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BREAKING: China calls Trump’s bluff; warns against unilateral action against North Korea

Telephone call by Chinese President and statement by Chinese Foreign Minister show President Trump’s bluff on North Korea has been called.

Alexander Mercouris

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As the Carl Vinson carrier group resumes its zigzag journey towards North Korea, comes news of a telephone call yesterday by Chinese President Xi Jinping to US President Donald Trump.  Importantly it seems it was President Xi who initiated the call as he set out to President Trump China’s position on the North Korean issue.

The People’s Daily – the official newspaper of China’s Communist Party – has provided a summary of the call

China hopes all parties can exercise “restraint” on the DPRK issue, and not take “provocative actions”, said Chinese President Xi Jinping during a phone conversation with his US counterpart Donald Trump on Monday.

Xi stressed China is strongly against any action that would violate any UN Security Council resolutions. The Chinese president added that only if all parties take their responsibilities and work together can the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue be solved.

The phone conversation came amid rising tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missileprograms, with concerns growing over the possibility of a sixth DPRK nuclear test.

(bold italics added)

An account of the call has also been provided by the White House.  It reads as follows

President Donald J. Trump spoke yesterday with President Xi Jinping of China to address issues regarding North Korea.  President Trump criticized North Korea’s continued belligerence and emphasized that Pyongyang’s actions are destabilizing the Korean Peninsula.  The two leaders reaffirmed the urgency of the threat posed by North Korea’s missile and nuclear programs, and committed to strengthen coordination in achieving the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

This telephone call came simultaneously with a statement yesterday on the North Korean issue by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who is currently in Athens, Greece.  Here complete is the People’s Daily account of what Wang Yi said

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi here on Sunday urged all sides to make voices of peace and reason on the Korean Peninsula issue, and reiterated China’s consistent and definite stand on denuclearizing the Peninsula.

Wang made the statement when asked about the situation of the Korean Peninsula at a joint press conference with his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias.

Wang said that there were already enough shows of force and confrontation at present and that “we need to make peaceful and rational voices.”

China’s stand on the issue of the Korean Peninsula is constant and definite, and will not change, which means adherence to realizing denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and adherence to maintaining peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula. Therefore, peaceful means must be applied to solve the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula, Wang noted.

Though China is not the focus of the current contradiction, and though the key to solving the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula is not in its hands, China, adopting an attitude of assuming responsibility for peace of the Korean Peninsula and regional stability, has always been exerting efforts for resuming peace talks, according to Wang.

Recently, China has put forward a legitimate and reasonable proposal on the issue, which is winning understanding and support from more and more countries, the Chinese minister said, adding that China welcomes solutions proposed by other sides concerned if they also hold sincerity for peace.

China will not be swayed by the various statements concerned, and will not renounce its due responsibility,” Wang said, “China will continue maintaining dialogue and consultation with all sides and continue playing a constructive role in solving the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula.”

(bold italics added)

The highlighted words in the summaries of the comments of Xi Jinping and of Wang Yi make quite clear what China’s message to the US is.

China has warned the US against taking military action against North Korea.  It regards such military action as dangerous, destabilising, provocative and contrary to international law.  It also regards US threats to take unilateral action against North Korea as provocative and unhelpful.

China does not consider itself under any duty to “solve” the North Korean problem (“China is not the focus of the current contradiction”) and cannot and will not force North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons or to stop its nuclear weapons programme (“solving the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula is not in [China’s] hands”).

That appears to rule out China imposing the sort of all-embracing sanctions on North Korea Donald Trump wants it to.

Instead what China wants is direct talks (“resuming peace talks”) between the US and North Korea to resolve their conflict.  Whilst this obviously includes denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula (which would also involve the withdrawal of US nuclear weapons known to be deployed in South Korea), the reference to “peace talks” may imply that China wants the US to negotiate a more all-encompassing peace settlement between itself and North Korea, as was originally envisaged during the previous period of dialogue between the US and North Korea in the 1990s.

