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Trump's latest pissing contest with North Korea (and Iran)…


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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« on: September 22, 2017, 09:58:35 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

In first U.N. speech, Trump derides Kim Jong Un as ‘Rocket Man’
and threatens to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea


By TRACY WILKINSON and NOAH BIERMAN | 2:35PM PDT - Tuesday, September 19, 2017

President Trump addresses the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York City on Tuesday. — Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.
President Trump addresses the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York City on Tuesday.
 — Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.


PRESIDENT TRUMP delivered a forceful inaugural speech to a packed United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, a sprawling 42-minute address — warlike at times, flowery at others — that challenged some tenets of U.S. foreign policy.

With the cavernous hall packed so full that scores of people jammed into the aisles, Trump caused a stir when he mocked North Korea's ruler, Kim Jong Un, as “Rocket Man on a suicide mission” and threatened his “depraved regime”.

“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” Trump added.

Another buzz arose when he warned that parts of the world “are going to hell.” He also vowed to “crush loser terrorists” and condemned a “small group of rogue regimes,” including Iran, for threatening global stability.

“Rogue regimes represented in this body not only support terrorists, but threaten other nations and their own people with the most destructive weapons known to humanity,” he said.

Trump first tried out his “Rocket Man” insult in a tweet on Sunday, and his U.N. speech was laced with some of the harsh language and colloquialisms that have delighted his base and horrified his critics.

But Trump also praised U.N. humanitarian aid and development programs that have fought famines and disease, helped victims after wars and disasters, sheltered millions of refugees and educated women and girls.

He applauded U.N. peacekeeping operations for stabilizing conflicts in Africa and complimented Secretary-General António Guterres — who, like Trump, also took office in January — for leading efforts to make U.N. operations and agencies more efficient, taking on a problem as old as the institution.

He called for restoration of democracy and political freedoms in Venezuela and cited the “enormous potential waiting to be released” around the world.

“To put it simply, we meet at a time of both immense promise and great peril,” he said.

“If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph,” he added. “When decent people and nations become bystanders to history, the forces of destruction only gather power and strength,” he said.

“Now we are calling for a great awakening of nations, for the revival of their spirits, their pride, their people and their patriotism,” he added. “History is asking us whether we are up to the task.”

Trump began, as he often does in public gatherings, by boasting about his time in office.

The United States “has done very well since election day,” he said, claiming credit for a rising stock market, low unemployment and a military that he said “will soon be the strongest it has ever been.”

Trump jettisoned traditional U.S. positions advocating for human rights and democratic reforms as part of his “America first” doctrine. He instead promoted national sovereignty as the bedrock of international co-operation, calling it key to his foreign policy.

“In foreign affairs, we are renewing this founding principle of sovereignty,” he said.

Without mentioning Russia or China by name, he said that “we must reject threats to sovereignty, from the Ukraine to the South China Sea.”

The United States and its allies have accused Russia of illegally seizing the Crimean peninsula and backing an armed insurgency in eastern Ukraine, and have sought to counter China as it builds up disputed islands and shoals in the resource-rich South China Sea.

“I will always put America first, just like you, as the leaders of your countries, will always and should always put your countries first,” Trump said to scattered applause. The nation-state, he added, “remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition.”

Insisting the United States would be a “great friend to the world,” Trump added, “We can no longer be taken advantage of or enter into a one-sided deal where the United States gets nothing in return.”

Trump has used that argument to try to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, to announce plans to withdraw from the 200-nation Paris agreement on climate change and to refuse to support an 11-nation trans-Pacific trade agreement.

He also renewed hints that he would withdraw from the landmark nuclear disarmament deal with Iran, which he called “a corrupt dictatorship” and “a murderous regime.”

The 2015 deal, which eased international sanctions in exchange for Iran's destroying or dismantling its nuclear development infrastructure, was blessed by the U.N. Security Council and is monitored by a U.N. nuclear watchdog agency.

“We cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program,” Trump said.

He called it “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into” and “an embarrassment to the United States. And I don't think you've heard the last of it, believe me.”

The Trump administration faces an October 15th deadline to certify to Congress that Iran is complying with its obligations under the deal. If Trump refuses, Congress will have 60 days to decide whether to reimpose nuclear-related sanctions, in effect breaking the U.S. part of the agreement.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson conceded this weekend that Tehran is in “technical compliance,” but he accused it of fostering instability across the Middle East that he said violated a preamble of the accord.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed Trump's comments in a tart tweet Tuesday.

“Trump's ignorant hate speech belongs in medieval times-not the 21st Century UN — unworthy of a reply. Fake empathy for Iranians fools no one,” he wrote.

Some domestic critics also weighed in. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (Denicrat-New Hampshire), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Trump's “over-the-top rhetoric” won't stop North Korea from expanding its nuclear arsenal. She also criticized Trump for not taking on Russia and China in his comments.

“Absence of constructive American leadership in these areas will only encourage Russia, China and others to fill the void,” she said.

Neither Russian President Vladimir Putin nor Chinese President Xi Jinping attended the General Assembly. Trump spoke by phone with Xi on Monday morning and later praised their “very, very fine relationship,” according to the White House.

Any U.S. president's first U.N. speech would merit global attention. Trump's garnered unusual interest because of his unpredictable policies and because he fired barb after barb at the U.N. during his campaign, calling it wasteful, useless and ineffective.

That criticism seemed distant history on Tuesday afternoon when Trump offered a generous toast to what he called the “great, great potential of the United Nations” at a luncheon that Guterres hosted for 200 presidents, prime ministers, monarchs and diplomats in a ballroom at the U.N.

“The potential of the United Nations is unlimited,” Trump said. “I've met your representatives, and I know you well. You are going to do things that will be epic, and I certainly hope you will. But I feel very, very confident.”


Los Angeles Times staff writers Tracy Wilkinson reported from the United Nations and Noah Bierman from Washington.

• Tracy Wilkinson has covered wars, crises and daily life on three continents. Her career began with United Press International, where she covered the Contra war in Nicaragua. She moved to the Los Angeles Times in 1987, first as a writer on the Metro staff, then as a foreign correspondent based in San Salvador. In 1995, she moved to Vienna, where she covered the war in the Balkans, winning the George Polk Award in 1999, and then to Jerusalem. From there, she went to Rome, where she covered two popes and did several stints in Iraq. In 2008, she became Mexico bureau chief, where her coverage was part of a team Overseas Press Club Award and a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. Wilkinson was also the 2014 winner of the Maria Moors Cabot Award for coverage of Latin America. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University. Her book The Vatican's Exorcists: Driving Out the Devil in the 21st Century has been translated into a dozen languages. She joined the L.A. Times' Washington, D.C., bureau in 2015 to cover foreign affairs.

• Noah Bierman covers the White House in Washington, D.C. for the Los Angeles Times. Before joining the newspaper in 2015, he worked for The Boston Globe in both Boston and Washington, covering Congress, politics and transportation in the immediate aftermath of the Big Dig. He has also reported on higher education, crime, politics and local government for the Miami Herald, the Palm Beach Post and the Duluth (Minnesota) News-Tribune. Bierman is a native of Miami who attended Duke University.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Read President Trump's full remarks at the U.N. General Assembly, annotated


http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-fg-trump-un-speech-20170919-story.html
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2017, 09:58:47 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Will Trump's ‘Rocket Man’ speech lead us to war?

“Trump's conflicting messages won't increase Kim Jong Un's interest in negotiating a deal.”

By DOYLE McMANUS | 3:00AM PDT - Wednesday, September 20, 2017

THE ostensible purpose of President Trump's speech at the United Nations on Tuesday was to explain to the world why “America First” is an idea other countries should embrace. It was to be “a deeply philosophical address,” a White House official promised. Instead, the speech will inevitably be remembered for just two words: “Rocket Man” — Trump's derisive nickname for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Never mind grand strategy. Trump made sure the media's favorite soundbite would be a schoolboy taunt and a threat of mass annihilation.

