Trump aide: No military solution in North Korea

(FILES) This file photo taken on March 13, 2017 shows Senior White House advivor Steve Bannon as US President Donald Trump (out of frame) speaks to the press before a meeting with his cabinet at the White House in Washington, DC. White House strategist Steve Bannon argued forcefully in an interview published Wednesday, August 16, 2017, that the United States is in an "economic war" with China, and the confrontation with nuclear-armed North Korea is just "a sideshow." "To me the economic war with China is everything. And we have to be maniacally focused on that," he said in the interview with the American Prospect, a left-leaning website. Bannon, an economic nationalist and former CEO of the extreme-right Breitbart news website, is reported to be on shaky ground with President Donald Trump, who gave him only a tepid endorsement this week. (AFP)
Updated 17 August 2017
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Trump aide: No military solution in North Korea

BRIDGEWATER, USA: President Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon says there’s no military solution to the threat posed by North Korea and its nuclear ambitions, despite the president’s recent pledge to answer further aggression with “fire and fury.”
In an interview with The American Prospect posted online Wednesday, Bannon tells the liberal publication that the US is losing the economic race against China. He also talks about purging his rivals from the Defense and State departments.
Bannon is also asked about the white supremacist movement, whose march on Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend led to deadly violence. He dismisses them as “losers,” “a fringe element” and “a collection of clowns.”
The White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
“There’s no military solution (to North Korea’s nuclear threats), forget it,” Bannon says. “Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.”
Trump tweeted earlier Wednesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “made a very wise and well-reasoned decision” by backing down after heightening fears of nuclear conflict in a series of combative threats, including against the US territory of Guam.
Bannon also outlined his push for the US to adopt a tougher stance on China trade, without waiting to see whether Beijing will help restrain Kim, as Trump has pressed China’s leader to do. Trump also has lamented US trade deficits with China.
“The economic war with China is everything,” Bannon says. “And we have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we’re five years away, I think, 10 years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we’ll never be able to recover.”
Bannon was a key general election campaign adviser and has been a forceful but contentious presence in a divided White House. The former leader of conservative Breitbart News, Bannon has drawn fire from some of Trump’s closest advisers, including son-in-law Jared Kushner.
The president is under renewed pressure to fire Bannon, who has survived earlier rounds of having fallen out of favor with Trump.
Earlier this week, the president passed up an opportunity to offer a public vote of confidence in Bannon. Trump said he’s a “good person” and not a racist, adding that “we’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon.”
The latest anti-Bannon campaign comes as Trump faces mounting criticism for insisting that white supremacist groups and those who opposed them were both at fault for deadly violence last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.
In the interview, Bannon muses about getting rid of administration officials who disagree with his strategy toward China and North Korea and replacing them with “hawks.”
“We gotta do this. The president’s default position is to do it, but the apparatus is going crazy,” Bannon says. “Don’t get me wrong. It’s like, every day.”


Sweden asks for detention of WikiLeaks’ Assange

Updated 20 May 2019
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Sweden asks for detention of WikiLeaks’ Assange

  • Assange was evicted last month from the Ecuadorian Embassy where he had been holed up since 2012
  • The Australian secret-spiller also faces a US extradition warrant for allegedly conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer

COPENHAGEN: A Swedish prosecutor says she has requested a detention order against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is jailed in Britain.
Prosecutor Eva-Marie Persson says if the Swedish court decided to detain Assange “on probable cause suspected for rape ... I will issue a European Arrest Warrant.”
Assange, who was evicted last month from the Ecuadorian Embassy where he had been holed up since 2012, was arrested by British police on April 11 and is currently serving a 50-week sentence for jumping bail in 2012.
The Australian secret-spiller also faces a US extradition warrant for allegedly conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer.
Persson said Monday that British authorities will decide any conflict between a European arrest warrant and US extradition request for Assange.