‘Rogue newcomer’: Rouhani calls Trump’s UN remarks over nuclear deal ‘ignorant & absurd’

‘Rogue newcomer’: Rouhani calls Trump’s UN remarks over nuclear deal ‘ignorant & absurd’
Iran will respond “decisively” to any violation of the 2015 nuclear deal by “any party,” President Hassan Rouhani said in his speech at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, as he hit back at US President Donald Trump.

US President Donald Trump’s UN speech was a “violation” of the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani told journalists Wednesday, as cited by Reuters. He added that in case the deal collapses, Tehran could return to the high level uranium enrichment that is needed for its reactor fuel.

The leader of the Islamic Republic also said that his country has “various options” it could use to respond in case the US withdraws from the agreement, including resuming enrichment to satisfy the needs of the Iranian atomic energy industry, TASS reported.

Iran will respond “decisively” to any violation of the 2015 nuclear deal by “any party,” President Hassan Rouhani said in his speech at the UN General Assembly earlier on Wednesday, as he hit back at US President Donald Trump.

“I declare before you that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not be the first country to violate the agreement,” the Iranian president said, adding that Tehran “will respond decisively and resolutely to its violation by any party.”

He went on to say that “it will be a great pity if this agreement were to be destroyed by ‘rogue’ newcomers to the world of politics – the world will have lost a great opportunity,” apparently referring to Trump, who earlier called the Iranian nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), “one of the worst and most one-sided transactions” and an “embarrassment” to the US.

Rouhani then warned that “by violating its international commitments, the new US administration only destroys its own credibility,” and once again said that Tehran does not plan to withdraw from the deal and return to nuclear weapons development.

However, in August, Iran’s president warned that Tehran is ready to withdraw from the deal within “not a week or a month but within hours” and return to its nuclear program should Washington impose new restrictions against it.

The Iranian leader then criticized the US president’s Tuesday speech to the General Assembly, calling it “ignorant, absurd and hateful rhetoric filled with ridiculously baseless allegations.”

In his speech, Trump called Iran a “depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed, and chaos,” saying that it funds “terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors.”

Last week, Trump hinted that the US might not re-certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement in October, adding that Tehran “violated the spirit” of the deal.

On Wednesday, the US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, downplayed Trump’s statements by saying that the US president’s speech at the UNGA does not mean that the US plans to disown the deal.

At the same time, she said that the White House has “grounds” not to re-certify Iran’s compliance with the agreement in October.

Courtesy, RT

FULL TEXT: Donald Trump’s First Address to UN General Assembly

 
U.S. President Donald Trump lashed out at North Korea and Iran during his first address to the UN General Assembly

Haaretz Sep 19, 2017 5:48 PM
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President Donald Trump at the UN General Assembly in New York on Sep 19, 2017. SPENCER PLATT/AFP
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The full transcript of U.S. President Donald Trump’s speech to the UN General Assembly:
Mr. Secretary General, Mr. President, world leaders, and distinguished delegates, welcome to New York. It is a profound honor to stand here in my home city as a representative of the American people to address the people of the world. As millions of our citizens continue to suffer the effects of the devastating hurricanes that have struck our country, I want to express my appreciation to every leader in this room who has offered assistance and aid.

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The American people are strong and resilient, and they will emerge from these hardships more determined than ever before. Fortunately, the United States has done very well since election day last November 8. The stock market is at an all-time high, a record. Unemployment is its lowest level in 16 year. And because of our regulatory and other reforms, we have more people working in the United States today than ever before. Companies are moving back, creating job growth the likes of which our country has not seen in a very long time, and it has just been announced that we will be spending almost 700 billion dollars on our military and defense. Our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been.
For more than 70 years, in times of war and peace, the leaders of nations, movements and religions have stood before this assembly. Like them, I intend to address some of the very serious threats before us today, but also the enormous potential waiting to be unleashed. We live in a time of extraordinary opportunity. Breakthroughs in science, technology and medicine are curing illnesses and solving problems that prior generations thought impossible to solve. But each day also brings news of growing dangers that threaten everything we cherish and value. Terrorists and extremists have gathered strength and spread to every region of the planet. Rogue regimes represented in this body, not only support terrorists, but threaten other nations and their own people with the most destructive weapons known to humanity.
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Authority and authoritarian powers seek to collapse the values, the systems and alliances that prevented conflicted and tilted the world toward freedom since World War II. International criminal networks traffic drugs, weapons, people, force dislocation and mass migration, threaten our borders and new forms of aggression exploit technology to menace our citizens. To put it simply, we meet at a time of both immense promise and great peril.
It is entirely up to us whether we lift the world to new heights or let it fall into a valley of disrepair.

