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China slams US policy on North Korea; calls it “an abysmal failure”

During tense call between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping China rejects US demands for oil embargo on North Korea

Alexander Mercouris

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US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke to each other over the telephone on Wednesday 29th November 2017 following North Korea’s ICBM test.

China’s official news agency Xinhua has provided an account of the call, which reads as follows:

Chinese President Xi Jinping told his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, in a telephone conversation late Wednesday that denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, maintaining international nuclear-nonproliferation regime, and preserving peace and stability in Northeast Asia are China’s unswerving goal.

He said China would like to keep up communications with the United States and all other related parties, and jointly push the nuclear issue towards the direction of peaceful settlement via dialogues and negotiations.

In response, Trump said the United States has serious concerns over the launch of a ballistic missile by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The DPRK’s Korean Central Television reported that the country successfully test-fired a newly developed Intercontinental Ballistic Missile early Wednesday morning, a move that has drawn condemnation from the international community.

Pyongyang said “The development and advancement of the strategic weapon of DPRK are to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country from the U.S. imperialists’ nuclear blackmail policy and nuclear threat, and to ensure the peaceful life of the people.”

It is the first launch since Sept. 15, when the DPRK fired a ballistic missile over northern Japan into the Pacific Ocean.

Trump said Washington highly values China’s important role in solving the nuclear issue, and is willing to enhance communications and coordinations with China in search for solutions to the issue.

Also in their phone talks, the Chinese leader said that during Trump’s visit to China earlier this month the two heads of state have exchanged in-depth views on key issues of common concerns and reached important consensuses on multiple fronts, which bears important significance for maintaining sound and stable bilateral ties.

Xi called on the two sides to carry out these consensuses, make good plans for high-level bilateral exchanges, as well as at other levels, ensure the second round talks under all four high-level China-U.S. dialogue mechanisms a success, and implement cooperation agreements and projects between the two countries.

He also urged the two sides to maintain close communications and coordination on important international and regional affairs.

To help soothe the Korean Peninsula situation, China has proposed a dual-track approach, seeking to advance denuclearization and establish a peace mechanism in parallel. Beijing, in its “suspension for suspension” initiative, calls on Pyongyang to pause its missile and nuclear activities, and calls on Washington to put its joint military drills with South Korea on hold.

In response to the DPRK’s missile launch, the United Nations Security Council will hold an urgent meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

Since November last year, the Security Council has imposed export bans on coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood, restricted joint ventures and blacklisted a number of DPRK’s entities in response to the country’s missile and nuclear tests.

It has also banned the hiring of DPRK’s guest workers and capped oil exports.

Under UN resolutions, DPRK is barred from developing missiles and a nuclear weapons capability, but Pyongyang argues that the arsenal is needed for self-defense against the “hostile” United States.

This official summary of the telephone conversation is a classic example of how China officially reports conversations by its President.  As such it requires careful reading to get a proper sense of what actually happened.

Firstly, the Xinhua report makes no reference to the longstanding US demand – repeated by Nikki Haley to the UN Security Council on Wednesday – that China impose an oil embargo on North Korea.

As it is inconceivable that President Trump did not bring up the subject of the oil embargo during the call, that can only mean that President Xi Jinping rejected it.

The Xinhua report suggests that in response to Trump’s demand for an oil embargo Xi Jinping reminded Trump of the extensive sanctions the UN Security Council has already imposed with China’s agreement on North Korea.  Note the careful way Xinhua lists them

Since November last year, the Security Council has imposed export bans on coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood, restricted joint ventures and blacklisted a number of DPRK’s entities in response to the country’s missile and nuclear tests.

It has also banned the hiring of DPRK’s guest workers and capped oil exports.

The Xinhua report also suggests that Xi Jinping reminded Donald Trump of North Korea’s security concerns – concerns which China recognises as fully legitimate (see below) – whilst reiterating to Trump that the North Korean ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programme is clearly – as North Korea says – defensive.  Note how carefully Xinhua reports North Korea’s statement following the ICBM test that North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons test is intended purely for self-defence

Pyongyang said “The development and advancement of the strategic weapon of DPRK are to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country from the U.S. imperialists’ nuclear blackmail policy and nuclear threat, and to ensure the peaceful life of the people.”….

The key point however about the Xinhua report is that it strongly implies that Trump threatened Xi Jinping with unilateral sanctions against Chinese companies if China did not comply with US demands for an oil embargo on North Korea.

