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Kim Jong Un talks diplomacy, Trump with China’s Xi in Beijing

Can Trump be persuaded to close and stick to a deal?

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A week after meeting with US President Donald Trump in Singapore, Korean leader Kim Jong Un has embarked upon a two day journey to Beijing to talk about how to deal with Trump as well as diplomacy between North Korea and China. The talks are expected to bring China to a deeper positioning in the peace and denuclearization process on the Korean peninsula. Kim’s third visit to China is to come to a close later today. Thus far, agreements between the two Asian nations are coming along according to schedule, and relations between them are on rise.

The South China Morning Post reports:

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and Chinese President Xi Jinping came to an understanding on issues that are being discussed at a summit between the two leaders, including denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, the North’s state media said on Wednesday.

Kim and Xi assessed the historic meeting Kim had with US President Donald Trump in Singapore last week and exchanged opinions on ways to resolve the issue of denuclearisation, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

The North Korean leader also promised during a meeting with Xi in Beijing to cooperate with Chinese officials to secure “true peace” in the process of “opening a new future” on the Korean peninsula, it said.

Kim’s two-day visit to Beijing will end later on Wednesday, according to state media from China and North Korea. It follows his Singapore summit, where Kim and Trump reaffirmed a commitment to work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula

Trump surprised officials in South Korea and the United States after that meeting by saying he would end “provocative” joint US-South Korean military exercises.

The United States and South Korea said on Tuesday they had agreed to suspend a joint military exercise scheduled for August, although decisions regarding subsequent drills have not yet been made.

Kim is on his third visit to China this year. Xi offered high praise to the North Korean leader on Tuesday for the “positive outcome” of last week’s summit.

KCNA also reported that Xi said relations between China and North Korea had entered a new level of development since Kim’s first visit in March and that the agreements made between the two leaders were being carried out “one-by-one”.

Kim also told Xi he was willing to bolster the bilateral friendship and cooperation, it said.

It was expected that Kim would visit Beijing to brief Xi on his summit with Trump, which included Pyongyang agreeing to hand over the remains of troops missing from the 1950-53 Korean War.

Two US officials told Reuters on Tuesday North Korea could start that process within the next few days.

The Kim-Trump meeting was deemed ‘impressive’ in its results by the South Korean president, Moon Jae In, as he remarked to Russian media leading up to his state visit to Moscow on Thursday.

TASS reports:

SEOUL, June 20. /TASS/. The results of the US-North Korea summit in Singapore earlier this month have surpassed all expectations, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said ahead of his state visit to Russia beginning on Thursday.

“The results of the summit turned out to be impressive,” the South Korean leader said in his exclusive interview to TASS First Deputy Director-General Mikhail Gusman for TASS, government daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta and the Rossiya-24 TV channel.

“The North Korean-US standoff has lasted for 70 years. Now it’s the time for those two nations to renounce hostility. A new historic moment, when we can establish the system of solid peace in the region, opens before us,” he said, adding that the results of the summit have surpassed all expectations.

According to the South Korean leader, Pyongyang and Washington should now immediately fulfill these agreements. “Now talks are underway at a working level between the South and the North, between South Korea and the United states, and measures on implementing these agreements are being drawn up. After the summit the North said it was ready for full denuclearization, and the US confirmed its readiness to provide security guarantees for Pyongyang,” he noted.

“The North and the South stopped broadcasting propaganda on the border, South Korea and the US temporarily put off joint military drills, and now a peace process is underway. Such peaceful steps may lay the foundation to further bolster dialogue between the parties concerned,” the president stressed.

“I call all the parties concerned to implement these measures as soon as possible. North Korea should take certain steps, and the US should provide comprehensive security guarantees,” he said.

The historic meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump took place at the Capella Hotel on Singapore’s Sentosa Island on June 12. The parties signed a joint document, in which Pyongyang made a commitment to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula in return for US security guarantees. Trump pledged to meet Pyongyang’s demand to halt joint military drills with South Korea.

The US leader noted that he had not discussed with Kim Jong-un the issue of sending US troops to South Korea, where some 28,500 US forces have been deployed.

The resolve for denuclearization
At the inter-Korean summit in late April North Korean leader Kim Jong-un showed the resolve for denuclearization and the readiness to give up the nuclear program provided that there are security guarantees, Moon Jae-in said.

