Korean Peninsula’s Denuclearization Is A Hard Nut to Crack; Trump Stressed on No-Hurry Approach

US is playing hard for its ambitious mission of denuclearization of Korean peninsula which is evident from the historic summit held between the head-honchos of two nations in June this year and subsequent deliberations between Trump and Kim.

But Trump is facing criticism on this front, for his lenient and a no-hurry approach towards the ardent mission given that North Korea has taken few concrete steps to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

“Many people have asked how we are doing in our negotiations with North Korea – I always reply by saying we are in no hurry,” he tweeted. But Trump also expressed optimism, saying North Korea’s economy has “wonderful potential” and that its leader Kim Jong Un “sees it better than anyone and will fully take advantage of it for his people.”

The Security Council has slapped a series of tough economic sanctions on Pyongyang over its nuclear tests and ballistic missile firings. The United States maintains that UN sanctions will remain in place until North Korea has fully scrapped its weapons programs.

Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen Jailed for Concealing President’s “Dirty Deeds”

Former lawyer of US President Donald Trump, Michael Cohen was sentenced three-year jail term on Wednesday for tax evasion, false statements to a financial institution, illegal campaign contributions, and false statements to Congress.

Cohen then launched a punitive attack on his former boss said “It was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds.”

Cohen, 52, said he was taking responsibility for his crimes “including those implicating the President of the United States of America”. He added that his ‘blind loyalty’ to Trump ‘led me to take a path of darkness instead of light’.

Cohen’s lawyers had asked for no jail time after he pleaded guilty to tax evasion, making false statements to a financial institution, illegal campaign contributions, and making false statements to Congress.

But Judge Pauley sentenced Cohen to three years in jail. Among the charges against Cohen was making “hush money” payments to two women who had threatened to go public during the 2016 presidential election campaign with claims they had affairs with Trump.

Trump this week sought to minimise the importance of the payments saying they were a “simple private transaction” and that they were “wrongly” being called campaign contributions.

Democrats’ Resumption of Office Can Be the End of Game for Trump

Fears of impeachment has been unnerving President Donald Trump which he sees as the near possibility if the Democrats manage to hold office in the elections. These are the apprehensions which are doing rounds in Trump’s head over day and night, but nothing is ascertain.

A separate source close to the White House states that aides inside the West Wing believe “the only issue that may stick” in the impeachment process is the campaign finance violations tied to the President’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen’s payouts to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, both women have alleged to have affairs with Trump.

Impeachment talk has ratcheted up in recent days following a blockbuster filing from prosecutors in the Southern District of New York.

In the filing, prosecutors directly alleged for the first time that Cohen was being directed by Trump when he broke the law during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Democrats were suggesting that Trump committed an impeachable offence and could be sent to prison when his term in the White House is over.

The incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative Jerry Nadler, said on Sunday the allegations, if proven, would constitute “impeachable offences”.

Democratic Senato Chris Coons said earlier on Monday that Trump could be indicted after he leaves office.

White House officials, at the moment, still do not believe that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion will result in impeachment.

Trump Intimidates to Initiate Import Penalty Against China

White House on Tuesday in a series of twitter posts threatened Beijing with the import penalties which can be levied against it if the nation fails to mend their economic relationship with US.

This is a much different characterization of the China talks than just three days ago, when Trump had dinner with China’s president at a meeting of the Group of 20. After the dinner, Trump said they reached the framework of a deal that would come together in 90 days.

“It’s an incredible deal,” Trump told reporters after the dinner. “It goes down, certainly, if it happens, it goes down as one of the largest deals ever made.”

He later said China had committed to buying large amounts of U.S. agricultural products and completely removing all tariffs on U.S. automobiles, a huge shift from its current 40 percent penalty. Chinese officials, meanwhile, did not confirm any of these details. They wouldn’t even acknowledge that there was a 90-day deadline under which they were operating.

In the past 24 hours, there were signs that White House officials were beginning to backpedal from some of their initial optimism. In his Twitter posts on Tuesday, Trump said they might need an extension if the 90-day timeline didn’t prove sufficient.

Meanwhile, White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said there wasn’t an actual agreement for China to remove auto tariffs, but that he expected China to eventually do it as a measure of good faith.

He also said that China’s vice premier, Liu He, had told him there would be changes made “immediately” to show the Chinese were serious about a new agreement. But Kudlow acknowledged Tuesday that so far they haven’t seen any evidence of concrete steps being taken.

There are significant differences between the two governments over what was agreed at the dinner, according to a side-by-side comparison of their post-meeting statements prepared by Bloomberg. The Chinese have not acknowledged a 90-day deadline for the talks or said that they plan to “immediately” increase purchases of U.S. farm goods.

