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Trump Preps New North Korea Sanctions As ‘Armada’ Continues Toward Peninsula

As the world watches each new North Korean development with bated breath, the Trump administration is reportedly preparing new economic sanctions which could be used in lieu of military force to de-nuclearize the country.

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As the world watches each new North Korean development with bated breath, the Trump administration is reportedly preparing new economic sanctions which could be used in lieu of military force to de-nuclearize the country.

According to Reuters, the sanctions could include a potential oil embargo, intercepting cargo ships headed to North Korea, a ban on the country’s airline, Air Koryo, and punishments for Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang.

Despite sending a naval force to the Korean peninsula, the Trump administration is focusing its North Korea strategy on tougher economic sanctions, possibly including an oil embargo, banning its airline, intercepting cargo ships and punishing Chinese banks doing business with Pyongyang, U.S. officials say.

U.S. President Donald Trump has approved a preliminary broad approach on North Korea and asked his national security team to craft a more detailed framework for new international sanctions and other actions to counter Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs, one official said.

“There’s a whole host of things that are possible, all the way up to what’s essentially a trade quarantine on North Korea,” the official told Reuters on Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Of course, the U.N. could also impose economic sanctions that would include an embargo on oil supplies to North Korea; a global ban on Air Koryo; and interdiction of North Korean freighters on the high seas, a step that would go beyond an existing requirement for nations to inspect ships transiting their territory.  The United Nations could also prohibit the use of North Korean contracted labor abroad and expand the restrictions on coal exports to a total ban, officials told Reuters.

Another step could be a ban on North Korean seafood exports, Pyongyang’s fourth-largest export to China, its main trading partner, and expanded efforts to seize assets of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his family.

Meanwhile, as a former U.S. State Department official points out, when it comes to economic sanctions, half measures rarely work.

Some analysts cautioned that targeting Chinese entities with so-called “secondary sanctions” could backfire and make Beijing less willing to cooperate, and that dealing with a country that already has nuclear weapons differs from dealing with one accused of trying acquire them.

“If you want to rely on sanctions to achieve your goal, you have to find a way to persuade or force the world into going all the way to a near full embargo or at least an embargo on key commodities like petroleum and on North Korean hard currency export earnings,” said Joseph DeThomas, a former State Department official who worked on Iran and North Korea sanctions.

“Only if the regime sees continuation of sanctions as fatal will it consider change,” he said.

Of course, news of economic sanctions comes as Trump’s “armada” is still en route to the Korean peninsula.  And while the White House seems to be open to diplomatic measures, with the assistance of China, U.S. officials have confirmed that military options remain on the table with pre-emptive strikes on North Korea remaining a last resort….a threat which Trump seemingly confirmed personally over Twitter earlier this morning.

Meanwhile, China has already taken steps to cut off imports of North Korean coal shipments with customs data in Beijing on Thursday showing that imports had plunged 52% in the first three months in 2017.  But while China seems to be cooperating with diplomatic efforts to reign in North Korea’s “crazy fat kid”, as John McCain has described him, they’ve consistently warned the U.S. against the use of military force.

China, North Korea’s sole major ally and benefactor, which nevertheless opposes its weapons programme, has called for talks leading to a peaceful resolution and the denuclearisation of the peninsula.

“Military force cannot resolve the issue,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters in Beijing.

“Amid challenge there is opportunity. Amid tensions we will also find a kind of opportunity to return to talks.”

“Whoever provokes the situation, whoever continues to make trouble in this place, they will have to assume historical responsibility,” Wang said.

“As soon as North Korea complies with China’s declared advice and suspends nuclear activities … China will actively work to protect the security of a denuclearized North Korean nation and regime,” said an editorial in the Global Times, which is published by the Communist party’s People’s Daily

So the only question now is: who will blink first?

Photo: Clay Gilliland Evening in Wonsan DPRK via photopin (license)

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CIA Urges Trump To Delay Release Of 3,000 Never-Before-Seen Documents On JFK Assassination

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Authored by Alex Christoforou via TheDuran.com,

More than 3,000 never-before-seen documents from the FBI, CIA, and Justice Department on the assassination of John F. Kennedy are scheduled be released, with many experts fearing that such a large release of secret JFK assassination documents will spur “a new generation of conspiracy theories.”

According to Roger Stone, the CIA is urging President Donald Trump to delay disclosing some of the files for another 25 years.

Roger Stone said in a post on his website…

 “They must reflect badly on the CIA even though virtually everyone involved is long dead.”

Newsmax reports:

More than 3,000 never-before-seen documents from the FBI, CIA, and Justice Department are set to be released, along with 30,000 that have only been partially released in the past. The document dump “will simply fuel a new generation of conspiracy theories,” write Philip Shenon and Larry J. Sabato.

Sabato is the director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics and author of “The Kennedy Half-Century” and Shenon is a former reporter for the New York Times and author of, “A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination.”

