Beleaguered Trump battles on
WHEN North Korea supreme leader Kim Jong-un says: “I will destroy America!” US President Donald Trump replies: “No way, that’s my job. I don’t want another Asian stealing an American job!”
The conversation is in a political cartoon published in the West and posted on Thanong Fanclub’s Facebook page on Sunday.
As the so-called strategic warfare between the US and its allied and the other side comprising Russia, China, Iran and North Korea goes on, it seems judging from what’s happening lately, the US’s leadership in the world stage is being challenged.
President Trump’s himself has to fight both at home and abroad. At home, the accusation that Russia had helped him winning the election is haunting him as Grand Jury has been used in Trump-Russia investigation.
How serious is this for President Trump? Potentially huge as the Grand Jury decides whether a case is strong enough to push ahead with an indictment. The main reason for holding a Grand Jury is that it is a powerful investigative tool. It can subpoena witnesses and demand the production of documents.
An analyst pointed out that Trump’s weakness is in the area of financial and taxation information he never disclosed. His business empire is huge and if it is to be investigated, problems could arise.
In the area of the US economy, his claim on job creation has backfired on him.
At a rally in West Virginia, President Trump falsely claimed that his administration is “bringing back to America” manufacturing jobs “by the hundreds of thousands.” In fact, about 70,000 manufacturing jobs have been added since he took office, federal labor statistics show, according to FactCheck.Org.
On the economic front, the US equity market is now facing with risks as former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan suggested the US bond market is in a bubble that could soon be popped by abnormally low interest.
There is only one direction in which they can go and when they start it will be rather rapid, he said of interest rates on CNBC on Friday.
A collapse of the bond market could threaten stock prices as well.
Another key development is that President Trump has signed a significant piece of legislation to punish Moscow for alleged interference in last year’s election.
It limits the president’s ability to dismiss sanctions against Russia and has caused the Kremlin to retaliate.
BBC explained the bill tightens existing sanctions around the ongoing situation in Ukraine and imposes new measures including some in response to alleged hacking during the 2016 election and others that target key Russian industries such as the railways, shipping, metals and mining. It would also bring in restrictions on companies doing business with the Russian oil industry.
Some European countries are not happy with the US move as the law signals a departure from a joint EU-US approach to Russian sanctions. And some European countries have economic concerns because the new law could penalize European companies that invest in big Russian infrastructure projects.
Fresh US sanctions against Russia would seriously harm bilateral relations, the Russian foreign ministry has warned, saying such measures would plant a “dangerous mine” under the foundation of ties.The offensive move was also made against North Korea as the United Nations Security Council on Saturday passed a resolution imposing new sanctions on North Korea for its continued intercontinental ballistic missile testing and violations of UN resolutions.
The resolution targets North Korea’s primary exports, including coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood. The sanctions also target other revenue streams, such as banks and joint ventures with foreign companies.
The move had been made after President Trump’s call on China and Russia to put pressure on North Korea to stop testing ballistic missile and nuclear failed.
North Korea on Sunday warned that the United States’ only option will be self-destruction unless it gives up its “hostile policy” against Pyongyang. It will sink into an unimaginable sea of fire on the day when it dares to touch it by stupidly causing mischief and brandishing its nuclear and sanctions clubs.
While the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is visiting the Philippines for the first time to attend ASEAN Regional Forum this week, head of North Korea’s parliament Kim Yong Nam is also now in Iran for the weekend inauguration of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. He is expected to stay there ten days possibly to increase military cooperation with Tehran and to boost the hard currency for North Korea.
Top: US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have traded vitriolic threats. Photo: Getty Images via Daily Star (dailystar.co.uk)
By Kowit Sanandang