“During the summit, Chairman Kim Jong-un showed his firm resolve for North Korea’s denuclearization. He said that he can abandon all nuclear programs if he receives the guarantees of security and preserving his regime. He also showed great interest in his country’s economic development,” Moon Jae-in said in his exclusive interview to TASS First Deputy Director-General Mikhail Gusman for TASS, government daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta and the Rossiya-24 TV channel.

Moon Jae-in stressed that the Panmunjom Declaration adopted at the summit confirmed “the will of the leaders of the North and the South to achieve peace, stability and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula.”

On April 27, North Korean and South Korean leaders, Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in, met in the border village of Panmunjom for a historic summit, the first in more than a decade. They signed a joint Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula. Seoul and Pyongyang reaffirmed that their common objective is the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and reached an agreement on continuing active top-level dialogue.

Thus far, the prospect of a denuclearized Korea and a peace agreement being hammered out looks to be on the right track as diplomacy improves between the parties concerned. The questions surrounding it come largely to what kind of security guarantees the US will provide, what that means for the US military presence in the region, and whether Trump will find some lame excuse to back out the process altogether, or whether he will pursue its success in an effort to boost his fragile ego. Only time will tell.

 

 

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Throughout most of history, Korea has enjoyed a reasonably peaceful and respectful relationship with China. Certainly there were times when aggressive Chinese – or especially Mongol – leaders attacked and invaded Korea. But mostly the two kingdoms, despite their vastly different sizes and strengths, got along fairly well. It was the viciously violent and aggressive Japanese who posed a far greater threat. Today, with China rapidly becoming the world’s most powerful nation economically, financially, and perhaps diplomatically, and especially in view of China’s preference for peaceful leadership and negotiation, Korea could do worse than to reunite and rely on China… Read more »

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Clinton-Yeltsin docs shine a light on why Deep State hates Putin (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 114.

Alex Christoforou

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Bill Clinton and America ruled over Russia and Boris Yeltsin during the 1990s. Yeltsin showed little love for Russia and more interest in keeping power, and pleasing the oligarchs around him.

Then came Vladimir Putin, and everything changed.

Nearly 600 pages of memos and transcripts, documenting personal exchanges and telephone conversations between Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin, were made public by the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Dating from January 1993 to December 1999, the documents provide a historical account of a time when US relations with Russia were at their best, as Russia was at its weakest.

On September 8, 1999, weeks after promoting the head of the Russia’s top intelligence agency to the post of prime minister, Russian President Boris Yeltsin took a phone call from U.S. President Bill Clinton.

The new prime minister was unknown, rising to the top of the Federal Security Service only a year earlier.

Yeltsin wanted to reassure Clinton that Vladimir Putin was a “solid man.”

Yeltsin told Clinton….

“I would like to tell you about him so you will know what kind of man he is.”

“I found out he is a solid man who is kept well abreast of various subjects under his purview. At the same time, he is thorough and strong, very sociable. And he can easily have good relations and contact with people who are his partners. I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the nearly 600 pages of transcripts documenting the calls and personal conversations between then U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, released last month. A strong Clinton and a very weak Yeltsin underscore a warm and friendly relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

Then Vladimir Putin came along and decided to lift Russia out of the abyss, and things changed.

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Here are five must-read Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges from with the 600 pages released by the Clinton Library.

Via RT

Clinton sends ‘his people’ to get Yeltsin elected

Amid unceasing allegations of nefarious Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election, the Clinton-Yeltsin exchanges reveal how the US government threw its full weight behind Boris – in Russian parliamentary elections as well as for the 1996 reelection campaign, which he approached with 1-digit ratings.

For example, a transcript from 1993 details how Clinton offered to help Yeltsin in upcoming parliamentary elections by selectively using US foreign aid to shore up support for the Russian leader’s political allies.

“What is the prevailing attitude among the regional leaders? Can we do something through our aid package to send support out to the regions?” a concerned Clinton asked.

Yeltsin liked the idea, replying that “this kind of regional support would be very useful.” Clinton then promised to have “his people” follow up on the plan.

In another exchange, Yeltsin asks his US counterpart for a bit of financial help ahead of the 1996 presidential election: “Bill, for my election campaign, I urgently need for Russia a loan of $2.5 billion,” he said. Yeltsin added that he needed the money in order to pay pensions and government wages – obligations which, if left unfulfilled, would have likely led to his political ruin. Yeltsin also asks Clinton if he could “use his influence” to increase the size of an IMF loan to assist him during his re-election campaign.

