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Tensions are rising between the United States and North Korea. Last week, the Pentagon confirmed that the rogue communist state had successfully tested its second intercontinental ballistic missile.
Democrat Senator for California, Diane Feinstein, has called North Korea a “clear and present danger” to the United States. Similarly, Republican Senator for Ohio, Rob Portman, has questioned White House officials on why the rogue state has not been designated a state sponsor of terrorism – especially following the murder of Otto Warmbier by North Korean authorities. The chair of the Senate subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific and International Cybersecurity, the Republican Senator for Colorado, Cory Gardner, has stated:
“It is clear, whether it’s the murderous actions the regime has taken against its own people, others, the imprisonments that they continue to be responsible for, whether it’s the missile launches that continue, whether it’s interaction with Iran, this decision needs to be a redesignation of that state sponsor of terror.”
North Korea’s status as a state sponsor of terrorism was removed in 2008 as a result of the Perry Initiative. The removal of the designation came with the proviso that North Korea disable its plutonium production and meet other standards. It has consistently failed to do so.
Tensions between President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions continue to rise over Session’s decision to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.
President Trump has been engaged in a series of attempts to publicly humiliate Sessions, who he blames for the Justice Department’s Russia probe. On Twitter, and in public, Trump has expressed disappointment in Session’s decision, and has referred to him as ‘beleaguered’ and ‘weak.’
Sessions defended his decision to recuse himself, telling Fox News:
“I am confident I made the right decisions, a decision that is consistent for the rule of law. An attorney general who doesn’t follow the law is not very effective in leading the Department of Justice.”
Sessions also referred to Trump’s attacks on him as ‘hurtful’, although he expressed sympathy commenting that the Russia investigation had been a ‘big distraction’ for the President:
“Well, it kind of is hurtful. But the president of the United States is a strong leader. He is determined to move this country in the direction he believes it needs to go to make us great again. And he’s had a lot of criticisms, and he’s steadfastly determined to get his job done, and he wants all of us to do our jobs and that’s what I intend to do.”
The Trump-Sessions conflict may cause significant problems for the Trump Administration if it continues to fester. Many Congressional Republicans have warned Trump against firing Sessions, pointing out that it may be seen as an attempt to kill the Russia investigation.