Moon’s Son Heads North, Expects to Meet Kim Jong Eun
Evan Ramstad, Wall Street Journal – September 7, 2012
The link between the Unification Church and North Korea, which seemed broken after news the North wouldn’t send a delegation to the funeral of Rev. Moon Sun-myung, turned interesting again. The church announced Friday that Mr. Moon’s successor, his youngest son Moon Hyung-jin, went to the North early in the morning with the head of the church’s Pyeonghwa Motors, which builds cars in the North. “The purpose of the visit is related to the expression of condolences by Rev. Moon’s relatives and leaders in the North,” the church statement said.
EU Eyes More Iran Pressure
Laurence Norman, Wall Street Journal – September 7, 2012
When European Union foreign ministers meet today in Cyprus, their most consequential discussion may well be on efforts to increase the pressure on Iran over its nuclear program. With nuclear talks essentially having gone nowhere for months – and no prospect of fresh top-level negotiations – in the offing, diplomats say a group of member states will push for new sanctions on Iran which would be ready in a month’s time. “There have been talks about new sanctions already, not among the 27 (member states) but in smaller circles,” said one diplomat. He said Friday’s EU-wide talks would not get into specifics but would ask member states to back the idea of a new round of sanctions.
US Congressman Confirms High-Level US-Israel Spat Over Iran
Tabassum Zakaria, Reuters – September 7, 2012
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blew up at the U.S. ambassador last month because he was “at wits’ end” over what he sees as the Obama administration’s lack of clarity on Iran’s nuclear program, a U.S. congressman who was at the meeting said. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, a Republican, made his first public comments about the late August meeting in Israel in an interview with Michigan’s WJR radio on Tuesday.
What We Know About Iran’s Nukes
Olli Heinonen and Simon Henderson, Wall Street Journal – September 6, 2012
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei claimed last week that his government isn’t interested in nuclear weapons: “Our motto is nuclear energy for all and nuclear weapons for none,” he said. A better perspective was provided almost simultaneously from the world’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which on Aug. 30 released its latest report on Iran’s nuclear activities. The report, written in a mix of bureaucrat-speak and obscure science, nevertheless conveys a worrying message. It shows that Iran continues to expand its capacity for enriching uranium. There are now two new groups of centrifuges installed at Fordow—the hardened site built under a mountain near the holy city of Qom—which signals a doubling of the site’s capacity since May.
How to Tackle Iran
Dalia Dassa Kaye, CNN – September 6, 2012
As war talk spikes again in Israel, U.S. officials are searching for ways to convince the Israelis to hold off on military action. It could be that the heightened debate in Israel over military options and war preparations in the country aim mainly to elicit even tougher international and American actions against Iran. But there are leaders in Israel – including, it would seem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak – who view the Iranian threat as severe enough to follow through on their threats, particularly now that they have staked their domestic and international reputations on doing so.
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION NEWS
Clinton Call out Romney for Planning to Boost Military Spending with No Plan to Pay for It
Ben Armbruster, Think Progress – September 6, 2012
Last night during his speech to the Democratic National Convention, President Clinton called out Mitt Romney’s reckless plan to increase military spending. “The Republican argument against the president’s re-election was actually pretty simple — pretty snappy,” Clinton said, “It went something like this: We left him a total mess. He hasn’t cleaned it up fast enough. So fire him and put us back in.” The former president then noted that all Romney and the GOP plan to do is go back to Bush era policies and boost military spending without paying for it:
White House Backs Blacklisting Militant Organization
Eric Schmitt, New York Times – September 6, 2012
The Obama administration has decided to blacklist as a terrorist organization the Haqqani network, the militant organization responsible for some of the deadliest attacks against American troops in Afghanistan, several American officials said late Thursday. The decision, which is expected to be announced as early as Friday, culminates nearly two years of spirited debate inside the administration that reached a peak in the past month under the pressure of a Congressional reporting deadline this Sunday.
Putin Says Missile Deal is More Likely with Obama
David M. Herszenhorn, New York Times – September 6, 2012
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia sauntered into American presidential politics on Thursday, praising President Obama as “a very honest man” and chastising the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, for describing Russia as “without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe.” Mr. Putin was asked about the presidential race during an interview with the state-controlled television network RT. The interview was recorded earlier this week but broadcast on Thursday to coincide with Mr. Putin’s arrival in Vladivostok for the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit conference, which is being held in Russia for the first time.