South Korea embarked on fragile new talks with North Korea on Wednesday.
The United States, the South’s key ally, views the overture with deep suspicion. For months, it has said that talks with North Korea would make no sense until its leader,...Trump administration officials said on Wednesday that they were not opposed to the idea of talks, provided that they be limited to the Olympics and that the South Koreans not make any concessions to the North that they, and the United States, would later regret. The White House plans to stay in close touch with South Korean officials to coordinate the messages going out and to review any offers coming in....
North Korea, they said, has a long history of using such overtures to sow dissent between South Korea and the United States, particularly at times, like now, when the countries have governments with divergent politics.
Trump said on Twitter, “South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!”...
“The default position of the United States should be to support North-South dialogue,”
2--Over 76 percent of South Korean citizens back the idea of resumption of a dialogue with the North in an effort to settle the nuclear crisis, a poll showed Thursday
The National Unification Advisory Council's survey revealed, according to the Yonhap news agency, that 76.9 percent of respondents believe that the dialogue should be resumed, while 22 percent said that they disagree with such prospects....
According to the poll, about 60 percent of respondents think that within the framework of the unification policy, South Korea should pay special attention to the denuclearization of the North, while 25 percent of respondents think that Seoul should exert more efforts to improve the situation concerning human rights in the neighboring country.
A growing number of Republicans are demanding the release of a classified report that they say reveals political bias at the FBI and Department of Justice in the investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian election meddling
Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) spearheaded the effort this week to allow lawmakers to view a top-secret report compiled by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).
Scores of Republicans have since viewed the document in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility on Capitol Hill. They left expressing shock, saying the special counsel investigation into whether Trump’s campaign officials had improper contacts with Russia is based on politically motivated actions at the highest level of law enforcement.
4--McGovern--RussiagateThe story is simply this: the exchange of emails that was released by the Department of Justice Inspector General shows that very top-level FBI officials, including the head of counterintelligence, were plotting to make sure #1: that Trump did not win and #2: that if he did win, they would be able to push a narrative saying ‘Aha, he didn’t win fairly, and it was the Russians that helped him win.’
That is the narrative that prevails in our media right now; it’s a really, really shameful thing because even my progressive friends believe it. Even the progressive websites that used to automatically print my materials, like CommonDreams for example, or Amy Goodman on Democracy Now. I am shunned, like those dissidents in Russia way back when the Soviet Union existed
5--U.S. Humiliates South Korea, Threatens North Korea
we’re seeing it in some of the intel, we’re seeing it through anecdotal evidence coming out of defectors that are escaping.
The Japanese made a comment yesterday in our session that they have had over 100 North Korean fishing boats that have drifted into Japanese waters – two-thirds of the people on those boats have died – they weren’t trying to escape – and the ones that didn’t die, they wanted to go back home. So they sent them back to North Korea. But what they learned is they’re being sent out in the wintertime to fish because there’s food shortages, and they’re being sent out to fish with inadequate fuel to get back.
So we’re getting a lot of evidence that these sanctions are really starting to hurt. And so the rapprochement of the North to the South, now they’re on to the playbook that you know as well as anyone. And the playbook is, okay, we’re going to start our charm offensive to the rest of the world and let them see we’re just normal people like everybody else. We’re going to engender some sympathy. We’re going to try to drive a wedge between South Korea and their allies. And we spent an extraordinary amount of time yesterday in the group discussion hearing from Foreign Minister Kang of South Korea about how they’re not going to let that happen.
So we understand what this is about, and we’ve been supportive of this rapprochement, because the other element of the diplomacy is we’ve been waiting for Kim to decide he wants to talk. We’ve been very clear, and our channels are open
10--The Forever War--US announces indefinite deployment of military forces in Syria
The criminality, and hypocrisy, of the American ruling class has no limit. Amid the hysterical accusations of “Russian meddling” in the US elections, Tillerson baldly asserted that the United States will decide the fate of Syria. Among the political forces that the US is working with are the very Islamist extremists that Washington exploited to justify its intervention into the seven-year civil war that has ravaged the country.
The recklessness of the policy outlined by Tillerson is immense. In pursuit of regime-change, the US is seeking to effectively partition Syria, formally carving off the north into an American protectorate under the control of Kurdish nationalist forces, while placing the eastern region of the country under Islamist militias
11-- Dying North Koreans a sign US diplomatic strategy works, Tillerson says
14--Will the Dollar Tank???