“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime,” the president told the world's diplomats. “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

The problem with Trump's threat wasn't only the juvenile language he chose, or that it inevitably distracted attention from the rest of his message. His taunt, far from serving an underlying strategy, was probably counterproductive.

Ridiculing Kim Jong Un is "more likely to persuade North Korea to increase its nuclear weapons and missiles than limit them or give them up,” warned Richard Haass of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Successful diplomatic negotiators usually take pains to treat their adversaries with respect and provide them a dignified way to retreat from their original positions. That often means offering positive incentives as well as threats, carrots as well as sticks.

Trump didn't do any of that. He said the only way for North Korea to defuse the crisis was to give up its entire nuclear program. He offered no guarantee that the regime would be secure if it took that risky step (although his secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has said the United States does not seek regime change). Trump made a maximum demand, added a maximum threat and tossed in a gratuitous insult.

That approach may have worked in New York real estate, but it's less likely to succeed against a deeply suspicious sovereign state with nuclear weapons.

Oh, yes: sovereignty. That was supposed to be the president's “deeply philosophical” theme. Trump called repeatedly for a world of “strong, sovereign nations” in which each country would defend its own interests — a universal version of “America First”.

“We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone,” he promised. “We want harmony and friendship, not conflict and strife. We are guided by outcomes, not ideology.”

But he added an important caveat. He said every government has two “sovereign duties”: to refrain from threatening other countries, and to “respect the interests of their own people.”

And he listed countries that apparently don't deserve all the benefits of sovereignty, because they've broken one of those rules.

One, of course, was North Korea, whose nuclear program threatens its neighbors. That's an easy case.

But he also denounced Venezuela, because its socialist government “has inflicted terrible pain and suffering on [its] good people…. This situation is completely unacceptable.”

And he denounced Iran, not only for interfering in other countries, but also for repressing its own citizens.

“Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever,” he warned, and hinted, again, that the United States might walk away from the 2012 agreement under which Iran halted its nuclear program.

Sovereignty for me, in other words, but maybe not for thee.

In the case of Iran, Trump has now threatened to abandon a six-nation nuclear agreement his predecessor made, and added that a change of regime in Tehran would be a good idea, too. Why should North Korea expect better treatment? Those conflicting messages won't increase Kim Jong Un's interest in negotiating a deal.

Perhaps Trump's real target, though, was China. The president's strategy has been to press leader Xi Jinping to impose tough sanctions on North Korea, and to warn that war is inevitable if diplomacy fails. So far, it hasn't worked. Xi has politely promised co-operation, but in practice he's acting as if he doesn't think Trump will pull the trigger.

“China's strategic priorities are just different from those of the United States,” Stewart M. Butler, a former State Department strategist, observed. “It's hard to know how much more leverage we can get them to bring to bear.”

“Rocket Man” isn’t likely to impress Beijing, either. Insults are no longer their diplomatic style. They're more interested in predictability and stability.

Trump may think he's backing North Korea and China into a corner, but he risks backing himself into one at the same time. If North Korea crosses the “red line” the president has drawn — putting a nuclear warhead on a long-range missile — his bluff will have been called. And then he will face two bad outcomes: Back down or go to war. If the result is war, a war the United States doesn't want to fight, Tuesday's “Rocket Man” speech will be remembered as one of the steps that took us there.


• Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, has reported on national and international issues from Washington for more than 30 years. His twice-weekly column appears in the L.A. Times and other newspapers nationwide. McManus is a four-time winner of the National Press Club's Edwin Hood Award for reporting on U.S. foreign policy, most recently for articles on the U.S. occupation of Iraq. From 1996 to 2008, he was the L.A. Times' Washington bureau chief, leading a team of reporters and editors that was recognized as one of the nation's best news operations. He is coauthor of three books, including Landslide: The Unmaking of the President 1984-88, named one of the notable books of 1988 by The New York Times. McManus joined the Los Angeles Times in 1978 after three years as a foreign correspondent for United Press International. He reported for the newspaper from Los Angeles, Beirut, Tehran and Central America before moving to Washington, where he served as State Department correspondent and White House correspondent. He has also written for Foreign Policy, TIME, Sports Illustrated and the London Daily Express. McManus was born in San Francisco, graduated from Stanford University and was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Brussels. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and a former member of Stanford's board of trustees. He lives in Maryland with his wife, Paula Copeland McManus; they have three grown daughters.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • EDITORIAL: Trump gives the world a needlessly offensive campaign speech at the U.N.


http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-mcmanus-north-korea-rocket-man-20170920-story.html
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2017, 09:58:58 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Iran pushes back on Trump's U.N. attack

By TRACY WILKINSON, BRIAN BENNETT and LAURA KING | 2:30PM PDT - Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani fired back at President Trump at the United Nations on Wednesday. — Photograph: Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani fired back at President Trump at the United Nations on Wednesday.
 — Photograph: Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press.


IRAN fired back sharply at President Trump at the United Nations on Wednesday, dismissing what it called “ignorant, hateful and absurd rhetoric” and challenging his threats to tear up the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

A day after Trump denounced Iran as a “rogue state” to the U.N. General Assembly, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stood before the same gathering of global leaders and diplomats, and aimed the insult back at him.

“It would be a great pity if this agreement were to be destroyed by rogue newcomers to the world of politics,” Rouhani said of the nuclear accord.

The disarmament deal “belongs to the international community in its entirety, and not only to one or two” governments, he said.

President Obama had argued that the U.N.-approved accord would destroy Iran's ability to build nuclear weapons in exchange for lifting economic sanctions. Over the last two years, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, has repeatedly found Iran is complying with the pact.

But Obama also hoped that easing sanctions would draw Iran more into global trade and other systems, ending more than three decades of enmity and isolation, much as China has emerged as a major power.

The latest bitter tit-for-tat at the U.N. lectern shows how U.S.-Iranian relations remain as estranged as ever, with both sides leveling angry charges on the global stage. It comes as Trump simultaneously is trying to convince North Korea to give up its nuclear arms through negotiations or face annihilation.

Trump said on Wednesday he has made a decision on whether he will certify to Congress by an October 15th deadline that Iran is complying with the nuclear deal, as he already has done twice this year. But he refused to say what he has decided.

“I have decided,” Trump said three times in response to shouted questions from reporters before he met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at a hotel near the U.N. When pressed further, he smiled and said, “I'll let you know.”

As recently as Tuesday, administration officials were preparing options for Trump to consider before next month's deadline. As a candidate he had vowed to abandon the deal, but Secretary of State Rex Tillerson conceded this weekend that Iran is in “technical compliance”.

Senior White House aides are divided on whether to pull out of the agreement or stay in it for fear that withdrawal would cause deep divisions with U.S. allies, and potentially allow Iran to resume the very nuclear program it was designed to stop.

Several of Trump's close advisors have tried to convince him to stay for now to give them time to work with allies to toughen some terms of the agreement.

French President Emmanuel Macron in particular has been working with other European leaders on adding additional measures. He said he had urged Trump in a meeting on Monday to stay in the deal.

“I don't understand what the substitute plan is,” Macron told reporters on Tuesday. “If we simply throw away this agreement we can't replace it.”

If Trump withholds certification — which he has hinted strongly he will — Congress will have 60 days to decide if U.S. sanctions related to Iran's nuclear program should be put back in place.

That would effectively end the U.S. side of the deal. It's less clear if it would destroy the accord since it also was negotiated by France, Britain, Russia, China and Germany, and none of those governments supports ripping it up.

Trump excoriated Iran in his debut address to the General Assembly on Tuesday.

“The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy,” he said. He called it “an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos.”

He accused Iran of supporting militants in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon, expanding its ballistic missile programs, and pursuing “death and destruction” in the Middle East.

“We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles,” he said. “And we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program.”

He all but called for regime change in Tehran, saying “the good people of Iran want change and, other than the vast military power of the United States, Iran's people are what their leaders fear the most.”

Rouhani also minced no words in his address on Wednesday.

Without mentioning Trump by name, the Iranian leader decried “ignorant, absurd and hateful rhetoric” delivered in the chamber a day earlier.

