Trump rings in 2018 with critique on global hotspots

FILE – In this Dec. 22, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump speaks with reporters in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Trump is threatening to cut off aid money to the Palestinian Authority and acknowledging that the Middle East peace process appears to be stalled. Trump says in a pair of tweets that, “we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue …peace treaty with Israel.”(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

More than a month after Pyongyang launched its highest long-range ballistic missile test — U.S. officials are now bracing for another – in just a matter of days.

CGTN’s Jessica Stone has the latest.


Kim Jong-Un used his New Year’s Day address to ask the Republic of Korea to return to talks ahead of the Winter Olympics in the R.O.K. Seoul responded on Tuesday and suggested high-level talks take place next week.

And while U.S. President Donald Trump signaled in a tweet those talks could be “good news” — the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Ambassador Nikki Haley, was less optimistic.

“North Korea can talk with anyone they want, but the U.S. is not gonna recognize it or acknowledge it until they agree to ban the nuclear weapons that they have,” Haley said.

The White House says it plans to put “maximum pressure” on Pyongyang… no matter what other countries decide to do.

The Korean peninsula is not the only concern for the U.S. President Trump. He isn’t letting up — on his support for the demonstrations in Iran either.

Despite accusations from Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei that outside influences are stoking the protests, the White House appears unconcerned.

“President Trump won’t sit by silently like President Obama did, said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. “He supports Iranian people. and wants to make that clear.”

Trump is weighing in on the Iran protests just ahead of a mid-January deadline to again re-certify the Iran deal and waive the sanctions. His refusal to do so back in October has been an additional source of anger and disappointment for Iranians.

“We certainly keep our options open in terms of sanctions,” said Sanders. “In terms of signing a waiver later in January, The president hasn’t made a final decision on that.”

The White House is doubling down on accusations, first made by presidential tweet, that Pakistan is harboring terrorists. Islamabad has called the tweet: “completely incomprehensible.”


“We know that Pakistan can do more to fight terrorism and we want them to step up and do that,” said Sanders.

The U.S. is extending its hold on more than $250 million in promised assistance to Pakistan as a result.