North Korea - Page 2

Will Trump’s Deal with a Dangerous Company be Blocked by Congress?


Donald Trump did what no other president before him could do. He started denuclearization talks with North Korea, and instead of welcoming him to his country as a hero, the Congress awaited him with criticism. Both Republican and Democratic senators agreed to counter his decision to save the Chinese telecommunications company ZTE.

Donald Trump is expected to fight back. He is going to say that he knows what he is doing, but this will only make him look weak and perhaps not even his allies will back him up in this. But the Senate must not give up. The ZTE is considered to be a threat to the American security, and there are possible ties between the company and the Trump family business, which would be the main reason why POTUS wanted to save it.

Why did the US put ZTE on the list of sanctions? Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the other law enforcement officials claim that it violated export controls. In other words, the American technology was supposed to be kept out of the hands of North Korea and Iran. But the ZTE resumed shipping to those countries even after their actions have been revealed. According to the Justice Department, the violations were a part of an “elaborate scheme” that was approved by the top management of ZTE.

Trump wants ZTE to resume business with the American supplier in exchange for a $1 billion fine. Even though it sounds much, the Chinese company would have no problem paying this since they had a market capitalization of around $20 billion, before the sanctions were announced.

But the precedent set here is horrific. The other businesses can come to the negotiating table aware of the fact that they can commit violations and lie to the American investigators. After that, all they have to do is buy their way out of the problem. Why is the ZTE receiving the special treatment? Even though that is unclear, many people believe that the Trump family has some kind of benefit from it.

And they do. Just a few days before Trump announced his decision to rescue ZTE, it was divulged that the Trump family benefits from over $500 million in investments extended by a conglomerate owned by the Chinese government in an Indonesian development project which is in connection with the Trump Organization. According to the developer, the Trumps are the partners in this project and considering that POTUS remained a part of the company, he is earning money from the investment.

But Donald is not the only person from the family who benefits. The Chinese government approved seven new trademarks for the business of his daughter, Ivanka. The value of these trademarks remains unknown, but it is estimated that they go as high as millions of dollars. Also, it is necessary to mention Ms. Trump and Jared Kushner, her husband grossed $82 million last year, but their operations in China are hard to trace. Even though some gaps need to be filled to complete the picture, it is quite clear that the Trump family benefits big time.

On the other hand, $500 million to China means nothing. However, the US could face severe consequences. That is why so many people in Congress sought a standing in the Federal District Court in the District of Columbia, alleging that POTUS has violated a constitution by receiving profit from Chinese and the other foreign governments.

As for the ZTE, the Senate provision is introduced by the Republicans Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio as well as the Democrats Chuck Schumer and Chris Van Hollen who want the sanction on the Chinese communications company re-imposed. This is something senators are not likely to give up on, but they will have Trump on the opposite side, who has had success in talks with Kim.


Trump-Kim Summit Happening On Sentosa Island


Knowing what is at stake and what we could hear from both current and previous leaders of the U.S. and North Korea, it isn’t hard to understand why the summit that will be held on Singapore’s Sentosa Island is characterized as historic. While most details about June 12 meeting are not confirmed it has been reported that the two will talk in one of the hotels located on the island.

This will be the first summit of the leaders of the two countries and Trump has said that he is satisfied with everything that happened prior to the meeting. Plans are “moving along very nicely,” POTUS stated and added “A lot of relationships being built, a lot of negotiations going on before the trip. It’s very important – it’ll be a very important couple of days.”

According to Sarah Sanders, White House press secretary, five-star Capella Hotel is the place where the summit will be held. It is interesting that both sides will be staying in different hotels. For Kim Jong-un, this will be St Regis Singapore while Mr. Trump will choose Shangri-La Hotel as a place where he already been.

While the island is plagued with dark things from its history, it has become one of the most interesting places for those that have deeper pockets. This is due to its beauty and the fact that so many luxury resorts are located on it, plus it is very close to the main island. You will find golf clubs and private marinas all over the place.

Sentosa Cove that is located on the island is one of the most prestigious residential areas in this country, and it is normal to see multi-million dollar villas with yachts parked and ready to take its owners for a cruise. If you want to spend some time at one of the luxury resorts be prepared to pay at least $500 a night while the prices can go significantly up. For those that hoped to see some of the action and two leaders might be disappointed as there are no available rooms before June 15.

One of the main reasons for choosing Sentosa is its location and the fact that you can access it only by monorail, vehicle tunnel, cable car and a pedestrian causeway. On top of that, if Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un get tired of the talks they can always hit one of many golf courses.