Yeltsin questions NATO expansion

The future of NATO was still an open question in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and conversations between Clinton and Yeltsin provide an illuminating backdrop to the current state of the curiously offensive ‘defensive alliance’ (spoiler alert: it expanded right up to Russia’s border).

In 1995, Yeltsin told Clinton that NATO expansion would lead to “humiliation” for Russia, noting that many Russians were fearful of the possibility that the alliance could encircle their country.

“It’s a new form of encirclement if the one surviving Cold War bloc expands right up to the borders of Russia. Many Russians have a sense of fear. What do you want to achieve with this if Russia is your partner? They ask. I ask it too: Why do you want to do this?” Yeltsin asked Clinton.

As the documents show, Yeltsin insisted that Russia had “no claims on other countries,” adding that it was “unacceptable” that the US was conducting naval drills near Crimea.

“It is as if we were training people in Cuba. How would you feel?” Yeltsin asked. The Russian leader then proposed a “gentleman’s agreement” that no former Soviet republics would join NATO.

Clinton refused the offer, saying: “I can’t make the specific commitment you are asking for. It would violate the whole spirit of NATO. I’ve always tried to build you up and never undermine you.”

NATO bombing of Yugoslavia turns Russia against the West

Although Clinton and Yeltsin enjoyed friendly relations, NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia tempered Moscow’s enthusiastic partnership with the West.

“Our people will certainly from now have a bad attitude with regard to America and with NATO,” the Russian president told Clinton in March 1999. “I remember how difficult it was for me to try and turn the heads of our people, the heads of the politicians towards the West, towards the United States, but I succeeded in doing that, and now to lose all that.”

Yeltsin urged Clinton to renounce the strikes, for the sake of “our relationship” and “peace in Europe.”

“It is not known who will come after us and it is not known what will be the road of future developments in strategic nuclear weapons,” Yeltsin reminded his US counterpart.

But Clinton wouldn’t cede ground.

“Milosevic is still a communist dictator and he would like to destroy the alliance that Russia has built up with the US and Europe and essentially destroy the whole movement of your region toward democracy and go back to ethnic alliances. We cannot allow him to dictate our future,” Clinton told Yeltsin.

Yeltsin asks US to ‘give Europe to Russia’

One exchange that has been making the rounds on Twitter appears to show Yeltsin requesting that Europe be “given” to Russia during a meeting in Istanbul in 1999. However, it’s not quite what it seems.

“I ask you one thing,” Yeltsin says, addressing Clinton. “Just give Europe to Russia. The US is not in Europe. Europe should be in the business of Europeans.”

However, the request is slightly less sinister than it sounds when put into context: The two leaders were discussing missile defense, and Yeltsin was arguing that Russia – not the US – would be a more suitable guarantor of Europe’s security.

“We have the power in Russia to protect all of Europe, including those with missiles,” Yeltsin told Clinton.

Clinton on Putin: ‘He’s very smart’

Perhaps one of the most interesting exchanges takes place when Yeltsin announces to Clinton his successor, Vladimir Putin.

In a conversation with Clinton from September 1999, Yeltsin describes Putin as “a solid man,” adding: “I am sure you will find him to be a highly qualified partner.”

A month later, Clinton asks Yeltsin who will win the Russian presidential election.

“Putin, of course. He will be the successor to Boris Yeltsin. He’s a democrat, and he knows the West.”

“He’s very smart,” Clinton remarks.

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New Satellite Images Reveal Aftermath Of Israeli Strikes On Syria; Putin Accepts Offer to Probe Downed Jet

The images reveal the extent of destruction in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport.

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Via Zerohedge


An Israeli satellite imaging company has released satellite photographs that reveal the extent of Monday night’s attack on multiple locations inside Syria.

ImageSat International released them as part of an intelligence report on a series of Israeli air strikes which lasted for over an hour and resulted in Syrian missile defense accidentally downing a Russian surveillance plane that had 15 personnel on board.

The images reveal the extent of destruction on one location struck early in attack in the port city of Latakia, as well as the aftermath of a prior strike on Damascus International Airport. On Tuesday Israel owned up to carrying out the attack in a rare admission.

