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Huawei and Europe’s 5G Conundrum

In a world marked by growing geopolitical rivalry between Washington and Beijing, American allies will increasingly face a stark choice between the two.

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Via The National Interest…


The recent controversy in the United States, Japan and Australia over the Chinese technology giant, Huawei, is also beginning to reverberate across Europe . Several European countries—including the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the Czech Republic —have all recently taken steps to scrutinize Huawei as they are preparing to hold auctions for awarding contracts to build out their respective 5G networks next year. Such steps are welcomed by Washington, which isactively pushing its allies and partners around the world to be more vigilant about Chinese 5G due to national security concerns.

In the UK, the country’s largest telecom provider, BT, has already announced plans to remove Huawei equipment from its existing networks. This is a far cry from the previous David Cameron government’s lax approach toward China. Even the screening mechanism it introduced, the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC), failed to provide complete assurances that all risks to British national security posed by Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s critical networks were “sufficiently mitigated.” Last summer, representatives of the “five eyes” (top intelligence chiefs for the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand) also decided to send strong warnings about risks presented by Huawei and ZTE, a state-owned Chinese telecommunications manufacturer.

In Germany as well, there are concerns around the Chinese National intelligence law, as the intelligence community fears that Huawei could be asked by the Chinese government to incorporate “backdoors” into their equipment, allowing access to encrypted data for spying or sabotage purposes. Deutsche Telekom has recently decided to review its vendor plans in light of recent debates of the security of Chinese network equipment whileFrance’s Orange has already severed ties with Huawei. Under the guidance of ANSSI (Agence Nationale de la Sécurité des Systèmes d’Information) , French security agencies have been warning ministers for over a decade about potential risks, barring Huawei from government contracts—despite very competitive offers from the Chinese manufacturer.

Yet, despite the recent uptick in the debate in Europe on Chinese 5G, many local providers are still working and testing with Chinese manufacturers, particularly Huawei. Huawei has signed MoUs with wireless providers in at least eight European countries andhas tested with local providers in at least twelve EU member states. Earlier this month, Portugal’s top wireless provider Altice signed a deal with Huawei to upgrade its networks to 5G.

Given this deep market penetration and the fact that Huawei is a global industry leader with highly competitive prices, simply banning Huawei from supplying 5G equipment or removing them from existing networks in Europe is unlikely . Some European operators are also concerned that the exclusion of Chinese firms would lead to fewer vendors and, consequently, higher costs. On top of this, Huawei has skillfully managed to leverage its inroad into smartphone devices to gain credibility with European consumers as a reliable network provider. Within five years, Huawei products have become popular on Europe’s retail market in a way few would have imagined. In 2011, it has also set up a business-to-business ecosystem focusing on supply, maintenance and providing technical advice for private sector companies and public institutions across Europe. Finally, Huawei is actively advertising across Europe and has hired lobbyists and consultants to help promote itself. Recently, Chinese manufacturers have been shifting their efforts towards the European market even more strongly.

Unlike in the United States, where Huawei’s role is far more restricted and skepticism surrounding Chinese technology is subject to far greater sensitivities, few European countries perceive China as a strategic rival. This means that for the time being, a coordinated transatlantic approach toward Chinese 5G is unlikely to emerge. That said, Europe may soon no longer have a choice. The Trump administration has made clear that it expects allies and partners to take steps to limit Chinese 5G , and to protect the security of telecoms networks and supply chains.

Notwithstanding such U.S. pressure, Europe also has good reasons on its own to take a more stringent approach toward Chinese 5G. First, the European Commission has established that Huawei was able to become the EU’s top telecommunication supplier in record time by receiving subsidies from Chinese state banks and other financial entities. Second, European officials acknowledge that critical infrastructure built with technology manufactured in China may give Chinese companies access to vast troves of sensitive data and industrial information—which ultimately might be turned over to Chinese authorities. Moreover, Chinese-manufactured infrastructure could make European countries vulnerable to Chinese spying, cyberattacks delivered through the network infrastructure, and overall national security threats . European Commission Vice President for Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said earlier in December that “I think we have to be worried about Huawei and other Chinese companies,” recalling the mandatory collaboration between certain technology companies and intelligence agencies in China.