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We have it in our power, should we so choice, to lift millions from poverty, to help our citizens realize their dreams and to ensure that new generations of children are raised free from violence, hatred and fear. This institution was founded in the aftermath of two world wars to help shape this better future. It was based on the vision that diverse nations could cooperate to protect their sovereignty, preserve their security and promote their prosperity. It was in the same period exactly 70 years ago that the United States developed the Marshall Plan to help restore Europe. Those three beautiful pillars: they’re pillars of peace, sovereignty, security and prosperity. The Marshall Plan was built on the noble idea that the whole world is safer when nations are strong, independent and free. As President Truman said in his message to Congress at that time, our support of European recovery is in full accord with our support of the United Nations. The success of the United Nations depends on the independent strength of its members who overcome the perils of the present, and to achieve the promise of the future, we must begin with the wisdom of the past. Our success depends on a coalition of strong and independent nations that embrace their sovereignty to promote security, prosperity and peace for themselves and for the world.
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We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions or even systems of government, but we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties: to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation. This is the beautiful vision of this institution. And this is the foundation for cooperation and success. Strong, sovereign nations let diverse countries with different values, different cultures and different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of mutual respect.
Strong sovereign nations let their people take ownership of the future and control their own destiny. And strong, sovereign nations allow individuals to flourish in the fullness of the life intended by God.
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In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch. This week gives our country a special reason to take pride in that example. We are celebrating the 230th anniversary of our beloved constitution, the oldest constitution still in use in the world today. This timeless document has been the foundation of peace, prosperity and freedom for the Americans and for countless millions around the globe whose countries have found inspiration in its respect for human nature, human dignity and the rule of law. The greatest in the United States constitution is its first three, beautiful words. They are: “We the People.” Generations of Americans have sacrificed to maintain the promise of those words, the promise of our country and of our great history.
In America, the people govern. The people rule. And the people are sovereign. I was elected not to take power, but to give power to the American people, where it belongs. In foreign affairs, we are renewing this founding principle of sovereignty. Our government’s first duty is to its people. To our citizens. To serve their needs, to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights, and to defend their values.
As President of the United States, I will always put America first. Just like you, as the leaders of your countries, will always, and should always, put your countries first.
(Applause)
All responsible leaders have an obligation to serve their own citizens, and the nation-state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition. But make it a better life for our people also requires us to work together in close harmony and unity to create a more safe and peaceful future for all people. The United States will forever be a great friend to the world, and especially to its allies, but we can no longer be taken advantage of or enter into a one-sided deal where the United States gets nothing in return.
As long as I hold this office, I will defend America’s interests above all else, but in fulfilling our obligations to our own nations, we also realize that it’s in everyone’s interests to seek a future where all nations can be sovereign, prosperous and secure.
America does more than speak for the values expressed in the United Nations charter. Our citizens have paid the ultimate price to defend our freedom and the freedom of many nations represented in this great hall. America’s devotion is measured on the battlefields where our young men and women have fought and sacrificed alongside of our allies. From the beaches of Europe to the deserts of the Middle East to the jungles of Asia. It is an eternal credit to the American character that even after we and our allies emerge victorious from the bloodiest war in history, we did not seek territorial expansion or attempt to oppose and impose our way of life on others. Instead, we helped build institutions, such as this one, to defend the sovereignty, security and prosperity for all.
For the diverse nations of the world, this is our hope. We want harmony and friendship, not conflict and strife. We are guided by outcomes, not ideology. We have a policy of principled realism, rooted in shared goals, interests and values. That realism forces us to confront a question facing every leader and nation in this room: It is a question we cannot escape or avoid. We will slide down the path of complacency, numb to the challenges, threats and even wars that we face. Or, do we have enough strength and pride to confront those dangers today so that our citizens can enjoy peace and prosperity tomorrow?
If we desire to lift up our citizens, if we aspire to the approval of history, then we must fulfil our sovereign duties to the people we faithfully represent. We must protect our nations, their interests, and their futures. We must reject threats to sovereignty from the Ukraine to the South China Sea. We must uphold respect for law, respect for borders and respect for culture, and the peaceful engagement these allow.
And just as the founders of this body intended, we must work together and confront together those who threaten us with chaos, turmoil and terror.
The scourge of our planet today is a small group of rogue regimes that violate every principal on which the United Nations is based. They respect neither their own citizens nor the sovereign rights of their countries. If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph. When decent people and nations become bystanders to history, the forces of destruction only gather power and strength. No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the well-being of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea. It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans, and for the imprisonment, torture, killing and oppression of countless more.
We were all witness to the regime’s deadly abuse when an innocent American college student, (Otto) Warmbier only to die a few days later. We saw it in the assassination of the dictator’s brother, using banned nerve agents in an international airport. We know they kidnapped a sweet 13-year-old Japanese girl from a beach in her own country to enslave her as a language tutor for North Korea’s spies.
If this is not twisted enough, now North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life. It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a regime, but would arm, supply and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict.
No nation on earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles. The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.
Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime. The United States is ready, willing and able, but hopefully this will not be necessary. That’s what the United Nations is all about. That’s what the United Nations is for. Let’s see how they do.
