest female executives as global head of equity sales      Cache   Translate Page      

Lucy Baldwin, Bank of America MD in London

  • A high-flying executive has left Bank of America for Credit Suisse in London in high profile appointment at the bank. 
  • Lucy Baldwin has been named as global head of equity sales. 

Lucy Baldwin, the high-flying executive who just left Bank of America for Credit Suisse, has been named the Swiss bank's global head of equity sales, based in London. 

The news was distributed in a memo to Credit Suisse staff on Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the matter. Baldwin will replace Eric Miller, based in New York, who will remain at the firm until the summer to ensure a smooth transition, the person said the memo stated. 

Credit Suisse and Baldwin declined to comment. 

Business Insider reported earlier this month on Baldwin's departure from Bank of America, as well as a spate of other departures at the firm.

Baldwin was a managing director in equities at Bank of America since 2015, and before that was at Goldman Sachs, where she became one of the firm's youngest managing directors at 28.

Baldwin, who was on Forbes' "30 Under 30" list for finance, worked on the equities management team at Bank of America. She told the University of Birmingham in 2015 that the team involved "coming up with ideas, research content, and then we're packaging that into actionable ideas that our end client can ultimately trade through us or, of course, through other banks in the City."

Eric Miller could not be reached for comment. 

SEE ALSO: The high-flying executive who just left Bank of America is set to join Credit Suisse in London

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's how North Korea's Kim Jong Un became one of the world's scariest dictators

          N. Korea election sees 99.99% turnout: KCNA      Cache   Translate Page      
Pyongyang (AFP) March 12, 2019
Turnout in nuclear-armed North Korea's single-candidate elections hit 99.99 percent this year, state media said Tuesday - up from a seemingly unimprovable 99.97 percent the last time they were held. With participation figures that Western democracies would never achieve, millions of North Koreans head to nationwide polls every five years to elect the rubber-stamp legislature known as the S
          Indonesian woman accused of murdering Kim Jong-un’s half-brother freed      Cache   Translate Page      
Malaysian prosecutors have dropped the charge against Indonesian woman Siti Aisyah, who was accused of murdering the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
          Experts present new roadmap for US-North Korea relations      Cache   Translate Page      
A group of fourteen experts on North Korea from the US, Europe and from North Asia recently published a report proposing a different approach to North Korea than the current sole focus on de-nuclearisation.
          North Korea defies UN with arms sales and oil imports, report says      Cache   Translate Page      
North Korea has long sought the removal of UN sanctions and portrayed the measures as violations of its sovereignty.
          Date #15: Outside the Box      Cache   Translate Page      

There I was, four hours into my date, sitting in a booth in the neon and poster-adorned sports bar at Red Robin at Mall 205, as Tony, number 15 of 20, told me why it was so important to tie someone up properly when participating in a bondage session with a significant other.
After the break-up with Seven I was very eager to get back on the bicycle, so I posted another ad on Craigslist and kept it even more vague than previous posts, something about casual dating and a bit about a blog I was writing. I immediately received several hits, and lined up four dates for the weekend. This was the first and it was on a Thursday. Tony had sent an email, and after I sent one back with my picture attached, he asked, “How fit are you?” To which I replied, “Extremely.” When I asked him the same question, he replied that he was a 6.785 on a scale of 1 to 10, not at all inconsistent with the attitudes I had perceived in other men who demanded their dates look perfect while they carried around a 15 to 20 pound spare tire. We also chatted a bit after the initial emails and he let me know he was interested in meeting intelligent people who could “think outside the box.” This is a phrase which in my opinion is used by people who are familiar with the phrase, but quite comfortable with the little area they have artfully arranged for themselves within the box. At the time I assumed that Tony was not an exception, but then again, I had no idea how fond he was of ropes and knots.
I should have suspected something when we were first setting up the date. It was of course his suggestion to go to Red Robin, not exactly an “out of the box” type of place, but by this point in my dating career, I had given up trying to educate people about the evils of multinational corporate non-food. During the chat, he had proven himself at least intelligent, someone who had done and seen many things and more importantly, could spell and construct a sentence correctly. He kept disappearing from the chat room though, each time saying that it was the IT guy fixing stuff on the computer. It was 10:30at night, a time I thought strange for an IT guy to be working.
I arrived at the Robin a bit early, which gave me plenty of time to watch the TV behind the bar and keep up on the breaking news which outlined the death of Michael Jackson. I ordered a Cosmopolitan and watched as Al Sharpton spoke and held up a picture of him, Michael, Janet, and Quincy Jones. I had to wonder what was going on with North Korea. Hadn’t they just threatened to wipe this country off the face of the planet? Hadn’t we all come to the collective realization that Michael Jackson was a pedophile? It is so painful to watch someone put themselves through such extensive and public displays of self-loathing and abuse. I had loved Michael once, a long time ago, but I could not watch him slowly erase himself in this manner. He had lost me shortly after “Thriller”, and I also had to wonder, where was Farrah in all this?
Tony showed up a bit late, and as he walked toward me, he reminded me a bit of a guy in the mafia; very clean cut, dark hair slicked back behind a slightly receding hairline, pressed pleated slacks and a tightly tucked polo. He was texting as he walked in and barely looked at me as he sat down. His knuckles, in contrast to his very Anglo complexion, were dark brown. I fleetingly wondered if they had been stained by the blood of his victims over the years. The waitress came right over and he ordered, told me he had left his wallet in the car, got up and walked out. I sat there truly believing he was not coming back. I hoped that the Cobb salad that he ordered was good, but then again, it was Red Robin, how good could it possibly be?
To my surprise, Tony walked back in, minutes later, still texting, still looking like a mafia guy. He sat down and immediately it was intensely awkward. This of course is pretty standard, it is usually tough in the beginning, but I believe it was obvious to both of us that we were not each other’s type. There we sat, me in a brown cardigan over my orange bike jersey, hair quite messy from the ride, and across the table, a perfectly coiffed, uptight and distracted middle aged man, who every so often glanced at his cell phone. He half-way apologized for texting and checking his phone during the date, but it did not keep him from doing it continuously throughout.

Within a half-hour we both loosened up and started talking about random things, Tony was a mortgage broker who was starting his own company, relentlessly working and trying to find a LTR with someone who wouldn’t need him constantly. He of course wanted to know about what had happened with all of my previous dates, so I gave him the high points, ending with the series of events which led Seven to break up with me. “Wasn’t that the name of a Star Trek character?” I looked at him quizzically, “You mean Seven of Nine?” I asked, not quite believing that this was his first response to a story which included a cult leader, a Grampa and a hippie. “Yeah, Seven of Nine!” he responded enthusiastically. I was starting to see where his head was at, and not surprisingly, it seemed firmly rooted within the box. Tony was the kind of person who knew about a lot of different things; human biology, the three types of chocolate, Star Trek, but the whole thinking on a human level thing was kind of lost on him.
Then he went back to my date with Hugh and his girlfriend, who was a BDSM enthusiast. “Do you know why people like being tied up?” he asked, and without skipping a beat, replied to his own inquiry, “It’s a control thing, not a sex thing.” I started to suspect which box he was thinking outside of. He launched into a half-hour monologue about the importance of tying a person up correctly, how in some people’s brains the pleasure and pain centers are sometimes right next to each other if not overlapping, and that he knew I was someone who would like being bitten, having my hair pulled, and yes, even being tied up. I was not sure how to take this; was it a complement, a prediction, a simple observation? I also suddenly realized that my face probably displayed a look of confusion and shock on it, so I changed it immediately to one which reflected pleasant surprise.
At about this point the waitress came by and told us that they were closing. I knew by the way Tony kept his eyes on her ass all night that she was more his type. He had also gone out of his way to mention that he liked her lime green tipped acrylic nails. Evidently Red Robin was no longer allowing their staff to wear ostentatious acrylic nails. She was showing her disapproval by wearing these lime green things. Tony showed support by commiserating with her, and stating that “It’s not like Red Robin is a Stanford’s or Newport Bay!” Tony was smitten. I wanted to tell her that she might want to study up on Nautical knot tying, but I figured I should probably just let things play out naturally between them.
All in all, it was not a distasteful evening, so I was not surprised when I received texts, emails, and invitations to chat from Tony the next day. I figured he was just working up to asking me to have sex with him, so I chatted amicably until the question appeared. When I told him no, however, he followed it up by asking if he could tie me up in a “safe, non-sexual way.” It was nice to be able to laugh my ass off in the comfort of my own home while texting back, “I will have to think about it.” I wasn’t quite ready to think outside of this particular box.

          North Korea missile bases      Cache   Translate Page      

North Korea has missile bases that it has refused to acknowledge. If North Korea started to negotiate a nuclear disarmament treaty, these bases would make the matter more difficult.

However, I think that relaxing the hostility that could lead to renewed war in Korea is a good thing even if North Korea retains nuclear weapons.

          North Korean Hostility      Cache   Translate Page      

Even though North Korea is not disarming, the reduction of hostility is a real step forward.

          Kim Jong Un might not want the risks that come with the riches Trump is promising North Korea      Cache   Translate Page      
U.S. President Donald Trump has spent a lot of time trying to convince Kim Jong Un that great wealth awaits if he gives up his ...
          Who Lost North Korea?      Cache   Translate Page      
As Jeffrey likes to say, the Singapore summit of June 2018 was a goat rodeo—the contained chaos that results from putting some kids with ropes into a corral with some, well, kids. It looks like this: That makes last month’s summit in Hanoi something a bit different: a scapegoat rodeo. As events go, it’s much …
          The Hanoi Summit - What Happens Next in U.S.-North Korea Relations      Cache   Translate Page      

Ted Galen Carpenter

Despite the spin that both the Trump administration and the North Korean government adopted, the outcome of the Hanoi summit was a major disappointment. Widespread expectations existed that the meeting would at least produce a joint declaration ending the Korean War, the establishment of liaison offices in the two capitals, and some progress on the thorny issue of Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs. The abrupt end to the summit without even the publication of a joint communique was not according to script.

Both sides apparently wish to continue the bilateral dialogue, and that’s a good sign. However, the United States needs to adopt more limited, realistic goals. North Korea’s complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization remains a long-shot proposition at best. It would require a degree of mutual trust that does not exist now and is not likely in the foreseeable future. Washington’s duplicitous behavior toward Libya and Iran following agreements on their nuclear programs has hardly encouraged such trust.

Instead of continuing to pursue the chimera of an end to Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs, Washington should propose more modest, limited agreements. Indeed, if North Korea truly did seek only a partial lifting of sanctions in exchange for closing the Yongbyon reactor complex, Trump should have accepted that trade. Likewise, an understanding (written or unwritten) to continue the mutual restraint whereby North Korea refrains from conducting nuclear and missile tests and the United States puts its annual joint military exercises with South Korea on hold is a limited but constructive step. A peace declaration and the establishment of embassies (not just liaison offices) are both achievable, worthwhile accords. Such measures should be at the top of the agenda for the next summit.

Washington’s overall goal needs to reflect two changes. One is to establish a normal relationship with Pyongyang. That means ending the cold war hostility to the North Korean regime, despite its repression and brutality. A normal relationship likely also means learning to live with a North Korea that has at least a limited nuclear capability.

The other policy change should be to reduce America’s risk exposure. That means not remaining the point man in dealing with North Korea over the long term. After establishing a more stable bilateral relationship with Pyongyang, U.S. leaders should inform North Korea’s neighbors that they must now take primary responsibility for containing that country. It is both bizarre and unnecessary for the United States, located thousands of miles away, to be in charge of policy toward Pyongyang. East Asian countries that have more extensive interests at stake should have that task.