The Chinese are making it clear that they are unimpressed both by Donald Trump’s threats and by his bribes (trade agreements and the like), and that they will not be swayed from their position on North Korea because of them (“China will not be swayed by the various statements concerned”).

President Trump’s response to this warning from China appears to have been both defensive and blustering (“President Trump criticized North Korea’s continued belligerence and emphasized that Pyongyang’s actions are destabilizing the Korean Peninsula”).

The strange movements of the Carl Vinson and its associated battle-fleet have understandably enough led many people to the think that the crisis which has been brewing up in the Korean Peninsula over the last few weeks is a wholly fake one, and that nothing real is happening there.

That clearly is not China’s view, as shown by the string of warnings China gave the US yesterday.

If President Trump was bluffing China to get China to put more pressure on North Korea, then – as I predicted–  his bluff has been called, and yesterday he was made starkly aware of the fact by no less a person than the Chinese President.  The fact his bluff was called no doubt explains Trump’s defensive and blustering response.

It is now up to President Trump to decide whether, with his bluff called, he now escalates, or draws back.  It is to be hoped he draws back.

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Putin, Trump meet in Helsinki for first bilateral summit

The Helsinki summit is the first ever full-fledged meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Their previous encounters were brief talks on the sidelines of the G20 and APEC summits in 2017.

Vladimir Rodzianko

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump are meeting in the Finnish capital of Helsinki for their first bilateral one-on-one meeting.

Trump arrived in the Finland capital a day early, while the jet of Putin, who wrapped up his nation’s hosting of the World Cup Sunday, touched down around 1 p.m. local time and the Russian president’s motorcade whisked him straight to the palace where the two world leaders are meeting.

Trump signed an August 2017 law imposing additional sanctions on Russia. The law bars Trump from easing many sanctions without Congress’ approval, but he can offer some relief without a nod from Congress.

Almost 700 Russian people and companies are under U.S. sanctions. Individuals face limits on their travel and freezes on at least some of their assets, while some top Russian state banks and companies, including oil and gas giants, are effectively barred from getting financing through U.S. banks and markets.

The agenda of the summit hasn’t been officially announced yet, though, the presidents are expected to discuss global crises, such as the Syrian conflict and Ukraine, as well as bilateral relations.

Stay tuned for updates…

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“Foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails (Video)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx): Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails was hacked by foreign actor, and it was not Russia.

Alex Christoforou

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A stunning revelation that hardly anyone in the mainstream media is covering.

Fox News gave Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) the opportunity to explain what was going on during his questioning of Peter Strzok, when the the Texas Congressman stated that a “foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Aside from this segment on Fox News, this story is not getting any coverage, and we know why. It destroys the entire ‘Russia hacked Hillary’ narrative.

Gohmert states that this evidence is irrefutable and shows that a foreign actor, not connected to Russia in any way, intercepted and distributed Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Via Zerohedge

As we sift through the ashes of Thursday’s dumpster-fire Congressional hearing with still employed FBI agent Peter Strzok, Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller plucked out a key exchange between Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) and Strzok which revealed a yet-unknown bombshell about the Clinton email case.

Nearly all of Hillary Clinton’s emails on her homebrew server went to a foreign entity that isn’t Russia. When this was discovered by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), IG Chuck McCullough sent his investigator Frank Ruckner and an attorney to notify Strzok along with three other people about the “anomaly.”

Four separate attempts were also made to notify DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to brief him on the massive security breach, however Horowitz “never returned the call.” Recall that Horowitz concluded last month that despite Strzok’s extreme bias towards Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump – none of it translated to Strzok’s work at the FBI.

In other words; Strzok, while investigating Clinton’s email server, completely ignored the fact that most of Clinton’s emails were sent to a foreign entity – while IG Horowitz simply didn’t want to know about it.

