South Korea Warns Trump Only It Can Declare War On North

 

A day after US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford promised him that the US would exhaust all diplomatic options, including another round of UN sanctions, before resorting to a “military solution” in its simmering conflict with North Korea, South Korean President Moon Jae-in reminded Washington during a forceful Tuesday speech that the US would need to seek, and receive, South Korea’s consent before risking another armed conflict on the Korean peninsula, signaling his country will no longer stay quiet as tensions escalate with its northern neighbor.

As Bloomberg summarizes, “Moon asserted the right to veto any military action against Kim Jong Un’s regime, saying that decision should be made by “ourselves and not by anyone else.” He vowed to prevent war at any cost – a statement that drew a sharp contrast with President Donald Trump, who has warned of “fire and fury” if North Korea continues to threaten the U.S.” Continue reading

Russia ‘ready to destabilise half of Eurasia’

Russia does not have a veto on Georgia’s foreign policy and billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili does not rule the country, the Georgian president has said.

The president, Giorgi Margvelashvili, spoke to EUobserver in Brussels after meeting Nato and EU leaders earlier in the week.

There is no imminent prospect of Georgia joining either of the clubs. Continue reading

Is U.S. Israel’s Ally “When It Matters”?

Samantha Power, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, says the U.S. will no longer automatically exercise its veto in the UN Security Council to protect Israel.

In testimony before the Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, Power specifically declined to rule out support for resolutions on Palestinian statehood or the “peace process.” “We will look to see what will advance Israel’s security and what will advance peace in the region… Our objective as an administration is what can we do to defuse tensions, what will it take to get those negotiations back on track.”

When Committee members expressed skepticism, she replied, “We will continue to work extremely closely with Israel in New York. As you know well we have a record of standing when it matters with Israel.” Continue reading

Legacy watch: Israel should beware a wounded Obama

The lamed U.S. president might well seek to repair his reputation abroad — at Israel’s expense.

The potential consequences of the Republican sweep of the 2014 midterm elections should be neither over-stated nor under-stated, especially with reference to the wounded administration’s policies towards the Middle East in general and Israel in particular.

What is not so clear is what this will mean in practice. When the Senate reconvenes in January, the Republicans will have 53 or 54 seats out of a hundred, depending on what happens in the Louisiana runoff election next month. That is not enough to cut off debate, which requires sixty votes, and even less so to override presidential vetoes, which requires sixty-seven votes. In other words, despite the election results, the Republicans cannot pass significant legislation unless they have at least a half dozen or more Democratic votes in the Senate, and even then, if the president vetoes any such measures, they are very unlikely to be able to override his veto. Continue reading