Emergency Hotlines: LANDLINE (+63) 2 911 – 8688

Trump’s North Korea summit may bring peace declaration – but at a cost

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, 6 June 2018 10:27 AM

FILE PHOTO: Trump will meet with Kim Jong Un in Singapore for a historic summit on June 12. © Reuters

The two Koreas, ahead of a leaders’ summit next week, are discussing a peace agreement that could officially end the state of war that has technically lasted since the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice but no treaty.

U.S. President Donald Trump said the effort has his “blessing”, if North Korea agreed to give up its nuclear arsenal.

South Korea and a U.S.-led U.N. force are technically still at war with North Korea and the idea of an official peace deal to change that is neither new, nor something that can be resolved in a single inter-Korean summit, analysts say.

What exactly might replace the armistice has been another point of doubt, and neither South Korean nor U.S. officials have confirmed what a new agreement would look like.

“There might be some kind of a broad document signed in Singapore, we don’t know yet, that would mark at least, on paper, the formal end of the Korean war, the formal end of hostilities on the Korean peninsula,” explained Jonathan Pollack, a Korea expert and senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institute.

“But the problem with that is that hostilities have not ended on the Korean peninsula. North Korea is armed to the teeth, South Korea also has very substantial capabilities of it’s own, the United States has a very significant presence, so none of those things have changed and that is not even getting into the question of the long-term status of North Korea’s nuclear weapons capabilities,” he added.

At the time of the 1953 armistice, South Korean leaders opposed the idea of a truce that left the peninsula divided, and were not signatories to the armistice, which was officially signed by the commander of North Korea’s army; the American commander of the U.N. Command; and the commander of the “Chinese People’s volunteers”, who were not officially claimed by Beijing at the time.

North Korea has previously maintained that it would only negotiate a peace treaty with the United States.

The North’s first leader and founder of the ruling Kim dynasty, Kim Il Sung, for example, raised the idea of a peace deal with U.S. President Jimmy Carter in the 1970s.

North and South Korea have seriously discussed the idea before. In 1992, the two sides agreed to “endeavor together to transform the present state of armistice into a solid state of peace”.

“We’ve been in situations like this before where the North and South have made momentary accommodation with one another, right now the stakes are much higher, because you now have nuclear weapons deployed in North Korea, you have long-range missiles, you have a variety of threats to the region. Unless and until those issues can be meaningfully addressed, we are not in a … we may be in a cessation of hostilities but the possibility of war would be ever present,” said Pollack.

If Trump and Kim’s summit next week produces a peace declaration formally ending the Korean War as he has suggested, it could give the U.S. president a big headline-grabbing, made-for-TV moment on the world stage.

But the public relations value of such a historic event could quickly fade if Trump fails, in return, to wring any significant concessions from Kim toward the dismantling of his nuclear arsenal, former U.S. officials and analysts say.

“They (North Korea) believe they’ve got a trump card here, and no pun intended. And on that basis, they are going to see what they can milk the United States and others for over a period of time, that looks to me like a script very, very much that was followed in the past. It ended in failure on multiple occasions, and President Trump insisted when this became an issue very early on in his presidency, ‘we are not going down that same path again,’ well he’s going down that same path again,” said Pollack. -Reuters

Tags: , , , ,

Trump returns to White House after summit collapse clouds future of U.S.-North Korea nuclear diplomacy

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, 1 March 2019 12:45 PM

President Trump returns to White House on Thursday (February 28) following his second meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam. | Reuters

(REUTERS) — U.S. President Donald Trump returned to Washington D.C. Thursday (February 28) from Hanoi, Vietnam after his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un collapsed over sanctions, and the two sides gave conflicting accounts of what happened, raising questions about the future of their denuclearisation negotiations.

Trump said two days of talks in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi had made good progress in building relations and on the main issue of denuclearisation, but it was important not to rush into a bad deal. He said he had walked away because of unacceptable North Korean demands.

“It was all about the sanctions,” Trump told a news conference after the talks were cut short. “Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that.”

However, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told a news conference past midnight and hours after Trump left Hanoi that North Korea had sought only a partial lifting of sanctions “related to people’s livelihoods and unrelated to military sanctions”.

He said it had offered a realistic proposal involving the dismantling of all of its main nuclear site at Yongbyon, including plutonium and uranium facilities, by engineers from both countries.

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui told the same briefing she had the impression that Kim “might lose his willingness to pursue a deal” after the U.S. side rejected a partial lifting of sanctions in return for destruction of Yongbyon, “something we had never offered before”.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, asked about North Korea’s statements, said the president was aware of the comments and the White House had nothing to add to what Trump said at the Hanoi news conference.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un arrives in Vietnam

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, 26 February 2019 02:05 PM

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at Dong Dang railway station | Image grabbed from a Reuters video

HANOI, Vietnam – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived at Dong Dang railway station on the Vietnam-China border in Lang Son province on Tuesday (February 26) ahead of an anticipated summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

The two are set to meet for a second summit in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi on Wednesday (February 27) and Thursday (February 28), eight months after their historic summit in Singapore, the first between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

During the first summit, the two had pledged to work on complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. — REUTERS

Tags: ,

Trump signs directive in move to create a U.S. Space Force

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, 20 February 2019 02:05 PM

U.S. President Donald Trump presents newly signed Space Policy Directive 4 | Image captured from a Reuters video footage

(REUTERS) U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday (February 19) took a step towards creating a U.S. Space Force, a new branch of the military dedicated to handling threats in space.

Trump signed Space Policy Directive 4, which puts in place the foundation for a legislative initiative that could establish a Space Force as a new military service comparable to the U.S. Marines.

In an oval office signing ceremony, Trump said the Space Force is a national security priority.

“Today, I’m thrilled to sign a new order taking the next step to create the United States space force, so important. When you look at defense when you look at all of the other aspects of where the world will be some day, I mean this is the beginning is a very important process,” said Trump.

Trump also said that the U.S. has to be prepared against its adversaries and the Space Force is going to be a very big part of where the defense of the nation.

“Let’s say that defense of our nation is going to be America must be fully equipped to defend our vital interests, our adversaries are training forces and developing technology to undermine our security in space. And they’re working very hard at that, that’s why my administration has recognized space as a war fighting domain and made the creation of the Space Force a national security priority,” he added.

The memo directs the Department of Defense “to marshal its space resources to deter and counter threats in space,” through the establishment of the force that would be part of the Air Force, according to a draft seen by Reuters.

“We’re investing in new space capabilities to project military power and safeguard our nation’s interests especially when it comes to safety and defense. This directive calls on the Secretary of Defense to develop a legislative proposal that will establish the structure and authority of the Space Force as the sixth branch of the United States armed forces. That would mean a high ranking, the highest ranking person there would go on to be joint chiefs of staff, so it’s a very, very important deal,” Trump said.

According to Trump, the Space Force will organize, equip and train the next generation of warriors to deter aggression and defend the nation, its allies and American interests against hostile actions in the form of space and taking place in space.

“So we have a lot of things on the books, we have a lot of new defensive weapons and offensive weapons designed specifically for this and now we’re going to start taking advantage of. This is something they could have done sooner, but they decided to wait, and here I am and we’re going to do it and I’m very proud that during my administration we’re doing so much in space,” he noted.

Establishing the Space Force will require Congressional approval.

In August 2018, the Trump Administration announced an ambitious plan to usher in the force as the sixth branch of the military by 2020.

Tags: , ,