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Kim Jong Un Begins Summit In Beijing As China’s Xi Sends “Message” To US

If Washington wants peace on the Korean peninsula, it will need to work with Beijing.

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Via Zerohedge


Just as the second day of mid-level trade talks between US and Chinese delegations in Beijing was beginning, a surprising report crossed the wire: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had been invited to travel to China for the first time since June to meet with President Xi Jinping. News of the visit immediately provoked speculation that Beijing was trying to send a message: If the US wants peace on the Korean peninsula, China will need to be involved.

Underscoring that point, President Trump affirmed last week that Washington and Pyongyang are planning a second diplomatic summit (though Trump claimed that North Korea was showing some reluctance) to continue negotiations about denuclearizing the peninsula.

And while talks between the US and the North have hit an impasse over the US’s unwillingness to lift sanctions until the North finishes surrendering his nukes – the North, on the other hand, has been pushing for their gradual removal – South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Tuesday, citing intelligence agency reports, that the North and China might discuss the prospects for “a peace treaty” with South Korea that would formally end the Korean War – one of the loftiest goals from the thaw in inter-Korean relations this year.

Kim is expected to remain in China until the weekend.

A special train, carrying Kim and his wife, Ri Sol-ju, arrived in Beijing earlier in the day on a four-day trip at the invitation of Chinese President Xi, according to the North’s state media.

The National Intelligence Service (NIS) told lawmakers at a closed-door briefing that Kim may discuss ways to push for a peace treaty that could involve China ahead of his possible second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, according to lawmakers on the intelligence committee.

In a New Year speech, Kim called for multilateral talks involving the signatories to the truce that ended the 1950-53 Korean War, including China, and replacing it with a peace treaty.

Notably, Kim made his first foreign trip as leader (he traveled by train to China) ahead of the first US-North Korea summit, which suggests that another summit may in fact be in the offing.

His trip raises speculation that a second summit between Trump and Kim might be imminent amid an impasse over North Korea’s denuclearization. They held their historic first summit in June in Singapore.

The NIS said that Kim will likely seek to discuss sanctions relief and Pyongyang’s denuclearization with Xi, according to lawmakers.

Kim appears to want to reaffirm China’s role as the North’s patron and receive a security guarantee as the two countries mark the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic ties this year.

One South Korean lawmaker said Kim’s visit may have been planned to “put pressure” on the US.

The NIS also added that Kim is expected to inspect industrial facilities in the southeastern Chinese city of Tianjin.

The spy agency believes that Kim has an interest in the electricity, tourism and construction sectors.

“Kim’s visit seems aimed at coordinating stances between the North and China ahead of a potential (Kim-Trump) meeting,” a lawmaker told Yonhap News Agency.

“At the same time, he apparently seeks to put pressure on the U.S. by highlighting the North’s ties with China.”

Ironically, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang said during a Tuesday press conference that Kim’s visit was not unusual and that North Korea would not become “a bargaining chip” in US trade talks. “China and the DPRK are friendly and close neighbors and it is also an important tradition for us to maintain friendly exchanges,” Lu said.

The message is clear: If Washington wants peace on the Korean peninsula – or a completely de-nuclearized North Korea – it will need to work with Beijing.

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CudwieserBlue PilgrimPlatonrucacraig watson Recent comment authors
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ruca
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ruca

I admire the North Korean leader. He’s either very smart, or a damn good listener.

Olivia Kroth
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He is smart and a good listener. Furthermore, he is totally underrated by the West.

Raymond Comeau
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Raymond Comeau

The USA always try to make those whom they decide are an ‘ENEMY’, to be a fool, or an insane person, or an animal. Kim is shrewd and can give as much, or more than he will take from Trump or any other Deep State supporter. Kudos to Kim and to China for holding their own against the corrupt Murder incorporated USA.

ruca
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ruca

Well said RC

Cudwieser
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Cudwieser

To put it the other way, Those the Gods would destroy first they make mad.

Sally Snyder
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Sally Snyder

As shown in this article, North Korea is very concerned that the United States is taking a two-faced approach when it comes to negotiating an end to the DPRK’s nuclear program:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/12/washingtons-two-faced-approach-to-north.html

If Washington doesn’t get its act together, the window of opportunity for a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula could evaporate, leaving in its wake a nuclear nightmare.

craig watson
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Both NK and SK will likely proceed to re-unify, no matter what at this point. The Koreans will create peace where the USA wants only war, of course. It’s now inevitable, considering the implosion and collapse of the USA’s worldwide influence.

Cudwieser
Guest
Cudwieser

But on whose soil will it be fought?

Platon
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Platon

Payback for the ‘chocolate cake with missiles’ fiasco.
Revenge is a dish best taken cold.
Something the USA is going to be redisicovering for the rest of its unnatural life.

