Trump agrees to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, South Korea says

President Trump responds to a question from a reporter after signing a presidential proclamation on steel and aluminum tariffs Thursday. (Photo: MICHAEL REYNOLDS, EPA-EFE)

 

WASHINGTON — President Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May for high-level talks over the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, a South Korean official said outside the White House Thursday.

The extraordinary and unexpected opening came through shuttle diplomacy by a South Korean delegation arriving in Washington Thursday. Trump heralded the development as a “major announcement” after speaking with the South Korean president. Continue reading

Mattis to Army: ‘Stand ready’ if North Korea diplomacy fails

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis speaks during the opening ceremony of the AUSA annual meeting at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. on Monday. (Mike Morones)

 

America’s relationship with North Korea remains a diplomatic one, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said Monday, but he urged members of the military to be prepared in case the situation breaks down.

Mattis also used his keynote speech at the annual AUSA conference in Washington, D.C., to thank allies who have stood with the U.S. through the ages.

“It is right now a diplomatically, economic-sanctions-buttressed effort to try and turn North Korea off of this path,” Mattis told the audience. “What does the future hold? Neither you nor I can say.”

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Pentagon: Iran Seeking New Missiles, War Equipment

Joint Chiefs of Staff chair Gen. Joseph Dunford / AP

 

Says American cash has not fueled Tehran’s buildup

Pentagon officials are downplaying declarations by Iran that it is spending some $1.7 billion provided by the United States on new advanced weapons systems, while also acknowledging that the Islamic Republic continues to build its military arsenal at an increasing rate, according to a Defense Department assessment obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, informed Congress in an unclassified communication last week that the Pentagon does not believe Iran has spent some $1.7 billion awarded by the United States as part of what many described as a “ransom” payment to purchase new military equipment. Continue reading

Obama has turned Putin into the world’s most powerful leader

The baton was officially transferred Monday to the world’s new sole superpower — and Vladimir Putin willingly picked it up.

President Obama (remember him?) embraced the ideals espoused by the United Nations’ founders 70 years ago: Diplomacy and “international order” will win over time, while might and force will lose. Continue reading

Barack Obama admits Iran nuclear deal will mean more money for terror groups

Barack Obama admitted yesterday that the Iran nuclear deal is likely to provide more funding for terror groups like Hezbollah but insisted the agreement was still the best way to keep America out of another war in the Middle East.

In a provocative defence of the nuclear pact, Mr Obama said his critics were the same people who launched a failed war in Iraq and warned that Republican plans to tear up the agreement would leave America diplomatically isolated and economically weakened.

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Plan B For Iran

https://i1.wp.com/images.politico.com/global/2015/06/23/b2-spirit.jpg

 

If the nuclear negotiations go bad, the U.S. has a backup: Obama can drop the MOP, the world’s largest non-nuclear bomb.

President Barack Obama’s nuclear diplomacy with Iran may yet fail. On Tuesday, exactly one week before a June 30 deadline for an agreement, Iran’s Supreme Leader delivered his latest in a series of defiant statements, setting conditions for a deal—including immediate relief from sanctions, before Iran has taken steps to limit its nuclear program—that Obama will never accept. Secretary of State John Kerry warned last week that the U.S. is prepared to walk away from the talks. And even if a deal is reached, the story is not over. The Iranians may break or cheat on an agreement, and try build a nuclear weapon anyway.

That’s why, at least three times in the past year, a B-2 stealth bomber has taken off from an Air Force base in Missouri and headed west to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. For these missions, the $2 billion plane was outfitted with one of the world’s largest bombs. It is a cylinder of special high-performance steel, 20 feet long and weighing 15 tons. When dropped from an altitude likely above 20,000 feet, the bomb would have approached supersonic speed before striking a mock target in the desert, smashing through rock and burrowing deep into the ground before its 6,000 pounds of high explosives detonated with devastating force. Continue reading

Israel’s Final Warning on Iran

With no military threat, Iran has no incentive to stop its nuclear progress. Iran might well conclude that the sanctions could disappear in the course of endless rounds of diplomacy. No one in Israel seeks war, but a central tenet of its own defense doctrine is that Israel cannot depend on any external power to deal with existential security threats.