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in security studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at the National Interest, is the author of twelve books and more than 750 articles on international affairs. His latest book is Gullible Superpower: U.S. Support for Bogus Foreign Democratic Movements.
          Magic Love Spells That Really Works Call On +27633555301Ghana kenya Qatar Namibia Botswana      Cache   Translate Page      
Get Your Lost Love Back Malaysia Maldives Mongolia Nepal North Korea United States of America United Kingdom United Arab Emirates Botwana Namibia Swaziland Pakistan Philippines Qatar Saudi Arabia Spells to bring back your lost lover can indeed bring you the joy that you lost. But before you even t[...]
          S Korea, USA set to hold meeting over denuclearisation process      Cache   Translate Page      

[South Korea], Mar 13 (ANI): The United States and South Korea will be holding a "working group" meeting in Washington D.C. on Thursday, where talks will be held on ways to revitalise the stalled denuclearisation process.

This will be the first face-to-face session between the two countries following the USA-North Korea summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, which ended abruptly without a joint statement.

While US President Donald Trump has stated that he held "substantive negotiations" with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the Hanoi summit is largely seen as a failure after talks broke down following Trump's rejection of sanctions relief, which was sought by North Korea in exchange for dismantling the Yongbyon nuclear facilities.

The Director General of the South Korean foreign ministry's Korean Peninsula peace regime bureau, Rhee Dong-yeol, is slated to meet with Alex Wong, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for North Korea, in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, reports Yonhap News Agency.

They will be holding discussions on a wide range on issues on inter-Korean cooperation like the resumption of the Kaesong Industrial Complex and Seoul's bid for a sanctions waiver for the proposed video reunions of separated families.

South Korea, led by President Moon Jae-in, is looking for ways to facilitate negotiations between the USA and North Korea following the Hanoi summit. The summit was being seen as a promising one, where the United States and North Korea were expected to make further progress on the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula until the meeting ended abruptly. (ANI)

          Spain investigates possible CIA links to embassy break-in      Cache   Translate Page      

US intelligence agency denies involvement in robbery at North Korean embassy

Spanish intelligence officials believe at least two of the 10 attackers who broke into the North Korean embassy in Madrid last month, holding staff hostage and making off with computers, are linked to the CIA, according to a report in El País.

Police and Spain’s national intelligence centre (CNI) are investigating the unusual robbery, which took place on 22 February in the west of the capital.

Continue reading...
          Economic, Energy, Agricultural and Trade Issues: Interview With Rose-Ann Aragon of KPRC 2 Houston      Cache   Translate Page      
Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of State
Hilton Americas-Houston Hotel
Houston, Texas
March 12, 2019

QUESTION: All right. So I just wanted to – well, first of all, thank you for being here today.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Great to be with you.

QUESTION: And I wanted to ask, what is your message to the people who are coming to this very large conference? Obviously, CERAWeek is a big deal. Can you tell me, what is your message to everyone here today?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So it’s great to be in Houston. I came down really to talk about three things: first, the incredible importance of America’s continued energy success to what I do, the task of trying to keep America and Americans safe. Our capacity to deliver energy around the world and to have less demand here, to be less dependent as a nation on others for energy, frees up a lot of capacity for us to do good around the world and to keep America safe.

The second thing I wanted to talk about is recruiting. We’re always looking for talented people. I want to make sure we get out and talk to people all across America, and the State Department is a noble calling. It’s a wonderful task to be an American diplomat. I want to share with people the real opportunities there are to serve America working with the United States Department of State.

QUESTION: Great. And can you talk to me about the energy revolution? And it – had mentioned that the energy revolution and this ability to help us keep America safe. National security – can you talk to me about that lane?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So we will be the world’s largest exporter of crude oil in just a relatively short number of months. That’s an amazing turnaround from a place where we were 10 years ago, where we were consuming product from all around the world and we depended upon the Middle East and other countries to provide us with those energy resources. This shale revolution, the amazing innovation that’s taken place in the United States of America has fundamentally transformed energy markets, not only for crude oil but for natural gas as well, and those have real ramifications for America’s national security.

When I travel, wherever I go – I was in the Philippines last week, and in Vietnam; I’ll be in the Middle East next week, and then on to Europe – everywhere I go, these issues of energy security are out there. Countries would much rather take their energy from a place like the United States, where we value the rule of law, we treat partners well, than to have to rely on Russia or someone else that doesn’t behave that way. That gives me as America’s most senior diplomat real opportunities to develop close partnerships and in turn keep the American people safe.

QUESTION: Thank you. Now turning to foreign affairs, specifically with North Korea. Can you talk with us about you – what is your take on the situation with North Korea, the satellites showing that they’re maybe restarting this long-range rocket facility? And also the situation in Iran, with them potentially working on missiles that are blacklisted. Can you talk to me about what is your take on the situation in North Korea right now?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So we’ve been working at this, since the administration came into office, diligently. We’ve now got missile tests stopped; nuclear testing hasn’t taken place for a while either. We think we can continue to maintain that. Chairman Kim committed to not doing those things when we were in Hanoi. President Trump sat down with Chairman Kim to try and fulfill his commitment to denuclearize. These nuclear weapons present a threat to the world, to our partners of Japan and South Korea in the region, and to the United States. And we’re determined to follow through on the commitments that were made in Singapore. If we can get this right, there will be a brighter future for the people of North Korea and reduce risk all around the world.

We’re mindful of the challenges. We know that it will be a bumpy, long road. This problem’s been out there for quite some time. But we continue to be optimistic that Chairman Kim wants to denuclearize and that he intends to go down that path.

QUESTION: And when you’re seeing certain pieces of what could be evidence of – satellite images and things like that, is there a concern there and how are you addressing that concern if that exists?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So I can’t talk about what we know, American intelligence. We – what I can say is this: There’s still work to do. North Koreans have not fulfilled the commitment that Chairman Kim made yet. They came partway there when the President traveled to Hanoi, but it wasn’t enough. It’s not just enough for America; this is the entire world. The United States has built out a fully global coalition. The resolutions that are putting pressure on North Korea are UN Security Council resolutions, not American sanctions. The whole world understands this threat, and the whole world is urging Chairman Kim to make the right strategic choice to get rid of his nuclear weapons and rejoin the world.

QUESTION: And this comment, does that also apply to the sanctions, the alleged breaking of the sanctions, importing oil and selling weapons and things like that?

SECRETARY POMPEO: It certainly does. These are UN sanctions. Enforcement of those sanctions matters an awful lot. We are urging every country to enforce them as rigidly as they can, and frankly, we’ve done pretty well. There are gaps. When we find gaps, we work to close them.

QUESTION: Okay, great. And the last topic I wanted to talk about is Venezuela. Can you talk to me about the decision to pull out the many American diplomats from the country?

SECRETARY POMPEO: It was really pretty straightforward. Last night, the – we made the decision that we would remove the remaining diplomats that we had on the ground in Caracas, Venezuela. We’ll get them out in the next few days. The situation on the ground is deteriorating. It’s so tragic. The humanitarian conditions there are just awful. You have people starving, can’t get medicine to the sick. The American people have been incredibly generous, a couple hundred metric tons of food and hygiene kits and medicine sitting in Colombia, and the Maduro regime denying us the ability to get them to people who are starving. It’s horrific; it’s evil. Maduro has to leave. The Interim President Juan Guaido is working diligently alongside the Colombians, the Brazilians, the OAS, a group called the Lima Group, to build out a coalition that when this happens, when the Venezuelan peoples’ voices are finally heard and Maduro leaves, we can restore Venezuela to the economic powerhouse that it has the capacity to be and a place where basic human rights are respected.

QUESTION: Okay, and in the interest of using up some time, because I want to make sure I’m using all my five minutes --


QUESTION: Would I be able to just ask you about the state of U.S. image in terms of foreign affairs? They’ve described President Trump’s leadership style as somewhat unilateral. Would you say that that is the case, and is that a good or a bad thing for the United States image?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Remember, I’m America’s senior diplomat. Our first client is the American people, and I think President Trump definitely recognizes that. When I travel the world, when I meet with my foreign counterparts, they understand too that we’re doing this alongside them. The coalition that we built out to put pressure on North Korea was worldwide. Today there are 50-plus countries that are recognizing that we’ve got to do something fundamentally different in Venezuela. We built out an 80-plus country coalition to defeat ISIS and take down the caliphate. Those are real partnerships. America led many of those efforts, and we’re very proud of the work we do alongside those other countries, being mindful every day that our task is to keep the American people safe.

QUESTION: Thank you so much for your time today.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you very much.

QUESTION: I really appreciate it.


QUESTION: Thank you. It’s a pleasure to meet you.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you. It was wonderful to meet you, too.

The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.
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          Apr 16, 2019: Meet Ji Seong-Ho, North Korean Defector & Human Rights Advocate at Mitchell Hall      Cache   Translate Page      

The Institute for Global Studies will welcome Ji Seong-ho, the North Korean defector recognized by President Trump during his State of the Union Address. Ji Seong-ho entered the world stage in 2006, when he and his brother made a daring trip across the Tumen River to escape from their home country of North Korea. Prior to his arrival to South Korea, Seong-ho lost his left leg and arm in a train accident while he and his family collected coal to barter for food. Seong-ho made it through the operation without anesthesia or a blood transfusion, and leaned on his family to nurse him back to health. More than a decade later, Seong-ho has become perhaps the most well-known North Korean defector and a champion of human and disability rights.

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          After NATO Funding Success, Trump Eyes More Defense Money from Allies      Cache   Translate Page      
The Trump administration is working on a proposal that would require other countries to pay more than the full price of US Defense forces deployed on their soil. Called "Cost Plus 50," officials say the plan could mean that nations hosting American troops would pay an extra 50 percent for the protection that the US provides against dangerous neighbors like Russia or North Korea. 
          Hanoi seeks Vietnamese suspect’s release in Kim killing      Cache   Translate Page      
HANOI: Just four days ago, the future for Indonesia's Siti Aisyah looked bleak -- she was two years into her detention in Malaysia and faced a possible death sentence if convicted of killing the half brother of North Korea's leader.
          3/14/2019: World: North Korea dodging sanctions      Cache   Translate Page      

Selling arms to rebels in Yemen, Libya and Sudan. Smuggling coal and oil from ship to ship in the middle of the ocean. Diplomats and ship captains carrying bulk cash. Cyberattacks, including one involving more than 14,000 ATM withdrawals in 28...
          A Winless First Quarter      Cache   Translate Page      
Playbook: “It’s the middle of March — almost the end of the first quarter of 2019 — and here’s what President Trump has going on: “The North Korea summit blew up. … Congressional Investigations are finally taking hold, and getting more serious. … The president’s party is turning on him on Capitol Hill. The White […]
          Warren: Wait for Mueller report before we talk impeachment      Cache   Translate Page      
During a rapid fire round of questions with Mika, Sen. Elizabeth Warren discusses Brexit, North Korea, if the president should be impeached, anti-Semitism in the House and why Mike Pence is not an honorable man.
          Strong Evidence’ North Korea-Linked Group Was Behind NHS Cyberattack      Cache   Translate Page      

Security experts say there are “clear code connections” between the global ransomware attack and a North Korea-linked group. There is “strong” evidence to suggest a North Korea-linked group was behind last week’s global cyberattack, security experts say. Simon Choi, dir...

The post Strong Evidence’ North Korea-Linked Group Was Behind NHS Cyberattack appeared first on .

          CIA May Be Behind February Attack on North Korean Embassy in Madrid - Reports      Cache   Translate Page      
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Spanish police and intelligence officers, who are investigating the attack on the North Korean embassy in Madrid in February, believe that US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) may be behind the incident, El Pais newspaper reported on Wednesday.
          CIA 'implicated' in attack on North Korean embassy in Madrid      Cache   Translate Page      
Investigators reportedly believe operation was planned perfectly, as if by a 'military cell'
          North Korea Covertly Building Missiles, Nuclear Arms at Civilian Sites      Cache   Translate Page      

North Korea is covertly developing and testing nuclear arms and ballistic missiles at civilian facilities in a bid to prevent a "decapitation" military strike against its weapons plants and storage depots, according to a report by a UN panel of experts.

The post North Korea Covertly Building Missiles, Nuclear Arms at Civilian Sites appeared first on Worthy Christian News.

          Olympics: Japan may admit North Korean athletes for Games - Kyodo      Cache   Translate Page      
Japan will consider allowing North Korean athletes into the country to compete in the 2020 Olympics despite sanctions currently banning any from entering Japan, their Olympics minister said on Wednesday.

