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‘Dotard’ vs. ‘Rocket Man’: Will the war of sanctions and words turn real?

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President Trump took a concrete step to contain North Korea’s nuclear and ICBM ambitions Thursday, signing an executive order targeting the North’s trading partners.

“It is unacceptable that others financially support this criminal rogue regime,” the president said, adding, “Foreign banks will face a clear choice. Do business with the United States, or facilitate trade with the lawless regime in North Korea.”

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin directed his department to suspend U.S. account access for foreign banks that cooperate with North Korea and facilitate significant transactions with it.

“Foreign financial institutions are now on notice that going forward they can choose to do business with the United States or with North Korea, but not both,” he said.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, whom Trump dubbed as “Rocket Man” in his UN speech Tuesday, responded angrily.

As a man representing the DPRK and on behalf of the dignity and honor of my state and people and on my own, I will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the U.S. pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying the DPRK.

I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged U. S. dotard with fire.

The U.S. has recently stepped up flights near the North Korean border using advanced stealth and 5th generation fighters.


Further reading…

North Korea: Probing for weaknesses? By Benjamin Wilhelm

https://noqreport.com/2017/09/20/north-korea-probing-weaknesses/It is likely that the US military and our allies are taking the necessary steps to be prepared on the intelligence front should military action in North Korea become unavoidable. This is especially prudent in light of tough talk at the UN by both President Trump and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. Both of them have recently delivered excellent and stern admonitions that may need to be backed up with actions. Read more…


Perspectives

Russia on North Korea: “We’re witnessing a very dangerous confrontation spiral” | CNN

At the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, Sergey V. Lavrov, Russia foreign minister, said his country condemns North Korea’s “nuclear missile adventures.”

However, “military hysteria is not just an impasse, it’s a disaster,” he said during his speech to the UN.

“We’re witnessing a very dangerous confrontation spiral around [North Korea],” Lavrov said.

5 things to know about Trump’s new North Korea sanctions | TheHill

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/351820-5-things-to-know-about-trumps-new-north-korea-sanctionsPresident Trump signed an executive order Thursday slapping new travel and economic sanctions on North Korea, as the administration seeks to pressure Kim Jong Un in a showdown over the North Korean leader’s nuclear program. Trump signed the order at the United Nations, where he expressed frustration that the international coalition had not done enough to stand up to Kim’s provocations. Earlier this week, the president vowed to “totally destroy” North Korea if it continued along the nuclear path. Here are five things to know about the new sanctions: Sanctions seek to cut off North Korean cash In an effort to cut off the North Korean leaders’ money, the new sanctions aim to give financial institutions a choice: Do business with the United States or do business with North Korea.

Reactions

Final thoughts

We’ve never had a president in the modern era with Trump’s flair for public coarse language, name-calling, and blunt speaking. We’ve never had a U.S. president successfully stand up to North Korea in their quest for weapons of mass destruction. Whether Trump will prevail is still an open question. The stakes are still very high, with 11 million people in Seoul living under a daily threat of annihilation (they barely notice).

North Korea would like nothing more than a military response from the United States, so they can escalate at will and have China on their side. The U.S. needs physical restraint, although if North Korea makes a strong enough move that results in deaths, this could quickly escalate into a military skirmish or worse.

I suspect that it will come to some kind of military action, though keeping the Chinese out of it and limiting the scope will be a difficult diplomatic task, one that must be dealt with before a single shot is fired.

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Foreign Affairs

Venezuela is colluding with Russia while America is distracted by Trump not colluding with Russia

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Venezuela is colluding with Russia while America is distracted by Trump not colluding with Russia

Two Russian jets carrying troops and equipment landed in Caracas, Venezuela, as part of a mission to “fullfil technical military contracts,” according to Russian media. But it’s almost certain this is part of Russia’s play on Venezuela to prop up socialist dictator Nicolas Maduro just as they did with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Meanwhile, most Americans who follow the news cycle were bombarded with perspectives on Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the Robert Mueller investigation report. In it, President Trump and his 2016 campaign were found to not have colluded with the Russians in their election hacking endeavors.

My Take

While most were focused on fake Russian collusion, the real thing was happening in one of the world’s hottest spots, Venezuela.

Russia’s play here is simple: keep Maduro in power at all costs. They got the drop on any actions the United States may have been planning, though it’s unlikely those plans included military intervention. Still, Russia isn’t taking any chances. By getting troops and equipment on the ground, they’ll be able help Maduro by offering cover from outside actions while bolstering his support internally.

Any defections or coup attempts will be much less likely with Russia directly involved.

The opposition leader who America and over 50 other nations consider to be the rightful interim president, Juan Guaido, has been trying to get international support while maintaining domestic support, but Maduro’s move may have prevented that from happening.

In essence, the battle over Venezuela is now over. It’s unfathomable to conceive of action by the United States or any other’s who support Guaido other than diplomatic efforts that will accomplish nothing. Venezuela is doomed to retain their socialist dictator now.

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Israel suffers another rocket attack from Hamas

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Israel suffers another rocket attack from Hamas

A confirmed rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on Israeli homes near the border in the Kfar Saba area outside Tel Aviv. Sirens were heard prior to the rocket explosion and posted by the IDF Twitter account.

Six people were injured in the attack.

My Take

The conflict between Hamas and Israel has been getting old for years, but now is not the time to blow off the news. Hamas is having internal strife as its citizens protest living and economic conditions in the Gaza Strip. To garner international support and save face for failing to help their own people, Hamas is trying to start another war.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is caught between a contentious election at home and the need to get his own international support, particularly from the United States. He’s in Washington DC now to meet with President Trump, who has offered his support and endorsement for the long-time Prime Minister.

Hamas would love nothing more than for Netanyahu to be gone, replaced by a leftist who will wheel and deal for “peace” with the Palestinians regardless of the cost. If that happens, the toll will be great on Israel and the world.

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Here’s hoping there’s a plan we don’t know about with North Korea

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Heres hoping theres a plan we dont know about with North Korea

In a move that many, including supporters on the right, are calling a move of weakness, the President reversed the Treasury Department’s additional sanctions on North Korea.

My Take

I’m just not sure what to make of this. I understand many have been concerned about how nicely the President has treated Kim Jong un, but I’ve always felt there was some sort of plan happening behind the scenes that would justify it. Now, I’m not so sure.

This move emboldens Kim to continue avoiding any compromise on his nuclear weapons program. It tells him and the rest of the world President Trump isn’t going to be playing hardball and intends to coax the North Korean dictator into signing some sort of agreement before the 2020 elections.

Dare I say, this seems very Obamaesque? Where’s the hardball? Where’s the threats against Rocketman? If there’s some sort of 4D chess being played in the background, I seriously hope we see it in play soon. This is a strange move.

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