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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:44 pm 
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Emergency Security Council briefing starts at 1:55 re N. Korean missile test.
Tillerson remarks begin at 11:15 ending 20:45



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:08 pm 
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Pope Francis Urges U.S. and North Korea to Step Away from the Brink
NYtimes, By JASON HOROWITZ, APRIL 29, 2017

ROME — Pope Francis urged the United States and North Korea on Saturday to defuse their increasingly tense standoff and avert a potentially horrific conflict.

“I call on them, and I will call on them, as I have on leaders of different places, to work to resolve their problems through diplomatic avenues,” Pope Francis said, speaking aboard his plane as he returned to Rome from a trip to Egypt. Noting that North Korea’s missile program was not a new concern, he added that “things have gotten too hot” and suggested that “the United Nations has the duty to reassume, a little, its leadership because it’s been watered down.”

During a 30-minute news conference on his plane, Francis, steadying himself through rough turbulence, touched on a number of topics. He said he still had not received a request for a meeting with President Trump; he defended his appearance with the authoritarian president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi; and he again called refugee camps in Europe “concentration camps.”

Asked if he wanted to clarify remarks he made last week at a special prayer event for Christian martyrs when he said that refugee camps were like concentration camps, a comparison criticized by Jewish groups, the pope said, “It wasn’t a slip of the tongue. There are refugee camps that are real concentration camps,” he said, adding, by way of explanation, that the refugees were detained in camps and could not get out.
(full article) https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/29/world/middleeast/pope-francis-egypt.html


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:28 pm 
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And it appears that another North Korean missile launch has failed. Oops. More incompetence.

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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 8:56 am 
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South Korea’s likely next president warns the U.S. not to meddle in its democracy
WashingtonPost ("Democracy Dies in Darkness"), By Anna Fifield, May 2 at 9:25 AM

SEONGNAM, South Korea - South Korea is on the brink of electing a liberal president with distinctly different ideas from the Trump administration on how to deal with North Korea - potentially complicating efforts to punish Kim Jong Un’s regime. He’s also a candidate who fears that the U.S. government has been acting to box him in on a controversial American missile defense system and circumvent South Korea’s democratic process.

“I don’t believe the U.S. has the intention [to influence our election], but I do have some reservations,” Moon Jae-in told The Washington Post in an interview. Barring a major upset, Moon will become South Korea’s president Tuesday, replacing Park Geun-hye, who was impeached in March and is now on trial for bribery. Because Park was dismissed from office, Moon will immediately become president if elected, without the usual transition period.

“It is not desirable for the [caretaker] South Korean government to deploy THAAD hastily at this politically sensitive time, with the presidential election approaching, and without going through the democratic process, an environmental assessment or a public hearing,” said Moon, sitting on the floor in a Korean restaurant after an evening rally in Seongnam, south of Seoul. “Would it happen this way in the United States? Could the administration make a unilateral decision without following democratic procedures, without ratification or agreement by Congress?” ...

“If South Korea can have more time to process this matter democratically, the U.S. will gain a higher level of trust from South Koreans and therefore the alliance between the two nations will become even stronger,” Moon said... Privately, Moon aides say they are “furious” about what they see as the expedited installation of THAAD. Moon, a former human rights lawyer who was chief of staff to former progressive president Roh Moo-hyun, ... is closely associated with the “sunshine policy” of engagement with North Korea, could hardly be more different from Park - or from Trump.
(full article) https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/south-koreas-likely-next-president-warns-the-us-not-to-meddle-in-its-democracy/2017/05/02/2295255e-29c1-11e7-9081-f5405f56d3e4_story.html


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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 4:06 pm 
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Another NK missile had to be destroyed in the air when it veered off target and headed for Russia. Reminds me of drunk uncle Karl's fireworks shows.

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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 7:36 pm 
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S. Koreans vote for new president to succeed ousted Park
WashingtonPost ("Democracy Dies in Darkness"), By Hyung-Jin Kim/AP, May 8 at 8:14 PM

SEOUL, South Korea — South Koreans voted Tuesday for a new president, with victory widely predicted for a liberal candidate who has pledged to improve ties with North Korea, re-examine a contentious U.S. missile defense shield and push sweeping economic changes... Moon has been the clear favorite as the country’s powerful conservative forces struggle to regroup after a huge corruption scandal that led to President Park Geun-hye’s removal from office and arrest in March.

