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North Korea exasperated with USA’s hostile policies and demands

North Korea says it’s running out of patience with US over nuclear diplomacy

It says the Trump administration would be ‘seriously mistaken’ if it ignores an end-of-year deadline to propose mutually acceptable terms for a deal. WUSA9,    Author: KIM TONG-HYUNG Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea on Sunday said it’s running out of patience with the United States over what it described as hostile policies and unilateral disarmament demands, and warned that a close personal relationship between the leaders alone wouldn’t be enough to prevent nuclear diplomacy from derailing.

In a statement published by Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency, senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol said there has been no substantial progress in relations despite warm ties between leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump. He said the persisting hostility means “there can be the exchange of fire at any moment.”

Kim Yong Chol said the Trump administration would be “seriously mistaken” if it ignores an end-of-year deadline set by Kim Jong Un to propose mutually acceptable terms for a deal to salvage nuclear negotiations.

The North issued a similar statement on Thursday that was attributed to veteran diplomat Kim Kye Gwan. He criticized U.S. officials for maintaining “Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice” and urged the United States to act “wisely” through the end of the year……..

talks have faltered after the collapse of a February summit between Kim and Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam, where the U.S. rejected North Korean demands for broad sanctions relief in exchange for a piecemeal deal toward partially surrendering its nuclear capabilities.

The North expressed its displeasure with a flurry of short-range missile tests while Kim said he would “wait with patience until the end of the year for the United States to come up with a courageous decision.”……..

North Korea for decades has been pushing a concept of denuclearization that bears no resemblance to the American definition, with Pyongyang vowing to pursue nuclear development until the United States removes its troops and the nuclear umbrella defending South Korea and Japan. https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/nation-world/north-korea-running-out-of-patience-with-united-states-nuclear-diplomacy/65-7aaa9700-aadd-44b2-8070-73e53732a579

October 28, 2019 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

Iran Looms Over Race to Lead U.N. Nuclear Agency

Iran Looms Over Race to Lead U.N. Nuclear Agency

Group’s most powerful members are split over IAEA’s approach to Tehran……..(subscribers only)  https://www.wsj.com/articles/iran-looms-over-race-to-lead-u-n-nuclear-agency-11572197016

 

October 28, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international | Leave a comment

Russian obfuscation over nuclear accident is a dangerous precedent

October 24, 2019 Posted by | politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

London judge denies Julian Assange a delay in extradition hearings

October 22, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, Legal, media, politics international | Leave a comment

Iranians losing trust that Western countries would keep faith with a nuclear deal

New poll: Iranians are souring on the nuclear deal and don’t want a new one,  https://thebulletin.org/2019/10/new-poll-iranians-are-souring-on-the-nuclear-deal-and-dont-want-a-new-one/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Newsletter10212019&utm_content=NuclearRisk_IranDeal_10182019

By John Krzyzaniak, October 18, 2019 Almost every aspect of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s approach to the nuclear agreement his country made with major world powers in 2015 finds broad support among the Iranian public. Put differently, the Trump administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign has not driven a wedge between Iran’s people and its government. That’s the main takeaway from a series of national surveys conducted by the University of Maryland and IranPoll, released this week.

The Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was inked in July 2015. A month later, 76 percent of the Iranian public either “strongly approved” or “somewhat approved” of the agreement. As of October 2019, that number has dropped to 42 percent, its lowest point yet.

The Trump administration withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018, but Iran continued to hold up its end of the bargain, hoping that the Europeans would continue delivering economic relief. In May 2019, after a year of European foot-dragging, Rouhani announced that Iran would begin taking steps to decrease its commitments to the deal. The survey shows 74 percent of Iranians supported this move, making it much more popular than the wait-and-see approach had been.

Donald Trump has said that he would be willing to meet with Rouhani without preconditions to renegotiate the nuclear deal. Rouhani rebuffed this offer, saying that he would only meet once US sanctions were lifted, and then only in a multilateral forum. The survey shows an Iranian public marching in lockstep; 75 percent support talks with the Trump administration if all sanctions are lifted and if the negotiations include all of the countries originally party to the JCPOA. Absent these two conditions, only 36 percent support talks.