It is time for North Korea to realize that the denuclearization is its only acceptable future. The United Nations Security Council recently held two unanimous, 15 to nothing votes adopting hard-hitting resolutions against North Korea, and I want to thank China and Russia for joining the vote to impose sanctions, along with all of the other members of the Security Council. Thank you to all involved, but we must do much more.
It is time for all nations to work together to isolate the Kim regime until it ceases its hostile behavior. We face this decision not only in North Korea. It is far past time for the nations of the world to confront another reckless regime. One that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing death to America, destruction to Israel and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room. The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy. It has turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos. The longest-suffering victims of Iran’s leaders are in fact its own people.
Rather than use its resources to improve Iranian lives, its oil profits go to fund Hezbollah and other terrorists that kill innocent Muslims and attack their peaceful Arab and Israeli neighbors. This wealth, which rightly belongs to Iran’s people, also goes to shore up Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship, fuel Yemen’s civil war and undermine peace throughout the entire Middle East.
We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles, and we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program.
(Applause)
The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it, believe me.
It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death of destruction. It is time for the regime to free all Americans and citizens of other nations that they have unjustly detained, and above all, Iran’s government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people and respect the sovereign rights of its own neighbors.
The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want change, and other than the vast military power of the United States, that Iran’s people are what their leaders fear the most.
This is what causes the regime to restrict internet access, tear down satellite dishes, shoot unarmed student protesters and imprison political reformers. Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the people will face a choice. Will they continue down the path of poverty, bloodshed and terror, or will the Iranian people return to the nation’s proud roots as a center of civilization, culture and wealth where their people can be happy and prosperous once again?
The Iranian regime’s support for terror is in stark contrast to the recent commitments of many of its neighbors to fight terrorism and halt its financing. In Saudi Arabia early last year, I was greatly honored to address the leaders of more than 50 Arab and Muslim nations. We agreed that all responsible nations must work together to confront terrorists and the Islamic extremism that inspires them. We will stop radical Islamic terrorism because we cannot allow it to tear up our nation and indeed to tear up the entire world.
We must deny the terrorists safe haven, transit, funding and any form of support for their vile and sinister ideology. We must drive them out of our nations. It is time to expose and hold responsible those countries whose support and finance carry groups like Al Qaida, Hezbollah and the Taliban and others that slaughter innocent people.
The United States and our allies are working together throughout the Middle East to crush the loser terrorists and stop the re-emergence of safe havens they use to launch attacks on all of our people. Last month, I announced a new strategy for victory in the fight against this evil in Afghanistan. From now on, our security interests will dictate the length and scope of military operations, not arbitrary benchmarks and timetables set up by politicians.
I have also totally changed the rules of engagement in our fight against the Taliban and other terrorist groups.
In Syria and Iraq, we have made big gains toward lasting defeat of ISIS. In fact, our country has achieved more against ISIS in the last eight months than it has in many, many years combined. We seek the de-escalation of the Syrian conflict and a political solution that honors the will of the Syrian people. The actions of the criminal regime of Bashar al-Assad, including the use of chemical weapons against its own citizens, even innocent children, shock the conscience of every decent person.
No society can be safe if banned chemical weapons are allowed to spread. That is why the United States carried out a missile strike on the air base that launched the attack. We appreciate the efforts of the United Nations agencies that are providing vital humanitarian assistance in areas liberated from ISIS, and we especially thank Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon for their role in hosting refugees from the Syrian conflict.
The United States is a compassionate nation and has spent billions and billions of dollars in helping to support this effort. We seek an approach to refugee resettlement that is designed to help these horribly treated people and which enables their eventual return to their home countries, to be part of the rebuilding process.
For the cost of resettling one refugee in the United States, we can assist more than 10 in their home region. Out of the goodness of our hearts, we offer financial assistance to hosting countries in the region, and we support recent agreements of the G20 nations that will seek to host refugees as close to their home countries as possible.
This is the safe, responsible and humanitarian approach. For decades, the United States has dealt with migration challenges, here in the western hemisphere. We have learned that over the long term, uncontrolled migration is deeply unfair to both the sending and receiving countries. For the sending countries, it reduces domestic pressure to pursue needed political and economic reform and drains them of the human capital necessary to motivate and implement those reforms. For the receiving countries, the substantial costs of uncontrolled migration are borne overwhelmingly by low-income citizens whose concerns are often ignored by both media and government.
I want to salute the work of the United Nations in seeking to address the problems that cause people to flee from their homes. The United Nations and African Union led peacekeeping missions to have invaluable contributions in stabilizing conflicts in Africa. The United States continues to lead the world in humanitarian assistance, including famine prevention and relief in south Sudan, Somalia and northern Nigeria and Yemen. We have invested in better health opportunity all over the world through programs like PEPFAR, which funds AIDS relief, the President’s Malaria Initiative, the Global Health Security Agenda, the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery, and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, part of our commitment to empowering women all across the globe.
We also thank the secretary-general for recognizing that the United Nations must reform if it is to be an effective partner in confronting threats to sovereignty, security and prosperity. Too often, the focus of this organization has not been on results, but on bureaucracy and process. In some cases, states that seek to subvert this institution’s noble aims have hijacked the very systems that are supposed to advance them.
For example, it is a massive source of embarrassment to the United Nations that some governments with egregious human rights records sit on the UN Human Rights Council. The United States is one out of 193 countries in the United Nations, and yet we pay 22 percent of the entire budget and more. In fact, we pay far more than anybody realizes. The United States bears an unfair cost burden, but, to be fair, if it could actually accomplish all of its stated goals, especially the goal of peace, this investment would easily be well worth it.
