The United States is expected to reassign its special envoy on North Korea issues and may not replace him, the Korea Times reported on Friday.
Glyn Davies, the current U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, is seen as a top candidate for the post of U.S. ambassador to Thailand, unidentified sources told the newspaper. Davies, who has served as special envoy since early 2012, is anticipated to be reassigned in the coming months.
However, it is not clear that the Obama administration will retain the diplomatic post of special envoy for North Korea following years of zero progress on the denuclearization front, according to the Times.
Davies brokered a nuclear and missile-testing moratorium with Pyongyang in early 2012 but the deal fell apart when the North several weeks later launched a space rocket — technology with direct implications on the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Other than that stillborn accord, no serious nuclear discussions have taken place since late 2008.
Meanwhile, official Syrian media are reporting that Damascus and Pyongyang agreed in late May to deepen their collaboration on science, technology and industrial manufacturing, the Yonhap News Agency reported.
The Syria-North Korea relationship is closely watched by the United States and other countries due to proliferation concerns. Damascus is believed by defense experts to have been able to rebuild missile manufacturing capabilities hurt by the Syrian Civil War with help from North Korea. Diplomatic sources in 2012 said the North was caught attempting to smuggle ballistic missile components to Syria. And Pyongyang is widely assumed to have provided Damascus with technical support to build an undeclared military reactor that was destroyed in a 2007 Israeli air strike.
What We're Following See More »
As Congress continues to bicker on riders to a continuing resolution, federal agencies have started working with the Office of Management and Budget to prepare for a government shutdown, which will occur if no continuing resolution is passed by 11:59 p.m. on Friday night. The OMB held a call with agencies on Sept. 23, one that is required one week before a possible shutdown. The government last shut down for 16 days in 2013, and multiple shutdowns have been narrowly avoided since then. It is expected that Congress will reach a deal before the clock strikes midnight, but until it does, preparations will continue.
President Obama's Clean Power Plan, a large pillar of his efforts to leave a lasting environmental legacy, "goes before the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today." The plan "imposes the first national limits on carbon pollution from power plants." A number of consolidated cases finds 27 states challenging this plan, which was blocked by the Supreme Court in February pending decisions from lower courts. The states will argue that the government doesn't have the right to impose restrictions requiring them to shutter plans and restructure full industries.
There seems to be a clear consensus forming about Monday's debate: Hillary Clinton was the winner. One focus group of undecided Pennsylvania voters, conducted by GOP pollster Frank Luntz, found 16 favored Clinton while five picked Donald Trump. In a Florida focus group organized by CNN, 18 of 20 undecided voters saw Clinton as the winner.
As both candidates walked off the stage, Donald Trump lauded himself for being restrained and for not bringing up Bill Clinton. "I didn’t want to say—her husband was in the room along with her daughter, who I think is a very nice young lady—and I didn’t want to say what I was going to say about what’s been going on in their life," Trump said. Trump claims he stopped himself from hitting Bill Clinton because daughter Chelsea was in the room.
At the end of the debate, moderator Lester Holt asked Donald Trump if he stands by his statement that Hillary Clinton didn't have the look of a president. Trump responded by saying Holt misquoted him, instead saying that Clinton "doesn't have the stamina." Clinton responded by saying that when Trump visits 112 countries as secretary of state, he can talk to her about stamina.