          VOA Asia – Keeping the lane narrow on denuclearization talks - March 12, 2019      Cache   Translate Page      
The United States hardens its stance in nuclear talks with North Korea. Human rights remain a concern for Rohingya. Under cover Down Under revealed. Hard times for big companies in Asia. Studying a living fossil, and the popularity of pawning.
          Opinion: 90,000 Vodka Bottles Were Bound For North Korea, While Its People Starve      Cache   Translate Page      
This week, just as President Trump and Kim Jong Un prepared to meet in Hanoi — for what turned out to be their abrupt and unproductive summit — Dutch customs officials discovered and seized about 90,000 bottles of Russian vodka from a Chinese ship destined for North Korea, according to Algemeen Dagblad , the Dutch newspaper . Maybe I didn't need to say that Algemeen Dagblad is a Dutch newspaper. The ship was officially bound on a course for China. But acting on a tip and based on prior experience, Dutch officials believed part of the cargo was en route to North Korea. When officers boarded the Nebula, they found the thousands of bottles of contraband Stolbovaya, concealed under the fuselage of an aircraft. U.N. sanctions prohibit the importation of luxury goods into North Korea. The idea is to try to deprive North Korea's ruling elite of toys and bling — deluxe cars, large-screen TVs, Rolexes, furs, and top-shelf liquor from around the world — to induce them to close down their nuclear
          Spanish Investigators Believe CIA Was Involved in Violent Attack on North Korean Embassy: Report      Cache   Translate Page      
Jake Johnson, staff writer
The assailants reportedly tied up embassy staffers, put bags over their heads, beat them, and interrogated them for hours

          UN Panel investigating South Korean sanctions violations      Cache   Translate Page      
The U.N. Panel of Experts has released its latest report, and for the first time since it began publishing them in 2009, it is now investigating South Korea for violating the sanctions. One area the Panel is looking into is its imports of North Korean coal for ten months, in violation of UNSCR 2371, while its Coast Guard dragged out an “investigation” of those imports, allowed the smuggling ships to come and go freely without seizing them, and later charged...
          Aurora Cannabis can solve its biggest problem with the help of billionaire Nelson Peltz (ACB)      Cache   Translate Page      

Nelson Peltz

  • The billionaire Nelson Peltz is joining Aurora Cannabis as a strategic adviser.
  • Investors complained that Aurora spent large amounts of money on numerous assets across the value chain, with perhaps little thought to which were best suited, according to Jefferies. 
  • "Peltz's historical focus on profitability and efficient asset allocation" will support Aurora for the next stage of its growth, the firm says. 
  • Watch Aurora Cannabis trade live. 

The marijuana producer Aurora Cannabis can solve its biggest problem now that the billionaire Nelson Peltz is joining the company, Jefferies says. 

Some investors complained that the company spent large amounts of money on numerous assets across the value chain, with perhaps little thought to which were best suited, according to Bennett. And that's where Peltz comes in. 

Peltz, who has a net worth of $1.6 billion and serves as the CEO of Trian Fund Management, will join Aurora as a strategic adviser, working with the company to "explore potential partnerships" and help with its global expansion strategy, the company said on Wednesday. 

"Peltz's historical focus on profitability and efficient asset allocation" will prove valuable for the next stage of its growth, Owen Bennett, an analyst at Jefferies said in a note out following the announcement. 

Aurora went public on the New York Stock Exchange in October in the wake of the official legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada. It has since stepped up expanding its reach globally. 

In February, Aurora announced that its extraction-technology partner Radient Technologies received its Standard Processing License from Health Canada. And in March, Aurora acquired rival Cronos Group's entire 19% stake in Whistler Medical Marijuana.

But the company has failed to generate any profits. In its second-quarter earnings release out in February, Aurora said its gross margin fell from 70% to 54% on a quarterly basis due to higher weed-production costs. As a result, the company lost 238 million Canadian dollars ($180 million) during the quarter. 

"Peltz should support in ensuring assets are kept that yield most value," Bennett said. "Given his past, we would also suggest that his involvement should support in maximising the route towards profitability."

And Cowen's Vivien Azer agrees that the Peltz will bring value to the marijuana producer. 

"We focus on his ability to broker relationships with potential partners to fuel ACB's expansion," Azer said in a note distributed Wednesday. "We look for ACB to be more methodical and patient in partnership selection than its Canadian peers."

Aurora was up 30% this year, including Wednesday's gain.

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NOW WATCH: Here's how North Korea's Kim Jong Un became one of the world's scariest dictators

          Juventus' shares are soaring after Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick took the team into the final 8 of the Champions League      Cache   Translate Page      

Cristiano Ronaldo beats Atletico Madrid

  • Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick against Atlético Madrid has sent Juventus' shares up 17%.
  • Ronaldo's three goals for Juventus meant the Italian club overturned a two-goal deficit and secured passage to the last eight of the Champions League.
  • Juventus shares fell 11% after the first-leg defeat, but have rallied on the unlikely victory sending the club into the quarter finals. 

Cristiano Ronaldo jumped to score two of his three goals against Atlético Madrid on Tuesday night, overturning a two-goal deficit to secure Juventus's passage into the quarter finals of the Champions League.

Shares in Juventus have followed the forward's example, soaring 17% on the unlikely revival of the Italian soccer team's fortunes.

The Portuguese striker may be past his prime, but he successfully snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in Turin. Similarly, shares in Juventus plunged 11% after the disappointing first leg against Atlético - as investors feared the team were out of Europe's premier club competition and would miss out on revenues from the later stages - only to rise again.

Juventus' comeback clearly shocked investors as well as viewers. The share-price jump may reflect market optimism that Ronaldo hasn't lost his touch, and can sell plenty more shirts for the club.

Shares in Juventus rose a massive 95% in the days after it signed Ronaldo last summer, lifted by hopes that the former Real Madrid man could fire the "Bianconeri" to Champions League success. Despite Ronaldo's improved form, they currently trade at €1.43 ($1.62), down from around €1.57 last September when his signing was announced.

The superstar's arrival at Italy's most successful domestic club was heralded as the team's ticket to winning the Champions League, having lost in five previous finals. According to reports, 520,000 shirts were sold in just 24 hours after his signing — approximately $62.4 million worth of trade. Juventus also recently sold €150 million of bonds ($169 million) to cash in on its new striker.

Ronaldo's hat-trick might be a flash in the pan, and Juventus could well crash out of the quarter-finals. But for now, investors and fans appear to be keeping the faith.

SEE ALSO: 5 charts that show how truly awful Cristiano Ronaldo has been in the Champions League this year

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NOW WATCH: Here's how North Korea's Kim Jong Un became one of the world's scariest dictators

          [오늘의 미국 3.13 ’19 US]      Cache   Translate Page      
AUDIO + 가짜원서와 뇌물로 명문대학 입학을 주도한 부모와 카운슬러, 코치 등 50명이 연방기소된 사건은 미 전국을 놀라게 합니다. 대학교수들은 불법입학은 물론 정당한 기부입학조차 대학의 평등주의와 맞지 않는다면서 성토합니다. 대부분 전문가와 언론은 기소된 부모의 강권으로 명문대학에 입학한 자녀도 피해자라고 강조하지만 LA 타임즈는 사설에서 학생들의 입학도 무효로 해야한다고 주장했습니다. North Korea’s most recent ambassador to Spain, Kim Hyok-chol, played a key role ahead of the Hanoi summit CREDIT: YONHAP/ AFP 하노이 북미정상회담 닷새 전에 스페인 주재 북한대사관에 괴한들이 침입해 스탭을 강금하고 컴퓨터와 휴대폰 등을 뒤졌다고 텔레그래프가 보도했습니다. 이 신문은 스페인 북한 대사관 대사는 하노이 회담을 주도한 김혁철이 대사였다는 것과 괴한은 CIA와 연관이 있을 수 있다고 전했습니다. 하노이회담 이후에도 미국은 여전히 혼선되는 시그널을 내보냅니다. 이번에는 마이크 폼페오 국무장관이 김정은으로부터 핵포기의사를 여러 번 들었다고 밝혔습니다 Workers walk near a Boeing 737 MAX 8 being built for for Ethiopian Airlines on March 11. Airlines in several countries grounded the same model jetliner following a deadly crash in Ethiopia. | AP Photo/Ted S. Warren 이디오피아에서의 추락사고 이후 보잉 CEO와 미국대통령, 연방항공국은 추락한 보잉 737 MAX에 아무 문제가 없다고 주장하지만 테드 크루즈 공화당을 포함한 미국 정치인들도 운항중단을 요구합니다. 대통령이 사우디 아라비아에 보잉사 무기를 팔기위해 보잉을 싸고돈다는 비난도 나왔습니다. California Gov. Gavin Newsom is using the power of his office to shut down executions in his state, a first for the state with the most death row prisoners in the nation. (Photo: Rich Pedroncelli, AP) 캘리포니아 주지사가 오늘 사형집행중지 행정명령을 발표합니다. 사형이 인종이나 정신질환자에게 차별적이고 비인도적이라는 주장인데, 캘리포니아 주민들은 2016년에 주지사와 다른 입장의 법안을 통과시켰습니다. 트럼프 대선캠페인 본부장이었던 폴 메나포트의 2차 선고공판이 열리고 있습니다. 메나포트는 자신이 저지른 일을 뉘우쳤고 이미 다른사람이 됐다면서 선처를 호소했지만 판사는 그가 진실을 말하지 않는다고 말했습니다. 판사는 3년 반을 선고했습니다.
          Japan - Saga 2 of 2      Cache   Translate Page      

LAST EPISODE, AUSSIE MONKEYS BATTLED SNOW MONKEYS, Beric reached a NEW power level, and we arrived in OSAKA!!

In Osaka we were lucky enough to stay with our friend Chisato and her family for a few days, this lead to all sorts of madness such as bathing naked with hundreds of people..

Chisato's mother Satoko is one of the best cooks I have ever met! Her healthy food was a great change from the McVomit we were forced to survive on for our last day in HongKong. Satoko has some sweet hobbies such as making her own dresses and taking uber creative photographs.

Satoko cooked us a traditional Japanese meal called Takoyaki and we all got involved with the cooking process:

One night Steve and I turned the tables and taught Chisato how to cook some Italian food:

It was all highly documented:

  We were quite cosy staying in Chisato's room, I'm telling you, Japanese girls invented all that cute sh@t!

We were extra cosy on the veranda too:

Chisato and her brother (Samo) are both elite tennis players of Japan. With a population of 180 million that's a pretty impressive status. They took us to play tennis and gave us some coaching (and kicked our asses):


We tested their sporting skills with an indoor rock climbing mission. Chisato's friend Julie came along too and to no suprise they were natuaral rock climbers! Note how steve looks like a bum..


On the way home we stopped in the insane department store region. This city never sleeps and the place was buzzing with people. We jumped in a Japanese photo booth, man they really invented this shit!!


Chisato and Julie took us to Kyoto the next day which is really beautiful in autumn and famous for the many geisha's that live there. Chisato and Julie bought us sweet potato ice-cream (glorious and confusing) and then we caught night tram through the forest and rang a symbol bell in some hidden bamboo woods. Kinda like the lost woods in Zelda..

That night back in Osaka, Samo and his father took Steve and I to a public bath. Nomad wasn't interested in this cultural experience. You see in Japan many people do not generally shower at home. On every block in the neighbourhood there are these public baths. Bathing is something they take very seriously and its like a meditative, ritualistic, relaxing process that takes up to 2 hours. The bath we went to was 3 stories high, it had numerous spas with various temperatures and features. One spa was full of apples. It was like some sort of divine ritual. You transition your way through the whole building, going from scorching hot spas, to ice spas and shower room with little stools, shower hoses and buckets. Everyone is naked too of course. Didn't bother us, Steve and I had NOTHING to hide or be embarrassed about. . .

