Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

ROK President Moon to Visit Russia This week

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Yonhap News Agency reported, citing an anonymous presidential administration official, that ROK President Moon Jae-in will pay a three-day state visit to Russia later this week to meet President Putin. The two presidents will meet on Thursday, shortly after the ROK leader’s arrival in Moscow. This’ll be Moon’s first visit to the Russian capital since his election in May 2017 and the first state visit by a ROK President to Russia since 1999. Most expect Moon and Putin to pay special attention to the DPRK nuclear issue during the summit. Yonhap quoted the anonymous official:

Russia made significant contributions to efforts to denuclearise the DPRK, it also played a significant role in pressuring it, considering its economic relationship with the DPRK. In addition, the visit should help promote strategic cooperation between the two countries to establish peace in Northeast Asia amidst positive developments in security conditions and efforts to denuclearise the Korean peninsula.

Whilst in Moscow, Moon will also meet with Chairman of the RF Government D A Medvedev and other high-ranking officials. He’ll also be the first ROK President to address the RF Gosduma (lower house of the RF Federal Assembly). Later on, Moon will travel to Rostov-on-Don to attend the FIFA World Cup match between the ROK and Mexico before returning home on Saturday.

18 June 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/world/1009968

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Pentagon Sez Washington and Seoul Suspend Joint Military Drill

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Late Monday, US officials said that US and ROK forces won’t conduct a joint military drill that scheduled to take place in August, following a historic meeting between US President Donald Trump and DPRK Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in which the two heads of state agreed to make peace on the Korean peninsula. Trump verbally vowed to end USA-ROK “war games” following the summit with Kim in Singapore on 12 June. An official told Reuters that the Ulchi Freedom Guardian drill wouldn’t take place this year as it did last year. Meanwhile, on Monday, Pentagon source Dana White said in a press release that the USA and the ROK suspended planning for a joint military exercise near the Korean peninsula scheduled to take place in August:

Consistent with President Trump’s commitment and in concert with our ROK ally, the US military suspended all planning for this August’s defensive war-game Freedom Guardian. There have been no decisions on subsequent war-games. Also, this decision hasn’t affected Pacific exercises outside of the Korean peninsula. US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and National Security Advisor John Bolton will meet later this week to discuss the issue.

Last year, Pyongyang requested the UN Security Council to discuss Ulchi Freedom Guardian because it was essentially a rehearsal for an invasion of the DPRK. According to the Pentagon, the drill would involve 17,500 of the 28,000 US troops in the ROK and UN Command forces from seven countries, including Australia, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Britain.

19 June 2018

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201806191065528849-south-korea-usa-drills-suspension/

Sunday, 10 June 2018

10 June 2018. Why Is It Important That Kim Jong-un Flew In a Chinese Aeroplane to Singapore?

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Kim Jong-un flew in a Chinese Boeing 747 to Singapore. Moreover, PLA fighters escorted it all the way. China told the whole world:

We have the DPRK’s back. We’re behind it 100 percent. We’ll intervene like in 1950 if the Americans attack it. We’re the local power and you’d best adjust to that.

The USA doesn’t have the oomph to take on the PRC. The PLA is much larger than the American ground forces are and the ROK forces wouldn’t hold against the Chinese (Korea, historically, has been a Chinese client-state). If the Yanks were to involve the Japanese, it’d cause an explosion in both Korea and China. Both countries have a Number One White-Hot hatred of Japan. In other words, the USA is fucked… royally. Trump doesn’t have anything to negotiate over. China wants it done its way; the DPRK will repeat verbatim whatever Beijing tells it to do. That is, Trump can’t threaten an invasion, for Chinese forces are in Manchuria waiting to intervene in the case of such a scenario. The USA has nothing in the store-cupboard, militarily. It has no conventional forces to send, for all its forces are engaged in colonial wars in Southwest Asia and Africa. What reserve units exist in CONUS aren’t up to strength and need at least a year to get ready for the big time.