In the 5G era, these concerns are mounting as the number of connected machines and objects and reliance on fast data increases. Anticipating that 5G will transform the way humans communicate and operate supplies like power, water and health systems, the security risks connected to 5G infrastructure become significant. Other risks associated with relying on Chinese 5G equipment include intellectual property losses and a dependency on foreign infrastructure (China currently manufactures about 90 percent of the world’s IT hardware).

On top of these apparent national security concerns, there are also economic rationales to avoid becoming overly reliant on China in the digital age. 5G and its associated infrastructure are poised to be critical building blocks for the digitization of the global economy, enabling a wide variety of applications and new sectors such as advancing artificial intelligence systems and the Internet of Things. The potential payoffs of being a 5G leader are enormous —a European Commission study estimated that investing €56.6 billion in 5G networks could yield economic benefits of €113.3 billion annually and generate 2.3 million new jobs by 2025. Patent-holding companies are slated to make billions in royalties, and countries with large and reliable networks will be able to develop emerging and new technologies with faster speeds.

In this emerging competitive technological landscape, ensuring that Europe is a global leader in 5G is essential. China, South Korea and the United States are currently leading the race to 5G, with China pulling ahead. Although the EU and several of its member states are investing more in 5G and two Scandinavian companies (Nokia and Ericsson) are leading 5G technology manufacturers, the transition is not happening broadly or quickly enough . Losing the race to 5G would have significant negative repercussions on Europe’s economy, along with the strategic implications of falling behind on the development of emerging technologies.

Unfortunately, the current debate in Europe on how to enhance “strategic autonomy” is too narrow as it focuses mainly on carving out foreign policy independence from the Trump administration. How to ensure European sovereignty in the digital age deserves more attention. This starts with boosting European R&D spending, favoring European alternatives to Huawei, better understanding the security risks of Chinese 5G, and beefing up national and EU-wide investment screening schemes. Greater transatlantic information exchange and intelligence sharing with the United States on China is also called for.

Yet, even if Chinese telecom infrastructure companies like Huawei and ZTE are not formally curtailed, the combination of the EU’s forthcoming investment screening framework and growing U.S. pressure may see Chinese investments in European 5G decrease. Even though relying on European providers may be more expensive and potentially delay the 5G deployment, avoiding an over-reliance on any foreign companies could support the EU’s “strategic autonomy” agenda in the digital age whilst also benefiting the European economy long-term.

In a world marked by growing geopolitical rivalry between Washington and Beijing, American allies will increasingly face a stark choice between the two. Continuing to rely on Chinese 5G manufacturers could cause a rift in the already fragile transatlantic relationship. A split into China and non-China 5G networks could cause minor interoperability issues , but more importantly, the U.S. push for a “China-free” 5G deployment could eventually generate two politically divided spheres of technological influence.

How Europe should best navigate these stormy waters must be at the core of the European strategic debate in 2019.

Erik Brattberg is the director of the Europe Program and a fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

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Darryl Secret
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Darryl Secret

More divide and conquer strategies. Europe must choose between the potential threat of Chinese telecom manipulation, or already being under manipulation by the U$A.

mijj
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mijj

NSA will stand for no competition

JPH
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JPH
gra gor
Guest
gra gor

Just substitute the word “US” meaning the United States and its allies for the word “China” in most of the sentences to get the gist of how the hazards pointed out in this article are interchangeable . . .

Bob Valdez
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Bob Valdez

Another alarmist article designed to smear Chinese Huawei 5G.

Blue Pilgrim
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Blue Pilgrim

Carnegie Endowment troll..
https://ebrattberg.com
… He is an experienced researcher and prolific writer with publications and commentary in both peer-review journals and various media outlets including The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Politico Europe, Financial Times, The American Interest, The National Interest, Bloomberg, The Atlantic Monthly, Christian Science Monitor, The Daily Beast, The Washington Times, …

Not about security, but about hegemony, imperialist control, and corporate profits. What the empire’s spooks objects to is Huawei is too secure and western spooks can’t break into it to spy on everyone.