Putin Invites Kim Jong-un To Russia


Reports coming from Kremlin suggest that Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited Kim Jong-un, leader of North Korea, to Russia. The purpose of the visit isn’t clear nor with whom the rogue state dictator will meet. What we do know is that he will most likely travel to the far east city of Vladivostok in September and will be a part of an economic forum.

Invitation from Moscow comes as a follow up of the Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister visit to Pyongyang and we are sure that talks went well as the head of the state decided to call his colleague from North Korea for a visit. Hopefully, this and other meetings will help to resolve the issues and quarrels that Washington and Pyongyang currently have.

We know that Trump/Kim summit has been scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, and in the last few weeks, it has been on and off. This, unfortunately, mostly depends on the mood of the two leaders that are planned to meet.

Putin also talked about the summit he could potentially have with the U.S. President Donald Trump. He blamed current political situation in America as the reason why this meeting didn’t happen. A few months ago, in March to be more precise, Trump said that they would meet soon. The problem here is that Washington and Moscow’s relations are not in the best shape. On top of that, problems like the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain and the conflict in Syria certainly make the matters even worse.

Here is what Putin said when asked about the meeting and why does it take so long for it to be organized: “You have to ask our colleagues in the USA. In my view it is the consequence of the fierce domestic political contest in the United States.” He also added that: “In one of our last discussions, Donald said he is concerned about the danger of a new arms race. I agree with him entirely.”

Currently, special counsel Robert Muller is investigating the potential involvement of Russia in 2016 U.S. elections. These allegations were denied by both Trump and Putin.


Trump-Kim Summit Still Under Question


In the past couple of weeks, many things happened between North Korea and the US. Historic meeting was announced then canceled, then again confirmed after which it was dropped and so on. During the last few days, it seems that the officials are on the same page and the talks about the Trump-Kim summit are going in the right direction, but, it is still under question according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo said that in the last 72 hours things were pushed forward, and it is a noticeable improvement of the relations between the two countries, but also stressed out how there is a lot more work to be done. He stated that they are making progress to finalizing the deal regarding the summit where leaders will meet and talk about denuclearization of Korean Peninsula.

The decision of Pyongyang to send high official, Kim Yong-chol, that is considered the right hand of Kim Jong-un, is a clear sign that they want to make a deal. On the other hand, we know that the agreement, if it gets made, will not come cheaply. North Korea sacrificed a lot into the development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles program, and they will not give it all up easily.

While Kim Yong-chol and Mike Pompeo are talking in New York, it has been reported that additional meetings between Washington and Pyongyang representatives are being held in both Singapore and at the Demilitarized Zone between South and North Korea. Pompeo also added that this is a great opportunity for the deal to be struck and that it would be “nothing short of tragic to let this opportunity go to waste.”

Looking back at the previous agreements that were made between North and other countries we can conclude that in most cases the rogue state was the one that broke the terms and cancels deals. This time, hopefully, it will be different, and we will have a summit of two leaders that will provide us with a solution.

The main objective of these talks is to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and according to Harry Kazianis, director of Defense Studios at the Center for the National interest this might not happen. “After listening to Secretary Pompeo today, I would argue North Korea is still unwilling — and maybe never will be willing — to satisfy the Trump Administration’s goal of a denuclearization agreement before any summit in Singapore. And make no mistake: This is the key to getting a summit finalized.”

What many experts did notice are the positive signs from North, and that the current talks are going really well. Also, this was confirmed by POTUS saying that New York meeting is going “very well.” On Friday it is expected for the Pyongyang officials to travel to Washington where they will deliver “a letter from Kim Jong Un,” for Trump.


Russian Foreign Minister to Visit North Korea


According to the Foreign Ministry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is going to travel to the North Korean capital to talk about the country’s nuclear program. Another topic will be bilateral cooperation. In a statement on Wednesday, the Foreign Ministry noted: “Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s official visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will take place on May 31.”

Lavrov is going to meet with his North Korean counterpart, and the two sides will focus on key international problems and Pyongyang’s nuclear program as well. North keeps moving forward in reducing the tensions with the world leaders and their Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho had talks with Lavrov last month. There have been previous attempts to prevent North Korea from advancing their nuclear program and Russia was a part of the five-year dialogue that took place between 2003 and 2008.

Lavrov is going to visit the country before the highly expected summit between two world leaders – Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. One of the North Korean officials was on his way to the US for the diplomatic preparations for the historic meeting. According to the representatives, the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will welcome Kim Yong Chol, the right-hand man to the North Korean ruler in New York.

