Saturday, 20 January, 2018

Has North Korea's latest strategy stumped the United States?

Report: Mattis And Tillerson Are Trying To Talk Trump Out Of Striking North Korea Commentary: President Trump is right to bully the enemies of America
Sammy Stanley | 12 January, 2018, 06:19

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited a state science academy in his first public outing since the New Year address and praised the country's scientific forces as the backbone of overcoming global sanctions, the North's state news agency said Friday. "How responsible people around him, or supporting him, can dismiss this or laugh it off is beyond me".

"You'll see that a lot with me and then all of the sudden somebody's my best friend".

The president declined to say whether he had spoken with Kim, telling The Journal: "I'm not saying I have or haven't".

Trump has expressed cautious optimism about the talks, and the US and South Korea have agreed to halt annual military exercises, a major irritant to North Korea, until the end of the Paralympics in mid-March.

Despite his previous, inflammatory rhetoric, Mr Trump's comments seem to suggest a newfound willingness to engage with the North Korean leader - something he has previously chided Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for suggesting. He quipped on social media last week that the "nuclear button" on his desk was larger than that of the North Korean leader.

Trump has always been trading insults with Jong-un over this issue.

"I always believe in talking", Trump said Saturday. In December, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said North Korea wants to engage in a direct dialog with the United States to assure its security, adding that Russia could help with these talks. Technically, South Korea and the United States remain at war with North Korea after the Korean War ended in 1953 with an armistice instead of a peace treaty.

Coli Outbreak From Salad Grows As CDC Reports 24 People Infected
No recalls have been initiated, but some retailers and restaurants temporarily pulled romaine lettuce from shelves and menus. Sometimes outbreaks end before enough information is gathered to identify the likely source.

Intensive tunneling, as well as the presence of equipment and hundreds of personnel in satellite images from late December, "underscore North Korea's continued efforts to maintain the Punggye-ri site's potential for future nuclear testing", Frank V. Pabian, Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., and Jack Liu, researchers with 38 North, argue in a new analytical report.

Another big challenge the North poses is that much of their military arsenal is located underground, which would take time to locate and destroy.

Would Kim Jong-Un flex his country's muscles by ordering missile tests while the Games are going on?

In her new book, North Korea: The Country We Love to Hate, political analyst Loretta Napoleoni described the isolated nation's ruling "juche" philosophy that values self-reliance and extreme nationalism "as a modern religion, similar to Scientology, a non-transcendental doctrine with a twist of absurdity and plenty of dogmas".

On a phone call with South Korean President Moon Jae-in after the talks, Mr Trump suggested he was open to discussion between the United States and North Korea as well.

North and South Korea held their first talks in two years on Tuesday.

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