Major portions of the world are in conflict, and some in fact are going to hell, but the powerful people in this room, under the guidance and auspices of the United Nations, can solve many of these vicious and complex problems. The American people hope that one day soon, the United Nations can be a much more accountable and effective advocate for human dignity and freedom around the world. In the meantime, we believe that no nation should have to bear a disproportionate share of the burden, militarily or financially.
Nations of the world must take a greater role in supporting secure and prosperous societies in their own regions. That is why in the Western hemisphere, the United States has stood against the corrupt, destabilizing regime in Cuba and embraced the enduring dream of the Cuban people to live in freedom.
My administration recently announced that we will not lift sanctions on the Cuban government until it makes fundamental reforms. We have also imposed tough, calibrated sanctions on the socialist Maduro regime in Venezuela, which has brought a once thriving nation to the brink of total collapse.
The socialist dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro has inflicted terrible pain and suffering on the good people of that country. This corrupt regime destroyed a prosperous nation by imposing a failed ideology that has produced poverty and misery everywhere it has been tried. To make matters worse, Maduro has defied his own people, stealing power from their elected representatives to preserve his disastrous rule.
The Venezuelan people are starving, and their country is collapsing. Their democratic institutions are being destroyed. This situation is completely unacceptable, and we cannot stand by and watch. As a responsible neighbor and friend, we and all others have a goal. That goal is to help them regain their freedom, recover their country and restore their democracy.
I would like to thank leaders in this room for condemning the regime and providing vital support to the Venezuelan people. The United States has taken important steps to hold the regime accountable. We are prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people. We are fortunate enough to have incredibly strong and healthy trade relationships with many of the Latin American countries gathered here today. Our economic bond forms a critical foundation for advancing peace and prosperity for all of our people and all of our neighbors.
I ask every country represented here today to be prepared to do more to address this very real crisis. We call for the full restoration of democracy and political freedoms in Venezuela.
(Applause)
The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented.
(Scattered applause)
From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure. Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems. America stands with every person living under a brutal regime. Our respect for sovereignty is also a call for action. All people deserve a government that cares for their safety, their interests and their wellbeing, including their prosperity.
In America, we seek stronger ties of business and trade with all nations of goodwill, but this trade must be fair, and it must be reciprocal. For too long, the American people were told that mammoth, multinational trade deals, unaccountable international tribunals and powerful global bureaucracies were the best way to promote their success. But as those promises flowed, millions of jobs vanished, and thousands of factories disappeared. Others gamed the system and broke the rules. And our great middle class, once the bedrock of American prosperity, was forgotten and left behind. But they are forgotten no more, and they will never be forgotten again.
While American will pursue cooperation and commerce with other nations, we are renewing our commitment to the first duty of every government, the duty of our citizens. This bond is the source of America’s strength and that of every responsible nation represented here today.
If this organization is to have any hope of successfully confronting the challenges before us, it will depend, as President Truman said, some 70 years ago, on the independent strength of its members. If we are to embrace the opportunities of the future and overcome the present dangers, together there can be no substitute for strong, sovereign and independent nations. Nations that are rooted in their histories and invested in their destinies. Nations that seek allies to befriend, not enemies to conquer. And most important of all, nations that are home to patriots, to men and women who are willing to sacrifice for their countries, their fellow citizens and for all that is best in the human spirit. In remembering the great victory that led to this body’s founding, we must never forget that those heroes who fought against evil also fought for the nations that they loved. Patriotism led the Poles to die to save Poland, the French to fight for a free France and the Brits to stand strong for Britain. Today, if we do not invest ourselves, our hearts and our minds in our nations, if we will not build strong families, safe communities and healthy societies for ourselves, nobody can do it for us. We cannot wait for someone else, for faraway countries or far-off bureaucracies. We can’t do it. We must solve our problems to build our prosperity, to secure our future, or we will be vulnerable to decay, domination and defeat.
The true question for the United Nations today, for people all over the world who hope for better lives for themselves and their children, is a basic one: Are we still patriots? Do we love our nations enough to protect their sovereignty and to take ownership of their futures? Do we revere them enough to defend their interests, preserve their cultures and ensure a peaceful world for their citizens?
One of the greatest American patriots, John Adams, wrote that the American Revolution was affected before the war commenced. The revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people. That was the moment when America awoke, when we looked around and understood that we were a nation. We realized who we were, what we valued, and what we would give our lives to defend.
From its very first moments, the American story is the story of what is possible when people take ownership of their future. The United States of America has been among the greatest forces for good in the history of the world and the greatest defenders of sovereignty, security and prosperity for all. Now we are calling for a great reawakening of nations. For the revival of their spirits, their pride, their people and their patriotism. History is asking us whether we are up to the task. Our answer will be a renewal of will, a rediscovery of resolve, and a rebirth of devotion. We need to defeat the enemies of humanity and unlock the potential of life itself. Our hope is a word and world of proud, independent nations that embrace their duties, seek friendship, respect others and make common cause in the greatest shared interest of all. A future of dignity and peace for the people of this wonderful Earth. This is the true vision of the United Nations. The ancient wish of every people, and the deepest yearning that lives inside every sacred soul. So let this be our mission, and let this be our message to the world: We will fight together, sacrifice together and stand together for peace, for freedom, for justice, for family, for humanity and for the Almighty God who made us all. Thank you, God bless you. God bless the nations of the world, and God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/us-news/1.813252