We exploited our rail passes and whizzed over to Hiroshima for a day trip. We saw the peace museum dedicated to the atom bomb tragedy. It was rather sad to see and the perfect way to wreck your day to be honest. However, at the same time it was very educational and eye opening and so I highly recommend you visit it.

These images are disturbing.. but people need to know just how horrible nuclear war its. Lots of these people were mutilated by the black radio-active rain that falls after the blast..

This scale model gives you a good idea about how screwed the world is..

Australia does not have any nuclear weapons but Russia and North Korea are still plotting our doom. We are seriously screwed man if these countries decide to start bombing the world when the resource war begins. Anyways, fear malingering aside, we also went to the art museum in Hiroshima. This was possibly better than the louve in Paris. There was no one in there and the exhibition features a few Monet's, Van Gogh's and Picasso's. You can get right up close too!

One minute a bum, now.. all distringuished like...

You weren't supposed to photograph the Picasso's so I took this stealth shot:

We did not want to leave Osaka but all good things come to an end I'm afraid. Such as this world trip.. reality sucks man! To hell with the real world. To finish off Japan we went back to Tokyo and hung out with Hikari and Saki!

We explored the 'Electronics Suburb' which is nerd heaven. Nintendo shops and fancy spancy electronics as far as the eye can see!

They have shops selling any computer game and console you can imagine dating back to the beginning of time. Yep, mario, Zelda, battle toads, pokemon red.. its all there!

Most of the electronics never make it to Australia, these people don't bother with movie cinemas, they have virtual movie majangies now:

There are also strange young girls dressed provocative clothes wandering around. These are 'maids' and Japanese men pay good money to sit in strange cafe's and be served 'tea and cupcakes' by these girls...

 Some sort of weird fetish apparently. Every second sky scraper was a uber porn shop too. As you wander up higher to the different floors in these porn buildings things get crazier and crazier! we're told.. Who knows what's at the top!

Our crazy friend Sarah from China joined us to visited the Toyota building, she's a fashion designer and has her own factory!

Sarah - fashion designer extraordinaire 

Then we went to the 2nd tallest building in the world (634 meters). It was damn tall and what really blew my mind is the fact that its still only half the height of El cap. Yep we really went and done it with the El Cap mission. Climbing that absurd cliff was the longest, torturous challenge in my life.. and I'll do it again!!

Hikari was extremely hospitable and took us out to a swweet dinner. The table was some sort of hybrid bbq! Steve and I have decided we need to install a webba Q right in the middle of our dinning tables when we get home..

Yep, she even cooks...

Hikari literally dragged us around half of Tokyo and then to the top of a huge building with a magnificent view. When this girl gets walking she is seriously on a mission. We like that! Steve and I were EXTREMELY impressed..

In the Japan people are very generous and enjoy giving gifts. These are some of the amazing gifts that I received while in Japan from people I met:


Thanks Hikari and Chisato!!

You know how every time you go to a train station there is always that one estranged wierdo there. Well in Japan everyone is wearing suites in the train station, and for once we were the only nutbags to be seen! We really hit rock bottom..

It was this deranged state that lead to the death of Rahfiki. Rahfiki never made it off the train to the airport... Something about me talking to 2 attractive girls holding Rahfiki and then falling half asleep.

Japan was certainly one of the best cultural experiences of the trip. It is super cheap to get to Japan from Cairns so seriously, get over there! And good riddens to that tick ridden monkey. Always hanging around and letting Steve and I do all the work. Getting the attention from all the women...

  That Monkey was a burden!!

Good riddens!

          Overnight Defense: Trump seeks $750B for defense in 2020 budget | Lawmakers invite NATO chief to address Congress | Top envoy says North Korea denuclearization can't be done 'incrementally'      Cache   Translate Page      
Happy Monday and welcome to Overnight Defense. I'm Rebecca Kheel, and here's your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. CLICK HERE to subscribe to the newsletter...
          US envoy to North Korea: 'We are not going to do denuclearization incrementally'      Cache   Translate Page      
President Trump’s special envoy for North Korea negotiations said Monday that the United States would not agree to a phased approach for Pyongyang’s denuclearization."We are not going to do denuclearization incrementally," Stephen Biegun said in his...
          THE NORTH KOREAN DIGITAL PEARL HARBOR: CIA PLOTTING MARCH 17TH CYBER-ATTACK ON AMERICA OR EUROPE (MARCH 13, 2019): CIA Headquarters Located Beneath CERN at Lake Geneva in Switzerland Plotting Unprecedented Wave of North Korean Cyber-Attacks on March 17, 2019, Exactly 2,647-Days After Swiss-Groomed Kim Jong-Un Became Dictator of North Korea Back on December 17, 2011—Impending Wave of CIA-Spawned Cyber-Attacks Targeting Banking, Commerce, Communication, Defense, Energy, Internet, Mass Transit, N      Cache   Translate Page      
          THE NORTH KOREAN DIGITAL PEARL HARBOR: CIA PLOTTING MARCH 16TH CYBER-ATTACK ON AMERICA OR EUROPE (MARCH 13, 2019): CIA Headquarters Located Beneath CERN at Lake Geneva in Switzerland Plotting Unprecedented Wave of North Korean Cyber-Attacks on March 16, 2019, Exactly 2,646-Days After Swiss-Groomed Kim Jong-Un Became Dictator of North Korea Back on December 17, 2011—Impending Wave of CIA-Spawned Cyber-Attacks Targeting Banking, Commerce, Communication, Defense, Energy, Internet, Mass Transit, N      Cache   Translate Page      
          THE NORTH KOREAN DIGITAL PEARL HARBOR: CIA PLOTTING MARCH 15TH CYBER-ATTACK ON AMERICA OR EUROPE (MARCH 13, 2019): CIA Headquarters Located Beneath CERN at Lake Geneva in Switzerland Plotting Unprecedented Wave of North Korean Cyber-Attacks on March 15, 2019, Exactly 2,645-Days After Swiss-Groomed Kim Jong-Un Became Dictator of North Korea Back on December 17, 2011—Impending Wave of CIA-Spawned Cyber-Attacks Targeting Banking, Commerce, Communication, Defense, Energy, Internet, Mass Transit, N      Cache   Translate Page      
          THE NORTH KOREAN DIGITAL PEARL HARBOR: CIA PLOTTING MARCH 14TH CYBER-ATTACK ON AMERICA OR EUROPE (MARCH 13, 2019): CIA Headquarters Located Beneath CERN at Lake Geneva in Switzerland Plotting Unprecedented Wave of North Korean Cyber-Attacks on March 14, 2019, Exactly 2,644-Days After Swiss-Groomed Kim Jong-Un Became Dictator of North Korea Back on December 17, 2011—Impending Wave of CIA-Spawned Cyber-Attacks Targeting Banking, Commerce, Communication, Defense, Energy, Internet, Mass Transit, N      Cache   Translate Page      
          THE NORTH KOREAN DIGITAL PEARL HARBOR: CIA PLOTTING MARCH 13TH CYBER-ATTACK ON AMERICA OR EUROPE (MARCH 13, 2019): CIA Headquarters Located Beneath CERN at Lake Geneva in Switzerland Plotting Unprecedented Wave of North Korean Cyber-Attacks on March 13, 2019, Exactly 2,643-Days After Swiss-Groomed Kim Jong-Un Became Dictator of North Korea Back on December 17, 2011—Impending Wave of CIA-Spawned Cyber-Attacks Targeting Banking, Commerce, Communication, Defense, Energy, Internet, Mass Transit, N      Cache   Translate Page      
          Comment on Iran, North Korea, and the Pitfalls of “Maximum Pressure” by roberthstiver      Cache   Translate Page      
Thank you, ifyoucant…, for contributing a great comment. Observers/analysts like you are really appreciated in this comment forum. My sensing of DPRK is precisely yours, but I can't articulate it. I would ask: are your "three monkeys" Trump, Revoltin' Bolton, and Pompeo, or are those retards/dotards three other monkeys? I also wonder if Trump isn't, in his juvenile, narcissistic mind (sic), so obsessed with "one-upping" Obama vis-à-vis DPRK -- with the allure of his very own Nobel Peace Prize the ultimate wet dream-cum-putdown of Obama -- that he has managed to paint himself into a "no deal" corner whose only extraction point (for him) augers to erupt into truly frightening peninsula, regional, and global conflagrations? Maybe the hell of it is that, to all past and present indications, I can't think that Bolton and Pompeo would be disappointed with that scenario and may well be goosing it in their own (not only DPRK but Iran, Venezuela, Palestine...) neocon-nefarious ways. God, with monkeys like those in charge....
          Comment on Iran, North Korea, and the Pitfalls of “Maximum Pressure” by ifyoucantcontributeshutup      Cache   Translate Page      
Dorsey professes confusion as to the president's ''true objectives" regarding the DPRK? He really shouldn't - those've been obvious since the president reluctantly and tardily joined the "let's make a deal wagon" that was presented to him back in December 2017 via the Russians (who happened to be in the DPRK and conveyed the shift - on the record - to the president's henchmen). Yup, negotiations with the DPRK weren't even a trump idea in the first place, but a tremendous opportunity which he has blown consistently. President trump has clung to his maximalist negotiating wishes (and advisors) that the DPRK would unilaterally disarm and would then reward them. However, the DPRK have been quite consistent that they are unwilling to take that route and had to state so ever more explicitly over the Summer, the U.N. week in NY and not long before the recently failed Hanoi summit. It was only a few days ago that trump had to admit what has become obvious (even to the three monkeys) - that he cannot bear anything less than complete capitulation from some one with whom he is negotiating and therefore, cannot accept a phased de-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Guess what? Pompeo's demands of Iran are of exactly the same ilk. No wonder the president can never strike a deal - even brandishing all of his sanctions.
          How the White House Is Spinning the North Korea Summit Collapse      Cache   Translate Page      
The administration no longer thinks Trump alone can reach a deal with Kim Jong Un.
          US slams rights record of China and Iran, goes easier on North Korea      Cache   Translate Page      
WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday (Mar 13) denounced China and Iran as Washington offered its annual human rights report, while going easier on other countries like North Korea in the name of "US interests." China, often seen as the main strategic adversary of the United ...
          North Korea Evades Sanctions With Elaborate Smuggling Strategy      Cache   Translate Page      
North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program remains in tact while the country continues to defy United Nations resolutions with significantly increased illegal ship-to-ship oil and coal transfers, a UN Panel of Experts wrote in an annual report published this week. “These violations render the latest United Nations sanctions ineffective by flouting the caps on the import of petroleum products and crude oil by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as well as the coal ban, imposed in 2017 by the Security Council in response…
          A Winless First Quarter      Cache   Translate Page      
Playbook: “It’s the middle of March — almost the end of the first quarter of 2019 — and here’s what President Trump has going on: “The North Korea summit blew up. … Congressional Investigations are finally taking hold, and getting more serious. … The president’s party is turning on him on Capitol Hill. The White […]
          Press Releases: Ambassador Michael Kozak, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor on the Release of the 2018 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices      Cache   Translate Page      
Special Briefing
Michael G. Kozak
Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Washington, DC
March 13, 2019

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: Good morning. I thought I might say a few words about how the report is prepared just so that we have that background, and then I’d be happy to take questions.

As the Secretary mentioned, the report has been a legislative requirement on the Executive Branch going back to the late 1970s. The origins of this were that Congress, in making decisions on security assistance, initially, said we’ve – we find ourselves giving security assistance to countries that sometimes have pretty unsavory records, and we would like to know what the factual situation is before we make those judgments. So they imposed on the Executive the requirement that each year we prepare a report. Initially it was on the situation of human rights in countries that were recipients of security assistance, but then in later years Congress broadened that out so we now do reports on every country that is a member-state of the UN, and as the Secretary mentioned, some territories as well – for example, Hong Kong, while part of China, has a distinct system so we do a separate report on it.

The way the reports are done, there are instructions that are prepared each year during the summer and go out to our embassies abroad. What – they change sometimes a bit year to year when we find that things weren’t too clear in a previous year or something, and we will rectify them, but they’ve been pretty consistently the same over the years.