Meanwhile, Trump explained the entire situation on Twitter. He posted that the general was on his way, but he pointed out that Washington assembled a “great team” for the talks, hoping that this would lead closer to the solution for North Korea’s nuclear program. The US President has great expectations from the summit, scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.

“Meetings are currently taking place concerning Summit, and more. Kim Young (sic) Chol, the Vice Chairman of North Korea, heading now to New York. Solid response to my letter, thank you!” Trump wrote. In the meantime, Japan put this entire process under scrutiny. They are also an important piece of the puzzle as America’s allies, and Trump will meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Washington on June 7. The meeting is confirmed by Sarah Sanders, White House spokesperson.

“Since the president’s May 24 letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the North Koreans have been engaging. The United States continues to actively prepare for President Trump’s expected summit with leader Kim in Singapore,” Sanders noted.

Kim Yong Chol went to the Beijing airport on Wednesday, and he used the restricted VIP entrance, thus avoiding any media. One of Pompeo’s spokespersons said that this would be the third meeting between newly-appointed Secretary of State and Kim Yong Chol. The summit between Trump and Kim was almost canceled when Trump declared “open hostility” from North Korea, but the two leaders cooled down, and the meeting is on again. The talks between the US negotiators and North Koreans commenced on Sunday, and the Americans are led by Washington’s ambassador to the Philippines, Sung Kim. Sanders said: “They plan to have additional meetings this week.”

Kim Yong Chol, the man we have mentioned multiple times, will play a crucial role in the nuclear stalemate on the Korean Peninsula. He was the one sitting close to Trump’s daughter Ivanka during the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics that took place in South Korea. When Kim Jong Un went to China, it was Chol who accompanied him. While he is well-respected in North Korea, he is a notorious persona in South Korea. He was accused of planning out the sinking of the Cheonan navy corvette that killed 46 sailors in 2010.

Another man who was spotted in Singapore during the prep phase was Kim Chang Son, Kim Jong Un’s chief of staff. We know that the topic between the two sides – the Washington and Pyongyang will be denuclearization. But the talks will be time-consuming as Washington wants the process to start as soon as possible, but North Korea may be unwilling to do anything unless they get the guarantee from the US that they will not meddle in the politics and try to use this to topple the regime.

High North Korea Official Kim Yong-chol To Visit US


During the last few weeks, we went from war to becoming friends in America and North Korea relations. It would be great if it could stay that way, but the things are going back and forth with two leaders proving not to be quite adequate to deal with the situation.

First, we had a meeting scheduled for June 12 between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, then, both sides threatened to cancel the summit, and now we have a high official from North Korea coming to the US to talk about the meeting. General Kim Yong-chol is considered to be the right-hand man of the North Korean leader, and this will be the highest official that visited America from 2000.

According to Yonhap, South Korean news agency, Kim Yong-chol is scheduled to travel on Wednesday to the US. This is pretty much preparation for the historic summit between two leaders as both sides are working for this meeting to happen. Reports say that North’s general will first talk with Chinese officials in Beijing before going to New York.

With General Kim participating in the planning of the summit, it would be another proof that Pyongyang wants this to happen. A former spy chief was one of the negotiators in talks between two Koreas and was accused of ordering the attack on South Korea’s warship in which 46 seamen were killed. Hacking of Sony Pictures in 2014 is another thing that lies on his resume. All these caused the US to set personal sanctions during 2010 and 2015.

Reports from North Korea said that he has been punished in 2016 for an “overbearing attitude,” but even after that, he continued to be quite active and regular on both party and army meetings. General Kim was also a part of the delegation from North that went to South for a closing ceremony of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

It is also important to note that Kim Yong-chol was present at both meetings that Kim Jong-un had with China and South Korea representatives. He has also talked with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the capital of North Korea. Among other activities that have been scheduled to happen before the official summit between the two sides in Singapore, is the meeting of “pre-advance” team from Washington and the representatives from Pyongyang, also to be held in Singapore.


Stock Market Reacts To Trump/Kim Summit Being Canceled


The United States stock index finished lower than usual after Donald Trump canceled his meeting with Kim Jong Un. The entire market dropped after the announcement, but energy companies whose stock fell the most managed to recover the largest part of their losses.

The drop in energy companies and oil futures happened because the market reacted to the news that OPEC nations might start to produce more oil. Rates edged down, and because of this banks fell, and they were followed with car industry when Toyota and Fiat Chrysler fell after POTUS announced tariffs on imported cars and car parts. Similarly to other Trump moves in recent weeks, this statement was followed by disagreement from China, Japan, and European Union.