S. Korea to deploy new THAAD launchers just 3 days after announcement

S. Korea to deploy new THAAD launchers just 3 days after announcement
South Korea is moving swiftly to install four new Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) rocket launchers on its territory. They will be installed this week, despite protests from residents who have cited numerous concerns over the missile defense system.

US Forces Korea (USFK) will deploy the launchers at its new base in Seongju, some 300 kilometers (186 miles) south of Seoul, on Thursday, according to the South Korean defense ministry, cited by Yonhap news agency.

The ministry stressed the urgent need to mobilize the launchers amid growing threats from North Korea, which had its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sunday.

Although the ministry did not provide an exact time for the installation, a residents’ group cited by Yonhap said it had confirmed the plan “through various channels,” adding that it was due to take place at 2am local time on Thursday.

Despite stressing the need for urgency, the ministry has said the move is “provisional,” stating that an additional environmental impact assessment of the THAAD system is needed.

“There is no change in the government’s position to make the final decision on whether the THAAD system will be deployed (in South Korea) after carrying out the general environmental impact assessment of the entire site thoroughly and fairly,” the ministry said.

Many residents have expressed concerns that THAAD – which is designed to shoot down short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles – will cause environmental and health problems for locals, due to its emission of electromagnetic waves. Others say the system will cause Seongju to become a prime target for North Korean attacks.

South Koreans have taken to the streets in recent months to protest the missile defense system, worried by the escalation of the current crisis on the Korean peninsula.

Thousands of demonstrators formed a human chain around the US embassy in Seoul in June, with protesters holding signs which read “Koreans hate THAAD” and “Yes to peace talks,” as well as banners aimed at US President Donald Trump ahead of his visit to the country.

That same month, anti-THAAD activists had a tense standoff with police in Seongju over protesters attempting to stop and inspect vehicles which they suspected could be secretly delivering supplies for the missile defense system.