The CIA is urging President Donald Trump to delay disclosing some of the files for another 25 years according to friend and political adviser Roger Stone but the National Archives would not say whether any agencies have appealed the release of the documents.

According to The Gateway Pundit Roger Stone and Gerald Posner, two New York Times bestselling authors who are polar opposites about who killed JFK, have joined together to urge Donald Trump to release all the remaining classified files on Kennedy’s assassination.

About 3,100 files are still sealed in the National Archives. Under the 1992 JFK Records Act, the Archives have until October 26 to decide which of those files to publicly disclose.

Some of the classified documents include a CIA personality study of Oswald, top-secret testimony of former CIA officers to congressional committees, transcripts of interrogations with Soviet defector and Oswald handler Yuri Nosenko, letters about the case from J. Edgar Hoover and Jackie Kennedy, the CIA file on Jack Wasserman, the attorney for New Orleans mob boss Carlos Marcello, and the operational file of E. Howard Hunt, career spy and Watergate burglar.

Roger Stone, in his bestselling 2013 The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ, set forth the case that LBJ was the mastermind of plot that included the CIA, the Mob and Big Texas Oil to kill Kennedy.

Gerald Posner, in his 1993 bestselling finalist for the Pulitzer for History, Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK, concluded that the Warren Commission conclusions are correct and Oswald acting alone had killed Kennedy.

While they might not agree on who killed Kennedy, Stone and Posner are longstanding advocates for the release of all the government files on the assassination.

“These files should have been released long ago,” says Posner. “The government does this all the time, over classified documents and then holds on to them for decades under the guise of ‘national security.’ All the secrecy just feeds people’s suspicions that the government has something to hide and adds fuel to conspiracy theories.” Posner is convinced the case will still be closed when the last document is made public.

”I know CIA Director Pompeo is urging the President to delay release of these records for another 25 years,” said Stone. “They must reflect badly on the CIA even though virtually everyone involved is long dead.” Stone believes the evidence supporting the case in his book is still hidden somewhere in government files.

Both authors called on President Trump – who is empowered to make the final decision should the National Archives or CIA balk on releasing all the files – to opt for transparency.

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Massive Russian Bribery Case Uncovered, And It Wasn’t Trump

As the mainstream media continues to obsess over $100,000 worth Facebook ads allegedly purchased by Russian spies in 2016 seeking to throw the presidential election, we’re almost certain they’ll ignore the much larger Russian bombshell dropped.

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As the mainstream media continues to obsess over $100,000 worth Facebook ads allegedly purchased by Russian spies in 2016 seeking to throw the presidential election, we’re almost certain they’ll ignore the much larger Russian bombshell dropped today in the form of newly released FBI documents that reveal for the very first time that the Obama administration was well aware of illegal bribery, extortion and money laundering schemes being conducted by the Russians to get a foothold in the atomic energy business in the U.S. before approving a deal that handed them 20% of America’s uranium reserves…and resulted in a windfall of donations to the Clinton Foundation.

As we pointed out last summer when Peter Schweizer first released his feature documentary Clinton Cash, the Uranium One deal, as approved by the Obama Administration, netted the Clintons and their Clinton Foundation millions of dollars in donations and ‘speaking fees’ from Uranium One shareholders and other Russian entities.

Russian Purchase of US Uranium Assets in Return for $145mm in Contributions to the Clinton Foundation – Bill and Hillary Clinton assisted a Canadian financier, Frank Giustra, and his company, Uranium One, in the acquisition of uranium mining concessions in Kazakhstan and the United States.  Subsequently, the Russian government sought to purchase Uranium One but required approval from the Obama administration given the strategic importance of the uranium assets.  In the run-up to the approval of the deal by the State Department, nine shareholders of Uranium One just happened to make $145mm in donations to the Clinton Foundation.  Moreover, the New Yorker confirmed that Bill Clinton received $500,000 in speaking fees from a Russian investment bank, with ties to the Kremlin, around the same time.  Needless to say, the State Department approved the deal giving Russia ownership of 20% of U.S. uranium assets

Now, thanks to newly released affidavits from a case that landed one of the Russian co-conspirators, Vadim Mikerin, in jail, we learn that not only was the Obama administration aware the Russians’ illegal acts in the U.S. but it may have also been fully aware that “Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow.”  Per The Hill:

Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

Of course, when Schweizer’s book first made Uranium One a political hot topic in 2015, both the Obama administration and the Clintons defended their actions and insisted there was no evidence that any Russians or donors engaged in wrongdoing and there was no national security reason for anyone to oppose the deal.  That said, we now know that the FBI was aware of wrongdoing going back to at least April 2009 even though the deal wasn’t approved until October 2010.

But FBI, Energy Department and court documents reviewed by The Hill show the FBI in fact had gathered substantial evidence well before the committee’s decision that Vadim Mikerin — the main Russian overseeing Putin’s nuclear expansion inside the United States — was engaged in wrongdoing starting in 2009.