His victory would end a near decade of conservative rule by Park and her predecessor, Lee Myung-bak. When the liberals were last in charge in Seoul, Moon served as chief of staff for then President Roh Moo-hyun. They sought closer ties with North Korea by setting up large-scale aid shipments to the North and by working on now-stalled joint economic projects.

Some voters were eager to see an end to a decade-long rule of conservative governments in Seoul they feel failed the economy and undermined the country’s democracy before the corruption scandal toppled Park. Others were more concerned about the growing threats posed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles and fears over Seoul losing its voice in international efforts to deal with its belligerent rival.

“Moon wasn’t my favorite candidate in terms of policies, but I voted for him because he represented the best chance to switch government power and that’s the most important thing over anything else,” said Lee Ah-ram, a 39-year-old Seoul resident. “We need a leader who could restore the people’s trust in government that had been damaged by Park’s scandal.” ... As a former pro-democracy student activist, Moon was jailed for months in the 1970s while protesting against the senior Park. He later worked as a human rights lawyer and chief of staff for Roh, who governed in 2003-2008... Moon has called Park Geun-hye’s hard-line North Korea policy a failure. He also advocates building up a more assertive South Korea and is critical of Park’s decision to allow Washington to install the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) advanced anti-missile system in the South. The system has irked Beijing, Seoul’s largest trading partner.

“We need a leader who could protect national interests and hold his ground against the surrounding global powers of the United States, China and Japan,” said Kim Hyeong-seok, a 67-year-old who said he voted for Hong Joon-pyo, an outspoken conservative candidate from Park’s Liberty Korea Party. “This is not the time to keep our eyes just on domestic issues — we need to think about the nation’s long-term future and peace.” Moon’s nearest rivals are Ahn Cheol-soo, a centrist who has shown a more conservative stance on North Korea, and Hong, a member of Park’s embattled party who has called for the reintroduction of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons in South Korea.
(full article) https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/s-koreans-vote-for-new-president-to-succeed-ousted-park/2017/05/08/7b4070ec-344c-11e7-ab03-aa29f656f13e_story.html


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:58 am 
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U.S. Near Completion of South Korean THAAD Deployment
New York Times, By CHOE SANG-HUN, SEPT. 6, 2017

SEOUL, South Korea — The United States military plans to complete the deployment of an advanced missile-defense system in South Korea on Thursday... Despite angry protests from China, Seoul and Washington have agreed to push ahead with the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD...

China has vehemently opposed the THAAD deployment, arguing that it would exacerbate tensions with North Korea and could undermine China’s own nuclear deterrent by giving the United States another means to monitor its missiles. Angry Chinese have boycotted South Korean cars and cultural offerings, like TV dramas.

Villagers in Seongju, South Korea, where a THAAD battery was to be installed, also opposed the deployment... Joining forces with the farmers were political activists who argued that the THAAD deployment would only increase military tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

On Wednesday, the Defense Ministry said the remaining four launchers would be installed on Thursday... As word of the planned deployment spread, Seongju villagers blocked roads with farm equipment to stop military vehicles from carrying additional equipment to the THAAD base.

During his election campaign, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, then a liberal opposition leader, cast doubt on the usefulness of THAAD and said he would review South Korea’s decision to accept its deployment. After taking office in May, he suspended the installation of the four remaining launchers while ordering a study on the environmental impact of the deployment.

... Mr. Moon promised the installation would happen quickly when he talked to President Trump on the phone on Monday ...
(full article) https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/06/world/asia/south-korea-thaad-missile-defense.html

It's hard for me to believe this isn't being forced upon them with a figurative shotgun. I agree with the Koreans that it is most credible and probable that the installation of this mid-course interception system destabilizes the Korean Peninsula. If it leads to war, will Raytheon get a free pass for what harm they've wrought? I'd be willing to bet they pushed and pushed and pushed so very goddamned hard for this. Would CO Senator Udall have stood for this?

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Villagers and protestors block the road to the THAAD battery site in Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province, on Wednesday afternoon. (Yonhap)

A message for Donald J Trump:
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:27 am 
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Do you believe like China that SK shouldn't have this missile defense system?

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:34 am 
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I believe like SK that SK shouldn't have this missile defense system.

Militarism and military-industrial fascism is a motherfucker.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:17 am 
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So a defense system to prevent extinction by a nut with nukes is "military-industrial fascism". That's different kind of logic I'm not familiar with.

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