Platon
Guest
Platon

Maybe a Jew?

Olivia Kroth
Guest

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace? No.
Carnegie Endownment for International US Hegemony and WAR.
Get lost! This is a CIA writer sneaking in here …

Jovo
Guest
Jovo
Jovo
Guest
Jovo

Sorry for the previous post. Read this one and its comments instead:

Regula
Guest
Regula

It goes forgotten in all these discussions that potential backdoors installed if and maybe in the future are mostly based on smear propaganda by Trump who wants to “contain” China – in essence destroy its economy to force it under US hegemony. These smears have little to do with Huawei’s and ZTE’s actual work. The chips are made by Intel and backdoors installed by Intel are way more likely than backdoors installed by Huawei. Moreover, Huawei is the most advanced in 5G technology and owns a host of patents for which the west will have to pay dearly. That will… Read more »

TheCelotajs
Guest
TheCelotajs

That’s right buy US at 500% higher and it even comes with US CIA Spyware per installed.

fred
Guest
fred

Such steps are welcomed by Washington, which isactively pushing its allies and partners around the world to be more vigilant about Chinese 5G due to corporate profits

Platon
Guest
Platon

With Chinese manufacturing and Russian technical skills the Eurasians will destroy the real Axis ov Evil – us – with practically no losses on their side.

Platon
Guest
Platon

Good! Eurasia will have 5G and obliterate the Talmudo Satanists without losing a single life.

Latest

Russia Gives US Red Line On Venezuela

Political force is out. Military force is out. Respect international law and Venezuela’s sovereignty. That’s Russia’s eminently reasonable ultimatum to Washington.

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Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


At a high-level meeting in Rome this week, it seems that Russia reiterated a grave warning to the US – Moscow will not tolerate American military intervention to topple the Venezuelan government with whom it is allied.

Meanwhile, back in Washington DC, President Donald Trump was again bragging that the military option was still on the table, in his press conference with Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro. Trump is bluffing or not yet up to speed with being apprised of Russia’s red line.

The meeting in the Italian capital between US “special envoy” on Venezuelan affairs Elliot Abrams and Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov had an air of urgency in its arrangement. The US State Department announced the tête-à-tête only three days beforehand. The two officials also reportedly held their two-hour discussions in a Rome hotel, a venue indicating ad hoc arrangement.

Abrams is no ordinary diplomat. He is a regime-change specialist with a criminal record for sponsoring terrorist operations, specifically the infamous Iran-Contra affair to destabilize Nicaragua during the 1980s. His appointment by President Trump to the “Venezuela file” only underscores the serious intent in Washington for regime change in Caracas. Whether it gets away with that intent is another matter.

Moscow’s interlocutor, Sergei Ryabkov, is known to not mince his words, having earlier castigated Washington for seeking global military domination. He calls a spade a spade, and presumably a criminal a criminal.

The encounter in Rome this week was described as “frank” and “serious” – which is diplomatic code for a blazing exchange. The timing comes at a high-stakes moment, after Venezuela having been thrown into chaos last week from civilian power blackouts that many observers, including the Kremlin, blame on American cyber sabotage. The power grid outage followed a failed attempt by Washington to stage a provocation with the Venezuelan military over humanitarian aid deliveries last month from neighboring Colombia.

The fact that Washington’s efforts to overthrow the elected President Nicolas Maduro have so far floundered, might suggest that the Americans are intensifying their campaign to destabilize the country, with the objective of installing US-backed opposition figure Juan Guaido. He declared himself “acting president” in January with Washington’s imprimatur.

Given that the nationwide power blackouts seem to have failed in fomenting a revolt by the civilian population or the military against Maduro, the next option tempting Washington could be the military one.