And what those instructions seek to do is basically ask a series of questions: Were there reports of extrajudicial killings in the country of your assignment or not? Were there credible reports of torture or not? If so, how much type of thing. So we’re asking exactly the same questions for every country. There is not one set of questions for the United Kingdom and a different set for North Korea or something. It’s exactly the same questionnaire.

What differs amongst the reports is the answers, and our people in the field strive to gather facts. One thing the Secretary has been very strong on as we went through the editing process this year is let’s keep it to the facts, ma’am, and not draw conclusions but try to always get back to what are the facts we know about this and can we repeat those and let the facts speak for themselves.

So that’s the way it’s done. In process terms, the report is prepared at the embassy or consulate with a couple of exceptions. Where we don’t have an embassy or consulate, like North Korea or Iran, it gets prepared in the regional bureau here by the desk officers. But in all the rest of the cases, it’s done by the human rights officer at post, it’s reviewed up the chain in the embassy, the first draft gets sent in to Washington. Then we have a staff of editors in DRL who go through and are comparing what we’re seeing there to other reporting on the subject. We look at international human rights organizations and what they’re saying. And this is often just to test our people. You can go back and say, well, you said this but we see that Amnesty International says that; what is the explanation for the discrepancy? And we try to sharpen the focus in that way.

Eventually we make edits. It goes back out to the embassy again for a second go-around of review and editing. And then they send their final version in, we do a final edit on it, and then if there are any discrepancies we work those out with the regional assistant secretary concerned and get the final version done.

So that’s the process for every country in the world. Again, it’s – there’s not a different process for friends and foes. It’s all the same. And what we’re trying to do is to just get as clear and as factual a report as we possibly can.

One final comment on that is obviously, we can’t document every abuse that’s occurred in a place because sometimes, unfortunately, they’re so widespread that you just wouldn’t have enough pages to write them. So what we try to do is have a description of the trend in that country and then give an example. So if it says there were credible reports of torture, we try to quantify that a bit – was it one isolated incident or was it widespread and systematic – but then we’ll give an example. But it’s just that, an example. The fact that some other case isn’t mentioned in the report doesn’t mean it was less important. It’s just that we’re using one as an illustration of the behavior that unfortunately is sometimes replicated en masse.

With that, I think I’ll stop and go to your questions.

MR PALLADINO: Want to do questions? You have any questions?



MR PALLADINO: Start with Bloomberg.

QUESTION: Mr. Ambassador, I’m wondering what signal you think it sends that in the preamble to the report, the Secretary just says flat-out that the administration’s policy is to engage with other countries regardless of their human rights record?

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: Yeah. And that has been the policy and often is a – I mean, what we’re saying there is we will engage. Sometimes we’re engaging for the purpose of trying to get them to change their human rights practices, sometimes it’s because we’re trying to get them to stop threatening their neighbors. But I think the reason that that’s in the preface is to make it clear that our engaging with them does not mean we are approving of or accepting of their behavior. We’re saying we’re engaging with them despite their behavior sometimes and trying to use our engagement to make improvements in that. So that’s the sense, I think, that he was conveying there.

MR PALLADINO: Associated Press.

QUESTION: Thanks. Last year in this report, there was a little bit of a kerfuffle over whether or not the Palestinian Territories or the West Bank would be called occupied, and Golan. And the Golan was, in last year’s report, referred to as Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, but this year it says Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. Does that signal any kind of a change in the administration’s position as it relates to the Golan?

And then the second thing is that: Are governments asked to respond to the – what’s identified in these reports? Do you accept foreign governments’ comments on what this is? And I say this again in relation to Israel because it makes a point of – and it’s the only, that I can find, one where it says we have sought input from the Government of Israel on this. Are any other countries given the same opportunity?

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: Yeah. In sequence, on the descriptor of what kind of territory in Israel as we tried to shift last year – and this, by the way, is not a human rights issue. It’s a legal status issue and so the decisions on that get made by the regional bureau, by the Legal Adviser’s Office, and we follow their lead. But I think the – what they were trying to signal there is our – what we’re trying to do is report on the human rights situation in those territories, and so you’re trying to – you’re just trying to find a way of describing the place that you’re reporting on.

And “occupied territory” has a legal meaning to it. I think what they tried to do was shift more to just a geographic description. So we said Israel, Golan, West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem, and it’s a complicated report because there are sometimes multiple authorities who have authority over people in particular parts of that territory. So it’s a very complicated one to write, but the – my understanding from the policy bureaus on this is that there’s no change in our outlook or our policy vis-a-vis the territories and the need for a negotiated settlement there.

On the --


AMBASSADOR KOZAK: -- reference to the input, that is something that we – and I think it’s back in the annex – that we do try. We don’t ask the governments to comment on a draft of the report. The report isn’t shown – I mean, you – Congress sees it the morning of, you guys see it an hour or two later than Congress and you have a jump on the rest of the world in that respect. But during the year, if our embassies are doing their job, they’re out trying to gather data on human rights, they’re taking up concerns that they see and so on, so they are getting input from the government. And in a lot of cases where you’re looking at things where you want data or there’s an allegation that this was an extrajudicial killing, you go to the government of concern and say, okay, and what’s your story on this and they’ll say no, it was a shooting in self-defense by the police or something. If there’s a dispute like that, then we try to report it.

Now, in the case of the Israel report, I think it was felt that because of the different sources of information we get and that sometimes each of them will accuse the other of being biased, that we just made it explicit in that report. But it’s explicit in the reports overall, so the practice isn’t any different. The form is a little bit different.

QUESTION: A quick clarification on this point, sir, if I may. If I --

MR PALLADINO: Let’s call on folks, Said. Okay? Now we’re going to call on folks.

QUESTION: Oh, sorry. Can I – just because – okay.

MR PALLADINO: I’m going to call on you. Said, go ahead.

QUESTION: Sure, thank you. Thank you very much.

MR PALLADINO: You’re welcome.

QUESTION: I’m sorry for the interruption. I just wanted to follow on Matt. Very quickly so we can understand, you no longer consider the West Bank to be occupied in these reports?

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: No. I said that our policy on the status of the territories had not changed. That is my understanding of our current thing. We just – we decided not to use the term in the reports because it’s not a human rights term and it was distracting.

QUESTION: And on Gaza – and on the violence on the Gaza fence, you’re citing the Israeli Defense Force, the settlers, and so on. Did you talk to anyone in Gaza about this? Did you gather information or do you have any mechanism to gather information on what’s going on in Gaza?

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: We talked to nongovernmental organizations; we talked to the Palestinian Authority. We don’t talk to Hamas, I must say, so we don’t try to reflect their point of view. We rely on media. There is – we basically try to vacuum it. It’s the same kind of job you all do as reporters. We’re trying to look at all credible or potentially credible sources of information, suck them in, match them against each other, and see if – if there’s a consistent story there, great, and if there’s a divergence, we try to explain the divergence. We don’t try to judge that one version is accurate and the other one isn’t. We’re using – essentially applying the same standards to different sources of information.

MR PALLADINO: Let’s go to Washington Post.

QUESTION: In the section on Saudi Arabia, you describe the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, but there is no mention in that section on – in the Khashoggi section on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who many believe may have directed the killing. And so I wanted to – even though he’s mentioned in passing later on in a separate section, in corruption, he’s not mentioned in the Khashoggi section. So I wanted to ask you why that – why you didn’t mention him and if you think you were pulling any punches.

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: Well, I think, with respect to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, the U.S. has been very clear. This was a horrendous, horrific act that the people responsible, regardless of their level, should be held to account, should be brought to justice. The – as a result of diplomatic contacts, the Saudi Government, I think as is reflected in the report – the king has said that that is their policy, to bring – to do a proper investigation and bring to account those who are responsible for the killing. That investigation is still underway. We can all have our suspicions or our speculation as to where it may lead, but our effort has been to have where it comes out be fact-driven rather than opinion-driven. But we also are committed to getting all the facts, and we – we’re going to hold the Government of Saudi Arabia to its promise that they will do a thorough investigation and find all the facts.

I think as the report reflects, they have begun an investigation. They’ve indicted some people. They have more people under suspicion, under investigation, but it’s not a complete, by any means, investigation at this point. So we’re – we’re sort of in the middle of that movie, and hopefully as it plays out we’ll get a clearer set of facts as to who was and who was not responsible, and act accordingly.

Where we have had strong factual information, videotapes or others, we have – or statements by the governments concerned, we’ve already taken measures in terms of imposing visa restrictions and sanctions on some of the people that are prime suspects in the case. But that doesn’t mean there are not others, it just means the investigation and the facts haven’t taken us there yet.

MR PALLADINO: Press Trust of India.

QUESTION: Thank you. I wanted to you about your – what is your assessment about human rights situation in China, where hundreds and thousands of people of religious minorities have been put behind bars?

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: Yeah, I think as the Secretary just mentioned, it’s in a – they’re in a league of their own. I mean, for me, you haven’t seen things like this since the 1930s of rounding up – I mean, in our – some estimations are in the millions of people – and then putting them into camps and trying – and torturing them, abusing them, and trying to basically erase their culture and their religion and so on from their DNA. It’s just remarkably awful.

We have tried to – over the year we’ve been trying to push this information out, trying to gain wider international attention to the problem. I would say we’ve had maybe some success in that respect in that initially the Chinese Government was denying that there were any camps or that anything was going on. Now they’re saying, well, there are camps, but they’re some kind of labor training camps and that it’s all very voluntary and so on. That does not match the facts that we and others are seeing, but at least I think we’re starting to make them realize that there’s a lot of international scrutiny on this and none of it is good from their standpoint. It’s really – it’s one of the most serious human rights problems in the world today.


QUESTION: Thank you. You said earlier when – during the editing process, the Secretary said to you, let’s just keep this to the facts, and you talked about how it’s written, and then it goes up, and of course like anything we do as well it gets – it goes through an editing process. So to Carol’s question, I’m curious if at any point during this process there was a version of the Saudi section that included some evaluation or mention of the culpability of the crown prince in the Khashoggi killing.

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: No. Well, I won’t go into – I don’t want to get into that for every report, but we have not – and not only in the report, but I think in any other format – tried to draw our own conclusions as to who was and who wasn’t responsible. We – there are two governments that have jurisdiction, criminal jurisdiction over the case: the Turkish Government and the Saudi Government. And we are pushing for a genuine, transparent, thorough, factual investigation. And until we see that, trying to speculate about how might or might not have been involved is just not productive. So that’s where we’ve been.

MR PALLADINO: The New York Times.

QUESTION: Thanks, everyone, for doing this. One more question on the Saudis, and then one additional one. In the Saudi case, clearly the United States has gained a good deal of intelligence information that you’ve read about in the Times, Post, elsewhere that suggest what the evidentiary base is for their conclusion that with medium to high confidence that the crown prince was directly involved. I’m wondering if you have made sure that that information has been shared with the Saudi investigators to make it a little bit more difficult for Saudi Arabia to brush aside the complicity of the crown prince in this.

And then I just wanted to ask you about North Korea, because in previous reports you had referred to “egregious” human rights violations. I missed that word here, but maybe you replaced it with something else.

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: On the last first. I think the way – the format we’ve been using the last year or two in the summary up front is that where – we try to say for each country significant human – or “human rights issues included.” And then what basically we’re trying to do, we have a template there. If it’s torture or if it’s extrajudicial killing and some other – criminal libel, some other serious things, they go in that section. There are other human rights violations that we don’t put in there, because every country you can come up with a ton of them. But we’re trying to say let’s – in the executive summary, let’s try to hit the worst forms and see if those were present or not in the country.

Where “egregious” has come in is there are happily some countries where none of those things are present, so we say there were no reports of egregious human rights violations. But I don’t know that we’ve said – that we’ve characterized North Korea as – I mean, implicitly it is egregious because it has a litany of all the different things that they do that are fitting into that paragraph. And then you asked about --

QUESTION: On the intelligence information. Have you shared --

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: Yeah, and I just don’t know what our law enforcement people have done with their counterparts in the other countries. So I’d have to refer you to --

QUESTION: Has that data been shared with you in the preparation of this report? In other words, did you receive the CIA assessment in either classified or unclassified form that would –

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: I’m not going to go into intelligence.