The Xinhua report also says that Xi Jinping reminded Trump of the agreements for cooperation between the US and China which were reached during Trump’s visit to Beijing just a few weeks ago.  It seems that Xi Jinping pointedly reminded Trump that his threats of unilateral sanctions against Chinese companies were in total contradiction to these agreements

Also in their phone talks, the Chinese leader said that during Trump’s visit to China earlier this month the two heads of state have exchanged in-depth views on key issues of common concerns and reached important consensuses on multiple fronts, which bears important significance for maintaining sound and stable bilateral ties.

Xi called on the two sides to carry out these consensuses, make good plans for high-level bilateral exchanges, as well as at other levels, ensure the second round talks under all four high-level China-U.S. dialogue mechanisms a success, and implement cooperation agreements and projects between the two countries.

Lastly, it is clear from the Xinhua report that Xi Jinping warned Trump against unilateral US actions – whether against Chinese companies or against North Korea – reminded Trump of China’s proposal for a double-freeze (a halt to North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear tests in return for a halt to US military exercises and military deployments in and around the Korean Peninsula) and warned Trump that any and all steps taken by the US to resolve the North Korean issue should be agreed in advance with China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping told his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, in a telephone conversation late Wednesday that denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, maintaining international nuclear-nonproliferation regime, and preserving peace and stability in Northeast Asia are China’s unswerving goal.

He said China would like to keep up communications with the United States and all other related parties, and jointly push the nuclear issue towards the direction of peaceful settlement via dialogues and negotiations……

He also urged the two sides to maintain close communications and coordination on important international and regional affairs.

To help soothe the Korean Peninsula situation, China has proposed a dual-track approach, seeking to advance denuclearization and establish a peace mechanism in parallel. Beijing, in its “suspension for suspension” initiative, calls on Pyongyang to pause its missile and nuclear activities, and calls on Washington to put its joint military drills with South Korea on hold.

That this was a tense and difficult conversation, with Xi Jinping rejecting Donald Trump’s demand for an oil embargo on North Korea and Donald Trump in response threatening Xi Jinping with US sanctions against Chinese companies, is all but confirmed by an uncharacteristically furious editorial which was published shortly after by China’s semi-official English language newspaper Global Times.

This editorial lays the entire blame for the North Korean ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programme and for the whole crisis in the Korean Peninsula squarely on US intransigence and short-sightedness

Over the years Washington has repeatedly issued statements on how they will not hesitate to deploy measures necessary to end North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. Pyongyang’s contrarian responses have only accelerated their progress as achievements have been made along the way. Overall, North Korea’s progress has superseded Washington expectations.

It must be acknowledged that US foreign policy on North Korea has been nothing but an abysmal failure. When Washington first took the initiative to negotiate, they ignored Pyongyang security demands, essentially blowing an opportunity urging them to discontinue their nuclear weapons program. And right now, the Trump administration actually believes it can influence Pyongyang’s weapons program by applying greater pressure on the country. And as if that wasn’t enough, Washington is counting on China to support a new round of Trump administration pressure tactics.

(bold italics added)

These words essentially confirm that Donald Trump demanded from Xi Jinping that China impose an oil embargo on North Korea and threatened Xi Jinping with unilateral US sanctions against Chinese companies unless it did so.

As to that demand – and the threat which came with it – Global Times confirms that Xi Jinping rejected it

Washington has placed China in a precarious situation by asking for more than what was originally expected by the UN Security Council regarding the previous round of North Korea sanctions. China has always carried out UN Security measures, however, it will refuse extra responsibilities stemming from both sides.

It is time the US realized that increasing and tightening sanctions already in place will not have the desired effect. Since yesterday, Pyongyang has never been this confident. Condemnations from the UN Security Council and the new sanctions that may follow will solve nothing.

(bold italics added)

Interestingly, and in a sign of the close coordination between Beijing and Moscow on the North Korean issue, Global Times also repeats a recent Russian claim that the US threw away an opportunity to negotiate with North Korea during the two months prior to the ICBM launch when there were no North Korean ballistic missile or nuclear tests

During the previous two months, North Korea’s nuclear ambitions were practically dormant. The reason for such quiet might have been related to the necessary preparation for their recent launch. Or it could have been a message intended for the US designed to ease tension between the two countries.