It seems significant that Washington has recently evacuated its last remaining diplomats from the South American country. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commented on the evacuation by saying that having US personnel on the ground “was limiting” Washington’s scope for action. Also, American Airlines reportedly cancelled all its services to Venezuela in the past week. Again, suggesting that the US was considering a military intervention, either directly with its troops or covertly by weaponizing local proxies. The latter certainly falls under Abrams’ purview.

After the Rome meeting, Ryabkov said bluntly: “We assume that Washington treats our priorities seriously, our approach and warnings.”

One of those warnings delivered by Ryabkov is understood to have been that no American military intervention in Venezuela will be tolerated by Moscow.

For his part, Abrams sounded as if he had emerged from the meeting after having been given a severe reprimand. “No, we did not come to a meeting of minds, but I think the talks were positive in the sense that both sides emerged with a better understanding of the other’s views,” he told reporters.

“A better understanding of the other’s views,” means that the American side was given a red line to back off.

The arrogance of the Americans is staggering. Abrams seems, according to US reporting, to have flown to Rome with the expectation of working out with Ryabkov a “transition” or “compromise” on who gets the “title of president” of Venezuela.

That’s what he no doubt meant when he said after the meeting “there was not a meeting of minds”, but rather he got “a better understanding” of Russia’s position.

Washington’s gambit is a replay of Syria. During the eight-year war in that country, the US continually proffered the demand of a “political transition” which at the end would see President Bashar al Assad standing down. By contrast, Russia’s unflinching position on Syria has always been that it’s not up to any external power to decide Syria’s politics. It is a sovereign matter for the Syrian people to determine independently.

Nearly three years after Russia intervened militarily in Syria to salvage the Arab country from a US-backed covert war for regime change, the American side has manifestly given up on its erstwhile imperious demands for “political transition”. The principle of Syrian sovereignty has prevailed, in large part because of Russia’s trenchant defense of its Arab ally.

Likewise, Washington, in its incorrigible arrogance, is getting another lesson from Russia – this time in its own presumed “back yard” of Latin America.

It’s not a question of Russia being inveigled by Washington’s regime-change schemers about who should be president of Venezuela and “how we can manage a transition”. Moscow has reiterated countless times that the legitimate president of Venezuela is Nicolas Maduro whom the people voted for last year by an overwhelming majority in a free and fair election – albeit boycotted by the US-orchestrated opposition.

The framework Washington is attempting to set up of choosing between their desired “interim president” and incumbent Maduro is an entirely spurious one. It is not even worthy to be discussed because it is a gross violation of Venezuela’s sovereignty. Who is Washington to even dare try to impose its false choice?

On Venezuela, Russia is having to remind the criminal American rulers – again – about international law and respect for national sovereignty, as Moscow earlier did with regard to Syria.

And in case Washington gets into a huff and tries the military option, Moscow this week told regime-change henchman Abrams that that’s a red line. If Washington has any sense of rationale left, it will know from its Syria fiasco that Russia has Venezuela’s back covered.

Political force is out. Military force is out. Respect international law and Venezuela’s sovereignty. That’s Russia’s eminently reasonable ultimatum to Washington.

Now, the desperate Americans could still try more sabotage, cyber or financial. But their options are limited, contrary to what Trump thinks.

How the days of American imperialist swagger are numbered. There was a time when it could rampage all over Latin America. Not any more, evidently. Thanks in part to Russia’s global standing and military power.

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With RussiaGate Over Where’s Hillary?

Hillary is the epitome of envy. Envy is the destructive sin of coveting someone else’s life so much they are obsessed with destroying it. It’s the sin of Cain. She envies what Trump has, the Presidency.

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Authored by Tom Luongo:


During most of the RussiaGate investigation against Donald Trump I kept saying that all roads lead to Hillary Clinton.

Anyone with three working brain cells knew this, including ‘Miss’ Maddow, whose tears of disappointment are particularly delicious.

Robert Mueller’s investigation was designed from the beginning to create something out of nothing. It did this admirably.