Daily Caller reports…

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found an “anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list,” Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said during a hearing with FBI official Peter Strzok.

Gohmert continued..

“It was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia.”

Strzok admitted to meeting with Ruckner but said he couldn’t remember the “specific” content of their discussion.

“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert said, “but you were given that information and you did nothing with it.”

According to Zerohedge “Mr. Horowitz got a call four times from someone wanting to brief him about this, and he never returned the call,” Gohmert said – and Horowitz wouldn’t return the call.

And while Peter Strzok couldn’t remember the specifics of his meeting with the IG about the giant “foreign entity” bombshell, he texted this to his mistress Lisa Page when the IG discovered the “(C)” classification on several of Clinton’s emails – something the FBI overlooked:

“Holy cow … if the FBI missed this, what else was missed? … Remind me to tell you to flag for Andy [redacted] emails we (actually ICIG) found that have portion marks (C) on a couple of paras. DoJ was Very Concerned about this.”

Via Zerohedge

In November of 2017, IG McCullough – an Obama appointee – revealed to Fox News that he received pushback when he tried to tell former DNI James Clapper about the foreign entity which had Clinton’s emails and other anomalies.

Instead of being embraced for trying to expose an illegal act, seven senators including Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca) wrote a letter accusing him of politicizing the issue.

“It’s absolutely irrelevant whether something is marked classified, it is the character of the information,” he said. Fox News reports…

McCullough said that from that point forward, he received only criticism and an “adversarial posture” from Congress when he tried to rectify the situation.

“I expected to be embraced and protected,” he said, adding that a Hill staffer “chided” him for failing to consider the “political consequences” of the information he was blowing the whistle on.

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Donald Trump plays good cop and bad cop with a weak Theresa May (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 55.

Alex Christoforou

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US President Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK was momentous, not for its substance, but rather for its sheer entertainment value.

Trump started his trip to the United Kingdom blasting Theresa May for her inability to negotiate a proper Brexit deal with the EU.  Trump ended his visit holding hands with the UK Prime Minister during a press conference where the most ‘special relationship’ between the two allies was once again reaffirmed.

Protests saw giant Trump “baby balloons” fly over London’s city center, as Trump played was his own good cop and bad cop to the UK PM, outside London at the Chequers…often times leaving May’s head spinning.

Even as Trump has left London, he remains front and center in the mind of Theresa May, who has now stated that Trump advised her to “sue” the European Union to resolve the tense negotiations over Brexit.

Trump had mentioned to reporters on Friday at a joint press conference with Theresa May that he had given the British leader a suggestion that she found too “brutal.”

Asked Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show what that suggestion was, May: “He told me I should sue the EU. Not go into negotiation, sue them.” May added…

“What the president also said at that press conference was `Don’t walk away. Don’t walk away from the negotiations. Then you’re stuck.”‘

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris summarize what was a state visit like no other, as Trump trolled the UK PM from beginning to end, and left London knowing that he got the better of a weakened British Prime Minister, who may not survive in office past next week.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran’s YouTube Channel.

Via CNBC

It wasn’t exactly clear what Trump meant. The revelation came after explosive and undiplomatic remarks Trump made this week about May’s leadership — especially her handling of the Brexit negotiations — as he made his first official visit to Britain.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper published Thursday — just as May was hosting Trump at a lavish black-tie dinner — Trump said the British leader’s approach likely “killed” chances of a free-trade deal with the United States. He said he had told May how to conduct Brexit negotiations, “but she didn’t listen to me.”

He also praised May’s rival, Boris Johnson, who quit last week as foreign secretary to protest May’s Brexit plans. Trump claimed Johnson would make a “great prime minister.”

The comments shocked many in Britain — even May’s opponents — and threatened to undermine May’s already fragile hold on power. Her Conservative government is deeply split between supporters of a clean break with the EU and those who want to keep close ties with the bloc, Britain’s biggest trading partner.

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