He singled out “the new U.S. administration” in saying it would destroy its own credibility by abrogating international agreements.

Rouhani, who won a second presidential term earlier this year, said Iran would not be the first to violate the agreement, but that it would take unspecified steps if others did so.

“We never threaten anyone, but we do not tolerate threats from anyone,” he said. “We believe in dialogue based on equal footing and mutual respect.”

Trump also used his U.N. speech to threaten to “totally destroy” North Korea if an attack is warranted, and again mocked its leader Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man … on a suicide mission for himself and his regime.”

At the Pentagon, asked about Trump's “Rocket Man” comment, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis emphasized diplomacy.

“We are dealing with the North Korea situation through the international process, and we will continue to do so,” Mattis told reporters. “Secretary [of State Rex] Tillerson is leading the effort, and we will hopefully get this resolved through diplomatic means.”


Tracy Wilkinson and Brian Bennett reported from the United Nations and Laura King reported from Washington.

• Tracy Wilkinson has covered wars, crises and daily life on three continents. Her career began with United Press International, where she covered the Contra war in Nicaragua. She moved to the Los Angeles Times in 1987, first as a writer on the Metro staff, then as a foreign correspondent based in San Salvador. In 1995, she moved to Vienna, where she covered the war in the Balkans, winning the George Polk Award in 1999, and then to Jerusalem. From there, she went to Rome, where she covered two popes and did several stints in Iraq. In 2008, she became Mexico bureau chief, where her coverage was part of a team Overseas Press Club Award and a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. Wilkinson was also the 2014 winner of the Maria Moors Cabot Award for coverage of Latin America. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University. Her book The Vatican's Exorcists: Driving Out the Devil in the 21st Century has been translated into a dozen languages. She joined the L.A. Times' Washington, D.C., bureau in 2015 to cover foreign affairs.

• Brian Bennett covers the White House for the Los Angeles Times and writes about national security and immigration as well. Since starting in the L.A. Times Washington bureau in 2010, he has documented a pattern of excessive force by U.S. Border Patrol agents and revealed the first arrest on U.S. soil using a Predator drone. He reported for TIME magazine starting in Hong Kong in 2000, from Pakistan and Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks and was its Baghdad bureau chief in 2003 and 2004. A native of Riverside, California, he misses being able to pick avocados and oranges in the backyard.

• Laura King has been a Washington, D.C.-based global affairs correspondent since 2016. She was most recently the Los Angeles Times bureau chief in Cairo, and served previously as bureau chief in Kabul and Jerusalem. Before joining the L.A. Times, she was a correspondent for the Associated Press in Washington, Tokyo, Jerusalem and London, covering conflicts in the Balkans and the Mideast. King is a graduate of UC Davis and holds a master's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. She was a 1997 Nieman Fellow at Harvard and a fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University in 2013. In 2016, King was a co-recipient of an Overseas Press Club award for coverage of the Syrian refugee crisis.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-fg-un-iran-trump-20170920-story.html
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2017, 09:59:53 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Kim Jong Un says ‘mentally deranged’ Trump will
‘pay dearly’ for threat against North Korea


By JONATHAN KAIMAN | 7:45PM PDT - Thursday, September 21, 2017

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un described President Trump as “a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire”. — Photographs: Wong Maye-E (left), Pablo Martinez Monsivais (right)/Associated Press.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un described President Trump as “a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire”.
 — Photographs: Wong Maye-E (left), Pablo Martinez Monsivais (right)/Associated Press.


NORTH KOREA's supreme leader Kim Jong Un escalated a dangerous war of words between Pyongyang and Washington on Friday, calling President Trump a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” and warning that the U.S. will “face results beyond his expectation.”

Kim, in an exceptionally rare, 500-word statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency, personally hit back against Trump's speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

In the speech, Trump called Kim “Rocket Man” and vowed to “totally destroy” North Korea if the U.S. were forced to defend itself or its allies. In August, Trump had said that if Pyongyang continued to threaten the U.S., North Korea “will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Kim criticized Trump's U.N. speech for worsening North Korea-U.S. tensions, according to the statement. He added that U.S. president “is arousing worldwide concern.”

“After taking office Trump has rendered the world restless through threats and blackmail against all countries in the world,” Kim continued. “He is unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician.”

Trump's remarks have convinced Kim “that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last,” he said.

Kim presided over North Korea's largest nuclear test on September 3rd amid harsh U.N. sanctions and a chorus of international censure. He has launched dozens of missiles in pursuit of the technical ability to strike the continental U.S. with a nuclear-tipped warhead.

Although North Korean state media refer to Kim constantly, they rarely carry full statements in his name. Analysts said the statement underscores North Korea's concern that the U.N. served as the platform for Trump's remarks, despite the country's often-belligerent rhetoric.

“It's quite significant [to North Korea] that the U.S. president made these remarks officially before the international community,” said John Delury, a professor at Yonsei University in Seoul. “That setting is meaningful. I think Kim Jong Un himself and the North Koreans themselves thought, ‘This requires a different kind of response’.”

“Don't forget there's a domestic context to that speech,” he continued. “Kim is speaking to an international audience, but he's also speaking to a domestic audience. He's saying, ‘This guy just threatened to totally destroy us — to destroy you, North Korea. And I'm not gonna stand for it’.”

North Korea's ambassador to the U.N., Ja Song Nam, reportedly protested Trump's U.N. speech by leaving the room.

North Korea's foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, will give a speech at the U.N. on Friday. “If [Trump] was thinking he could scare us with the sound of a dog barking, that's really a dog dream,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

Ri was then asked about “Rocket Man” — Trump's new nickname for Kim.

“I feel sorry for his aides,” he responded.


Jonathan Kaiman reported from Beijing.

• Jonathan Kaiman is the Los Angeles Times' Beijing bureau chief. He was previously a correspondent for The Guardian, a freelance writer and a Fulbright scholar researching folklore in China's rural southwest. He graduated from Vassar College.

http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-north-korea-kim-jong-un-trump-20170921-story.html
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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2017, 10:00:13 pm »


from The Guardian....

Japan braces as North Korea threatens hydrogen bomb test in Pacific

Kim Jong-un warns ‘deranged’ Trump he will ‘pay dearly’ for North Korea threats.
Kim says he is ‘thinking hard’ about response to Trump’s warnings.


By JUSTIN McCURRY and JULIAN BORGER | 7:31AM BST - Friday, 22 September 2017

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un reads out his statement on state TV. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency.
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un reads out his statement on state TV. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency.

JAPAN must brace itself for the possible launch of a nuclear-armed North Korean missile over its territory if the regime carries out a threat to test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean, Japan's defence minister has warned.

Itsunori Onodera said such a test could involve a nuclear device mounted on a medium-range or intercontinental ballistic missile.

“We cannot deny the possibility it may fly over our country,” Onodera said, hours after the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, said Donald Trump would “pay dearly” for threatening to destroy his regime.

The prospect of a major escalation in tensions in the region rose after North Korea's foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, said Pyongyang could respond to Trump's recent threat of military action by testing a powerful nuclear weapon in the Pacific.

Ri, who is due to address the UN general assembly at the weekend, told reporters in New York: “It could be the most powerful detonation of an H-bomb in the Pacific. We have no idea about what actions could be taken as it will be ordered by leader Kim Jong-un.”

Earlier, in an unprecedented personal statement, Kim said that he was considering retaliating at the “highest level” after Trump warned that the US would “totally destroy North Korea” if Washington was forced to defend itself or its allies.

Earlier this month, North Korea detonated a powerful hydrogen bomb at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the north-east of the country. The explosion caused a 6.3 magnitude earthquake that was felt over the Chinese border in Yanji.

Testing a nuclear device beyond its own borders would mark a major escalation in tensions over the regime's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programmes.

Analysts said a nuclear test involving a missile could be “truly terrifying” if something goes wrong.