It was so effective it paralyzed the country for more than two years, just like Europe has been held hostage by Brexit. And all of this because, in the end, the elites I call The Davos Crowd refused to accept that the people no longer believed their lies about the benefits of their neoliberal, globalist agenda.

Hillary Clinton’s ascension to the Presidency was to be their apotheosis along with the Brexit vote. These were meant to lay to rest, once and for all time, the vaguely libertarian notion that people should rule themselves and not be ruled by philosopher kings in some distant land.

Hillary’s failure was enormous. And the RussiaGate gambit to destroy Trump served a laundry list of purposes to cover it:

  1. Undermine his legitimacy before he even takes office.
  2. Accuse him of what Hillary actually did: collude with Russians and Ukrainians to effect the outcome of the election
  3. Paralyze Trump on his foreign policy desires to scale back the Empire
  4. Give aid and comfort to hurting progressives and radicalize them further undermining our political system
  5. Polarize the electorate over the false choice of Trump’s guilt.
  6. Paralyze the Dept. of Justice and Congress so that they would not uncover the massive corruption in the intelligence agencies in the U.S. and the U.K.
  7. Isolate Trump and take away every ally or potential ally he could have by turning them against him through prosecutor overreach.

Hillary should have been thrown to the wolves after she failed. When you fail the people she failed and cost them the money she cost them, you lose more than just your funding. What this tells you is that she has so much dirt on everyone involved, once this thing started everyone went along with it lest she burn them down as well.

Burnin’ Down da House

Hillary is the epitome of envy. Envy is the destructive sin of coveting someone else’s life so much they are obsessed with destroying it. It’s the sin of Cain

She envies what Trump has, the Presidency.

And she was willing to tear it down to keep him from having it no matter how much damage it would do. She’s worse than the Joker from The Dark Knight.

Because while the Joker is unfathomable to someone with a conscience there’s little stopping us from excising him from the community completely., even though Batman refuses.

Hillary hates us for who we are and what we won’t give her. And that animus drove her to blackmail the world while putting on the face of its savior.

And that’s what makes what comes next so obvious to me. RussiaGate was never a sustainable narrative. It was ludicrous from the beginning. And now that it has ended with a whimper there are a lot of angry, confused and scared people out there.

Mueller thought all he had to do was lean on corrupt people and threaten them with everything. They would turn on Trump. He would resign in disgrace from the public outcry.

It didn’t work. In the end Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen and Roger Stone all held their ground or perjured themselves into the whole thing falling apart.

Andrew Weissman’s resignation last month was your tell there was nothing. Mueller would pursue this to the limit of his personal reputation and no further.

Just like so many other politicians.

Vote Your Pocketbook

With respect to Brexit I’ve been convinced that it would come down to reputations.

Would the British MP’s vote against their own personal best interests to do the bidding of the EU?

Would Theresa May eventually realize her historical reputation would be destroyed if she caves to Brussels and betrays Brexit in the end?

Always bet on the fecklessness of politicians. They will always act selfishly when put to the test. While leading RussiaGate, Mueller was always headed here if he couldn’t get someone to betray Trump.

And now his report is in. There are no new indictments. And by doing so he is saving his reputation for the future. And that is your biggest tell that HIllary’s blackmail is now worthless.

They don’t fear her anymore because RussiaGate outed her as the architect. Anything else she has is irrelevant in the face of trying to oust a sitting president from power.

The progressives that were convinced of Trump’s treason are bereft; their false hope stripped away like standing in front of a sandblaster. They will be raw, angry and looking for blood after they get over their denial.

Everyone else who was blackmailed into going along with this lunacy will begin cutting deals to save their skins. The outrage over this will not end. Trump will be President when he stands for re-election.

The Wolves Beckon

The Democrats do not have a chance against him as of right now. When he was caving on everything back in December it looked like he was done. That there was enough meat on the RussiaGate bones to make Nancy Pelosi brave.

Then she backed off on impeachment talk. Oops.

But the Democrats have a sincere problem. Their candidates have no solutions other than to embrace the crazy and go full Bolshevik. That is not a winning position.

