North Korean Leader Begins The New Year With Threats

Kim Jong in his 2018 New Year address has threatened to blow up the United States.

Kim Jong Un has warned the United States that the nuclear button is always on his desk but he says he won’t use nuclear weapons if there’s no aggression against his country.

“The entire mainland of the US is within the range of our nuclear weapons and the nuclear button is always on the desk of my office. They should accurately be aware that this is not a threat but a reality,” said Kim during his annual New Year’s Day address.

He also declared that his country is “a responsible nuclear nation that loves peace” and said that as long as there’s no aggression directed at it, “we do not intend to use nuclear powers.”

Kim called on his country to accelerate production of nuclear warheads and ballistic missiles.

“As for the areas of nuclear weapons research and rocket engineering, we need to accelerate the mass production of nuclear warheads, whose power and reliability have already been secured, and ballistic missiles,” Kim said, adding that the country also needed to be ready “to retaliate against the enemy’s move for a nuclear war.”

 

President Donald Trump Recognize Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital

Senior U.S officials have said President Donald Trump on Wednesday will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and set in motion the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to the ancient city.

The decision would upend decades of U.S. policy and risks fueling violence in the Middle East.

Facing an outcry of opposition from Arab capitals, Trump, in a landmark speech, will announce he has ordered the State Department to begin developing a plan to move the embassy from Tel Aviv in what is expected to be a process that takes three to four years, the officials said.

He will not set a timetable for the move.

Trump will sign a national security waiver that authorizes him to delay the embassy relocation for now since the U.S. diplomats do not yet have a building in Jerusalem to move into, security arrangements or housing for diplomats, the officials said.

Still, Trump’s endorsement of Israel’s claim to all of Jerusalem as its capital would reverse long-standing U.S. policy that the city’s status must be decided in negotiations with the Palestinians.

The Palestinian wants East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

The international community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the entire city, home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions.

The officials, who briefed reporters ahead of Trump’s speech at 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT) on Wednesday, insisted that Trump’s decision, intended to fulfill a key campaign promise.

The officials said it was not meant to pre-judge the outcome of eventual talks on the final status of Jerusalem or other major disputes between the two sides.

Instead, one of the officials contended that Trump’s announcements reflected the “historic reality” of Jerusalem as the centre of Jewish faith and the “modern reality” that it is the seat of the Israeli government.

Such arguments are not likely to sway the Palestinians and the broader Arab world.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Jordan’s King Abdullah, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, all received telephone calls from Trump on Tuesday.

They, however, joined a mounting chorus of voices warning that unilateral U.S. steps on Jerusalem would derail a fledgeling U.S.-led peace effort that has stymied previous U.S. administrations and unleash turmoil in the region.

The White House said Trump had also spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close U.S. ally and longtime proponent of a U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem.

Netanyahu was the only leader whose office did not release a statement following the call.

A senior Israeli minister welcomed Trump’s decision while vowing that Israel would be prepared for any outbreak of violence.

Trump appears intent on satisfying the pro-Israel, right-wing base, including evangelical Christians, that helped him win the presidency but was disappointed when he delayed the embassy move in June.

No other country has its embassy in Jerusalem.

Israel captured Arab East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed it, an action not recognized internationally.

But Trump’s decision could also upset the peace effort led by his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, in pursuit of what the U.S. president has called the “ultimate deal”.

Still, internal deliberations over the status of Jerusalem were tense.

Vice President Mike Pence and David Friedman, U.S. ambassador to Israel, pushed hard for both recognition and embassy relocation.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis opposed the move from Tel Aviv, according to other U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity.

An impatient Trump finally weighed in, telling aides last week he wanted to keep his campaign promise.

 

Terrorists Plotting To Bomb Abuja, US, UK Warn

In its latest foreign travel advice to British nationals,the British government has warned their citizens of terrorist groups’ threat to carry out bomb attacks in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, during the year end festive period.

It stated “You should avoid places where crowds gather, including religious gatherings and places of worship, markets, shopping malls, hotels, bars, restaurants, transport hubs and camps for displaced people,” the United Kingdom said in a statement posted on the FCO website.

Government of the United States of America (USA) made a similar move by cautioning its citizens on safe travel and movement in the nation’s capital through its ‘Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Holiday Security Reminder’.

The reminder partly read “The US Mission urges all US citizens to exercise caution in and around shopping centres, malls, markets, hotels, places of worship, restaurants, bars, and other places where crowds gather in and around the Federal Capital Territory, from now through the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season. Terrorist groups have threatened to conduct bombings and attacks in this area during this period.

“The US Mission remains concerned about potential attacks in the states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa and Yobe. Travellers are urged to avoid those states through the end of the year.

