US Places Pakistan on 'Special Watch List' for Severe Violations of Religious Freedom
The U.S. State Department has placed Pakistan on a “Special Watch List” for "severe violations of religious freedom," at the same time it announced cuts to security assistance to that country.
"The protection of religious freedom is vital to peace, stability, and prosperity. These designations are aimed at improving the respect for religious freedom in these countries," a State Department statement said on Thursday, as the United States re-designated 10 other nations as "countries of particular concern" under the International Religious Freedom Act.
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert confirmed on Thursday that Washington is suspending security assistance to Pakistan till Islamabad takes actions against terrorist organizations, including the Haqqani Network.
Earlier this week, the White House said Islamabad would have to do more to combat terrorism to receive U.S. aid. The Pakistani ambassador to Washington, Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, while speaking to VOA, called for the two countries to remain engaged with each other and avoid steps that could create tensions and destabilize the region.
每年一度的美韩“鹞鹰”联合军演是世界上规模最大的演习之一，通常在2月至4月举行。 演习综合地面、空中、海上和特种作战行动，为保卫韩国和该地区而加强备战。 朝鲜每一次都会谴责这一演习。
川普写道： “那些失败的‘专家’ 都在点评，但难道真有人会相信，要不是我的坚定、强大并愿意投入我们的全面‘实力’反对北方，南北韩之间现在会进行谈判和对话。蠢啊，但会谈是好事！”
US, South Korea Delay Military Drills Until After Winter Olympics
The United States and South Korea have decided to delay joint military exercises until after the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics next month, officials from both countries said Thursday.
South Korea's Blue House (executive office) said the decision came during a phone call between U.S. President Donald Trump and President Moon Jae-in.
A White House statement said both leaders “agreed to de-conflict the Olympics and our military exercises so that [the] United States and Republic of Korea forces can focus on ensuring the security of the games.”
Earlier on Thursday, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Robert Manning said, "The Department of Defense supports the president's decision and what is in the best interest of the ROK (Republic of Korea) - U.S. Alliance."
The annual joint military exercises known as Foal Eagle are usually held between February and April and are one of the world's largest such drills. The exercises combine ground, air, naval and special operations to increase readiness to defend South Korea and the region. North Korea routinely objects to the exercises.
Earlier, Trump tweeted that his “firm” and “strong” leadership was the impetus for a scheduled resumption of talks between North and South Korea.
"With all of the failed "experts" weighing in, does anybody really believe that talks and dialogue would be going on between North and South Korea right now if I wasn't firm, strong and willing to commit our total "might" against the North. Fools, but talks are a good thing!"
On Wednesday, North and South Korea reopened a cross-border hotline that had been shut down since 2016 after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offered to send a team to the Winter Olympic Games hosted by the South next month. After the reopening, South Korea confirmed that officials from both countries talked for 20 minutes, according to The Associated Press.