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US orders Kuwait to kick out North Korea’s ambassador

Kuwait orders North Korea’s ambassador to leave the country within a month.

Alex Christoforou

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Is this the “exhausted diplomacy” that Nikki Haley has been going on about all last week?

According to Reuters, Kuwait has decreed that the ambassador from North Korea must depart the Kuwait within the month, following a request from Washington.

Kuwaiti officials have not responded to inquiries regarding the decision to expel the North Korean ambassador.

Following the sixth DPRK nuclear weapon detonation earlier this month, the UN Security Council imposed additional sanctions on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and members of his inner circle.

According to Kuwaiti news agency KUNA, citing a foreign ministry official, Kuwait ended direct flights between Kuwait City and Pyongyang in August and has canceled entrance visas and business licenses for North Korean citizens.

Via Reuters

Kuwait has ordered North Korea’s ambassador to leave within a month as the Gulf country downgraded diplomatic relations with Pyongyang, a North Korean diplomat in the Gulf region said on Sunday.

The United Nations Security Council imposed new sanctions after North Korea’s sixth and largest nuclear test this month, and the United States called on countries to sever diplomatic and financial ties with it.

The diplomat, who asked not to be named, told Reuters the ambassador, So Chang Sik, will leave following Kuwait’s decision to downgrade the North Korean diplomatic representation to charge d‘affaires level.

However, Chang Sik was planning to leave at the end of September because he has ended his term, the diplomat added.

Kuwaiti officials did not immediately respond when asked to comment.

Kuwait, where around 3,000 North Koreans live, has been hosting North Korea’s sole diplomatic mission in the Gulf region.

Kuwait’s announcement comes after U.S. President Trump met with the Gulf state’s ruler in Washington earlier this month.

Last month the Gulf country stopped direct flights to and from Pyongyang as well as halting entrance visas and commercial licenses, state news agency KUNA reported, citing an official at the foreign ministry.

The Kuwait foreign ministry said at the time it was committed to implementing Security Council resolutions on North Korea, adding that it had stopped loans to the Asian state, banned imports and cut the numbers of its diplomats in the country.

 

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JNDillard
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JNDillard

What this means is more connectivity for N Korea with Tehran, which means coming integration into the One Belt One Road.

Franz Kafka
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Franz Kafka

The only law that still functions in the collapsing USA is the Law of Unintended Consequences.

JNDillard
Guest
JNDillard

Another law that I can think of that still works pretty well is the Peter Principle.

Have a cigar!
Guest
Have a cigar!

Yes, eventually the failure must come.

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

“The only law that still functions in the collapsing USA is the Law of Unintended Consequences.” Not correct, Franz. It should read: “The only law that still functions in the collapsing US is the Law of Unintended Consequences.” USA or American states and people, have nothing to do with this S**te. US is the cesspool which is causing all the mess in the world. The Territorial United States is governed by the British Government and the Municipal United States is ruled by the Holy See. Thus, the US, bankrupt, is a separate and foreign entity from the American states and… Read more »

Shahna
Guest

Of course they listen to America! If they don’t they’ll look like Qatar – or even worse – Yemen.

Have a cigar!
Guest
Have a cigar!

No, no, no, first it would be cut commodities for the members of the “royal family” like no more Ferraris and Yachts on the coast of southern France, no more exclusive trips to Washington D.C., then it would be lower U.S. Senate spending for the Emirates Military etc.
You have to either pissed them off very hard or be on their way to experience Yemen style devastation.

Shahna
Guest

They’re looking for a “reason” to regime-change Iran …… Qatar (or Kuwait) supporting terrorists and in turn being supported by terrorist Iran would do the trick nicely for them. Of course, Russia and China would block them again with more “diplomacy” nonsense but – hope springs eternal in the warmonger’s breast.

Have a cigar!
Guest
Have a cigar!

Iran is too tough nut for them. Even North Korea under these circumstances is tough nut for them. They simply hit the wall with such a doctrine and someone said enough is enough. Kuwait or Qatar and other so called gulf countries are a different story. But turning allies into enemy is not a smart thing to do even for U.S.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

When did the US become the global Tyrant?

bbbar
Guest
bbbar

1991

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

Please, not America it should read: US.

Shahna
Guest

The United States of America?
That the cuntry’s name – LIVE WITH IT.

Franz Kafka
Guest
Franz Kafka

Just Kuwait a cotton-picking minute! Kuwait is US territory? Who knew?

More
Guest
More

Kuwait is a waste of space.

NK should not waste their money on having an Embassy or Ambassador in that country.

DarkEyes
Guest
DarkEyes

IMO, NK is completely right to just have diplomatic connections with the world, as normal.
Never bully a Korean.

