After talks, NKorea accuses US of ‘gangster-like’ demands
By ANDREW HARNIK and MATTHEW LEE
Saturday, July 7
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has delivered a dose of harsh reality to Donald Trump, bashing hopes for a quick denuclearization deal in a pointed rebuke to the president’s top envoy while accusing the U.S. of making “gangster-like” demands.
After the historic U.S.-North Korea summit in Singapore, Trump declared the North was no longer a threat and would hand over the remains of Americans killed during the Korean War. Now, three weeks later, the two sides were still at odds on all issues, including exactly what denuclearization means and how it might be verified, after a third visit to Pyongyang by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. And, the promised remains have yet to be delivered.
Pompeo wrapped up two days of talks in the North Korean capital on Saturday on an optimistic note even without meeting Kim Jong Un, as he had on his previous two trips. He said his discussions had been productive and conducted in good faith, but he allowed that much more work needed to be done. And, he and other U.S. officials said the two countries, still technically at war after the 1950-53 Korean War, had set up working groups to deal with details of an agreement.
Pompeo said he had won commitments for new discussions on denuclearization and announced a Thursday meeting between U.S. and North Korean military officials on the repatriation of the remains. But in a harsh response issued just hours after Pompeo arrived in Tokyo, the North blasted the discussions, saying the visit had been “regrettable” and that Washington’s “gangster-like” demands were aimed at forcing it to abandon nuclear weapons.
In a statement carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency, the foreign ministry said the outcome of Pompeo’s talks with senior official Kim Yong Chol was “very concerning” because it has led to a “dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearization that had been firm.”
“We had expected that the U.S. side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust based on the spirit of the leaders’ summit … we were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures,” it said. “However, the attitude and stance the United States showed in the first high-level meeting (between the countries) was no doubt regrettable. Our expectations and hopes were so naive it could be called foolish.”
It said the North had raised the issue of formally ending the Korean War, which concluded with an armistice and not a peace treaty, but the U.S. came up with a variety of “conditions and excuses” to delay a declaration. It downplayed the significance of the United States suspending its military exercises with South Korea, something trumpeted by Trump after the summit as a success, by saying it made a larger concession by blowing up the tunnels at a nuclear test site.
In criticizing the talks with Pompeo, however, it carefully avoided attacking Trump personally, saying “we wholly maintain our trust toward President Trump,” but stressed that Washington must not allow “headwinds” against the “wills of the leaders.” That appeared to be a reference to Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton, a prominent North Korea hawk who has been vilified by Pyongyang in the past. Pompeo spoke with Trump, Bolton and White House chief of staff John Kelly on Saturday before his second round of meetings with Kim Yong Chol.
The North’s statement, coming so soon after Pompeo’s trip, was sure to fuel growing skepticism in the U.S. over how serious Kim Jong Un is about giving up his nuclear arsenal.
A former top U.S. diplomat for Asia, Daniel Russel, said the setback was to be expected and warned Trump he is engaged in a long negotiation that would not produce easy quick, made for television results that the president likely wants.
“Dealing with North Korea is hard because Kim Jong Un wants it to be hard,” said Russel, who was assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Obama administration. “If you make the Americans fight for every inch, the Americans will start measuring progress in inches — and will wind up paying by the inch. At this point, even to get the North Koreans to follow through with the return of Korean War-era MIA remains, would feel like a big win for Pompeo, even though it wouldn’t affect the nuclear threat.”
“Kim can afford to play hardball because it’s clear to him that Trump, who has already told Americans they can sleep soundly because the threat is now over, badly wants a deal,” Russel said. “And when you want it bad, you get it bad. Why should the North Koreans make concessions to one of Trump’s aides given the president’s record of undercutting them?”
In his comments to reporters before leaving Pyongyang, Pompeo said he and Kim Yong Chol had made “a great deal of progress” in some areas. He stressed that “there’s still more work to be done” in others, which will be handled by the working groups.
He said North Korea said it offered to discuss the closure of a missile engine test site, which would “physically affirm” a move to halt the production of intercontinental range ballistic missiles, that the two sides had agreed that a Pentagon team would meet North Korean officials on or about Thursday at the border between North and South Korea to discuss the repatriation of remains.
However, in the days following the June 12 summit with Kim Jong Un in Singapore, Trump had already announced the return of the remains and the destruction of the missile facility had been completed or were in progress.
Pompeo said more talks were needed on both.
Ben Dumm is a recent graduate of Grove City College
News from Grove City College
GROVE CITY, PA (06/15/2018)— Ben Dumm is one of 578 seniors to earn their degree from Grove City College on May 19, 2018. Dumm earned a Bachelor of Science degree and is from Westerville.
