Putin Says US Guarantees Unlikely to Prompt North Korea to De-Nuclearize

By Hyonhee Shin and Joyce Lee, et al – Re-Blogged From IJR

Russian President Vladimir Putin said after holding talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday that he thought U.S. security guarantees would probably not be enough to persuade Pyongyang to shut its nuclear program.

Putin and Kim held a day of talks on an island off the Russian Pacific city of Vladivostok two months after Kim’s summit with U.S. President Donald Trump ended in disagreement, cooling hopes of a breakthrough in the decades-old nuclear row.

Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

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Trump Extends China Tariff Deadline

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

President Donald Trump said on Sunday he would delay an increase in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods thanks to “productive” trade talks and that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping would meet to seal a deal if progress continued.

The announcement was the clearest sign yet that China and the United States are closing in on a deal to end a months-long trade war that has slowed global growth and disrupted markets.

Trump had planned to raise tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports into the United States if an agreement between the world’s two largest economies were not reached by Friday.

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Conflict Over Kashmir Risks Nuclear Winter

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Many important things happened yesterday. Cohen testified before the Congress, the US-North Korea Summit took place, while tensions between India and Pakistan escalated. Will these developments boost gold?

India and Pakistan Engage in Another Conflict over Kashmir

India and Pakistan are once again squaring off over the disputed region of Kashmir. It began with the suicide attack in Indian-administered Kashmir, which killed more than 40 people. As the Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed claimed responsibility for the bombing, India retaliated and launched air strikes inside Pakistan, the first aerial attacks across the Line of Control dividing both countries since 1971. The results of these strikes are not confirmed. However, we know that two Indian jets were shot down and Pakistan army captured one pilot.

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A Distracted U.S. Struggles To Shift Its Global Focus

Omar Lamrani By Omar Lamrani – Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • The United States is restructuring its global military footprint, reallocating its resources and shifting its strategic focus to better compete against China and Russia.
  • To achieve this, the United States will be compelled to prioritize its commitments in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
  • However, enduring U.S. commitments elsewhere and emerging global flashpoints will sidetrack Washington’s attention and resources. 

U.S. soldiers watch paratroopers from the U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade, the UK's 16 Air Assault Brigade and Italian Folgore Airborne Brigade as they parachute to the ground during a training jump as part of the Saber Junction 16 military exercises near the Hohenfels Training Area. April 2016, near Grafenwoehr, Germany.

(MATEJ DIVIZNA/Getty Images)

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A Defiant Russia Builds Barriers to U.S. Sanctions

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • As the United States pressures Russia with sanctions, Moscow will use a mix of options to counter the penalties in the short term, including diplomatic negotiations and financial support for threatened businesses.
  • In the long term, Russia will continue deploying a strategy to insulate its people and businesses, leading Moscow to increasingly move away from the West and toward the East.
  • While Moscow may make tactical concessions to protect its economic interests, U.S. sanctions ultimately will be ineffective in compelling Russia to strategically shift its foreign policy, meaning the Russia-West standoff is here to stay.

This photograph shows bars of aluminum.

(MIKE DOTTA/Shutterstock)

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U.S. President Donald Trump Cancels the North Korea Summit With Kim Jong Un

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

In a shock announcement, U.S. President Donald Trump has canceled the planned June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. In a letter directly addressed to Kim, released early May 24, the U.S. president thanked his North Korean counterpart for his time and patience in the discussions but said that the “tremendous anger and open hostility” displayed in North Korea’s most recent statement made a meeting inappropriate. The letter is referring to a May 23 statement made by North Korean Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Choe Son Hui in the state-run media outlet KCNA, in which she threatened to pull out of the North Korean summit and condemned U.S. Vice President Mike Pence for recent remarks threatening North Korea if it doesn’t make a deal with the United States. Choe’s statement is the second such threat from North Korean officials in the past week. Trump’s letter ends with an invitation for North Korea to reach out if the country changes its mind about its position on the United States.

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Can North Korea Really Give Up Its Nukes?

Rodger Baker By Rodger Baker – Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Highlights

  • North Korea’s diplomatic outreach again raises the possibility that it is willing to use its nuclear program as a bargaining chip.
  • With an eye toward regime survival and eventual Korean unification, Pyongyang could trade away the public face of its nuclear weapons program.
  • Having offered such a concession, North Korea will demand a lot more than an easing of sanctions by South Korea and the United States in return.

In this photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Chemical Material Institute of the Academy of Defense Science at an undisclosed location.

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

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