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Showing posts from July, 2017

North Korea can hit most of United States: U.S. officials

North Korea's latest test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) has shown that Pyongyang now may be able to reach most of the continental United States, two U.S. officials told Reuters on Monday.
The assessment, which the officials discussed on condition of anonymity, underscored the growing threat posed by Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs, and could add pressure on President Donald Trump's administration to respond.
North Korea said on Saturday it had conducted another successful test of an ICBM that proved its ability to strike America's mainland.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un supervised the midnight launch of the missile on Friday night and called it a "stern warning" to the United States that it would not be safe from destruction if it tried to attack, the North's official KCNA news agency said.
However, two U.S. intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Monday Kim wants to develop a nuclear-capable ICBM to de…

China hits back at Trump criticism over North Korea

China hit back on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted he was "very disappointed" in China following North Korea's latest missile test, saying the problem did not arise in China and that all sides need to work for a solution.
China has become increasingly frustrated with American and Japanese criticism that it should do more to rein in Pyongyang. China is North Korea's closest ally, but Beijing, too, is angry with its continued nuclear and missile tests.
North Korea said on Saturday it had conducted another successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile that proved its ability to strike the U.S. mainland, drawing a sharp warning from Trump and a rebuke from China.
Video of the latest missile test appears to show it breaking up before landing, indicating Pyongyang may not yet have mastered re-entry technology needed for an operational nuclear-tipped missile, a think tank reported on Monday.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe spoke with Trump on Monda…

U.S. targets Venezuelan President Maduro for sanctions

The U.S. government slapped sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Monday, the Trump's administration's toughest move so far against his government in response to Sunday's election of a legislative superbody Washington denounced as a "sham" vote.
No oil-related measures were included in the announcement, but such measures remain under consideration, according to congressional sources and a person familiar with the White House's deliberations on the matter.
Under the sanctions, all of Maduro's assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction were frozen, and Americans are barred from doing business with him, the U.S. 
Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control said.
"By sanctioning Maduro, the United States makes clear our opposition to the policies of his regime and our support for the people of Venezuela who seek to return their country to a full and prosperous democracy," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
He sai…

U.S. embassy in Moscow says locked out of diplomatic property

The U.S. embassy in Moscow accused Russian authorities on Monday of barring diplomatic staff from a property on the outskirts of Moscow, after having earlier agreed to grant access until midday on Tuesday for them to retrieve belongings.
A Russian foreign ministry official, quoted by state news agency RIA, said the U.S. embassy had sent in its trucks without first obtaining permits which, the official said, are required by law because the property is in a conservation area.
The property, in a picturesque spot on a bend in the Moskva river northwest of the capital, is leased by the U.S. embassy for its staff to use for recreation.
Moscow has said it is taking it back as part of retaliatory measures after Washington approved a fresh round of sanctions against Russia.
A Reuters TV cameraman outside the country residence, known in Russian as a dacha, saw five vehicles with diplomatic license plates, including a truck, arrive at the site. He said they were denied entry.
An embassy spokeswoman s…

Trump fires communications director Scaramucci in new White House upheaval

U.S. President Donald Trump ousted recently hired White House communications chief Anthony Scaramucci on Monday over an obscene tirade, sources familiar with the decision said, in the latest staff upheaval for the six-month-old administration.
The move, coming just 10 days after the Republican president named Scaramucci to the post, took place on the first day of work for Trump's new chief of staff, retired Marine Corps General John Kelly, who sources said was seeking to impose order on a White House riven with factions and backbiting.
"There's a new sheriff in town," said Barry Bennett, a former Trump campaign adviser.
A Republican close to Trump said the president fretted on the weekend over what to do about Scaramucci, calling his advisers to ask their opinion, all of whom told him the tough-talking aide had to go.
Trump was annoyed about Scaramucci's lewd comments to The New Yorker magazine published last Thursday and at how the abrasive New York financier appear…

Time for talk on North Korea ‘over’ – US envoy to UN

The US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, has said that the time for talk on North Korea is “over,” and that another weak UNSC resolution is “worse than nothing.” 
Tensions are flaring over Pyongyang’s recent tests of what it said were intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Haley noted that “an additional Security Council resolution that does not significantly increase the international pressure on North Korea is of no value” and it “sends the message to the North Korean dictator that the international community is unwilling to seriously challenge him,” according to the envoy’s statement cited by AFP.
“The time for talk is over,” the US envoy added.
She urged China to “decide whether it is finally willing to take this vital step.”
On Sunday, US President Donald Trump tweeted that “they [China] do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. 
We will no longer allow this to continue,” adding that it shouldn’t take much for Beijing to “solve this problem!”
In mid-July, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesm…