An atmospheric nuclear test of the kind that has only ever been conducted by the US and China could pose a risk to aircraft and shipping, even if the North declares a keep-out zone, according to Vipin Narang, a nuclear strategy expert at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“And if the test doesn't go according to plan, you could have population at risk, too,” Narang added. “We are talking about putting a live nuclear warhead on a missile that has been tested only a handful of times. It is truly terrifying if something goes wrong.”

Speculation is growing that North Korea will add to its robust verbal response to Trump's UN speech on Tuesday with a military provocation, possibly a test of a Hwasong-14 missile, which is theoretically capable of reaching Hawaii and Alaska.

Chung Sung-yoon, an analyst at the Korea Institute for National Unification, said there was a “very high possibility” that Kim would follow through with a provocation of some sort.

While the North has claimed it is able to mount a miniaturised nuclear weapon on a missile, the regime has yet to offer definitive proof.

The US and Japan have warned they will shoot down any missile they consider a threat to Japanese territory.

Monitoring groups estimate that the nuclear test conducted in North Korea this month — its sixth and largest — had a yield of 250 kilotons, which is 16 times the size of the US bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.

In a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Kim called Trump “mentally deranged” and warned him that he would “pay dearly” for issuing threats to the regime during his maiden UN general assembly speech on Tuesday.

Describing the president as “a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire”, Kim drew a critical comparison between Trump and his predecessors in the White House, calling him unfit to hold the position of commander in chief.

“Far from making remarks of any persuasive power that can be viewed to be helpful to defuse tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors.”

In a combative speech, Trump warned he would “totally destroy” North Korea if it attacked the US or its allies, and called on other countries to cut the regime off from its sources of funds.

“The mentally deranged behaviour of the US president openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to ‘totally destroy’ a sovereign state … makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure,” Kim said.

The North Korea leader is thought to be the first of three generations of the Kim dynasty to publicly read out a statement aimed at the international community in his own name.

South Korea's unification ministry said neither Kim's father, Kim Jong-il, nor his grandfather — and North Korean founder — Kim Il-sung, had issued a similar statement.

Kim said Trump's remarks had convinced him “that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last”.

He added that he was “thinking hard” about his response, but vowed that Trump would “pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying” North Korea.

“Action is the best option in treating the dotard, who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say,” he said.

“Now that Trump has denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of a war in history that he would destroy [North Korea], we will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history.”

His lengthy criticism of Trump ended: “I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire.”

The statement came just hours after Trump issued a new executive order that expands US sanctions on North Korea’s shipping, banking, ports and manufacturing. Trump also claimed China's banking system had shut down business with the country.

Reuters reported earlier in the day that China's central bank had ordered financial institutions to implement UN sanctions rigorously after frequent complaints from Washington that Beijing was leaving open too many loopholes.

Trump thanked China's president Xi Jinping and said the move was “very bold” and “somewhat unexpected”.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Chinese government that it had imposed a financial embargo on North Korea. If confirmed, it would represent a significant tightening of the economic noose around the Pyongyang regime, by a country which accounts for 90% of its trade.

But it is unclear whether any amount of financial or economic pain would induce Kim Jong-un to relinquish North Korea's nuclear weapons and missiles, which he believes are essential for the regime's survival.

Trump announced the new executive order during a working lunch with his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, and Shinzō Abe, the Japanese prime minister.

“Our new executive order will cut off sources of revenue that fund North Korea's efforts to develop the deadliest weapons known to humankind,” Trump said. “The order enhances the treasury department's authorities to target any individual or entity that conducts significant trade in goods, services, or technology with North Korea.”

Under the new measures, no ship or aircraft can visit the US within 180 days of going to North Korea. The same restriction would apply to any vessel involvement in ship-to-ship transfers with North Korean vessels. The order gives the US Treasury the power to sanction anybody involved in a wide variety of North Korean industries, ports, trade, and banking.

“Foreign financial institutions must choose between doing business with the United States or facilitating trade with North Korea or its designated supporters,” a White House statement said.

“To prevent sanctions evasion, the order also includes measures designed to disrupt critical North Korean shipping and trade networks,” he said. “For much too long, North Korea has been allowed to abuse the international financial system to facilitate funding for its nuclear weapons and missile programs.”

On the same day, the EU announced new sanctions of its own, including a ban on investment in North Korea and on EU exports of oil. The impact will be minimal, as trade and investment relations between North Korea and EU are tiny.


Justin McCurry reported from Tokyo and Julian Borger from New York.

• Justin McCurry is The Guardian's Tokyo correspondent.

• Julian Borger is The Guardian's world affairs editor. He was previously a correspondent in the US, the Middle East, eastern Europe and the Balkans. His book on the pursuit and capture of the Balkan war criminals, The Butcher's Trail, is published by Other Press.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • ‘A rogue’ and a ‘dotard’: Kim Jong-un's statement on Trump in full

 • Trump issues new sanctions on North Korea and claims China is following


https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/21/kim-jong-un-trump-north-korea-threats
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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2017, 07:26:42 am »

Yup..Trump needs to bring this farce to an end ...one way or another....we can't let this idiot become more dangerous to the countries around him..

"Reuters reported earlier in the day that China's central bank had ordered financial institutions to implement UN sanctions rigorously after frequent complaints from Washington that Beijing was leaving open too many loopholes."

..good to see China obeying Trump's orders..😉
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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2017, 09:07:11 am »

And the prize for most fucked up hairstyle goes to....
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« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2017, 11:32:41 am »

Haha..yeah...reminds me of a puffer fish....his fat face looks like it's about to explode...



......jeeeezzz I wish it would😜
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« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2017, 04:23:00 pm »


from The Washington Post....

In defiance to US, Iran unveils latest missile during parade

By AMIR VAHDAT - Associated Press | 7:04AM EST - Friday, September 22, 2017

Iran's Khoramshahr missile is displayed by the Revolutionary Guard during a military parade marking the 37th anniversary of Iraq's 1980 invasion of Iran, in front of the shrine of late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, just outside Tehran, Iran, on Friday, September 22nd, 2017. Iran's Revolutionary Guard has unveiled its latest ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers — about 1,250 miles— capable of reaching much of the Middle East, including Israel. — Photograph: Ebrahim Noroozi/Associated Press.
Iran's Khoramshahr missile is displayed by the Revolutionary Guard during a military parade marking the 37th anniversary of Iraq's 1980 invasion
of Iran, in front of the shrine of late revolutionary founder Ayatollah Khomeini, just outside Tehran, Iran, on Friday, September 22nd, 2017. Iran's
Revolutionary Guard has unveiled its latest ballistic missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers — about 1,250 miles— capable of reaching much of
the Middle East, including Israel. — Photograph: Ebrahim Noroozi/Associated Press.


TEHRAN, IRAN — Iran's Revolutionary Guard on Friday unveiled its latest ballistic missile capable of reaching much of the Middle East, including Israel, while the country's president vowed that Tehran would press ahead with its missile program in defiance of U.S. demands to the contrary.

The unveiling came during a military parade in Tehran that commemorated the 1980s Iraq-Iran war.

The move was a direct challenge to President Donald Trump, who in August signed a bill imposing mandatory penalties on those involved in Iran's ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them.

Though Iran has long boasted of having missiles in the same range in its arsenal, it was the first time that the Khoramshahr, with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) was displayed in public.

In February, Iran test-fired the same medium-range type of missile, prompting Trump to say that the United States is “putting Iran on notice”.

Trump has vowed repeatedly to take a tougher line toward Iran than his predecessor, threatening at various times to renegotiate or even dismantle the nuclear deal, and shoot Iranian boats out of the water if they provoke U.S. naval vessels in the Persian Gulf.

Friday's parade also showcased various Iranian army units and Revolutionary Guard forces, as well as the police. Similar parades were held in other Iranian cities.

Rouhani addressed the parade in Tehran, saying that Iran would not halt its missile program but continue to boost military capabilities, despite U.S. demands.

“We will strengthen our defense and military capabilities … whether you want it or not,” Rouhani said, a direct response to Trump's speech at the U.N. General Assembly this week.