Iran has also resisted the US desire to negotiate a grand bargain. At the G7 meeting in France in August, Trump suggested that such a bargain might cover a longer period of time and address Iran’s ballistic missile development. But only four percent of Iranians would support extending the JCPOA’s timeline in exchange for lifting nuclear-related sanctions. Even a deal that trades extra sanctions relief for longer timelines garnered only 35 percent support.

On the issue of missiles, 92 percent of respondents said that Iran’s missile development is either “very important” or “somewhat important,” and 58 percent see the ballistic missile program as non-negotiable. Here again, this echoes the Iranian government’s long-held position.

More broadly, the JCPOA experience has left a bad taste in Iranians’ mouths. Seventy-two percent now believe that the overarching lesson of the deal is that it isn’t worthwhile for Iran to make concessions because it can’t be confident that the other side will honor an agreement.

October 22, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Prominent Australians, including politicians, call on their government to save Julian Assange from extradition to USA

Growing calls for Australian government to defend Julian Assange   https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/10/19/assa-o19.html?fbclid=IwAR2smK6ChQzsIB7Ndld4N_No68RpVViDz5V-RH7qTiYfWmFWFdqkThOA-DQ

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 October 2019 Over the past week, several prominent public figures, including federal members of parliament, have called on the Australian government to fulfil its obligations to defend WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange, including by taking steps to prevent his extradition from Britain to the US.

The statements come in the lead-up to British extradition hearings in February, that will decide whether Assange is dispatched to the US. He faces a maximum sentence of 175 years in an American prison for exposing US war crimes and diplomatic intrigues.

There are concerns within the Australian political and media establishment that the refusal of successive governments to defend Assange, an Australian citizen and journalist, has generated widespread anger and opposition. The fear in ruling circles is that if Assange is extradited, or if his parlous health continues to deteriorate, the latent support for him will coalesce into a political movement against the entire official set-up.

In a statement to the House of Representatives on Wednesday, independent MP Andrew Wilkie declared that Assange is “an Australian citizen and must be treated like any other Australian. He was not in the US when he provided evidence of US war crimes in Iraq. He can’t possibly have broken their laws.”

Wilkie said that if Assange is extradited to the US, he “faces serious human rights violations including exposure to torture and a dodgy trial. And this has serious implications for freedom of speech and freedom of the press here in Australia, because if we allow a foreign country to charge an Australian citizen for revealing war crimes, then no Australian journalist or publisher can ever be confident that the same thing won’t happen to them.”

He concluded by stating: “Put simply, he must be allowed to return to Australia.”

Wilkie, a former intelligence agent who resigned to speak out against “weapons of mass destruction” lies used to justify the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq, has previously condemned the assault on democratic rights. In 2010 and 2011, he made statements and spoke at public events in defence of Assange. Alongside the Greens and a host of civil liberties organisations, however, Wilkie has largely remained silent about the WikiLeaks founder’s plight for a number of years and has boycotted all actions taken in his defence.

Wilkie said that if Assange is extradited to the US, he “faces serious human rights violations including exposure to torture and a dodgy trial. And this has serious implications for freedom of speech and freedom of the press here in Australia, because if we allow a foreign country to charge an Australian citizen for revealing war crimes, then no Australian journalist or publisher can ever be confident that the same thing won’t happen to them.”

He concluded by stating: “Put simply, he must be allowed to return to Australia.”

Wilkie, a former intelligence agent who resigned to speak out against “weapons of mass destruction” lies used to justify the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq, has previously condemned the assault on democratic rights. In 2010 and 2011, he made statements and spoke at public events in defence of Assange. Alongside the Greens and a host of civil liberties organisations, however, Wilkie has largely remained silent about the WikiLeaks founder’s plight for a number of years and has boycotted all actions taken in his defence.

Joyce, a populist who has sought to build a base of support in rural areas, was well aware of the sentiments in favour of Hicks among workers in regional centres and country towns. He played a role in the sordid agreement brokered by Howard, which saw Hicks returned to Australia in 2007. Hicks was forced to serve out a bogus prison sentence in Australia and was banned for a year from speaking to the media.

