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Diplomatic Relations

USA POLITICS: Adamant Trump Mulls Decertifying Iran Deal, US Officials Say ‘Trump’s Bellicose Rhetoric Troubling’

USA POLITICS: Adamant Trump Mulls Decertifying Iran Deal, US Officials Say ‘Trump’s Bellicose Rhetoric Troubling’

“They came up with a plan that protects the things they are concerned about but doesn’t recertify, which the president made clear he was not going to do. That ship has sailed,” according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official said Trump has been telling foreign leaders and U.S. lawmakers that his refusal to certify the Iran deal would not blow it up.

“He’s not walking away from it. The chances of him walking away from it go down if they work with him on making it better,” the official said.

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SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: Most South Koreans Favor Diplomacy Over Military in Dealing With North Korea

SOUTH KOREA POLITICS: Most South Koreans Favor Diplomacy Over Military in Dealing With North Korea

“They understand better than we that the North Korean regime is bluffing, this regime has always been bluffing,” the expert said, “This is a mature attitude from the people [of the country] neighboring [North Korea], who are living just a few dozen kilometers from the threat.”

For its part, Russia which has 17 kilometers (11 mi) of terrestrial frontier and 22.1 km (12 nautical miles) of maritime border with North Korea warned against the further aggravation of situation in the region.

“As for the Korean Peninsula, of course, Moscow has been calling and continues to call on all parties to the conflict and parties that have relation to these affairs to show restraint and avoid any steps that could only aggravate the situation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Monday.

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DRC POLITICS: Pressure on Those Unlawfully Enriched by Kabila’s Rule

DRC POLITICS: Pressure on Those Unlawfully Enriched by Kabila’s Rule

The United States and European Union should expand targeted sanctions on President Joseph Kabila’s family members and financial associates benefitting from unlawful activity in the Democratic Republic of Congo, seven international and Congolese human rights organizations said today. The sanctions

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: North Korea Unlikely to Give Up Nukes: Here’s Why

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: North Korea Unlikely to Give Up Nukes: Here’s Why

“The [Iran] program is in a state of completion; it was approved in a UNSC resolution, and dissecting this program equates to destroying everything achieved. Everyone understands that. If the agreement on the Iranian nuclear problem fails, North Korea will say: why should we negotiate with you, if you’re unable to do so?” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov asked.

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Kim Jong Un Hails Nuclear Programme

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Kim Jong Un Hails Nuclear Programme

North Korea’s nuclear weapons are a “powerful deterrent firmly safeguarding the peace and security in the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia,” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said, referring to the “protracted nuclear threats of the U.S. imperialists.”

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IRAN POLITICS: ’10 Trumps’ Cannot Deprive Iran of Nuclear Deal Benefits: Rouhani

IRAN POLITICS: ’10 Trumps’ Cannot Deprive Iran of Nuclear Deal Benefits: Rouhani

Rouhani went on to say that no one can possibly reverse the effects of the deal, including Trump. “If 10 other Trumps emerged in the world” and sought to roll back the benefits of the 2015 nuclear agreement, they would still ultimately fail, he added.

“In negotiating [with world powers], we showed that we are not just strong at war [but] we’re also strong at peace,” he said, adding that “political power” that Iran got as a result of the negotiations cannot just “go away.”

“The party who makes a deal will not lose anything; rather, the one who breaches a deal loses face and dignity,” Rouhani added.

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IRAN POLITICS: Donald Trump to Decertify Landmark Iran Nuclear Deal

IRAN POLITICS: Donald Trump to Decertify Landmark Iran Nuclear Deal

“We must not allow Iran … to obtain nuclear weapons,” President Donald Trump said during a meeting with military leaders at the White House on Thursday, adding:

“The Iranian regime supports terrorism and exports violence, bloodshed and chaos across the Middle East. That is why we must put an end to Iran’s continued aggression and nuclear ambitions. They have not lived up to the spirit of their agreement.”

Asked about his decision on whether to certify the landmark deal, Trump said: “You’ll be hearing about Iran very shortly.”

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RUSSIA POLITICS: Russia Quietly Boosting Economic Support for North Korea: Here’s Why

RUSSIA POLITICS: Russia Quietly Boosting Economic Support for North Korea: Here’s Why

“The Kremlin really believes the North Korean leadership should get additional assurances and confidence that the United States is not in the regime change business,” Andrey Kortunov, head of the Russian International Affairs Council, a think-tank close to the Russian Foreign Ministry, told Reuters.

“The prospect of regime change is a serious concern. The Kremlin understands that U.S. President Donald Trump is unpredictable. They felt more secure with Barack Obama that he would not take any action that would explode the situation, but with Trump they don’t know.”

Trump, who mocks North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a “rocket man” on a suicide mission, told the United Nations General Assembly last month he would “totally destroy” the country if necessary.

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PALESTINE POLITICS: Palestinian Cabinet Convenes in Gaza to Reconcile With Hamas

PALESTINE POLITICS: Palestinian Cabinet Convenes in Gaza to Reconcile With Hamas

“Today, we stand before an important, historical moment as we begin to get over our wounds, put our differences aside and place the higher national interest above all else,” Rami al-Hamdallah Prime Minister of Palestine said.

“We understand that returning official institutions to their legitimate and legal framework and ending all the impacts of division will require exhausting efforts and a lot of patience, of time and of wisdom,” he said.

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PALESTINE POLITICS: Reconciliation: Rami Hamdallah Visits Gaza to Unite Fatah and Hamas

PALESTINE POLITICS: Reconciliation: Rami Hamdallah Visits Gaza to Unite Fatah and Hamas

“We still have a lot of work to complete and a number of issues to work out,” senior Palestinian official aid, referring to the issue of employees and crossings. “If we can overcome the employees and crossings issues, then we will move on to the more complicated issue of security,” the official said.

“No bartering or touching the weapons of the resistance,” Hamas deputy chief in Gaza Khalil al-Hayya said, stressing that he reserved for fighting Israel. “We will fight the occupation with all means of resistance until [it] is wiped away.”

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: North Korean Workers Leave Chinese Border Hub Because of New Sanctions

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: North Korean Workers Leave Chinese Border Hub Because of New Sanctions

The Wing Cafe used to advertise its “beautiful North Korean” waitresses on its shopfront by the Yalu. The sign is now gone, and cafe staff said the waitresses had returned home in recent weeks after their visas expired.

“There have been changes in government policy,” the manager of another restaurant said. “It’s not convenient to say more.”

The sanctions have come as a rude jolt to Dandong businesses and traders who had long rolled with North Korea’s unpredictability but believed their neighbour’s economic reliance on China would keep its belligerence in check.

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USA POLITICS: Tillerson in China as US Presses North Korean Economic Squeeze

USA POLITICS: Tillerson in China as US Presses North Korean Economic Squeeze

“Tillerson‘s working against the unified view of our intelligence agencies, which say there’s no amount of pressure that can be put on them to stop,” Senator Bob Corker told a Senate hearing on Thursday.

Kim, Corker said, saw nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles as “his ticket to survival.”

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CUBA POLITICS: US Preparing Plan to Draw Down Embassy Staff in Havana: Sources

CUBA POLITICS: US Preparing Plan to Draw Down Embassy Staff in Havana: Sources

U.S. officials say 21 U.S. diplomats and family members have been afflicted by health problems of unknown origin, including hearing loss, dizziness and nausea. Several Canadians have also been affected in Cuba, a Canadian official has said.

The Cuban government has denied any role and is conducting an investigation. But it has so far said it has been unable to determine the cause.

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CUBA POLITICS: Cuba to US: Avoid Hasty Decisions on Bilateral Relations: Bruno Rodriguez

CUBA POLITICS: Cuba to US: Avoid Hasty Decisions on Bilateral Relations: Bruno Rodriguez

“The Foreign Minister reaffirmed that the investigation to resolve this matter is still in progress,” the Cuban Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The statement said the “effective cooperation” of US officials was essential to determine what caused the symptoms.

“It would be regrettable that a matter of this nature is politicized and that hasty decisions not supported by conclusive evidence and investigation results are taken,” the statement read.

Former President Barack Obama re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2015 and loosened some restrictions on doing business in the country. The two states had been long-time Cold War adversaries.

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USA POLITICS: US Imposes Sanctions on North Korean Banks, Executives

USA POLITICS: US Imposes Sanctions on North Korean Banks, Executives

In a letter to international leaders on Sunday, a North Korean parliamentary committee said Trump’s threat constitutes a declaration of war against Pyongyang. The letter described Trump’s comments as an “intolerable insult to the Korean people, a declaration of war against North Korea and grave threats to the global peace.”

“If Trump thinks that he would bring North Korea, a nuclear power, to its knees through nuclear war threat, it is a big miscalculation and ignorance,” read the letter.

The new sanctions also came days after Trump threatened to “totally destroy” the nuclear-armed nation, which is opposed to US hegemony.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Trump Slaps Travel Restrictions on Venezuela

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Trump Slaps Travel Restrictions on Venezuela

The measures help fulfill a campaign promise Trump made to tighten U.S. immigration procedures and align with his “America First” foreign policy vision. Unlike the president’s original bans, which had time limits, this one is open-ended.

“Making America Safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet,” President Donald Trump said in a tweet shortly after the proclamation was released.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: Canada Targets Senior Venezuelan Officials With Sanctions

VENEZUELA POLITICS: Canada Targets Senior Venezuelan Officials With Sanctions

As well as President Maduro, the named figures include Vice-President Tareck El Aissami and the head of the constituent assembly, Delcy Rodriguez.

“Today’s announcement of sanctions against the Maduro regime underscores our commitment to defending democracy and human rights around the world,” said Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s foreign affairs minister.

“Canada stands in solidarity with the people of Venezuela as they struggle to restore democracy in their country.”

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NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Sanctions Block Imports of Athletes’ Gear: North Korea Says

NORTH KOREA POLITICS: Sanctions Block Imports of Athletes’ Gear: North Korea Says

President Donald Trump said on Thursday the United States will add more sanctions against North Korea.

“This association has sent several letters of purchase intention to more than 20 ski equipment production companies and sales agencies including Atomik (Atomic), Blizzard, Fischer, in June and July and made its effort to purchase the equipments,” read the letter from the Ski Association of the DPRK, referring to three Austrian makers of ski equipment.

“But unfortunately, those ski equipment companies and sales agents rejected or have not responded to its request,” it said.

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VENEZUELA POLITICS: FM Arreaza Reacts to Trump’s Anti-Caracas Remarks in UN Speech

VENEZUELA POLITICS: FM Arreaza Reacts to Trump’s Anti-Caracas Remarks in UN Speech

“We are quite surprised by the words of the president of the United States this morning. This is supposed to be the house and the headquarters of peace and the international law. And what we heard was the opposite of that. It’s a president who comes for the first time and speaks about war about destroying countries about blockades against countries. And of course the country that violates the human rights all over the world seems to have the moral authority to come and speak to the rest of the countries as they were his employees,” Arreaza added.

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USA POLITICS: US May ‘Totally Destroy’ North Korea: Trump Warns

USA POLITICS: US May ‘Totally Destroy’ North Korea: Trump Warns

Unless North Korea backs down, U.S. President Donald Trump said, “We will have no choice than to totally destroy North Korea.”

“Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and his regime,” Trump said.

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