That’s what scary in this impasse. Trump could decide to go nuke because he has no other options. The USN can’t interdict the Chinese and Russian land-based transportation networks and the USAF would face world-class air defences. The Army simply has no troops to send. Trump is an impulsive and juvenile character. The Chinese will do their best to save his face (they aren’t like Anglo Americans, who like humiliating people), but Trump may resent it. Parenthetically, Russia is involved in this, but only as an ally of China. China is the major actor in the Anti-Empire Coalition, and all know this, including the Russians. They find being Number Two to China preferable to being the Victim of the USA (it’s much like St Aleksandr Nevsky making tribute to the Tatars whilst resisting the West… it’s the same historical situation, with the same result, no doubt).

This scene isn’t encouraging at all. God willing that we’ll get through it. China, Russia, and the DPRK are the grownups in the room… unfortunately, an adolescent US President holds the nuclear football. Let’s all hope for the best.

BMD

Kim Jong-un Departs for Singapore Summit

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According to the Yonhap News Agency, an Air China flight departed from Pyongyang airport at 0830 local time. Kim Jong-un boarded a Chinese Boeing 747 commonly used by high-ranking Chinese officials. However, the popular tracking online source Flightradar24 reportedly didn’t specify the destination of the aircraft. The website also didn’t detect any other flights departing from the DPRK. According to Yonhap, many government-chartered planes keep their routes secret due to security issues. According to Reuters, one more plane, an Il-76 cargo jet, departed early on Sunday from the DPRK for Singapore. According to media reports, the cargo plane carried food items as well as several cars to escort Kim Jong-un. The flight tracking service also reportedly showed that the Il-76 landed in Guangzhou in southern China before being airborne again, likely heading for Singapore. Reportedly, Kim Jong-un took only one known overseas trip by air since becoming DPRK leader in 2011. An Il-76 cargo plane accompanied his personal Il-62M jet to China in May.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, the White House said that US President Donald Trump also departed for Singapore, where he should meet with Kim on Tuesday. Trump took off from Canada on Saturday after participating in the Group of Seven (G7) summit, and shall arrive in Singapore on Sunday. According to Japan’s Kyodo News agency, citing a diplomatic source, the DPRK leader will arrive in Singapore on Sunday. Earlier, a ROK Air Force official told the South China Morning Post that Chinese fighter jets would secure Kim’s flight route to the historic meeting.

The USA-DPRK summit will mark the first-ever meeting of the leaders of the two countries. The highly-anticipated talks were at risk following Trump’s 24 May declaration that he was cancelling the meeting with Kim over Pyongyang’s hostile rhetoric. Last week, however, Trump reinstated the summit after meeting with Kim’s top aide, Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol, at the White House.

10 June 2018

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201806101065275784-singapore-trump-kim-summit-departure/

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According to ROK military sources, the PLA Air Force is preparing to send fighter aircraft to escort DPRK leader Kim Jong-un to an upcoming summit in Singapore where he’ll meet US President Donald Trump after years of hostile relations. A ROK Air Force official told the South China Morning Post that Chinese aircraft will secure Kim’s flight to the meeting… and perhaps remind the US side that Beijing will support Pyongyang. the ROK source told SCMP Thursday:

Escorting [a head of state] with jets is one of the highest security protocols that the air force can provide. If China sends air assets to conduct the escort, then, it may be a message directed to the USA-ROK alliance that China is strongly backing up Kim.

The Hong Kong-based newspaper, acquired by Alibaba Group in December 2015, also reported that Beijing is seeking to broaden its influence over Pyongyang ahead of the summit. In recent months, the USA, the ROK, and the DPRK engaged in unprecedented meetings that sparked hopes that the 68-year Korean War will finally be brought to an end, reducing the risk of nuclear conflict in the Korean peninsula.

Trump is also seeking to reduce the US trade deficit with its many trading partners, and China is America’s second-largest such partner, 2018 US Census Bureau data shows. On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported:

Trump got fed up with hearing he was weak on China, calling on advisers at a 22 May meeting to get moving on imposing more tariffs against Beijing as a weapon to force trade concessions.

Sceptics of Trump’s approach to relations with China said Beijing is aware of Trump’s two-prong approach and, therefore, unlikely to allow major US victories on both trade and Korean Peninsula denuclearisation.

7 June 2018

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201806071065208322-chinese-jets-escort-kim-jong-un/

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