Students named to Dean’s List at Grove City College
GROVE CITY, PA (06/15/2018)— The following students were named to the Dean’s List for the Spring 2018 semester at Grove City College
Wei-En Lu, a junior Mathematics major at Grove City College, has been named to the Dean’s List with High Distinction for the Spring 2018 semester. Wei-En is a 2015 graduate of Homeschool and is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Chao-Wen Lu (Ching-Shiang) from Westerville, OH.
Trent Strick, a junior Mechanical Engineering major at Grove City College, has been named to the Dean’s List with Distinction for the Spring 2018 semester. Trent is a 2015 graduate of Worthington Christian High School and is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Strick Jr. (Carol) from Westerville, OH.
Ben Dumm, a senior Biochemistry major at Grove City College, has been named to the Dean’s List with Distinction for the Spring 2018 semester. Ben is a 2014 graduate of Saint Francis De Sales High School and is the son of Dr. Timothy Dumm from Westerville, OH.
Grove City College (www.gcc.edu) is a highly ranked, national Christian liberal arts and sciences college that equips students to pursue their unique callings through an academically excellent and Christ-centered learning and living experience distinguished by a commitment to affordability and promotion of the Christian worldview, the foundations of a free society and the love of neighbor. Established in 1876, the College is a pioneer in independent private education and accepts no federal funds. It offers students degrees in more than 60 majors on a picturesque 180-acre campus north of Pittsburgh, Pa. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Grove City College is routinely ranked as one of the country’s top colleges by U.S. News & World Report, The Princeton Review and others based on academic quality and superior outcomes.
BBB Scam Spotlight: June 2018
Columbus, OH (July 9, 2018) – Each year, one in four North American households are scammed. Because money loss and identity theft can happen to anyone, BBB encourages community members to protect and inform others by reporting any scam-related experiences to BBB’s Scam Tracker.
In June, Central Ohio consumers reported over $10,800.00 lost to scams.
BBB analyzed 55 Scam Tracker reports from June 2018 to shed a spotlight on four scams affecting our Central Ohio community:
1. Government Grant Scam: The most prevalent type of scam in June was the government grant scam. Scammers will contact consumers in a variety of ways, including phone, email or Facebook Messenger, telling them they qualify for a government grant. To receive the grant, the consumer must first pay a “fee”.
BBB wants consumers to know that The United States Government will not contact anyone directly for loans, or require that you pay any sort of fee to receive loans. If you receive a call stating you qualify for a government loan, simply hang up.
2. Fake Check Scam: A Zanesville, Ohio man reported losing $3,200.00 to a fake check scam. He received a check in the mail from someone pretending to be from Pioneer Title Co. They instructed him to deposit the check and send them a portion of the money back. He later found out that the check was fake, and now owes his bank the full amount.
If you receive a check that is written for more than you were supposed to be paid, this could be a red flag. BBB recommends that you never wire or send money or prepaid debit cards to someone you have never met.
3. Home Improvement Scam: A family in Columbus, Ohio reported losing $3,000.00 to a paving scam. They paid a company, but then the workers disappeared and never returned to do the job. The family has tried contacting them, but the business will not give them their money back.
A Lancaster, Ohio veteran lost $1,800.00 in a paving scam. The business came to his home, claiming they could make his driveway look brand new for only $2,300.00. He paid some money up front, but when the job was done, he could tell they only sprayed the driveway with a black coating, leaving all of the initial cracks and holes unfilled.
A door-to-door contractor may offer a very low price or a short time frame for completing the job while using high-pressure sales tactics. BBB encourages all homeowners to check with bbb.org before agreeing to do business with any contractor moving through your neighborhood to avoid home improvement mishaps. It is also best to never pay in full upfront for services.
4. Identity Theft Scam: A man from Lancaster, Ohio lost $200.00 from his checking account. The money was spent outside of Ohio, somewhere he had never been before.
The scam was marked as Identity Theft, but could be classified as Credit Card Fraud as well. Losing card information can happen to anyone, but there are some precautions you can take to help better protect yourself. When you are out, only carry cards that you absolutely need. When you go to pay with a card, do not hold it clearly out in the open for a long period of time, and use your hand to cover up your PIN when typing it in.
Check your credit card and bank statements regularly to make sure there are no unauthorized charges. If you do notice something strange, contact your credit card company or bank immediately.
Consumers are encouraged to report scams to BBB Scam Tracker to help protect others in the Central Ohio community.
For more information, follow your BBB on Facebook, Twitter, and at bbb.org.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2017, people turned to BBB more than 160 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central Ohio, which was founded in 1921 and serves 21 counties in Central Ohio.
“Gangsterism” or “Progress”? Examining North Korea’s Latest Statement on Denuclearization
by Mel Gurtov
Most US news reports are suggesting that the North Koreans may be backtracking on their commitment to denuclearization, calling the US position “gangster-like” following the visit of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Pyongyang. What the North Korean foreign ministry actually said in its statement of July 7 is far more nuanced, and speaks directly to the longstanding differences between Pyongyang and Washington.
