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Trump and Xi Say North Korea Must Stop Provocative Behavior

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China's President Xi Jinping
  • Trump and Xi Say North Korea Must Stop Provocative Behavior

U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping agreed that North Korea must stop provocative behavior, reiterating their mutual commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula amid elevated global tensions.

Trump and the Chinese president affirmed that a recent United Nations resolution was an important and necessary step toward achieving peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, according to a White House readout of a phone call between the two leaders Friday night U.S. time.

Xi also told Trump that all concerned parties must maintain restraint and should avoid remarks and actions that could escalate tension, China’s CCTV reported. The U.S. president said earlier that he’s ready to use his country’s military might to end continual threats and provocations by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The phone call between the two leaders came as Japan set up a missile-defense system in western areas of the country. The deployment of four Patriot interceptors in the Shimane, Ehime, Hiroshima and Kochi prefectures began on Friday and was expected to be completed Saturday, a spokesman for Japan’s Ministry of Defense said by phone. He asked not to be named.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told local media earlier on Saturday that he would “do his best” to protect the lives and property of the Japanese people.

New Sanctions

Tensions have been rising over the past week as North Korea and the U.S. exchanged a series of threats after the UN Security Council agreed to new sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear program, aiming to cut its exports by about $1 billion a year.

Trump warned that Kim Jong Un’s regime would face a devastating military strike if it continued threatening the U.S. North Korea responded by saying that it was “seriously examining” a plan to strike Guam with four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range strategic ballistic missiles.

Trump issued another warning Friday, saying that if Kim makes any “overt threat” or strike at a U.S. territory or ally “he will truly regret it and he will regret it fast.”

So far, the most significant measures levied against Kim have been United Nations economic sanctions. Trump said that the U.S. was considering further economic penalties against Pyongyang that would be “as strong as they get,” though he offered no specifics. China has the most economic leverage over the Kim regime.

‘Peaceful Solution’

“Hopefully it will all work out. Nobody loves a peaceful solution better than President Trump,” he told reporters in Bedminster, New Jersey. “We will see what happens. We think that lots of good things could happen, and we could also have a bad solution.”

The U.S. hasn’t taken any public steps to prepare for hostilities such as evacuating Americans from Seoul, which is within range of North Korean artillery, or moving ships, aircraft or troops into position for an imminent response.

“Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely,” Trump tweeted on Friday. In a subsequent retweet, Trump highlighted the presence of U.S. Air Force B-1B bombers stationed on the Pacific island of Guam, which have flown joint missions with Japanese and South Korean fighter jets in recent days.

North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency accused Trump earlier of “driving the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of a nuclear war.”

Trump has been increasing pressure on North Korea as the isolated regime in Pyongyang has continued to develop and refine its nuclear bomb and missile technology to pose a risk to the U.S. The president has vowed to unleash “fire and fury” on Kim’s regime, which has threatened to fire missiles toward Guam, a U.S. territory about 2,100 miles (3,400 kilometers) southeast of Pyongyang that is home to a strategic air and naval base.

Markets Stabilize

After a week of tumult, financial markets began to stabilize on Friday. The S&P 500 Index rebounded from its steepest drop since May, and the CBOE Volatility Index dropped 3.3 percent, after Thursday’s 44 percent spike.

Terence Roehrig, a national security affairs professor at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, said Trump’s posture suggested he was trying to dissuade Kim from further provocations rather than setting the stage for a U.S. military strike.

“The president’s rhetoric could be aimed at China, but largely it is aimed at North Korea, trying to deter,” Roehrig said. “North Koreans are not suicidal. They may continue launching missile tests but they don’t want a war, and the U.S. doesn’t want military action either. ”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

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African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

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China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

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China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

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