In May, a group of Seongju residents submitted a petition to South Korea’s Constitutional Court demanding an immediate halt to any further operations and deployment elements of THAAD in their country.

Thousands of police will likely be deployed on Thursday to prevent additional clashes at the site, according to Yonhap.

The defense ministry’s Wednesday announcement came just two days after it vowed to install the four additional launchers, saying they would “soon be tentatively deployed through South Korea-US consultations in order to counter North Korea’s advancing nuclear and missile threats.” There are currently two THAAD launchers in operation at the Seongju base.

The ministry also said on Monday that it would “push for the option of deploying strategic assets such as the US carrier strike group and strategic bombers after consultation with the US.”

Meanwhile, North Korea shows no signs of ending its nuclear and ballistic missile tests, calling its recent nuclear test and other “self-defense” measures a “gift package” for the US, warning that others are on the way if Washington continues its “reckless provocations.”

The Sunday nuclear test, which Pyongyang said involved a hydrogen bomb which can be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), prompted US President Donald Trump to respond by saying that Washington was considering cutting trade with countries which do business with Pyongyang.

The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.

The US is also expected to present a North Korean sanctions resolution at the UN, and is aiming for a vote to take place next week, AFP reported on Monday.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Wednesday that the North Korean nuclear crisis cannot be resolved by sanctions alone, and urged the international community not to push Pyongyang into a corner.

“It is clear that it is impossible to solve the problems of the Korean peninsula by sanctions and pressure alone,” Putin said at the economic forum in Vladivostok, following talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-In.

“One shouldn’t give in to emotions and drive North Korea into a corner,” he continued, adding that all parties need to show composure and avoid “steps that lead to an escalation of tension.”

“Without political and diplomatic tools, it is very difficult to shift the situation” on the Korean peninsula, Putin said.

To be more precise, I think it is altogether impossible,” he added.

Russia and China have proposed a ‘double-freeze’ plan which would see Pyongyang suspend its nuclear and ballistic missile tests in exchange for a halt in joint US-South Korea military drills.

“We call on all interested parties to take a closer look at this initiative which, in our view, offers a realistic way to reduce tensions and gradually approach a settlement,” Putin said on Wednesday.

However, the plan – which China has also urged all parties to “seriously consider” – was previously rejected by Washington, with State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert stating last month that the US is “allowed” to conduct exercises with its ally and “that’s just not going to change.”

Courtesy, RT

Republicans eye legislative fix as Trump ends DACA; Dems blast decision

Joseph Weber

Congressional Republicans indicated Tuesday they will take up the Trump administration’s call to consider legislation to replace the Obama-era DACA program, though condemnation from Democrats over the decision to end it points to a heated battle ahead.

In a show of unity, Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., spoke to reporters about their push for a bipartisan “Dream Act”-style bill Tuesday afternoon.

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“The Congress is going to have to up its game,” Graham said, urging congressional colleagues to work with them – and the president to “get involved personally” by working the phones.

Durbin said the “countdown to deportation” sets a clear timetable for lawmakers to act.

Other Democrats, though, hammered the president for ending the program at all, leaving unclear how much bipartisan cooperation will be seen.

“I’m heartbroken – and I’m outraged,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement. “The Trump administration should preserve DACA until a long-term solution is passed into law. … We need sensible immigration reform, not senseless intolerance.”

New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, whose corruption trial starts Wednesday, tweeted: “Mr. President, You went after children. You better brace yourself for the civil rights fight of our generation. #DefendDACA.”

Though Democrats wanted Trump to keep the program in place, the administration announced Tuesday it will “wind down” the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program over the next six months.

The program enacted by former President Barack Obama in 2012 protected illegal immigrants brought to the United States when they were young. An estimated 800,000 young people have been protected from deportation under the program.

In announcing the decision, Trump put the onus on Congress to come up with a replacement.

“As president, my highest duty is to defend the American people and the Constitution of the United States of America. At the same time, I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents,” he said in a statement. “Congress now has the opportunity to advance responsible immigration reform that puts American jobs and American security first.”

The six-month delay gives Congress time to craft a legislative solution. And while Democrats condemned the decision, they also voiced hope that the legislative branch can come up with an alternative.

Whether the two parties can find common ground on an immigration deal that has eluded Congress for years, however, remains to be seen.

Republican leaders made clear Tuesday they would try.

“However well-intentioned, President Obama’s DACA program was a clear abuse of executive authority,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. “Just as the courts have already struck down similar Obama policy, this was never a viable long-term solution … . It is my hope that the House and Senate, with the president’s leadership, will be able to find consensus on a permanent legislative solution.”