US to boost air & troop presence in Lithuania during Russia-Belarus drills

The US will boost its military presence, possibly doubling the number of warplanes in Lithuania in September during Russia’s Zapad-2017 drills with Belarus, Lithuania's president has announced.
The scheduled military exercises will run from September 14-20 and has sparked alarm among NATO leaders and the Baltic states.
“During the Zapad drills, more US servicemen, military equipment and vessels will be deployed here, air police will be doubled. 
This shows special attention to our region,” Sputnik quoted Dalia Grybauskaite as saying in a video address.
The number of American warplanes in Lithuania may be increased from four to at least seven, Grybauskaite added, saying the reinforcements will arrive at the Siauliai Air Base between late August and early September to help carry out their standard Baltic Air Policing mission.
“We expect seven airplanes, almost double in the near future," Grybauskaite said from the Estonian capital of Tallinn, where she was attending a meeting with t…

WikiLeaks releases 21,000 ‘verified’ Macron campaign emails

More than 21,000 "verified" emails allegedly associated with the French presidential campaign of Emmanuel Macron have been released by WikiLeaks.
The whistleblowing organisation claims the batch of  21,075 emails, dating from March 2009 to April 2017, are uniquely verified through its DKIM system.
A full archive of 71,848 emails with 26,506 attachments from 4,493 unique senders is provided for context, according to a WikiLeaks statement.
It states that while only the 21,075 emails marked with its green "DKIM verified" banner are certified by WikiLeaks as genuine, it believes “based on statistical sampling” that the “overwhelming majority” of the remainder are also authentic.
“As the emails are often in chains and include portions of each other, it is usually possible to confirm the integrity [of] other emails in the chain as a result of the DKIM verified emails within it,” the statement reads.
Macron’s presidential campaign was hit with a huge email leak in the days bef…

S. Korea, US in talks to resume THAAD units deployment after Pyongyang missile launch

Seoul has begun talks with the US to resume the deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) units, according to South Korea’s Defense Ministry. 
It comes days after Pyongyang launched a missile which Washington and Seoul believe was an ICBM.
"As for the deployment of six (THAAD) launchers, South Korea and the US will make a decision after consultations," Ministry of National Defense spokesman Moon Sang-gyun said during a Monday press briefing, as quoted by Yonhap news agency.
"Such discussion is currently going on, but further consultations are needed for the specific issues of when and how," he added.
It comes after North Korea's Friday test launch of a missile which Seoul and Washington believe was an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
South Korean President Moon Jae-in ordered that four remaining interception missile launchers be "temporarily" deployed while environmental assessments continue to take place.
That order reversed a pre…

China shrugs off Trump’s ‘doing nothing’ claims over N. Korea

Beijing has told Washington not to link the North Korean crisis to bilateral trade, saying they are “two completely different domains.” 
It comes after US President Donald Trump criticized China for “doing nothing” over Pyongyang’s continued missile tests.

Over the weekend, President Trump tweeted he was “very disappointed” with China, saying it “does nothing for us with North Korea, just talk.” 
The statement came just two days after Pyongyang launched an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), claiming the rocket could hit the entire US mainland.
“Our foolish past leaders have allowed them [China] to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade,” Trump wrote.
China hit back on Monday, urging Washington to keep the two issues separate.
“We think the North Korea nuclear issue and China-US trade are issues that are in two completely different domains. They aren’t related. 
They should not be discussed together,” Chinese Vice-Commerce Minister Qian Keming told journalists, as cited …

Planetary defense: Asteroid flyby will test NASA’s ability to locate space threats

An asteroid due to make a close approach to Earth in October will test NASA's planetary defense system and assess the capability of scientists to locate future threats, the organization’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has announced.
NASA scientists are "excited" about the upcoming flyby, according to a statement released by the JPL on Friday, as it will provide a chance to "test NASA's network of observatories and scientists who work with planetary defense."
The '2012 TC4' asteroid, which is estimated to be between 30 and 100ft (10 and 30 meters) in size, is expected to make a flyby past Earth on October 12.
Although it's too early to predict exactly how near it will come to Earth, scientists are confident it will come no closer than 4,200 miles (6,800km) from the planet's surface.
"Scientists have always appreciated knowing when an asteroid will make a close approach to and safely pass the Earth because they can make preparations to col…

