South Korea wants to talk to North Korea.
The Defense Ministry in Seoul proposed to talk at the border village of Panmunjom, while the Red Cross proposed separate talks to discuss family reunions.
So South Korean President Moon Jae-in has made up his mind — after his inauguration on May 10 and Pyongyang’s ICBM test on July 3.Pyongyang may also be inclined to talk — as it had already indicated. But there may be preconditions, as in the suspension of those provocative, annual US-South Korean military drills. The US will say no. Once again, it’s all about Washington.
It’s unclear whether US intelligence has 100% proof that Pyongyang, apart from the ICBM, is on the path to soon achieve other technological breaks, such as building a guidance system and a miniaturized, functional nuclear weapon capable of surviving both the missile launch and re-entry into the atmosphere.
Now for some crude, hard facts. Kim Jong-un very well knows that nuclear weapons are absolutely essential for the survival of the Kim dynasty. Beijing not only knows it — but also calculates that Pyongyang does not exactly see it as a trustful ally. During the Korean War — whose memory is pervasive all across the North — Mao’s key concern was to protect China’s borders, not the safety of its neighbor.
The open secret though is that a nuclear North Korea may represent a perennial dissuasion against the US, much more than a threat, but not against China. So that frames the case, once again, as a Washington-Pyongyang drama.Beijing’s margin of maneuver against Pyongyang is rather limited — something that President Trump as well as the US deep state still do not understand. And North Korea is not a Chinese national security priority — unless the regime would collapse and there would be an uncontrollable influx of refugees.
The only thing that matters for the Chinese leadership is — what else — trade. And as far as China-South Korean trade is concerned, business is booming anyway.
Feverish speculation in the US about a “strike” against Pyongyang is idle. Anyone with minimum knowledge of the Korean Peninsula knows that the response would be Pyongyang virtually wiping Seoul off the map. Not to mention that US intel is clueless on where all the dispersed North Korean nuclear and missile development sites are.
A minimally competent US “attack” would requires a lot of infiltrated US Special Forces, as in boots on the ground, with no guarantee of success. In a nutshell; Washington, realistically, is incapable of eliminating North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
Enter the Trans-Korean Railway
So what to do? The only logical strategy would be to admit — just as with India and Pakistan in the late 1990s — that North Korea is a de facto nuclear power.Pyongyang’s strategy, after all, is actually a small marvel; you imprint the feeling you’re a totally unpredictable actor, and you scare the living daylights out of everyone while preventing any attempt at destabilization. As much as wishful thinking prevails, that a US surgical strike would be able to paralyze the North Korean political/military/command/communication structure, US intel is clueless when it comes to predicting Pyongyang’s actions.
A Western intel source familiar with the high stakes in the Korean peninsula adds a few stark observations; “The point that is not even touched upon is that South Korea already is within the range of North Korean nuclear bombs even if the United States is not, and can be liquidated by North Korea. We have to examine the nature of the defense alliance with South Korea. Does it mean that we can and will attack North Korea to protect ourselves when we cannot protect South Korea, triggering their destruction in our self-defense?”
The point is that if South Korea is virtually destroyed by Pyongyang’s response to American strikes, “then our allies around the world will have the uneasy feeling that they too would be sacrificed as allies should they get in the way. I would say that would be the end of the entire US alliance structure, which actually is already imaginary.”
The informed source is convinced that “the South Koreans have forced the United States to agree to forbear on any strike on North Korea, as to support such a strike would be national suicide for South Korea. The United States will do nothing.”
All this is happening just as what Seoul really wants is to do business — in a Korean variant of the China-driven New Silk Roads, renamed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Seoul wants to build a Trans-Korean Railway, and go even beyond, connecting it with the Trans-Siberian and, what else, the Chinese-built Eurasian land bridge. That happens to be the so-called Iron Silk Road concept, which South Korea has been dreaming about since an Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in 2004.
“Overcoming the land divide between Asia and Europe”, connected to the vast trans-Eurasia network, means the fifth-largest export economy in the world would be getting even more business. Handicapped by North Korea’s isolation, South Korea is de facto physically cut off from Eurasia. The answer to all this trouble? The Trans-Korean Railway. If only President Moon could entice Kim Jong-un towards a connectivity dream — and make him forget his nuclear toys.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.
Dumb and Dumber: CNN commentator Paul Begala says America should bomb Russia now
One must wonder how much CNN pays political prostitutes to say crazy things on the air. It seems like you can sign a check for thousands of dollars and people like Paul Begala will say just about anything, even though they don’t really believe that they are saying.
…by Jonas E. Alexis
CNN will never learn, despite the fact that they have been single-handedly discredited last month. The Zionist network keeps inviting numerous guests who hopelessly want America to literally bomb Russia right now. Commentator Paul Begala has recently come on the platform and declared unequivocally that:
“We were and are under attack by a hostile foreign power. We should be debating how many sanctions we should place on Russia or whether we should blow up the KGB, GSU, or GRU [Russia’s foreign intelligence agency]. If I was Trump, I would be mad because it has tainted his victory.”
One must wonder how much the Zionist network pays those political whores and prostitutes to say crazy things like that. It seems like you can sign a check for thousands of dollars and people like Begala will say just about anything, even though they don’t really believe that they are saying.