Chinese officials are puzzled and irritated by the administration’s shaky handling of the meeting’s aftermath, according to a former U.S. government official who has been in contact with them. Even before the Buenos Aires talks, Trump last month had stated incorrectly that the Chinese government “got rid of” the Made-in-China 2025 program of subsidized technology development in response to his objections.

The comments by the president and his top advisers over the past 48 hours have only added to China’s confusion about their negotiating partners.

Political Legends Put on A Show of Unity At George Bush’s Funeral

All political rival stood together in peace at the funeral of legendary political figure George H.W. Bush as America bade farewell to its 41st President.

Donald and Melania Trump shared a front row pew at Washington National Cathedral with past Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and their wives as an honour guard brought Bush’s flag-draped casket into the packed prayer hall.

George W. Bush delivered a rousing and deeply personal eulogy — at times punctuated by laughter — as he sang the praises of his father, who died on Friday at age 94. “He was born with just two settings — full throttle, then sleep,” Mr. Bush said. “To us, his was the brightest of a thousand points of light,” he added in reference to his father’s signature call to volunteerism.

Since Bush’s death, Mr. Trump has traded his usual provocative posture for one of respect and solemnity, tweeting before heading to the cathedral about “a day of celebration for a great man”.

Mr. Trump arrived and promptly shook hands with Mr. Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama. But his greetings stopped there, as he failed to acknowledge Hillary Clinton, his defeated Democratic rival in 2016.

Ms. Clinton sat stone faced, looking straight ahead, and the pair did not make eye contact.

Other dignitaries in the cathedral included Britain’s Prince Charles; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; former Polish President Lech Walesa; former Vice-Presidents Dan Quayle, Dick Cheney, Al Gore and Joe Biden; and former Secretaries of State James Baker, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.

Us Doesn’t Want to Severe Ties with Saudi Due to Khashoggi’s Murder

In the name of US security and Middle East stability, US balks over downgrading ties with Saudi Arabia despite corroboration of Khashoggi’s assassinators links with Istanbul consulate. On Wednesday senior senators urged President Donald Trump’s cabinet to not severe ties with Saudis.

“More broadly, degrading ties with Saudi Arabia would be a grave mistake for U.S. national security, and that of our allies,” US Secretary of States Mike Pompeo said in his prepared remarks to the Senate. “The Kingdom is a powerful force for stability in an otherwise fraught Middle East.”

Pompeo told reporters after the briefing that there was no direct evidence connecting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Khashoggi’s murder. Mattis later told reporters at the Pentagon, “there is no smoking gun.”

However, Pompeo and Mattis did not seem to sway leading Senate foreign policy voices, including some of Trump’s fellow Republicans, who said they believed taking no action would send a more dangerous message to the world.

Republican Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said after the briefing it was apparent to everyone in the room that the crown prince was responsible for Khashoggi’s death.

“We have a problem here. We understand that Saudi Arabia is an ally, of sorts, and a semi important country,” Corker said. “… We also have a crown prince that’s out of control.”

Corker warned that Congress would act if the administration does not. “I think 80 percent of the people left the hearing this morning not feeling like an appropriate response has been forthcoming,” Corker said.

The Senate considering a resolution later on Wednesday that would stop U.S. refuelling and other support for the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen.

Pompeo also made comments that frustrated some of the administration’s allies, saying in a blog post before the Senate briefing that Khashoggi’s killing “has heightened the Capitol Hill caterwauling and media pile-on.”

Trilateral Meet Between PM Modi, Donald Trump and Shinzo Abe Is In The Pipeline Alongside G20 Summit

Three biggies of the political domain will be across the negotiation table on November 30 and December 1, as part of a trilateral meeting slated to take place alongside G20 summit currently taking place in Argentina.

The meeting will focus at devising ways to combat upcoming challenges vis-à-vis highlighting the need to strengthen international cooperation and enhance coordinated action against fugitive economic offenders and financing of terrorism.

PM Modi flew off for Buenos Aires for the 13th edition of the global summit on Tuesday.

“As in the past, I look forward to the opportunity to meet leaders on the side lines of the Summit to exchange views on bilateral matters of mutual interest,” he added.

The Ministry of External Affairs said Modi would also meet Chinese President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the sidelines of the event. He will be in Buenos Aires from November 29-December 1.

In his departure statement issued here, Modi said through the 10 years of its existence, the G-20 had strived to promote stable and sustainable global growth. “This objective is of particular significance for developing countries and emerging economies such as India, which is today the fastest growing large economy in the world,” he said.

“I look forward to meeting leaders from other G-20 countries to review the work of G-20 in the last ten years of its existence and chart the ways and means to meet the new and upcoming challenges of the coming decade,” he said.