Trump will kill them on ‘socialism.’

The Deep State and The Davos Crowd stand revealed and reviled.

If they don’t do something dramatic then the anger from the rest of the country will also be palpable come election time. Justice is not done simply by saying, “No evidence of collusion.”

It’s clear that RussiaGate is a failure of monumental proportions. Heads will have to roll. But who will be willing to fall on their sword at this point?

Comey? No. McCabe? No.

There is only one answer. And Obama’s people are still in place to protect him. I said last fall that “Hillary would indict herself.” And I meant it. Eventually her blackmail and drive to burn it all down led to this moment.

The circumstances are different than I expected back then, Trump didn’t win the mid-terms. But the end result was always the same. If there is no collusion, if RussiaGate is a scam, then all roads lead back to Hillary as the sacrificial lamb.

Because the bigger project, the erection of a transnational superstate, is bigger than any one person. Hillary is expendable.

Lies are expensive to maintain. The truth is cheap to defend. Think of the billions in opportunity costs associated with this. Once the costs rise above the benefits, change happens fast.

If there is any hope of salvaging the center of this country for the Democrats, the ones that voted against Hillary in 2016, then there is no reason anymore not to indict Hillary as the architect of RussiaGate.

We all know it’s the truth. So, the cheapest way out of this mess for them is to give the MAGApedes what they want, Hillary.

And hope that is enough bread and circuses to distract from the real storm ahead of us.

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Trump’s CIA Now Unbound And Back To Its Traditional Hijinks

There is further evidence that suggests the neo-cons, in cahoots with Haspel at the CIA, set out to disrupt the Hanoi summit.

Strategic Culture Foundation

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Authored by Wayne Madsen via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Under the directorship of torture and black site maven Gina Haspel, Donald Trump’s Central Intelligence Agency has returned to its traditional roots of conducting “black bag” operations and disrupting electrical grids through cyber-attacks.

The Venezuelan government has accused the Trump administration of giving the green light for a series of crippling power failures in Venezuela, which affected 22 of Venezuela’s 23 states, including the capital of Caracas. The long-duration power failures were cited by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a reason for the US withdrawing its diplomats from Caracas. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro announced that an international commission assisted by specialists from Russia, China, Iran, and the United Nations would help his country analyze the sources of the Venezuelan electrical grid cyber-attack. Initial cyber-forensics by Venezuela traced some of the cyber warfare being waged against Venezuela to nodes in Houston and Chicago.

In addition to electricity, water service was disrupted in Venezuela. From Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Maduro tweeted on March 12: “From the Presidential Command Post, we monitored minute-by-minute the progress of the recovery of the National Electric System.”

Cyber-attacks on a country that puts its civilian population in jeopardy might, at first glance, appear to be a violation of the Geneva Conventions on warfare. However, without a Digital Geneva Convention, civilian populations are not covered by the current Geneva Conventions. However, in 2015, the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security (UN GGE), which included experts from the United States, China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and other nations, agreed that current international law does apply to cyberspace. Most international legal experts agree that the Geneva Conventions require a digital annex to cover the type of cyber-disruption of the Venezuelan electrical grid carried out by the US intelligence services.

Hybrid warfare against Venezuela, which includes economic, diplomatic, and cyber, has the backing of the neo-conservatives who now call the shots for the Trump White House. They include, in addition to Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton; Iran-Contra felon Elliott Abrams, Trump’s special envoy to the US-backed opposition-led rump Venezuelan government of Juan Guaido; Cuban-American Mauricio Claver-Carone, the senior director for Western Hemisphere affairs at the National Security Council; and Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a Cuban-American, who represents the interests of South Florida’s right-wing oligarch exiles from Venezuela and other Latin American countries.

While Trump was preparing for his Hanoi summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump’s second summit with Kim, Haspel’s CIA dug into its old bag of black operations, while also engaging in the more modern form of cyber-attack in targeting North Korea.