Hamburg knife attacker acted on ‘Islamist motives’ – prosecutors

A man who went on a stabbing spree, killing one person and injuring several others at a supermarket in Hamburg, Germany, had a “radical Islamist motive,” prosecutors confirmed in a statement on Monday.
The Office of the Prosecutor General has begun an investigation into the assailant.
The suspect, named as Ahmad A., is facing charges of murder and attempted murder by inflicting dangerous bodily injuries in five cases, the statement reads.
Authorities confirmed after the attack that the suspect was known to have been radicalized, but said that the 26-year-old hadn’t been considered dangerous. 
The investigation now states the man decided two days prior to the attack to launch an assault, hoping to die as a martyr.
According to the latest findings of the investigation, “there is likely a radical Islamist motive” for the assailant, authorities announced.
“According to the investigation so far, it is to be assumed that the suspect radicalized himself. 
According to [the suspect], he has been dea…

‘Policy of intransigence’: Qatari FM slams Saudi-led bloc's demands as violating intl law

Qatar's foreign minister has accused the four Arab countries which have severed ties with Doha of violating international law and pursuing a policy of intransigence. 
It comes just a day after the foreign ministers of the four nations gathered for a meeting in Manama.
Following Sunday's meeting in Bahrain's capital, the Arab quartet which accuse Qatar of funding terrorism, made clear that Doha must meet its previous list of 13 demands before they are willing to engage in dialogue.
Doha must also agree to the so-called "six principles" on fighting terrorism and extremism.
Responding to the group's Sunday statement, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman al-Thani told Al Jazeera that the Saudi-led group's stance reflects the continuation of a "policy of intransigence" as well as a failure to recognize that sanctions taken against Qatar are unfair and illegal.
He said the statement issued by the four nations also carries contradictions…

US attempts to shift blame onto Russia & China over N. Korea are baseless – Moscow

The Russian Foreign Ministry has again called on the international community to "refrain from any steps that would further escalate tensions" on the Korean Peninsula, saying that Washington is playing a "baseless" blame game.
"We consider the attempts of the US and some other countries to shift the responsibility in what is happening [on the Korean Peninsula] onto Russia and China, and to almost blame Moscow and Beijing for 'conniving in' North Korea's nuclear missile ambitions, as baseless," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement Monday. "We call on all sides involved to refrain from any steps that could lead to further escalation of tensions," it added.
Earlier, the US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, said that any new resolution by the UN Security Council "that does not significantly increase the international pressure on North Korea is of no value."
The US diplomat said the time for talk on the issue was "over,&…

گفتگوی تلفنی ترامپ و آبه درباره «تهدید جدی» کره شمالی‌| نیکی هیلی:‌ دوران مذاکره به سر آمد

در تازه ترین واکنش ها به آزمایش موشکی روز جمعه کره جنوبی، رئیس جمهوری ایالات متحده و نخست وزیر ژاپن درباره «تهدیدات جدی» کره شمالی گفتگوی تلفنی داشتند. 
همزمان، نماینده آمریکا در سازمان ملل می گوید زمان برای مذاکره درباره تهدید کره شمالی به سر آمده است.
کاخ سفید اعلام کرد دونالد ترامپ و شینزو آبه در تازه ترین گفتگوی خود بر خطر جدی و تهدید فزاینده کره شمالی تاکید کردند.
بیانیه کاخ سفید می افزاید این دو رهبر بر افزایش فشارهای دیپلماتیک و اقتصادی بر کره شمالی تاکید کردند.
قرار است به زودی رئیس جمهوری کره جنوبی با آقای ترامپ نیز گفتگو کند.
واکنش های اخیر به آزمایش روز جمعه کره شمالی است که یک موشک بین قاره ای بالستیک موسوم به «آی سی بی ام آزمایش کرد.

اعتراض نیکی هیلی
همزمان با آزمایش جدید موشکی کره شمالی، نیکی هیلی نماینده ایالات متحده در بیانیه ای از ادامه مذاکرات درباره تهدید پیونگ یانگ انتقاد کرد و خواستار پایان مذاکره درباره تهدیدات کره شمالی شد.
خانم هیلی در بیانیه ای که یکشنبه شب صادر کرد، از چین نیز خواست تصمیم جدی درباره مقابله با تهدید کره شمالی اتخاذ کند.
نماینده آمریکا با رد برگزاری یک …