QUESTION: Okay, so what we should report is the State Department is not saying whether or not it reviewed the intelligence report about – that came to the conclusion that the crown prince --

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: We – when we do these reports – let me generalize this – when we do these reports, we seek all relevant sources of information, including U.S. intelligence information. And --

QUESTION: And you will not say whether in the Saudi case --

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: But I’m not going to say what that was in any particular case because I can’t comment on intelligence.

QUESTION: I didn’t ask you what it was. I was asking you if you received it in the Saudi case.

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: I’m not going to even say with respect to particular countries, whether it’s Saudi or anybody else. So it’s not a – I mean, I’m not giving you an answer about Saudi; I’m giving you a general answer that I’m not going to say this, but I can say that we – I mean, we routinely review intelligence information as part of our daily job when we’re doing the reports. We look at classified reporting, State Department reporting. We look at classified reporting from other agencies, because that’s part of the panoply of information that we try to boil down and come up with a coherent report.

MR PALLADINO: Al Hurra. Michel.

QUESTION: If you need to rank the countries, who are the worst countries and who are the best?

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: That’s something we don’t do. I know this is – some of our legislative frameworks require us to put people in tiers and that kind of thing. I think one of the strengths of the Human Rights Report over the years is we don’t do that. So people aren’t – there’s no incentive to shade your reporting to try to avoid being in one tier or to be ranked in some way or another. We just try to report the facts on each country as best we can assess them and let the reader draw the conclusion.

Now when I was just mentioning that executive summary paragraph, one of the reasons that we have tried to get it more into a template format there is so that the reader can look at that. And I think if you go through the reports, if you see a country that says there were no reports of egregious human rights violations, that’s probably in the pretty good category even though when you read the body there may be some issues, but at least they’re not these really serious ones. But then if you look at another one, and they’ve got extrajudicial killing, they’ve got torture, they’ve got rape as a weapon of war, killing journalists, closing down independent media – bang, bang, bang, all of those things, you’d say, well, that probably fits in the worst category or pretty close to it. But we try to make it so that the reader can draw that conclusion, but we don’t draw those conclusions ourselves.


QUESTION: Thank you. Going off of that, Mr. Ambassador, in the Iran section you say that their human rights record remained extremely poor. That seems to be editorializing much more than in other instances where you just lay out the human rights violations. Why that use of kind of editorial language? And a second quick question: Why not comment on reproductive rights again in this report?

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: Okay, on the – that actually, we – may be a holdover from past things. We used to have “remained extremely poor,” and I think we’ve tried to get away from that, and frankly I don’t know why we missed it in that case.

QUESTION: So it has nothing to do with the fact that Iran seems to be the boogeyman of this administration?

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: Yeah, well, it’s a true statement. I mean, it has not changed, but we try not to generally put that characterization in anymore. There was a time that we did 20 years ago and we don’t do it anymore.

On reproductive rights, actually, I thought I might get asked about that, so I came this year with – let me walk through this just so we all have the same background and terminology. Last year, I had to ad-lib it and do it from memory, but I went back and got my quotes. The term “reproductive rights” comes from the 1994 Cairo Declaration on Population and Development that was then reaffirmed in the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action. So that’s where this term comes from. These were outcome documents of two big conferences that were consensus-driven. In other words, the outcomes document needed the consensus of all of the states that were present, which include the Vatican, for example.

So in trying to form that consensus – the head of our delegation in Cairo was then Vice President Gore, and in a speech at the National Press Club right before the conference, he said, “The United States would never assert that a woman’s right to choose an abortion should be internationally guaranteed. We believe that decisions about the extent to which abortion is acceptable should be the province of each government.” And he further said that the same principle should apply to contraceptives. Nations have the right to make them legal, but the United Nations is not seeking to establish a basic right to their availability. And then at the conference himself – he said, “Let’s take a false issue off the table. The United States does not seek to establish a new international right to abortion. We do not believe abortion should be encouraged as a method of family planning. We also believe that policy making in this matter should be the province of each government.”

So that’s what the U.S. position was going in. The text of the Cairo Declaration says, “Women who have unwanted pregnancies should have access to reliable information and compassionate counseling. Any measures or changes related to abortion within the health system can only be determined at the national or local level, according to national legislative process. In circumstances where abortion is not against the law, such abortion should be safe.”

Now, so that’s the international – the background on where that term comes from in international practice. The term “reproductive rights” was first introduced into the Human Rights Report’s instructions, not in the report itself, in 2009. And that instruction read, “Reproductive Rights: this includes the basic right of couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing, and timing of their children, and to have the information and means to do so free from discrimination, coercion, and violence.” So that was what we were being asked to report on. There was no mention of abortion.

In the 2011 report, subheadings were included in the section on women, because they were – the section was long, so we put subheadings in – and reproductive rights was one of them, covering the information that I just mentioned. In 2016, the instructions expanded and did include a mention of abortion, but only in this context. Emergency health – we’re supposed to report on emergency health care, including services for management and – of complications arising from abortion regardless of whether abortion is legally permitted.

So the upshot here is the United States did not seek and did not obtain international consensus that there is a human right to abortion. When the term was used in the Human Rights Report context, it was not defined as including any right to abortion, and that was the position of the United States Government under successive administrations, including the previous administration, that there was no internationally recognized right to abortion. Instead, the position has always been it’s up to each sovereign state to make a policy decision on whether to allow or prohibit abortion or have restrictions on it, and that was the position enunciated by Vice President Gore and it remains the position to this day.

The reason we stopped using the term in the reports was that some advocates had begun to claim that, notwithstanding the history I’ve just given you, that the term “reproductive rights” did include the right to abortion. And so rather than using a term that now has two completely divergent meanings to it, we decided to go back and use the U.S. statutory standard that we report on coercive population practices such as forced and coerced abortion and involuntary sterilization. So that is why we got away from using that term. It’s just become a term that people are ascribing their own meanings to and we don’t like to --

QUESTION: But is there any evaluation of access to kind of women’s health practices in your evaluation of human rights?

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: Yeah, in – on that, we did for some years carry things like maternal mortality rate, availability of contraceptive information, and so on. And at one time that probably was very useful because you couldn’t access it other ways, but we figured out – I mean, what we said in the instructions was go look at these websites that – there’s one group that is sponsored by USAID; it’s called demographic health – I’ve forgotten the name. It’s DHS, but it doesn’t mean Department of Homeland Security. And then there’s a World Health Organization website. So rather than trying to summarize what was in those, we’ve just put those – links to those data sets into the annex of the report so people can look it up on their own.

And by the way, we’ve done the same thing on other sections. We used to summarize in the Human Rights Report what the contents of the International Religious Freedom Report were. We would summarize the Trafficking In Persons Report. Now, thanks to the wonders of Vice President Gore’s internet, we are able to just put hyperlinks in so people can go find those things on their own, and that’s --

QUESTION: That’s an interesting reference because – (laughter) – you held him up to be the standard-bearer of what the U.S. position is on abortion, now you --


MR PALLADINO: (Inaudible.) Let’s go – red tie right there, (inaudible).

QUESTION: Yeah. I would like to have a review about the situation in Latin America, especially Venezuela, and also I would like to have this opportunity to talk about Venezuela. One of the biggest challenges are to get the humanitarian aid into the country. What if Nicolas Maduro approved that U.S. aid can go into the country? What would be the U.S. response about that? Thank you.

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: Yeah. Well, I think that has – and I would refer you – I think my friend, Special Representative Abrams, was here yesterday commenting on all of this. But our position has been that they should let the aid into the country. What we have not been willing to do is to turn aid over to the Maduro government because we’ve seen what happens with the so-called CLAP program they have that’s supposed to feed people. By most estimates, 70 percent of the funding of that gets stolen by officials in the government, so it’s not an efficient way, and it only goes to people that they favor politically.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) Venezuela human rights?

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: Human rights situation in Venezuela is terrible. I think it’s well documented in this report, and of course it’s only – this report goes through the end of last year, and it’s gotten only worse since then. So – but I think I’ll leave – we had a very good briefing on this yesterday, so I’ll leave you to – refer you back to that.


QUESTION: In the report, on the section on Myanmar, it mentions the vast majority of such abuses continued with impunity. Would you agree that that could be perhaps in part because the United States still has not designated the violence against the Rohingya as a genocide, and because the sanctions against Myanmar have been limited to two military units and only a handful of senior officers?

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: Yeah, look, the sanctions that had been on Burma previously were taken off because of the election of the Aung San Suu Kyi government and so on. So you don’t want to go back and penalize the elected civilian government for the behavior of the military. So I think what we tried to do this time was to be a little more targeted in the sanctions, but it’s not limited to that. You’re correct, there’s five generals that have had financial sanctions put on them, two divisions of the Burmese army – I think it’s the 33rd and 99th, if I recall correctly – who make a specialty of the kinds of atrocities that were being committed in Rakhine State.

But in addition to that, we have revoked the visas of large quantities of people. We cut off what little bit of mil-mil cooperation was beginning to occur. There – this has had really serious consequences for the relationship and we’re not done yet. We’re not satisfied with their response. I mean, yes, at this point the active phase of the atrocities are at least in a lull, but they’re still – there are a lot of Rohingya – 700,000 or so are left in Burma. So we’re trying to navigate how do we get humanitarian relief to them, to the people who had to flee, and how do we persuade the government to let people come back in a voluntary way where they would be safe. Right now you’ve got the same commanders in place, and I think people rightly conclude they wouldn’t be safe from another assault like what they got. But we keep working the problem.

I think what you’ve seen, too, is we have been one of the ones to put major effort into exposing the problem. We did a study that our bureau financed that did a very good job of polling people in a scientific method in the refugee camps and figuring out just what had happened to them and what were the trends and practices there. But we’ve also been very supportive of the effort, for example, the UN made, the independent fact-finding mission that they had there, and I think what we’ve said is our conclusions and theirs coincide very much.

So this business of making a designation, it’s a messaging management tool. It’s not a – it has no legal effect. And what we were trying – I mean, the usual reason you say something like that is you’re trying to call attention to it. Our feeling is we’ve called plenty of attention. What we’re trying to do now is to get people to take action and put more pressure on. We’re very heartened by the fact that there is a movement stirring within Burma right now to go back in and relook at the constitution and hopefully downgrade the political power of the military and upgrade that of the civilian elected government. Because in the end, it’s going to be that that’s going to make a change on the ground, is you’ve got to get where they – where the military doesn’t feel that it has complete charter to be able to rampage around and do whatever it wants, and it needs to be accountable civilian political leaders who have control over it.

So that’s where our policy is aiming. That’s what we’re trying to achieve, and we’ve mentioned some of the tools we’re using.

MR PALLADINO: Final question. Right back there, please.

QUESTION: On North Korea. Is North Korea making progress as they engaged in talks with the United States?

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: No. We haven’t noticed any progress on human rights, so we keep – that’s why we’re calling out their practices and we keep pushing on this. I mean, what we have done over the years is – I think the U.S. has been in the forefront of trying to expose what North Korea is doing and bring international attention to it. Also trying to help those who are trying to get information back into North Korea so that people there start to realize what the standard in the rest of the world is and how the rest of the world views their country. But it’s still one of the worst human rights situations in the world. It has not improved, and that’s going to be part of our effort for some time to come, I’m afraid, is how do you try to convince a regime like that to change its behavior.

MR PALLADINO: Great. Ambassador Kozak, thank you very much for being with us today.

AMBASSADOR KOZAK: Okay, thank you.