On February 22, 2019, ten males, all wearing masks, broke into the North Korean embassy, which is located in the residential suburb of Aravaca, north of Madrid, Spain, and subjected eight embassy staff members to brutal interrogation tactics, including tying up the diplomats, throwing black bags over their heads (a specialty of Ms. Haspel), and subjecting them to beatings. One female diplomat managed to escape through a second-floor window and her screams alerted a neighbor, who promptly called the police. Two embassy employees required medical attention from their injuries.

The Spanish police and National Intelligence Center (CNI) linked two of the embassy invaders to the CIA. “El Pais,” a Spanish national newspaper, reported that the CIA issued one of its standard “denials,” however, the paper stated that Spanish authorities found the denial from Langley, Virginia to be “unconvincing.” “El Pais” reported that the invasion of the North Korean embassy by the CIA had severely harmed relations between Madrid and Washington.

The National Police Corps’ General Commissariat of Information (CGI) and CNI concluded that the attack and occupation of the North Korean embassy was not carried out by common criminals but was the work of a “military cell” that stole mobile phones and computers. Two of the embassy invaders were identified as Koreans and, based on CGI’s and CNI’s analysis of security camera video footage, they were further recognized as Koreans linked to the CIA. Spanish authorities did not rule out the possibility that South Korea’s National Intelligence Service assisted the CIA in the embassy invasion. The embassy invaders escaped from the embassy using two North Korean luxury sedans bearing diplomatic plates. The cars were later found abandoned.

The criminal inquiry into the incident is now before the Spanish High Court, the Audiencia Nacional, which could order the arrests of the embassy attackers and, if they are in the United States or South Korea, have Spain’s INTERPOL national bureau put out a Red Notice for their arrest and extradition to Spain to stand trial.

Spanish authorities believe the CIA’s embassy attackers were looking for information on Kim Hyok Chol, the former North Korean ambassador to Spain, who was declared “persona non grata” by the Spanish government in 2017. Kim Hyok Chol, a career diplomat from one of North Korea’s elite families who studied French at the Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies and speaks fluent English, is now one of Kim Jong Un’s trusted diplomatic advisers on nuclear talks with the Trump administration and he traveled with Chairman Kim to the failed Hanoi summit with Trump.

With certainty, Kim Hyok Chol thoroughly briefed Kim Jong Un on the CIA’s storming of his old diplomatic post in Spain. When Trump and Chairman Kim met in Hanoi on February 27 and if the issue of the CIA’s siege of the North Korean embassy was brought up, that could have been enough to derail the summit. Considering the fact that war hawks like Bolton, Abrams, and Pompeo are now calling the foreign policy shots for the Trump administration, the attack on the North Korean embassy in Madrid, just five days prior to the Hanoi summit, may have been ordered by Washington’s neo-con cell with the intention of scuttling the second meeting between Trump and Kim and put on ice any future meetings.

There is further evidence that suggests the neo-cons, in cahoots with Haspel at the CIA, set out to disrupt the Hanoi summit. While Trump was meeting with Kim in Vietnam, the CIA is believed to have launched a cyber-attack on the Korean American National Coordinating Council (KANCC) in New York, an organization with ties to the Pyongyang government. KANCC is a non-governmental organization with offices in the Interchurch Center building, near Columbia University in Manhattan. It champions the dropping of US sanctions against North Korea, a sore point in Hanoi between Trump and Kim.

The Trump-Kim Hanoi summit was reported to have hit a roadblock over North Korea’s request for a partial lifting of US sanctions on North Korea, in return for the continued North Korean moratorium on nuclear testing and a partial freeze on production of fissile material. With the CIA’s attack on the North Korean embassy in Spain still fresh in the minds of the North Korean side and the neo-cons’ insistence, pushed by Bolton and Pompeo, for complete North Korean nuclear disarmament, the Hanoi summit was destined for failure. And, with Bolton, Abrams, Pompeo, and other dangerous neo-cons in charge at the White House and the State Department — and Haspel dancing to their tune at the CIA – North Korea and Venezuela are not the only countries currently in the gunsights of the Trump administration.

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