The PM said the participants would deliberate on the situation of global economy and trade, international financial and tax systems, the future of work, women empowerment, infrastructure and sustainable development.

The trilateral meeting, which would be an expansion of the bilateral between Trump and Abe, is part of the series of meetings Trump would have later this week on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Argentina. The annual meeting is being attended by leaders of the top 20 economies of the world.

However, all eyes are expected to be on two meetings that Trump would have with the Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Briefing reporters ahead of the G-20 Summit, US National Security Advisor John Bolton said that Trump will also have meetings with President Mauricio Macri of Argentina, President Moon Jae-In of South Korea, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey.

Trump to Stand Up By India in Miseries of 26/11

While India is still grappling with the aftermath of 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack, the world has propped up to India’s woes. Recently, US President Donald Trump has expressed strong support for India in its fight against terrorism as the country remembers the terror attacks in Mumbai 10 years ago that left over 160 dead and hundreds injured.

“On the ten-year anniversary of the Mumbai terror attack, the U.S. stands with the people of India in their quest for justice. The attack killed 166 innocents, including six Americans. We will never let terrorists win, or even come close to winning!” Mr Trump tweeted this morning.

The US has already announced a new reward of $5 million for helping secure the arrest of those who masterminded the 26/11 attacks. The terrorists from Pakistan had unleashed a wave of violence in the country’s financial and entertainment hub in a three-day siege.

“It is an affront to the families of the victims that, after ten years, those who planned the Mumbai attack have still not been convicted for their involvement,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday.

The US government announced the reward under its Department of State’s Rewards for Justice (RFJ) programme “for information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country of any individual who committed, conspired to commit, or aided or abetted” the execution of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

It is the third such reward offered by the US after the State Department announced bounties of $10 million for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed and $2 million for Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki, another senior leader of the terror group.

America and Pak’s Muddy Relationship; Ongoing Spat on Twitter Exposes Fragility of Bilateral Standing

A trail of diatribe is mounting on twitter between US President Donald Trump and Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan as both seek to gear up a show of strength in the face of shaky bilateral relationship of these two nations.

As usual snobbish Trump, in an interview, jibed at Pakistan for its mercenary tactics said that Pakistanis “don’t do a damn thing for us,” even though the US has given Pakistan billions of dollars in aid.

In retaliation to this Imran took to Twitter to “put the record straight,” and asked the US to do soul-searching to get to the reasons for its failures in Afghanistan. Shireen Mazari, Pakistan’s minister for human rights, also jumped in the fray and accused Trump of suffering “from perpetual historic amnesia.”

The bitter Twitter spat between US president Donald Trump and Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan has not only exposed the extremely shaky foundations on which their bilateral relationship stands, but also underlined the challenge of stabilising Afghanistan amidst talks of negotiated political solution to the Afghan crisis. Imran must have realised that misplaced bravado comes with a cost.

After an exchange of undiplomatic tweets between the two leaders, the US suspended $1.66 billion in security assistance to Pakistan, sending a strong signal of American frustration with Pakistani policies. It would be a miracle if the rocky relationship between US and Pakistan could be stabilised any time soon.

Trump chose to up the ante at a time when the US is engaged in direct talks with the Afghan Taliban. Washington acknowledges that the role of Pakistan’s security establishment would be crucial in any Afghan peace process. There is near unanimity in all branches of the US government that Pakistan’s security establishment is capable of bringing the Afghan Taliban to the table to talk to the Kabul government directly as well to squeeze them to agree to a compromise deal. Under concerted American pressure, Pakistan has been forced to cooperate in the US-led efforts, albeit unwillingly.

Only last month, Islamabad released a number of high-profile Taliban prisoners, including Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. This move is widely interpreted as a US-directed measure directed at encouraging the Afghan Taliban to show seriousness in the peace talks. US secretary of state Mike Pompeo roped in Zalmay Khalilzad as special envoy for peace talks with the Afghan Taliban. The newly-appointed Khalilzad has already held two rounds of talks with the representatives of Afghan Taliban in Qatar.

Therefore, Trump’s recent tweet was not a sudden move; it seems to be well-thought strategy to further pressurise Pakistan’s security establishment to deliver on Afghan front. Trump taunted Pakistan for sheltering Osama bin Laden and suggested that the presence of world’s most-wanted terrorist in a high-security zone was known to Pakistani establishment. One can only wonder the timing of revisiting the past by raking up this old issue other than to embarrass Pakistan’s security establishment. And Pakistan fell into the trap. Pakistan’s foreign office had to issue a public statement that it was Pakistan’s intelligence cooperation that provided the ‘initial evidence’ to trace bin Laden.