The coming weeks probably represent the last opportunity for Iran and the international community to reach an enforceable deal that will dismantle Tehran’s nuclear weapons program, before Israel concludes that time has run out, that Iran has gotten too close to creating its first atomic bombs, and that the time for a military strike has arrived. Continue reading

Washington and Europe rush headlong towards accepting a nuclear Iran

The Iranian delegation arrived at the UN General Assembly in New York this week to an enthusiastic Western welcome led by the Obama administration, without having rescinded one iota of its aggressive policies or nuclear ambitions.

“We welcome an Iran ready to engage seriously through that (diplomatic) process given that it represents the international community’s commitment to hold Iran accountable, but also being open to a diplomatic resolution.”

This convoluted message was how Ben Rhodes, US Deputy National Security Adviser, referred Monday, Sept. 23, to the US Secretary of State John Kerry’s get-together with Iranian Mohammad Javad Zarif Thursday, along with foreign ministers of the five world powers. Continue reading

Netanyahu Is Said to View Iran Deal as a Possible Trap

WASHINGTON — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, stepping up his effort to blunt a diplomatic offensive by Iran, plans to warn the United Nations next week that a nuclear deal with the Iranian government could be a trap similar to one set by North Korea eight years ago, according to an Israeli official involved in drafting the speech.

But the Israeli government, clearly rattled by the sudden talk of a diplomatic opening, offered a preview Sunday of Mr. Netanyahu’s hard-edged message, in which he will set the terms for what would be acceptable to Israel in any agreement concerning Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Continue reading

Think tanks make case for Obama administration’s policy shift on Iran

Two long-time left-leaning think tanks lead the charge in turning a blind eye to a real threat.

WASHINGTON — Two leading U.S. think tanks have dismissed a military option against Iran and are in line with the Obama administration’s push for a U.S. reconciliation with Iran and acceptance of its nuclear program. Continue reading

Russian warships launch drill from Tartus versus US-Israeli-Greek naval exercise

Not 24 hours after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that a pre-emptive strike (by the US and/or Israel) would violate international law, Moscow put muscle into his warning: Tuesday, April 3, the Russian guided missile destroyer Smetliviy arrived  in the Syrian port of Tartus from its Black Sea base for a naval exercise. The warship’s support group is on the way.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the Russian flotilla carried a threefold message for Washington:

1.  The Russian-Iranian strategy of propping up the Assad regime which has brought the Syrian ruler close to victory over his foes, will continue: Diplomacy will be propelled by military impetus.
2.  Russia is providing the Assad regime with defense systems capable of repelling foreign military intervention.
3.  Consigning the Smetliviy warship to Syria illustrates Moscow’s new rapid response policy: Russia is launching a naval exercise in the eastern Mediterranean to match the “Noble Dina” air and naval maneuver the US, Israel and Greece are conducting across a broad expanse of sea between Crete and the Israeli bases at Haifa and Ashdod.

Full article: Russian warships launch drill from Tartus versus US-Israeli-Greek naval exercise (DEBKAfile)

Clinton: Iranian Diplomatic Window Not ‘Infinite’

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday said the diplomatic track for dealing with Iran’s nuclear program is not “infinite”.

“So the sooner that we begin talks, the better it will be,” Clinton advised Terhan, adding that EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is still consulting with Iran on the time and venues of resumed nuclear dialog with Iran.

Full article: Clinton: Iranian Diplomatic Window Not ‘Infinite’ (Arutz Sheva)

A new word for Chinese diplomacy – ‘duplimacy’?

“China wants to develop long-term friendship and cooperation with India.” So said the Chinese official who held border talks with Indian officials this week. He also predicted a “golden period for India-China relations” in the near future. What he did not say, but sceptics like me heard him say between the lines, is that all this is possible only if it is done on China’s terms.

What we heard between the lines is never uttered by China, but only demonstrated by its actions. So the real dichotomy lies between what China “says” and what China “does”.

Full article: A new word for Chinese diplomacy – ‘duplimacy’? (Space War)