One of the stock market indexes that took the biggest hit was Dow Jones Industrial that fell for 280 points, and additional 1% after Trump announced that Singapore summit is off. The reason for cancellation, according to POTUS, is the “tremendous anger and open hostility” shown by North Korea in their most recent statement released to the press.


Another segment that went down heavily, and it was one of the biggest in recent years, is technology sector. At the same time, defense contractors climbed. This always happens when the nuclear threats become a theme in the news. The market started recovering right after Mr. Trump said that summit could happen in June, or at a later date. At the end of the day, stocks were slightly lower from the spot they were before the Trump’s announcement.

Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for the Independent Advisor Alliance, said that stockbrokers were more alarmed by threats of nuclear war exchanged between Trump and Kim in the past than they are now. Because of this, when nuclear weapons are mentioned, the market doesn’t react panically as it did in past years. Zaccarelli said: “The first time the market hears these threats, there’s a large reaction, and after that, there’s less reaction. It’s just rhetoric right now, and there’s no actual military conflict, [so] these moves are kind of short-lived.”


Cancelling of Trump-Kim Meeting Helps Only China


President of The United States, Donald Trump, decided to cancel the meeting with Kim Jong-un that was scheduled for June 12th. The news was a disappointment to some of America’s allies in Asia, but one particular country will be pleased with this development – China.

This announcement will stop the planned denuclearization of North Korea, a goal on which the US, South Korea, and North were working in previous months. Trump was the one advocating for this summit, but he changed his opinion entirely yesterday by saying: “Our very strong sanctions, by far the strongest in history, and maximum pressure campaign will continue.”

It is expected that China will use the halt in the NK/USA negotiations to strengthen its position in the dialog with America about the new trading deal. These talks will also be influenced by the North Korean reaction to what POTUS did. In years and months prior to this meeting, North Korea was a hostile nation which frequently tested ballistic missiles and conducted nuclear tests. But in recent months they changed their policy and were heading to a peaceful future, even releasing US prisoners and destroying one of their nuclear test sites.


Now, that Trump withdraws himself from the summit it remains to be seen how will Kim Jong-un react. It is possible that if he gets offended with this move that nuclear and ballistic missiles tests will continue and the region will once again be on its feet. But, if he decides not to proceed with these actions, his position in the region will be strengthened especially from Chinese standpoint. At the moment China is the North Korea’s most significant trade partner, and this relationship could only improve with recent development.

Adam Mount, a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, said about Trump’s withdrawal: “Trump walking away from the summit lets North Korea meet all its objectives: public recognition, lighter sanctions, damage to US alliances and continued nuclear advancement.”

The cancellation of the meeting affects South Korea and its president Moon Jae-in the most, and Lee Byong-chul, a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Peace and Cooperation in Seoul, talked about this: “Moon Jae-in’s people must be panic-stricken by now because they have invested so much in the Trump-Kim summit. At home, they will face a gleeful political opposition who will ridicule them for being so naive.”


On the other hand, authorities in Japan are glad that summit is canceled, as they were of the opinion that the things were moving too quickly and without enough Japan involvement. Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe was afraid that NK and US would break a deal that suits their needs and which would be harmful to his country.

President Xi Jinping of China also thought that the conversation between Kim and Trump are going too fast and that it could do more harm than good for Beijing. But with the meeting being canceled, China now has space to broaden its influence on their neighbors. According to James Mann, it’s in China’s interest that summit gets delayed as long as possible: “It is in Xi’s interest not only to delay but to have the summit pending for as long as possible. The prospect of a deal without a deal itself gives China leverage over the US, especially on trade.”

Cheng Xiaohe, a North Korea expert at Renmin University in Beijing, said: “The cancellation may offer China an opportunity to do something to salvage the aborted meeting.”


President Trump believes that recent meeting between Xi and Kim was the reason that NK decided not to abandon its nuclear program as quickly as it seemed they would.

One of the reasons for why Trump canceled the meeting was the “tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in North Korea most recent statement.” On Thursday NK released official statement which was a warning to the US: “The United States must choose between encountering North Korea in a meeting room or a nuclear-to-nuclear showdown.”

On Tuesday Trump said: “There was a different attitude by the North Korean folks after that meeting. I can’t say that I’m happy about it.”


Political analysts disagree with Trump by believing that North Korea changed their stance without outside influence, from the fear for their survival. Most officials in the North think that deal of the denuclearization must allow them to retain some sort of nuclear arsenal for their safety.

But, a possibility remains that Xi had a word in it because, without a deal between NK and the US, they have leverage on both the situation in North Korea and their trade talks with the United States.


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