Syrian official SANA news agency reported ten people injured in the attacks carried out of military targets near three major cities in Syria’s north.

The Times of Israel, which first reported the release of the new satellite images, underscores the rarity of Israeli strikes happening that far north and along the coast, dangerously near Russian positions:

The attack near Latakia was especially unusual because the port city is located near a Russian military base, the Khmeimim Air Force base. The base is home to Russian jet planes and an S-400 aerial defense system. According to Arab media reports, Israel has rarely struck that area since the Russians arrived there.

The Russian S-400 system was reportedly active during the attack, but it’s difficult to confirm or assess the extent to which Russian missiles responded during the strikes.

Three of the released satellite images show what’s described as an “ammunition warehouse” that appears to have been completely destroyed.

The IDF has stated their airstrikes targeted a Syrian army facility “from which weapons-manufacturing systems were supposed to be transferred to Iran and Hezbollah.” This statement came after the IDF expressed “sorrow” for the deaths of Russian airmen, but also said responsibility lies with the “Assad regime.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin to express regret over the incident while offering to send his air force chief to Russia with a detailed report — something which Putin agreed to.

According to Russia’s RT News, “Major-General Amikam Norkin will arrive in Moscow on Thursday, and will present the situation report on the incident, including the findings of the IDF inquiry regarding the event and the pre-mission information the Israeli military was so reluctant to share in advance.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry condemned the “provocative actions by Israel as hostile” and said Russia reserves “the right to an adequate response” while Putin has described the downing of the Il-20 recon plane as likely the result of a “chain of tragic accidental circumstances” and downplayed the idea of a deliberate provocation, in contradiction of the initial statement issued by his own defense ministry.

Pro-government Syrians have reportedly expressed frustration this week that Russia hasn’t done more to respond militarily to Israeli aggression; however, it appears Putin may be sidestepping yet another trap as it’s looking increasingly likely that Israel’s aims are precisely geared toward provoking a response in order to allow its western allies to join a broader attack on Damascus that could result in regime change.

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“Transphobic” Swedish Professor May Lose Job After Noting Biological Differences Between Sexes

A university professor in Sweden is under investigation after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded”

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Via Zerohedge


A university professor in Sweden is under investigation for “anti-feminism” and “transphobia” after he said that there are fundamental differences between men and women which are “biologically founded” and that genders cannot be regarded as “social constructs alone,” reports Academic Rights Watch.

For his transgression, Germund Hesslow – a professor of neuroscience at Lund University – who holds dual PhDs in philosophy and neurophysiology, may lose his job – telling RT that a “full investigation” has been ordered, and that there “have been discussions about trying to stop the lecture or get rid of me, or have someone else give the lecture or not give the lecture at all.”

“If you answer such a question you are under severe time pressure, you have to be extremely brief — and I used wording which I think was completely innocuous, and that apparently the student didn’t,” Hesslow said.

Hesslow was ordered to attend a meeting by Christer Larsson, chairman of the program board for medical education, after a female student complained that Hesslow had a “personal anti-feminist agenda.” He was asked to distance himself from two specific comments; that gay women have a “male sexual orientation” and that the sexual orientation of transsexuals is “a matter of definition.”

The student’s complaint reads in part (translated):

I have also heard from senior lecturers that Germund Hesslow at the last lecture expressed himself transfobically. In response to a question of transexuallism, he said something like “sex change is a fly”. Secondly, it is outrageous because there may be students during the lecture who are themselves exposed to transfobin, but also because it may affect how later students in their professional lives meet transgender people. Transpersonals already have a high level of overrepresentation in suicide statistics and there are already major shortcomings in the treatment of transgender in care, should not it be countered? How does this kind of statement coincide with the university’s equal treatment plan? What has this statement given for consequences? What has been done for this to not be repeated? –Academic Rights Watch

After being admonished, Hesslow refused to distance himself from his comments, saying that he had “done enough” already and didn’t have to explain and defend his choice of words.

At some point, one must ask for a sense of proportion among those involved. If it were to become acceptable for students to record lectures in order to find compromising formulations and then involve faculty staff with meetings and long letters, we should let go of the medical education altogether,” Hesslow said in a written reply to Larsson.

He also rejected the accusation that he had a political agenda – stating that his only agenda was to let scientific factnot new social conventions, dictate how he teaches his courses.

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