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Rod Rosenstein resigns from his post before President Trump can fire him

Rosenstein’s comments about secretly recording the President backfire, and resignation may throw the Mueller Russiagate probe into question.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The Washington Times broke the story that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein resigned from his post. He submitted his resignation to Chief of Staff John Kelly.  At present the breaking story says the following:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is out at the Department of Justice.

Axios reported that Mr. Rosenstein verbally resigned to White House Chief Of Staff John Kelly, but CNN said that he is expecting to be fired.

Sarah Isgur Flores, a Department of Justice spokeswoman, declined to comment on the reports.

Mr. Rosenstein’s departure immediately throws Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russian collusion probe into chaos.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation, leaving Mr. Rosenstein in charge.

President Trump mulled firing the No. 2 at the Department of Justice over the weekend.

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This report came after Fox News reported that the Deputy AG was summoned to the White House. Fox reported a little more detail:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is heading to the White House expecting to be fired, sources tell Fox News, in the wake of a report that he suggested wearing a wire against President Trump and invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him from office last year.

This is a developing story, however one major factor that comes under consideration is the fate of Robert Mueller and his Russiagate investigation, which was authorized by Rosenstein. CNBC had this to say in their piece:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is resigning Monday, according to Axios, which cited a source familiar with the matter.

NBC News’ Pete Williams, however, reported that Rosenstein would not resign of his own accord, and that he will only depart if the White House fired him. He will refuse to resign if asked to do so, Williams added.

Rosenstein was at the White House when Williams reported this on the air. However, President Donald Trump is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly.

Bloomberg later reported that the White House accepted Rosenstein’s resignation, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Rosenstein’s expected resignation will immediately raise questions about the fate of the ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump.

Rosenstein’s job security was called into question after The New York Times reported last week that the No. 2 DOJ official had discussed invoking the 25th amendment to remove Trump, and had also talked about surreptitiously recording the president.

Rosenstein oversees the special counsel investigation, and has appointed Mueller to run the Russia probe last year, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the case.

The special counsel’s office declined to comment on the report.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Axios’ report. The Justice Department did not immediately respond to CNBC’s inquiry.

Trump has repeatedly blasted Mueller’s inquiry, which also is focused on possible collusion with Russia by members of the Trump campaign.

He has called the investigation a “witch hunt,” and has repeatedly vented frustration about Sessions’ recusal, which directly led to Mueller’s appointment by Rosenstein.

Rosenstein’s expected departure comes on the heels of a guilty plea by Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort to conspiracy charges related to his consulting work in Ukraine, which predates his role on the campaign.

As part of the investigation, Mueller’s team has been locked in an ongoing back-and-forth with Trump’s legal team over an in-person interview with the president.

Trump’s lawyers, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have signaled that Trump is unwilling to sit for an interview, calling it a “perjury trap” and setting up a potential challenge for Mueller to subpoena the president.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

 

 

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European Council crushes Theresa May’s soft Brexit dream (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 116.

Alex Christoforou

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May hoped that the European Council was ready to see things her way, in terms of proceeding with a soft Brexit, which was essentially no Brexit at all…at least not the hard Brexit that was voted on in a democratic referendum approximately two years ago.

Much to May’s surprise, European Council President Donald Tusk delivered a death blow verdict for May’s Brexit, noting that EU leaders are in full agreement that Chequers plan for Brexit “will not work” because “it risks undermining the single market.”

Without a miracle compromise springing up come during the October summit, the UK will drift into the March 29, 2019 deadline without a deal and out of the European Union…which was initially what was voted for way back in 2016, leaving everyone asking, what the hell was May doing wasting Britain’s time and resources for two years, so as to return back to the hard Brexit terms she was charged with carrying forward after the 2016 referendum?

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss what was a disastrous EU summit in Salzburg for UK PM Theresa May, in what looks to be the final nail in May’s tenure as UK Prime Minister, as a hard Brexit now seems all but certain.

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Via Zerohedge

Tusk was speaking at the end of an EU summit in Salzburg, where the leaders of the 27 remaining states in the bloc were discussing Brexit. He said that while there were “positive elements” in May’s Chequers plan, a deal that puts the single market at risk cannot be accepted.

“Everybody shared the view that while there are positive elements in the Chequers proposal, the suggested framework for economic co-operation will not work, not least because it is undermining the single market,” Tusk said. He also said that he could not “exclude” the possibility that the UK could exit the EU in March with no deal.

May has been urging her European counterparts to accept her controversial Chequers plan which has split both the Conservative party and the broader UK population after it was thrashed out back in July. However, despite the painfully-slow negotiation process, which appears to have made little headway with just a few months left, the UK is set to leave the EU on March 29 2019 – with or without an exit deal.