I urge readers to judge for themselves whether or not it is a rational, reasoned statement—and then consider Pompeo’s assessment of progress in the talks with the North Koreans. Here are my brief assessments:
• The North Koreans believe Trump promised “a new way” to deal with US-DPRK relations and denuclearization, namely, step by step. Their view is clear: denuclearization comes last, not first—a longstanding position. Instead, Pompeo brought only renewed US insistence on the old US position: CVID (comprehensive, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization).
• In the North Koreans’ mind, the joint US-DPRK statement out of Singapore laid out three priorities (and in this order): creating a “peace regime” on the Korean peninsula, improving relations, and denuclearization. But the US is riveted on the last, they say, and has offered nothing on the other two.
• What does a “peace regime” mean? Some observers think it means terminating the US military presence in and defense obligation to South Korea. But the North Korean statement says otherwise. “Peace regime” means a “declaration of the end of [the Korean] war at an early date”—replacing the armistice with a peace treaty, which “is the first process of reducing tension…” The statement makes no demands about the US-South Korea relationship other than to dismiss as inconsequential Trump’s decision to suspend (not end) the joint exercises that had been scheduled for August.
• The statement emphasizes trust building. That’s the key argument for a phased approach to denuclearization: establish a peace regime to defuse tension and build trust. Only then will the North Koreans feel secure enough to take action—exactly what kind, we still don’t know—on denuclearizing. And the North Koreans maintain that they have taken a few trust-building actions, listing dismantlement of a test area for a new ICBM engine and discussion of returning the remains of US POWs and MIAs.
To those of us who watch North Korea closely, this picture is not in the least surprising. Kim Jong-un had staked out his notion of the proper timeline for denuclearization months ago, and the North Korean quest for security via normal relations with the US and a peace treaty to end the Korean War is well known. The Trump-Kim summit was a breakthrough in terms of direct dialogue, but unless the US gets beyond “CVID,” the North Koreans will continue work on nuclear weapons and missiles and the dialogue with Washington will revert to an ugly form.
Mel Gurtov, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Portland State University.
Secretary Husted Announces Voter-Focused Initiatives to Promote Civic Engagement & Keep the Rolls Updated
Monday, July 9, 2018
COLUMBUS – Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced a series of initiatives that will continue to maintain the accuracy and integrity of our voter rolls while encouraging greater participation in our elections. These efforts include new notifications for voters about changes to their registration status, utilizing data from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) to confirm a voter’s address, and guidance for county boards of elections regarding the state’s supplemental list maintenance process that was recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“We continue to find innovative new ways to improve the elections process in Ohio that are consistent with our mission to make it easy to vote and hard to cheat,” said Secretary Husted. “These latest efforts ensure we continue to meet our responsibility under the law to keep the voter rolls up-to-date while also providing voters with additional opportunities to maintain their registration.”
As outlined in Advisory 2018-02, a new feature that will soon be available to voters checking their registration through MyOhioVote.com will inform them if their voter registration is in confirmation status. The notice will explain that this has occurred because the voter’s county board of elections mailed them a confirmation notice that they have not yet responded to in order to confirm or update their information. Voters who receive a confirmation notice after two years of inactivity and fail to respond to that notice or participate in any voter activity (such as voting or updating their voter registration information) for the following four years may have their registration cancelled.
In an effort to limit the number of voters who receive a confirmation notice, Secretary Husted issued Directive 2018-21 outlining a new automatic process to ensure that when an Ohioan renews their driver’s license or state identification card through the BMV – and provides the same address as the one included in their voter registration – it will serve as confirmation of the individual’s address for list maintenance purposes.
To give voters facing cancellation another opportunity to remain on the rolls, Secretary Husted has issued Directive 2018-22, which instructs county boards to mail an additional notice 30 to 45 days prior to cancellation to any voters impacted. The “last chance” mailer is intended to encourage individuals to respond and to remain active voters. Boards of elections will be eligible for reimbursement for costs associated with the printing and mailing of these notices.
To further ensure the accuracy and integrity of the statewide registered voter database, Secretary Husted issued Directives 2018-19 and 2018-20 to provide boards of elections with additional guidance pertaining to the state’s supplemental process.
Under Directive 2018-20, county boards of election must mail confirmation notices to registered voters who have had no voter activity for a period of at least two years. If an individual does not confirm their information or does not have any voter activity for the next four years, their registration may be cancelled.
Additionally, Secretary Husted has already instructed county boards of elections that no cancellations resulting from a previous year’s supplemental process will be conducted prior to the 2018 General Election.
Directive 2018-19 is issued pursuant to court order and informs boards of elections that the interim relief, known as the “APRI exception,” is no longer in effect as a result of the June 11, 2018, U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of Ohio and upholding the supplemental list maintenance process that has been in place for nearly a quarter century and administered by both democrat and republican secretaries of state.