In comments to the media on Monday, former Labor foreign minister Bob Carr hinted at the concerns animating the comments in defence of Assange by such figures from within the political establishment.

Carr told the Sydney Morning Herald that ordinary people would be “deeply uneasy” about the prospect of an Australian citizen being handed over to the “living hell of a lifetime sentence in an American penitentiary.” He criticised current Foreign Minister Marise Payne over her claim that she made “friendly” representations on behalf of Assange to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo has denounced Assange as a “demon” who is not entitled to any democratic rights and labelled WikiLeaks as a “non-state hostile intelligence service.”

Carr stated: “I think the issue will gather pace, and in the ultimate trial there will be a high level of Australian public concern, among conservative voters as much as any others.”

In his strongest comments in defence of Assange yet, Carr declared: “We have an absolute right to know about American war crimes in a conflict that the Australian government of the day strongly supported. We wouldn’t know about them except for Assange.”

Carr is no political innocent. During his decades in the Labor Party, he functioned as a secret informant for the US embassy, beginning in the 1970s. He was a leading minister in the Gillard Labor government which refused to defend the WikiLeaks founder and instead pledged to assist the US campaign against him.

That Carr has spoken out now is a measure of the fears within the ruling elite that the defence of Assange will animate millions of workers, students and young people in the coming period.

In keeping with the central role of Labor in the US-led pursuit of Assange, no prominent current figure in the party has joined the calls for him to be defended. When the WikiLeaks’ founder was illegally expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy and arrested by the British police in April, Labor MP Tanya Plibersek shared a Tweet denouncing his supporters as “cultists.”

Julian Hill, a little-known federal backbencher representing a working-class electorate in outer Melbourne, is the only Labor MP to have spoken out. He told the Guardian on Thursday that Assange is “an Australian and, at the very least, we must be vigorously consistent in opposing extradition to countries where he might face the death penalty.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison responded this week by blandly declaring that Assange must “face the music” in the US. Senior government ministers have previously maligned Assange, repeating the lies concocted by the US intelligence agencies to discredit him.

Liberal Senator James Paterson attempted to provide a more sophisticated argument for the government’s refusal to defend Assange, telling the Sydney Morning Herald last week that both Britain and the US were “rule-of-law countries.”

Paterson piously stated: “This is not the case in many other countries in the world. Sadly, we know there are Australian citizens detained right now in China and Iran who are not facing free and fair legal systems … and the Australian government does have a greater obligation to assist those citizens.”

The suggestion that the Australian government has a responsibility to defend its citizens in some jurisdictions, but not in others, is a legal fiction that has no basis in Australian or international legislation.

Paterson’s statements, moreover, fly in the face of repeated warnings by United Nations officials and human rights organisations that Assange’s legal and democratic rights have been trampled upon by the British and US authorities.

Paterson’s comments point to the real reason why successive Australian governments, Labor and Liberal-National alike, have joined the US-led vendetta against Assange. Their participation in the attacks against him has gone hand in hand with unconditional backing for the US alliance and support for Washington’s military build-up in the Asia-Pacific region, in preparation for war against China.

The record demonstrates that no faith can be placed in any section of the political or media establishment to defend Assange or any democratic rights. All the official parties and institutions in Australia are implicated in the persecution of the WikiLeaks founder. They will take action only to the extent that they fear the political consequences if they do not.

Workers, students and young people must be mobilised as part of an international movement demanding the immediate freedom of Assange and all class war prisoners. This is the only way that an Australian government will be forced to uphold its responsibility to prevent Assange’s extradition to the US and allow him to unconditionally return to Australia.

October 21, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties, politics international | Leave a comment

China Calls for Maintaining Global Strategic Stability and Reducing Nuclear Conflicts Risks

October 17, 2019 Posted by | China, politics international, weapons and war | 1 Comment

2019 Nuclear Weapons Ban Monitor report

October 17, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA’s “outrageous” claim to “universal jurisdiction over every person on earth”- plea from Australia to save Julian Assange

 

October 15, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties, politics, politics international | Leave a comment

Putin warns on the need for a new nuclear weapons treaty

PUTIN TAKES SWIPE AT TRUMP FOR WITHDRAWING FROM NUCLEAR TREATY: ‘IT WAS NOT WORTH RUINING’, Newsweek, 

BY BRENDAN COLE ON 10/14/19 Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that a new nuclear weapons deal needed to be struck urgently as he criticized the decision by Donald Trump to pull the U.S. out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty which had been in place since the Cold War.