“Review your personal security plans, remain aware of your surroundings, including local events, and monitor local news stations for updates. Be vigilant and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security”.

US Withdraws From UN Refugees, Migrants Commitment

The United States has withdrawn from a United Nations pact to commit to protect and preserve rights of migrants and refugees.

Donald Trump’s administration said the agreement, known as the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, was “inconsistent” with its policies.

In September 2016, the 193 members of the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted a set of commitments that pledged to uphold the rights of refugees, help them resettle and ensure they have access to education and jobs.

A statement from the US read: “The New York Declaration contains numerous provisions that are inconsistent with US immigration and refugee policies and the Trump Administration’s immigration principles.

“As a result, President Trump determined that the United States would end its participation in the Compact process that aims to reach international consensus at the UN in 2018.”

The American Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said the country would continue its “generosity” in supporting migrants and refugees around the world, but that “our decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone.”

“We will decide how best to control our borders and who will be allowed to enter our country. The global approach in the New York Declaration is simply not compatible with US sovereignty.”

Under Trump and his “America First” policies, the US has withdrawn from several global commitments made under the administration of president Barack Obama, including the Paris climate deal.

More recently, American pulled out of the Paris-based culture and education body, UNESCO, accusing it of “anti-Israel bias.”

ITV

Russia, China Building Weapons To Target US Satellites–General

A senior US general said Saturday that countries like Russia and China are actively building weapons that can target space-based US military assets like satellites.

“They’ve been building weapons, testing weapons, building weapons to operate from the earth in space, jamming weapons, laser weapons, and they have not kept it secret,” Gen. John Hyten, the head of US Strategic Command, told an audience at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California.

“They’re building those capabilities to challenge the United States of America, to challenge our allies, and to change the balance of power in the world,” added Hyten, who oversees all US military operations in space. “We cannot allow that to happen.”

Russia and China saw how the US military made successful use of satellites during military operations like the 1991 Gulf War and now seek ways to deny the US the ability to use satellites in future conflicts, Hyten said.

One critical space-based asset are satellites that warn US military planners about the launch of enemy missiles.

“Every missile that comes off the planet is seen first by one of our overhead missile warning capabilities,” Hyten said, adding that the satellites are “not easy to defend.”

Republican Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, spoke alongside Hyten about the threats to US satellites.

“Most folks aren’t thinking about the fact that our first way of detecting a launch by North Korea, so that we can turn our radars to start tracking it and start aiming our interceptors to be able to get it in time, is a satellite up there waiting for that heat signature,” said Rogers, a vocal advocate of creating a separate US military Space Corps.

“We can not let that satellite be dazzled for 10 or 15 minutes, it would be too late,” he added.

Hyten advocated for making satellites more defensible, but he acknowledged that there are currently no rules of engagement when it comes to military conflict in space, adding that international norms are needed.

Heather Wilson, the secretary of the Air Force, said the US needs to embrace a new policy and make it clear that if command and control or warning satellites are targeted, the US “would consider that to be a hostile act” and respond.

“It’s probably time as a country that we start to talk about this,” Wilson said.

CNN

Trump, Abe Agreed To Increase Pressure On North Korea

U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister  agreed to work together to raise pressure on North Korea, Yasutoshi Nishimura, a deputy chief cabinet secretary, said on Monday.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump and spoke by telephone after the Japanese premier’s ruling coalition scored a big win in an election on Sunday.

Nishimura told reporters that Abe and Trump were planning to play golf together on Nov. 5, when Trump makes his first visit to Japan.

 

My Tweets Won Me White House – Trump

In an interview airing on Sunday on “Fox Business Network, U.S. President Donald Trump defended his regular use of social media, especially Twitter, saying that his tweets won him the White House and that with it,he could bypass “unfair media coverage” and speak directly.

“Tweeting is like a typewriter — when I put it out, you put it immediately on your show,” he said, according to a transcript released by the network. “I doubt I would be here if weren’t for social media, to be honest with you.”

“When somebody, says something about me, I am able to go bing, bing, bing and I take care of it. The other way, I would never have got the word out,” he said.

Trump admitted that he had been told several times, by even friends and family to slow down on his use of social media which sometimes contain factual inaccuracies and personal attacks.

In March for example, Trump asserted without evidence President Barack Obama had ordered Trump Tower in New York wiretapped – something Obama denied. In September, the FBI and the Justice Department said in a court filing ”they have no records related to wiretaps as described” by tweets from Trump.

He recently excoriated NFL players for taking a knee during the National Anthem.

He also criticized Senator Bob Corker in a series of tweets prompting Corker to respond: “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”

US Travel Ban Extends To N’Korea, Venezuela

The United States has broadened its controversial travel ban to include people from North Korea, Venezuela and Chad.