Rouhani added that “Iran's military power lies in its commitment to never invade another country or land.”

He also said Tehran will keep supporting the “oppressed people of Yemen, Syria and Palestine” — a reference to Iran's role in the wars in Yemen and Syria and its support for Palestinian militant groups such as Hamas.

Tehran has backed Yemen's Shiite rebels known as Houthis against a U.S.-supported and Saudi-led coalition of mostly Arab states that seeks to return the internationally elected government to power in Yemen. In Syria, Iran is a close ally of President Bashar Assad.

In his speech at the United Nations, Trump accused Iran of supporting terrorists and called Tehran a “corrupt dictatorship” and a “murderous regime”.

Speaking a day later, Rouhani said the Iranian people are waiting for an apology from Trump for his “extremely offensive” rhetoric and “unfounded” allegations about Iran.

Rouhani afterward told a news conference that the Trump administration is seeking “an excuse” to pull out of the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement that capped Iran's nuclear activities in return for the lifting of international sanctions on Iran.

The deal, Rouhani said, is supported by his government and the five other parties — Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — that signed the agreement.

Not many details are known about Khoramshahr. The state-run IRNA news agency quoted chief of the Guard's airspace division, General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, as saying that the ballistic missile “can carry several warheads for various uses”. The agency did not provide further information.

Later on Friday, Iranians staged anti-Trump protest to show their anger over the U.S. president's speech. Thousands of worshippers marched after Friday prayers in Tehran, chanting “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.

State media said similar protests took place in other Iranian cities and towns.

On Thursday, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all major policies in Iran, said Trump's “cheap, ugly, foolish and unreal” remarks before the U.N. General Assembly were a sign of desperation. During a meeting with a clerical assembly, Khamenei said such comments “do not come from power, but from anger, desperation and weak-mindedness.”

The nuclear deal between Iran and world powers does not strictly prohibit Iran from developing missiles but after the deal came into effect last year, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution calling on Iran not to take any actions related to ballistic missiles “designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons” for eight years.

Iranian officials have argued that the measure only applies to missiles specifically designed to carry nuclear warheads.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/defiant-rouhani-says-iran-will-press-on-with-missile-program/2017/09/22/ac441fa4-9f63-11e7-b2a7-bc70b6f98089_story.html
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« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2017, 04:23:11 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

Aides warned Trump not to attack North Korea's leader personally
before his fiery U.N. address


By BRIAN BENNETT | 4:15PM PDT - Friday, September 22, 2017

Senior aides to President Trump repeatedly warned him not to deliver a personal attack on North Korea's leader at the United Nations this week, saying insulting the young despot in such a prominent venue could irreparably escalate tensions and shut off any chance for negotiations to defuse the nuclear crisis. — Photographs: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Senior aides to President Trump repeatedly warned him not to deliver a personal attack on North Korea's leader at the United Nations this week,
saying insulting the young despot in such a prominent venue could irreparably escalate tensions and shut off any chance for negotiations to
defuse the nuclear crisis. — Photographs: Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


SENIOR AIDES to President Trump repeatedly warned him not to deliver a personal attack on North Korea's leader at the United Nations this week, saying insulting the young despot in such a prominent venue could irreparably escalate tensions and shut off any chance for negotiations to defuse the nuclear crisis.

Trump's derisive description of Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man” on “a suicide mission” and his threat to “totally destroy” North Korea were not in a speech draft that several senior officials reviewed and vetted on Monday, the day before Trump gave his first address to the U.N. General Assembly, two U.S. officials said.

Some of Trump's top aides, including national security advisor H.R. McMaster, had argued for months against making the attacks on North Korea's leader personal, warning it could backfire.

But Trump, who relishes belittling his rivals and enemies with crude nicknames, felt compelled to make a dramatic splash in the global forum.

Some advisors now worry that the escalating war of words has pushed the impasse with North Korea into a new and dangerous phase that threatens to derail the months-long effort to squeeze Pyongyang's economy through sanctions to force Kim to the negotiating table.

A detailed CIA psychological profile of Kim, who is in his early 30s and took power in late 2011, assesses that Kim has a massive ego and reacts harshly and sometimes lethally to insults and perceived slights.

It also says that the dynastic leader — Kim is the grandson of the communist country's founder, Kim Il Sung, and son of its next leader, Kim Jong Il — views himself as inseparable from the North Korean state.

As predicted, Kim took Trump's jibes personally and especially chafed at the fact that Trump mocked him in front of 200 presidents, prime ministers, monarchs and diplomats at the U.N.

Kim volleyed insults back at Trump in an unprecedented personal statement on Thursday, calling Trump “a mentally deranged U.S. dotard” and a “gangster” who had to be tamed “with fire”.

Kim's foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho, threatened to respond with “the most powerful detonation,” a hydrogen bomb test in the Pacific Ocean, according to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency.

Trump lobbed another broadside on Friday, tweeting that Kim “is obviously a madman” who starves and kills his own people and “will be tested like never before.”

The clash may undermine Trump's other efforts on the sidelines of the General Assembly meetings.

He spent much of Thursday meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in an effort to carve out new ways to pressure Kim to freeze or roll back his nuclear program.

On Thursday, Trump announced new U.S. sanctions against other countries, foreign businesses and individuals that do business with North Korea, a move likely to chiefly affect China, Pyongyang's largest trading partner.

John Park, a specialist on Northeast Asia at Harvard's Kennedy School, said the tit-for-tat insults have created a “new reality” and probably have shut off any chance of starting talks to curb North Korea's fast-growing nuclear arms program.

“If the belief centers around sanctions being the last hope to averting war and getting North Korea back to the negotiating table, it's too late,” Park said.

Since taking office, Kim has pushed the nuclear and missile programs far faster than U.S. experts had expected, sharply accelerating the pace of development and tests. Kim has conducted four of the country's six nuclear tests.

U.S. officials now believe that North Korea has fully one-third of its economy invested in its nuclear and missile programs.

Trump and his senior aides say Kim has used foreign assistance, including trading subsidies from China, to offset such massive spending. They believe the latest U.S. sanctions, on top of the U.N. sanctions, will help choke off some of that income.

In recent months, Pyongyang has tested its first two intercontinental ballistic missiles, conducted an underground test of what it claimed was a powerful hydrogen bomb, and fired midrange ballistic missiles over northern Japan.

U.S. experts assess that North Korea is six to eight months away from building a small nuclear warhead robust enough to survive the intense heat and vibrations of an intercontinental ballistic missile crossing the Pacific and reaching the continental United States.

Given Kim's record of putting political rivals and dissenters to death, including members of his own family, his public statement blasting Trump makes it highly unlikely that other North Korean officials would participate in talks about ending the country's nuclear program, Park said.

“There is no one on the North Korean side who is going to entertain or pursue discussion about a diplomatic off-ramp, because that individual would be contradicting the leader, which is lethal,” Park said.

Trump has returned to rhetoric he'd used during the campaign, when he called Kim a “madman playing around with nukes” and a “total nut job”.

But Trump also praised Kim at the time, saying during a Fox News interview last year that Kim's “gotta have something going for him, because he kept control, which is amazing for a young person to do.”

The president has been fixated on the threat from Pyongyang since taking office.

Trump “rarely lets me escape the Oval Office without a question about North Korea,” CIA Director Mike Pompeo said in July at a national security forum in Aspen, Colorado. “It is at the front of his mind.”

But Trump also has expressed frustration at the failure of previous administrations to block North Korea's advances in ballistic missile and nuclear technology despite negotiations, sanctions, export controls, sabotage and other efforts.

President Clinton, and then President George W. Bush, engaged in two major diplomatic initiatives to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons efforts in return for aid. Both initiatives ultimately collapsed. President Obama reportedly tried cyber-sabotage.

Obama warned Trump before he took office that North Korea would be his most pressing international concern, and the new president was alarmed to learn how close Kim was to developing an intercontinental ballistic missile that could deliver a nuclear warhead to U.S. soil.