Unfortunately, Washington chose not to adjust its course. On November 20, Trump redesignated North Korea as a state-sponsor of terror and imposed new sanctions on the country. If the only thing the US achieved was to ignite the wrath of Kim Jong-un.

Both sides need to see each other clearly. Washington should have learned by now that relying solely on pressure will not subdue North Korea.  Also, the US might want to take North Korea’s national security requests seriously from here on out.

(bold italics added)

These identical comments from Beijing and Moscow suggest that the Chinese and the Russians know a great deal more than they are saying.

I suspect that over the course of the recent talks in Moscow the North Koreans told the Russians that preparations for the next North Korean ICBM test were two months away, and that if the US was genuinely interested in compromise it should use this period to signal clearly that it was looking for a compromise.

If the North Koreans did say this to the Russians then the Russians would have passed it on to the Chinese and to the US.  However Washington ignored it, instead increasing the pressure on North Korea by declaring it a ‘terrorist state’ and imposing more sanctions on it, with the results that we now see.

As to what those results are, Global Times spells them out

Foreign experts analyzed data from the Hwasong-15 and found that a standard launch could see the missile travel 13,000 km (8,000 miles). This means North Korea now has a missile that can clear the entire US (Pyongyang to New York City is 6,672 miles).

The impression made by the Hwasong-15 test has been a confidence booster for Pyongyang. They have finally proven to themselves and to the world they now have the weapons capability to strike anywhere in the US.  Initial reports from the ICBM launch sent shockwaves through DC and US society….

Advances in nuclear weapons will never subside. Initially, the most important component of an intercontinental ballistic missile was how far it could travel. Now, the next stage will require advanced development in areas pertaining to mobility and protection.

In other words, by throwing away the opportunity to negotiate a compromise during the two months when the North Korean ballistic missile and nuclear weapons testing programme was dormant, the US has put itself in a weaker position and North Korea in a stronger position than they were in before.

That the conversation between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping was tense and fraught, and is the cause of great anger in Beijing, is further indicated by certain comments coming out of Moscow, which is clearly in constant touch with Beijing on this issue.  Here is how the official Russian news agency TASS reports these comments by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov

…..”Washington’s recent steps seem to be deliberately aimed at provoking Pyongyang to take some tough actions,” [Lavrov] noted. The US should openly say if its provocative actions are aimed at destroying North Korea, he said.

He pointed out that Washington “announced that large-scale unscheduled drills would held in December.” “It seems, they have done everything on purpose, to make [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-un lose control and make another desperate move,” he said. “The Americans need to explain to us all what they are actually up to. If they seek a pretext to destroy North Korea, they should openly say so and the US leadership should confirm it. Then we would decide how to respond,” the Russian top diplomat added.

Russia is against US proposals for an economic blockade of North Korea and believes the sanctions pressure has exhausted itself, he said.

“Our attitude (to the US proposals – TASS) is negative. We have said more than once that the sanctions pressure has in fact exhausted itself,” he said.

At the same time, Lavrov confirmed that Moscow did not support Washington’s initiatives concerning the economic blockade of North Korea and believed that the potential of sanctions had been exhausted. “Our attitude [towards the US initiatives – TASS] is negative. We have stressed many times that the potential of sanctions has actually been exhausted,” Lavrov said.

He pointed out that “all the resolutions imposing sanctions also demand that the political process and talks be resumed.” “But the US has been ignoring this demand. I think it is a huge mistake,” the Russian top diplomat noted.

(bold italics added)

These comments of Lavrov’s – especially the highlighted words – are very interesting, not just because they place the blame on the US for the whole crisis and because they clearly rule out an oil embargo, but because they hint that the US’s real intention towards North Korea is not to bring its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programme to an end but rather to achieve regime change in Pyongyang.

Back in August an editorial in Global Times warned that if the US attacked North Korea China would act by military means if necessary to defend North Korea.  Lavrov’s words about Russia effectively associate Russia with this Chinese warning.

The route to compromise over the North Korean ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programme is not closed.

Negotiations continue.  There was a big Russian delegation in Pyongyang at the time of the ICBM launch, undoubtedly as a follow up to the earlier meetings between Russian and North Korean diplomats in Moscow.

China also continues to pursue diplomacy with South Korea, and there is now no doubt that the Chinese and the Russians are working together.

However the latest words from Beijing and Moscow show that the Chinese and the Russians no longer see the primary obstacle to a compromise in Pyongyang.  Rather they see it in Washington, and they are adjusting their diplomacy accordingly.

