June 24th, 2013
08:39 PM ET

U.S. says it didn't blunder when Snowden fled Hong Kong

By Jill Dougherty

Obama administration officials, including the head of the FBI, have been burning up the phone lines to Moscow, urging the government of President Vladimir Putin to arrest Edward Snowden and send him to the United States to face espionage charges.

The last thing they want is a repeat of what happened in Hong Kong, when the admitted leaker of national security surveillance programs was able to fly to Moscow on Sunday.

Some critics call the episode a blunder by the administration.
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June 24th, 2013
05:59 PM ET

Kerry defends NSA surveillance programs in interview with CNN

CNN's Elise Labott interviewed Secretary of State John Kerry Monday in India about U.S. efforts to find Edward Snowden after he fled Hong Kong.  She asked him whether China's failure to stop him from fleeing was payback after Snowden leaked information about U.S. surveillance activities on China.

Measured tones mask Washington's fury with Hong Kong over Snowden
June 24th, 2013
12:45 PM ET

Measured tones mask Washington's fury with Hong Kong over Snowden

By Peter Shadbolt

It was clear from the statement from the National Security Council (NSC) on Monday that the United States is deeply annoyed with Hong Kong.

Couched in diplomatic language, the statement spelled out Washington's position: Hong Kong dropped the ball on Edward Snowden and the U.S. wants Russia to pick it up.

"We are disappointed by the decision of the authorities in Hong Kong to permit Mr. Snowden to flee despite the legally valid U.S. request to arrest him for purposes of his extradition under the U.S.-Hong Kong Surrender Agreement," said NSC spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden in a statement.

"We have registered our strong objections to the authorities in Hong Kong as well as to the Chinese government through diplomatic channels and noted that such behavior is detrimental to U.S.-Hong Kong and U.S.-China bilateral relations."

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Filed under: China • Diplomacy • Intelligence
North Korea, China want to resume nuclear talks
June 19th, 2013
11:41 AM ET

North Korea, China want to resume nuclear talks

North Korean and Chinese officials have called for the resumption of six-party talks on Pyongyang's nuclear program, Chinese authorities said Wednesday.

The announcement came as North Korea's chief nuclear negotiator, Kim Kye Gwan, was in Beijing for bilateral talks.

Kim and China's Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui issued statements Wednesday calling for the resumption of the talks to "peacefully solve nuclear issues through dialogue" with all relevant parties.

North Korea, South Korea, China, Japan, the United States and Russia met last decade to deal with North Korea's nuclear weapons program but those meetings had been discontinued.

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Filed under: China • North Korea • Nuclear
June 18th, 2013
10:36 AM ET

Opinion: Has U.S. started an Internet war?

By Bruce Schneier, Special to CNN

Today, the United States is conducting offensive cyberwar actions around the world.

More than passively eavesdropping, we're penetrating and damaging foreign networks for both espionage and to ready them for attack. We're creating custom-designed Internet weapons, pre-targeted and ready to be "fired" against some piece of another country's electronic infrastructure on a moment's notice.

This is much worse than what we're accusing China of doing to us. We're pursuing policies that are both expensive and destabilizing and aren't making the Internet any safer. We're reacting from fear, and causing other countries to counter-react from fear. We're ignoring resilience in favor of offense.

Welcome to the cyberwar arms race, an arms race that will define the Internet in the 21st century.

Editor's note: Bruce Schneier is a security technologist and author of "Liars and Outliers: Enabling the Trust Society Needs to Survive."

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Filed under: China • Cybersecurity • Opinion
Hagel ties China to cyber attacks
June 1st, 2013
09:15 PM ET

Hagel ties China to cyber attacks

From CNN’s Nunu Japaridze

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel pointed the finger at China Saturday when addressing cybersecurity threats, the latest in a series of rhetorical skirmishes between the United States and China on the issue.

Speaking to an audience of defense professionals at a regional security summit in Singapore, Hagel said the United States was concerned about “the growing threat of cyber intrusions, some of which appear to be tied to the Chinese government and military.”

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Survey shows little improvement in religious freedom
Secretary of State John Kerry
May 20th, 2013
06:18 PM ET

Survey shows little improvement in religious freedom

By Paul Courson

There has been little improvement in religious freedom worldwide but some positive changes were seen in Turkey and Vietnam, according to an annual State Department survey of nearly 200 countries.

Secretary of State John Kerry, a former U.S. senator who helped push the law mandating the original report 15 years ago, helped announce the findings on Monday in the Annual Report on International Religious Freedom.

"This report is a clear-eyed, objective look at the state of religious freedom around the world. And when necessary, yes, it does directly call out some of our close friends, as well as some countries with whom we seek stronger ties."

Government repression in China, North Korea and Saudi Arabia has kept all three countries on a list the report calls "Countries of Particular Concern."

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Filed under: China • Congress • Foreign Policy • North Korea • Saudi Arabia • Sec. State John Kerry
Obama: 'North Korea has failed again'
May 7th, 2013
04:50 PM ET

Obama: 'North Korea has failed again'

By Gabriella Schwarz

President Barack Obama and South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Tuesday nuclear aggression from North Korea has further isolated the region and vowed to use all means to deter further provocations.

"If Pyongyang thought its recent threats would drive a wedge between South Korea and the United States or somehow garner the North international respect, today is further evidence that North Korea has failed again," Obama said during a joint press conference with the two leaders. "The United States and the Republic of Korea are as united as ever ... North Korea is more isolated than ever."

Obama said North Korea's manufactured crises will no long elicit concessions and committed to protecting the United States and its allies.

"The United States is fully prepared and capable of defending ourselves and our allies with the full range of capabilities available, including the deterrence provided by our conventional and nuclear forces," Obama said. "The commitment of the United States to the security of the Republic of Korea will never waver."

President Park, South Korea's first female president, said she will "by no means tolerate North Korea's threats and provocations, which have recently been escalating further."

FULL STORY
Pentagon says China using cyberattacks
May 7th, 2013
05:34 AM ET

Pentagon says China using cyberattacks

By CNNMoney's Charles Riley

The Pentagon has accused China of trying to extract sensitive information from U.S. government computers, the latest in a series of rhetorical skirmishes between the two countries on the issue of cyberattacks.

The frank assessment, made in an annual report to U.S. lawmakers on Chinese military capabilities, is the harshest and most detailed set of accusations made thus far by the Obama administration.

"In 2012, numerous computer systems around the world, including those owned by the U.S. government, continued to be targeted for intrusions, some of which appear to be attributable directly to the Chinese government and military," the report said.

The Pentagon said China is carrying out the attacks in an effort to extract information from "diplomatic, economic and defense industrial base sectors that support U.S. national defense programs." The intellectual property and data is likely being used to bolster China's own defense and high tech industries, the report said

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Filed under: China • Cybersecurity • Pentagon
North Korea diplomacy effort grows, but sides are still far apart
April 21st, 2013
05:13 PM ET

North Korea diplomacy effort grows, but sides are still far apart

By Jim Clancy

A week of critical diplomacy is set to begin in Washington, Beijing and Pyongyang. But the sides are so far apart, at least in public declarations, it is impossible to predict where any diplomatic efforts will lead.

North Korea continues to hold fast to the position that its nuclear and ballistic missile programs are non-negotiable. Pyongyang's official news agency says the North wants U.N. Security Council sanctions lifted. The sanctions were put in place after North Korea launched a three-stage rocket last December that put a satellite in orbit. More sanctions were added when the North conducted its third underground nuclear test in February.

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