The U.N. Security Council on Thursday reportedly determined that a Cuban-North Korea arms deal, discovered in 2012, violated sanctions on Pyongyang.
Unidentified U.N. insiders told KBS World the 15-member U.N. body reached agreement on the weapons transgression after reading a report produced by a U.N panel with oversight on North Korean sanctions.
The Chong Chon Gang was interdicted last summer by authorities as it attempted to pass through the Panama Canal. A search of the North Korean cargo freighter’s hold turned up a large cache of Soviet-era weaponry. Cuba quickly claimed ownership of the arms, which included two MiG jets, anti-aircraft missile systems and other assorted conventional weaponry.
Havana asserted the weapons were being shipped to the North for refurbishment, after which they were to be sent back to Cuba. However, independent analysts concluded that much of the weaponry was in functioning condition and not in need of repair.
It is not yet known what, if any, punishment the Security Council could impose on Pyongyang and Havana .
Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday pledged his government would work to achieve the elimination of atomic arms in North Korea, the Yonhap News Agency reported.
“The denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is the basic stance of China towards the Korean Peninsula,” Xi said during a meeting with visiting South Korean lawmakers. “We will make efforts to realize it.”
China in recent days has shown renewed vigor for restarting the moribund regional talks aimed at achieving a permanent shutdown of Pyongyang’s nuclear-weapons work.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a visit last week to Beijing exchanged “specific” ideas for re-launching the six-party talks that encompass China, Japan, the two Koreas, Russia and the United States. Directly following Kerry’s visit, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin traveled to Pyongyang for meetings with North Korea officials. Immediately afterwards, he flew to South Korea for more meetings on the North Korea nuclear impasse.
A South Korean Foreign Ministry official said the Friday meeting between Liu and Deputy Foreign Minister Lee Kyung-soo produced an understanding to deepen bilateral coordination on achieving North Korean denuclearization, Yonhap separately reported.
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Before we get to the specifics of this exposé about escorts working the Iowa and New Hampshire primary crowds, let’s get three things out of the way: 1.) It’s from Cosmopolitan; 2.) most of the women quoted use fake (if colorful) names; and 3.) again, it’s from Cosmopolitan. That said, here’s what we learned:
- Business was booming: one escort who says she typically gets two inquiries a weekend got 15 requests in the pre-primary weekend.
- Their primary season clientele is a bit older than normal—”40s through mid-60s, compared with mostly twentysomething regulars” and “they’ve clearly done this before.”
- They seemed more nervous than other clients, because “the stakes are higher when you’re working for a possible future president” but “all practiced impeccable manners.”
- One escort “typically enjoy[s] the company of Democrats more, just because I feel like our views line up a lot more.”
No matter where you stand on mandating companies to include a backdoor in encryption technologies, it doesn’t make sense to allow that decision to be made on a state level. “The problem with state-level legislation of this nature is that it manages to be both wildly impractical and entirely unenforceable,” writes Brian Barrett at Wired. There is a solution to this problem. “California Congressman Ted Lieu has introduced the ‘Ensuring National Constitutional Rights for Your Private Telecommunications Act of 2016,’ which we’ll call ENCRYPT. It’s a short, straightforward bill with a simple aim: to preempt states from attempting to implement their own anti-encryption policies at a state level.”
Much has been made of David Brooks’s recent New York Times column, in which confesses to missing already the civility and humanity of Barack Obama, compared to who might take his place. In NewYorker.com, Jeffrey Frank reminds us how critical such attributes are to foreign policy. “It’s hard to imagine Kennedy so casually referring to the leader of Russia as a gangster or a thug. For that matter, it’s hard to imagine any president comparing the Russian leader to Hitler [as] Hillary Clinton did at a private fund-raiser. … Kennedy, who always worried that miscalculation could lead to war, paid close attention to the language of diplomacy.”
The New Covenant. The Third Way. The Democratic Leadership Council style. Call it what you will, but whatever centrist triangulation Bill Clinton embraced in 1992, Hillary Clinton wants no part of it in 2016. Writing for Bloomberg, Sasha Issenberg and Margaret Talev explore how Hillary’s campaign has “diverged pointedly” from what made Bill so successful: “For Hillary to survive, Clintonism had to die.” Bill’s positions in 1992—from capital punishment to free trade—“represented a carefully calibrated diversion from the liberal orthodoxy of the previous decade.” But in New Hampshire, Hillary “worked to juggle nostalgia for past Clinton primary campaigns in the state with the fact that the Bill of 1992 or the Hillary of 2008 would likely be a marginal figure within today’s Democratic politics.”
At first, “it was pleasant” to see Trevor Noah “smiling away and deeply dimpling in the Stewart seat, the seat that had lately grown gray hairs,” writes The Atlantic‘s James Parker in assessing the new host of the once-indispensable Daily Show. But where Jon Stewart was a heavyweight, Noah is “a very able lightweight, [who] needs time too. But he won’t get any. As a culture, we’re not about to nurture this talent, to give it room to grow. Our patience was exhausted long ago, by some other guy. We’re going to pass judgment and move on. There’s a reason Simon Cowell is so rich. Impress us today or get thee hence. So it comes to this: It’s now or never, Trevor.”