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          CIA implicated by Spanish authorities in attack on North Korea embassy in Madrid      Cache   Translate Page      
Investigators from the Spanish police and National Intelligence Center (CNI) have linked an attack on the North Korean embassy in Madrid on February 22 to the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). At least two of the 10 assailants who broke into the embassy and interrogated diplomatic staff have been identified and have connections to the US intelligence agency. The CIA has denied any involvement but government sources say their response was "unconvincing." If it is proven that the CIA was behind the attack, it could lead to a diplomatic spat between Madrid and Washington. Government sources say that it would be "unacceptable" for an ally to take such action. Not only would it mean that the US agency had operated on Spanish soil without asking for authorization or informing the authorities, it would also be a violation of the international conventions that protect diplomatic delegations. What's more, unlike other intelligence activities - such as cyberattacks, which are...
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Regime changes in Iraq and Libya, Syria's war, Venezuela's crisis, sanctions on Cuba, Iran, Russia, and North Korea are all reflections of a new global imperialism imposed by a...
          [Ticker] Report: US linked to North Korea embassy raid in Spain      Cache   Translate Page      
The US spy service, the CIA, was linked to two of the attackers in a raid on North Korea's embassy in Madrid on 22 February, Spanish newspaper El Pais has said, citing police and intelligence sources in an ongoing investigation. The US denied it "but not in a very convincing manner", the paper added. Attackers gagged staff and stole computers amid US-North Korea talks on nuclear arms control, it said.
          The U.S.-Israel Alliance Must Be Questioned       Cache   Translate Page      

On Wednesday, October 8, 1975, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger held a staff meeting. During this meeting, Assistant Secretary of State Philip Habib announced that “It looks like the Indonesians have begun the attack on Timor.” That was true in only a preliminary sense. The full invasion of East Timor wouldn’t come until December 7th. When it did come, the Indonesians slaughtered everyone in sight, including women, children, foreign journalists and every Chinese merchant they could find. The fact that the State Department was discussing the invasion two months prior to its commencement shows that they had time to react and formulate a policy.

At the time, the United States was reeling from the collapse of the South Vietnamese government, and in no mood to see a leftist-driven independence movement take hold somewhere else in Southeast Asia. For the same reason, they were also not inclined to get actively involved or commit U.S. troops or resources to a new cause. The Indonesian army was equipped with our weapons, but they were prohibited by law from using them in anything other than a defensive manner, which meant that we had some leverage over their political leaders if we chose to use it. We chose not to.

The immediate cause of the conflict was the 1974 Carnation Revolution in Portugal which led to a near-abandonment of its Asian colonial interests. East Timor unilaterally declared independence on November 29, 1975 and the invasion began in earnest a week later. U.S. policy was more focused on maintaining good relations and contractual obligations with the fervently anti-Communist Indonesia government. At the meeting, there was some back and forth, but Kissinger summed up the American position when he turned to Assistant Secretary Habib and said, “I’m assuming you’re really going to keep your mouth shut on this subject.”

Habib, who was simultaneously discussing a South Vietnam passport question, asked for clarification: “On what?”, he said.

Kissinger responded, “On this subject. On Indonesia.”

Two months later, when Indonesia moved into East Timor in force, they acted with the tacit acceptance of the U.S. government. The next step was to convince Congress not to react by enforcing the ban on the use of American weapons in offensive operations.

When I saw the furor over Rep. Ilhan Omar’s remarks about Israel, I thought about this history with East Timor. During a panel conversation, Rep. Omar stated, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is okay to push for allegiance to a foreign country.”

A lot of the debate has been over the meaning of the word “allegiance.” In the case of Indonesia, it was more of an alliance than an allegiance. Yet, when an alliance comes under pressure and people are told not to speak out, that can seem more coercive than voluntarily. When military or humanitarian aid is not a choice but a compulsion, it takes on more of the character of an oath or pledge than a policy.

On the subject of aid, Andrew Sullivan made the following observations last Friday for New York magazine:

Take foreign aid. The U.S. provides the Jewish state with $3.8 billion a year in aid, and has committed to doing so for each of the next ten years. Compare that with what the U.S. gives other allies who are as wealthy as Israel: The U.K. got $150,000 in 2017; South Korea got $775,000. The average aid for high-income countries like Israel, according to USAID, is $79 million a year. Israel gets 48 times more.

Per capita, the disparity is close to absurd. Israel gets $436 in U.S. aid a year; dirt-poor Afghanistan $154; post-war Iraq $91; Egypt $14. By any measure, this is extreme exceptionalism. Yes, Israel faces military threats. But so does South Korea.

We have a political and military alliance with Israel just as we had a political and military alliance with Indonesia. In both cases, this gives (or gave) us theoretical leverage over their political leaders. Perhaps it reflects a bit of a colonial mindset on my part, but I believe a major motivation for giving aid to other countries is to create or enhance our leverage. But if we refuse to use that leverage because we believe the alliance or the contracts are the primary advantage, then much of the point is lost.

Based strictly on the size of our aid package with Israel, we should have more leverage with them than any other nation on Earth, but we’ve been asking them to curtail or cease settlement policies in the occupied territories for decades now to no avail. To get an idea of why this is possible, it’s not necessary to blame the influence of Israeli or Jewish-American lobbying efforts. Criticism of Israel is policed by politicians of both parties and people of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Look, for example, at the latter half of this reaction to Rep. Omar’s “allegiance” quote by Democratic and Latino Rep. Juan Vargas of California:

Rep. Vargas criticized Omar for perpetuating “hurtful anti-Semitic stereotypes that misrepresent our Jewish community.” Given the freighted history of the word “allegiance,” this was a defensible (if ultimately unfair) characterization of her remarks. But by saying, “Additionally, questioning support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is unacceptable,” Rep. Vargas came very close to arguing that nothing Israel could do can possibly call into legitimate question the terms of our bilateral relationship.  That sounds like asking for a pledge of allegiance to me.  That seems like he’s saying, “our alliance, right or wrong.”

When Russia, North Korea, or Iran do things we don’t like, we have no problem imposing sanctions. Our military alliance with Saudi Arabia didn’t prevent Congress from recently attempting “to remove United States Armed Forces from hostilities in or affecting the Republic of Yemen.”

What’s going on in Israel today should be unacceptable to U.S. foreign policy-makers, and it should call into question our ongoing commitment to our $3.8 billion aid package.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing legitimate corruption charges and seeking to survive politically by aligning himself with a political movement that even many Israelis have compared to the Nazis. The alliance is disturbing enough that both AIPAC and the American Jewish Congress have condemned it. The AJC issued a statement, declaring that the “views of Otzma Yehudit are reprehensible. They do not reflect the core values that are the very foundation of the State of Israel.”

The president of Israel apparently agrees, and he made the following statement on Monday in response to Netanyahu declaring that Israel “is the national state, not of all its citizens, but only of the Jewish people.”

Slamming a “completely unacceptable conversation regarding Israeli Arabs” taking place during the “dizzying” election campaign, President Reuven Rivlin said Monday there are neither second-class citizens or second-class voters in Israel.

Speaking at a conference at Hebrew University’s Truman Institute marking 40 years since the signing of the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement, Rivlin said,  “I refuse to believe that there that there are parties that have given up on the idea that Israel is a Jewish Democratic state, a democratic and Jewish state in the same phrase.”

Yet, the party that has given up on that idea is Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party. Most observers believe that Netanyahu’s coalition will prevail in the coming elections and that he will use his victory to beat back the corruption charges and remain in power.

What that would mean for the Arab citizens of Israel is anyone’s guess, but I think it’s safe to say that things will not go well for them. This is a frontal assault to Israel’s democracy, and there is plenty of criticism about it both in Israel and among Jewish-American people and organizations here at home.

But Congress is more interested in figuring out how to silence Rep. Omar than they are about using our leverage and influence to persuade Israel to go in a better direction. The administration seems to have nothing negative to say about Netanyahu at all.

Now, the reasons we have this strange and unhealthy relationship with Israel right now are complicated, and they certainly cannot be reduced to the power of American Jewish lobbyists. It’s not “all about the Benjamins,” and it’s not explained by dual loyalties of Jewish-Americans. Rep. Omar seems to have an unfortunate proclivity for stepping on rakes and she’d do herself and her party and everyone else a big favor if she’d be more mindful of how she speaks about these matters.

Having said that, we do not seem to have the capacity as a nation to exercise our leverage over Israel. I believe the result is harmful to everyone involved. Looking back and putting everything in context, I understand why our government was silent about Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor and the atrocities that predictably ensued. But I can understand something without approving of it.

Maybe we could not have prevented what happened in East Timor, but we didn’t have to continue to provide the weapons that were used to massacre people. We may not be able to convince Israel to get off the path they’re now marching down, but we don’t have to unquestioningly fund them with no conditions.

I cannot agree that “questioning support for the U.S.-Israel relationship is unacceptable.” That support is bound up in our $3.8 billion aid package, and if we’re not allowed to question it then it seems to me like less of an alliance based on shared interests and values than an allegiance based on sworn loyalty.

When people who question Israel’s actions are bullied into submission, that doesn’t strengthen the relationship. More than that, though, when we fail to defend human rights or protect the vulnerable, and we buy the weapons and tools that are used to oppress people, then we become complicit.

What Benjamin Netanyahu is doing right now is not okay. We should not be assuming that people are “really going to keep [their] mouth shut on this subject.”


          Comment on Firearms Registration Act Introduced in Pennsylvania by freeillinois      Cache   Translate Page      
More gun control laws have been introduced and passed by Democrats at the state and federal level with Trump in office than was passed during the entire 8 years of Obama.. The democrats are using the anger against Trump as a way to energize their base at the local, county and state level.. Our country is on the cusp of a social collapse. The hatred of Trump is driving the whack jobs to the street and they have decided our rights, lives and future do not matter. This means unrest in the street. Stockpiling food, medical supplies and fuel is an absolute must if you want to survive. I do not know if we are going to become North Korea or Venezuela but I do know we are not going to remain the USA if gun control and the rush to socialism is not stopped.
          3/13/2019: NEWS: ‘N. Korea summit shows why Iran must be stopped’      Cache   Translate Page      

The absence of a deal and the dynamics of the February North Korea-US summit in Vietnam showed the importance of stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, INSS Arms Control Director Emily Landau has said. In a recent INSS post she co-authored with...
          Don't let its success fool you: Fox News is a mess | Richard Wolffe      Cache   Translate Page      

Comments by Tucker Carlson and Jeanine Pirro mark just the latest crisis engulfing the most-watched cable channel

Fox News Channel should not be struggling right now. It has just completed its 17th year as the most-watched cable news channel, and its third year as the most-watched channel in all of cable TV. It prints money for its owners, the Murdoch family, as part of a cable division that earns more than $1.5bn every quarter. And as the Chinese and North Koreans like to say, it’s as close to the White House as lips and teeth.

There’s also no doubt that it is lurching from one self-inflicted crisis to another, as its anchors and management melt down in full public view.

Continue reading...
          North Korea Advertises Military Hardware on Twitter, YouTube, Defying Sanctions      Cache   Translate Page      
Glocom is a front company for North Korea to sell sanctions violating military equipment. But, even after some tech companies clamped down, Glocom kept up its presence on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.
          Korean War Memorials - Veterans Plaza Korean Memorial - Longview, TX      Cache   Translate Page      
Marker Text Front:

THE KOREAN WAR1950-1953"The forgotten war"

World War II divided Korea at the 38th parallel, into a Communist northern half and Democratic southern half. The Korean War began when the North Korean Communist army crossed the 38th Parallel and invaded non-Communist South Korea in 1950.

The United States intervened as part of a United Nations International Peace Keeping Force. In November, 1950, thousands of U.S. troops, mostly Marines, struggled to survive the coldest winter in over 100 years at the Chosin reservoir. The faced an overwhelming opposition of more than 120,000 Chinese troops.

By late 1952 the United States and the U.N. forces were making significant advances and General Douglas McCarthur planned on pushing into North Korea to the war. President Harry Truman refused to let McCarthur cross the 38th parallel into North Korea, fearing it would spark a nuclear war between the United States, China and Russia.

Instead, in 1953 a peace treaty was signed at Panmunjom that ened the Korean War, returning Korea to a divided status essentially the same as before the war.