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., already has been working on a conservative version of the so-called Dream Act.

Sen. Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, argued Tuesday that Congress, not the president, must find a reasonable, compassionate alternative.

“DACA was an illegal abuse of executive power, and it’s important to reaffirm that the president cannot unilaterally rewrite the law,” he said. “Today’s decision puts the ball in Congress’ court. … A balance between compassion and deterring future illegal immigration can be found.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions also made clear Tuesday that “no new initial (DACA) requests or associated applications after today will be acted on.”

The administration framed the decision as the result of legal pressure.

Sessions argued that attorneys general from several states are challenging the constitutionality of DACA, so the administration chose to act instead of risking the courts abruptly shutting down the program.

“Today is a dark day in America,” said California Democratic Rep. Lou Correa, whose Orange County district in majority Latino. “The only crime DACA students are guilty of is aspiring for the American Dream. … I hope the president will not go after children, and will reconsider his decision.”

Courtesy, Fox News

Japan plans for possible mass evacuation of its citizens in South Korea amid threats from North Korea, report says

Japan is reportedly planning for a possible mass evacuation of its citizens in South Korea as tensions with North Korea continue to rise amid threats of nuclear war.

“There is a possibility of further provocations,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday, according to Japanese magazine Nikkei Asian Review. “We need to remain extremely vigilant and do everything we can to ensure the safety of our people.”

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Plans of mass evacuation from the South come as North Korea continues to ramp up its threats of nuclear war, as well as reports that the regime appears to be preparing a ballistic missile launch to show off its claimed ability to target the U.S.

North Korea on Sunday said it had successfully detonated a hydrogen bombwhich possibly triggered a 6.3 magnitude artificial earthquake.

HALEY SAYS NORTH KOREA IS ‘BEGGING FOR WAR,’ CALLS FOR STRONGEST POSSIBLE UN SANCTIONS

Around 60,000 Japanese citizens currently reside in South Korea, the news outlet reported. About 38,000 are long-term residents, while roughly 19,000 are tourists or short-term visitors.

“If the U.S. decided on a military strike against the North, the Japanese government would start moving toward an evacuation on its own accord regardless of whether the American plans are public,” a Japanese government source told the Nikkei Review.

Japan’s proposed plan is comprised of four steps: seek to limit unessential travel to South Korea, discourage all travel to the South, advise Japanese citizens to evacuate and encourage them to shelter in place.

SOUTH KOREA HOLDS LIVE-FIRE DRILL SIMULATING ATTACK ON NUCLEAR SITE TO ‘STRONGLY WARN’ NORTH KOREA

South Korea held a live-fire training exercise simulating an attack on a nuclear site after North Korea’s hydrogen bomb test in an apparent show of force to the North.

The United Nations Security Council met Monday for an emergency meeting following the North’s recent provocations. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley told the council that while “War is never something the United States wants … enough is enough.”

“We don’t want it now. But our country’s patience is not unlimited,” Haley said. “The United States will look at every country that does business with North Korea as a country, that is giving aid to their reckless and dangerous nuclear intentions.”

President Donald Trump said Sunday in a series of tweets that North Korea’s incitements “continue to be very hostile and dangerous” to the U.S., and said he’s considering cutting off trade with any country that does business with the communist regime.

The North’s hydrogen bomb test was the country’s sixth such test, following five previous ones on a nuclear warhead and recent launches of inter-continental missiles to land such weapons on foreign soil.

Courtesy, Fox News

In rare move, Trump slams South Korea’s approach to North Korea

President Trump on Sunday appeared to rebuke South Korea for its “talk of appeasement” with North Korea prior to this weekend’s huge nuclear test, saying Pyongyang only “understands one thing.”

“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!” Trump said on Twitter.

Some questioned Trump’s jab at an important U.S. ally.

Patrick Cronin, an Asia expert with the Center for a New American Security, said Trump’s comment on South Korea was probably “intended to stiffen the spine of an ally.” He said he agreed with the intention.

“I think Washington is very serious about showing some unexpected resolve,” he said. “We need our ally and we need to remain ironclad. But at the same time, we can’t afford South Korea to go weak in facing down this growing danger.”

Kim Jong Un’s regime on Sunday claimed “perfect success” in an underground test of what it called a hydrogen bomb. It was the North’s sixth nuclear test since 2006 — the first since Trump took office in January — and involved a device potentially vastly more powerful than a nuclear bomb.

