The Russian leadership has been very clear in communicating that its support for Syria is in part payback for NATO's intervention in Libya.
The purpose of this proposal for talks is to achieve by implication, if not by direct engagement, US recognition of North Korea as a nuclear armed power. That explains the open-ended nature of the offer-any topic, any place, any time, without conditions.
The timing suggests that the US announcement that it will send arms to some Sunni rebel groups might have accelerated the start date of the offensive by a few days.
North Korea has not broadcast the cancellation of the talks to its own population. That probably explains its extension of another invitation to cooperate in its domestic propaganda. The difference in this offer is a lack of mutuality.
This looks like a set up. Yesterday item four in the North's press release cited agreement that a ministry-level official would lead each delegation. The North clearly reneged on that commitment.
South Korea and North Korea agreed on 10 June to hold high-level talks in Seoul on 12 and 13 June, according to an official in South Korea's Ministry of Unification. They reached agreement after 17 hours of working-level talks at Panmunjom.
Responding to North Korea's proposal to hold talks, South Korea suggested the countries hold a ministerial-level dialogue next week in Seoul and called on the North to reopen communications channels.
The statement represents a comprehensive switch in tactics to a charm offensive. North Korea does not consider this proposal to represent a policy change. But it is and it is enormous.
Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc thanked the main opposition parties because their leaders yesterday and today called on the protestors to channel their demands through elections, instead of civil disorder.
The numbers of Hizballah fighters in Syria are significant for a non-state militia force. However, the numbers are not large relative to the impact Hizballah fighters have had in changing the momentum of the fight in the government's favor.
The root of the unrest is the growing lack of empowerment for secular interests and people who are less devout Muslims. Turkish youths and city dwellers who support the protests are railing against the actions of a legitimately elected president and parliament.
The root of the unrest is the growing lack of empowerment for secular interests and people who are less devout Muslims.
Israeli analysts accused Asad of lying about the delivery of S-300 missiles. Unnamed US officials said there was no evidence of a recent missile delivery. If they show up, some intelligence services are going to be embarrassed.
The facts are that the North cannot negotiate denuclearization without changing its law and the party line. Until those change, nuclear talks will be non-substantive
The Russian statements are aimed at the US and NATO. Various Russian leaders have declared Russia will not allow Syria to go the path of Libya, in which NATO intervention began with a no-fly zone.
apture of al-Qusayr by government forces cuts the main supply route to Homs, which is the next target in the government/Hizballah offensive. Loss of Homs would eviscerate the uprising.
The message was that North Korea should follow China's development model and stop making trouble.
The concluding paragraph of the Chinese statement is a strong indicator that the conversation was probably "heated", not just "warm." The next round of appointments Choe makes or does not make will provide important insights as to the state of China's relations with North Korea.
This is another of the many annoyances with which the Chinese and South Koreans cope. In many of its external economic transactions, North Korea acts as a rogue and criminal enterprise.
Japanese government advisor Iijima had meetings with senior North Korean officials, including Kim Yong Nam. Kim is Chairman of the presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly and acts as the head of state for protocol purposes.