The White House said the restrictions follow a review of information sharing by foreign governments.

The President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on the matter late on Sunday.

“Making America safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet,” Mr. Trump said.

The restrictions on Venezuelans apply only to government officials and their family members.

The three new countries join five others from Mr. Trump’s original travel ban: Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and Somalia. But the new proclamation removed restrictions that were placed on Sudan.

Mr. Trump’s original ban was highly controversial, as it affected six majority-Muslim countries, and was widely labelled a “Muslim ban.”

It was subject to a range of legal challenges and several large-scale protests and is due to be considered by the U.S Supreme Court in October, having been partly reinstated in July.

The American Civil Liberties Union rights group said the addition of the new countries “doesn’t obfuscate the real fact that the administration’s order is still a Muslim ban.”

It is not yet clear how the President’s new proclamation, which changed several key elements, will affect that legal challenge.

US Would Destroy North Korea- Donald Trump

To defend itself or its allies, the US President Donald Trump has told the UN General Assembly that America would destroy North Korea if they had to.

In his debut speech, he mocked North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, saying: “Rocket man is on a suicide mission.”

North Korea has tested nuclear bombs and missiles in defiance of the UN.

Just before Mr Trump spoke, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had urged statesmanship, saying: “We must not sleepwalk our way into war.”

The American leader also attacked Iran, saying it was a “corrupt dictatorship” which was intent on destabilising the Middle East.

He called on the government in Tehran to cease supporting terrorism and again criticised the Obama-era international agreement over Iran’s nuclear programme, which he called an embarrassment.

Washington has repeatedly warned North Korea over its weapons tests, which violate UN Security Council resolutions.

The crisis worsened last month when the North announced plans to test missiles around the US Pacific territory of Guam.

“If [the US] is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” Mr Trump said.

 

N-Korean Group Speaks, Says US Be Turned To “Ashes And Darkness”

The North Korean organisation has made a demand on Thursday that the United States be “beaten to death” like a “rabid dog” for spearheading fresh UN sanctions on Pyongyang over its latest nuclear test, adding ally Japan should be “sunken into the sea”.

The UN Security Council unanimously imposed the eighth set of sanctions on the North Monday, banning it from trading in textiles and restricting its oil imports, a week after Pyongyang tested what it said was a hydrogen bomb small enough to fit onto a missile, raising tensions on the peninsula.

A spokesman for the North’s Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee (KAPPC) denounced the “heinous sanctions resolution” and said there were mounting calls for strong retaliation against the US and its allies.

“The army and people of the DPRK are unanimously demanding that the Yankees, chief culprit in cooking up the ‘sanctions resolution’, be beaten to death with a stick is fit for a rabid dog,” he said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

“Now is the time to annihilate the US imperialist aggressors. Let’s reduce the US mainland into ashes and darkness,” it said.

North Korea has a long history of issuing dramatic threats against the US and its allies but not carrying them out.

According to the South’s unification ministry, the KAPPC acts as “a window for improving relations with countries like the US and Japan while campaigning to change North Korea’s closed and negative image”.

But the KAPPC statement accused Tokyo of “dancing to the tune of the US” and warned of a “telling blow” against Japan, noting the missile test that overflew the Asian island nation last month.

The North’s launch of an intermediate range missile over Hokkaido triggered alarm bells, sparking emergency sirens and mass text alerts in northern Japan.

“The four islands of the archipelago should be sunken into the sea by the nuclear bomb of Juche,” KAPPC warned, referring to the North’s national philosophy of “Juche” or self-reliance.

North Korea says it needs nuclear weapons to protect itself from “hostile” US forces.

Experts believe Pyongyang’s weapons programme has made rapid progress under leader Kim Jong-Un, with previous sanctions have done little to deter it.

 

Source: The Guardian

President’s Son To Spend 24-Years In US Prison For Drug Trafficking

Fabio Lobo, a son of former Honduran President, Porfirio Lobo, has been sentenced to 24 years in an American prison for conspiring to smuggle cocaine and sell it in the United States.

U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield also fined him $50,000 and ordered him to forfeit $267,000.

She said Lobo had used his connections and abused his position as the son of a former head of state to seek to profit through drug trafficking.

“The hefty punishment for Fabio Lobo was meant as a warning to corrupt members of Latin America’s political elite,” Schofield said.

According to Seattle Times, Fabio Lobo pleaded guilty in May 2016, admitting he worked with drug traffickers and Honduran police to ship cocaine into the United States.

Fabio Lobo was arrested in Haiti in 2015 in a joint operation by US anti-narcotics agents and Haitian police.

His father, who served as president of Honduras between 2010 and 2014, did not defend his eldest son after his arrest, instead saying that Fabio Lobo had to answer the accusations against him.

Source: Daily Post