Despite all of that, Trump rarely derided Kim by name after he entered the White House.

In May, he said he'd be “honored” to meet Kim under the right circumstances.

In August, after U.S. intelligence analysts became convinced Pyongyang had miniaturized a nuclear warhead, Trump said the country would face “fire and fury” if it made more threats against the United States. But he stopped short of hurling personal insults.

Matthew Kroenig, a political scientist at Georgetown University and expert on nuclear deterrence, said Trump's threat this week to “totally destroy” North Korea comes out of the U.S. playbook for preventing a nuclear attack.

“The point is to deter a North Korean attack, and the art of deterrence hasn't changed,” he said in a phone interview on Friday. “It is to convince your adversary that the benefit of committing an attack would be outweighed by the costs.”

“That's what Trump was making clear — it is not in Kim Jong Un's interest to attack the U.S.,” Kroenig said.


Brian Bennett reported from Washington D.C.

• Brian Bennett covers the White House for the Los Angeles Times and writes about national security and immigration as well. Since starting in the L.A. Times Washington bureau in 2010, he has documented a pattern of excessive force by U.S. Border Patrol agents and revealed the first arrest on U.S. soil using a Predator drone. He reported for TIME magazine starting in Hong Kong in 2000, from Pakistan and Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks and was its Baghdad bureau chief in 2003 and 2004. A native of Riverside, California, he misses being able to pick avocados and oranges in the backyard.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Dotard’ rockets from obscurity to light up Trump-Kim exchange, spark partisan war of words


http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-fg-trump-northkorea-20170922-story.html
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« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2017, 04:23:21 pm »


from The Washington Post....

If Trump kills the Iran deal, he may give the world another Rocket Man

We know from N. Korea what happens when we walk away from these agreements.

By JEFFREY LEWIS | 5:13PM EDT - Friday, September 22, 2017

North Korea's nuclear program accelerated after a 1994 deal died. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency/European Pressphoto Agency/Agencia EFE.
North Korea's nuclear program accelerated after a 1994 deal died. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency/European Pressphoto Agency/Agencia EFE.

PRESIDENT TRUMP made quite the scene at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. He didn't bang his shoe, as Nikita Khrushchev did in 1960, or wear a pistol like Yasser Arafat in 1974. But in his own way, Trump unsettled the audience in the room and those watching on television with an extraordinary, bellicose speech.

The early headlines focused on his mocking of Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man” and his warning that the United States would “totally destroy North Korea” if provoked. But perhaps more worrisome was Trump's veiled threat to abandon the Iran nuclear deal, which he referred to as “an embarrassment” and “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into”. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani responded with a threat of his own: “If, under any conditions, the United States chooses to break this agreement … it means that our hand is completely open to take any action that we see as beneficial to our country.”

It's all very reminiscent of when the United States sought to walk away from a nuclear agreement with North Korea in 2002, squandering the best opportunity to forestall North Korea's nuclear program. And if Trump refuses to certify Iran as being in compliance with the deal by the next deadline, October 15th, the result may be the same: Another country with long-range nuclear weapons capable of striking the United States.

The deal made with Iran in 2015 is remarkably similar to the agreement negotiated with North Korea in 1994 — in its genesis, its concept and the political resistance it has met.

The stories begin with nuclear ambitions. In both cases, those ambitions were revealed through strong U.S. intelligence capabilities in tandem with International Atomic Energy Agency inspections. In both cases, the sensitivity of IAEA techniques, such as environmental sampling, caught the governments by surprise, revealing far more about their nuclear programs than Pyongyang and Tehran ever anticipated.

Both North Korea and Iran froze their nuclear programs when they came under international pressure. In hindsight, it's easy to see why. The programs were detected in their infancy, with no guarantee of technical success and every possibility that the United States would use its overwhelming conventional power to stop them.

There are some differences, of course. North Korea was pursuing a plutonium-based program, while Iran's main focus was on enriching uranium using centrifuges. The United States and North Korea negotiated an agreement quickly. The Agreed Framework was signed in Geneva in 1994, a scant two years after the crisis erupted. By contrast, concerns over Iran dragged on for years, with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed only in 2015 — 13 years after the revelation of covert facilities to enrich uranium.

Yet both agreements presented a similar fundamental bargain: lifting international isolation in exchange for a halt in weapons work. Both countries accepted international inspections. And both would be able to pursue peaceful uses of nuclear power, though under extraordinary safeguards.

The agreements produced parallel reactions in the United States, particularly among those who wanted to maintain international pressure on Pyongyang and Tehran for other reasons, such as concerns about their human rights records or the threats they posed to their neighbors. Senator John McCain (Republican-Arizona) called the agreement with North Korea “appeasement” — a term of abuse he defended in reference to the Agreed Framework and later to negotiations with Iran.

The agreements also suffered similar efforts at sabotage. Congressional Republicans fought against the United States fulfilling its commitments to North Korea, resulting in delayed deliveries of heavy fuel oil, just as congressional Republicans have pushed for the reimposition of certain sanctions and have attempted to discourage businesses from investing in Iran. The point was not the pain caused by late fuel shipments or the inconvenience of sanctions, but a determined effort to maintain the isolation of both countries.

Nor have opponents been above making false claims about non-compliance, right down to twin stories about underground nuclear facilities in both countries that turned out to be bunk.

Of course, neither agreement resolved all our problems with either country. Neither deal prohibited the development or testing of missiles, which presented an increasing threat to the United States and its allies. In North Korea, there were also indications of a secret uranium enrichment program purchased from Pakistan.

The Clinton administration attempted to address these problems through what was called the Perry Process — the notion that the Agreed Framework needed to be buttressed by additional diplomatic measures, starting with a verifiable end to North Korea's missile programs. President Bill Clinton came tantalizingly close to a missile deal before the chaos of the 2000 election derailed the agreement. This is, in fact, extraordinarily similar to the course of action that some Republicans have counseled for the Iran deal — although with partisanship being what it is, they surely would not appreciate the compliment.

The incoming George W. Bush administration initially seemed poised to pick up where Clinton left off. But when new intelligence suggested that North Korea's enrichment efforts were further along than previously believed, those in the new administration who opposed the agreement saw an opportunity. “This was the hammer I had been looking for,” John Bolton, who served as an undersecretary of state at the time, would write in his memoir, “to shatter the Agreed Framework”. The language is telling: Bolton and his allies always intended to walk away from the deal. In this way, too, the opposition to both agreements is the same. It is unyielding.

Of course, we know what happened. By October 2006, North Korea had resumed long-range missile tests that had been paused during the Perry Process and conducted its first nuclear explosion. The Bush administration seemed to realize that it had made a mistake (although it wouldn't admit as much). It proposed a stripped-down version of the Agreed Framework it had abandoned, including aspects that Bush had fiercely criticized: freezing North Korea's nuclear programs rather than immediately dismantling them and agreeing in principle to supply North Korea with a nuclear reactor for energy purposes.

The North Koreans may have been willing to trade away the possibility of nuclear weapons for promises of better relations. After the first nuclear weapons test, however, the window on denuclearizing North Korea began to close. Bush and then President Barack Obama each tried to reach an agreement with Pyongyang, but those efforts collapsed for many reasons that leave enough blame to go around.

It is far easier to persuade a country to abandon nuclear weapons it does not have. That is why the Obama administration threw itself into finding a solution to a not-yet-nuclear Iran. When asked about the festering problem of North Korea's nuclear weapons, the administration had little to offer other than to point to its efforts to stop Tehran from following suit.

And so here we are. Trump is faced with precisely the same choice as Bush — although with one important difference. Unlike North Korea, with its covert uranium enrichment program, Iran remains in compliance with the agreement signed in Vienna. The IAEA is absolutely clear on this fact, and Trump has twice certified that Iran is in compliance. And yet, like Bolton in 2002, there are those who are simply looking for a hammer.