Marker Text Back:


           Comment on An Anti-War Democrat Can Win the Presidency in 2020 by Bill Sims       Cache   Translate Page      
As you point out, it’ s equally important that the anti-war message be balanced with attention to progressive domestic priorities and climate change. And call me a centrist if you will, but I also think Trump’s alienation of our European allies , his coziness with Russia, his hostility to Iran, and his weird attempts to flatter North Korea into denuclearization do not advance the cause of world peace.
           Missions & Manoeuvres Vol.9 RoKA - Modern Republic of Korea Army (English, 64+4 pages)       Cache   Translate Page      
Missions & Manoeuvres Vol.9 RoKA - Modern Republic of Korea Army (English, 64+4 pages)It is the reality of the North Korean threat that South Korea faces daily and which explains, why the RoKA is the sixth largest army in the world. This publication grants for the first time an inside look into the vehicle pool and training of the army guarding the peace on the last Cold War frontline.
Quality Photos and Illustrations;
130 Colour
Complete English
Number of Pages:
64 + 4

Buy Now
          Wiles Shows His Anti-Semitism Again      Cache   Translate Page      
While Trump attacks Rep. Ilhan Omar as anti-Jewish, one of his biggest supporters, whose “news” network he has given credentials to and invited along to cover things like the North Korean summit, is a vile, anti-Semitic bigot. Rick Wiles even borrows the old “synagogue of Satan” language. “Our culture has been decimated through abortion, pornography, […]
          The Global Economic Reset Begins With An Engineered Crash      Cache   Translate Page      

Authored by Brandon Smith via,

For a few years now, since at least 2014, the phrase “global economic reset” has been circulating in the financial world. This phrase is used primarily by globalist institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to describe an event in which the current system as we know it will either die out or evolve into a new system where “multilateralism” will become the norm. The reset is often described in an ambiguous way. IMF banking elites will usually mention the end results of the shift, but they say little about the process to get there.

What we do know is that the intent of the globalists is to use this reset to create a more centralized monetary system and micro-managed global economy. At the core of this new structure would be the IMF along with perhaps the BIS and World Bank.  It is a plan that has been supported openly by both western and eastern governments, including Russia and China.

As noted, the details are few and far between, but the IMF describes the use of open borders and human migrations during the reset as a means to transfer capital from various parts of the world. It is a novel if not utterly insane way to transfer wealth that only makes sense if you understand that the globalist goal is to deliberately conjure a geopolitical catastrophe.

The IMF also asserts that blockchain technology will make capital transfer easier and more efficient in this future environment, which explains the enthusiastic globalist support for developments in blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies despite the notion in cryptocurrency circles that blockchain would somehow make the bankers “obsolete”.

The IMF also acknowledges that in the meantime a slowdown in capital flows has occurred, and that this slowdown is ongoing since the crash of 2008. What they do not explicitly admit is that the crash of 2008 never ended, and that the decline we are witnessing today is merely an extension of the recession/depression that started ten years ago.

Certain facts have become obvious to anyone with any sense over the past year. First, as the Federal Reserve began tightening stimulus policies by raising interest rates and cutting assets from their balance sheet, the global economy began to return to steep declines not seen since the credit crisis. I predicted this outcome in my article 'Party While You Can – Central Bank Ready To Pop The Everything Bubble', published in January of 2018. The plunge has started in almost every sector of the economy, from housing, to autos to credit markets to retail. Now, even jobs, numbers which are highly manipulated to the upside, are beginning to falter.

The assertion in the mainstream media is that this recessionary downturn is new. This is not the case. What began in 2008 was an epic implosion of multiple national economies, and what we are seeing in 2019 is the final culmination of that process - The end game.

It is not a coincidence that the downturn started right after the Fed began tightening stimulus measures in 2017. With only a minor increase in interest rates and moderate cuts to their balance sheet, all the conditions the economy suffered in 2008 are suddenly returning. What this tells us is that the US economy and parts of the global economy cannot survive without constant and ever expanding central bank stimulus.

The moment the stimulus goes away, the crash returns.

Does this mean that central banks will try to keep QE going forever? No, it does not. So far, the Fed has not capitulated at all from the path of tightening. In fact, the Fed nearly doubled its normal balance sheet cuts from January 30th to the end of February, dumping over $65 billion in a 30 day period. The Fed also has not changed its dot plot projections for two more interest rate hikes this year. This means all the talk the past two months of the Fed going “dovish” was nonsense. Setting aside their rhetoric and looking at their actions, the Fed has been as hawkish as ever.

The only people who might find this to be news are most stock market daytraders, who ignore all other failing indicators and seem content to base their economic projections on equities alone. Set aside the fact that stocks plunged in December into near bear market territory. The bounce in January and February has convinced them that the Fed is stepping in and will not allow the economy to tank.  But the "plunge protection team" is about to pull the rug out from under their feet after training them like Pavlovian dogs to salivate at the sound of the word "accommodation".

Their mindset is based on a host of incorrect assumptions.

To be clear, while the Fed paid lip service to “accommodation” in their public statements, it was not the central bank that stepped in monetarily to stall falling stocks. That was actually the Chinese central bank, pumping billions in stimulus into global markets at just the right moment.

Chinese stimulus coupled with pension fund buying at the start of this year saved stocks from losses beyond 20%, but markets have met resistance on the way up. Without renewed stimulus measures from the Fed, equities have topped out multiple times and refuse to move towards their previous highs. This suggests that the two month bounce is over, and that stocks will now fall back down to December lows and beyond. If the projections I made in January are correct, then the Dow will fall into the 17,000 - 18,000 point range from the end of March through April.

The facade is slowly but surely melting away, not just in economics, but everywhere. I predicted both the success of the Brexit vote as well as Trump's win in 2016 based on the theory that the globalists would allow or even help populists to gain a political foothold, only to crash the economic system on their heads and then blame them for the disaster. So far my theory is proving correct.

Trump's trade war continues unabated despite claims by many that it would be over quickly. Currently, there are no plans for a March summit between Trump and Xi, and the possibility of a summit anytime soon has come into question as Trump's negotiations with North Korea fell to shambles last month. The negotiations are a farce and are not meant to succeed. I continue to hold to my position that the trade war is a planned distraction and that Trump is playing a role in a globalist scripted drama.

The facade of Donald Trump as a “populist candidate” is quickly ending. His cabinet is loaded with think-tank ghouls and banking elites, so this should come as little surprise. But there are still some analysts out there that naively believe that Trump is playing “4D chess” and that he is not the pied piper he now appears to be. What I see is a president that claimed during his campaign that he would “drain the swamp” of elites, then stacked his cabinet with some of the worst elites in Washington D.C. What I see is a president who argued against Fed stimulus measures and the fake stock market during his campaign, and who now has attached himself to the stock market so completely that any crash will now be blamed on him no matter the facts. What I see is a willing scapegoat; a president that is going to fail on purpose.

In terms of the Brexit, I still predict that there will be a “no deal” event, and that this is by design. The Brexit deal with the EU is slated to be decided in the next few weeks. A “no deal” outcome would be a perfect excuse for a major financial crisis in Europe, which is why I think it will happen. While sovereignty movements in the US will get the blame for the crash through Trump, sovereignty movements in the UK will get the blame for a crash in Europe through Brexit.

It is important to remind the public that this narrative is entirely false.

The economy has been in a state of animated death since 2008. Central bank stimulus acted as a kind of fiscal formaldehyde, keeping the visible signs of the crash at bay for 10 years but also creating a bubble even larger and more destructive than the one before. The “Everything Bubble” has now been primed to explode with maximum damage in mind.

The Fed started the tightening process for a reason; the establishment is ready to start the “global economic reset”, and they have their populist scapegoats in place. The crash in fundamentals returned in mid-2018, and I believe that crash will finally be acknowledged publicly by the media in mid-2019.

The point of it all is described in the very IMF interviews and documents I linked to above – Total centralization of the global economic framework, managed by the IMF. They describe it as “multilateralism” or a “multipolar world order”; this is meant to fool us into believing that the reset is about “decentralization”. It isn't. They intend to move us from one unipolar economic structure to another unipolar economic structure that is even more centralized. That is all.

The crash itself is simply a means to an end. It is a tool to gain fiscal and psychological leverage against the public. The everything bubble was created for a reason. The Fed has tightened into economic weakness over the past year for a reason. The timing of Trump's trade war and summit failures have happened for a reason. The timing of the Brexit chaos is happening now for a reason. The globalists are pulling the plug on economic life support today; the crash is engineered, and sovereignty movements are supposed to take the blame.

The best option at this time is to continuously force the issue of central bank culpability.  Liberty activists have to keep the focus on them and their criminal participation in economic sabotage, and we cannot assume that any government or political leader will be friendly to our cause.  The globalists have started the crisis, and we must finish it by making sure they are held accountable.

*  *  *

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          Otto Warmbier's Parents Dispute Trump's Seeming Absolution Of Kim Jong Un      Cache   Translate Page      
Updated at 4:55 p.m. ET After President Trump seemingly absolved North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the death of American college student Otto Warmbier, the Ohio man's parents say they disagree and that "Kim and his evil regime are responsible." The issue arose in Vietnam on Thursday when Trump was asked at a news conference if he had talked to Kim — whom he has called a "friend" — about Warmbier, who died in 2017 shortly after his release from more than a year of detention in North Korea. Trump said he had asked Kim about it. "I really don't think it was in his interest at all," Trump said of the North Korean dictator. He later added, "He tells me that he didn't know about it, and I will take him at his word." After Trump spoke about his meeting with Kim in Hanoi, Fred and Cindy Warmbier issued a statement saying: "We have been respectful during this summit process. Now we must speak out. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime
          US slams rights record of China and Iran, goes easier on N. Korea      Cache   Translate Page      
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday denounced China and Iran as Washington offered its annual human rights report, while going easier on other countries like North Korea in the name of "US interests.
          WHEN RUSSIA ATTACKS NORTH KOREA: CIA PLOTTING MARCH 16TH RUSSIAN ATTACK, BIO-ATTACK, NUKE ATTACK AND/OR INVASION (MARCH 13, 2019): CIA Headquarters Located Beneath CERN at Lake Geneva in Switzerland Plotting Russian Attack and/or Invasion on March 16, 2019, Exactly 113-Days After CIA Staged 31-Nation NATO Wargame in Scandinavia Entitled ‘Exercise Trident Juncture 2018′ (OCT 25-NOV 23, 2018) & Exactly 2,504-Days After Vladimir Putin Became President of Russia Back on May 7, 2012      Cache   Translate Page      
          WHEN RUSSIA ATTACKS NORTH KOREA: CIA PLOTTING MARCH 16TH RUSSIAN ATTACK, BIO-ATTACK, NUKE ATTACK AND/OR INVASION (MARCH 13, 2019): CIA Headquarters Located Beneath CERN at Lake Geneva in Switzerland Plotting Russian Attack and/or Invasion on March 16, 2019, Exactly 113-Days After CIA Staged 31-Nation NATO Wargame in Scandinavia Entitled ‘Exercise Trident Juncture 2018′ (OCT 25-NOV 23, 2018) & Exactly 2,504-Days After Vladimir Putin Became President of Russia Back on May 7, 2012      Cache   Translate Page      
          South Korea Probing The “Violent” Gaming History Of Pacifist Objectors To Military Service      Cache   Translate Page      

As you might be aware, North Korea and South Korea are technically still at war. As a result, South Korean men are obligated to spend two years in military service. This requirement can be waived if one has a religious or personal objection to war, violence, or simply holding a weapon — i.e., professing to […]

Find more about South Korea Probing The “Violent” Gaming History Of Pacifist Objectors To Military Service on MMOBomb

          3/14/2019: World: North Korea dodging sanctions      Cache   Translate Page      

Selling arms to rebels in Yemen, Libya and Sudan. Smuggling coal and oil from ship to ship in the middle of the ocean. Diplomats and ship captains carrying bulk cash. Cyberattacks, including one involving more than 14,000 ATM withdrawals in 28...
          ON POINT: Sanctions and New Military Tech Threaten North Korea's Nuclear Threat      Cache   Translate Page      

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