Posts tagged with "United States"

South Korea to sell arms to U.S.A. for Ukrainian forces fighting Russia

November 14, 2022

South Korea will for the first time sell artillery shells destined for Ukrainian forces through a confidential arms deal between Seoul and Washington, D.C.—a move that reflects a global scramble for munitions after months of war with Russia, reports The Wall Street Journal.

U.S. officials familiar with the deal said that America plan to purchase 100,000 rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition that will be delivered to Ukraine—enough to supply Ukraine’s artillery units for at least several weeks of intensive combat.

Indeed, routing the deal through the United States allows South Korea to stick to the letter of its public commitment not to send lethal military support to Ukraine while assisting Washington, Seoul’s paramount ally in deterring North Korea.

The South Korea-provided arms will enable the United States to supply the Ukrainians without digging deeper into the American inventory of artillery rounds, which U.S. officials have acknowledged is dwindling quickly. In August, the stockpile of U.S. 155mm artillery rounds had fallen to levels that concerned the Pentagon, as Ukraine engaged in fierce artillery duels with the Russian forces, and U.S. officials say the situation is considerably worse now.

South Korea Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup met with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin earlier this month and agreed in principle to proceed with the artillery deal.

The Defense Ministry in Seoul said in a statement that a South Korean company is in talks with the America to supplement the U.S. stockpile of 155mm artillery shells. The South Korean government’s position of not supplying lethal weapons to Ukraine remains unchanged, according to the statement.

“The negotiations are happening under the premise that the U.S. will be the final user,” the statement added.

The White House recently said North Korea was providing artillery shells to Russia, setting the unusual stage for armaments from the two Asian countries to be used by opposing forces in Europe. The arms deals highlight the limits of industrial bases in the United States and Russia, which have been stretched to the limit during the war in Ukraine.

Research contact: @WSJ

America may settle for nuclear freeze with North Korea

July 2, 2019

It was a shot seen around the world: Creating just the kind of global drama that he craves, U.S. President Donald Trump took a step into the Demilitarized Zone to shake hands with North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un on June 30, amid a swirl of Eastern and Western cameramen and security staff.

But for weeks before the meeting—which started as a Twitter offer by the president to Kim to drop by and “say hello”—a real idea has been taking shape inside the Trump administration that officials hope might create a foundation for a new round of negotiations, The New York Times reports.

No longer would America negotiate for North Korean denuclearization. The new “ask,” according to the Times, would be for a nuclear freeze—one that would essentially preserve the status quo; and, in doing so, recognize and accept the North as a nuclear state.

And while such an agreement would fall far short of President Trump’s original intention to disarm Korea, it might provide him with a retort to campaign-season critics—who say that Kim has been playing the American president brilliantly by giving him the visuals he craves while holding back on real concessions.

The administration still insists in public and in private that its goals remain full denuclearization; however it is willing to concede to a freeze as a limited first step.

American negotiators would seek to expand on Kim’s offer in Hanoi in February to give up the country’s main nuclear-fuel production site, at Yongbyon, in return for the most onerous sanctions against the country being lifted. Trump, under pressure from And it certainly would look like progress, after three personal meetings—in Singapore, in Hanoi, and now in the DMZ Zone—have accomplished little but smiles and handshakes.

However, according to the Times, on Sunday evening, the State Department’s envoy to North Korea, Stephen E. Biegun, said that this account of the ideas being generated in the administration was “pure speculation” and that his team was “not preparing any new proposal currently.”

“What is accurate is not new, and what is new is not accurate,” he said.

Research contact: @nytimes

Saying Trump is creating an ‘economic emergency,’ China retaliates against new U.S. tariffs

September 19, 2018

Following an announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump late on September 17 that he intended to impose a 10% tax on a $200 billion list of Chinese imports, ranging from consumer goods to manufacturing materials, the People’s Republic now has retaliated in the ongoing trade war.

The Chinese Finance Ministry announced on September 18 it would go ahead with plans announced in August to tax 5,207 types of American-made goods—a $60 billion list, ranging from coffee to farm machinery. The smaller, mismatched dollar amount reflects the fact that China is running out of American goods to tax, due to its trade imbalance, NBC News reported..

The new round of tariffs is aimed at curbing “trade friction” and the “unilateralism and protectionism of the United States,” the ministry said on its website.

The new tariffs, levied at a rate of 5% and 10%, will come into effect on September 24. NBC said — the date Trump targeted for his latest round of punitive tariffs. Trump also has stated that the new tariffs will rise to 25% by January 1.

According to the network news source, Trump has repeatedly said his goal is to force partners to the table to renegotiate current trade deals that he and his supporters view as unfair to American economic and security interests. Foreign businesses have long complained that China’s protectionist policies are pushing them out of promising economic opportunities.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry said that it had been forced to react because the U.S. was creating an “economic emergency.”

Economists have warned that the escalating battle could knock up to 0.5 percentage points off global economic growth through 2020.

Research contact: @lbayly_nbcT