Many administration officials must realize this would be a mistake. There is no possibility of renegotiating the agreement with Iran. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and others have stood by the president, making a public show of their dislike for the agreement while reportedly pressing Trump in private to retain it. This, too, is a familiar tale. During the Bush administration, Colin Powell employed the same mix of public criticism and private encouragement to preserve the Agreed Framework. But he was terribly wrong about his ability to influence the president. The deal collapsed, and today we have an arsenal of nuclear-armed North Korean missiles to show for it.

If Trump abandons the agreement with Iran, as he seems poised to do, there is every chance that the story ends in precisely the same way, with yet another state hostile to the United States bristling with nuclear-armed missiles. Really, one Rocket Man is enough, don't you think?


Jeffrey Lewis is a scholar at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/if-trump-kills-the-iran-deal-he-may-give-the-world-another-rocket-man/2017/09/22/703788ec-9e79-11e7-9083-fbfddf6804c2_story.html
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« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2017, 04:24:39 pm »





TALK  ABOUT  ENTERTAINMENT+,  TREV……


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« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2017, 04:27:15 pm »

Yeah...leftists will always choose to run away with their tale between their legs..OH-bummer did just that for 8 long years....good to have a president with balls now...."let's do this"😜
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« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2017, 04:30:35 pm »


WHAT?? Has life been a BUMMER for you for EIGHT LONG YEARS?

You have two choices....either get a length of rope and tie one end around the rafters in your shed and tie a noose on the other end of the rope so that it hangs about eight feet above the floor, then stand on a stool, put the noose around your neck and kick the stool away; or.....go and consult a therapist and get help!!
 
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« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2017, 04:34:31 pm »

You forgot the other option....get a job with kiwirail and be bored to death.....or become a moron....which did u choose🙄
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« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2017, 04:38:34 pm »

It's always right of centre governments that have to clean up the shit, after years of lefty governments pretending the danger isn't real.
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« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2017, 04:43:22 pm »

KTJ you really think the religious fascist regime of Iran is only interested in nuclear power generation?
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« Reply #17 on: September 23, 2017, 04:50:25 pm »


I would imagine Iran would like to have a deterrent against what happened to them on 22nd September 1980.....a massive, unprovoked brutal invasion of their country by Iraq.

If they'd had nuclear weapons, they could have stopped that invasion instantly and saved themselves more than a decade of extreme pain.

Does that answer your question?
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« Reply #18 on: September 23, 2017, 04:52:50 pm »


Oh, well....much as I thoroughly enjoy throwing shit at you two shit-for-brains (it's as easy as shooting fish in a barrel), I've got things to do, places to be, people to catch up with.

So I'll leave you two to mutually masturbate to your heart's content and say, “farewell for now!”
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WWW
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2017, 07:28:01 pm »

yeah fuck off pea brain
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Are you sick of the bullshit from the sewer stream media spewed out from the usual Ken and Barby dickless talking point look a likes.

If you want to know what's going on in the real world...
And the many things that will personally effect you.
Go to
http://www.infowars.com/

AND WAKE THE F_ _K UP
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« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2017, 07:56:55 pm »

OK so that means you believe Obama was a gullible dumbass in setting up the "safe" nuclear deal. I agree 😁
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« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2017, 10:00:28 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

In Alabama to boost Senator Luther Strange, Trump detours
to insult Kim Jong Un and defend himself


“We can't have madmen out there shooting rockets all over the place.”

By CATHLEEN DECKER | 8:50PM PDT - Friday, Septeber 22, 2017

President Trump is greeted by Alabama Senator Luther Strange at the Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville. — Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
President Trump is greeted by Alabama Senator Luther Strange at the Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville.
 — Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.


PRESIDENT TRUMP traveled to Alabama on Friday night to help out a Republican senator threatened by an insurgent GOP challenger. He departed having detailed a litany of woes of a president under siege.

The president continued his brash public feud with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, escalating the insults he has leveled at Kim this week but insisting, without details, that he would protect the American people from Kim's wrath.

“Little Rocket Man,” Trump dismissively termed Kim.

Trump recounted the 2016 presidential contest as if it ended last week rather than more than 10 months ago, denying any Russian involvement in his victory. The potential co-operation between Trump's campaign and the Russian government being investigated by a special counsel and House and Senate committees are simply a hoax, he said.

“No, Russia did not help me,” he said.

He expressed surprise at Senator John McCain's announcement that he would vote against the GOP's Obamacare repeal plan — although the Arizona Republican voted against the last one — but Trump insisted that eventually he would make good on that campaign promise to replace his predecessor's signature achievement.

“It's a little tougher without McCain's vote, but we're going to go back,” he said, although only eight days remain before the measure can no longer be passed in the Senate by a simple majority vote.

As for Senator Luther Strange, the man Trump came to Huntsville to pull over the finish line in Tuesday's special election? Trump repeatedly told his audience that Strange's effort had been fading until Trump endorsed him. He asserted four times that Strange did not kowtow to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other Republican leaders whose fundraising committees have poured millions into Strange's effort. And he suggested he would not be pleased if Strange lost.

“Again, I'm taking a big risk,” Trump said. “If Luther doesn't make it, they're going to go after me, Luther.”

Trump's speech closed a whirlwind week that saw Trump battle with North Korea from the podium of the United Nations and witness the path to success of his repeal-and-replace effort narrow with McCain's pledged “no” vote. It was not in Trump's plan to end the week simply.

He unleashed a sprawling 85-minute cacophony of topics with what often seemed to be a chilly anger — covering not only North Korea, Russia, healthcare and the Senate race, but also recent natural disasters, allegations that Hillary Clinton would have rounded up guns, the importance of loyalty, the national anthem protests by some NFL players, the league's concern about concussions and the Senate filibuster rule. Often, the subject was himself.

“I feel like I'm from Alabama, frankly,” Trump said. “Isn't it a little weird when a guy, who lives on Fifth Avenue in the most beautiful apartment you've ever seen, comes to Alabama and Alabama loves that guy? Crazy.”

The answer, he said, was shared values: “Those are the values that made this country. Those are the values that made this country great … I understand those values.”

Repeatedly, the president used profanity to get his point across, but it was his remarks about the North Korean leader, who has been exchanging insults with Trump while his aides threaten a nuclear test in the Pacific, that were the most surprising of the night. Trump referred to Kim as “Rocket Man” first in a tweet on Sunday and then on Tuesday at the U.N., a reference that U.S. officials had warned against.

“We can't have madmen out there shooting rockets all over the place,” Trump said in Huntsville. “And by the way, Rocket Man should have been handled a long time ago. He should have been handled a long time ago by Clinton — I won't mention the Republicans — by Obama…. This should have been handled eight years ago and four years ago, and honestly, and 15 years ago and 20 years ago and 35 years ago. This shouldn't be handled now, but I'm going to handle it because we have to handle it.”

Kim assumed power in North Korea in 2011 after the death of his father.

“Little Rocket Man, we're going to do it because we really have no choice,” Trump went on, detailing the “calamity” that would occur with a nuclear test over the Pacific.

“Maybe something gets worked out and maybe it doesn't,” he added. “But I can tell you one thing: You are protected, OK? You are protected. Nobody's going to mess with our people. Nobody is going to play games. Nobody is going to put our people in that kind of danger.”

The Russia investigation may have been on Trump's mind because of repeated developments this week centered on his onetime campaign manager Paul Manafort. The president did not mention Manafort on Friday, nor the investigators.

Trump turned to the subject after describing at length his “awe-inspiring” electoral victory.

“I call it the Russian hoax, one of the great hoaxes,” he said, then interrupted himself: “Actually, that's the thing. I was thinking about it that's the thing that the Democrats did best. They lost the election and they didn't know what happened, and they needed an excuse, so they said Russia.”

“Honestly, it's the thing they did best. They did a rotten job of running, but to convince people of this hoax, that was probably the thing they did best.”

Then, with some flair, he looked over the crowd and demanded: “Are there any Russians in the audience? I don't see too many Russians. I didn't see too many Russians in Pennsylvania” — the site of one of his surprise wins last November.