Blue Pilgrim
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Blue Pilgrim

“speculation that Beijing was trying to send a message: If the US wants peace on the Korean peninsula, China will need to be involved.” Speculation? China has been involved all along. A message won’t help anyone who hasn’t got that. China is a ‘superpower sharing a border, so of course it needs to be involved, with the US, a very foreign power, constantly, making trouble, threats and disruption in the region (the only thing it is now capable of). The message people need to get is that the US is completely out of place and unwelcome there, and what the… Read more »

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Macron cuts ski holiday short, vowing crack down on Yellow Vests (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 109.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the 18th consecutive week of Yellow Vests protests in Paris. Following last weeks lower participation, Saturday’s Yellow Vests in Paris gathered larger crowds, with various outbreaks of violence and rioting that has been blamed on extreme elements, who French authorities claim have infiltrated the movement.

“Act XVIII” of the protests has shown that the Yellow Vests have not given up. France’s Champs-Élysées boulevard was where most of the violence occurred, with the street being left in a pile of broken glass and flames.

One day after Paris was set ablaze, French President Emmanuel Macron cut his ski holiday short, returning to Paris and vowing to take “strong decisions” to prevent more violence.

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Via Zerohedge


Paris awoke on Sunday to smouldering fires, broken windows and looted stores following the 18th consecutive Saturday of Yellow Vest protests.

Around 200 people were arrested according to BFM TV, while about 80 shops near the iconic Champs Elysees had been damaged and/or looted according to AFP, citing Champs Elysees committee president Jean-Noel Reinhardt.

The 373-year-old Saint Sulpice Roman Catholic church was set on fire while people were inside, however nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

The riots were so severe that French President Emmanuel Macron cut short a vacation at the La Mongie ski resort in the Hautes-Pyrénées following a three-day tour of East Africa which took him to Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Macron skied on Friday, telling La Depeche du Midi “I’m going to spend two-three days here to relax, to find landscapes and friendly faces,” adding “I’m happy to see the Pyrenees like that, radiant, although I know it was more difficult at Christmas” referring to the lack of snow in December.

In response to Saturday’s violence, Macron said over Twitter that “strong decisions” were coming to prevent more violence.

Macron said some individuals — dubbed “black blocs” by French police forces — were taking advantage of the protests by the Yellow Vest grassroots movement to “damage the Republic, to break, to destroy.” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Twitter that those who excused or encouraged such violence were complicit in it. –Bloomberg

The French President has family ties in the Hautes-Pyrénées, including Bagnères de Bigorre where his grandmother lived. He is a regular visitor to the region.

Emmanuel Macron (2ndL), head of the political movement In Marche! (Onwards!) And candidate for the 2017 presidential election, and his wife Brigitte Trogneux (L) have lunch April 12, 2017 (Reuters)

 

 

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Vesti calls out Pompeo on lying about Russia invading Ukraine [Video]

Secretary Pompeo displayed either stunning ignorance or a mass-attack of propaganda about what must be the most invisible war in history.

Seraphim Hanisch

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After the 2014 Maidan revolution and the subsequent secessions of Lugansk and Donetsk in Ukraine, and after the rejoining of Crimea with its original nation of Russia, the Western media went on a campaign to prove the Russia is (/ was / was about to / had already / might / was thinking about / was planning to … etc.) invade Ukraine. For the next year or so, about every two weeks, internet news sources like Yahoo! News showed viewers pictures of tanks, box trucks and convoys to “prove” that the invasion was underway (or any of the other statuses confirming the possibilities above stated.) This information was doubtless provided to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

Apparently, Secretary Pompeo believed this ruse, or is being paid to believe this ruse because in a speech recently, he talked about it as fact:

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine an attempt to gain access to Ukraine’s oil and gas reserves.

He stated this at IHS Markit’s CERAWeek conference in Houston, the USA, Reuters reports.

Pompeo urged the oil industry to work with the Trump administration to promote U.S. foreign policy interests, especially in Asia and in Europe, and to punish what he called “bad actors” on the world stage.

The United States has imposed harsh sanctions in the past several months on two major world oil producers, Venezuela and Iran.

Pompeo said the U.S. oil-and-gas export boom had given the United States the ability to meet energy demand once satisfied by its geopolitical rivals.

“We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the Nord Stream 2 project, any more than we ourselves want to be dependent on Venezuelan oil supplies,” Pompeo said, referring to a natural gas pipeline expansion from Russia to Central Europe.

Pompeo called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an attempt to gain access to the country’s oil and gas reserves.

Although the state-run news agency Vesti News often comes under criticism for rather reckless, or at least, extremely sarcastic propaganda at times, here they rightly nailed Mr. Pompeo’s lies to the wall and billboarded it on their program:

The news anchors even made a wisecrack about one of the political figures, Konstantin Zatulin saying as a joke that Russia plans to invade the United States to get its oil. They further noted that Secretary Pompeo is uneducated about the region and situation, but they offered him the chance to come to Russia and learn the correct information about what is going on.