The first decision occurred in October 2010, when the State Department and government agencies on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States unanimously approved the partial sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, giving Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.

Bringing down a major Russian nuclear corruption scheme that had both compromised a sensitive uranium transportation asset inside the U.S. and facilitated international money laundering would seem a major feather in any law enforcement agency’s cap.

But the Justice Department and FBI took little credit in 2014 when Mikerin, the Russian financier and the trucking firm executives were arrested and charged.

The only public statement occurred an entire year later when the Justice Department put out a little-noticed press release in August 2015, just days before Labor Day. The release noted that the various defendants had reached plea deals.

By that time, the criminal cases against Mikerin had been narrowed to a single charge of money laundering for a scheme that officials admitted stretched from 2004 to 2014. And though agents had evidence of criminal wrongdoing they collected since at least 2009, federal prosecutors only cited in the plea agreement a handful of transactions that occurred in 2011 and 2012, well after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States’s approval.

The final court case also made no mention of any connection to the influence peddling conversations the FBI undercover informant witnessed about the Russian nuclear officials trying to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons even though agents had gathered documents showing the transmission of millions of dollars from Russia’s nuclear industry to an American entity that had provided assistance to Bill Clinton’s foundation, sources confirmed to The Hill.

Perhaps this is what the “most transparent” President in history meant when he told Medvedev that he would have “more flexibility” after his 2012 election.

In 2011, the administration gave approval for Rosatom’s Tenex subsidiary to sell commercial uranium to U.S. nuclear power plants in a partnership with the United States Enrichment Corp. Before then, Tenex had been limited to selling U.S. nuclear power plants reprocessed uranium recovered from dismantled Soviet nuclear weapons under the 1990s Megatons to Megawatts peace program.

And guess who ran the FBI’s investigation into this particular Russian plot?  As The Hill notes, the Mikerin probe began in 2009 under Robert Mueller, now the special counsel in charge of the Trump case, and ended in late 2015 under the controversial, former FBI Director James Comey who was relieved of his duties by President Trump.

Ironically, when the DOJ finally arrested Mikerin in 2014, following 5 years of investigations in a massive international bribery and money-laundering scheme, rather than publicly celebrate, they seemingly swept it under the rug.  In fact, there was no public release concerning the case at all until a full year later when the DOJ announced a plea deal with Mikerin right before labor day.

 

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‘Cold Creepiness’ – Assange on Clinton After She Calls WikiLeaks ‘Russian Intelligence Subsidiary’

There is “something wrong with Hillary Clinton,” Assange tweeted.

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has accused Hillary Clinton of “constant lying,” after the former US presidential candidate told Australia’s ABC TV that his organization was just a “subsidiary of Russian intelligence.”

There is “something wrong with Hillary Clinton,” Assange tweeted.

“It is not just her constant lying,” he wrote on Monday. “It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement.

“Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen.”

Hillary Clinton claimed in an interview with the ABC’s Four Corners program that Assange colluded with the Russian government in the lead-up to the 2016 US presidential election.

“Assange has become a kind of nihilistic opportunist who does the bidding of a dictator,” she said.

“WikiLeaks is unfortunately now practically a fully owned subsidiary of Russian intelligence.”

Clinton claimed that in a bid to disrupt the election and derail her presidential campaign, Assange teamed up with none other than Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I think that their intention, coming from the very top with Putin, was to hurt me and to help [then-presidential hopeful Donald] Trump,” she said.

“Our intelligence community and other observers of Russia and Putin have said he held a grudge against me because as secretary of state, I stood up against some of his actions, his authoritarianism,” Clinton said.

“If he’s such a martyr of free speech, why doesn’t WikiLeaks ever publish anything coming out of Russia? You don’t see damaging, negative information coming out about the Kremlin on WikiLeaks,” she added.

Assange tweeted in response that WikiLeaks’ “last Russian exposé” actually came out just three weeks ago, and that his organization has a “pristine record for accuracy.” 

Clinton alleged that the actions of WikiLeaks and Russia played a major role in her losing the race.

“There was a concerted operation between WikiLeaks and Russia and most likely people in the United States to… weaponize that information, to make up stories, outlandish, often terrible stories that had no basis in fact… which were used to denigrate me, my campaign, people who supported me, and to help Trump.”

According to Clinton, WikiLeaks was driven by Assange’s personal dislike of her.

“I had a lot of history with him because I was secretary of state when WikiLeaks published a lot of very sensitive information from our State Department and our Defense Department,” she said.

The US government has accused Moscow of interfering in the 2016 US election by hacking and leaking emails of Democratic Party operatives, as well as correspondences of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta. Moscow has repeatedly denied meddling in the election, noting that no evidence has been provided to support the accusations.

Reprinted from RT News.

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