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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US to Exit Nuclear Treaty with Russia

By Thomson Reuters – Re-Blogged From Newsmax

President Donald Trump said Washington will exit the Cold-War era treaty that eliminated a class of nuclear weapons due to Russian violations, triggering a warning of retaliatory measures from Moscow.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, negotiated by then-President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987, required elimination of land-based short-range and intermediate-range nuclear and conventional missiles by both countries.

“Russia has not, unfortunately, honored the agreement so we’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out,” Trump told reporters on Saturday after a rally in Nevada.

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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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China Re-Enters the Korean Field of Play

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

It can be difficult to separate the important from unimportant on any given day. Reflections mean to do exactly that — by thinking about what happened today, we can consider what might happen tomorrow.

Highlights

  • Through a top-level meeting with North Korea, China is signaling it will not be a bystander in the evolving dynamics on the Korean Peninsula.
  • China may have an opening to restore its long-frosty relations with South Korea by extending outreach on trade measures.
  • Both North Korea and South Korea have an interest in including China to some extent in their evolving diplomatic dynamic.

Following days of heightened speculation about who was aboard a mystery train that traveled from Pyongyang to Beijing, China confirmed on March 28 that it hosted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this week.

(-/AFP/Getty Images)

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These Are the High-Tech Weapons the US Might Use Against North Korea

By Greg Walters – Re-Blogged From https://www.seeker.com

The Hermit Kingdom’s recent successes in missile testing are fueling the Pentagon’s search for high-tech measures that might knock out command-and-control structures or even missiles in mid-flight.

On a Warpath Paved With Rational Decisions

Re-Blogged From Stratfor

North Korea demonstrated at least a rudimentary capability to launch a road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile with its latest test of the Hwasong-14. At the extreme estimates of its range, the missile has the ability to strike parts of the western United States. More tests and developments will be necessary to increase the Hwasong-14’s range, payload and re-entry system, and questions remain about North Korea’s ability to miniaturize a nuclear weapon and make it rugged enough to mount on the missile. Even so, Pyongyang is clearly well on its way to realizing its goal of a long-range nuclear weapons capability. This is the first installment in a three-part series examining the implications of this development for the United States’ relationship with North Korea.

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China and North Korea

Re-Blogged From http://www.Stratfor.com

As diplomacy breaks down on the Korean Peninsula, all eyes are fixed on a pair of events that stand to either worsen or ease the tension mounting between the United States and North Korea. On April 25, North Korea celebrated the 85th anniversary of its military’s establishment, an occasion that has been accompanied by missile tests in the past and that now comes as expectations of a sixth nuclear test by Pyongyang rise. Then, three days after the North Korean military’s birthday, the U.N. Security Council will convene to discuss the country’s persistent march toward a demonstrable long-range nuclear weapons capability. And as the threat emanating from North Korea grows, Washington will be more and more likely to use the summit to call for heavier sanctions against its belligerent adversary.

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The 3 Big Stories NOT Being Covered (Part 1)

By Andy Sutton & Graham Mehl – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Anyone who has read this publication for any length of time knows that topics range from mainstream to the totally uncovered stories. As we look out not just across the economic landscape, but across the world in general, we are seeing an alarming increase of serious situations that are receiving little or no coverage at all from the western media. Thankfully there are hundreds if not thousands of reliable people who chip in with analysis and stories of their own on some of these topics.

We’ll start out by saying there many, many more uncovered stories, but these are the three we feel could be game changers in the near to medium term. We picked these three themes because, in terms of magnitude, they will have the biggest impact on the world if they continue on their present trajectories. Given the length of each analysis, we are going to break this into a three-part series.

PART 1 – Russia: Tensions, Turmoil and Western Hubris

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Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu Speaks To the US Congress

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

In case you missed it, Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, spoke Tuesday before a joint session of the US Congress. I found it to be a non-partisan, articulate plea for the US to not make a bad deal with Iran. This was asked for not only for Israel’s benefit, but also to enhance the safety of our country, the US.

The video is below – Mr. Netanyahu’s speech begins almost 27 minutes in, following lengthy introductions and other non-essential items. Please, view the speech.