The simple questions are these: does the network really think that the masses are getting dumber? Can’t they just see that the vast majority of Americans do not listen to their fake stories anymore? Last January, it was reported that “A poll of cable news network viewers found that CNN’s regular audience is far more skeptical of the political news they receive than Fox News fans.”
Begala wants to tell us that we need to bomb Russia, while Russia is fighting for a ceasefire in Syria. Israel, to this very day, is mad and sad because the ceasefire is working. Israel wants to drink the blood of other people in the region, using ISIS and other terrorist groups, and Russia is stopping them from doing exactly that. The Netanyahu administration, as always, is sad. One official declared:
“The agreement as it is now is very bad. It doesn’t take almost any of Israel’s security interests and it creates a disturbing reality in southern Syria. The agreement doesn’t include a single explicit word about Iran, Hezbollah or the Shi’ite militias in Syria.”
Netanyahu himself wants to exclude Iran from the deal, despite the fact that Iran has been fighting ISIS in Syria. “Israel will welcome the real cessation of hostilities in Syria,” he said, “but it must not result in the consolidation of the Iranian and its satellites’ forces in Syria in general and particularly in Syria’s south.”
One needn’t be an intellectual to realize that something fishy is going on here. As senior fellow at the Middle East Studies’ Center for Arab and Islamic Studies Boris Dolgov puts it,
“Israel is more and more ‘engaged’ in the Syrian conflict. This engagement consists of Israeli support for armed groups fighting against the Assad government in the Golan Heights. Israel officially admits that the militants from these groups receive medical treatment in Israeli hospitals. They explain this via the fact that these militants are fighting against the Hezbollah movement, which Israel considers to be a terrorist group.”
Obviously Paul Begala understands this, but apparently he doesn’t want to live his well-paid job. CNN pays him to lie and to forge fabrications. If “the Russia thing is nothing but burger,” as one CNN commentator said, then we can say with certainty that people like Begala are really traitors to the United States.
We can now ignore Begala. Let us turn the table around and talk to Serbian director Emir Kusturica. Kusturica, like director Oliver Stone, does not believe that Russia is an enemy of the West. In fact, he thinks that Vladimir Putin is setting Russia on her feet. He states:
“I am very much fond of Putin’s gentleman-like stand, the way he raised Russia from the rock bottom it hit during Yeltsin’s time in power and set it back on its feet, the way he made people proud of their history and culture again.”
This has obviously put the director into the ideological warzone. “The director conceded that he often comes under fire for not hiding his favorable attitude towards the Russian leader.”
Kusturica stands for something that is right. Will the Zionist Media and their marionettes at least be fair to their listeners? Will they tell the truth about Russia and the situation in Syria? What is it going to take for these people to wake up from their moral, intellectual, and spiritual blindness?
 Quoted in “Begala: We Should ‘Debate Whether We Should Blow Up’ Russia,” Daily Beast, July 13, 2017.
 “By Opposing Syrian Ceasefire, Israel ‘Shows Direct Support for Terrorists,’” Sputnik News, July 17, 2017.
 Dominic Rushe, “Oliver Stone on Vladimir Putin: ‘The Russian people have never been better off,’” Guardian, June 13, 2017.
 “‘Putin is a gentleman who set Russia on her feet’ – Kusturica on why he respects Russian leader,” Russia Today, July 16, 2017.
US has Too Many Spies in Moscow, Russian Diplomat Says
US has Too Many Spies in Moscow, Russian Diplomat Says
“Even hinting at possible steps toward cooperation between our countries is currently seen in the U.S. as political suicide,” one Russian senator commented.
Russia has accused the United States of having too many spies operating within its diplomatic offices, and of refusing to cooperate on diplomatic issues.
“There are too many employees of the CIA and the Pentagon’s espionage unit working under the roof of the American diplomatic mission whose activity does not correspond at all with their status,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova said on Friday according to TASS.
Zakharova also has said that Russia is considering expelling a number of these employees, and significantly reducing the number of U.S. officials working in Moscow.
“The number of personnel at the U.S. embassy in Moscow significantly exceeds the number of our personnel working in Washington. So, one of the options is that, apart from expelling the corresponding number of U.S. diplomats, we will just have to even the number of personnel,” she said.
The warning is partially a response in retaliation to the United States’ expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats in Washington last year, who were kicked out at the same time two Russian diplomatic compounds were seized by the Obama administration.
The U.S. justified the move accusing Russia of interfering in electoral processes, something which Russian officials have denied.
Russia has been increasingly frustrated with the U.S.’s refusal to give back the compounds, and allow Russia to replace the expelled diplomats.
If the issue is not resolved, Zakharova said Russia will be forced to take “reciprocal measures.”
“Everything depends on the reaction of the U.S. side, its concrete actions, and on the results of the consultations which will now take place in Washington,” she added.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Russia rejected the idea of linking the dispute to other political issues.
However, Russian Senator Konstantin Kosachev criticized the “cynical” approach the U.S. was taking toward diplomacy and dialogue.
“Even hinting at possible steps toward cooperation between our countries is currently seen in the U.S. as political suicide,” he said.