In an interview with Arabic-speaking journalists ahead of his visit to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Putin reiterated Russia’s opposition to the withdrawal in February from the INF, which had been signed in 1987 by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and President Ronald Reagan.

It banned missiles with ranges of between 310 and 3,400 miles but the U.S. and Nato had accused Russia of violating the pact by deploying a new type of cruise missile, a claim Moscow denied.

Putin said: “It think it was a mistake…and that they could have gone a different path. I do understand the U.S. concerns. While other countries are free to enhance their defences, Russia and the U.S. have tied their own hands with this treaty. However, I still believe it was not worth ruining the deal; I believe there were other ways out of the situation.”

Putin said that the U.S. must back a new START Treaty, which expires in 2021, to restrict a race to acquire strategic nuclear weapons.

“The new START Treaty is actually the only treaty that we have to prevent us from falling back into a full-scale arms race. To make sure it is extended, we need to be working on it right now. We have already submitted our proposals; they are on the table of the U.S. administration. There has been no answer so far.

“If this treaty is not extended, the world will have no means of limiting the number of offensive weapons, and this is bad news. The situation will change, globally. It will become more precarious, and the world will be less safe and a much less predictable place than today,” Putin said, according to a transcript of the interview on the Kremlin website.

Putin said that his doubt over the U.S. commitment to nuclear disarmament stretched back to 2002, when under President George W. Bush, Washington withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty, which had imposed limits on missile defence systems……… https://www.newsweek.com/putin-start-treaty-trump-arms-race-1464921

October 15, 2019 Posted by | politics international, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Urgent need for diplomacy with Iran

October 15, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

At long last – some Australian politicians speak up for Australian Julian Assange

Barnaby Joyce joins calls to stop extradition of Assange to US, The Age, By Rob Harris, October 13, 2019 Former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce has joined calls for the Morrison government to try to halt Julian Assange’s potential extradition from Britain to the United States on espionage charges, as the WikiLeaks founder’s supporters intensify their campaign to bring him to Australia.

Mr Joyce joined former foreign minister Bob Carr in voicing concerns over US attempts to have the 48-year-old Australian stand trial in America, where he faces a sentence of 175 years if found guilty of computer fraud and obtaining and disclosing national defence information.

Also seeking to increase pressure on the federal government is actress Pamela Anderson, who is demanding to meet Prime Minister Scott Morrison to request he intervene in the case. She plans to visit Australia next month.

Assange’s supporters say they are increasingly concerned about his health and his ability to receive a fair trial in the US………

Mr Carr has challenged Foreign Minister Marise Payne to make “firm and friendly” representation to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, believing Australians would be “deeply uneasy” at a fellow citizen being handed over to the “living hell of a lifetime sentence in an American penitentiary”.

Mr Joyce, who in 2007 was the first Coalition MP to call for the then Howard government to act over the detention of Australian David Hicks in Guantanamo Bay, said his position was principled and he gave “no opinion of Mr Assange whatsoever”.

“If someone was in another country at a time an alleged event occurred then the sovereignty of the land they were in has primacy over the accusation of another nation,” Mr Joyce said.

“It would be totally unreasonable, for instance, if China was to say the actions of an Australian citizen whilst in Australia made them liable to extradition to China to answer their charges of their laws in China. Many in Hong Kong have the same view.”

Assange is serving a 50-week sentence in Belmarsh Prison in south-east London for bail violations after spending seven years inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden to answer allegations of rape and molestation in 2012.

In June, the then British home secretary, Sajid Javid, signed an extradition request after the US Justice Department filed an additional 18 Espionage Act charges over Assange’s role in obtaining and publishing 400,000 classified US military documents on the war in Iraq in 2010.

Mr Carr, the former NSW premier who served as foreign minister in the Gillard government, said he understood many people would have reservations about the “modus operandi” of Assange and his alleged contact with Russia.

