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Apr 3, 2013

Meet North Korea’s new Kim, same as the old Kims?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea’s young leader Kim Jong-un is using his forebears’ time-tested “crazy-guy-in-the-neighborhood” strategy, senior U.S. officials say, but with a provocative new twist – aiming Pyongyang’s threats directly at the United States.

There are indeed signs of an earlier method in what might seem like Kim’s rhetorical madness, which U.S. policymakers say is patterned after more than a half century of rule over the reclusive state by his father and grandfather.

Apr 3, 2013

Analysis: Meet North Korea’s new Kim, same as the old Kims?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – North Korea’s young leader Kim Jong-un is using his forebears’ time-tested “crazy-guy-in-the-neighborhood” strategy, senior U.S. officials say, but with a provocative new twist – aiming Pyongyang’s threats directly at the United States.

There are indeed signs of an earlier method in what might seem like Kim’s rhetorical madness, which U.S. policymakers say is patterned after more than a half century of rule over the reclusive state by his father and grandfather.

Mar 22, 2013

Obama, Jordan’s Abdullah offer united front on Syria

AMMAN (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and Jordan’s King Abdullah presented a united front against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Friday as Jordan grapples with a refugee crisis caused by Syria’s civil war.

Obama, in Jordan following a visit to Israel and the West Bank, pledged new aid to help the country deal with the refugee crush but stopped short of promising military assistance to Syrian rebels to speed the departure of Assad after a two-year civil war that has claimed 70,000 lives.

Mar 22, 2013

Obama tours symbolic Israeli sites on last day of visit

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – On the last day of a visit to Israel, U.S. President Barack Obama paid his respects at the tomb of the founder of modern Zionism and also the grave of a murdered Israeli prime minister, who has become a symbol of the peace process.

He then visited Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, adding layers of symbolic gestures to a trip short of real substance, but laden with presidential appeals for both Israelis and Palestinians to resume long-stalled peace talks.

Mar 21, 2013

Obama tries schmoozing in the Holy Land

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – From old-fashioned schmoozing to “I feel your pain” appeals, President Barack Obama is wading into Middle East diplomacy with a personal touch he has rarely displayed on the world stage.

It is the kind of charm offensive he has been trying to pull off – with decidedly mixed results – with political opponents back home and which he now hopes will help advance peace prospects in a region mostly devoid of them.

Mar 21, 2013

Obama to shore up ally Jordan on last stop in Mideast

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – President Barack Obama flies to Jordan on Friday for talks with King Abdullah, a key U.S. Middle East ally, that are expected to focus on the civil war in neighboring Syria and the prospects for Israeli-Palestinian peace diplomacy.

Obama will head to Amman after the final day of his first official visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories, which will be heavy on symbolism as he tours sites of historic and religious importance to both peoples.

Mar 20, 2013

Obama talks tough on Syria, counsels patience with Iran

JERUSALEM, March 20 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama
pledged on Wednesday to hold Syria to account if it used
chemical weapons and assured Israel, in his first official visit
to the Jewish state, of U.S. resolve to curb Iran’s nuclear
programme.

Obama came to Israel seeking to allay the security fears of
Washington’s closest ally in the Middle East, burnish his image
with Israelis and repair frayed relations with Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu over Iran and the expansion of Jewish
settlements on occupied land Palestinians claim for a state.

Mar 20, 2013

Obama arrives in Israel amid low expectations

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – President Barack Obama arrived in Israel on Wednesday without any new peace initiative to offer disillusioned Palestinians and facing deep Israeli doubts over his pledge to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.

Making his first official visit here as president, Obama hopes to use the trip to reset his often fraught relations with both the Israelis and Palestinians in a choreographed three-day stay that is high on symbolism but low on expectations.

Mar 18, 2013

Obama tells Iranians now is the time to settle nuclear dispute

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama insisted on Monday that “now is the time” for Iran to take meaningful steps to resolve its nuclear standoff with the West as he issued a direct appeal to the Iranian people on the eve of his first official trip to Israel.

Obama used the occasion of Iran’s new year celebration, as he has in the past, to try to ratchet up pressure on Tehran. But this time he focused squarely on its disputed nuclear program, which is expected to be high on the agenda when he visits Israel, Iran’s arch-foe.

Mar 14, 2013

Obama says Iran more than a year away from nuclear weapon

JERUSALEM/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama told Israelis Iran is still more than year away from developing a nuclear weapon and sought to reassure them that military force remains a U.S. option if sanctions and diplomacy fail to thwart its nuclear ambitions.

In an interview with Israeli television broadcast on Thursday, just six days before his visit to the country, Obama appeared to send a message to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the need for patience with Washington’s Iran strategy while also showing U.S. resolve to confront Tehran if necessary.

    • About Matt

      "White House correspondent who has covered news on four continents for Reuters, from Latin American coups and drug wars to the O.J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles to the Balkans conflict to the second Palestinian Intifada to the Iraq war. He has covered George W. Bush and is now covering President Barack Obama."
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