What that means is that the US is becoming even more sidelined as the Chinese and the Russians search for a diplomatic solution by direct diplomacy with the two Koreas, which no longer involves the US.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

RT

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Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career

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Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.

 

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Why Joe May be Courting Stacey

Joe Biden has a history on compulsory integration dating back to the 1970s that Sen. Jesse Helms called “enlightened.”

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via The Unz Review:


Of 895 slots in the freshman class of Stuyvesant High in New York City, seven were offered this year to black students, down from 10 last year and 13 the year before.

In the freshman class of 803 at The Bronx High School of Science, 12 students are black, down from last year’s 25.

Of 303 students admitted to Staten Island Technical High School, one is African-American.

According to The New York Times, similar patterns of admission apply at the other five most elite high schools in the city.

Whites and Asians are 30 percent of middle school students, but 83 percent of the freshman at Bronx High School of Science, 88 percent at Staten Island Technical and 90 percent at Stuyvesant.

What do these numbers tell us?

They reveal the racial composition of the cohort of scientists and technicians who will lead America in the 21st century. And they tell us which races will not be well represented in that vanguard.

They identify a fault line that runs through the Democratic Party, separating leftists who believe in equality of results for all races and ethnic groups, and those who believe in a meritocracy.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has expressed anger and frustration at the under-representation of blacks and Hispanics in the elite schools. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature have ignored his pleas to change the way students are admitted.

Currently, the same test, of English and math, is given to middle school applicants. And admission to the elite eight is offered to those who get the highest scores.

Moreover, Asians, not whites, are predominant.

Though 15 percent of all middle school students, Asians make up two-thirds of the student body at Stuyvesant, with 80 times as many slots as their African-American classmates.

The egalitarian wing of the Democratic Party sees this as inherently unjust. And what gives this issue national import are these factors:

First, the recent scandal where rich parents paid huge bribes to criminal consultants to get their kids into elite colleges, by falsifying records of athletic achievement and cheating on Scholastic Aptitude Tests, has caused a wave of populist resentment.

Second, Harvard is being sued for systemic reverse racism, as black and Hispanic students are admitted with test scores hundreds of points below those that would disqualify Asians and whites.

Third, Joe Biden has a history on compulsory integration dating back to the 1970s that Sen. Jesse Helms called “enlightened.”

Here are Biden’s quotes, unearthed by The Washington Post, that reflect his beliefs about forced busing for racial balance in public schools:

“The new integration plans being offered are really just quota systems to assure a certain number of blacks, Chicanos, or whatever in each school. That, to me, is the most racist concept you can come up with.

“What it says is, ‘In order for your child with curly black hair, brown eyes, and dark skin to be able to learn anything, he needs to sit next to my blond-haired, blue-eyed son.’ That’s racist!

“Who the hell do we think we are, that the only way a black man or woman can learn is if they rub shoulders with my white child?

“I am philosophically opposed to quota systems. They insure mediocrity.”

That was 44 years ago. While those views were the thinking of many Democrats, and perhaps of most Americans, in the mid-’70s, they will be problematic in the 2020 primaries, where African-Americans could be decisive in the contests that follow Iowa and New Hampshire.

Biden knows that just as Bernie Sanders, another white male, fell short in crucial South Carolina because of a lack of support among black voters, he, too, has a problem with that most loyal element in the Democratic coalition.

In 1991, Biden failed to rise to the defense of Anita Hill when she charged future Justice Clarence Thomas with sexual harassment. In the Senate Judiciary Committee, he was a law-and-order champion responsible for tough anti-crime legislation that is now regarded as discriminatory.

And he has a record on busing for racial balance that made him a de facto ally of Louise Day Hicks of the Boston busing case fame.

How, with a record like this, does Biden inoculate himself against attacks by rival candidates, especially candidates of color, in his run for the nomination?

One way would be to signal to his party that he has grown, he has changed, and his 2020 running mate will be a person of color. Perhaps he’ll run with a woman of color such as Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost the 2018 governor’s race in Georgia.

An ancillary benefit would be that Abrams on the ticket would help him carry Georgia, a state Donald Trump probably cannot lose and win re-election.

Wrote Axios this morning:

“Close advisers to former Vice President Joe Biden are debating the idea of packaging his presidential campaign announcement with a pledge to choose Stacey Abrams as his vice president.”


Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

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