The visit to Alabama was calculated to transfer to Strange some of the popularity Trump has enjoyed in the state — and to tamp down divisions within the Republican Party that threaten to complicate the 2018 party primaries. The 6-foot-9 Strange, a former state attorney general, was appointed to the seat vacated this year by Trump's attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

“I am supporting ‘Big’ Luther Strange because he was so loyal & helpful to me!” Trump tweeted on Wednesday.

“Will be in Alabama tonight. Luther Strange has gained mightily since my endorsement, but will be very close. He loves Alabama, and so do I!” he tweeted on Friday morning.

But the president's support for Strange is part of an odd dynamic. Supporting Strange are Trump, McConnell and the GOP establishment in Washington. They are trying to defeat former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, the challenger who stylistically resembles Trump himself. But Trump allies have sided with Moore.

As Trump was preparing to fly to Alabama on Friday evening, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson released a statement of support for Moore, not the president's pick.

Carson invoked the president's own slogan in explaining his support.

“He is truly someone who reflects the Judeo-Christian values that were so important to the establishment of our country,” he said. “It is these values that we must return to in order to make America great again.”

Former White House senior strategist Stephen K. Bannon and former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, an early Trump supporter, also endorsed Moore. Bannon, who has returned to heading the Breitbart News website, and others are interested in running challengers against Republican incumbents they deem disloyal to Trump's original positioning as president. That could cause chaos, and rapidly escalate the cost, of GOP primaries next year, a time when establishment leaders would rather concentrate on picking up Democratic seats.

Moore appears to be a better match for the overall mood in the state. He became famous for refusing more than a decade ago to remove a monument featuring the Ten Commandments from the court offices. He lost his seat as a result, later regaining it only to resign after refusing to hew to court decisions legalizing same-sex marriage.

In his run for the Senate, he has lamented “spiritual wickedness in high places” and said varied societal ills were “a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins.” In a recent rally, he referred to Native Americans and Asian Americans as “reds and yellows.”

Strange's appointment gave him an advantage with some voters but a disadvantage with others. As the establishment candidate, he has carried the unpopularity of fellow senators such as McConnell.

Trump, in his remarks, telegraphed that the connection was a problem for Strange.

“He's not a friend of Mitch McConnell. He doesn't know Mitch McConnell, until just recently,” Trump said in one of several similar arguments. “He just got there.”

But as much as he pitched Strange's positives, Trump also focused on his own, offering an extensive litany of the accomplishments he said he had achieved over his tumultuous months in office.

“Every day, I am keeping my promises,” he said, as if urging others to focus on that, and not his more notable difficulties.


• Cathleen Decker analyzes politics for the Los Angeles Times, writing about the Trump administration and the themes, demographics and personalities central to national and state contests. In 2016 she covered her 10th presidential campaign; she has also covered seven races for governor and a host of U.S. Senate and local elections. She directed the L.A. Times' 2012 presidential campaign coverage.

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-alabama-20170922-story.html
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« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2017, 10:01:04 pm »


Hahaha....Trump is attempting to compensate for his tiny needle-dick (which goes which his tiny hands).
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« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2017, 03:00:57 pm »


from the Los Angeles Times....

North Korea foreign minister says Trump's insults make
rocket attack on U.S. ‘inevitable all the more’


By BARBARA DEMICK and W.J. HENNIGAN  | 4:50PM - Saturday, September 23, 2017

North Korean Minister for Foreign Affairs Ri Yong Ho speaks during the general debate of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly in New York. — Photograph: European Pressphoto Agency/Agencia EFE.
North Korean Minister for Foreign Affairs Ri Yong Ho speaks during the general debate of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly
in New York. — Photograph: European Pressphoto Agency/Agencia EFE.


NORTH KOREAN foreign minister Ri Yong Ho warned on Saturday that it is “inevitable” that his country will launch a missile toward the mainland United States in revenge for the insults President Trump has directed at leader Kim Jong Un.

“None other than Trump himself is on a suicide mission,” Ri said in a speech before the U.N. General Assembly — turning the tables on Trump's accusation that Kim is suicidal. The insults make “our rocket's visit to the entire U.S. mainland inevitable all the more.’’

On Tuesday, Trump had used the same forum to mock Kim as “Rocket Man” and warn that the U.S. would “totally destroy” North Korea if attacked.

The mudslinging continued in the same vein in Ri's speech. He taunted Trump as “President Evil” and called him a “mentally deranged person full of megalomania … who has turned the White House into a noisy marketplace full of crackling sounds.”

Earlier in the day, the Pentagon announced that American bomber and fighter jets flew along North Korea's eastern coastline in a predawn “show of force” that was closer to the rogue nation's border than any other mission this century.

Dana White, chief Pentagon spokeswoman, said in a statement on Saturday that U.S. B-1 bomber and F-15 fighter jets launched from airfields in the region and flew in international airspace over waters east of North Korea.

“This mission is a demonstration of U.S. resolve and a clear message that the president has many military options to defeat any threat,” White said. “North Korea's weapons program is a grave threat to the Asia-Pacific region and the entire international community.”

The Pentagon issued several photos of the sleek fighter and bomber jets streaking across the darkened sky toward the Korean Peninsula.

In his speech, which had been prepared in advance, Ri did not mention the flights, but he condemned tightened U.N. sanctions as “heinous and barbaric” and said they would not deter his country from developing nuclear weapons.

“We are finally only a few steps away from the final gate of completion of the state nuclear force,” Ri said.

Earlier in the week, Ri told reporters that North Korea could next conduct an atmospheric nuclear test over the Pacific — which would be a major escalation. All six of North Korea's previous nuclear tests have been underground. No nation has conducted an atmospheric nuclear test since China in 1980.

Although the hyperbolic volley of insults between the U.S. and North Korea leaders has been at times comical — the stilted North Korean rhetoric is easy to ridicule — the exchange is setting nerves on edge.

Kim Jong Un this week personally took to North Korean television to deliver a denunciation of Trump, whom he called a “dotard”. Trump tweeted a fresh attack against Kim on Friday night, calling him a “madman who doesn't mind starving or killing his people.”

The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, complained that Trump and Kim are behaving like “children in a kindergarten”.

“I'm nervous,’’ said Sue Mi Terry, a former CIA Korea analyst. “Kim Jong Un is known to be paranoid and thin-skinned.” She said Trump has laid down his challenge in a way that will make it difficult for the North Koreans to back down.

“I'm a hard-liner too when it comes to North Korea,” she added, “but you have to give them a way out. There is no path. This is a dangerous game to be playing.”


Barbara Demick reported from New York and W.J. Hennigan reported from Washington D.C.

• Barbara Demick is New York correspondent of the Los Angeles Times, formerly head of the bureaus in Beijing and Seoul. She is the author of Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea and Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood. Demick has won Britain's Samuel Johnson Award for best non-fiction, the George Polk Award and the Robert F. Kennedy Award, as well as the Osborn Elliot Prize for Journalism from the Asia Society and the Overseas Press Club, the American Academy of Diplomacy's Arthur Ross Award and Stanford University's Shorenstein Award for best Asia reporting. She has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. She was a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

• W.J. Hennigan covers the Pentagon and national security issues from the Washington, D.C., bureau of the Los Angeles Times. He has reported on war, counter-terrorism, and the lives of American service members from more than two dozen countries. He has earned awards from the National Press Club, the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, and was a contributor to the L.A. Times coverage of the terror attacks in San Bernardino that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2016. Previously, he covered the aerospace and defense industry from Los Angeles.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Amid war of words, U.S. warplanes fly near North Korea in a rare show of force

 • Aides warned Trump not to attack North Korea's leader personally before his fiery U.N. address

 • Dotard’ rockets from obscurity to light up the Trump-Kim exchange, sparking a partisan war of words in U.S.

 • Kim Jong Un says ‘mentally deranged’ Trump will ‘pay dearly’ for threat against North Korea


http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-fg-north-korea-foreign-minister-20170923-story.html
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« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2017, 03:03:49 pm »





Yep....the  BEST  ENTERTAINMENT  SHOW  ON  THE  PLANET,  TREV……


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