The main sticking point that has emerged, and left May and the EU at loggerheads, has been how to avoid new checks on the Irish border. May has claimed that her proposals were the “only serious, credible” way to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland. She said during a press conference after the Salzburg meeting that she would not accept the EU’s “backstop” plan to avoid a Northern Ireland hard border. She said the UK would shortly be bringing forward its own proposals.

May also said that there was “a lot of hard work to be done,” adding that the UK was also preparing for the eventuality of having to leave the EU without a deal. Tusk, meanwhile, said that the upcoming October summit would be the “moment of truth” for reaching a deal, and that “if the conditions are there” another summit would be held in November to “formalize” it.

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Russia makes HUGE strides in drone technology

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The US and Israel are universally recognized leaders in the development and use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones. Thousands of American and Israeli UAVs are operating across the world daily.

The US military has recently successfully tested an air-to-air missile to turn its MQ-9 Reaper drone into an effective long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance unmanned spy aircraft capable of air-to-surface as well as air-to-air missions. This is a major breakthrough. It’s not a secret that Russia has been lagging behind in UAV development. Now its seems to be going to change with tangible progress made to narrow the gap.

Very few nations boast drones capable of high-altitude long endurance (HALE) missions. Russia is to enter the club of the chosen. In late 2017, the Russian Defense Ministry awarded a HALE UAV contract to the Kazan-based Simonov design bureau.

This month, Russian Zvezda military news TV channel showed a video (below) of Altair (Altius) heavy drone prototype aircraft number “03”, going through its first flight test.

Propelled by two RED A03/V12 500hp high fuel efficiency diesel engines, each producing a capacity of 500 hp on takeoff, the 5-ton heavy vehicle with a wingspan of 28.5 meters boasts a maximum altitude of 12km and a range of 10,000km at a cruising speed of 150-250km/h.

Wingspan: about 30 meters. Maximum speed: up to 950 km/h. Flight endurance: 48 hours. Payload: two tons, which allows the creation of a strike version. The vehicle is able to autonomously take off and land or be guided by an operator from the ground.

The UAV can carry the usual range of optical and thermal sensors as well as synthetic-aperture ground-surveillance radar with the resolution of .1 meter at the range of 35km and 1 meter at the range of 125km. The communications equipment allows real-time data exchange.

Russia’s UAV program currently underway includes the development of a range of large, small, and mid-sized drones. The Orion-E medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAV was unveiled at the MAKS 2017 air show. Its developer, Kronstadt Technologies, claims it could be modified for strike missions. The one-ton drone is going through testing now. The Orion-E is capable of automatic takeoff and landing.

It can fly continuously for 24 hours, carrying a surveillance payload of up to 200 kg to include a forward looking infra-red (FLIR) turret, synthetic aperture radar and high resolution cameras. The drone can reach a maximum altitude of 7,500 m. Its range is 250 km.

The Sukhoi design bureau is currently developing the Okhotnik (Hunter) strike drone with a range of about 3,500km. The drone made its maiden flight this year. In its current capacity, it has an anti-radar coating, and will store missiles and precision-guided bombs internally to avoid radar detection.

The Kazan-based Eniks Design Bureau is working on the small T-16 weaponized aerial vehicle able to carry 6 kg of payload.

The new Russian Korsar (Corsair) tactical surveillance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will be upgraded to receive an electronic warfare system. Its operational range will be increased from 150km to 250km. The drone was revealed at Victory Day military parade along with the Korsar unmanned combat helicopter version.

The rotary wing drone lacks the speed and altitude of the fixed wing variant, but has a great advantage of being able to operate without landing strips and can be sea-based. Both drones can carry guided and unguided munitions. The fixed-wing version can be armed with Ataka 9M120 missiles.

The first Russian helicopter-type unmanned aerial vehicle powered by hydrogen fuel cells was presented at the Army-2018 international forum. With the horizontal cruising speed of the drone up to 60 kph, the unmanned chopper can stay in the air at least 2.5 hours to conduct reconnaissance operations. Its payload is up to 5 kg.

Last November, the Kalashnikov Concern reported that it would start production of heavy unmanned aerial vehicles capable of carrying up to several tons of cargo and operating for several days at a time without needing to recharge.

All in all, the Russian military operate 1,900 drones on a daily basis. The multi-purpose Orlan-10 with a range of 600km has become a working horse that no military operation, including combat actions in Syria, can be conducted without. Maj. Gen. Alexander Novikov,
the head of the Russian General Staff’s Office for UAV Development, Russian drones performed over 23,000 flights, lasting 140,000 hours in total.

Russia’s State Armament Program for 2018-2027 puts the creation of armed UAVs at the top of priorities’ list. Looks like the effort begins to pay off. Russia is well on the way to become second to none in UAV capability.

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Via Strategic Culture

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