INTERVIEW – LT. COL. TONY SHAFFER – a CIA trained former senior intelligence officer and president of the London Center for Policy Research
- DoD NOMINATION: Trump to nominate Patrick M. Shanahan as defense secretary, White House says. President Trump said yesterday he will formally nominate Patrick Shanahan to be his second secretary of defense, putting an end to months of speculation about the former Boeing executive’s standing. Shanahan has been leading the Pentagon as acting secretary since Jan. 1, an unusual arrangement for an important Cabinet position. Shanahan took over after Jim Mattis resigned.
- SPY MUSEUM REOPENS: The Spy Museum opens up in its new location this weekend. The new museum, which opens Sunday, takes on current affairs and ethical issues faced by intelligence officers. There are exhibitions on “enhanced interrogation” (a.k.a. torture) and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. https://www.spymuseum.org/
- NORTH KOREA TENSIONS:
- North Korea Conducts New Missile Launch For Second Time in a Week. The United States and North Korea appear to be sending not-so-friendly messages to each other, a far cry from the diplomacy attempted by President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a few months ago during their second summit in February. The U.S. Navy launched an unarmed ballistic missile off the coast of Florida on Thursday hours after North Korea fired two short-range missiles, its second weapons launch in five days. The U.S. Air Force, meanwhile, tested a long-range missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California within 10 minutes of the reported launch by Pyongyang.
- North Korea says missile test was defensive, criticizes Seoul
- “They’re talking about negotiating, but I don’t think they’re ready to negotiate,” President Trump says regarding North Korea after its latest missile launch.
- US seizes North Korean coal vessel accused of violating sanctions. The U.S. said yesterday that it has seized a North Korean cargo ship that was used to violate international sanctions, a first-of-its kind enforcement action. The “Wise Honest,” North Korea’s second largest cargo ship, was detained in April 2018 as it traveled toward Indonesia. Officials made the announcement hours after North Korea fired two suspected short-range missiles toward the sea, the second weapons launch in five days.