“On the other hand, we have an absolute right to know about American war crimes in a conflict that the Australian government of the day strongly supported – we wouldn’t know about them except for Assange,” he said.

Mr Carr said the Morrison government should make strong representations to the US on behalf of an Australian citizen who “is in trouble because he delivered on our right to know”.

“I think the issue will gather pace and in the ultimate trial there’ll be a high level of Australian public concern, among conservative voters as much as any others.”……..

Mr Carr said the Morrison government should make strong representations to the US on behalf of an Australian citizen who “is in trouble because he delivered on our right to know”.

“I think the issue will gather pace and in the ultimate trial there’ll be a high level of Australian public concern, among conservative voters as much as any others.”…….https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/barnaby-joyce-joins-calls-to-stop-extradition-of-assange-to-us-20191013-p53080.html

October 14, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties, politics, politics international | Leave a comment

Pamela Anderson to take on Australian Prime Minister over his neglect of Julian Assange’s plight

Pamela Anderson coming to Australia to petition the Prime Minister to Help Free Julian Assange, Phillip Adams, [No. I don’t think that he is that Phillip Adams] Brisbane, Australia OCT 11, 2019 — By Monique St Clair 

Pamela Anderson is on her way to Australia, and she’s challenging our Prime Minister on entry.

The former Baywatch superstar is headed to the Gold Coast next month to shoot a series of ‘Unexpected Situation’ commercials for Ultra Tune.

The ads are expected to air over summer, in conjunction with the 2020 Australian Tennis Open and Big Bash Cricket.

She’s no stranger to the land down under, after her affiliation with jailed Wikileaks founder and Australian, Julian Assange, gained world-wide attention.

Late last year, Anderson made a public plea on 60 minutes for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to do more to help.   “Defend your friend, get Julian his passport back and take him back to Australia and be proud of him, and throw him a parade when he gets home,” Ms Anderson said.

Scott Morrison then told 1029 Hot Tomato’s Flan, Emily Jade and Christo that he’s had “plenty of mates who’ve asked me if they can be my special envoy to sort the issue out with Pamela Anderson.”

Ms Anderson called out the comments as ‘disappointing’, ‘smutty’, and ‘unnecessary’, and is now – a year later – wanting to address them face to face.

She’s announced she’ll again be petitioning him to intervene on Julian Assange’s behalf.

“What is also important to me about this visit is the opportunity to speak to the Australian people and petition Prime Minister Morrison to intervene on behalf of Australian citizen, Julian Assange, who is being made a scapegoat of and suffered inhumanely for disseminating factual information we all should know about.

“Mr Morrison made a series of personally, disparaging remarks about me and I’d like to challenge him to debate this matter in front of the Australian people,” Ms Anderson said in a recent statement.”

Sources of content : http://www.mygc.com.au/pamela-anderson-challenges-scott-morrison-ahead-of-australia-visit

October 14, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international | Leave a comment

USA – North Korea talks broke down, but USA calls them “good discussions”

North Korea’s chief negotiator says discussions with the United States on Pyongyang’s nuclear program have broken down, but Washington says the two sides had “good discussions” that it intends to build on in two weeks. ABC News 6 Oct 17

Key points:

  • North Korea said the talks broke down because negotiations had not met their expectations
  • The US State Department said North Korea’s comments did “not reflect the content or the spirit” of the “good discussions” that took place
  • It was the first time US and North Korea had conducted working-level negotiations since a February summit

The North Korean negotiator, Kim Miyong-Gil, said the talks in Stockholm had “not fulfilled our expectations and broke down”.

“I am very displeased about it,” he said.

Speaking outside the North Korean embassy, he read a statement in Korean that a translator next to him read in English.

Mr Kim said negotiations broke down “entirely because the US has not discarded its old stance and attitude”.

Saturday’s talks were the first between the US and North Korea since the February breakdown of the second summit between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Vietnam.

North Korea has since resumed missile tests, including an underwater-launched missile that fell inside Japan’s exclusive economic zone on Wednesday……. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-06/nuclear-talks-with-us-leave-north-korea-very-displeased/11577176

October 6, 2019 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

International Atomic Energy Agency reports improved cooperation with Iran 

October 5, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment