Ukrainian Student in Tennessee Arrested over Alleged Identity Theft Scheme Involving North Korea

Carson-Newman University

The arrest of a Ukrainian national previously in Tennessee on a student visa to study at Carson-Newman University was announced Thursday, with federal authorities alleging the foreign national participated in an “illicit revenue generation” scheme to aid the government of North Korea.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) reported that Oleksandr Didenko, a 27-year-old university student originally from Kiev, Ukraine, was arrested in Poland on May 6 on charges including identity theft of U.S. citizens for use by North Koreans.

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Commentary: If H.R. 7521 Was Only About TikTok, the Bill Would Only Apply to TikTok

TikTok Social Media

“The TikTok bill gives Biden the power to ban websites & apps run by ‘a person subject to the direction or control of a foreign person or entity.’ Given that Biden routinely smears political opponents as being under the control of Putin, the danger should be obvious.”

That was entrepreneur David Sacks on X (formerly Twitter) on March 13 noting the fact that H.R. 7521, which has easily passed the House and is now on a fast track in the U.S Senate will give the President, right now it’s Joe Biden but also future presidents, can force divestiture of any website or application or else have it removed from hosting services if the President determines it is run by “a person subject to the direction or control of a foreign person or entity” including Russia, China, North Korea or Iran.

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Commentary: Biden Administration Abuses U.S. Intelligence Community to Undermine Netanyahu’s Leadership

President Joe Biden and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Something reprehensible happened this week during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the U.S. Intelligence Community’s annual worldwide threats report. In addition to discussing threats to our country from China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and terrorist groups, the report questioned the leadership of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and said large protests in Israel demanding his resignation could drive him from power.

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Foreign Policy Problems Promise to Plague Biden Admin in 2024

The Biden administration faced several major problems on the international stage throughout 2023, some of which will bleed into the new year.

President Joe Biden and his administration have tried to manage major threats and circumvent obstacles from several foreign nations in 2023, including from those in East Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South America. Many international problems the Biden administration dealt with in 2023 have not been solved and have continued to metastasize going into 2024.

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North Korean Defector Yeonmi Park Brings Her ‘Warning to America’ to Chandler Event

North Korean defector Yeonmi Park spoke to a Davos in the Desert gathering at The Forum in Chandler Monday evening. The young author contrasted the totalitarian government she fled with increasing wokism in the U.S. Due to her speaking out, she said, “I have become the enemy of the woke.”

David Wanetick, who founded Davos in the Desert, spoke briefly first about the principles of the organization. It is an “anti-globalist movement dedicated to providing forums whereby business leaders, thought leaders and government servants share their ideas for safeguarding freedom and liberty.”

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DeSantis Signs Bill Blocking Chinese Property Ownership Near Military Installations

Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law Monday a bill that would block Chinese ownership of agricultural land and property near military installations, the latest state to crack down on Communist Party control of U.S. sites.

The law prohibits anyone from China and other totalitarian regimes, including Iran, Russia, Venezuela, Syria, Cuba and North Korea, from having a stake in any property within 10 miles of Department of Defense installations or critical infrastructure. A separate bill, also signed into law Monday, creates additional hurdles for foreign ownership of private schools after federal lawmakers raised red flags over Chinese Communist Party (CCP) ties to a private Florida high school operating a military pre-enlistment program.

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Senator Hagerty to Tennessee Star: ‘I Am Very Rightly Concerned About the Biden Administration’s Competence to Execute Anything’

U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty criticized the Biden administration’s competence, handling of Afghanistan, the energy crisis and how it affects the situation in Ukraine, and discussed a recent trip he took to Japan during an exclusive interview with The Tennessee Star that occurred after a Wednesday afternoon joint press event held on border security with Governor Bill Lee outside his Nashville district office.

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North Korea Reports Having Launched Missile Capable of Hitting U.S. Territory Guam

North Korea's ballistic missile

North Korea acknowledged Monday having test-fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of striking the U.S. territory Guam.

South Korea and Japan first reported Sunday that the Hwasong-12 missile had been launched – making it the seventh nuclear-capable missile having been launched since 2017 by the rogue nation.

The North Korean state news said the missile was fired as a test and took a high trajectory to avoid flying over neighboring countries. The projectile flew just under 500 miles before landing in the sea between Japan and the Korean Peninsula.

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State Department to Waive Fees for Immigrants Denied Visas During Travel Ban to Reapply

The State Department will waive fees for immigrants seeking visas to come to the U.S. if they were previously denied one because of the Trump administration’s travel ban, according to a Wednesday announcement.

“An IV applicant who is the beneficiary of a valid immigration petition may submit another visa application after being refused and in most circumstances they are required to pay again the relevant application fees,” according to a Federal Register rule published Wednesday. “The Department exempts from such fees only those IV applicants who are applying again after being refused” a visa under the travel ban.

The ban prevented immigration from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. President Joe Biden issued an executive order repealing the ban on his first day in office in January 2021.

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Democrat Ex-Lawmakers Contracted to Lobby for North Korean Business Investment

Two former Democratic congressmen contracted with a lobbying firm to advocate on behalf of South Korean businesses operating factories in North Korea, according to recent filings.

Former Democratic Missouri Rep. Lacy Clay joined law firm and lobby shop Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman on Wednesday to lobby on behalf of the Corporate Association of the Gaesong Industrial Complex (CAGIC) at the direction of South Korean consultancy HC & Sons, according to a foreign agent filing with the Justice Department. Former Democratic Texas Rep. Greg Laughlin, who has been with Pillsbury since 2004 and served in Congress for 6 years before switching parties, began lobbying on behalf of CAGIC in December 2021, filings show.

Pillsbury began working with CAGIC in July 2021, filings show, signing a $675,000 contract to provide services including “general advocacy, including meetings with U.S. Executive and Legislative Branches.” The firm will also “provide information to CAGIC and advocate on its behalf,” filings show.

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Wikipedia Moderators Are Debating Removing an Article About Communist Mass Killings for ‘Bias’

Wikipedia moderators are currently considering removing an article titled “mass killings under communist regimes” over concerns of “bias.”

The article was flagged for deletion in September 2021 due to the “neutrality” of the article being disputed in addition to concerns over the “verifiability” of claims made in the article and whether it contained information already available in other areas of Wikipedia, according to a notice posted on the article.

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Commentary: Educating Students About the Victims of Communism

Olbram Zoubek Communism Victims Memorial

Many Americans today assume that the threat of Communism subsided with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. But “We continue to see Communist and socialist regimes pop up and spread not only in Latin America – for example, in Venezuela and Nicaragua – but around the world,” says Ambassador Andrew Bremberg, president and CEO of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC). “These regimes regularly kill their own citizens and have a devastating effect on human rights and their national economies.” In fact, over 1.5 billion people – including those living in Laos, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, and, of course, China – currently live under oppressive Communist and socialist governments.

Founded in 1993 by a bipartisan, unanimous Act of Congress, VOC is “devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to pursuing the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes.”

Before coming to VOC, Bremberg served as the Trump administration’s Representative of the United States to the Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva. During his time there, which he describes as a “profound and life changing experience,” he “became aware of the challenge of China,” which was “far worse” than he had realized. He notes that the U.N. International Human Rights Council made investigating the United States’ record on racism during the summer of 2020 its highest priority – putting it above China’s appalling human rights violations against Uyghurs, among other ethnic groups within its borders.

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Commentary: The Left Can Finally Admit What It Wants

I remember a staggering conversation with my high school lunch table in the early 2000s. Everyone agreed with one kid’s statement that there was nothing special about living in America: Life in Canada, or anywhere else, would be identical except for maybe the weather.

At the time, I wondered what was going to happen to America when all these kids grew up. What happens when America’s young adults, far from having any intellectual commitment to freedom, don’t even understand what life would be like without it?

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North Korea Restarting Nuclear Reactor Was Likely Inevitable, Expert Says

Nuclear power plant

North Korea was likely always going to restart its nuclear reactor regardless of which presidential administration was in office, an expert on the region told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported in late August that North Korea had restarted a plutonium-producing 5-megawatt reactor at Yongbyon in July 2021, after previously shutting it down in 2018.

Bruce Klingner, the senior research fellow for Northeast Asia at The Heritage Foundation, told the DCNF that while it’s unclear whether the timing of the restart was meant to send a message, North Korea probably was planning for the reactor to become operational again for a while.

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Amid Rumors of His Demise, Photos Show Train at Kim Jong-Un’s Compound in Resort Town

New photos obtained via satellite show North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s train at his “vacation compound” in a resort town on the eastern coast of North Korea.

38 North – a foreign affairs news and information website that focuses on North Korea – released the photos, reporting the images were captured between Tuesday, April 21 and Thursday April 23.

The news comes amid a flood of rumors recently that the reclusive leader has suffered a catastrophic injury during a heart procedure.

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Leaked Docs Reportedly Show Huawei Secretly Built Up North Korea’s Wireless Phone Network

by Chris White   A Chinese tech company at the center of President Donald Trump’s trade war with China secretly helped North Korea maintain its commercial wireless network, The Washington Post reported Monday. Huawei partnered with a massive Chinese state-owned company called Panda International on projects in the communist nation over eight year, the report notes, citing documents and contracts, as well as anonymous sources. The memos do not explicitly lay out a connection between Huawei and North Korea, but they do raise questions about the relationship. A former Huawei employee leaked the spreadsheets and documents detailing the nature of the relationship. Other anonymous sources provided separate memos confirming the linkage, according to WaPo’s report, which comes as Trump and Republicans consider the implications of allowing Huawei a foothold in U.S. technology. The Commerce Department has never connected Huawei and North Korea despite undergoing a nearly four-year long investigation into the matter. The department has not replied to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for a comment about the report. All of this comes after the Department of Justice charged Huawei in January with bank fraud and violations of U.S. sanctions on Iran. The president signed an executive order in May that effectively bans technologies from foreign…

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Commentary: President Donald J. Trump, Statesman

by Brandon Weichert   When Donald Trump took office, his predecessor warned him that North Korea was going to be his biggest international headache. Within months of receiving that warning from Barack Obama, the Trump team was faced with escalating nuclear threats from Pyongyang. The world braced as a nuclear standoff appeared to unfold and as President Trump moved U.S. forces into the region, issuing threatening tweets in response to escalating North Korean provocations. Meanwhile, the hateful Left and its allies embedded within the so-called deep state, decried the president’s supposed “warmongering” against North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. Once Trump stunned the world and met with Kim in Singapore last summer—without preconditions—those same Leftists and deep staters insisted Trump was appeasing an intractable dictator intent on acquiring nuclear weapons to use against the United States and its allies. In reality, Trump was pursuing an America First strategy that used all the tools of statecraft available to his—tools most of these “experts” had forgotten how to use. Those Who Want Respect Give Respect  For too long, American policymakers had an all-or-nothing view of foreign policy. Either the United States got everything it wanted through force or it got nothing. Threats, such as those from…

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Commentary: Democrats Hate It When Peace Breaks Out

by CHQ Staff   We remain optimistic pessimists on President Trump’s efforts to secure a denuclearization deal with the North Koreans. We’re optimistic because President Trump’s efforts have curtailed the North Korean missile and nuclear weapons tests, but we are pessimistic that the Stalinist North Korean Kim dynasty will risk its hold on the people of North Korea for the incentives that the President could reasonably offer. But that doesn’t mean President Trump should revert to the Bush – Obama policy of refusing to have anything to do with Kim and his government; we tried that, and it obviously didn’t work. So, if giving Kim Jong Un a little respect, meeting him at the DMZ and walking with him into North Korean territory keeps him at the bargaining table and keeps the possibility of a denuclearization deal alive that is, in our view, a cheap price to pay for peace on the Korean Peninsula. However, that’s not how the Democrats running for President see it. According to Japan Today reporter Doina Chiacu, Senator Elizabeth Warren said in a Twitter post, “Our President shouldn’t be squandering American influence on photo ops and exchanging love letters with a ruthless dictator.” Her Senate…

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New Trump Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham Bruised After Brawl with North Korean Guards to Ensure Press Access to Kim Jong Un Meeting

  President Donald Trump’s historic meeting with dictator Kim Jong Un, while reportedly cordial, did have some tension: North Korean guards tried to bar U.S. reporters’ way, but new press secretary Stephanie Grisham saved the day. The Guardian reported that Grisham ended up bruised in a scuffle with the guards. The jostling seen outside when Kim and Trump met worsened when North Korean guards tried to physically prevent reporters with the US press pool from entering a room inside the Freedom House on the southern side of the DMZ where the two leaders were about to start their meeting. Reports said the Secret Service had to intervene. Political commentator Edward Hardy tweeted a video of the confrontation: “This is the moment White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham got into a scuffle with North Korean security guards who were blocking US journalists”. This is the moment White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham got into a scuffle with North Korean security guards who were blocking US journalists — Edward Hardy (@EdwardTHardy) June 30, 2019 Sky News tweeted, “President Trump’s press secretary Stephanie Grisham ended up with bruises after being shoved by Kim Jong Un’s security guards. Donald Trump has become the first…

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Trump Meets Kim at DMZ, Crosses Into North Korea

by William Gallo   Donald Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to visit North Korea, stepping across the border during a meeting at the demilitarized zone with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. After shaking hands with Kim at the Panmunjom border village, Trump walked across the military demarcation line separating the two Koreas. Kim and Trump then crossed the border back into South Korea. “Good to see you again,” Kim told Trump. “I never expected to see you in this place.” “Stepping across that line was a great honor,” said Trump, who invited Kim to the United States for another meeting. — Dan Scavino Jr. Archived (@Scavino45) June 30, 2019 Trump on Saturday had said the meeting would only last two minutes. However, Trump’s private talks with Kim lasted about 50 minutes, turning into an impromptu summit. When Trump emerged from the meeting, he announced he and Kim had agreed to form teams to restart working level talks. “They will meet over the next few weeks and they’re going to start a process and we’ll see what happens,” Trump said. “Speed is not the object…we want a really comprehensive, good deal.” It is the third meeting between Kim…

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2020 Election Meddling by China, Iran, N. Korea Likely, Administration Officials Warn

by Fred Lucas   Russia isn’t the only threat to election security going into 2020, as Trump administration officials say they are preparing for meddling from Iran, China, and North Korea. The federal government anticipates that Russia will again meddle in the U.S. election in 2020 through “Russian-controlled or influenced English-language media, false-flag operations, or sympathetic spokespersons,” a senior intelligence official said. China’s government finances English-language media outlets in the United States to influence U.S. perceptions on various issues, such as trade, the senior intelligence official told reporters during a briefing on election security. “No surprise to you: Iran is increasing their use of social media to promote strategic goals and perspectives to the American public,” the official continued. “Its influence campaigns have included denigrating U.S. decisions to leave [the Iran nuclear deal], downplaying the effectiveness of sanctions, and promoting pro-Iranian interests.” Administration officials asked reporters that the conference participants’ names not be used. North Korea is also in the mix, said a senior law enforcement official, who spoke of the FBI Foreign Influence Task Force set up in 2017 to combat the international meddling. “We’ve since expanded our scope to look at any nation-state actors involved in foreign influence,…

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North Korea Won’t Talk to US Until Trump Reduces Disarmament Demands

by Shelby Talcott   North Korea said on Friday that they will never resume nuclear talks with the United States unless President Donald Trump’s administration modifies what they consider to be unilateral demands for disarmament. An unknown North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson reportedly blamed the U.S. for February’s nuclear summit failure in Hanoi on the Korean Central News Agency. He said that the collapse of the summit was intentional because of the “arbitrary and dishonest position taken by the United States.” U.S. officials have stated that February’s meeting failed because North Korea had too many demands about sanctions relief and offered only partial disarmament steps. “We hereby make it clear once again that the United States would not be able to move us even an inch with the device it is now weighing in its mind, and the further its mistrust and hostile acts towards the DPRK grow, the fiercer our reaction will be,” the spokesperson said according to KCNA. This latest statement follows a press conference on Tuesday held by North Korea’s ambassador Kim Song at the United Nations in New York. Song warned the U.S. of repercussions due to its seizure of a North Korean cargo ship and…

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US-Seized North Korean Ship Arrives in American Samoa

  A North Korean cargo ship seized by the U.S. because of suspicions it was used to violate international sanctions arrived Saturday at the capital of this American territory. The Wise Honest was slowly towed to the port of Pago Pago Saturday morning and docked at the main docking section of the port that afternoon. The trip from Indonesia took about three weeks, and American Samoa, in the South Pacific, was chosen because of “its central strategic location,” U.S. Coast Guard public affairs officer Amanda Wyrick said. “We also have a good strong relationship and partnership with the American Samoan government,” Wyrick said. “With that being said, we also already have the resources that are able to ensure the security of the vessel but most importantly the Port of Pago Pago.” Detained near Indonesia The ship was detained in April as it traveled toward Indonesia. Justice Department officials announced Thursday that the U.S. had seized the ship. Asked as to how long the ship will be in the territory, Wyrick said the U.S. Department of Justice is “leading the investigation so they will be conducting that. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, the ship will be moved.” But the next…

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North Korea Fires Two Short-Range Missiles

  North Korea has fired what appears to be two short-range ballistic missiles, South Korea’s military said Thursday. It was the second time Pyongyang fired missiles in less than a week. One of the projectiles traveled 420 kilometers and the other traveled 270 kilometers, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. The missiles were launched from North Pyongan province in the country’s northwest and flew eastward, the statement added. The province is home to a missile base at Sino-ri that houses the Nodong medium-range ballistic missile, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Beyond Parallel program. At the White House Thursday, President Donald Trump said “nobody’s happy” about the development, adding that he doesn’t believe North Korea is ready to negotiate. The province is home to a missile base at Sino-ri that houses the Nodong medium-range ballistic missile, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Beyond Parallel program. South Korea’s presidential Blue House said it is very worried about the apparent short-range missile launch, adding it does not hlep inter-Korean military tensions. South Korean officials say Seoul has increased security preparations in case of additional launches. Recent tests North Korea on Saturday tested…

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Commentary: It’s No Coincidence North Korea’s Missile Test Happened Just as Trade Talks with China Broke Down

by Robert Romano   It is no coincidence that just as U.S. trade talks with China were breaking down last week, North Korea on May 4 conducted its first missile test since Nov. 2017. As a result, separating the trade issue from the national security concerns of North Korea’s ongoing nuclear arms program may difficult if not impossible. North Korea has long been a satellite state and ally of China. During the Korean War, when U.S. forces pushed toward the Sino-Korean border in the summer of 1950, China immediately intervened, pushing the U.S. back to the 38th parallel. Until 1953, the war was a stalemate. It never officially ended. Today, North Korea largely depends on China for sustenance, with 90 percent of its trade conducted solely with China. The sticking point in the trade negotiations is said to be over enforcement. Traditionally, the U.S. retains the right to levy tariffs against trade partners when agreements are not adhered to and any U.S.-China trade deal will be no different. On May 3 China trade negotiators told the South China Morning Post that trade talks were far from finalized. The story also noted that a social media account used by Beijing, Taoran…

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‘He’s Trying to Grab Trump’s Attention’: North Korea Test Fires ‘Projectiles’ Into the Sea

by Tim Pearce   North Korea fired several unidentified short-range weapons off the country’s east coast into the Sea of Japan on Saturday morning, according to South Korea’s Defense Ministry. South Korea said the projectiles were launched shortly after 9 a.m. local time and flew 70 to 200 kilometers before crashing into the sea, The Associated Press reported. U.S. and South Korean defense officials are investigating the launch of the “projectiles,” the latest weapons test by North Korea as negotiations with the U.S. to denuclearize the East Asian country stall. National security adviser John Bolton briefed President Donald Trump Friday night, a senior administration official told The Wall Street Journal. “Anything in this very interesting world is possible, but I believe that Kim Jong Un fully realizes the great economic potential of North Korea, & will do nothing to interfere or end it. He also knows that I am with him & does not want to break his promise to me. Deal will happen!” Trump tweeted Saturday. Anything in this very interesting world is possible, but I believe that Kim Jong Un fully realizes the great economic potential of North Korea, & will do nothing to interfere or end it.…

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Senator Portman Wears ‘Otto’ T-Shirt in South Korea Visit in Remembrance of Ohio Native

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) joined a bipartisan congressional trip to South Korea this week to discuss trade between the U.S. and South Korea as well as the ongoing nuclear negotiations with North Korea. During a visit to the demilitarized zone between South Korea and North Korea, Portman sported an “Otto” t-shirt in remembrance of Ohio native Otto Warmbier, who was famously imprisoned by Kim Jong Un’s regime and later died after being returned to the U.S. “Being in the region, I could not help but think of Otto Warmbier and his family. Otto has been at the front of my mind while I’ve been here and I’ve made clear to South Korean government officials that we must never forget him,” Portman said in a press release. The Ohio senator visited with soldiers from his home state during the trip who are “serving on the front lines to protect the people of South Korea from potential North Korean aggression.” “I am so grateful for the incredible sacrifices that our soldiers make on our behalf and I was honored to visit with them during my time in South Korea,” Portman said. Portman said he also visited with South Korean trade representatives to…

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Kim Says He’s Open to Third Summit With Trump

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says he will give the U.S. until the end of the year to make a “courageous decision” on stalled nuclear talks, warning of “very bleak and very dangerous” consequences if Washington does not change its approach. Speaking to a session of North Korea’s rubber-stamp parliament, Kim also said he is open to meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump “one more time,” but only if the U.S. changes its attitude, according to North Korean state media. President Trump responded Saturday morning via Twitter. “I agree with Kim Jong Un of North Korea that our personal relationship remains very good, perhaps the term excellent would be even more accurate, and that a third Summit would be good in that we fully understand where we each stand. North Korea has tremendous potential for extraordinary growth, economic success and riches under the leadership of Chairman Kim. I look forward to the day, which could be soon, when Nuclear Weapons and Sanctions can be removed, and then watching North Korea become one of the most successful nations of the World!” Trump this week said he is considering another meeting with Kim, but insisted the U.S. will not relax sanctions…

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Commentary: The Russiagate Hoax Has Made the World a More Dangerous Place by Undermining President Trump’s Ability to Defuse North Korea, China and Russia

by Robert Romano   Thanks to the Russiagate hoax that sought to falsely frame President Donald Trump as being a Russian agent when he wasn’t, the world has undeniably become a more dangerous place, as America’s partners overseas have had to contend with the real possibility that Trump would be removed from office. As it turns out, President Trump is not going anywhere, with Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluding the Justice Department’s three-year investigation, quoted in Attorney General William Barr’s letter to Congress: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” But what deals overseas were lost because of the specter of the investigation? A recent example came last month when President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s summit in Hanoi, Vietnam abruptly ended without a deal on denuclearization. Democrats on Capitol Hill had cynically arranged for former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to testify before the House Oversight Committee against his former boss the same day, which dominated news headlines while the summit was ongoing. It didn’t matter that Cohen ultimately offered testimony that was exculpatory for Trump — he had never been…

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Trump Orders Policy U-Turn on North Korea-Related Sanctions

by Evie Fordham   President Donald Trump announced on Twitter Friday he was reversing course on new sanctions on Chinese companies doing business with North Korea. “It was announced today by the U.S. Treasury that additional large scale Sanctions would be added to those already existing Sanctions on North Korea,” Trump wrote. “I have today ordered the withdrawal of those additional Sanctions!” The U.S. Treasury had announced the new sanctions Thursday, not Friday as Trump wrote, and they immediately received “swift pushback” from the governments of both China and North Korea, reported Fox News. “President Trump likes Chairman Kim [Jong Un] and he doesn’t think these sanctions will be necessary,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said when asked about Trump’s tweet. Trump’s decision came a day after Treasury Sec. Steven Mnuchin detailed the U.S. decision to impose sanctions on two China-based companies. “The United States and our like-minded partners remain committed to achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea and believe that the full implementation of North Korea-related UN Security Council resolutions is crucial to a successful outcome,” Mnuchin said in a statement Thursday according to Fox News. “Treasury will continue to enforce our sanctions, and we…

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Bolton: ‘No Illusions’ About Possible North Korean Missile Activity

The White House said Sunday it does not “have any illusions” about whether North Korea is preparing to resume missile testing, but refused to assess commercial satellite imagery suggesting Pyongyang is assembling a new rocket. National security adviser John Bolton told ABC News the U.S. watches North Korea “constantly,” but added, “I’m not going to speculate on what that commercial satellite imagery shows.” The Feb. 22 imagery seems to show new North Korean missile activity at an assembly operation, but Bolton said the U.S.”relies on its own” satellite surveillance and draws its conclusions from those images. “We see exactly what they’re doing,” he said. “We look every day at the intelligence. I don’t want to get into speculation as to what they’re doing.” After last month’s summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, U.S. President Donald Trump said he trusted Kim’s pledge to him that he would not resume nuclear or missile testing. Bolton said that Trump “is confident in his relations with Kim Jong Un.” Asked about the commercial satellite images on Friday, Trump said he would be “very disappointed” if North Korea resumed nuclear testing. He said he has greatly improved U.S. relations with North…

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Commentary: Trump Knows When to Fold ‘Em

by Michael Walsh   In the course of a high-stakes negotiation, the player who walks away from the table is the one with the least to lose. Ronald Reagan did it to Mikhail Gorbachev at Reykjavik in 1986, and Donald Trump did it to Kim Jong-un this week in Vietnam. Good for the president. A lot of people have brought up Reykjavik; I discussed the similarities on the Hugh Hewitt radio show with guest host Kurt Schlichter on Thursday. Reagan met Gorbachev in Iceland in the fall of 1986 and the two men were approaching an agreement that might have included the abolition of all nuclear weapons. But the Soviet premier wanted the Americans to drop the Strategic Defense Initiative, colloquially known as “Star Wars.” That was a bridge too far for Reagan, who abandoned the talks and went home. Naturally, the hostile press was appalled—the abolition of all nukes! And this cowboy won’t give up a pet program that probably won’t work anyway! Warmonger! Reagan was widely viewed at the time as an “amiable dunce” who didn’t understand the first thing about the complexities of international diplomacy; why, the doddering old fool actually thought “We win, they lose” was…

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Commentary: Trump Lost Nothing in Hanoi

by Brandon J. Weichert   When Donald J. Trump took office in January 2017, the outgoing Obama Administration national security team cautioned Trump’s transition team that North Korea was a significant nuclear threat. Obama White House officials explained how North Korea’s leaders had built up their nascent nuclear arsenal. Since at least 2013, the Obama Administration knew about the rising threat of a potentially nuclear-armed North Korea and did nothing. It was not a matter of ignorance; it was a matter of indifference on the part of former President Barack Obama and his national security team. Obama—the man who the media claimed was the smartest of all of America’s presidents—likely had no idea how to mitigate the North Korean threat and therefore didn’t even try. How’s that for leadership? Tag, You’re It, Donald Trump! Two years into Trump’s presidency, the world seemed poised for nuclear war in a way that it hadn’t since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Yes, the combined forces of the United States, South Korea, Japan, and any other ally inevitably would have overcome North Korea’s military in combat. But, the cost would have been great—particularly to South Korea and the Americans stationed there. Such a war also…

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Rep. Mark Green Talks to the Tennessee Star Report About His Questioning of Michael Cohen at Oversight Committee Hearing, Heartbeat Bill and Border Security

On Friday’s Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Gill and Leahy talked to Tennessee Congressman Mark Green about his opening statements and questions posed to Michael Cohen during the hearing in Washington yesterday. The Congressman admitted that this was a strategic move that would allow a light to be shown on the true intentions of the Democrats. Towards the end of the segment, Mark Green touched upon his positions regarding the Fetal Heartbeat bill and the border wall security funding.  He went on to note that there are many Republicans not siding with the President and joining the Democrats in their resolution bill to stop the national emergency as declared by President Trump while noting the several national emergencies declared by previous Presidents in number. Gill: Congressman Green with us on our newsmakers line this morning. And Congressman, Great job. Even Rush Limbaugh gave you some kudos this week. (Green laughs) Green: Yeah that was a pinnacle. The highlight of my life to get a good shout out from Rush Limbaugh. That was pretty cool. Thanks for having…

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Trump-Kim Summit Ends with No Agreement

The table had been set for a celebratory lunch at the landmark Metropole Hotel and a ceremony prepared for U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to sign agreements. But both events were hastily canceled just before noon Thursday, bringing a premature end to the second summit by the leaders of the two countries. “You always have to be prepared to walk,” Trump said, adding “I could have signed something today” and confirming, “we actually had papers ready to be signed.” The president added that Kim wanted sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn’t do that,” Trump explained at a news conference in the Hanoi, after the talks collapsed. “They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all the sanctions for that.” He said they discussed dismantling the Yongbyon nuclear complex, but a complicating matter was another uranium enrichment site. Kim, according to Trump, had promised at dinner the previous evening that North Korea would not conduct further nuclear or missile tests. The president described the Hanoi talks as productive and said he thinks the two sides will eventually reach an agreement about denuclearization of…

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President Trump Optimistic About Summit with North Korea’s Kim

Trump - Kim Summit

President Donald Trump says he is optimistic about his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, over U.S. efforts to end the threat of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons arsenal. “We both expect a continuation of the progress made at first Summit in Singapore. Denuclearization?” Trump said in a Twitter message Sunday. Very productive talks yesterday with China on Trade. Will continue today! I will be leaving for Hanoi, Vietnam, early tomorrow for a Summit with Kim Jong Un of North Korea, where we both expect a continuation of the progress made at first Summit in Singapore. Denuclearization? — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2019 After their first meeting last June, Trump boasted as he returned to Washington, “Everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.” But as he meets Wednesday and Thursday with Kim in Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital, there is little concrete evidence that progress has been made to set the specific terms of North Korea’s promised denuclearization. ‘No change’  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNN on Sunday “there is no change” in U.S. economic sanctions targeting North Korea until it agrees to…

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Trump Assails Intelligence Chiefs as ‘Extremely Passive and Naive’

U.S. President Donald Trump assailed his intelligence chiefs Wednesday, calling them “extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong!” He added, “Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!” Trump’s unusual broadside on Twitter against the heads of the country’s intelligence agencies came a day after they disputed some of his views on Iran and world trouble spots in testimony before a congressional hearing on global threats. Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel said Iran was “technically” in compliance with the 2015 deal between it and world powers to curtail its nuclear weapons development and at least a year away from developing such a weapon. Trump tweeted that since the U.S. withdrew from the pact, Iran is “MUCH different, but a source of potential danger and conflict.They are testing Rockets (last week) and more, and are coming very close to the edge. There economy is now crashing, which is the only thing holding them back. Be careful of Iran.” The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong! When I became President Iran was making trouble all over the Middle East, and…

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Second Trump-Kim Summit Planned for Late February

U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday that he had an “incredible” meeting with North Korean nuclear envoy Kim Yong Chol and the two sides had made “a lot of progress” on denuclearization. The White House announced after talks between Trump and Kim on Friday that the U.S. president would hold a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in late February, but would maintain economic sanctions on Pyongyang. “That was an incredible meeting,” Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said of the talks.”We’ve agreed to meet sometime, probably the end of February. We’ve picked a country but we’ll be announcing it in the future. Kim Jong Un is looking very forward to it and so am I. “We have made a lot of progress as far as denuclearization is concerned and we are talking about a lot of different things. Things are going very well with North Korea.” Trump and the White House have given no details of the talks, and despite his upbeat comments there has been no indication of any narrowing of differences over U.S. demands that North Korea abandon a nuclear weapons program that threatens the United States and Pyongyang’s demands for a…

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