According to a high-ranking official in the North Korean government, leader Kim Jong Un is having second thoughts about continuing negotiations with the U.S. over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui blamed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser, John Bolton, “for an atmosphere of distrust surrounding the negotiations during a press conference.”
Choe warned that the “gangster-like stand of the U.S. will eventually put the situation in danger.”
She also added: “Personal relations between the two supreme leaders are still good and the chemistry is mysteriously wonderful.”
According to Reuters, Chose said “We have no intention to yield to the U.S. demands [at the Vietnam summit] in any form, nor are we willing to engage in negotiations of this kind.”
These comments came in the wake of last month’s summit in Hanoi, in which both sides left the summit without an agreement to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula or provide further relief from U.S. sanctions.
Trump told reports at the White House last week that American relations with North Korea continue to be productive.
Trump said, “Well, time will tell, but I have a feeling that our relationship with North Korea — Kim Jong Un and myself — Chairman Kim — I think it’s a very good one.”
With these rumors of negotiations breaking down, there is legitimate credence to the theory that John Bolton has worked to derail Trump’s negotiations.
Frankly, Trump has not done a great job in keeping neocons like John Bolton out of his circle. This was on display with Bolton’s increasingly hostile rhetoric towards Venezuela.
At the end of the day, powerful foreign policy interests still have tremendous pull in DC. Institutional inertia is a hallmark of politics, and Trump’s foreign policy agenda is witnessing this firsthand.
As the pillar of the Executive Branch, Trump should reassert his authority and tell the rest of the neocon cabal surrounding him to beat it.
Democrats Introduce Expanded Background Check Legislation
Democrats are going to implement a background check which targets “extremism.”
Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy and California Congressman Mike Thompson brought forward legislation on March 2, 2021 that aims to broaden the federal background check system on firearms sales, according to a report by The Hill.
Under The Background Check Expansion Act, gun sales and purchases between all unlicensed sellers and buyers would be subject to a mandatory background check. The background checks would not be applicable for law enforcement officers, lending out firearms for the purpose of hunting, temporary transfers for self-defense, or family members gifting a firearm.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and 43 Senate Democrats have co-sponsored this bill. Thompson, who is the chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, reintroduced this legislation in the U.S. House
“For years, the bipartisan House-passed background checks bill languished in the Senate under Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Now, with Senate Democrats in the Majority, we have the opportunity to act on this overwhelmingly popular, lifesaving legislation to protect American communities,” Schumer declared in a press release.
According to a CBS News report, President Joe Biden has repeatedly called on Congress to pass stiffer gun control laws. This gun control bill will not pass so easily given how it will need 10 Republican senators to vote in favor of it.
Against the backdrop of the January 6 storming of the Capitol, such a background check will likely feature provisions that target so-called “extremists.” The ruling class has routinely lumped average gun owners with domestic extremists and will most certainly use recent events to justify encroachments on people’s right to bear arms.
Biden is a veteran of the gun control movement, as evidenced by his sponsorship of the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 and the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. With Democrats in control of all branches of the federal government, they will certainly move to pass gun control. However, their success is not guaranteed due to moderate Democrats like Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema and West Virginia Joe Manchin not being completely receptive to radical gun control that could alienate them from their more right-wing constituents.
Nevertheless, the Left has shown that it’s willing to act regardless of the political context. Keeping this in mind, gun owners must be ready to beat back any kind of gun control coming from D.C. Such fights will allow the Right to rebuild its forces and make a splash in the 2022 midterms and the 2024 presidential race.
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