World War 3: Situation Report, Trump in Asia
North Korea Threatens World War 3
North Korea threatened “merciless punishment” on U.S. President Donald Trump over “foolish remarks” on Sunday, two days before his state visit to South Korea.
The Rodong Sinmun, the main newspaper and organ of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), published a commentary accusing Trump of “seriously stimulating” North Korea with his words.
Trump kicked off his Asia tour in Japan earlier Sunday. He’s scheduled to land in South Korea on Tuesday for a summit with President Moon Jae-in during his two-day visit.
Trump has engaged in a war of words with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, referring to Kim as “Little Rocket Man” and threatening to “totally destroy” North Korea.
In the report carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Rodong Sinmun argued Trump must heed assertions from other U.S. experts that he must “halt the reckless blackmail and take hands off the Korean affairs.”
“Nobody can predict when Trump does a reckless act. The only and one way for checking his rash act is to tame him with absolute physical power,” the report said in English. “If the U.S. misjudges (North Korea’s) toughest will and dares to act recklessly, the latter will be compelled to deal a resolute and merciless punishment upon the former with the mobilisation of all forces. The U.S. has no energy to prevent it. Then its regret is too late.”
Trump defended his tough rhetoric on North Korea after landing in Japan on Sunday. Addressing the U.S. troops here, Trump said, “No one, no dictator, no regime should underestimate American resolve.”
As for the U.S. policy on Pyongyang, Trump said, “There’s been 25 years of total weakness and so we’re taking a very much different approach.”
Trump Knows North Korea is a Terrorist State
U.S. President Donald Trump said Sunday that Washington will “decide soon” whether to relist North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Trump made the remark on Air Force One on his way to Japan to kick off his Asian trip, which will later take him to South Korea and China. During his three-day visit to Japan, Trump will meet with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the two will likely reaffirm their stance of applying pressure on Pyongyang.
Trump arrives in Asia at a time of heightened tensions, caused by the North’s sixth and most powerful nuclear blast test in September and a series of ballistic missile launches.
Last Thursday, H.R. McMaster, national security adviser to Trump, also said the U.S. is considering relisting North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, since the North appeared to fit the criteria for designation following its alleged murder of leader Kim Jong-un’s half-brother early this year.
Under a law enacted Aug. 2, the State Department had to determine within 90 days, or around last Thursday, whether North Korea should be back on the list.
North Korea was placed on the list in 1988 for an airliner bombing that killed all 115 people aboard. In 2008, it was taken off in exchange for progress in denuclearization talks.
The U.S. left North Korea off its latest list of state sponsors of terrorism in July.
State sponsors of terrorism face restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance, a ban on defense exports and sales, and financial and other sanctions. But relisting North Korea is largely seen as symbolic because it is already under extensive sanctions for its nuclear and missile programs.
On Sunday, Trump also defined North Korea as “a big problem,” and added the North will figure prominently in talks in Japan, South Korea and China.
“(North Korea) is a big problem for our country and for the world, and we want to get it solved,” Trump was quoted as saying by AFP.
The president, however, praised North Korean people as “great” and “industrious.”
North Korea Refuse Talks to Avoid World War 3
North Korea has no interest in having talks on denuclearization with the United States, adding possessing nuclear arms is “irreversible” and “inevitable” to strengthen its “war deterrence,” the North’s state media said Saturday.
“The U.S. must drop the wild thought that the DPRK can respond to its gangster-like demand and should not dream of the denuclearization negotiations with the DPRK, in particular,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a commentary monitored in Seoul.
“For the DPRK, it is the irreversible and inevitable strategic option to bolster the powerful war deterrence for the defense of the country,” it added.
DPRK stands for the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The North said U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan’s remark in Seoul in mid-October that the goal is to pressure the North to come out for talks without preconditions is a “red herring” and an attempt to “justify” sanctions and pressure.
“The DPRK does not stand against dialogue but will never bargain over the issue related to the supreme interests of the country and the security of its people nor has any interest in such dialogue and negotiations,” it added. “The U.S. had better drop its foolish ambition.”
The North’s harsh rhetoric comes days before U.S. President Donald Trump is to arrive in South Korea on Tuesday for a two-day stay during which he plans to have a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
North Korea Faces a Cash Crunch
A global anti-money laundering body has called on all member states to apply effective countermeasures against the ongoing and substantial money laundering and terrorist financing risks emanating from North Korea.
The Financial Action Task Force said it remains concerned by North Korea’s failure to address the significant deficiencies in its anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime and the serious threats they pose to the integrity of the international financial system.
“The FATF urges the DPRK to immediately and meaningfully address its AML/CFT deficiencies,” the Paris-based body said Friday in a statement posted on its Web site after a meeting in Buenos Aires. DPRK stands for the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The task force also said jurisdictions should take necessary measures to close existing branches, subsidiaries and representative offices of North Korean banks within their territories and terminate correspondent relationships with North Korean banks.
The latest statement came amid international pressure on North Korea to give up its missile and nuclear programs. Tensions have spiked on the Korean Peninsula following North Korea’s sixth and most powerful nuclear test in September and a series of ballistic missile tests.
In 2015, North Korea pledged to sincerely carry out an action plan to meet global anti-money laundering standards.
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