To wit, Russia has not invaded Ukraine at all. There is no evidence to support such a claim, while there IS evidence to show that the West is actively interfering with Russia through the use of Ukraine as a proxyWhile this runs counter to the American narrative, it is simply the truth. Ukraine appears to be the victim of its own ambitions at this point, for while the US tantalizes the leadership of the country and even interferes with the Orthodox Church in the region, the country lurches towards a presidential election with three very poor candidates, most notably the one who is president there now, Petro Poroshenko.

However, the oil and gas side of the anti-Russian propaganda operation by the US is significant. The US wishes for Europe to buy gas from American suppliers, even though this is woefully inconvenient and expensive when Russia is literally at Europe’s doorstep with easy supplies. However, the Cold War Party in the United States, which still has a significant hold on US policy making categorizes the sale of Russia gas to powers like NATO ally Germany as a “threat” to European security.

It is interesting that Angela Merkel herself does not hold this line of thinking. It is also interesting and worthy of note, that this is not the only NATO member that is dealing more and more with Russia in terms of business. It underscores the loss of purpose that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization suffers now since there is no Soviet Union to fight.

However, the US remains undaunted. If there is no enemy to fight, the Americans feel that they must create one, and Russia has been the main scapegoat for American power ambitions. More than ever now, this tactic appears to be the one in use for determining the US stance towards other powers in the world.

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Ariel Cohen explains Washington’s latest foreign policy strategy [Video]

Excellent interview Ariel Cohen and Vladimir Solovyov reveals the forces at work in and behind American foreign policy.

Seraphim Hanisch

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While the American people and press are pretty much complicit in reassuring the masses that America is the only “right” superpower on earth, and that Russia and China represent “enemy threats” for doing nothing more than existing and being successfully competitive in world markets, Russia Channel One got a stunner of a video interview with Ariel Cohen.

Who is Ariel Cohen? Wikipedia offers this information about him:

Ariel Cohen (born April 3, 1959 in Crimea in YaltaUSSR) is a political scientist focusing on political risk, international security and energy policy, and the rule of law.[1] Cohen currently serves as the Director of The Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics (CENRG) at the Institute for Analysis of Global Security (IAGS). CENRG focuses on the nexus between energy, geopolitics and security, and natural resources and growth. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, within the Global Energy Center and the Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center.[2] Until July 2014, Dr. Cohen was a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. He specializes in Russia/Eurasia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Cohen has testified before committees of the U.S. Congress, including the Senate and House Foreign Relations Committees, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the Helsinki Commission.[4] He also served as a Policy Adviser with the National Institute for Public Policy’s Center for Deterrence Analysis.[5] In addition, Cohen has consulted for USAID, the World Bank and the Pentagon.[6][7]

Cohen is a frequent writer and commentator in the American and international media. He has appeared on CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX, C-SPAN, BBC-TV and Al Jazeera English, as well as Russian and Ukrainian national TV networks. He was a commentator on a Voice of America weekly radio and TV show for eight years. Currently, he is a Contributing Editor to the National Interest and a blogger for Voice of America. He has written guest columns for the New York TimesInternational Herald TribuneChristian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, EurasiaNet, Valdai Discussion Club,[8] and National Review Online. In Europe, Cohen’s analyses have appeared in Kommersant, Izvestiya, Hurriyet, the popular Russian website Ezhenedelny Zhurnal, and many others.[9][10]

Mr. Cohen came on Russian TV for a lengthy interview running about 17 minutes. This interview, shown in full below, is extremely instructive in illustrating the nature of the American foreign policy directives such as they are at this time.

We have seen evidence of this in recent statements by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, and an honestly unabashed bit of fear mongering about China’s company Huawei and its forthcoming 5G networks, which we will investigate in more detail in another piece. Both bits of rhetoric reflect a re-polished narrative that, paraphrased, says to the other world powers,

Either you do as we tell you, or you are our enemy. You are not even permitted to out-compete with us in business, let alone foreign relations. The world is ours and if you try to step out of place, you will be dealt with as an enemy power.

This is probably justified paranoia, because it is losing its place. Where the United Stated used to stand for opposition against tyranny in the world, it now acts as the tyrant, and even as a bully. Russia and China’s reaction might be seen as ignoring the bully and his bluster and just going about doing their own thing. It isn’t a fight, but it is treating the bully with contempt, as bullies indeed deserve.

Ariel Cohen rightly points out that there is a great deal of political inertia in the matter of allowing Russia and China to just do their own thing. The US appears to be acting paranoid about losing its place. His explanations appear very sound and very reasonable and factual. Far from some of the snark Vesti is often infamous for, this interview is so clear it is tragic that most Americans will never see it.

The tragedy for the US leadership that buys this strategy is that they appear to be blinded so much by their own passion that they cannot break free of it to save themselves.

This is not the first time that such events have happened to an empire. It happened in Rome; it happened for England; and it happened for the shorter-lived empires of Nazi Germany and ISIS. It happens every time that someone in power becomes afraid to lose it, and when the forces that propelled that rise to power no longer are present. The US is a superpower without a reason to be a superpower.

That can be very dangerous.

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