Ely Ratner, a national security official in the Obama administration, told The New York Times that the U.S. is going to need “close cooperation with not only South Korea but China as well, he’s coming out swinging at all of them rather than trying to build support and coordination.”

Trump also suggested putting more pressure on China, the North’s patron for many decades and a vital U.S. trading partner, in hopes of persuading Beijing to exert more effective leverage on its neighbor. Trump tweeted that the U.S. is considering “stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea.” Such a halt would be radical. The U.S. imports about $40 billion in goods a month from China, North Korea’s main commercial partner.

Ratner told The Times that this weekend’s test may have a “chance of pushing China into a place it’s never been before.”

Trump warned last month that the U.S. military was “locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely” and that the U.S. would unleash “fire and fury” on the North if it continued to threaten America. The bellicose words followed threats from North Korea to launch ballistic missiles toward the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, intending to create “enveloping fire” near the military hub that’s home to U.S. bombers and other aircraft.

The U.S. has about 28,000 troops stationed in South Korea and is obliged by treaty to defend it in the event of war.

In South Korea, the nation’s military said it conducted a live-fire exercise simulating an attack on North Korea’s nuclear test site to “strongly warn” Pyongyang over the latest nuclear test. Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the drill involved F-15 fighter jets and the country’s land-based “Hyunmoo” ballistic missiles. The released live weapons “accurately struck” a target in the sea off the country’s eastern coast, the JCS said.

“Denuclearization is not a viable U.S. policy goal,” said Richard Fontaine, president of the Center for a New American Security, but neither should the U.S. accept North Korea as a nuclear power. “We should keep denuclearization as a long-term aspiration, but recognize privately that it’s unachievable anytime soon.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Courtesy, Fox News

Trump, Mattis, Mnuchin warn North Korea of ‘overwhelming’ military response, halted trade

President Trump suggested Sunday, after another underground nuclear test by North Korea, that he’ll halt trade with any country doing business with the rogue nation, as two members of the president’s Cabinet issued tough warnings of their own.

“The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea,” tweeted Trump, in response to the regime of Kim Jong Un claiming to have detonated a hydrogen bomb underground.

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Speaking to the media on Sunday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that any threats by North Korea to the U.S. or its allies will be met with an “effective and overwhelming” military response.

“We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said, we have many options to do so,” Mattis added.

Mattis’ statement follows an announcement that the U.S., Japan, France, the U.K. and South Korea will meet on Monday morning for an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told “Fox News Sunday” earlier that he’s preparing a sanctions package that would cut off “all trade and other business,” with North Korea, following the country’s overnight nuclear test, its sixth and most powerful.

“I will submit new sanctions for his strong consideration,” he said. “There’s much more we can do economically.”

Trump spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday, the White House said, adding that they “condemned North Korea’s continued destabilizing and provocative actions, confirmed the two countries’ ironclad mutual defense commitments, and pledged to continue close cooperation. President Trump reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to defending our homeland, territories, and allies using the full range of diplomatic, conventional, and nuclear capabilities at our disposal.”

Such a bomb is considered more powerful than any of the five nuclear ones North Korea has already tested. And it apparently triggered an artificial earthquake of at least a magnitude 5.7.

“I did speak with the president,” Mnuchin also said Sunday. “It’s clear this behavior is unacceptable. … I will draft a sanctions bill and send it to the president. We will work with our allies. We will work with China. But people need to cut off North Korea economically.”

TRUMP CALLS NORTH KOREA ‘DANGEROUS’ AND ‘GREAT THREAT’ AFTER OVERNIGHT NUCLEAR TEST

The United States has already imposed economic sanctions on North Korea to stop the country’s pursuit on a nuclear weapon, including tests on inter-continental missiles on which to attach a nuclear warhead.

“The president has made clear he’ll consider everything. We’re not going to broadcast our action,” Mnuchin said in response to questions Sunday about whether Trump will curtail diplomatic and economic efforts and pursue military action.

Trump’s tweet appears to be yet another attempt by him to get other countries, including North Korean trading partners like China, to try to stop the nuclear testing.

Other world leaders and the United Nations on Sunday also condemned North Korea’s actions.

Trump responded to the most recent bomb test with several tweets early Sunday in which he called North Korea’s actions “dangerous” and a “great threat.”

He also appears to show increasing frustration with South Korea for failing to get North Korea to stop the nuclear testing.

“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!” he tweeted.

Such tests in recent months have also sparked a war of words between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that has created global concerns about either side taking military action in response.

Fox News’ Kristin Brown, Nicole Darrah and Joseph Weber contributed to this report.

Courtesy, Fox News

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